These pages contain information about one of my favourite interests, the British weather. They contain information about my own weather station (which was located between Perth and Dundee in East Scotland, in Pitroddie from 1996 to 2003, and in Lundie, Angus, in the Sidlaw Hills near Dundee, from 2003-2013, and then in Newtyle, nearby).
In particular, these pages contain information about extreme weather events in Britain, and a record of the British weather since 1900 (and a few notable events before that). Want to know if some interesting weather happened in March 1962? Or which was the hottest day of 1983? Then read on! The pages also contain links to other weather sites, and much, much more.
These pages represent a huge amount of work on my part, and the investment of much help from colleagues and professionals. I am particularly grateful to Philip Eden (now very sadly missed) for preventing many errors and supplying many of the recent monthly figures. Please do not copy these pages without my permission. I am strictly a meteorological amateur, and I cannot vouch for the complete accuracy of the information in these pages. Please let me know of any mistakes you find. Although I've received much assistance in creating these pages, any errors remaining are of course solely my fault.
Fast-forward to a different part of this introduction by clicking:
Few things fascinate people more than the weather. I have always been interested in the British weather - particularly in extreme weather events. My first weather memories are of thunderstorms, in the London area in 1961 or 1962. Another very early weather memory is making a snowman in the winter of 1962-63 - I've no idea exactly when, as I wasn't even five at the time, but I suspect it was soon after Christmas, 1962. I am currently awaiting another exceptional winter: so far Scotland has disappointed, although 2000-01 was pretty good.
The British Isles are one of the most interesting places in the world in which to live for exciting weather. The weather is particularly unpredictable here. The Gulf Stream keeps us much warmer than we should be for our latitude (look at places at similar latitude on the east coast of America, for example). We live in the battleground where maritime and continental weather often fight. I'm at my happiest when the continental weather wins: that's when we see the extremes of summer heat and winter cold.
I grew up in Southampton, and remember great events such as the summer of 1976 there. I have kept my own detailed weather records since 1988 - but unfortunately (in the weather sense) I moved from the Midlands to east Scotland in 1996 so I've had to start all over again. I had nearly ten years of records in the Midlands, which was just long enough to be starting to be meaningful. Now at last I'm near that length again. Keeping a personal weather log is a big disincentive for moving. I wish I started earlier, but moving around and lack of a proper location prevented this. I do remember some spasmodic attempts at keeping a weather diary as a child, but never had the equipment. My advice to you, however, is start recording today! All you need to get going is a maximum-minimum thermometer and a rain gauge - you can do a reasonable job with £15 of stuff from your local garden centre or DIY store.
I have my own amateur weather station in Newtyle, at the edge of the Sidlaw Hills, 1o miles out of Dundee to the NW. From 1996 until 2003 I was based in Pitroddie, in the foothills of the Sidlaws between Perth and Dundee, and from 2003 until 2013 in Lundie, in the heart of the Sidlaws. I can measure the temperature (with an accuracy of under one degree Celsius), rainfall, humidity, pressure, and estimate the wind speed and direction. See here for more site details.
One significant advantage of rural Scotland over the Midlands is the absence of the cursed light pollution: the stars are beautiful. (Do your duty and complain about light pollution, wherever it is. And if you have an external light or security light, please try to minimise the time it is on. Whatever you do, don't do as some of my [fortunately distant] neighbours do and leave it on all night.) I at last caught up with a fine aurora on the night of 11 April 2001, although the auroras of late October 2003 were even more outstanding here. The recent display on 9 November was also quite impressive. What do I miss most about the weather of the southeast of England? The chance of thunderstorms, and most of all, the prospect of some really hot days (35C+ -0 in fact I'd love some 30+). I have only just recorded a day over 80F here. (You'll have to get used to a conflict of units. I try to stick to Celsius - or Centigrade as it used to be called - for temperature. I've noticed that I tend to think in F for temperatures above freezing, and C for temperatures beneath. Similarly I stick to rainfall in mm, but occasionally talk about inches.)
I am particularly interested in severe weather events, and have cobbled together pages detailing interesting weather events in this country. See below.
See here for a summary of my average local readings from September 1996. The page shows a table with average temperatures for each months, along with high maxima and low minima. It also shows rainfall averages. This page will give you some idea of the average weather in the rural area around Dundee and Perth.
Here is a page describing extreme weather events in my region from 1996 on.
See here for a tabular representation for a summary of temperature, rainfall and other extremes for this area (updated infrequentlyt).
See here for my experiences in installing my own automatic weather station (a Davis weather monitor II AWS). This page also has my advice for anyone wishing to keep a weather diary, with some suggestions for cheap alternative equipment.
These pages include a weather diary of the twentieth and twenty-first (so far) centuries in Britain, organised both by month and by year. Want to find out what was happening in August 1973? Want to know if May 1964 was particularly wet? Then look here! I have detailed every extreme weather event I can find, and summaries of each month's weather. If the entry for a month is blank, that means that I can't find anything of note to say about it.
See here for an index to information about the British weather in the 20th and 21st centuries, indexed by year. Note that I am slowly recreating these links, so please start here.
See here for a record of the average temperatures in England from 1900. These averages are known as the CET averages (Central England Temperature). There is also discussion of changes between reference periods (1961-1990 and 1971-2000).
See here for the hottest and coldest days in Britain for each year since 1900.
See here for the hottest summers and coldest winters in Britain.
See here for my recommendations of the most interesting months for weather this century. And guess my favourite year?
See here for my discussion of Bob Prichard's Top Ten UK Weather Events of the Twentieth Century in Wednesday's Guardian, including my own rankings and other lists of severe weather events in this country.
What counts as severe weather? Perhaps the simplest definition is "newsworthy: it would make the national press". My definition - and what I have acted on here - is more simply: "what interests me". My definition admits events such as large diurnal temperature ranges that would probably not make the front page of The Sun. There is also a bias to there being more information for more recent dates - simply because it's been easier to provide more information for them.
See here for miscellaneous information about the weather. This includes topics of interest, suggestions for reading, the first and last frost, where to live for interesting weather in the UK, and links to other sites. If you have a question about the weather that isn't answered on my pages, this is the first place to look.
Please email me at email@example.com if you have any comments on these pages (removing the nospam, of course). I will do my best to answer any weather queries. Remove the nospam from the address ... BUT PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU EMAIL ME. There are two questions that I am frequently asked. The first is "what was the weather like on such a date in such a place". The answer might be in these pages, but if it's not, then I won't know the answer. Some other places to try are suggested in the links to other sites. The second question is "what will the weather be like on this date". Some suggestions for sites that give an idea of what the weather will be like in the next couple of weeks are again to be found in the links page. Note that long-range weather forecasting is still very imprecise. By general agreement, the furthest we can look ahead with any confidence (and then not a great deal) is currently only a week. If in the middle of winter you want to know what the next summer is going to be like, or if in summer you're interested in the next winter - I'd say forget it. Please look at these sites, as well as my own pages, before emailing me: I run these pages as a hobby. If the links don't provide the answer to what you want to know, it is most unlikely that I will be able to do so. Note also that I am strictly an amateur - I do these pages for fun, make no money out of them, and have no training or special expertise as a meteorologist or climatologist. I am a psychologist. I might not be able to reply immediately.
I'll never forget the evening I was in the Tesco car park when there was a staggering display of nacreous clouds - and most people never looked up.