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“Hottest Bank Holiday” Is Just Normal Weather

August 27, 2019

By Paul Homewood



The latest Met Office inspired propaganda, gleefully trumpeted by the BBC.

Note how they conflate it with the record temperature at Cambridge last month:


It has been the hottest late August Bank Holiday Monday ever, as temperatures soared across the UK.

Temperatures had reached 33.2C (91.8F) at Heathrow by 14:16 BST, the Met Office said, beating the previous record of 28.2C set two years ago….

Last month, the UK’s highest ever temperature was officially recorded in Cambridge at 38.7C.


Given that the late August bank holiday only began in 1966, the “hottest ever” really means the hottest in the last 54 years.

Bank holiday is, needless to say, just the same as any other day statistically, With 31 days in August, on average you would expect to set a new temperature record for any one day every couple of years.

So how did this week’s temperatures stack up against other August days in the past?

The Met Office loves to use Heathrow and other cherry picked sites to claim records and “prove” climate trends. But the only long term database of daily temperatures available and capable of providing long term trends is the Central England Temperature series, or CET.

The highest daily maximum temperature on CET this month was 28.8C on Sunday, 25th. The actual Bank Holiday Monday registered 26.0C.

Since daily records began in 1878 in CET, there have been 68 days in August which have been 28C and over. In other words a common occurrence. There have also been 43 days which have equalled or beaten the 28.8C set on Sunday.



The hottest days were in 1990, with 33.2C and 32.8C set on consecutive days.

Since 2005, only two August days have exceeded 28C, one this year and the other in 2013.


The evidence is abundantly clear, that hot August days have actually been a rarity in recent years, not least this one, contrary to the Met Office’s fake claim.


It is also implied though that there is something unusual about temperatures being this high at the end of August.

Anybody who thinks this should look at September temperatures in 1906 and 1911. On  1st and 2nd September 1906, CET reached an astonishing 31.3C and 31.0C respectively.

Five years later, temperatures peaked at 29.6C as late as the 8th.

They put this week’s temperatures into the shade.

Meanwhile according to the BBC:

The government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change has warned the UK is not prepared for the increase in heatwaves that is expected with global warming.


Sure looks like it, doesn’t it?






  1. August 27, 2019 10:02 pm

    I see it’s so hot the natives have doffed their clothing and all they can do is collapse in the sand.

    33C isn’t all that unusual in many, many places.

    • H Davis permalink
      August 27, 2019 10:27 pm

      Near where I live in Florida it’s over 90 deg F about 80 days a year. See here for some other cities and their temps:

    • Sheri permalink
      August 27, 2019 10:52 pm

      You’re right. 33C is not that uncommon in many places. We have been hitting 33 to 36C quite frequently, interspersed with days around 26C or so. It’s completely normal. Yes, most of us have air conditioning or evaporative coolers, but that’s all a part of the adapting. An occasional sudden rise to 33C or so can be handled as pictured in the post!

    • August 28, 2019 11:48 am

      Here in northern West Virginia, we had several days at those temperatures and even above. Here we call it late summer.

  2. August 27, 2019 10:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  3. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 27, 2019 10:22 pm

    I have noticed that pictures of the beach at Brighton exclude the backdrop of the Rampion offshore wind farm which now mar the view from Marine Parade and Black Rock and the Volks railway. I suspect that many who visit for the first time in several years get quite a shock. I did.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 28, 2019 11:42 am

      Yep, me too. I often go to gigs in Brighton as it is easier to drive to and park than anywhere in London because there is no public transport to get home afterwards. The first time I saw it was all these red lights out at sea.

  4. Ian Magness permalink
    August 27, 2019 11:02 pm

    And do we actually believe the – somewhat predictable – Heathrow “record” any more than any “records” from the invalidated Cambridge Botanic Garden site?
    When you get the time, Paul, regular readers of this fine site look forward to you getting the data and eviscerating it.
    In east Surrey the temperature didn’t exceed 30C on any recent day, so over 33C only 25 miles away? As ever I am deeply sceptical.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 28, 2019 9:11 am

      When the Heathrow thermometer is the highest in the country at least for the last 3 days running (around 33C each time) you think the Met Office might question if it were appropriate to include it in its data any longer.

      Also why is there a Heathrow and a London/Heathrow – I noticed they were sometimes very close but sometimes 2C or more different.

      It might be interesting to find out from the MO how many days this year Heathrow has been the hottest place. Or generally get all the data and figure out which stations ‘beat the odds’ and regularly feature as the hottest or near hottest.

      Anyway this BH was always at least 5C colder than the August Faversham sham record!

      Like I pointed out before, they now triple their chance of declaring a record by calling it a record for the bank holiday weekend, not just the BH.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 28, 2019 11:47 am

      I have seen UHI of 5 degrees when driving out of the London suburbs down to my corner of SE Surrey in summer. I have also seen 4 degrees one winter evening from my house just 8 miles to Gatwick. As far as the weekend went, at our agricultural show it was not noticeably any hotter than the hot one we had in 2017. It was well up on last year, especially the cold and wet Sunday.

  5. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    August 27, 2019 11:19 pm

    It was so hot in London on August 29 1930 (94F, 34.4C) that: “… Many ‘bus drivers discarded their coats and drove in their shirt sleeves. Conductors removed their collar[s] or appeared in open-neck shirts. The traditional British formality in dress received a knock-out blow to-day. Vast numbers were to be seen in the city carrying their jackets over their arms …”.“france swelters”&searchLimits=

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 28, 2019 11:51 am

      The showjumpers were allowed to compete without their jackets at my local show.

  6. Broadlands permalink
    August 28, 2019 1:26 am

    Paul.. your chart does seem to show that those higher temperatures have been more common since around 1975. That’s when “global warming” began after global cooling didn’t pan out. Someone might use that chart to “prove” that we have all been responsible?

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 28, 2019 6:43 am

      Ah! But if you date the start of warming to 1979 it looks even worse.
      If you were to start in 1989 it looks catastrophic.
      Funny that the NASA GISS figures show warming only started in 1962 ( to get 98% correlation with CO2). To do so they eliminated any warming (1885 – 1961) as transient. Give them the figures and they will show the guilty ones.

      Of course if Paul were to pick a few temperatures on August 26 from the past before Bank Holidays, they are bound to show “global warming” aren’t they?

  7. August 28, 2019 6:50 am

    You would have to be naive or very gullible to put any credence to a record temperature measured at Heathrow Airport. But “education” has been so dumbed-down over the last 20 years that we have a whole generation of people of which a large proportion would believe this propaganda.

  8. cajwbroomhill permalink
    August 28, 2019 7:08 am

    “Phew-what a scorcher” was a common tabloid headline in the years before the 1954 records started.
    The BBC is so biased, it is axiomatic that their reports are distorted, deliberately.

  9. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    August 28, 2019 8:08 am

    Recovery from the little ice age is normal. Temperatures are exactly the same ax 1000 years ago. Grand solar minimum coming.

  10. Coeur de Lion permalink
    August 28, 2019 9:00 am

    Dammit we were having a lunch party in the garden today but the Met Office’s heatwave has DISAPPEARED and the sky in covered in grey stuff. What is going on?

  11. GeoffB permalink
    August 28, 2019 9:01 am

    sorry Paul, you must be wrong this is in the Guardian today!!!

    The latest record was the 33.2C (91.8F) at Heathrow, which was five degrees higher than the hottest temperature previously registered in Britain on an August bank holiday Monday.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      August 28, 2019 10:58 am

      Nothing to do with it also being one of the earliest August bank holidays as well as it being measured at Heathrow.
      Whereas the CET is not from just one Weather station.

  12. john cooknell permalink
    August 28, 2019 9:58 am

    How soon we forget! 2014 was the chilliest late August Bank holiday “EVAH” measured at our old favourite Heathrow.

    • john cooknell permalink
      August 28, 2019 10:28 am

      And of course this from early May

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        August 28, 2019 10:42 am

        More Mirror nonsense! The reality for the May BH:-

        Max. warmest : Plymouth 13.8C
        Max. coldest : Fylingdales 5.9C
        Min. coldest : Katesbridge -4.0C

      • dave permalink
        August 28, 2019 10:51 am

        Ah well, hot or cold, it is probably my fault. There has always been a 97% consensus, at least, about that.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 28, 2019 10:31 am

      It’s a forecast article. They’re just saying what the coldest BH max. at Heathrow has been (18C in 2011), not that it was the coldest place in the country. They’re comparing with the general London forecast 16C for the 2014 BH.

      The actual highest/lowest maximum temperatures for the BH 2014 were:

      Exeter Airport 21.1C
      Emley Moor 11.7C

  13. Gerry, England permalink
    August 28, 2019 12:11 pm

    If we experienced this level of heat regularly then we would be more used to it as some of our posters are. I don’t do heat particularly well and sympathise with those who must work outside for a living like gardeners. Some adapted during last year’s warm spell by starting work early before it got too hot. I was working in shady spots yesterday but not everyone has them. The heat affected our local show where one of the highlights, terrier racing, was cancelled due to the heat. No sheep or pigs in the livestock parade this year and a reduced number of cattle to avoid stress. We are blessed with a class for coach and horses at our show where they go on a 5 mile road course before entering the ring for final judging. Their numbers of ring circuits was reduced this year but we still had a magnificent 6 turn out this year.

  14. fretslider permalink
    August 28, 2019 2:06 pm

    The moment the word Heathrow is mentioned you know the figure is totally invalid.

    I can only guess they really believe in the rubbish they spout. It’s all about the narrative.

  15. Athelstan. permalink
    August 28, 2019 3:18 pm

    Yup, only UHI’s recorded anywhere near 33, it was pleasantly warm in my neck of the woods, no record, just nice.

    I quite like nice weather, I like the rain even more, replenishing and rejuvenating the landscape and a happy patter on the roof and pavements.

    I’ve spent a time in the subtropics, it’s boringly regular, sun up, sun down at more or less the same time year round and relentless heat and humidity, it’s OK for a while but the repetition does a ‘northerners’ head in. After a time you begin to yearn for a crisp frosty morn and to see your breath pluming in the frigid air, oh to be in England now that winter’s coming.

  16. saparonia permalink
    August 28, 2019 6:10 pm

    I have just found an important article on
    Whatever we are told about global warming, mainstream scientists are starting to warn us of a 250 year period of intense cold that’s just around the corner. China’s Summers have been getting warmer for 4000 years and they have said it’s due to the Sun.
    We have to wake up because this same team are yet another group publishing independent study who find correlation with the UK scientists from Hull university, led by Professor Zharkova and to a lesser extent the reluctant admissions of impending cooling from NOAA.
    This team is led by Dr Wu Jing in China:
    “According to Wu, the variation in solar activity alone was usually not strong enough to induce the rapid changes in vegetation the research team recorded in the sediment cores of Moon Lake.
    Instead, the scientists found,

    the warming impact was amplified by a massive, random interaction between surface seawater and the atmosphere in the Pacific Ocean known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

    As a result of the research findings, Wu said she was now more worried about cooling than warming.”

    • Broadlands permalink
      August 28, 2019 10:38 pm

      “the warming impact was amplified by a massive, random interaction between surface seawater and the atmosphere in the Pacific Ocean known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.”

      There is no correlation between the ENSO 3.4 and Mauna Loa CO2 so it must be natural and not our fault?

      • saparonia permalink
        September 2, 2019 2:20 pm

        CO2 is produced by oceans, forest fires and volcanoes, the amount produced by humans is negligable, less than 1%.
        RSOE reports:
        Situation Update No. 7 on August 09 2019 03:50 AM (UTC)
        “Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land. Apparently, it will be the largest wildfire disaster in the history of Russia. According to Greenpeace Russia, the area of forest fires has already reached 4.5 million hectares.” These are results of changes over which we have no control. These are also the events leading to past Ice Ages and periods of extreme cold such as the Maunder Minimum and the Dalton minimum.. It is not the fault of humanity, it’s a part of the long Solar Cycle.

  17. August 29, 2019 2:43 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  18. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 29, 2019 1:33 pm

    The August Bank Holiday for England and Wales was changed from the first Monday of the month to the last in the mid 1960s. Scotland stuck with tradition and the first Monday. What is unclear about all this hype is firstly is the hottest claim since the change which is about 55years, secondly how did Scotland’s traditional Bank Holiday compare with previous ones.

    I also remember a few years ago after a run of disappointments, normal late August weather as it is usually known, a drive to return to the first Monday as the original change was made because there is no statutory holiday between August and Christmas, although octo er 31st might become a candidate for an additional BH.

  19. Trevor Shurmer permalink
    August 29, 2019 7:54 pm

    Paul am I reading this incorrectly, please? The Cambridge University rooftop monitoring seems to indicate a maximum temperature there of 37.2 as the maximum for the month of July 2019, in stark contrast to the 38.7 degrees in the same city supposedly recorded ( I know something came up about this sometime ago, but another dreadful article, this time in the EDP, just seems to be almost hysterical in it’s proclamations. I’m not a denier, by the way, but this is now getting totally out of hand.

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