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A Winter's Tale

Which Record Are We More Likely To Break: Uk Warmest Or Coldest Temperature?

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Every year we get some extremes in our weather and considering our unique position in the world, we can get a lot of interesting weather from summer heat and winter cold from the continent.

Despite the last few poor summers and the poor winters around 4-6 years ago, in the past 6 years we have seen how we breaking temperature records are still possible. In Particular, Summer 2006 saw an incredible temperature of 36.5C and the winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 have seen temperatures drop below -20C. We've also temperature records broken in October last year and last winter we saw temperature records in Northern Ireland and Wales being broken. Just this week we also came quite close to breaking the Scotland February maximum record.

So we know that getting notable heat in summer and severe cold in winter is very much still possible and various temperature records in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales are likely to be broken whether it's coldest maximum's or warmest minimums.

Our Warmest ever Temperature is 38.5C at Kent in 2003.

Rrea00220030810.gif

Our Coldest Ever Temperature is -27.2C shared by Braemar and Altnaharra during all three winter months.

Rrea00218950211.gif

But out of those two extremes - Which is Most Likely to be Broken?

In The past 6 years, we have come closer to breaking the Warmest Temperature in being 2C off the record at 36.5C in 2006, compared to coldest temperature where -22.3C was recorded in 2010 which is about 5C off the record.

With a warm continent, the right synoptics and the positioning and land features of the SE of England makes me think that we are more likely to break the warmest temperature. However, during cold winters, with a cold continent, the right synoptics and the positioning and land features of N Scotland could also break the coldest temperature.

Now if we were to break at least one of those records, could we possibly reach 40C or -30C?

However in the meantime we'll be looking to see what 2012 has in store, we've seen February come close to breaking a record but how about March?

Highest Daily Maximum Temperature in March:

UK/England = 25.6C

Wales = 23.9C

Scotland = 22.2C

Northern Ireland = 21.7C

Highest Daily Minimum Temperature in March:

UK/England/Wales = 14.2C

Northern Ireland = 13.1C

Scotland = 12.3C

Lowest Daily Maximum Temperature in March:

UK/Wales = -4.4C

Scotland = -3.9C

England = -3.3C

Northern Ireland = -1.2C

Lowest Daily Minimum Temperature in March:

UK/Scotland = -22.8C

Wales = -21.7C

England = -21.1C

Northern Ireland = -14.8C

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A difficult one to call, but I can't see that cold temperature record going anywhere.

That is one extreme I can't see being broken for many, many years.

The heat record however, well. We are LONG overdue some sort of heat-wave in summer. So why not this year? That heat record is something that could realistically go, although it will take something exceptional.

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A difficult one to call, but I can't see that cold temperature record going anywhere.

That is one extreme I can't see being broken for many, many years.

Of course it would be a difficult record to break, with a harsh month like Dec 2010 in Scotland not being able to do so. However the fact that the station in Altnaharra was only introduced in 1993 suggests that it is possible this obviously favoured location may have been lower in the past and may stand a reasonable chance of being lower in the future.

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I would think if global warming is occurring then the warmest is likely to go however if like in the last few winters there is evidence that global warming causes these very cold blocking patterns due to melting of icecaps and slowing the gulf stream down then maybe the cold could go too.

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It's a toss up. In 2007 i would have been certain the warm record would go first, but after the severe spells in each winter since then I'm not so sure. It seems like since August 2003 intense and prolonged summer heat is becoming more uncommon while deep winter cold is becoming more common. If the cold record was equalled in the warm 90's it can certainly be beaten at any time given the right setup. However, the same can just as easily be said about the warm record. It seems sensible to assume that in a warming world the heat record will be broken first but it's never as simplistic as that.

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Had a look at the temperature here in Leeds for 30th August 2003 looks like we missed out on the heat with a low of 18.c and a high of 23.c.

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Had a look at the temperature here in Leeds for 30th August 2003 looks like we missed out on the heat with a low of 18.c and a high of 23.c.

The heatwave was at the start of the month, with the 100°F on the 10th.

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The warm record will probably go first. We have reached 38.5C and 40C is definitely possible in southeastern parts. I wouldn't be surprised if we see 40C within the next 20 years near London somewhere

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Although we haven't had any really exceptional high temperatures since July 2006, I'd still put my money on 38.5 deg C being beaten first.

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Well with the BBC forecaster/meto shouting from the roof tops and over stating the chance of the Feb record going and it ending up being a fair way short I'm not so sure that the warmth record will be hit for some time to come. Mind you the way the severe cold was kept on the continent this winter with us on the boundary the same can be said for the cold. March more average to cool for my thinking.

BFTP

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Well with the BBC forecaster/meto shouting from the roof tops and over stating the chance of the Feb record going and it ending up being a fair way short I'm not so sure that the warmth record will be hit for some time to come.

It was only 1c from the record, how close is close?

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Well with the BBC forecaster/meto shouting from the roof tops and over stating the chance of the Feb record going and it ending up being a fair way short I'm not so sure that the warmth record will be hit for some time to come. Mind you the way the severe cold was kept on the continent this winter with us on the boundary the same can be said for the cold. March more average to cool for my thinking.

BFTP

I'm pretty sure they would have made (at least) the same amount of noise if we got a chance of the cold record going, or were within 1c..

Presumably as we are living in slightly warmer times (about 1C warmer on average I believe for the UK) than times in the past then the high temp record is more likely to go first, however it has already been broken by over 1C during recent times, so maybe it could take a while to break if the climate warmed another 1C because 2003 was quite exceptional and was over 1C clear of the previous record. But then some of the Scottish stations that have equaled the record (e.g Altnaharra, 1995) have only been there in more recent 'warmer' times so who knows.

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