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September 2016 Heatwave

September 23, 2016

By Paul Homewood




The Met Office have now published a bulletin on the brief heatwave last week:


A brief heatwave from 12 to 15 September brought exceptionally high temperatures to south-east England, accompanied by some torrential downpours causing flash flooding.

On 13 September, Gravesend (Kent) recorded 34.4 °C, the UK’s highest temperature of the year and the highest September temperature since 1911; this value being around 14 °C above the long-term average. Daily minimum temperatures for 14 September were also exceptionally high, at a few locations exceeding 20 °C.

The heat was associated with a southerly flow of air from France and Spain, with the humidity leading to thunderstorms bringing intense downpours and causing flash-flooding. Several locations recorded hourly totals exceeding 30mm.

Maximum temperatures September 2016


It is immediately noticeable just how few sites made it over 32C, particularly given the number of recording stations we now have.

The Met Office also sent me this list of the top five temperatures that day:






















The fact that Gravesend was nearly a full degree hotter than anywhere else in the country rather confirms what we have long suspected – that it is a local hotspot, whether for genuine meteorological reasons, or dodgy siting. We also know that the station there has only been operational since 1995, making comparisons with earlier years utterly meaningless, not to say misleading.

It is also worth noting that Faversham makes the list, another dodgy site.

Other than that, we have Kew Gardens in London and the airport runways at Heathrow and Northolt.


As the Met Office state, this was the hottest September day since 1911, when 34.4C was also recorded at Raunds, Northamptonshire. (Raunds is still just a small market town, with a population of 8000).,%20raunds,%20the%20square%20including%20vintage%20van%20and%20motor%20cars.JPG

Raunds, Northamptonshire circa 1940s (Not Heathrow!) 



However, it is clear from their map that the heat was much more widespread in 1911:


 Maximum temperatures September 1911


In addition to Raunds, temperatures of 93F, or 33.9C, were recorded at Hampstead, Cambridge, Rugby and Bath, covering a large swathe of southern England. Note also the absence of any stations adjacent to Gravesend, or for that matter Kent.




Note as well “shade maxima exceeding 90F over a large portion of England”. This translates to temperatures over 32.2C, a temperature only exceeded this year at a handful of UHI affected sites, mainly clustered near London.


September 1906

The record UK temperature in September remains 35.6C, set at Bawtry in 1906. Far from being a one off, as Gravesend was last week, similar temperatures were also recorded across a wide area, with 95F, (35.0C), set at Collyweston (nr Stamford, Lincs), Epsom, Surrey and Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Further north in Scotland, temperatures reached 89F (31.7C) in Dumfries, Laing and Strathpeffer.





In addition, Gordon Castle, in N Scotland, reached 32.2C on 1st September, the highest temperature on record for any month in N Scotland.

Maximum temperatures September 1906


For some reason, the Met Office have decided to illustrate temperatures of >32C. If they had shown temperatures of 33 or 34C, the difference between this year and the earlier years of 1906 and 1911 would have been immediately apparent.

  1. martinbrumby permalink
    September 23, 2016 1:14 pm

    Come on, Paul!
    They are hardly likely to get their fat bonuses or a new multi-million pound supercomputer to play on if they start telling the truth, are they?

  2. Roy Hartwell permalink
    September 23, 2016 3:16 pm

    Hot air coming up from the continent. That’s weather not climate change !!!!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 24, 2016 2:11 pm

      In a way it is. The path of the jetstream has changed from being zonal to meridional. The question they need to answer is why? Yes, you would probably be correct in guessing that CO2 will be in their answer somewhere but they won’t be able to provide any proof to back it up. What they won’t say is that the change might be due to the change in the sun which is heading towards a solar minimum. A hypothesis is that during little ice ages the jetstream changes to give quite variable weather. With big loops in the path, imagine what weather we would get if we were in the north to south loop? It used to be that during our summer the jestream would move to the north and we would get fair weather. The further south it came the more it would fire Atlantic depressions bringing rain to us. I can recall a few summers where rain occurred almost every day. The reason was the jetstream position. The big 2000 floods in Germany, Czech Rep, Austria? Same thing – rain driven in by the jetstream.

  3. Billy Liar permalink
    September 23, 2016 3:40 pm

    I went to Mull on the 13th. It was 12C at lunchtime. Back later in the afternoon just south of Heathrow it was 28C. There was a 50 knot wind between about 12,000 and at least 21,000 feet advecting the continental air up north.

  4. The Old Bloke permalink
    September 23, 2016 5:29 pm

    On the map of Great Britain for Sept 2016, I was curious about their graphic as it shows a couple of stations in the Barnstaple area that recorded some pretty high temperatures, where a few others just down the road recorded temperatures about 4 or 5 degrees cooler on the same day. RAF Chivenor only got to 24 degrees whilst a station in Bideford got to 28.5 degrees. Having gone to the Met Office’s own WOW sight, I had a look at the highest recorded temperature of 28.4 degrees and tracked down the position of this recording device. Using Google Earth Street view, it looks like the high temperature was in the grounds of a domestic house with the thermometer in a court yard surrounded by other houses. I’m afraid to say, that with every Tom Dick and Harry now having these automatic weather stations in their yards, we can expect much more Global Warming.

  5. The Old Bloke permalink
    September 23, 2016 5:34 pm

    In fact the highest temperature at this station recorded 29.3 degrees not 28.5 degrees.

  6. The Old Bloke permalink
    September 23, 2016 5:45 pm

    I’ve just looked at another site in the same area and that too is in a newly built compact housing estate and this site recorded a max of 28.2 degrees. If the Met Office are using more and more of these “domestic” weather stations situated in compact housing estates then no wonder Global Warming is happening across the U.K.! This is desperate stuff.

  7. don penman permalink
    September 23, 2016 8:03 pm

    Here in Lincoln UK the Sun did not break through the cloud until about 1:30pm on both warm days and then it got reasonably warm before sunset, it was quite cool until midday. The night time temperature was not anywhere near as warm as it was in mid July although it is warmer than last September we have had a cooler June this year than last year perhaps.

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    September 24, 2016 2:14 pm

    I doubt if many of us here have any trust in the MetO these days and their prestige is historical. Just imagine trusting these current day clowns with that momentous decision taken in early June 1944?

  9. tom0mason permalink
    September 24, 2016 5:08 pm

    Ummm, summer 1976 anyone?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 25, 2016 10:23 am

      Oh, yes. Remember it well. Fighting heath fires during the school holidays. Six weeks of blue sky and no rain. No outbreak of heath fires during this year’s hottest summer evah that I know of.

  10. September 25, 2016 1:56 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

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