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An Unremarkable Summer

September 3, 2020

By Paul Homewood


Despite a few warm days in early August, the month as a whole was not unusually hot, a full 1.6C cooler than August 1995, according to the Central England Temperature series. Other hotter Augusts include 1911, 1947 and 1975.

It was even colder than 1736 and 1899.

Summer as whole was even less remarkable, ranking 51st, tied with years such as 1701, 1731 and 1780.

The summers of 1976 and 1826 remain the two hottest on record, well above anything seen since.



  1. John Palmer permalink
    September 3, 2020 11:56 am

    I wonder if the BBC’s new DG will tell them to ‘headline’ this story…..
    No, didn’t think so!

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      September 3, 2020 12:27 pm

      In the quest for balanced reporting of all shades of opinion and of scientific data, as the BBCCharter directs, the new man will insist on reporting these data and insist on unpredudiced discussion by reporters and BBC correspondents.

      The BBC’s proper agenda is I its Charter, not in the biased thoughts of its staff.
      A BBC revolution in reporting is essential, or the new DG will have failed, falling at the first hurdle.

    • Harry Davidson permalink
      September 3, 2020 1:28 pm

      He only took over the day before yesterday. Leave it few weeks before you say “he’s doing nothing”.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 3, 2020 2:10 pm

        When he has been quoted as saying that he intends to ‘maintain’ the impartiality of the BBC it suggests either that he is ignorant or that he believes it currently is impartial.

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        September 3, 2020 3:11 pm

        Someone who becomes DG of the BBC is very good at politics. When he says he will ‘maintain’ impartiality, it allows him to do things people don’t like because he is maintaining the status quo, not being radical. He has said elsewhere that the BBC has compromised its impartiality. We will see if he means it.

    • September 3, 2020 1:48 pm

      Well, in all fairness an average summer isn’t really headline making news.

  2. September 3, 2020 12:29 pm

    Damned pesky weather getting in the way of the doom mongers climatogeddon which they want to use as a cover ( one of many) to impose marxism

  3. Tonyb permalink
    September 3, 2020 1:50 pm


    Will you be posting rainfall figures?

    The mantra of ‘hotter drier summers’ certainly hasn’t applied to temperatures and whilst we had to do some watering my overall impression was of fairly frequent rain. Certainly much wetter than 2018

  4. September 3, 2020 1:50 pm

    Truly terrifying charts.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 3, 2020 3:34 pm

    I’d have to disagree a bit for once! Aug 2020 (or at least an extended portion of it) was undeniably very hot, the last few days were however unseasonably chill, with some near air frost in places. This reduced the mean temperature by 1C or more at the last gasp. Even so it was still in the top few %, ranked joint 12th same as 1976 (although the heatwave peaked more in July that year). If merely average temperatures had ensued for the last week of August, it was on course to match 1947(4th in 362 years) or possibly even higher.

    Summer overall was nothing special, thanks to a colder than average July.

    • tonyb permalink
      September 3, 2020 5:36 pm

      Mr Grim Nasty

      I don’t know where you live but I live in the South West. I note 13 mornings I would term pretty cool spread through the month, not just at the end.

      We had three very warm days plus we were in Cambridge 4 days when it was hot there (33 C or so) and warm but not remarkable back home.

      We also had a fair bit of rain. So I can’t agree that, here at least, extended portions of August were very hot or the last few days only were unseasonably chill.

      Neither Here in Torbay nor Cambridge are in the CET area of course

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        September 3, 2020 7:08 pm

        Well we are talking about the CET and Aug 2020 was in the top ~3% of 362 years. Most people would consider that unusually hot.

        Bar for the last week that took ~1C off the mean, it would have been notably hot as in top ~1%.

        If you want to argue it’s not unusually hot for latter years because 3 years in the 1990s were exceptionally hotter still? But in the whole record…….

        I think nearly everywhere ended up with ample or excess rain in the end, but that’s irrelevant to temperature.

        Heatwaves rarely affect the whole country with the same severity.

        The yearly mean CET is still on track to be a record in the entire 362 years, I think at this stage saying things have not been unusually warm so far this year would be a bit daft.

        I’m still hopeful nature will balance it out and we can avoid the inevitable headlines in time for COP26 – can you imagine the gloating? But given that the rest of the year only has to be about 1C above average and all but 2 months so far this year have been, several well over 2C, time’s running out.

      • September 3, 2020 7:58 pm

        I was in south west Scotland during the heatwave, but temps never topped the low 20s Celsius with a lot of cloud cover.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        September 4, 2020 8:46 am

        How is top 3% “unusually hot”? In any set of records there is a top 3%. To be within the existing long term set of data is to be not unusual by definition.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 3, 2020 4:01 pm

    Latest BBC horror story fiction!

    “Zombie fires spark record Arctic CO2 emissions.”

    You know, so much of the BBC’s worries on our behalf could be solved with 2 minutes verification. What did science used to know and think was normal?

    “Summertime anticyclones are associated with severe drought and catastrophic wildfires.”

    There are dozens upon dozens of published papers from 30, 40, 50 years ago touching on Arctic tundra/forest fires and their regeneration.

    When I was at school I distinctly remember we learned about perennial fires in the Arctic tundra.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      September 3, 2020 5:00 pm

      I wondered if my memory was playing tricks, as I remembered Arctic fires in my school days.

    • olddigger permalink
      September 3, 2020 5:32 pm

      Me too! Mr Robinson, my slightly scary teacher in late 50’s early 60’s emphasized how the 24 hour Arctic summer meant big increases in oxygen levels leading to fires in the tundra and forests. A couple of nights ago caught the BBC Climate Check programme in the early hours on the news channel, put comedy shows to shame. How I laughed at the errors and misinformation

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 3, 2020 6:13 pm

    After I heard about the DG’s new edict I mused there ought to be scope for a programme called

    Now a lot of people know that..

    Or Homewood’s Home Truths.

    The first series might have to be called

    Now a lot of People Think they Know that…

  8. September 3, 2020 6:15 pm

    7:30pm ITV another infomercial plugging electric cars

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      September 3, 2020 7:13 pm

      I’d consider it, then dismiss the idea as stupid – the covid effect – 16% becomes 4%!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 4, 2020 8:43 am

      When asked whether they would do something some might consider virtuous, less than half said they would even though saying they would costs them nothing. That’s pretty damning.

    • Coeur de Lion permalink
      September 4, 2020 7:27 pm

      Financial Times (paywall) says electric car sales have crashed from 16% to 4% of new purchases because too expensive in Covid economy

  9. Tonyb permalink
    September 3, 2020 8:16 pm

    My grim nasty

    I never said anything about the temperature overall for this year, just august. There have been hotter Augusts. When we have a very warm winter a cool summer can rarely peg it back as the high range of average temperatures tends to be much less in summer.

    As you say It would need a cool autumn and a cold December to peg it back otherwise we will have endless lectures on how this year proves global warming.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      September 4, 2020 3:48 pm

      August was hot for the CET, it isn’t even debatable. It’s bad tactics to overplay rubbishing alarmism, it’s not going to help credibility over all. The fact that there have been a few hotter years does not make it not hot! If the last 5 days hadn’t been unseasonably cool it would have been astonishingly hot.

      Aug 2020 actually broke my long standing local weather station’s all time record. Previous was 31.1C in a July, Aug 2020 reached 33.4C

      • Tonyb permalink
        September 4, 2020 7:48 pm

        There have been hotter Augusts but that doesn’t mean this one wasn’t pretty hot as well does it?

        As for your comment that if it hadn’t been for 5 cool days it would have been even hotter then that is surely true of many months when some months weather trend is changed by hot, cold or wet weather..

  10. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 4, 2020 8:41 am

    But…but…but…an area of exposed concrete recorded its hottest ever minute (or is it 20 seconds?) in August!

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