Two Paris heatwaves two centuries apart

In July 1808 Paris wilted in a heatwave. The average maximum for the 13-day spell that began on the 10th was 31°C, higher than a similar spell last month that saw the all-time record for the French capital broken.

The temperature at the peak of last month’s hot spell reached 42.6°C, some 6.4°C higher than the peak of the 1808 spell but, as the graph below shows, maxima fell back more quickly than 1808.

paris heat line

The more ‘pointed’ nature of maximum temperature during the spell last month backs up findings of the changing jet stream;  the wriggly nature amplifying the heat.

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mean

The average mean and minimum temperature of both spells showed a difference of just 0.2°C.

Since Paris recorded its hottest day ever there have been just two days where the temperature has exceeded 30°C.

paris july 1808
The values for the 1808 spell were listed in Luke Howard’s Climate of London.

The heat in Paris in 1808, like in 2019, was also felt in London. Luke Howard noted the following in The Climate of London.

“Very hot from July 12th to 19th. On the 12th a thermometer in perfect shade in a window in St James’s Park was 81.5 degrees at 3pm, and on the 13th at the same hour, 94 degrees. On the same day four men and seven women were killed by sunstroke in various parts of the Midland counties, and numerous coach and other horses were also killed. On the 15th a very violent and destructive thunderstorm in Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, and surrounding counties.”

* Values for 2019 were taken from the station Montsouris.
** Though there is no way of knowing how accurate the 1808 values were previous studies have found that historic temperatures can be as much as 3°F too high.

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July 2019: a new Tmax record

July 2019 saw the month’s daily maximum record broken on the 25th with a high of 36.8C, The reading beat the previous record set on July 1st 2015 by 0.8C and was the second highest reading recorded in this area. Cloud that drifted in mid afternoon put paid to any chance of all-time record though Cambridge, further north, managed to break the UK record with a reading of 38.7C. This temperature set in the Botanic Gardens beat the previous record of 38.5C set in Brogdale, Kent, in 2003.

 

north
The weather enclosure in the Cambridge Botanic Gardens meets WMO guidelines

Although it has been mentioned that the Cambridge site appears to be overdeveloped it meets the WMO standard and the Met Office are happy with the record.

Compared with 2003 the heat this time was far more widespread and further north, with many stations recording higher values than 2003, as shown by these 24 hours to 6pm readings below.

 

In 2003 some 44 stations recorded 30C or above whereas this year some 67 reached 30C or higher.

Though the heat was record breaking it was much shorter lived than 2003. Like last month and July 2015 the 9-day temperature trace is far more ‘pointed’ – perhaps a symptom of the changing behaviour of the jet stream.

Overall the monthly mean finished 19.9C, that’s 1.4C above average though 1.8C cooler than last July – the warmest month on record.

Rainfall at 61.5mm, was 141 per cent of average,  the wettest for 2 years. Sunshine, at 165hrs, is 85 per cent of average and well down on last July’s 273hrs.

To view full stats follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

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‘Feels like’ maxima.
juky feels
June 1981-2019 maximum anomalies
july all.PNG

 

The 12 month rolling rainfall total is…

Summary for July 2019

Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute)  19.8
Mean (min+max)   19.9
Mean Minimum     14.7
Mean Maximum     25.1
Minimum          9.2 day 03
Maximum          36.8 day 25
Highest Minimum  19.6 day 23
Lowest Maximum   19.5 day 27
Air frosts       0
Rainfall (mm):
Total for month  61.5
Wettest day      20.6 day 19
High rain rate   16.1 day 18
Rain days        10
Dry days         21
Wind (mph):
Highest Gust     16.8 day 20
Average Speed    2.2
Wind Run         1664.1 miles
Gale days        0
Pressure (mb):
Maximum          1029.0 day 03
Minimum          1004.8 day 30
Days with snow falling         0
Days with snow lying at 0900   0
Total hours of sunshine        0.0