As I showed a few days ago, this summer 2018 turned out to be the fifth warmest summer on record in the long running Central England database, going all the way back to 1659. It was beaten hands down by 1826 in second place and the superlative summer of 1976 in first place. The main reason this summer failed to live up to warmist expectations was that August was a flop. June was very warm, July was blistering, but then in early August, the blocking Scandinavian high which had delivered the exceptionally hot, sunny weather broke up and things became a lot more unsettled, kicking off with some momentous thunderstorms.
But whaddya know? The Met office have announced that 2018 was the ‘hottest summer evah’ in England according to weather station data going back to 1910. Also, even though Wales, NI and Scotland failed to make it into the record books, the UK summer of 2018 was overall as warm as 1976, 2003 and 2006, i.e. we now have four equal ‘hottest summers evah’ in the UK. The Met Office tweeted this very curious map in support of their statement that England 2018 was warmer than 1976:
It basically shows which regions in the UK had a record warm June July August in what year. As you can see, the red (2018) occurs mainly in England. The brown (1976) is obliterated in England by the red, even in the area where you might expect brown to dominate (Central England), on account of Central England temperature being a full half a degree warmer in 1976 than in 2018. This mystified Clive Best too who tweeted:
Here is the map of Central England (which has about 30 weather stations contributing to the data, contrary to just three, as suggested by Ed Hawkins).
Most of this area is red or pink in the Met Office map, suggesting much of the region was warmer in 2018 and 2006. I don’t know how that works to be honest.
If we look at individual months in 1976 and 2018, what we find is that, in the England database going back to 1910, June was hotter in ’76 than in 2018 and July was hotter in 2018 than it was in 1976:
In actual fact, according to the data:
June 1976 – 16.4C; June 2018 – 15.8C
July 1976 – 17.7C; July 2018 – 18.8C
Aug 1976 – 16.8; Aug 2018 – 16.8C
Crunching these numbers, in England in 1976, the average mean daily temperature = 17.0C; in 2018, the figure is 17.1C. Meaning that summer 2018 in England was warmer than 1976 by 0.1C – the Met office have a new summer heat record!
In Central England, it’s a very different story. Summer 2018 comes a measly 5th place and 1976 first place; warmer than 2018 by half a degree Celsius. What is very curious is that August 1976 was 17.6C. In 2018, August was a full degree cooler at just 16.6C. This is a glaring mismatch between England data (where both Augusts rank equally warm) and Central England data. England and Central England are not worlds apart; indeed one incorporates the other. Was Eastern England, which is not covered by Central England, considerably hotter in 2018 than in 1976, enough to account for the difference between the two months perhaps? It would be interesting to look at actual station data. All I can say is that I live in Eastern England and August has been fairly cool and unsettled.
It is well known that the superlative summer heatwave of 1976 continued throughout most of August, with high pressure dominating, breaking up only in the last week. Contrast this with 2018, where we saw a blistering July followed by a decidedly disappointing, unsettled, fairly cool and at times very wet August. It doesn’t seem to add up that August in England ended up tying with 1976 in terms of average mean daily temperature. The only way to examine this discrepancy would be to look at all the individual station data, which is perhaps a task for a long cold winter’s night, snuggled up next to a warm fire with a bottle of red wine for company!