The way January 2018 is going it looks a safe bet it won’t feature in either the warmest or coldest top thirty lists by the end of the month (fig 1). January’s have steadily been warming in the last 140 years in Central England at the rate of 0.85°C per 100 years, and the last cold one was back in 2010, in fact cold January’s are very much a rarity these days (fig 2).
2017 ended up being the eighth warmest year in the Central England series since 1659 (fig 1). The mean temperature for the year 2017 was 10.58°C which was +0.61°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average (fig 2), and 8 of the 12 months ended up being warmer than average. That makes 2017 the warmest year since 2014, which itself was the warmest year on record, that makes ten out of the seventeen years this century are ranked in the twenty warmest years.
I make the linear trend since 1878 a 0.09°C warming per decade, and from 1967 a warming of 0.209°C per decade (fig 3). If I’ve done my programming right that means an increase of over 1°C since 1967, which may have something to do with why we’ve not see any lying snow in this part of Devon for the last seven winters!
I’ve checked my maths with the Met Office data I download and it looks fine, but as always please let me know if you see something that you suspect is wrong, I’m only human and I don’t have a QC team!
The tables below (figs 1 & 2) rank the mildest and coldest Christmas and New Year’s holidays since 1772. For the purposes of these statistics which I’ve generated from the daily CET values from 1772, I’ve extended the holiday to cover the period from the 21st of December to the 4th of January.
The extreme coldest Christmas and New Year occurred in 1870-71 (fig 1), in fact it’s coldest by quite a margin, although I can glean nothing about what must have been a classic Dickensian Christmas from searches on the internet. Only two such extreme cold holiday periods have occurred during this century, namely the consecutive years of 2009-10 and 2010-11, that appear in the top forty.
There are no shortages of extreme mild winters in the top forty from the 21st century though, in fact it already contains five, with 2015-16 being the warmest Christmas New Year in the last 245 years, again by a very large margin.
Here’s a quick look back at the four seasons of 2017 as seen in the daily temperature of Central England.
Figure 1 – Winter 2016-17
I suppose the graph (fig 1) says it all about last Winter. A cold few days just after Christmas, and a cold week at the end of January, otherwise a very mild affair, a 5-4-5 quintile type of Winter.
Figure 2 – Spring 2017
Had you forgotten what an exceptionally mild Spring 2017 was? As far as I could see it had been the warmest on record in Central England since at least 1659, a 5-4-5 quintile type of Spring.
Figure 3 – Summer 2017
Summer 2017 was just a little warmer than average in Central England. And as you can see daytime temperatures were depressed from the 19th of July to the middle of August. It started well enough in June with a couple of record hot days on the 19th and 21st but then just went down hill, a 5-4-3 quintile type of summer.
Figure 4 – Autumn 2017
A near average November brought to an end the 23rd mildest Autumn since 1659. The only thing of exception as far as CET was concerned was the warmth of October, with a couple of warms day on the 14th and 16th. A 3-5-4 quintile type of Autumn.</p
Figure 1 – Data courtesy of the Met Office
November ended on a cold note, and just managed to cancel out the mid-month mildness, so that the mean temperature for the month of 6.81°C was 0.33°C below the 1981-2010 long-term average (fig 1). The mean anomaly by day of +0.07°C were much higher than those of -0.72°C by night.
Meteorological Autumn 2017, ended up being the joint 23rd mildest since 1659 in Central England, thanks to a remarkable warm spell that began on the 23rd of September, and more or less continued unbroken to the 29th of October (fig 2). The mean temperature for the whole Autumn was 10.9°C which was 0.27°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. A couple of new highest maximum record temperatures were broken in mid-October (14th & 16th), although the warm day on the 22nd of November just failed to beat the old record.
Figure 2 – Data courtesy of the Met Office
Provisional maximum temperatures in Central England temperatures for yesterday (Wednesday 22nd of November) were the highest for that particular day since 1947. The provisional maximum of 14.7°C was a full 6.84°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average, and the minimum of 11.2° was a massive 8.27°C above average.
Remarkably 2017 is still on course to be the 4th warmest year in the Central England series since 1772. I say remarkably, because to me it’s done it very quietly with very little fuss, and with no headline warm months.
As you can see from the table (fig 1), the mean temperature for 2017 so far is 11.32°C, which is +0.71°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average (fig 1). I don’t see 2017 being able to catch 2014, which is currently the warmest year on record, in the remaining weeks of this year. The yellow dots that I’ve added to the table highlight any 21st century years in the list of top 30 warmest periods (1 January to the 22 November periods) since 1772. I just noticed that I’ve highlighted 2000, which I think is classified as a 20th century year, so no comments pointing please about that!
Yet another warm October in Central England. I make the mean for October 2017 to be 12.35°C, which was 1.74°C above the 1961-1990 long-term average for the month, and placed it 13th warmest in the record that started back in 1659 (fig 2). Seven of the warmest 13 October’s have now occurred in the 21st century, and October shows one of the strongest decadal increases of any month at +0.173°C per decade. I remember seeing the odd bit of snow in late October but those days have gone, and in this part of Devon, I know that I’ll be very unlucky if I see any snow this coming winter. The only thing that I can say in mitigation, is that the size of each anomaly looks a little less steep with each year since 2001!
The current warm spell of weather across Central England, and rather spookily ushered in by the start of the astronomical Autumn, seems to be running on and on, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign in the latest NWP forecast charts that it intends to stop! The above chart clearly shows the warmth of the last four weeks or so (fig 1). The maximum temperature on ‘Ophelia day’ (the 16th of October) of 19.5°C, broke a record that had stood since the great Autumn of 1959, no mean feat.
Autumn mild spell continues into start of November
The low pressure area that’s currently over the northeast of Russia; as forecast by the latest run of the GFS model; is set to be replaced by a large anticyclone with a central pressure of 1040 hPa or higher by this time next week. This will in effect stem the flow of cyclones from tracking from the Atlantic across Scandinavia and into Russia as they have been doing of late, as pressure rises over Scandinavia and a block forms. This in turn will back the flow across the eastern Atlantic as it becomes progressively more meridional. This in turn will ensure the continuation of the autumn warm spell, and if anything we could see even higher anomalies both by day and night as we move into Autumn.
There’s quite a bit of conjecture in that last paragraph, so take it with the pinch of salt it deserves, but remember that you read it here first.
I know that many of the last 16 postings I’ve made today have been concerning storm Ophelia – never fear – here’s an article about something totally different – Central England Temperatures. The Met Office have just fixed the server that generates the provisional CET daily values on their website, and let me tell you they haven’t done that since the 3rd of October, so I was chafing at the bit to see just how mild October 2017 had been till now. In actually fact not only is October 2017 currently the 12th mildest mean temperature since 1772, the year 2017 to date is also the joint sixth warmest as well.