1984

The highlight of 1984 was a very good April. Before 1999-2000, it was the sunniest winter (December, January, February) on record (229 hours in London).

January. A westerly month, but it was very wintry in the north.The month was very wet: the wettest January since 1948 in England and Wales. Snowy over Scotland and Northern Ireland. A violent gale in the Midlands on the 11th, and another on the 13th gave a gust of 104 mph in the NE England. On the 13th, the north suffered prolonged snow showers and strong winds. There was a destructive tornado in Doncaster on the 14th, and lightning in Leeds. It was very cold in Scotland: there was a minimum of -23.6C at Grantown-on-Spey on the morning of the 20th, and -20.6C at Aviemore, followed by a maximum of only -8C at Tummel Bridge the next day. More snow in the north on the 21st. On the 23rd snow lay 65 cm deep in parts of Scotland, with many places cut off. Snow lay for 30 days of the month at Kindrogan, 20 days at Glasgow and Edinburgh, but only 6 at Manchester , and just one in London. Another tornado, with large hail, hit Teignmouth on the 26th. It was milder than average in the south.

February. Westerly in the south at the start of the month, then anticyclonic from the 8th. There was a maximum of 13.5C at Great Malvern on the 4th. It was much colder in the north, with some sharp frosts on the first (e.g. -9.2C at Eskdalemiuir). Stormy first week. There was snow over Scotland at the start of the month, with many roads closed by drifts. There were gales on the 6th, with more snow in the north, and a severe gale on the 8th, with much damage and death by falling masonry in London. A gust of 106 mph was recorded at the Point of Ayre (Isle of Man) on the 8th. It then became anticyclonic with some sharp frosts in the south midmonth. Overall slightly colder than normal.

March. Cold and cloudy. Wet in the east, dry in the west. Dull, with wintry spells, and very dull in the east.

April. April is often the driest month of the year, and 1984 was particularly dry. There was no measurable rainfall across large areas of southern England. In many places (e.g. Glasgow and Cardiff) it was the driest of the century. Onich (Highland) reached 26.5C on the 25th and Londonderry 24.5 on the 26th (the April records for Scotland and Northern Ireland), although Fort William may have made 28.3C on the 24th. This was the last hot and sunny Easter (Easter Day falling quite late, on April 22), until 2011. Warm southerlies arrived on Maundy Thursday, and the next three days saw temperatures passing 21C, reaching 26.1 on Jersey on Easter Sunday. Easter Monday was very sunny across the whole country. A very sunny month in the south. There was however a wet spell midmonth, with westerly winds.

May. Cool overall. There was a marked contrast between a fine, sunny, dry May in western Scotland, and a wet, cloudy one in south-eastern England. 131 mm of rain at Romsey (Hants.). It rained all over the Bank Holiday weekend (25-28th) in the southeast, with no sunshine over all three days, and temperatures beneath 10C, and rainfall on 66 out of 72 possible hours in the north London area.

June. Mostly dry. Sunny in the east. The month had some unsettled in the first week with some thundery rain. High pressure dominated the country for the middle of the month. There were thunderstorms again on the 20th.

July. Mostly dry, sunny and warm, but with some notable thunderstorms. High pressure built during the first week, and 31.7C was recorded at Heathrow on the 8th. As usual, the fine weather then broke down. York Minster was severely damaged by lightning on the 9th. I remember at the time that there was some talk about it being a sign from God. All I can remember that soon after I was in a train from Cardiff going to Newcastle, and I was slightly disappointed that you couldn't see anything from the railway. An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale hit north Wales on the 19th. Maidenhead had 21 mm of rain in 1 hour on the 22nd; Bracknell had 43 mm in less than 50 minutes on the 23rd; and 91.5 mm fell at Hayling Island on the 24th; and 91.5 mm fell at Hayling Island on the 24th.

August. Hot (17.4C CET) and dry but with thunder. I was in Cardiff at the time, and lived near a park. Everyone seemed to spend all their time lounging around in the park sitting in the sun. The Cowes Week regatta ground to a halt due to lack of wind. The month did however start off wet and unsettled. 31.9 ºC was recorded at Jersey on the 20th; it even reached 29.6 C at Prestwick and 30.8C at Strathclyde Park (Motherwell) in Scotland;the highest temperature of the month in England was also on the 20th, with 30.8 ºC also, at Liphook (Hants.). The record (until 2017) highest temperature for the late August Bank Holiday (this month which fell on the 27th) was set this month: 27.2 °C was recorded at East Bergholt (Suffolk).

September. Cloudy, very wet, unsettled, and cool, particularly in the second half. It was also quite thundery. On the 22nd there was a minimum of -3C at Aviemore.

October. Warm, but unsettled and wet.

November. Mild and wet. It was very wet in Aberdeen. There were frequent southerly winds during the month. It reached 19C in London on the 1st and 2nd. There was notable dusty rain on the 9-10th even reached Scotland. Notable damaging storm in Westport region of Ireland on the night of the 21st led to structural damage and power cuts.

December. Average temperatures overall. After a mild, wet start, it became colder and drier in the south in the second week. There was some persistent fog around on the 11th. The temperature reached 17.4C at Cape Wrath on the 13th. There was a maximum of only -4C at Abbotsinch on the 27th.