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UK Heatwave In Perspective

July 29, 2013
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By Paul Homewood


I was going to do an in depth analysis of this year’s summer in the UK, and in particular the recent hot spell, once all the stats are in at the end of August.

However, I notice that the ever excellent Philip Eden has written a piece in last week’s Sunday Telegraph, which puts the recent weather into proper perspective. It was published on July 21st, so is a week out of date, but this does not alter anything that Eden says materially.

Basically, he makes the point that the long hot summer of 1976 was in a totally different league from this year. As he says

Some people have already been trying to make comparisons with the hot, dry summer of 1976. This is plainly ridiculous.


As always seems to be the case, Philip Eden’s articles don’t seem to be on line, so I have scanned it below. Well worth a read.



  1. Joseph Bastardi permalink
    July 29, 2013 12:00 pm

    Interesting since some of the modeling has a global look this winter to 76-77 especially over N AMerica. But totally different driver in decadal sense. However sometimes 2 ships can pass in the night

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    July 29, 2013 2:55 pm

    Thanks Paul.

    Summers. They have been around a long time. Philip Eden puts a nice historical perspective on the concept.

    I found a link to a book.

  3. Edward. permalink
    July 29, 2013 5:27 pm

    Anyone remember what happened in September of 76?

    The heavens opened and – it p*ss*d it down, then, the winter 76/77 was a very cold one in the north of England. Summer of 75 in Britain – is forgotten about – it too was dry and hot but not quite as hot.

    • Kate Jay-R permalink
      August 30, 2016 12:16 pm

      I’ve not forgotten Edward. It’s a standing joke in my family because for me 1975 was the clear winner! It just went on and on. I did my O levels that year – hot and sunny right through May and June. Then we went on holiday to the north east for two weeks in July and August and every day was hot, not what you would expect in the north east. Then I went to tech mid September to study A levels. And, still the sun shone. In fact it was mild and warm in October and beyond, although we may have had some rainfall by then. People forget that this is why 76 was so hot. The temperatures in 76 may have been higher at the end of June/first 10 days of July and then for another 3 weeks in August. But in Liverpool, where I was, there was a cool spell for 3 weeks and as you say, once it hit September, that was it. Summer over. For me, 1975 was a long and sustained sunny summer.

  4. roger permalink
    July 30, 2013 9:31 am

    Philip Eden is also to be commended for his maintenance of a CET record which more closely follows Manley’s original sites and which for the most part runs cooler than the new sites used by the MET office, ostensibly altered to take account of UHI affects but in reality yet another cup and pea job.
    Without Philip’s alternative offering, who knows just how warm the MET office version would have become by now.

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