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Sweltering June? It Was Much Hotter In 1846!

July 2, 2018

By Paul Homewood



It’s certainly been flamin’ June, but how hot has it really been?



According to the Central England Temperature series, it only ranks 10th warmest since 1659. The hottest June was in 1846:




The last really hot June was in 1976, which averaged 17.0C, compared to 16.5C last month, and the two months make an interesting comparison.

The highest temperature recorded anywhere in the UK last month was 33.0C at Porthmadog:


ScreenHunter_2593 Jun. 29 09.25 

However this was well short of the UK record for June of 35.6C set in 1957, and equalled in 1976:



Indeed, it was not even a June record for Wales, which still stands at 33.7C in 2000.

On CET, daily max temperatures have been consistently above normal virtually all month, but only exceptionally high during the last few days:


When we compare with 1976, we see that the exceptionally hot days in 1976 were much more common, and much hotter, than 2018. However, a comparatively cool start to the month in 1976 helped to keep the monthly average down:




In 1976, CET daily temperatures reached 30.3C, whereas the hottest day this year was 28.5C. There were in fact seven days in 1976 hotter or as hot as this year.

I regularly chart days of over 30C, of which there were nine during the summer of 1976, and four the previous year. The last day over 30C was in 2016:




High pressure will continue to dominate at least for the next week or two, the time of year when we would typically expect daily temperatures to peak, and we may well see 30C plus days next weekend.

But so far there has been nothing remotely unusual about the weather we have had this summer.




The 30C and over chart shows a significant step up in temperatures in the 1970s, which begs the question why?

Could it have anything to do with successive Clean Air Acts from the 1950s onwards?

  1. HotScot permalink
    July 2, 2018 6:31 pm

    Cool, man.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    July 2, 2018 6:38 pm

    June average monthly temperatures in the US 48 states have been adjusted by NOAA so that the warmest year, 1933 is no longer. It has been replaced by 2016. Similar adjustments have been made for other warm years. It is not restricted to June.

    • markl permalink
      July 3, 2018 3:19 am

      This has been going on for years. Why they haven’t been busted for the deceit yet despite proof and call outs is a mystery. When really pressed they offer a bogus excuse for the differences from historical data that they changed and no one holds their feat to the fire.

  3. Chris Lynch permalink
    July 2, 2018 6:42 pm

    The National Broadcaster in Ireland, RTE is a mirror image of the BBC for this kind of disingenuous bullshit! I’m on holidays in Rincon in the South of Spain at the moment and I came upon a headline last Sunday entitled “Record breaking heat in Ireland last week!” When I read it however it only stated that it was the hottest week since 1976! Unfortunately the goldfish generation never read beyond the headline and I have little doubt that RTE knows that.

  4. Chris Lynch permalink
    July 2, 2018 6:44 pm

    By the way it’s very pleasant here in Rincon!

  5. Chris, Leeds permalink
    July 2, 2018 7:06 pm

    For those of us that remember June 1976 it beat this spell hands down. The main heat in 1976 lasted 16 days from 23 June to 8th July and the AVERAGE maximum temperature for that period was 30C or more across the east and south Midlands, southern England and South east England. 15 days exceeded 32C somewhere in the Midlands and South of England and Cheltenham had 7 days in a row, consecutively over 32c. Top temps were 35.6 at Southampton on 28 June and 35.9 at Cheltenham on 3rd July, Sunshine averaged 14 hours a day for the 16 day period – over 80% of maximum

    • Broadlands permalink
      July 2, 2018 7:22 pm

      Weather of 1921…press comments outside the US:

      BRITISH ISLES: London, July 10. England is sweltering and suffering the worst drought in a century. Today was the seventy-eighth virtually rainless day. For the third successive day temperatures have exceeded 100. The rainfall for the year is less than one-third normal to date.

  6. Ian permalink
    July 2, 2018 7:32 pm

    Interesting that Wales features in highest temperatures. I was in Pembroke on 20 June and recorded the temperature in the middle of the sunny afternoon as 13.5C.

    • July 2, 2018 8:04 pm

      We were on holiday in Tenby in Pembrokeshire during the heatwave of 1976 . Phew, what a scorcher it was! Much hotter than this year.

  7. Alaskan Sea permalink
    July 2, 2018 8:22 pm

    There are still some sizeable patches of snow on the Cairngorms, despite the hot weather.

    • roger permalink
      July 2, 2018 9:35 pm

      Today the met office is saying that last Thursday the highest temperature EVER recorded in Scotland occurred in Motherwell.
      Quite where in Motherwell the thermometer is placed was not said.

  8. July 2, 2018 8:43 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    It’s been enjoyable so far with a distinct lack of humidity, but it’s not a record breaker here by any means.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    July 2, 2018 9:21 pm

    There’s been a big loop in the jet stream from Morocco right over the UK and up into Lapland.

    Of course it’s hot in the UK.

    Such loops were common during the last solar minimum. In 2010 a similar pattern caused a persistent heat wave in Moscow, with all the usual ululating.

    We are now back to similar low solar activity conditions and again we’re seeing such patterns.

    • dave permalink
      July 2, 2018 9:53 pm

      UAH’s global brightness temperatures anomalies for June has come in at + 0.21 C, which compares with + 0.18 C in May.

      Another ordinary, mundane, boring, month. What more can one say?

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 2, 2018 10:02 pm

    This has CET June 2018 at 16.1C and ranked 18th?

    Why’s that?

    • July 3, 2018 10:32 am

      That’s strange.

      It stood at 16.4C on 29th June.

      The monthly summary was not published yesterday, so I simply took the daily numbers and averaged.

      Numbers are always provisional at first, but rarely more then 0.1c out.

  11. dennisambler permalink
    July 2, 2018 10:03 pm

    1976 remembered, by the Guardian in 2006:

    “It seemed to begin in May, that drought, at the very start of the summer, but the Met Office people had been worried for months before. In fact the alarm bells had started going off in September 1975 after a dry but unmemorable summer.

    Subsequent records show that, actually, less rain fell in the largely forgotten drought of 1995 (73mm against 76mm in ’76, appropriately), but the difference was that in the great drought of 1976, the sun shone and shone and shone.

    The really big heat started on June 23 when a whole fortnight saw temperatures reach 32C across much of southern England. It blazed until almost September, defying the British rule of hot but dull, and that was the reason for the general sense of glee, however serious the experts kept telling us the situation was.

    While slightly batty-looking hosepipe patrol vans prowled the streets in Birmingham, some fitted with pipe-detectors that looked suspiciously like coathanger sculpture, real direct action was taken against golf clubs.

    A vigilante group of Surrey housewives, ostensibly the last people on any Che Guevaran recruitment list, forced their local club to turn off its sprinklers by sit-ins, harassing greenkeepers and night-time vigils, which were easy to organise on those sultry evenings.

    The media got into crisis mode, naturally, but we were never really tetchy: there was no hunt for Those Responsible, as one suspects there will be if things get really dry this time around.

    The great instrument of climate change, though, never to be forgotten by those of us who were there, was Britain’s very own Rainmaker, Denis Howell, who was finally appointed minister of drought co-ordination by Jim Callaghan under the hasty new Drought Act.

    The feeling among political commentators was that he must have done something awful to have been handed this poisoned chalice, but it proved to be one of those mythical cups, like Zeus’s, that never run dry.

    Howell threatened rationing until December, and Lo! The rains came. They continued for 10 days until Howell was nicknamed the “minister for floods”. He was helped, of course, by that other great British invention for wrecking the weather, August bank holiday. It poured.”

    Love it! And then the Guardian did: “How to save water this summer: Twenty tips for surviving the drought”

    Deja Vu all over again.

    • Fred Streeter permalink
      July 3, 2018 11:55 am

      London 1976: Comment by an Australian receptionist, “Drought? What bloody drought? “.

  12. Athelstan permalink
    July 2, 2018 10:22 pm

    Beeb met’ man, claimed tonight (can’t recall his name but he presents the weather show), claiming that in Motherwell the Temp reached 33ºC some day last week and thus was, the WARMEST EVAH June temp’ in for Scotland. Hmm the ‘Well, have they got an airport runway in Motherwell or is the measuring station right by the M74?

  13. July 2, 2018 11:35 pm

    Poor babies. I feel for you. It’s been a chilly 38-40C in sunny central Virginia for the past few days. I was a bit drippy fiddling with the car and yard this afternoon. I know that the elderly have problems so I talked with my neighbor who is in his mid 70’s and was doing similar fiddling in his yard. Two septuagenarians decided it was really hot and went back to fiddling.

    I suppose it’s where you live and how you acclimate.

    • Hivemind permalink
      July 3, 2018 3:42 am

      Ditto for Canberra, which went over 40C last summer (as usual).

    • July 3, 2018 10:55 am

      It was in the 90’s here in northern West Virginia yesterday. I cleaned out two flower beds and pulled the cart to the brush pile with my garden tractor. Must say that with all the brush pulling and toting, I was bushed. Today, I have more beds to clean out and the trough in front of the garage to shovel out. All the rain has washed enough stuff to fill it and it will go where a tree stump is rotting out. I am 73, so join you of old Virginia.

  14. 4TimesAYear permalink
    July 3, 2018 7:42 am

    Reblogged this on 4TimesAYear's Blog.

  15. Sheri permalink
    July 3, 2018 10:37 am

    You’re just going to confuse people with all these facts.

  16. chrism56 permalink
    July 5, 2018 4:45 am

    Here is yet another example of the news reporting weather as climate – record highs in Scotland according to the Washington Post writer.

    • Sheri permalink
      July 5, 2018 4:02 pm

      Rule is: If it’s hot, it’s climate. If it’s cold, it’s weather. 🙂

  17. July 7, 2018 11:18 pm

    Adjustments will continue to ‘cool the past’. And the past will continue to cool until the dopey adjusters realise the mistake(s) in their methodology. I contend that the main mistake their refusal to confine their adjustments to site-specific sources of error. (Instead they are committed to this ‘homogenisation’ concept whereby the records at one site are compared to basket of records from nearby sites.)

    Consider an weather station at an airport (or air-force base) that was first established in the 1940s as part of WW2. When first established, it was nothing but a great expanse of grass with some small hangars and Nissen huts in one corner. The weather station was conveniently located near the tower. Later in the 1940s, the runways would have been paved. With the coming of jet aircraft, taxiways and aprons would have been paved too. As planes got bigger the aprons and hangar also got bigger. Meanwhile on the landside, the Nissen huts would have upgraded to concrete buildings with air-conditioning, and vast paved expanses for carparking added. Then came wide-bodied transport aircraft and more expansion was required. By late 1970s the wide expanse of grass has turned into a small city.

    Then suddenly (in 1980 let’s say) the weather station is relocated to a much better location on the other side of the airport – which is practically out in the countryside. In the climate records this shows-up as a sudden marked drop (a down-step of say, 2 degrees) in temperatures – especially the minimum temperatures.

    In their wisdom the climateers decide that an adjustment is necessary to straighten-out the down-step. So what do they do?

    In effect what they do is like cutting the graph paper in two pieces (with the cut line passing through the down-step) and then Sellotaping it back together again so that the whole page on the left hand side to the cut (i.e. the older side) is now 2 degrees cooler. The adjustments take the form of a square block of a constant 2 degrees from the 1940’s to 1980.

    But that square block adjustment doesn’t correct the actual site-specific error. What’s actually happened, is that an UHI error has gradually built-up over 40 years – i.e. the error is in the form of a saw-tooth – not a square block.

    So, ideally the adjustment SHOULD match the error and take the form of a saw-tooth.

    Instead, by making a square block adjustment, the climateers adjusters have simply moved the 2 degree error backwards in time to the 1940s. Hence “cooling the past” – albeit inadvertently.

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