1946

1946 was noted for record and exceptional temperatures in November. A very poor extended summer. Easter had unbroken sunshine.

January. A changeable month with no noteworthy falls of snow. It remained below freezing all day in many districts on the 20th. The warmest January night on record was recorded on the 10th-11th, with a minimum of 12.2C around Exeter. It was 14.5C in London on the 11th, in a very mild airstream. The month had a wet and unsettled end.

February. The month had a very wet first week. There was a tornado in Birmingham on the 4th. There were some violent thunderstorms, and a schoolboy was killed by lightning on the 4th. It was mild on the 7th, with 15C at Torquay. The weather became more settled from the 9th, and was mild to the 21st, when it turned much colder, following a gale on the 20th. There were some very heavy rainfalls on the 7th, 8th, and 22nd. On the whole, it was a sunny month in NE England. Wet in the west, but very dry and pleasant in the NE (5.3" of rain in Manchester, but just 0.35" at Newcastle all month).

March. March started off very cold and snowy. A dry month. Warmer from the 20th onwards, with a notable warm spell started on the 25th, persisting into April. 21C on the 29th, and 20C was recorded in many places on the 30th, with 22C in Surry and North Wales.

April. Sunny and warm (9.9C CET). There was a remarkable hot early spell: it was 23.9C at Leeming on the 2nd, 25.6 widely across the east on the 3rd, 26.5C reported reported at Greenwich on the 4th, and 26.4C confirmed at Cambridge that day. At Mildenhall (Suffolk) the temperature maximum was 26C on the 4th but only 9C on the 5th, following the passage of a cold front. The weather broke at the end of the month. The month was very dry in Aberdeen.

May. Generally cool and unsettled, with a bit of a SE/NW split. Sunny and dry in the NW: 258 hours of sunshine in the month on Anglesey and 329 hours at Tiree. In contrast Kew only had 172 hours of sunshine in the month. Rainfall was 75% above average in SE England but less than half in W Scotland. 24.4C was recorded at Kilmarnock on the 10th. There were some severe thunderstorms in south Yorkshire on the 20th.

June. Cool, dull, and wet. There were only one or two warm days (the 22nd and 23rd in some areas).

July. A month with many severe thunderstorms and some damaging hailstorms. There were some exceptional thunderstorm on the 2nd. 131mm of rain in two days led to flooding around Bury St. Edmonds, with hail damage. However, 30.6C was recorded in London on the 2nd. More storms in the south and east on the 3-4. The weather was fine between the 6th and 12th. More storms on the 16th. More storms on the 26th led to flooding, damage, and fatalities in London and the southeast; 30 mm of rain fell at Shoeburyness.

August. Very wet. Although it started off warm and sunny, with 28C on the 5th, it soon turned very unsettled.

September. Dull, cool, and very wet, with mainly westerly winds. There was severe flooding on the 20th, as severe gales swept across England and Wales. 75 mm of rain fell at Bradford. 26C recorded in London on the 28th, when southerlies introduced very warm air from the 27th.

October. High pressure over Scandinavia throughout the month meant that Scotland was very dry (5% of expected rainfall). While England and Wales were dry they also suffered from easterly winds, resulting in cool, cloudy weather. It was the dullest October at Kew since 1924.

November. A changeable first half. Very warm air from the southeast, originating from Africa, plus the Fohn effect led to high temperatures on the 4th, including 21.7C at Prestatyn in Flintshire (the November record high), 21.1C at Hawarden Bridge (Chester) and 20.6C at Edinburgh (Scotland's record high for November). It even reached 20C at Nairn and 19.4C at Achnashellach (Wester Ross); temperatures above 18C were widespread. It then became slightly cooler. The second half of the month was often wet and stormy, but mild at times, particularly in the south. No air frost was recorded all month.

December. Mild beginning and end. Windy and wet. There was a notable local snowfall in the northwest around Manchester on the 3rd. A number of cold spells with easterlies. The third week was cold, from the 16th, with snow in the south on the 19th. A minimum of -14C was recorded at Yeovilton (Somerset). There was more heavy snow across the SE. A thaw set in on the 22nd, and the rest of the month was wet and windy.