Skip to content

Warmest May “Evah”? No, That Was In 1833.

June 2, 2018

By Paul Homewood



There has been some misinformation, apparently propagated by the Met Office, about the warm weather last month:



Britain has enjoyed its sunniest and warmest May since records began in 1929, provisional figures show, despite the week of torrential rain, thunderstorms and flash flooding that has brought travel chaos to Britain….


A total of 245.3 hours of sunshine were measured across the country last month, according to the Met Office, making it the sunniest while it has also been the warmest May since records began in 1910.

The average daytime maximum temperature was 62.6F (17.0C), just beating the previous all-time high of 62.4F (16.9C) set in May 1992.

Despite thunderstorms bringing showers and flash floods to parts of the country at the end of the month, rainfall across the UK in May was less than two-thirds (64 per cent) of the level expected.

Rainfall in England was 72 per cent of the long-term average for the month, while in Wales it was 62 per cent and in Scotland just 55 per cent. Northern Ireland’s rainfall was 80 per cent of the average.

Tim Legg, of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: ‘Increased sunshine during the month has helped to keep daytime temperatures high, leading to it provisionally being the warmest May since records began in 1910. It is also likely to be the sunniest May since 1929 too.’


I heard exactly the same claim on the radio yesterday as well, so it is not the Mail that has misinterpreted.

So, for the record, here are the facts:

The mean Central England Temperature was 13.2C last month. Tim Legg claims they only have records going back to 1910, which is strange because Legg himself maintains the CET, which has data back to 1659.



This makes the month only the 18th warmest on record, with the hottest May occurring in 1833:




A closer look at the warmest months reveals nothing out of the ordinary about last month.




Daytime temperatures have been relatively higher, as Legg notes. But even these were not as high as in 1992:





Given how much effort goes into producing the CET, it is remarkable how often the Met Office ignore it when it suits them.

  1. June 2, 2018 11:16 am

    Talking of fakery there is a fake smart meter article, which is really an ADVERT
    In centre of Times Weekend section :
    page title : Smarter Britain
    Much bigger title : Keep your home as safe as houses
    bylined Times’ style with a headshot photo MIKE PATTENDEN Investigative journalist
    Below the title it says “..We challenged our reporter to find out”

    Masses of text often using purple or purple background
    Yet tucked away top right in plain black on white it says “PROMOTED CONTENT”
    that normalish print is the only indication that it’s an advert

    .. I don’t think that meets the moral that you should be able to tell from first glance that an article is really an advert

    • Joe Public permalink
      June 2, 2018 11:48 am

      Good catch.

    • June 2, 2018 10:15 pm

      Ha I like the way the same guy’s latest tweet gives you a reason not to accept smartmeters.
      Just say you are boycotting Japanese components like he is.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      June 3, 2018 10:16 am

      The Express has been featuring a full page “Smart Meters – The Facts” for 3 weeks now. On first glance it appears to be a bit of investigative journalism, but is really nothing more than a puff-piece for Smart Energy GB. There hasn’t been a single letter of complaint printed, which makes me wonder if they are deliberately withholding any that come in.

      Here’s two examples:

      “Our EXPERT panel responds to YOUR queries” – One of which is Claire Perry, MP…

      • Up2snuff permalink
        June 3, 2018 6:36 pm

        Newspapers and magazines should headline a piece ‘Advertorial’, and usually do, if it is not generated as part of their normal content. It can be produced by a staffer or freelance, but it should be identified if not ‘pure’ editorial.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      June 3, 2018 8:23 pm

      I’m about to change my energy provider and have found their new trick: several of the tariffs are tied to accepting their smart meters. This is made to look like a big benefit to the user.
      The Gove-rnment is behind this of course trying to force the meters down our throats.

  2. CheshireRed permalink
    June 2, 2018 11:28 am

    FT reporting the Swansea lagoon has bitten the dust. Behind a paywall, anyone able to confirm?

    • Joe Public permalink
      June 2, 2018 12:00 pm

      It’s interesting Googling ‘Swansea lagoon project’ and setting the period to ‘past week’.

      Nearly returned results are that it will be cancelled.

      Except the Beeb’s “£1.3bn Swansea tidal lagoon ‘too big a prize to give up'”

      It includes more spin than the project’s fleet of turbines would achieve during a perigean spring tide.

  3. Marney, John-Paul permalink
    June 2, 2018 11:41 am

    Dear Paul,
    Even more strange, we here in Scotland were told that it was the warmest Scottish May on record on the Scottish news. May was a positively chilly month in Edinburgh, for the time of year, and I even had the fire on a few times.

    Kind Regards,

    John-Paul Marney

    • June 2, 2018 12:47 pm

      Same story in the NE of England, but over in the west, in the lake district it has been warm and sunny all month. I spent one week of May in the Hebrides and whilst it was dry, I wouldn’t have said it was particularly warm though

      • Bill permalink
        June 2, 2018 1:00 pm

        No it hasn’t. Here in the Lakes It has been a month of warmish spells then coolish spells, rain, thunderstorms, even hail during one thunderstorm with a few days of heat strung together. What is a ‘normal’ month of May weather.

      • June 2, 2018 5:19 pm

        I’ve been lucky with my visits then! It was a dry month in the Lake District and a quick check of some stations suggests it was a bit warmer than usual

  4. Athelstan permalink
    June 2, 2018 11:49 am

    No mention of April, March or Feb then?

    Thought not..

  5. June 2, 2018 12:46 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  6. Bill permalink
    June 2, 2018 1:30 pm

    Off topic but blimey.
    SACRAMENTO — Long a leader and trendsetter in its clean-energy goals, California took a giant step on Wednesday, becoming the first state to require all new homes to have solar power.

    State officials and clean-energy advocates say the extra cost to home buyers will be more than made up in lower energy bills. That prospect has won over even the construction industry, which has embraced solar capability as a selling point.
    Draining the swamp?

    • Athelstan permalink
      June 2, 2018 2:54 pm

      Land of the free?

      Not in CA obviously.

      • dave permalink
        June 3, 2018 7:55 am

        One of the advantages of the constitutional arrangements of the USA is that the lesser states actively compete to attract immigrants and businesses. CA is forgetting this, just as Mass and NY did in their time.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        June 3, 2018 8:29 pm

        Woody Guthrie’s song “If you ain’t got the Doh, Reh, Me”. about 70 years ago, was about the need to be rich to live in CA! Plus ca change …..

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      June 3, 2018 9:59 am

      Such hypocrites. California has perhaps the highest levels of inequality of any state, and has a huge problem with house prices. So a bunch of Lefties makes new houses even less affordable for the low paid because they really, really “care”.

      No wonder some firms are moving away from California so their workers can afford somewhere decent to live.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        June 3, 2018 6:43 pm

        Indeed, and what will the power companies do when their profits are hit? Invest in more infrastructure? Nope. Cut executive pay? I doubt it? Sack workers? Probably. Outages are commonplace in hot weather in LA and some of the other cities of the southern part of the State. Will solar panels cure them? Maybe, maybe not, but definitely at the expense of jobs.

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 2, 2018 3:13 pm

    BBC is carrying the same record story too. Their claim is based on the highest average maximum, it being 0.1C higher (wow), rather than the highest mean. Smacks of desperation – you can always find a record. Warmest first week, warmest consecutive 3 days, warmest BH!!!, who cares. The highest daily maximum record was not broken, the highest daily minimum record was not broken. So nothing extreme heat-wise at all.

    The clue is that it was probably also the sunniest May on record i.e. chance weather.

    It makes an enormous difference this time of year if it is cloudy all day or sunny all day – about +10C here on the south coast on sunny days cf cloudy, with the same air mass.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      June 3, 2018 10:02 am

      Yes, why average maximums and not average max-mins?

      And 0.1 degree? Comparing averages that can differ greatly in all sorts of ways – exactly the same sites in exactly the same state of example? – is absurd at at level of accuracy.

      Just a single changeof site or one fewer/more could easily make a 0.1 degree difference.

  8. June 2, 2018 4:52 pm

    A major reason for the lovely hot May is probably that the wind has been predominantly from the East, as it was during the earlier (cold) Beast. This would also explain the relative absence of clouds. If so it was warm continental air what did it, no doubt the EU will seek payment for it after Brexit.

    • dave permalink
      June 3, 2018 8:03 am

      “…lovely hot…”

      Right now, “the jet-stream” has retreated North, all the way to Greenland, where, under its influence, the snow is falling in record amounts for the time of year. Am I too late with this news? Has the BBC “pipped me to the post?” It is always so eager to bring weather records to our attention.

  9. June 2, 2018 5:32 pm

    Flashback to 2014, nice graphic

  10. tom0mason permalink
    June 2, 2018 6:14 pm

    I note that the ToryDailygraph has a rather good piece by Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor, about the (deranged and irrational) logic of removing a million trees from Scotland so that we can ‘save the planet’ with more beautiful (beauty in the pockets of the of the owners) windfarms.

  11. June 2, 2018 6:53 pm

    Not much in the way of urban heat islands in 1833 either.

    • dave permalink
      June 3, 2018 8:09 am

      “…urban heat islands in 1833…”

      When Mr Scrooge allowed Bob Cratchit to put an extra shovel of coal on the fire in 1843, an unintended consequence was the start of global warming.

  12. June 2, 2018 7:36 pm

    Down here in Devon the weather seemed to go straight from a cold and wet winter in April into a warm and mostly dry summer in May, with hardly any sign of a spring. It has been wonderful for plant growth. If that is what “climate change” is bringing, give me more of it; so keep pumping out that CO2.

    • Athelstan permalink
      June 3, 2018 10:04 am

      Natural warming, naturally! Also, and good to shut the CH off (about mid April).

      Though, I vaguely ponder, speculate on Kilauea (although not a major eruptive episode quite yet) and if its outgasing of particulates and aerosols will affect the NH atmosphere to any degree, later on in the year, possibly?

    • Up2snuff permalink
      June 3, 2018 6:48 pm

      Philip Bratby, “If that is what “climate change” is bringing, give me more of it; so keep pumping out that CO2.”

      The UK dairy industry ought to have a record year if the green growth in my s-e UK garden is anything to go by. Lush and rampant.

  13. paul weldon permalink
    June 3, 2018 9:15 am

    May here in Liepaja, LV, hottest on record, although the records only go back to 1880. The contrast to what is happening in the Arctic is interesting, where DMI reports ice extent and volume not decreasing as expected, and temperatures for north of 80 degrees below average for the time of year. Always worth a look at the broader picture.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      June 3, 2018 10:06 am

      Because the amount of “temperature” is fixed, so if we are hotter than average (by more than AGW has warmed us if you believe that) somewhere MUST be colder than average.

      The arts graduates at the BBC and elsewhere don’t understand the very basics.

  14. June 3, 2018 1:02 pm

    Something about the Met Office’s announcement doesn’t stack-up.
    This last May, I ran my heater far more than is usual for May (‘usual’ is not at all)

    • Up2snuff permalink
      June 3, 2018 7:08 pm

      I agree. Use of domestic heat (even briefly) or different types of clothing. Ice cream and soft drink sales statistics are other good indicators of a hot or warm or cool or cold month, season or year. They often give the lie to media claims.

  15. RAH permalink
    June 3, 2018 4:25 pm

    They are declaring this May the US as the hottest on record also.

    • dave permalink
      June 3, 2018 10:05 pm

      Establishing the true “record extreme” for anything is, actually, an incredibly difficult task. Almost by definition, it will be a fleeting phenomenon, only slightly different from many other instances. As such, it will often be a mere curiosity and of little scientific interest.

  16. SkepticalWarmist permalink
    June 8, 2018 8:35 pm

    Where did you get the two graphs?
    The first graphs is labeled “CET Average Temps for May 1659 – 2018…”?
    Is there a link from the website that displays those graphs?
    Or did you generate those graphs yourself?

    Thank you.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: