More Detail On Gravesend’s “Highest Temperature”
By Paul Homewood
I have been waiting for some information from the Met Office about the “hottest day since 1911”, which has finally come.
I will do a full analysis tomorrow hopefully, but this bit is important and needs a post of its own.
As you will probably be aware, we keep on seeing apparent “record temperatures” either at Gravesend in Kent, or Faversham, just 24 miles away.
The UK record temperature of 38.5C was set in Faversham in August 2003. It was Faversham again which set the highest temperature last month. Now it is the turn of Gravesend to record the “highest” temperature since 1911. (Unless they get another late reading from Faversham!)
Legitimate concerns about the siting of thermometers at Faversham have been raised, and also the local environs at Gravesend. I raised this issue a couple of weeks ago here.
I don’t want to revisit this matter, but I have been informed by the Met Office that their weather station at Gravesend has only been operating since 1995:
We already know that the Met Office only have continuous records at Faversham since 1998.
Whether there are local factors at play with Gravesend and Faversham or not, I don’t know. But is it is clear that we have a hot spot in this part of the country. It was in fact Gravesend, which originally set the record in 2003, until belated confirmation came through from Faversham.
It is little surprise then that temperatures here tend to be higher than ones recorded in earlier years elsewhere. Yet we have no way of knowing whether temperatures at Gravesend or Faversham have not been just as high in the past, for instance in August 1990, when so many records fell elsewhere.
As I have commented before, it is one thing for these sort of records to appear in the Guinness Book of Records. But they can have little climatic significance if they are not backed up by a long term set of data.
The claim, or at least the implication, is that the 2003 record, and other recent highs, are symptomatic of a warming climate. The evidence, however, does not bear this out.