1965

Spring 1965 was interesting in several respects, and saw a snowy November. March, May and October had warm spells, but the summer was cold. The warmest day of the year was in mid May. The temperature then exceeded 25C somewhere on only 3 occasions in the summer, all in early August. Perhaps it is a measure of how bad the summer was that 1965 held the record to date for both the earliest and latest dates for the hottest day of the year for any location in the country.


January. Slightly colder than average.

February. Cold and dull. It was very dry: a great anticyclone persisted from 23 January to 27 February. As the high retreated, a very cold, snowy spell began, persisting into March.

March. A month with some very interesting extremes illustrating March at its most variable. In contrast to the high maxima at the end of the month, a very low temperature of -21.7C was recorded in the same month at Corwen (Clwyd) on the 3rd, during a cold and snowy beginning to the month. This was the coldest day of the year - and an interestingly late date for this. We had to wait until 2001 for a lower temperature in March. The month began with cold NE winds, with some snow. It cleard on the night of the 2-3rd to give the low minima. There was then a notable blizzard in southern England on the 3-4th. It snowed for almost 24 hours at Heathrow, and there were over 20 cm of level snow on the Hampshire Downs and Salisbury Plain, and 35 cm in central Wales. There was deep snow and traffic disruption in north Wales and on Anglesey. There was even 10 cm on the Hampshire coast, although I don't remember this at all. There were 60 cm drifts in the centre of Birmingham, and 15' drifts reported. Unsurprisingly there was widespread traffic disruption. Then close to the equal highest maximum for a March day was set on the 29th: 25.0C at Wakefield and Whitby (although this record is more suspect than the 1968 one). At Whitby it was the hottest day of the whole year - this is the earliest date for the hottest day of the year at any location in the country. Wakefield is obviously the place to be in March. Strachan (Kincardinshire) saw the equal hottest March day (until 2012) of 22.2C. There were also some interesting extremes within 24 hours during this "heatwave": in East Anglia there was a range of 28C between frost at daybreak and the afternoon maximum. The possibility of such range in such a short time is one of the things that makes this time of year so interesting. The strength of the March sun played an important role in this heatwave, rather than the source of the air (hence the large diurnal variation.) The month had a sunny first half, but it was very dull from the 15th to the 21st, with only 2 hours of sunshine at Bracknell. It cleared on the 27th as pressure built, giving a sunny end to the month, with those very high maxima. The range for the month is probably the highest on record, from -21.7 to +25.0 (46.7 degrees, beating 2019).

April. A warm start, but then cold and unsettled. A thundery, showery month. There was a violent, unexpected thunderstorm over London on the afternoon of the 7th. On the 12th a series of tornadoes caused structural damage in East Anglia. Most notable of these was the Clacton tornado that affected Clacton, and Great Holland, with structural damage and loss of chimney pots. An unsettled, cold, thundery Easter, with some snow showers (17-19th).

May. The month had changeable westerlies until the 9th. It then became very warm and sunny. Many parts of the country had the warmest day of the year on the 13th or 14th: it was 29C in London (Kensington) on the 14th (the warmest day of the year - the most recently this has happened in May, and the earliest date in the twentieth century for the hottest day of the year). Then on the 28th the midday temperature was only 8C.

June. About average.

July. The month was the third coldest of thje century (14.0C CET), and one of the coldest of the century in Scotland), dull, and wet. Northerly winds at the start of the month brought bright, cold, dry weather. Close to freezing by the 4th in the Midlands. There was heavy rain on the 6-7th. More unsettled midmonth, with some heavy rain as a depression moved NE across the country; 105 mm of rain in 48 hours at Paignton (Devon). The 14th was the warmest day of the month; 25C at Hoddesdon (Herts.). However, 140 mm of rain fell in 220 minutes at Wadebridge (Cornwall). Quiet midmonth. Thundery spell from 19-25th. 29 mm in 18 minutes at Stanstead on the 20th. Tornado at Wisley (Surrey) on the 21st. Flooding in south Lancashire on the 23rd. There was 45 mm of rain at Hastings on the 30th as the month continued unsettled, ending with some snow on the Cairngorms. It was -1.7C at Kielder Castle on the 17th and -0.6 at Newport (Shropshire) on the 31st.

August.... and the first of the late August Bank Holidays was cool, cloudy, showery, and windy ...

September. Very wet, cold, and dull. The weather conditions at the start of the month (high pressure over Scandinavia, low over France) led to an extraordinary fall of migrant birds on the East Anglian coast on the afternoon of 3 September.

October. Some late warmth. The warmest day of the year in the Snowdon area was on the 5th. 22.2C at Cape Wrath on the 22nd. It reached 25C a couple of times over a wide area in the first week - the warmest day of the year since May. It was the hottest day of the year at Spadeadam (Cumbria) on the 5th - the latest date this has happened in the whole country.

November. The month was one of the snowiest on record with some notable cold spells. Strong winds caused the collapse of five out of the eight cooling towers of Ferrybridge Power Station (Doncaster) on the 1st, when gusts of 85 mph interacted with the design of the power station. The cold air moved in on the 13th. There was some heavy snowfall, laying for for 10 days in Lincs. There was heavy snow on Dartmoor on the 14th. -14C was recorded at Braemar early on the 15th; freezing fog on the 15th at Ross-on-Wye, with a maximum of -2C. It was windy on the 16th as an intense depression approached. Blizzards in Wales and the north. Less cold for a while, but more cold weather returned on the 21st. There was snow in the east on the 22nd, with a hard frost. There was heavy snow in the borders on the 25th, with seven foot deep drifts in the Lake District. more gales and rain in on the 27th. The worst weather came on the 29th, with severe gales and heavy snow, and a pressure of only 962 mbar at Humberside. Snow lay in east Scotland from the 13th to the end of the month, and was nearly 2' deep in Durham.

December. Slightly colder than average overall.