1945

The end of the war saw an exceptional cold snap in January 1945, quickly followed by a very mild spell starting with February. A very warm spring: at 10.07, the warmest of the century. Also the driest November on record.


January. Very cold overall (CET +0.4C - in the top ten) - the last of the cold war January months. It was unsettled and very snowy in the east. The month started mild, but cold northerly winds set in on the 4th and persisted until the 16th, bringing some snow and frost. There was a severe and damaging gale on the 18-19, causing damage and loss of life across the country. At South Shields the mean hourly wind speed was 65 mph. There was a maximum gust of 76 mph at St Ann's Head (Pembroke.), with an average wind speed of 76 mph. A tornado was associated with a thunderstorm around Dunstable on the 19th. As the depression causing the gale moved ESES across Scotland, some very cold air came behind, and the period 19th-30th was very cold again. There was then an exceptionally cold last week, with severe frost and freezing fog. On the 25th, the temperature at Leeming rose from a minimum of -17C to a maximum of -9C; at Dalwhinnie, it rose from -19C to -11C on the 26th. There was some heavy snow, too: Cardiff was cut off for several days after nearly a metre of level snow on the 25th. Deep snow lay widely from South Wales to Yorkshire from 25th-29th. Overall it was a sunny month, unusual for one so cold. The cold weather quickly turned around for February.

February. Very mild (7.1C CET). Wet and unsettled up to the 12th; the 11th was cold. Then generally fine in England. 18.3C was recorded in the southeast (King's Lanley, Herts.) on the 18th. Some high nighttime minima were recorded at the end of the month. It was wet in the north and west. The jump in temperature between a very cold January and warm February is a record. The temperature rise between January and February was the highest from 1870 to 1989.

March. Generally dry, sunny, and mild: one of the warmest of the century in Scotland. There was an exceptional warm southerly spell in the last week; 21.0 at Lossiemouth in Highland. 22C at Edinburgh and Croydon on the 23rd; 22.2 at Milford (Surrey). 21C at Prestwick on the 24th.

April. Generally warm, sunny, and dry. Unsettled at the very beginning, it soon became warm. Althought there was a cold and snowy at end, it was still 10.1C overall. It became exceptionally warm in the third week, with 27.2C recorded at Camden and Peterborough on the 16th, the third highest April maximum of the century; 26C was reached on two consecutive dates, 16th and 17th, in Croydon. There was then an air frost and light fall of snow in the SE on the 29th.

May. A warm but thundery month overall. There were some severe thunderstorms with large hail in the south Midlands on the 11th. Although the 11th was warm, the 12th wa a particularly hot day - it reached 30.6C at Camden Square, the record earliest date at which 30C has been exceeded. 25C was reached across a widespread area, from Scotland to Cornwall. Particularly severe thunderstorms broke out later, particularly in the Midlands and central Scotland, where 20 mm of rain fell in 10 minutes at Boghall near Edinburgh. In many parts of the country 12 May was the hottest day of the year. Overall it was dry in parts of the east, although it was the wettest May for 20 years in Scotland.

June. Mainly unsettled. There were some cool days and mild nights. Drier in the SE bu wetter in west and NW.

July. Overall generally a dry month, particularly in Norfolk and east Yorkshire. There were though some exceptional thunderstorm on the night of the 14-15th. There was incessant lightning all night over the southeast. 80 mm of rain at Old Woking. 43 mm of rain fell in 20 minutes at Neston (Cheshire) on the 15th.

August. There were some warm spells early in the month. The last fortnight was then cloudy, with heavy rainfall on the 29th: 81 mm fell at Boston (Lincs.) on the 29th. A sunny month in NW Scotland, but a dull dry month in the SE.

September. Mild and very dull across the country. Only 56 hours of sunshine recorded at Kew. It was very dry in central and eastern England.

October. Dry, anticyclonic up to the 20th, when it was very dry in places: there was no measurable rain in the Thames Valley in this period. It reached 25C in Croydon on the 11th. It then turned stormy, with severe gales on the 24th, 25th, and 27th.

November. The driest November on record, but still with an average of 17 mm of rain across England and Wales. Only 3 mm fell in Central London, and along the Lancashire coast (e.g. Fleetwood) there was no rain at all during the whole month. Many places had no rain at all from the 4th to 25th (an absolute drought). Even Scotland was relatively dry, with only 28mm of rain, as was Northern Ireland. The Central Lowlands, Moray Firth, SE, Midlands, abd NW England all recorded less than 7 mm of rain. It was mostly a quiet month, and quite warm at times. With a month of anticyclonic gloom, Droitwich (Worcs.) saw only 11 hours of sunshine in the entire month. It was 19C at Penrhos (North Wales) on the 1st in a very mild first week.

December. Generally mild and unsettled, with westerly winds. There was however a cold snap in the SE around the 7th when there was an encroachment of continental air. Christmas was very mild in the south: Plymouth reached 13C, while Goudhurst (near Tunbridge Wells, Kent) recorded 15C. There was dense (visibility < 5m) fog in the southeast on the 31st.