Sunday, 7 August 2011

Downhill to Autumn?

Yesterday, Saturday 6th August, is not a date that rings many bells in the weather fraternity. However, for this little part of south London it is, on average, the warmest day of the year. Okay, so the records only go back 23 years, and it is only warmer than the next warmest day by 0.1 Celsius, but the fact stands. Historically, the early part of August has seen some of the highest temperatures. On August 9th 1911 it was very hot across London, and although some of the maxima on that day were recorded in non-standard conditions, values of 38 were measured at Greenwich, 37 at Isleworth, and 36 at Camden Square, Epsom and South Kensington. However, at Kew, the maximum temperature recorded in a standard Stevenson Screen was only 34.3. Record-breaking heat occurred on the 3rd August 1990, and although only 35.5 was recorded here, there were highs of 36 and 37 in the London area. All these hot days were eclipsed on the 10 August 2003 when this site had a maximum of 36.7 and areas in. and around, London had highs around 37 or 38. This was the hottest day since instrument records began, and on an afternoon when the temperature is failing to reach 20 it seems a far distant memory.

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