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CET Trends In February

March 25, 2017
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By Paul Homewood




According to the Met Office, last month much milder than average, although it only ranked 34th warmest since 1772. The warmest February was actually way back in 1779.

Looking at the figures for England as a whole, average temperatures for February do seem to have been on the rise since the 1980s.


England Mean daily maximum temp - February


However, averages can be misleading. After all, would you wade across a river that had an average depth of four feet?

Does this mean that daily temperatures are generally rising across the board? In other words, are daily temperatures typically higher than they would have been in the past?

After all, this is exactly what we would see if we compared, say, London with Edinburgh. Being further south, London’s climate is naturally much warmer, and most days would tend to be correspondingly warmer.

To test this, I have plotted the highest and lowest daily February mean temperatures for each year, using the CET back to 1772.






If daily temperatures were gradually rising, it is reasonable to assume that we would see a similar rise in both highest and lowest bands.

What is immediately apparent is that this is not the case. Going right back through the record, we can see years with similar temperatures to recent ones.

We can see more clearly if we look at highest and lowest temperatures separately:




With the exception of 2004, there is nothing unusual about any of the daily highs in the last decade or so.

But what is clear is that since 1986 there has been a total absence of really cold weather. Remember that these are daily highs, so, for instance, in February 1986 the daily mean never got above 2.3C.

We find the same picture with daily lows. Again, while some years in the past had weather just as mild as now, many also had much colder spells.




It is this absence of much colder interludes, maybe only for a few days, that has pushed up the average temperature in the last couple of decades.

This is only one month, of course, but it does back up other analysis I have done in the past, which came to similar conclusions.

Hopefully I’ll have a look at the other winter months shortly, to see if the trends are the same.

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:42 pm

    Presumably a change in the AMO will make a big change in winter cold outbreaks.

  2. Mike Jackson permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:49 pm

    There has been a lot of argument over the years that the “warming” is actually a function of increased minima rather than increased maxima. To the extent that this is the case there would seem to be a reasonable assumption — a workable hypothesis, shall we call it? — that warming is indeed anthropogenic, caused mainly by a vastly increased urban heat isalnd effect which, in the UK at least, now extends over pretty much the whole of the country below, say, 500 metres, barring parts of the Scottish Highlands, the Welsh mountains, and the odd frost pocket.

    Elsewhere in the world things will be different depending on population density though wherever a 24/7 civilisation exists this seems to me to be a possibility as the overnight absence of heat-producing activities no longer applies to the extent that it used to.

    This should be a fruitful area for research, one would imagine. In a sane world.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      March 26, 2017 10:09 am

      Local weather forecasts tacitly acknowledge this by saying colder in rural areas, warmer in town depending on the context and season when talking about temperatures. In the forecasts I’m used to the rural areas are North Derbyshire and Peak District and “Scottish Glens”

  3. March 25, 2017 1:58 pm

    As Scotese has shown, a warming world like ours since the LIA shows a flatter, not a hotter temperature profile from equator to poles.

  4. March 25, 2017 2:33 pm

    I suspect that much of the apparent increase in temperature is due to urbanisation.
    The forecasters on television are always commenting on how colder it will be in the countryside than towns.
    Even the CET sites (all three of them) will be urbanised these days, compared to the 18th and 19th centuries.

  5. Roy permalink
    March 25, 2017 3:26 pm

    Interesting that the BBC TV weather forecasts have started to mention ‘countryside’ temperatures at night – I’ve not noticed them doing this as much in the passed. Tonight’s temps are forecast to be around 4 to 5c in the towns and ranging from 0c down to -5c in rural areas. But of course, we know these ‘rural’ temps are the true temps.

  6. March 25, 2017 5:29 pm

    OMG. We are going to “less cold” to death.

    Not a really scary thing …

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      March 26, 2017 10:13 am

      It might not be, but as it is being used to highlight the approaching Climate Nemesis then pointing out what is actually happening in the record seems to be a worthwhile exercise.

  7. John F. Hultquist permalink
    March 26, 2017 4:04 pm

    You wrote: “… on the rise since the 1980s.

    The great Pacific Ocean underwent a change in 1976-77.
    This might (I know!) be the reason that, with a lag, CET noticed.
    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Click to access climate_shift.pdf


    By Arthur J. Miller, Daniel R. Cayan, Tim P. Barnett,
    Nicholas E. Graham and Josef M. Oberhuber

    OCEANOGRAPHY Vol. 7, No. 1, 1994 (pages 21-26)

    “Understanding how climate varies in time is a
    central issue of climate research. Of particular interest
    are climate variations which occur within
    the human lifespan, say over 5- to 100-y time
    scales. Climate changes might occur as a gradual
    drift to a new state, a series of long-term swings,
    or a sequence of abrupt steps. “

  8. dennisambler permalink
    March 27, 2017 10:19 am

    Meanwhile, the scam continues to pay good dividends:

    “European Commission analysis, obtained by, exposed how by overstating their logging targets, governments scooped up carbon credits. These can be used to offset emissions from polluting sectors under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol.”


  9. March 27, 2017 11:24 am

    Decades ago, in my first plant ecology class, the professor stated that “plants don’t care about the average temperature.” They are affected by the extremes of temperature and not the average.

  10. Andy DC permalink
    March 27, 2017 7:55 pm

    None of these charts depict anything remotely close to catastrophic warming or a hockey stick.

    Extreme cold in the UK results from a weather pattern that causes Russian cold to retrograde (move west). It does not mean the earth as a whole is warming or cooling, just because you do or don’t get that specific weather pattern.

  11. Europeanonion permalink
    March 28, 2017 8:02 am

    What’s the news from the Scilly Isles? Are people on Skye up in arms or down in the water? This localised sea height phenomenon, is it caused by magnetism?

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