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“Record” Heathrow Temperature Not Supported By Nearby Locations

July 3, 2015

By Paul Homewood  



Met Office Weather Station at Heathrow


According to the Met Office, a record temperature of 36.7C (98.1F) was set at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday.

As I mentioned at the time, this seemed strange because their hourly record showed Heathrow only reaching 35.9C at 15.00, before falling to 34.3C an hour later.




So what do surrounding sites show? The Met Office are pathetically useless at providing any station data other then monthly totals, and these only at a handful of sites. (Contrast this to the data that is easily available on line from the US and Australia – anyone with a suspicious mind would suspect they were trying to stop people analysing data).

However, John Hultquist points me to a site which holds all sorts of weather data, run by the Gladstone family.


For a start, there is apparently another temperature sensor at Heathrow, a bit closer to the runway (marked EGLL – the Met Office one is 03772, as confirmed by their coordinates).





There are also other nearby sites listed:




The Gladstone site gives a link to the temperature data for each location, in whatever format is available. For instance, Heathrow is hourly, but Ruislip offers four readings per hour, e.g.





From this, we can list the max temps reached on 1st July at the four nearest sites:


  Temp F
Sunbury 95.0
Northolt 95.2
Heathrow (EGLL) 95.0
Ruislip 95.0



The stations are all within 7 miles from Heathrow and correspond closely. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the reading at the Met Office station at Heathrow is either incorrect, or has been artificially inflated by local, non-climatic factors.

  1. July 3, 2015 10:53 am

    I have never been entirely sure whether the temperature on the MO observation pages, is the peak temperature, the average temperature or a temperature taken at a particular time. I am sure that there are other possibilities.

    • July 3, 2015 11:24 am

      I have always believed that the temperature is on the hour therefore not necessarily the max. FYI max here 32.9, South Oxfordshire countryside Met Office site DCNN4542 – not near any jet engines.

  2. July 3, 2015 11:47 am

    It was claimed on Twitter that meteorologists (presumably employed by the Met Office) get readings every 10 mins. I have no idea if this is true, or why they would keep this data, if available, from the public who are paying for it.

    It still seems unlikely (to say the least) that the temperature could rise & fall so much within a one hour span.

  3. July 3, 2015 12:32 pm

    The hottest July day on record?
    Now there’s a surprise,
    For the BBC myth factory
    A story to tantalise;
    But sadly it’s wrong,
    Their research is misguided,
    And by their attempts to scare us
    We’re not being blind-sided.

  4. Oswald Thake permalink
    July 3, 2015 12:50 pm

    “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the reading at the Met Office station at Heathrow is either incorrect, or has been artificially inflated by local, non-climatic factors.”
    Or (perish the thought!) that the reading has been ‘homogenised’ in the best traditions of (Climate) Science.

  5. July 3, 2015 1:13 pm

    It would be unsurprising if readings at this precise location were not artificially inflated considering the miles of concrete runways and jets taking off and landing at one of the world’s busiest airports. I presume this IS a raw reading and not adjusted in any way?
    The question then is: was the 2015 reading any more artificially inflated than the 2006 previous record reading and, if so, what ‘mechanisms’ caused that reading to become even more artificially inflated?

    • July 3, 2015 1:18 pm

      I have heard how temperatures can spike at airports when jets go past, and often when a windshift brings the wind from the runway instead of elsewhere.

      • July 3, 2015 1:26 pm

        Heathrow is a concrete jungle. It’s always going to be hotter than anywhere close by. To take readings from there is beyond pointless.

      • July 3, 2015 5:01 pm

        Which, considering the location just north of the runway and the fact that the wind was 20mph from the south east at the time, doesn’t sound implausible.

      • Dave Pattison permalink
        July 4, 2015 10:14 am

        Weather stations at airports exist for the benefit of pilots, who must check the thrust required before each take off, according to the aircraft weight and current runway conditions (pressure, temperature and wind velocity). Similar information is required for landing. So the closer the weather station is to the runway the better. These stations are not suitable, nor intended for general meteorological use.

      • AndyG55 permalink
        July 4, 2015 11:33 am

        Makes you wonder why CRU and the Met Office didn’t set up a series of “pristine” sights when all this AGW farce started.

        Its not as though the UK is a very big place .

        I can only think on one good reason why they didn’t ..

        and that is because the actually WANTED lots of sight with huge urban bias.

      • AndyG55 permalink
        July 4, 2015 11:34 am

        sights???? who typed that ??? -> SITES !!!

  6. July 3, 2015 1:14 pm

    “artificially inflated by local, non-climatic factors”: I trust that Dr Local Nonclimatic Factor gets a well deserved promotion for his efforts.

  7. Oswald Thake permalink
    July 3, 2015 3:05 pm

    Such cynicism! And when the Science is settled, too!

  8. muddyfingers42 permalink
    July 3, 2015 6:10 pm

    Having had a good look at the Met Office location at Heathrow, it appears to be within 200 metres of the north runway, about 1000 metres from the eastern threshold. Interestingly, 15:00, the time of the key recording, is also a key time at Heathrow.

    Heathrow has 2 runways and to spread the noise load on neighbours, half the time take offs are on the northern and landings on the southern, and half the time they are the other way round. They swap over at 15:00 each day. See According to their Twitter feed ( they were on normal Westerly Ops all day on 1st July.

    This means that just after 15:00 you would have a flurry of aircraft roaring close to the weather station, I suspect at getting on for full power. notes that the rotation point for short haul flights is about another 2-300 metres along the runway.

    According to, the first 3 flights out after 15:00 BST on 1st July, at 1 minute intervals, were; an A321 to Amman, an A319 to Belfast and an 787-8 Dreamliner to Chennai (Madras). The next 9 were all short haul.

    Your guess is as good as mine as to how any of this would affect the temperature recorded, but it does suggest that non-weather factors could be a factor. And 200 metres from a stupidly busy international airport runway is a not an ideal location for a weather station…

  9. July 4, 2015 1:25 am

    Looks like a spike temp that’s not captured in the common data dumps.

    03772 hourly records from Wunderground show max T of 96.6 at 3pm.
    EGLL METAR from Wunderground shows max T of 95 for three obs 220pm, 250pm, and 320pm.

    Winds during the period were 120v150 degrees–about 30 degrees off the runways (09/27).
    I have seen airfield temps spike when the wind brings air from over the hot asphalt/concrete ramp to the temp sensors, and then fall as the wind direction drifts back to the original direction.

  10. July 4, 2015 1:27 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  11. Andy DC permalink
    July 4, 2015 2:43 am

    We have a similar problem in Washington, DC with Reagen National Airport. I finally got disgusted with relying on what I know are very warmed biased readings. I bought a max/min thermometer, put it out on my 10th story balcony on the north side of an 18 story apartment building where the sun never shines.

    I live in Greenbelt, MD, home of NASA/Goddard, which is roughly about 13 miles NE of National Airport. There are no oddities that should affect temperature, other than a little elevation and the fact that we are surrounded with woodlands with no airport runways in sight.

    I have just completed my first week of recording the temperature and the results were frankly shocking. My average high temperature for the week has averaged 8F degrees cooler than National’s readings and my average low temperature has been 4F degrees cooler. I did check this new thermometer against other thermometers and it appears to be entirely accurate. So my conclusion is that the temperature manipulation is even far worse than we thought!

  12. Adam Gallon permalink
    July 4, 2015 8:24 am

    This has more to do with using a thermometer for the wrong reasons.
    I’m sure that the airlines need to know what the air temperature really is at Heathrow, UHI, tailpipe enhanced warmth & the lot.
    Using the same thermometer for climatological purposes, trying to correct for UHI etc, is a complete waste of time.

  13. July 4, 2015 12:40 pm

    I’ve worked at Heathrow on and off through the 90’s including the old control tower. Had relatives work there too. It was always an unpleasant experience on a hot day working in and around Heathrow (it is huge), especially anywhere near the asphalt – the plethora of building sites and machinery quickly had you running for the cabins. ‘Furnace’ was how baggage handlers described the runways – is it any wonder when it was the go to place to see a heat haze off the runways. A few miles East into London and heat was tolerable. I wonder if they have ground temperatures recorded?

    The whole area has changed so much in the past couple of decades with more buildings and more roads. I used to know my way around now it’s a maze and the changes never seem to stop. The new T2 building is lovely tho’.

    The wiki article shows just how much has been going on.

    There is nothing wrong with saying it was the hottest recorded but no caveats were applied, which really does stink of an agenda – being that warmism or sensationalism – and click bait. I wonder how 1911 would compare with all the extra concrete and steel now.

  14. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 4, 2015 12:59 pm

    The Met Office simply has to reinforce the global warming thesis – they are stuck with it. See their disgraceful Climate section on the website.

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