Extreme weather events in the Sidlaws north of Dundee (Pitroddie).


September 1996. Very dry, very sunny, with a warm spell at the start.

September 1. Move to Dundee and suffer the extreme trauma of having to start my weather records all over again. There's a good warm spell when I arrive: 23.0C on the 2nd.

October 1996. Warm and wet.

October 24-28. 51.6mm of rain.

November 1996. Cool, sunny, and wet.

November 18-29. An early cold snap. Snow on the hill behind the house on the 18th, with some snow lying all this period, for a total of 12 consecutive days, with a minimum of -4.5C on the 19th.

November 19. My current record low is set at -4.5C early this morning.

December 1996. Cold. At 2.8 C it is the record coldest month so far.

December 6. The maximum today was only -0.2 - the lowest maximum yet.

December 7-11. No sunshine.

December 31 to January 11. Cold snap, with snow.


A very warm (9.65C) and dry (675.2 mm) year.

January 1997. Cool, very dry, and dull.

January 1 to 11. Continuing the cold snap, with snow on ground. February 5. The lowest minimum of the year (-3.3).

February 1997. Mild, sunny, and wet.

February 17-20. 52.5mm of rain.

March 1997. Very mild, sunny, and dry.

30 March. A March high of 16.1 set, also the earliest date above 15.9 (the old magic 60F).

April 1997. Warm and extremely dry. With only 10.0 mm of rain, it is the record driest month so far.

April 6 to 22. A drought of 17 days (inclusive).

May 1997. Very wet and cool.

May 17-21. No sunshine.

June 1997. Extremely wet.

June 11. A rainfall of 31.2mm today makes this the wettest day of the year and the wettest day on so far. There is no sun in the five days 11-16th.

July 1997. Warm and wet.

August 1997. Hot and dry. The record hottest month so far (16.7 overall).

August 8. The hottest day of the year (24.3) and the record hottest day so far.

August 21. Minimum falls to only 18.8C.

September 1997. Dry and sunny.

September 9 to October 5. Drought of 19 days (the record so far).

September 19-20. Some cool nights.

October 1997. Mainly dry and sunny.

November 1997. Very mild, very dull, and very wet.

November 2-8. No sun at all; easterly winds make it very dull. These seven consecutive days are an equal record period so far (with September 1998).

December 1997. Mild, dull, wet, and changeable.

December 16-19. 37.7mm of rain on the 18-19. There is no sun from the 16-19.

December 27. The first frost of the year, which shows how amazingly mild the winter was here.


A very wet (953.0 mm) and cool (9.03C) year.

January 1998. Mild.

January 4. The wettest day of the year (27.0mm), mostly falling as wet snow.

No sun at all; easterly winds give much fog and low cloud. These seven consecutive days are an equal record period so far (with Novemeber 1997).

January 9. The record warmest January day so far, at 12.7C.

January 21-25. No sun at all.

January 26, 27. The lowest maximum of the year (-3.7) on each of these mornings.

February 1998. Very mild and very dry.

March 1998. Generally mild and dry.

March 6. Cold snap: snow disrupts traffic.

April 1998. Extremely wet (120.2 mm) and dull.

April 2-6. Wet spell: 74.1mm of rain, 25.6 mm of it on the 4th. There is also no sun at all for five days.

April 12. A low relative humidity of only 29%.

April 16. The record latest date so far on which snow/sleet falls.

April 22. The first date this year in excess of 15.9C (60F) with a high of 16.1. It was 16.9 the next day.

May 1998. Quite dry.

June 1998. Wet and cool.

1 June. The record lowest maximum for June of just 7.9C.

July 1998. Dull and very wet , cool.

August 1998. Quite dry.

September 1998. Warm but wet and cloudy.

September 21. At 24.2C this is the warmest day of the year, and the record September maximum to date - and so late in the season! What a miserable summer. It is also the latest date at which 21C is exceeded. A remarkable warm spell.

September 22 to 28. No sun at all; easterly winds give much fog and low cloud. These seven consecutive days are an equal record period so far (with November 1997).

October 1998. Very wet. This the wettest month on record (136.5 mm) up to this point. Earliest frost on record so far (-0.7 on the 20th). The temperature did not exceed 15C at all this month

November 1998. Wet. With 106.1 mm it's the record wettest November so far. What a month!

November 4. This is the record earliest date so far on which snow has fallen.

The 5th is then the record earliest date so far on which snow has laid.

November 12-13. A pleasant enough day, but overnight on the 12th there were 35.9mm of rain. This is a new record. It seemed wet at the time, but I had no idea so much had fallen until I emptied the rain gauge at 8.00am. Not surprisingly, the local roads were very wet. When I checked the rain gauge Friday (13th) lunchtime, a further 22mm had fallen in the period 8.00am-1.30pm. Altogether there was about 60mm in a 20 hour spell. The final rainfall for Friday 13th was 26.3.

November 17th. A record new low of -5.3 on the morning of Tuesday 17th (and grass minimum of -10.0). That day the maximum was only +0.7, a new record low maximum.

December 1998. Mild, sunny, dry, severe gale.

December 4-7. Cold snap breaks sets a number of new records here. After a mild start to the month, the first week got progressively colder. An Arctic plunge on Friday 4 made things interesting. Overnight on the 4-5 snow fell and 2-3cms lay. With a snow covering and clear skies in Arctic air the temperature fell to a new record low of -6.7 on the Sunday morning, 6 December. If the wind had abated a bit it would presumably have been lower. The temperature only got up to -0.5 that Sunday, and the following night fell to -7.0, breaking the previous night's record, in spite of the fact that it clouded over throughout the night. That was 41 hours of continuous frost (from 6 pm on 5.12.98 to 11 am on 7.12.98).

December 13-14. After the notable cold, and exceptionally mild spell. Warm air from ther Azores hot spot arrived overnight on the13th; the temperature in the early hours of the 14th rose to 13.4C from a reading of 7.0 (that day's minimum) at 5pm. The next morning (day of the 14th) was even milder: 13.6 was reached mid-morning. As it cleared, however, temperatures fell back to a more reasonable (but still mild) 8.0.

December 26. A great storm: the Boxing Day storm of 1998. Pressure fell 37mbar from 9am to a new record low of 964 mbars at 7pm. It was very, very windy. We experienced our first ever structural damage due to winds: a bracket was blown off the guttering, and the guttering became loose.


January 1999. Cool, wet, with a severe gale. A very SW month (15 days).

January 4. Another great storm. Although supposedly not as bad as the 1998 Boxing Day storm, this one seemed worse, presumably because it peaked when I was out and about in daylight hours. I worried about my plants. It was also poignant: by a freak, it destroyed my trusty thermometer. A gust took the garden gate, which bounced off my thermometer shelter, shattering it. Good job I had a replacement handy.

January 5-14 . While the south of Britain had a distinctly mild spell, it stayed cold in Pitroddie, culminating in a light snowfall on the night of the 11-12th, and some sharp frosts. A new record low of -4.4 was set in the early hours of the 12th. After a mild morning on the 15th, temperatures fell sharply, and it became very windy. There was another light snowfall overnight on the 15-16th.

January 30-31. The last two days were the only really mild days of the month (8.5 and 8.3).

February 1999. Very sunny and dry. A month of alternating spells of arctic air with milder westerly interludes. The coldest February here since my records began (1996).

February 3-4. Another notable storm. This one finished off part of our guttering. Although not generally as severe as those of Boxing day 1998 or January 4th, this one seemed nearly as bad at times.

February 5-10. On the Friday the wind changed to the northwest and over the next few days a succession of weak cold fronts brought increasingly colder Arctic air to Pitroddie. Combined with the wind speed, it was not pleasant to be outside for long, in spite of the brilliant sunshine. A new record low of -3.9 on the morning of the 7th. The maximum on the 8th was only 2.1, and the minimum on the morning of the 9th a new record of -4.8. This period was characterised by low relative humidity; hence little rime. The cold spell was absolutely neither severe nor prolonged, but it was the best in February since we've been here. It became less cold on the 10th, and was very mild again on the 11th.

February 16. The start of another wintry snap. A cold front passed through on the night of the 15-16th with a sharp drop in temperature; the wind blew arctic air in from the NW on the morning of the16th. At least this time we had some snow showers, albeit very light ones. It didn't last long.

February 22. At last, a modest February snowfall: 2cm overnight and in the morning of the 22nd. It all largely disappeared in the sun during the day, however.

March 1999. The coolest March so far since we moved here (6.2), and also quite dry (42.0mm). Not much of note this month: no snow. Two new records: a new highest minimum of 8.8 on the 17th, and the maximum maximum of 13.8 (on the 16th) is the lowest March high max so far.

24 March I went automatic with a Davis WMII AWS.

27 March. A low relative humidity of only 31%.

April 1999. Warmer than average, and quite dry. It would have been warmer but for a cold snap with snow midmonth. A month conspicuous for the absence of southwesterlies. Apart from the snow on the 13-14, the highlight was the new record high of 20.7 on the 29th; a glorious day.

April 1- 4. While most of the country enjoyed a warm spell, we shivered with mist and fog. Easterlies are not good on the east coast.

April 8. The first day over 15.9F (60C) this year, at 17.3.

April 29. New record high April max of 20.7.

May 1999. The record warmest May here so far (11.4).

May 10. A new record (since the 24 March, when my WMII was up and running!) 10 minute rainfall rate of 3.2mm in a shower late this afternoon.

May 27. A new record high maximum for May of 22.6C.

June 1999. The driest (65.6mm - so that's not that dry, of course) and warmest (13.2) June since I've moved here. This month also strangely set the record for the highest mean max so far (17.4) and the lowest mean minima (8.9).

June 25, 26. Set and equalled a record new June max of 23.0.

July 1999. The record warmest (16.3C) July so far - with high maxima (21.0), let down by the minima. The second warmest month overall to date. It was also the record driest July so far (36.8mm).

July 8-12. Records tumble in the hottest spell of weather since I move here: a record new high maximum of 25.7 in the sun on Thursday 8th. The next few days were also very warm (25.5. and 25.3), but afternoon buildup of cloud meant that the temperatures jsut failed to break the record. A showery outbreak on Sunday 11th pegged the temperatures back a bit, but then, rather out of the blue, a new record was set on Monday 12th: 26.4 - just failing to beat the 80F mark. The minimum in the early hours of Saturday morning (10th) was 15.2. The heat was accompanied by high humidity, with a high dewpoint of 21, making it feel very uncomfortable. The weather broke down with a cold front passing through on the 13th. The end of the month ended warm and humid, but not as hot as earlier in the month.

July 22-August 11th. Drought! A record 21 days without measurable rain.

August 1999. Although pretty average overall, the average August minimum was the record lowest so far (10.3C). It was also the record driest August so far (23.2).

August 3. New record August high of 26.1.

August 12. The record long drought ends with 2.4mm of rain in the afternoon of Thursday 12th

August 23. New record August low of 5.2. Also we narrowly avoid a ground frost on the 21st and 23rd (+1.0C).

September 1999. At 14.4C, the record warmest September since I moved here. And with 88.4mm of rain, also the record wettest. Notable warm spell at the beginning (23.8 on the 5th). Notable warm nights.

September 2. A minimum of only 15.9 in the early hours is a new record high minimum for September.

September 20 sees 26.0mm of rain.

October 1999. A pretty uneventful month. High daytime temperatures (13.2) but the minima were nothing special, so this months no records were broken. Dry, quite sunny, mild.

November 1999. A very mild month - since we moved here I've had two quite mild Novembers and two quite cold Novembers. Some notable gales at the end. The average maxima were particularly high. A new record high pressure, but no new temperature or rainfall records. A large anticyclone meant quite a dry first half, but rain at the end of month brought the total up a bit. It was still my record driest November so far, with 46.6mm.

November 10. An enormous area of high pressure sits over the country, and I record a pressure of about 1047 millibars - a new record.

November 15. Although the high is still dominant, the winds swing round to the NW and N, ushering in a bright, sunny, cold spell - but the dry continues. In spite of the cold, I am still awaiting our first air frost of the season. We've come close, with +0.2, but it still hasn't gone lower. I think there are two reasons for this at the moment: the winds have been quite strong at night, and it's been quite cloudy at night. I now think that Pitroddie might generally have late first frosts: first, we are quite coastal in our climate, and second, we are on the side of a hill.

November 20. At last! The first air frost of the autumn (-0.4).

November 26 and 30. Notable gales. Also on the 30th...

November 30. A superb display of nacreous (mother of pearl) clouds at sunset. I first noticed it over the Tay at 3.10pm from Tesco car park. The colours were at their most brilliant around 3.30. It faded gently, but were still dimly visible almost as darkness fell, around 4.30pm. A breathtaking experience.

December 1999. A cold month, but not as cold as December 1996. The month was marked by a large number of air frosts, giving my record lowest average December minimum. A bit of snow, and some notable gales at the end.

December 2-3. An arctic plunge brings a blizzard overnight on Thursday-Friday. It's wet snow, too. 8 cm of lying level snow, and we can't even get out of the yard. The snow stops around 8.30, and a slow thaw sets in. The pressure dipped to 979 mbar at 7am. We're snowed in for the day.

December 8. A new record low pressure of 970 mbar set around 8pm. Oddly, it wasn't very windy. The eye of the storm?

December 13-15. Cold still, with snow and sleet showers on the night of the 13-14th and the morning of the 14th. Then clear and cold. The main effect of this is that there's more ice about than I've seen in a long time. In particular, Tuesday's sleet, snow, and slush has formed a thick layer of ice on the ground.

December 19-20th. Another cold snap, with 37 hours of continuous frost centred on the 20th, from 5pm on the 19th to 6am on the 21st.

December 24. A new record low pressure of 950 mbarsset in the evening - well below the earlier record. This was associated with a notable gale.

December 25. Technically, a white Christmas, as we had a few flakes of wet snow in the morning and afternoon in showery rain. It wasn't inspiring, though. It is the lowest pressure at 9 am reading (965 mbar).


An average year for temperatures, with no notable extremes. A wet year but not as wet as 1998.

January 2000. A very mild month; indeed the record warmest since I moved here, with a mean of 5.3. The maxima were consistently high (8.2), and there was no severe frost. It was also very sunny and quite dry (35.4mm). Most of the rain fell on the last two days.

February 2000. A very sunny, quite mild, and rather dry month, but exceptional events were rare on the ground (and in the air). Windy at times, too. So that's another winter gone.

March 2000. Quite mild, dry, and sunny, but not as much so as March 1997. Generally an anticyclonic month.

March 5-21.A notable warm spell early on, starting on Sunday 5th (with a maximum of 10.4C). It reached 13.6 on Monday 6th, 14.4 on Tuesday 7th, and 15.6 on Wednesday 8th. The minimum on the 6-7th was 10.1. A cool day on the 14th in the middle of the warm spell. So far this high was only beaten by 16.1 on 30 March 1997. The anticyclone seemed fixed for ever. Saturday 18th was a beautiful cloudless day, with a high of 12.7. I started to worry about having to water the garden.

March 8. The first day this year over 60F (just)! This is the earliest so far.

March 23. A front brought 14.8mm of rain, relieving the dry spell.

April 2000. Cool (but not as cold as 1998) with average rainfall - places nearby were very wet, particularly in a wet spell near the end of the month.

April 2. A cold front brings dramatically colder air and some snow. There's not enough to settle though - one of the disadvantages of the east coast perhaps. A bitter NE wind brings a wind chill of -12. At 4.4C, my record coldest April daytime maximum so far.

April 5 & 6. Low relative humidity of only 33% recorded.

April 27. Last rain before the start of the drought.

April 28. Pressure builds and the rain is killed off.

April 30. The first warm day of the year (18.3) in a dry spell with some warm days marred by easterlies.

May 2000. Started off dry with some warm days. The first half was very dry, and the second half very wet. So about average rainfall and temperatures overall.

9 May. Equals my record May maximum with 22.6;C also the earliest date such a high has been attained.

15 May. 2.0 mm of rain ends the 17 day drought.

28 May. A shower in the evening gives 13.0mm of rain in 5 hours.

29 May. A small thunderstorm at 4pm gives 8mm hail - the largest I've ever seen, I think. We keep some in the freezer. The drifts really did look like snow.

June 2000. An average sort of month, with a quiet end.

3 June. A record low of 2.9 C and a ground frost (-0.5).

12-13 June. A gale in summer!

15 June. Relative humidity low of only 38%.

22 June. The great Pitroddie downpour: in a shower between 5 and 6 pm 10.8 mm of rain fell - 4.2 mm of it in 10 minutes.

July 2000. A month of two contrasting halves. A quiet start, with dull, grey weather produced by persistent NEs, followed by a brighter, warmer second half from the 16th on. Overall cool (lowest average minima so far), dull, and dry - at 21.6 mm, a record driest July month.

17 July. The new record daily range so far, from 4.3C to 22.8, a range of 18.5C.

August 2000 Warm and wet. This was the record wettest August so far, with 59.6 mm. Although not as warm overall as August 1997, the average maxima were the record hottest so far, at 20.3. It was the third warmest month to date.

September 2000. Overall very wet (but not quite as wet as the wettest month, which was October 1998), dull, but with average temperatures.

11 September. Extremely dull and wet. The rainfall total for the day was 20 mm; for the 18 hours including the night before, 29.6 mm fell before 5pm.

October 2000. Overall average temperatures and rainfall; a changeable yet quite sunny month.

3 October. The record warmest October day so far, at 18.4C.

9 October. 17.2 mm of rain between 4 pm and midnight.

28-29 October. A severe gale cut off our electricity for over 12 hours.

November 2000. An average month in most respects, with rainfall and temperatures very close to average. It was however quite sunny. Changeable, with a mean pressure beneath 1000 (at 995). There were 21 ground frosts but no air frosts.

6-7 November. New record for continuous rainfall: 24 hours.

December 2000. The first three weeks were very mild and quite wet, but the last week was much colder.

15 December. The first air frost of the winter! (-0.2).

25 December. A technical white Christmas in Pitroddie, with snow showers.

27 December. Minimum of -6.0C.

26-28 December. 38 hours of continual frost.

31 December. Heavy snowfall as the cold snap ends, with wet snow and strong winds.


The coldest, snowiest, frostiest, and by far the driest year so far.

January 2001. After a wet start a mainly anticyclonic month. It was overall the coldest month so far, for 5 years, at 2.7C. It was also dry overall, with only 28.2 mm of rain.

15 January. Just before dawn the temperature dipped to a new record January low of -6.6. The frosts were harsh and early to start and late to lift; everything became coated in a layer of rime.

23 January. Very low pressure: 966 mbars.

February 2001. Cold at first, then mild and unsettled, then anticyclonic but mild, then cold again. Overall it was quite cold (the coldest here since 1996), sunny, but with average rainfall. At least there were some reasonable amounts of snow.

3-5 February. The great Pitroddie blizzard - the most impressive since my records began here (and indeed, in my memory, since the Midlands snowstorm of December 1990). It began with sleet on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd around 3pm. Although recently forecast, I wasn't optimistic that morning giving temperatures of 5C. Temperatures fell through the afternoon, to 0.2 in the early evening, when the snow began to settle. By Sunday (4th) morning, snow was 11 cm deep, and it was still snowing. We even had 5 cms long icicles on the window frame. By early evening the snow was lighter, more intermittent, and powdery rather than the earlier large flakes. It finally stopped around 11 pm, after 32 hours of continuous snow (a new record snowfall/rainfall duration). More fell during the night, however, giving a total depth of 18 cms by the morning of Monday 5th. The maximum on the 4th was only +0.3, a new record low maximum for February. There was no sun at all from the 1st to 6th inclusive.

10 February. A warm front brings rain, much milder air, and a thaw. Anticyclonic and mild after that.

22 February. The cold air returns with snow flurries and a frost.

26 February. More severe weather, with snow from about 6 am, giving 8 cms by 2 pm.

March 2001 Generally cold - at 4.1, the coldest in the area since 1996, but with quite a mild second week. An exceptional cold start, with snow and severe frost.

1 March. A day of continuous frost, with more fresh snow (another 1-2 cms). There were 41 hours of frost, from 8pm on the 28 February to 1pm on the 2 March, with a new record low maximum of -0.4 on the 1st.

2 March. On the morning of Friday 2 March a new record low was set - not just for March, but by some considerable margin: -9.5 C. It followed a day of continuous frost, fresh snow, clearing skies, and easing wind. Classic conditions.

April 2001. Overall, an unexceptional month: fairly dry, on the cool side (but not exceptionally so), and quite sunny. The minima were low, and there was no maximum over 15.6C.

11 April. At last I catch a fine display of aurora borealis.

May 2001 Overall the record warmest since records began. This was wholly because of the consistently and exceptionally maxima; in fact, the nights were on average the coolest in some years. It was also very dry. It was also the driest May so far.

1 May. At last over 60F: 16.6C.

12 May. In a dry, anticyclonic spell, after several sunny days with the temperature brought down by easterlies, the temperature soars. This Saturday was the record warmest May Day so far - and beats any June maximum so far to boot as well, with 23.4C.

1-15. Drought! It was ended with 5.0 mm of rain on the 15th.

22 May. The record didn't last long. As a new anticyclone built, a new record high of 23.6C.

23 May. The new record lasted for an even shorter time, as Wednesday peaked at the new record of 24.9C.

June 2001. A cool first half, with frequent northerlies, but a warm spell late in the month meant that the overall mean was only slightly beneath normal. Slightly drier than usual.

15 June. A maximum of only 9.9C - the latest date on which the maximum has been under 10C.

25 June. A new record June maximum of 24.2C.

26 June. The mini-heatwave broke down with thundery rain. There was a fine thunderstorm at 2 am early the following morning. The minimum in the morning was a new record high minimum for June of 14.5.

July 2001. An unremarkable month - everything was pretty average. It was perhaps slightly duller than usual. A warm and fairly humid beginning and end was balanced by a cooler, unsettled midmonth.

29 July. A new record high minimum for July of 15.7C.

August 2001. Changeable, and pretty average overall in every respect. Also remarkably similar to July 2001.

18-19 August. A depression gave a total of 29.0 mm of rain. It started raining at 5pm on the 18th, and carried on, with a short break, until just after midnight the next day. I was away ...

September 2001.

Overall very slightly cooler than average, completely due to low minima. There were some low temperatures midmonth, from the 14th on.

18 September. The first ground frost of the season happened on the morning of the 18th: -0.5 (air minimum 3.7C). This is the earliest date yet - in previous years, the earliest ground frost was in October. The air mimum was down to 3.7C; this is a record low for September so far.

26 September. The record lowest maximum - only 11.4C. And what a dull, depressing day it was too, misty and with a light NEly.

October 2001. Easily the record mildest on record (12.1C average). The minima were particularly high - the average was higher than that for September. In addition to being so warm, the month was also wet, windy, and quite cloudy.

1-2 October. A very unsettled start, with gale force winds (particularly on Tuesday 2nd; a gust of 51 mph recorded in Dundee) and some heavy rain. 13.6 mm of rain fell on Monday 1st, most of it between 4 and 8pm, with hourly rainfall totals of 5.2, 3.4, 2.6, and 1.8 mm.

11-14 October. Very mild. 17.9C on the 12th - the highest reading for so late in the year, and the latest dat on which 17C has been exceeded (since my records began); 17.5C on the 12th.

18-20 October. Some extremely dull weather; three mornins of fog; and from Friday 19th to Saturday 20th perpetual fog (low cloud), with wind and heavy rain at times.

31 October. At last an autumnal day: a clear, windy, crisp day, with a maximum of only 10.3.

November 2001. Mild, dry, and sunny. The driest November so far (33.6 mm), and the one with the highest mean maxima (10.4C) although low minima kept the overall mean down.

7-9 November. The first taste of winter, with the first sprinkling of snow overnight on Wednesday-Thursday. It isn't quite the earliest date on which snow has fallen in the year (see November 4th, 1998). There is more snow overnight on the night of the 8-9th, giving a light cover, and the first air frost of the season.

30 November. A maximum of 13.7C - the record highest yet recorded so late in the year. It happened after dark, too.

December 2001. Cool, anticyclonic, sunny, and the record driest so far, with only 26.8 mm of rain.


This year the temperature did not exceed 21C until the record late date of 15 July.

January 2002. A cold, anticyclonic start. The record wettest January so far (104.4 mm). The first five days were cold. It was then mild and dry. The final two weeks were exceptionally wet and stormy at times.

2-5 January. Cold spell. The 2nd was a frost day; after a low minimum of -6.2C, the maximum during the day was only -1.1. Temperatures fell rapidly away after sunset, but rose before midnight to end up just above freezing around 6 am. The 4th was a true frost day, with freezing fog. Although there was no snow, the rime and ice on the ground was so thick that it looked like it.

18 January - 1 February. Exceptionally wet: 110.2 mm of rain fell in this two week period.

21 January. After the short cold spell it became very mild, and eventually the dry weather also broke down. On the 21st the maximum was 12.3 (close to the record set in 1998).

22 January. A gust of 31 mph in the sheltered garden site.

28 January. An exceptional gale: I record a gust of 38 mph. Widespread damage and travel chaos. The worst I can remember.

February 2002. Very wet and mild first half; the second half was average. Overall a record wet February (100.6 mm), and quite mild, too (5.2C). Otherwise I was disappointed by the lack of another real winter month. There was no real snow again.

13 January - 13 February. In this month period 176.0 mm of rain fell - easily a record.

March 2002. Average with a pleasant warm spell at the end.

25 - 31 March. Pleasantly mild, with 14.7C reached on the 28th (this is not a record).

April 2002. Overall quite mild and dry, with only one air frost. Much anticyclonic gloom in the first half. Rather more changeable from the 20th.

7 April. The only air frost of the month, at -0.9C, a new record high lowest minimum.

22 April. A new high minimum record of 11.1C.

23 April. The warmest day of the year so far - 17.4C.

27 April. Relative humidity of only 40%.

May 2002. An unexceptional month with little of note. Overall, quite wet, sunny, with average temperatures.

June 2002. Warm, quite wet (particularly in the first half), and quite cloudy. With 11 days of winds from the SW, the most SW month since January 1999.

July 2002. A cool month. Cool showery start.

2 July. A remarkable downpour, with 2.0 mm in about 10 minutes. Unfortunately the shower was very brief.

13 July. At last! The temperature exceeds 21C (70F) for the first time this year, with 22C. This is the longest we've had to wait for a reading over 21 (still, in 2022, against a mean of 20 May).

August 2002. Warm (the warmest since 1997, and the second warmest of the last 20 years) and wet (the wettest August in my records). Pleasingly the hottest day was the first day of the month, and the coolest the last.

1 August. The hottest day of the year (25.7C).

September 2002. The second warmest in my records, and the record driest, with only 14.0 mm. A quiet, anticyclonic month, with very little wind, and a lot of mist.

24 September. With a minimum of only 3.6, this is the new record lowest September low.

October 2002. A very exciting month.

1-2 October. A new extraordinary record warmest October day (20.0C) on the 1st - the 2nd was good too, with 19.9C recorded.

11-13 October. The first substantial rainfall since the end of August: 30 mm in about 30 hours. 17.2 mm fall on Friday 11th, and another 12.8 mm on Saturday 12th. Then as the weather clears, it turns cold, and the first ground frost of the year on the morning of Sunday 13th (the latest date so far for the first ground frost) - and after that, we get dense fog.

19 October. The first air frost of the year (-0.6C) - cold, clear, and windy. This is the record earliest date for an air frost so far.

20 October. An air minimum of -1.4C; this is the record lowest temperature for October here so far.

21-22 October. The first very wet day (defined as >25.0 mm) since November 1998: nonstop rain, heavy at times, gives 27.6 mm in the observing day. (It might well have been more, as our hedge has grown to the east.) We also had the record longest period of continuous rain (43 hours,from 0.00 midnight on the 21st, to 7 pm on the 22nd). The 22nd was also the second coldest October day in my records (only 6.6C).

23 October. It gets colder. A new record low maximum for an October day of only 5.6C.

24 October. More heavy rain in the evening turns to sleet as temperatures fall - this is the record earliest sleet/snow we have had yet. Perhaps a bit feeble, but sleet it was nevertheless. What a month.

November 2002. A mild and wet month, but with little extreme weather of note. Although it wasn't particularly cloudy, at times it was exceptionally dull.

December 2002. A dull month with a notable cold snap.

7 December. With a Scandinavian high, the winds swing round to the east, and it becomes cool and very, very dull. We see hardly any sun for the next 10 days.

12-16 December. No sun at all for five days.

19 December. Freezing fog, and a minimum of -5.8C. There are 39 hours of frost from the 18th to midday on the 20th. The maximum on Thursday 19 December is -1.7C, a new record low maximum overall.


An outstanding summer, with temperatures over 80F for the first time. An exceptionally dry autumn. The warmest (9.8C), sunniest year so far - and by far the driest.

January 2003. A month of exceptional contrasts. After a cold first week it turned exceptionally mild. The month ended cold and snowy.

26-27 January. A new record maximum for January of an incredible 14.3C on the 26th. (This was the same day that the national record was equalled.) The following morning the minimum was a new record high one of 11.0C.

February 2003. Overall cool and very dry. A cold snowy start. From the 14th it became quite cold but very sunny.

18 February. A new record minimum for February of -7.8C on the 26th. It was rather surprising, in as much as although the weather had been quite cold, particularly low minima were not forecast. This indeed is the second lowest minimum since 1996, after 2 March 2001. Lovely weather too; clear blue skies, cool by day, cold and clear by night.

March 2003. Drought! Overall dry and anticyclonic. Although often misty, there were some fine days in the middle of the month. With 25.6 mm of rain, it was the record driest March so far.

10 March. A day of showers gave the last rain we were to see for some time.

11 March. In a rapid turnaround, pressure rose 40 mbar in 24 hours on the 11th.

13 March. The minimum of -1.6C is the new record highest lowest minimum for March.

24 March. A maximum of16.6C, breaking the magic 60F barrier - earlier than usual (but not as early as March 2000). It is also a new record maximum for March.

31 March. The drought ends with overnight rain. At 20 days, it's the second longest so far (after summer 1999).

April 2003. Very warm (indeed, with a mean of 9.3C, the new record warmest April we've had here) and quite sunny. The first three weeks were very dry, but the end was unsettled and quite wet.

23 April. From the highest maximum of the month (18.6C) ...

24 April. ... to the lowest (8.0).

25 April. The prolonged dry spell ends with a downpour.

May 2003. Overall sunny, quite wet, with average temperatures.

17 May. Thundery rain, and a very heavy downpour: 10.8 mm of rain in one hour, a new record hourly rainfall rate.

June 2003. Easiest the warmest June on record; at 15.0C it's nearly 1 and 1/2 degrees above the second warmest, and nearly 2C above the average. The month was marked by consistently high maxima. It was also quite sunny and dry. Very pleasant.

July 2003. Overall a hot month (indeed the hottest overall on record), but with about average rainfall.

4 July. A new record highest maximum - 27.1C. This is also the first time in my records that we have exceeded 80F here. A magical day, with early sunshine. The maximum happened at 3.17 pm. Unfortunately the later afternoon and evening were cloudier.

20 July. A torrential downpour around 10 am; 14.4 mm falls in under half an hour, given an equivalent rainfall hourly rate of 28.8 mm, a new record hourly rainfall rate.

August 2003. Hot (as hot as 1997) and very dry - the driest August on record, and the second driest month overall. There were 17 consecutive days over 20C.

7 August. A new overall record highest maximum for any month of 28.4C.

September 2003. Not a particularly notable month: warm first half, quite dry, some cool nights.

20 September. I'd say autumn really got going around this date - much cooler, and the first substantial rain for some time.

23 September. A new record lowest minimum for September of 2.2C

October 2003. Extremely dry - with only 9.4 mm of rain the driest month so far. The period August-October 2003 was the record driest three consecutive calendar months - just 58.4 mm.

29 - 30 October. Two outstanding aurora.

30 October. A new record October minimum of -1.6C.

November 2003. Very mild (but not as mild as November 1997), slightly drier than average. Autumn 2003 is the record driest so far.

6 November. A new record November maximum of 16.7C.

December 2003. Overall an average month, but highly variable, with some notable mild and cold spells. Mild early, midmonth and around Christmas. A notable snowfall on Christmas Eve (forecast to "turn to rain"). Also the month is notable for our move of house and station.

9 December. A new record December minimum late night on the 8-9th - actually it occurred well before dawn, as the temperature started rising after midnight. It followed a heavy rime frost, freezing fog the like of which I haven't seen since I left the Midlands, and a frost day.

19 December. We move house and station 9 miles NE from Pitroddie to Lundie, near Auchterhouse, in the Sidlaws. The climate is probably similar, although we are slightly higher (175 m rather than 50) and a little more sheltered.

25 December. A mild, forgettable Christmas day.

31 December. A notable snowfall. It starts at 4 pm on Thursday, New Year's Eve, and continues till midnight. We have about six inches of level snow, and are snowed in until Saturday morning.

Local Weather Diary 1996-2003