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April 2020 Almost As Warm As 1865!

May 2, 2020

By Paul Homewood


After a lot of hype about how April 2020 was going to be the warmest in Britain by a long way, it turns out that it was not even as hot as April 1865, at least as far as the CET is concerned:





As the graph at the top shows, (and zoomed below), temperatures at no time of the month have been exceptionally high, mostly falling within the 95th percentiles:



In other words, all we have had is “weather”, and of the type we have had plenty of times in the past.

What has made the month much warmer than average is the persistence of this weather. Indeed this has been the pattern all year, with daily temperatures consistently above average, but within the normal band.

Put another way, we have had the temperatures which we would have expected from the weather experienced.

In January and February, this weather was predominantly brought in from the Atlantic, courtesy of a strong jet stream.

Last month, until the last few days, the weather has been sunny, and again fetched up from the south west. The Met Office has already declared it as the sunniest on record. At this time of year, the temperatures we have seen are pretty much guaranteed with such sunny weather.

This message is rammed home by a look at the daily maximum temperatures:




Daily temperatures themselves have not been unusually high. In fact, only two days last month exceeded 14C. In comparison there were five last year.

No day exceeded 15C, an event quite common in the past.

Yet the month as a whole was 3.6C above the 1981-2010 average.

To repeat, at no time in the month were daily temperatures unusually high. It was the almost total absence of colder than average days which forced the average up.

  1. JimW permalink
    May 2, 2020 12:10 pm

    The UAH northern hemisphere temperature anomoly ( hate using it) , has just dropped by the 2nd largest amount in 2 months since their records began. This included March and April.
    I have more time than most for the UAH stuff, and this takes it to about 0.4C . Personally given that temperatures are modelled even by UAH ) satellites cannot actually measure ‘temperatures’ and its lousy in the arctic where the greatest ‘anamoly’ still exists, I think that means its +-0C within the range of numerous error bands.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      May 2, 2020 12:46 pm

      Sorry Jim, can you remind me again what UHA thanks for.

  2. Bloke no longer down the pub permalink
    May 2, 2020 12:28 pm

    People have selective memories. The sunny, pleasant weather by day was note worthy. Perhaps the fact that most were under lockdown, meant that there were fewer commuters getting up early enough in the morning to notice there had been a frost overnight.

  3. May 2, 2020 12:44 pm

    “After a lot of hype about how April 2020 was going to be the warmest in Britain by a long way, it turns out that it was not even as hot as April 1865”

    Did the Covid do it?

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 2, 2020 12:44 pm

    I posted this in a less appropriate place, so I’ve copied it here.

    April ended up joint 5th mildest in the CET of 362 years, same as 1798, marginally cooler than 1865/1943.

    It’s true a lot of recent years are among the warmest Aprils.

    But then there are also a lot of close years in the 1700s near the top.

    But possibly significant, a run of years at what would have been the peak of the last Arctic warm cycle – 1943/44/45/46/49 all in the top 25 – like the present?

    Met office is also claiming sunniest on record and 5th warmest for whole UK, shorter datasets used though (few airplanes, interesting coincidence but I think that’s all it is).

    Notice how they point out:

    “The UK climate is warming, and it is notable that in a Met Office series from 1884 the Aprils of 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2020 are all in the top 10 warmest.”

    Spookily like the 1940s, almost as if the weather was cyclic!

    From CET for those years (plus 2018), not UK as a whole, with 1940s added:-

    2003 9.6C
    2018 9.8C
    1946 9.9C
    1949 10.0C
    2009 10.0C
    1945 10.1C
    1944 10.2C
    2014 10.2C
    2020 10.4C
    1943 10.5C
    2007 11.2C
    2011 11.8C

    2000s ‘win’, but hardly concerning/conclusive is it!

    And hot off the press, UAH shows the March global cooling continued into April.

  5. May 2, 2020 1:04 pm

    But what about Urbanisation? As regards anomalies, this may have relatively little impact, but when we are talking about absolute temperatures, it could have a large impact.

    One would expect due to urbanisation that temperatures, in absolute figures, since 2000, are considerably warmer than those that were measured dsay pre 1930.

    Is this properly accounted for when examing absolute temperatures as recorded by CET?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 2, 2020 1:18 pm

      Supposedly but probably inadequately.

      Chiefly achieved by using supposedly largely unaffected sites, and minor adjustments (since the 1970s from memory).

      There’s extensive info/research on the web about the CET if you’re bored!

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      May 2, 2020 1:25 pm

      I’m sure it has an impact, Richard, and I’m sure that the Met Office is sure it has an impact. It’s not just politic to say so. Just as we’re all sure that there is nothing dramatic happening with maximum temperatures but a fair bit happening to minima, partly due to that same UHI.

      I can’t prove that of course because I don’t have the figures but I do have a strong suspicion that we are, at least on occasion, being lied to by omission! MrGrimNasty’s post above tells the tale. The Met Office trumpets the fact that half the top ten warmest Aprils in the record are from the first 20 years of this century while conveniently forgetting to mention that the other half are from the 10 years of the 1940s!

      • Tonyb permalink
        May 2, 2020 6:33 pm


        The met offce allow for an urban warming effect in CET of up to 0.3 degrees centigrade calculated from the 1970’s but their other general records do not allow for this so are frequently theoretically warmer


    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 2, 2020 2:15 pm

      I recall one of the Climategate crooks Jones saying they adjusted by 0.5C for UHI. I would love to hear his answer as to why I have seen a change of 5C – yes, TEN times greater – when driving out of London to the country in the evening.

  6. May 2, 2020 1:22 pm

    Perhaps the simplest response to the WARMEST EVER hype of climate science is to quote Gavin Schmidt. “agw is a theory about long term temperature trends and not about temperature events”.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 2, 2020 2:30 pm

      Except when it suits to ring the alarmism bell.

      Well at least he points out his own hypocrisy, that makes it all right then!

      • Joe Public permalink
        May 2, 2020 5:53 pm


      • May 3, 2020 1:47 am

        Yes sir. It appears that nothing is clear cut in this affair.

  7. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 2, 2020 2:29 pm

    Slightly OT, but could have been the weather/climate: I see a report in the DT
    ( today that Dame Emma Thompson, who left her grey little island of Britain when we left the EU and decamped to Venice where she became an Italian citizen. That has lasted all of a few days when, as she saw Covid coming down the tracks in Italy and a lock-down in the making, she decamped to her childhood (ie: second) home in Scotland, where she speaks highly of the countryside and the environment. Ho hum.

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    May 2, 2020 3:03 pm

    National Grid has asked for powers to shut down wind and solar ahead of the Bank Holiday as they fear the grid collapsing if there is too much unreliable generation. Short piece on GWPF with the full story paywalled in The Times.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 2, 2020 6:52 pm

      Yes I saw that, at the moment the Friday forecast is light winds all over, so too much wind might not be a problem. Wind is forecast to pick up a bit Saturday/Sunday though.

  9. May 2, 2020 5:07 pm

    The BBC Radio programme ‘More or Less’ discussed the April weather. The programme even mentioned HH Lamb and records going back over 100 years. It came to the conclusion that there was nothing unusual about April’s weather and that we cannot use it to forecast what the weather will be like for the summer months. A rare example of the BBC not being biased. It must have slipped through the Harrabin net.

  10. Thomas Carr permalink
    May 2, 2020 5:30 pm

    A new answer to the problem of taking power from erratic and fragile ‘natural’ sources was reported in The Times on 1st May by the economics editor of Sky News: Sodium batteries made from sea water is the invention of a John Goodenough. It’s a glass battery not requiring lithium or cobalt. Keep your eyes peeled.
    In the meantime Daniel Finkelstein in The Times on the 29th April invites us to imagine that we had the technology to suck carbon out of the atmosphere so that tackling climate change did’nt rely on challenging political resistance to costly policies. Daniel is a senior man at The Times and it is not like him not to apply a bit of intellectual rigour. Perhaps these difficult times make for lazy copy.

  11. David permalink
    May 2, 2020 11:54 pm

    Living North of London where we normally have much air traffic from Heathrow, luton and Stansted, I have noticed much clearer skys. Although much of the con -trails are from other international routes. These con-trails drift away but appear to leave hazier skys. I think this results generally in the higher sunshine levels than normal.

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