Summer days in Central England

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I reckon that a temperature of 26.7°C or 80°F is the threshold for a summer day in Central England. If you set the threshold any higher the number of occurrences drops off quite a bit. I analysed the data back to 1878 when the daily series started pushing out both maximum and minimum temperatures, and as you can see from the chart below there has been a 43.1% increase in the annual number of days with a maxima equal or higher than 26.7°C since 1878.

Daily Central England Temperature

Daily Central England Temperature – annual number of days with maxima >=26.7°C

The table below shows the results from three different thresholds (25, 26.7 & 28°C). The table is sorted and ranked on the 26.7°C column, and the year 1995 with 24 days with maximum temperatures of 80°F or higher tops the results, quickly followed by 1976 the year with the great summer.

Daily Central England Temperature 1 Jan 1878 - 18 Jul 2016

Daily Central England Temperatures – annual maximum temperatures 1878 – 2016

And here are the results grouped by decade:

Daily Central England Temperature 1 Jan 1878 - 19 Jul 2016

Daily Central England Temperature – maximum temperatures by decade 1878 – 2016

Of course some years are worst than others, 2012 had no days in Central England with a maxima above 80°F, so did 2012, and the very bad summer of 1954 (not in this list) only had one day with a temperature above 25.0°C!

Daily Central England Temperatures 1 Jan 1878 - 18 Jul 2016

Daily Central England Temperatures 1 Jan 1878 – 18 Jul 2016

 

Finally, here is a chart of the number of days with a slightly lower threshold of 25.0°C, which as you can see from the chart shows an even greater 59% increase in the annual number of such days since 1878.

Daily Central England Temperature

Daily Central England Temperature – annual number of days with maxima >=25°C

In conclusion the CET is showing a strong increase in warm or very warm days in the series back to 1878, the increase is of course erratic as you would expect, but the trend over the last 138 years is upwards, and that means whether we like it or there will be an increasing number of warm or very warms days in Central England in the years to come.

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About xmetman

I am an exmetman who is passionate about all things to do with weather and climate. I have no axe to grind, and am continually upsetting people on both sides of the global warming debate with the articles that I publish, hell, I'm even banned from commenting on the Met Office's own blog! What I do fight for is the freeing up of climate, observational and forecast data collected and created on our behalf by the Meteorological Office.
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5 Responses to Summer days in Central England

  1. Richard Mallett says:

    As your charts show, there has been a decline in the number of hot days in the last ten years or so. What do you put this down to ? Solar activity ? AMO ?

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    • xmetman says:

      No its just the variability of the climate but looking at 138 years of records the trend is upward. Do you honestly expect the annual count to match the trend line. At the moment CET values must be impacted by our proximity to a colder than average central Atlantic.

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  2. Richard Mallett says:

    Yes, of course I accept that the trend is upward, like the trend in annual temperature has increased by 0.27 °C per century since 1659, or 0.39 °C per century since 1772; but it’s interesting to see that the records for days above 25 °C (what I would regard as ‘hot’ days) were set in the 1970s and 1990s.

    If it’s the same cause, the colder than average central Atlantic has lasted about ten years, which (I would submit) is a significant length of time, and the cooling trend since then looks like continuing at the moment.

    Currently the variation is below the trend line, for what that is worth.

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  3. Richard Mallett says:

    Very fresh and breezy today. Looks like the heatwave was short lived.

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