Weather models are hinting that this coming bank holiday weekend could be very warm indeed, with one WX Charts animation suggesting that a positive anomaly of 12C could be possible on Monday.
A date record looks a formality and, unless there’s a downgrade, new monthly high temperature records at stations across the south-east look a possibility.
While it looks very warm it is too early to start talking about heatwaves. And, considering the pattern since late February, with hot and cold alternating weekly, a brief return to much cooler conditions at the beginning of June can’t be ruled out.
The British record high temperature for May is 32.8C, reached on two occasions:
Camden Square, London May 22nd 1922. The same station recorded this value again on May 29th 1944, along with Regents Park, Horsham and Tunbridge Wells.
The national date record for the 28th, according to TORRO, is 30.6C at Camden Square.
Locally the highest temperature recorded in this area in May is 32.1C on May 27th 2005. The date record I recorded is 26.5C in 2012.
I’ve put together a few top 10s of stats for Wanstead, St James’s Park and Heathrow for the month of December.
Probably most notable is how the month in 1978 lurched from being very mild and wet to very cold in under three weeks later, setting up one of the coldest-ever winters.
I’ve put together a few lines on what this winter might have in store for the London area here.
Some national UK December values according to TORRO
Hottest: 18.3C Achnashellach – 2nd 1948
Coldest: -27.2C Altnaharra, Highland – 30th 1995
Wettest: 199.1mm Dalness, Highland – 17th 1966
I’ve put together a few top 10s of stats for Wanstead, St James’s Park and Heathrow for the month of November.
Probably most notable is how the month in 2010 lurched from being so warm at the start to so cold three weeks later, setting up December to be one of the coldest on record.
Some national UK November values according to TORRO
Hottest: 21.7C Prestatyn, Clwyd – 4th 1946
Coldest: -23.3C Braemar, Grampian – 14th 1919
Wettest: 211.1mm Lluest Wen Reservoir, Rhondda – 11th 1929
In terms of climatology November maxima, considering the 1981-2010 average, shows a steady fall until the 15th. And another steady fall to the 22nd before things level off. This would reflect the November singularities; St Martin’s Summer, between 15th and 21st, peaking on the 18th, occurs in 66 per cent of years. The Early December storms singularity can arrive this month, on the 24th, the air off the Atlantic raising the mean temperature.
The average rainfall graphic shows that downpour amounts are variable through the month. A tendency for dry weather around the 15th reflects the St Martin’s Summer singularity.
I’ve seen this phrase uttered more than once over the past couple of days thanks to high temperatures and humidity. But ask anyone to define a hot day and you’ll get a different answer every time.
Growing up in the 1970s / 80s redtop newspapers would use the phrase once the mercury was nudging 80F (26.7C). But to ‘scorch’ you need sunshine, preferably at least 10 hours of it. Considering statistics from the Heathrow airport climate station in west London there have been 463 scorchers since 1959, the most recent happening on July 5th with 29.5C recorded and 13.9 hours of sunshine. There have now been 9 scorchers this year, already matching the number that were recorded in 2014 and only 3 short of last year.
But even with last month’s heatwave this year has some way to go, however, to match the amount measured in 1976 and 1995: 31 days!