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Britain’s Wild Weather–1940 Style

December 12, 2020

By Paul Homewood


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The Winter of 1939/40


According to the BBC/Met Office, Britain’s weather has been wild this year, and it is getting wilder. And their evidence?

A wet February, dry May and a couple of hot days in August. Statistically of course, you are likely to get one of two of these sort of events every year, with records going back 150 years or so.

So let’s go back and compare 2020 with some earlier years on record. Far from cherry picking years, I am only going to look at years ending in a zero, starting with 1940. The years 1950 and 1960 will follow later.

The year started with what was the coldest January on record at the time, a record which has only been beaten since by the infamous winter of 1962/63.

Heavy snowfall affected most of the country, often two feet deep, and continued into February, to be followed by another period of intense cold later in mid month:





On 21st January, temperatures went as low as an astonishing minus 23.3C at Rhayader in Wales, which still stands as the record for the coldest night for any month in Wales.

The winter of 1939/40 as a whole still stands as the fourth coldest in England.

By the spring however, Britain was basking in a heatwave. May was the hottest since 1919, and it got even hotter in June, which still holds the record for the warmest June on record.

Temperatures reached 91F during the month at Cranwell, and it is the sunniest June on record in both Scotland and N Ireland.




The wild weather continued into July, lurching from heatwaves to cold and wet. It was the wettest July in Scotland, only since surpassed by 1988, and parts of eastern England received three times the usual amount of rain.

Floods swept away houses and a bridge in Cromarty, and storms brought 65mph gales.






The crazy weather continued to seesaw, with August the driest on record at the time in England. It still remains the third driest, behind 1947 and 1995.





Britain’s wild weather had not finished though, with November breaking rainfall records across the country.

Across the UK, it was the wettest November on record at the time, beaten since only by 1951 and 2009. November 1940 is still the wettest November recorded in South East England.

The month also brought several particularly strong storms, with winds of over 80mph measured at inland sites.








Have I cherry picked 1940? No, as I say I am only looking at ten yearly intervals. As this is 2020, I am beginning with 1940, 1950 and 1960. There are plenty of other years I could have picked in the 1940s, for instance, with plenty of extreme weather – years like 1941, 1947 and 1948.

Clearly the BBC has no basis on which to claim that there has been anything unusual at all about British weather this year. For them to broadcast such misleading and inaccurate claims is, I am afraid, par for the course for the BBC.

But it is utterly shameful for the Met Office to collaborate in such a propaganda exercise. It certainly does not befit their status as supposedly objective and trustworthy publically funded organisation.

  1. Devoncamel permalink
    December 12, 2020 2:17 pm

    More evidence, if any were needed for removing the license fee. Let the BBC survive with public money and advertising as C4 does. It won’t stop their constant alarmist hectoring but it would level things up a bit.

  2. December 12, 2020 2:43 pm

    Paul: James Delingpole gives you great coverage today. But it will do no good as all the legacy media supports the climate change scam. As he says, there is no one left in the mainstream media left to criticise the BBC’s blatant lies.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 12, 2020 3:56 pm

    I mentioned the contrast between Autumn 1978 and Winter 1979 in a previous post – if wild flips are your thing!

  4. Duker permalink
    December 12, 2020 6:43 pm

    Ive noticed the airbrushing of weather history too where I live. It seems that the ‘worst weather’ in the last 50 years (1970) now counts as ‘all time’. But plenty of people still around still have personal recall events in 50s and 60s

  5. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    December 12, 2020 6:57 pm

    Photo #11 at the link shows folks moving snow near the Willows School. They are using shovels with hand-held wooden booms. Gasp!

    Today, in most places, ordinary folks would be at home playing video games while snow would get moved by machines powered by carbon-based fuels. The future will have the operators of the machines moving levers and pushing buttons, from nicely warmed rooms.
    We move further and further from first hand experience with weather.
    Those “reporting” now were likely born after 1975.

    Curmudgeon that I am, even I was not around in 1940 to experience such times as when my mother (earlier) had to walk up hill in snow to her waist to her one room 1st grade school. It was up hill home, too.

    Search-up { snow rollers horse_drawn }

  6. Ian permalink
    December 13, 2020 10:58 am

    Mid 1980’s – Oakham, Rutland cut off for a couple of days; huge snow drifts,many feet deep driven by high winds throughout the UK – I remember Devon being badly affected. Scottish snow/ski season predicted to be a thing of the past in short order, Lecht to be abandoned, Alps to see no snow etc etc etc. These people are very desperate if they think this drivel will be swallowed …..

  7. December 14, 2020 12:44 am

    The kneejerk post hoc attribution of harsh or unusual weather events to climate change derives from the way our brain works. It’s not really as rational as previously thought.

  8. Bloke down the pub permalink
    December 14, 2020 12:03 pm

    Was there a La Niña in effect during the winter of 1940?

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