The Wild Swing Between Coldest To Warmest In History Continues For UK This Spring

Written by on May 9, 2018 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

Spring 2018 will go down as one of the most up and down and extreme that I can remember.

Let’s start from the beginning, March hosted not one but two ‘beast from the easts’. On the 1st of the month many towns and cities observed their coldest March day on record from Shetland to Somerset. As well as the cold, many also received the biggest March snowfall.

As amazing as this was, we repeated the same set up on the 16-18th with second coldest March day’s on record. Achieving the second coldest March day in recorded history in several cities during the second half of March is quite remarkable.

The 17-18th was among the coldest ever for so late in the season.

March 17 daytime maximums


March 18 daytime maximums

Simon Cardy

Then came April which started cold and yes snowy too with Edinburgh shivering it’s coldest April day since 1938. Fast forward to the 19th and we go from winter straight to summer with London and the Southeast basking in July-like weather.

Eclipsing 2007 and 2011, a maximum of 29.1C at RAF Northolt to the northwest of London was indeed the UK’s warmest April day since 1949. Beaten only by 29.4C recorded at Camden Square back on April 16, 1949.



‘Hot on the heels’ of the UK’s warmest April day since 49 came the warmest London Marathon on record with St James’s Park recording 24.1C, eclipsing the previous record set back in 1996 of 22.7C.

Credit: Heart London News @HeartLondonNews


An abrupt shift from July to October

A few days after the record breaking heat, a deepening low moves into the English Channel from France bringing an exceptionally chilly, wet and windy final day of the month to the very areas which were hottest 10 days earlier.

Mid to late afternoon temperatures in the Southeast were held at between 5-8C, factoring in gale-force winds blowing off a cool North Sea, it felt more like freezing.

In came May and the heating was turned back on just in time for the early May bank holiday weekend. Of course we set not one but two records UK records which date back to 1978.

Credit: Karen Vogan

With RAF Northolt recording a peak temperature of 28.7C, this surpasses the 23.6C for the Bank Holiday Monday set in 1999 and the 28.6C for warmest holiday weekend since 1995.

Credit: Simon Cardy

As has been the case on several occasions this spring, following the record heat comes the return of below normal and that’s what we’ve got to end this week.


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