Irish Weather Discussion > Extremes of Air Temperature at selected locations

Table of Record Highs and Lows in Ireland

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BUTTERFLY:
After spending probably an hour and a half working on another posting comparing the relative frequency (by month) of the hottest days of the year in Britain and Ireland, just after I had posted it, A message came up saying that the Page could not be displayed (Tip: in such cases, save the text beforehand in a separate file!).

The hottest days for each year in Britain from 1900 to 2011 can be seen at http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/hottest_days.htm (coldest temperatures can be seen at http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/coldest_days.htm

The hottest days of each year

1900 35.1 Cambridge 20 July

1901 33.3 Newton Rigg (Cumbria), Bawtry (South Yorks.), Colly Weston (Northants.) 19 July

1902 31.9 Hereford 28 June

1903 31.3 Wryde (Cambridgeshire) 10 July

1904 32.2 Margate 4 August

1905 30.0 Bawtry (South Yorks.) 14 July

1906 35.6 Bawtry (South Yorks.) 1 September

1907 30.0 Lairg 16 July

1908 32.8 Dumfries 2 July

1909 33.3 Epsom 15 August

1910 28.9 Maidenhead 20 June

1911 36.7 Raunds, Canterbury 9 August

1912 32.8 Tottenham 12 July

1913 29.4 New Malden (London) 16 June

1914 32.2 Woking, New Malden, Wisley (Surrey) 1 July

1915 32.2 Cromer, Norwich 8 June

1916 30.0 Woking 30 July, Salisbury 31 July

1917 33.9 Reading, Little Massingham (Norfolk) 17 June

1918 33.9 Canterbury 22 August

1919 32.2 Raunds 11 September

1920 27.8 Raunds 17 June

1921 34.4 Woking, Halstead (Essex) 11 July

1922 32.8 Camden Square 22 May

1923 35.6 Camden Square 13 July

1924 32.2 Camden Square 12 July

1925 33.3 Hunstanton 22 July

1926 32.2 Camden Square 19 September

1927 29.4 Camden Square 16 June

1928 32.8 Camden Square, Newport (IOW) 15 July

1929 32.2 Camden Square, Margate 31 August; Newport (IOW) 8 September

1930 34.4 Camden Square 29 August

1931 28.3 Bromley 14 June

1932 36.1 London (several sites, inc. Camden), Tottenham, Halstead 19 August

1933 34.4 Margate, Cambridge 27 July

1934 33.3 Attenborough (Notts.) 11 July

1935 33.3 Attenborough (Notts.) 13 July

1936 31.7 Camden Square 20, 21 June

1937 33.3 Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells 7 August

1938 30.6 Camden Square, Reading 1 August

1939 32.2 Camden Square 7 June

1940 32.8 Cranwell (Lincs.) 9 June

1941 34.4 Camden Square 22 June

1942 33.9 Sprowston (Norfolk) 27 August

1943 33.9 Worcester, Croydon 31 July

1944 32.8 Tunbridge Wells, Horsham, London 29 May; Long Sutton (Hants.) 30 May

1945 32.2 Norwich, Whitstable 15 July

1946 30.6 London 2 July, Finningley 12 July, Greenwich and Maldon 24 July

1947 34.4 Waddingtn (Lincs.), London 3 June

1948 35.0 Milford (Surry) 28 July

1949 33.3 Worcester 2 July

1950 33.3 Camden Square 6 June

1951 30.0 Southend 28 July

1952 33.9 Jersey 1 July

1953 33.9 Camden Square 12 August

1954 30.6 Camden Square 1 September

1955 32.8 Jersey 21 August

1956 30.0 Camden Square 26 July

1957 35.6 Camden Square 29 June

1958 29.4 Paisley 4, 5 July; Leicester 8 July

1959 34.4 Cromer 5 July

1960 30.6 Wyton (Cambs.) 18 June

1961 33.9 Regents Park, Camden Square, Gillingham 1 July

1962 27.8 Writtle (Essex) 3 September

1963 28.9 Littlehampton 22 July; Ceinws (Powys.) 29 July; Wisley, Gordon Castle (Gramp.) 30 July

1964 32.8 Cromer 26 August

1965 28.9 Kensington Palace 14 May

1966 28.9 Southampton 9 June; Perth, Crossmyloof (Strathclyde) 21 July; Camden Square (20 August)

1967 30.2 Watnall (Notts.) 17 July

1968 33.3 Camden Square 1 July

1969 32.8 Letchworth (Herts.) 16 July

1970 32.2 Aldenham (Herts.), Stratford-upon-Avon 7 July

1971 30.3 Rugby 11 July

1972 29.4 Perth 20 July

1973 32.1 Southampton 14 August

1974 28.0 Southampton 15 June

1975 34.2 Heathrow, Stanstead Abbotts (Herts.) 8 August

1976 35.9 Cheltenham 3 July

1977 30.0 Paisley, Glenlee (D. & G.) 7 July; Onich (Highland) 11 July

1978 28.8 Poolewe (Highland) 4 June

1979 30.4 Benson (Ox.) 27 July

1980 29.4 Cors Fochno (Dyfed) 4 June

1981 29.5 Kew 5 August

1982 30.7 Morley St. Botolph (Norf.) 3 August

1983 33.0 Hampton 15 July, East Bergholt (Suffolk) 16 July

1984 31.9 St Louis (Jersey) 20 Aug

1985 30.1 St Louis (Jersey) 13 July (30.5 Mepal 12 Sept looks wrong!)

1986 32.0 Rustington (W. Sussex) 28 June

1987 30.1 Northolt (Lond.) 20 Aug

1988 30.2 Cheltenham (Glos.) 7 Aug

1989 34.4 Mickleham (Surr.) 22 July

1990 37.1 Cheltenham 3 Aug

1991 32.1 Cromer (Norf.) 11 July

1992 30.3 Malvern 29 June

1993 29.7 East Bergholt (Suff.) 4 July

1994 33.4 Morley St Botolph (Norfolk) 12 July

1995 35.2 Boxworth (Cambs.) 1 Aug

1996 33.2 Rickmansworth 22 July

1997 33.1 Wellesbourne (Warks.) 10 August

1998 32.2 Gravesend 10 August

1999 32.7 Heathrow 1 August, Honington (East Anglia) 2 August

2000 32.6 Coltishall (Norfolk) 19 June

2001 32.2 Northolt (London) 26 June

2002 32.6 Northolt (London) 29 July

2003 38.5 Brogdale, near Faversham (Kent) 10 August; with some debate, and 38.1C at Kew may be more reliable

2004 31.5 Northolt (London) 8 August

2005 32.6 Heathrow 19 June

2006 36.5 Wisley (Surrey) 19 July

2007 30.1 Terrington St. Clement, Wisbech (Norfolk) 5 August

2008 30.2 Cambridge, London 28 July

2009 31.8 Wisley (Surrey) 30 June

2010 31.7 Gravesend 9 July

2011 33.3 East London Olympic Site 27 June

MAY (3): 1922, 1944, 1965

JUNE (26 PLUS 1 JOINT): 1902, 1910, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1920, 1927, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1950, 1957, 1960, 1966 JOINTLY WITH JULY & AUGUST, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1992, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011

JULY (49 PLUS 1 JOINT): 1900, 1901, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1916, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1928, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1966 JOINTLY WITH JUNE & AUGUST, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010

AUGUST (28 PLUS 2 JOINT): 1904, 1909, 1911, 1918, 1929 JOINTLY WITH SEPTEMBER, 1930, 1932, 1937, 1938, 1942, 1953, 1955, 1964, 1966 JOINTLY WITH JUNE & JULY, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2007


For the period 1986-2011, the number of occurrences, and the relative frequencies for each month in Ireland and Britain (latter figures in brackets) recording the warmest day of the year are as follows:

May 1, in 1997, 3.8%; (0, 0%)
June: 10, in 1986, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011, 38.5% (7, in 1986, 1992, 2000, 2001, 2000, 2009, and 2011, 26.9%)
July: 7, in 1989, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2008, 26.9% (9, in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 34.6%)
August: 6, in 1987, 1990, 1995, 2002, 2003, and 2004, 23.1% (10, in 1987, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2007, 38.5%)
September: 2, in 1991 and 1998, 7.7% (0, 0%)

During this period, June, followed by July and then August, had the highest number of years in Ireland, but in Britain, it was August closely followed by July with June a little behind.

For the 112 years in Britain from 1900 to 2011, the frequencies (I have ignored the "joint months") were as follows:

MAY 3 (2.7%)
JUNE 26 PLUS I JOINTLY WITH JULY & AUGUST (23.2%)
JULY 40 PLUS 1 JOINTLY WITH JUNE & AUGUST (43.8%)
AUGUST 28 PLUS 1 JOINTLY WITH JUNE & JULY AND 1 JOINTLY WITH SEPTEMBER (24.1%)
SEPTEMBER 5 PLUS 1 JOINTLY WITH AUGUST (4.5%)

July is obviously in the long term the most likely month to record the yearly maximum in Britain, even though August in 2003, and 1911 1990 includes higher temperatures than any recorded in July. August is only a little ahead of June, and this is in large part due to the frequency of hot Augusts in recent years such as 2003, 1995 and 1990.

It would be great if someone could find out the figures for Ireland for 1900 to 1985) and thus we could find out if in the long term, the frequencies by month of the highest yearly temperatures are significantly different. I suspect it might be, with June at least in 2nd place, ahead of August, perhaps even in 1st place. While the British records for August (38.5 deg. C. or 38.1 deg. C. in 2003, depending on whether or not you accept the former record at Brogdale in Kent on 10th August 2003), and July (36.5 deg. C. in 2006) are ahead of June (35.6 deg. C. in 1957 and 1976; September's record is also 35.6 deg. C., on 2nd September 1906), in Ireland, if you discount the probably unreliable record of 33.4 deg. C. at Phoenix Park, Dublin, in July 1876, the top 2 temperatures are both in June (33.3 deg. C. at Kilkenny on 25th June 1876, and 32.5 deg. C. at Boora, Co. Offaly, on 29th June 1976) as they both exceed the modern record for July of 32.3 deg. C. at Elphin, Co. Roscommon, on 19th July 2006. The August and September records are 31.5 deg. C. at Ballybrittas, Co. Laois, on 3rd August 1975 and Oak Park, Carlow, on 2nd August 1995, while the September record is 29.1 deg. C. at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, on 1st September 1906 (this was also the site of the October record of 25.2 deg. C. on 3rd October 1908).

The Northern Ireland June record of 30.8 deg. C. at Knockarevan near Garrison, Co. Fermanagh, on 30th June 1976, is the joint official highest temperature for Northern Ireland, along with 30.8 deg. C. at Shaws Bridge, Belfast, on 12th July 1983 (despite the Met Office website showing the August record as 29.9 deg. C. on 17th August, also at Knockarevan (see http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/extremes/monthly_temperature_country.html#highest_daily_maximum_northern_ireland) I see no reason to doubt a value of 30.6 deg. C. on 2nd August 1995 at Ballylisk near Tandragee, Co. Armagh, an official weather station which though now unfortunately discontinued (from about the late 1990s or so) appeared regularly in the Monthly Weather Reports published by the Met Office. It often recorded high temperatures, including 29.7 deg. C. on 3rd August 1995.

In Scotland, the June record is 32.2 deg. C. (proably read/published as 90 deg. F.) at Ochtertyre, Tayside, on 18th June 1893, while the July and August records (of 32.8 deg. C. at Dumfries on 2nd July 1908, and 32.9 deg. C. at Greycrook, Borders, on 9th August 2003) should I feel be regarded as equivalent as they are only 0.1 deg. C. apart and the 1908 record was probably read, or at least published, to the nearest 1 deg. F.

BUTTERFLY:
I have just heard from Mark Bailey of Armagh Observatory, that 18.2 deg. C. was recorded at Armagh Observatory on 9th December 1847. This 0.1 deg. C. higher than the 18.1 deg. C. at Peamount, Dublin, on 2nd December 1948 and only 0.1 deg. C. less than the official British December record of 18.3 deg. C. at Achnashellach, Wester Ross, Scotland, also on 2nd December 1948 -  see http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/british_weather_in_december.htm. With very old records (with I imagine in this case, a Glaisher or other
non-Stevenson screen being used) there is obviously room for some doubt although no doubt the observers were very careful.

If I hear of any other records from Armagh, etc, which should be mentioned, I will post them here.

StratoQ:
If you scroll down to the second last page of this pdf document, you will see a picture of the type of light metal box that was used to house the max and min thermometers at Armagh, before they were transferred to a Stevenson screen in 1885. So hardly what you would call a "standard exposure".

http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/armagh_temp_history.pdf

It might not be very accurate for recording extremes - however despite this, the Armagh series is one of the longest in these islands and great work has been done to "convert" the earlier temperature measurements to current standards and so obtain a homogeneous record.

BUTTERFLY:
Regarding the table of extremes for Northern Ireland above, on 17th January I looked at some Monthly and Weekly Weather Reports (published by the British Met Office) at Queens University, Belfast. I was able to ascertain (a) That the -16.7 deg. C. for January presumaby refers to a temperature of +2 deg. F. (c. -16.7 deg. C.) was recorded at Garvagh (Moneydig), Co. Londonderry, on 28th January 1945, this from the Monthly Weather Report for January 1945  (b) That a temperature of -2 deg. F. (c. -18.9 deg. C.) was recorded at Brookeborough, Co.  Fermanagh, in the week ending 9th February 1895, this being in the Weekly Weather Report for 1895 (page 31). The latter if accepted would be (a) The lowest ever temperature in Northern Ireland as it is slightly lower than the -18.7 deg. C. at Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, on 24th December 2010 (b) The 2nd lowest temperature ever recorded in Ireland as it is just behind the -19.1 deg. C. at Markree Castle, Co. Sligo, on 16th January 1881 (c) The lowest February temperature recorded in Ireland, as the official lowest is -17.8 deg. C. (c. 0 deg. F.) at Currygrane House, Mostrim, Co. Longford, on 7th February 1895 (which thus also may have been the date of the Brookeborough record. However as with so many of the old records, there is some doubt attached; not only were readings usually published to the nearest deg. F., but exposure or screen type may not have been standard, although I think Stevenson screens must have been going before 1895 as their inventor, Thomas Stevenson, father of the author Robert Louis Stevenson (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Stevenson) lived from to 1818 to 1887.

Interestingly, although January 1945 was very cold, it was succeeded by a very mild February. For Northern Ireland, where temperature records go back to 1910, mean temperature was 0.7 deg. C (only 1963 at -0.3 deg. C. and 1979 at 0.6 deg. C. were colder), compared with 6.8 deg. C. (2nd only to 7.5 deg. C. in 1998) in February 1945; the increase from one month to the next of 6.1 deg. C. was exceeded only by the 6.7 deg. C. from April 1922 (4.2 deg. C, the coldest April on record there) to May 1922 (10.9 deg. C.). However as normally the mean temperature in Northern Ireland (taking 1910-2011 averages) increases by only 0.2 deg. C. from 3.9 deg. C. to 4.1 deg. C. in January, while it normally increases by 2.6 deg. C. from an average of 7.3 deg. C.  in April to 9.9 deg. C. in May, the increase from January to February 1945, being 5.9 deg. C. more than expected, is more remarkable than that from April to May 1922, which is only 4.1 deg. C. more than expected. At Armagh Observatory, January 1945 averaged 33.9 deg. F., 6.7 deg. F. below average, while February at 45.7 deg. F. was 5.0 deg. F. above average, the difference being 11.8 deg. F. or about 6.5 deg. C.  At Armagh Observatory, where temperature records go back to January 1795, the increase of 6.5 deg. C. was actually 0.1 deg. C. greater than the increase of 6.4 deg. C. from 5.0 deg. C. in April 1922 (only 1837 at 4.6 deg. C., and April 1799 at 4.8 deg. C. , were colder) to 11.4 deg. C. in May 1922, and the only greater monthly increase was 7.2 deg. C. from 6.6 deg. C. in April 1809 to 13.8 deg. C. in May 1809 (the warmest May on record).

The period from 21st to 27th January 1945 was 17.8 deg. F. (9.9 deg. C.) below average in Northern Ireland; this is comparable with 7 day periods in December 2010, although I think these may have been colder stjll (Castlederg in Co. Tyrone was more than 7 deg. C. (12.6 deg. F.). colder than average for the whole month). In the very cold month of February 1947,  Braemar at 23.2 deg. F. and Dalwhinnie at 24.9 deg. F., both in Scotland, were 11.8 deg. F. (c. 6. 6 deg. C.) colder than normal. The lowest in Britain, -3 deg. F. (c. -19.4 deg. C.) at Dalwhinnie on 26th, was not especially low, as January has recorded -27.2 deg. C. (e.g. at Braemar on 10th January 1982 and -24.6 deg. C. at Carnwath also in Scotland on 13th January 1979, to take 2 relatively recent years, meteorologicaly speaking, and with at least 4 other subseuent Januaries recording below -20 deg. C. - see http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/british_weather_in_january.htm and http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/coldest_days.htm)

In February 1945 however, the coldest in Northern Ireland was a mere 28 deg. F. (c. -2.2 deg. C.) at Garvagh (Moneydig), Co. Londonderry, and Lisburn and Aldergrove, Co. Antrim, on 3rd, and at Lisburn on 11th; the highest was 60 deg. F. at Lisburn on 18th (it is very rare for 60 deg. F. to be recorded in Northern Ireland in February; 17.8 deg. C. or 64 deg. F. was recorded at Bryansford, Co. Down, on 13th February 1998, and a surprising 16.2 deg. C. was recorded at the upland site of Dungonnell Filters in NE Antrim exactly 10 years later on 13th February 2008 (see http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2008/february.html). There are probably a few other examples though I do not know of any.

BUTTERFLY:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/Tmean/date/Northern_Ireland.txt shows that October 1969 averaged 11.9 deg. C. and November 1969 averaged 3.9 deg. C. in Northern Ireland, so the difference was exactly 8.0 deg. C.

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