Cleadon Weather

Inspired by Trevor Harley's analysis on his favourite past months (here) I have come up with a list of what I consider to be the most interesting past months for weather since 1900 (though months prior to 1940 don't feature often as I don't know much about them!)

MonthFavorite YearAn honourable mention goes to...
January19581952, 1955, 1959, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984
February19701955, 1960, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1996
March19951958, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1979, 1987
April19901945, 1950, 1968, 1981, 1995
May19481935, 1955, 1979, 1982, 1995, 1997
June19751940, 1947, 1957, 1969, 1970, 1976, 1989, 2003
July20061955, 1975, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1995
August19751990, 1995, 1996
September19191973, 1981, 1986, 1999, 2003
October19261955, 1971, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2008
November19471925, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1985, 1993, 1996, 2005
December19381950, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1968, 1981, 1993, 1995, 2001
Spring19951948, 1955, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1990, 2003
Summer19751947, 1955, 1959, 1983, 1989, 1995, 1996, 2003
Autumn19731955, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1985, 1996, 2003
Winter19551945, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1978, 1982
Annual19951940, 1947, 1955, 1975, 1990, 2003

Some might be surprised that I didn't rate Summer 1976 more highly.  It sounds like the high pressure weather went on a bit, and other than the late June heatwave there weren't many notable weather events, so that's why it lost out.  I am also not that keen on the idea of a very severe winter (hence no 1947 or 1963- though 1979 was so interesting synoptically that it made it to the "deserves honourable mention" list, and also to be fair 1955 (which I rated at no.1) may not have been severe cold wise, but it was certainly severe snow wise.

Favourite historic month of all would have to be June 1975.  Snow on the 2nd, a huge temperature contrast in the first week, a large sunshine excess, convective storms in the third week, another temperature contrast in the last week, it had it all.

When a thread came up on Net-Weather detailing people's analysis of this kind, it was suggested by many that the analysis should focus exclusively on months we have experienced.  There is some sense behind that argument.  So, restricting my net to months from 1993 onwards, we get a table like this:

MonthFavorite YearAn honourable mention goes to...
January19951994, 2001, 2003
February19961994, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009
March19952001, 2003, 2006, 2008
April19951994, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2008
May19951997, 2001, 2005
June19962003, 2005
July20061994, 1995, 1997, 2009
August19961995, 2000
September19992003, 2005
October19971993, 1994, 1995, 2003, 2008
November19961993, 2005
December19931995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008
Spring19952001, 2006, 2008
Summer19961994, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2006
Autumn20031995, 1996, 2005
Winter19941996, 2004, 2009
Annual19952003

As the table above illustrates, it wasn't hard to pick my favourite spring out of this bunch!   Favourite summer was a tough choice, I think taking the UK there was a line from Newcastle to Bristol where S and E of the line 1996 would win, and N and W of it 1995 would win, and 1996 just shaved it for Cleadon because of variety.   

Favourite individual month?  It depends on whether I compare like with like (i.e. stick with the weather Cleadon had) or go entirely by personal experiences including time spent in other parts of the country.  By the former measure I think March 1995 would just shave it.  By the latter, July 2006 (which I spent in Leeds) would win quite comfortably.

Months to forget

I haven't gone into past months that I dislike the look of in much detail- like most enthusiasts of weather history, I tend to focus on the ones I like the look of.  However, I am in no doubt which year since 1900 would have been my least favourite.  With less than 1000 hours of sunshine at Durham, it has to be 1912.  For worst summer it is a toss-up between 1912 and 1954, and for worst summer month, August 1912.  Regarding winter months, I think December 1971 and February 1980 might feature quite highly.

However, it is quite easy to reel off my least favourite months of the period from 1993 onwards.

MonthWooden SpoonA disonourable mention goes to...
January19962002, 2006
February19931998, 2002, 2006
March19961998, 2000, 2005
April19932000, 2001, 2004
May19931994, 1998, 2002
June20071997, 1998, 2001, 2002
July20002001, 2002, 2008
August20081997, 1998, 2004, 2006
September19931994, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008
October20052001, 2006
November19971994, 2002, 2004
December20021997
Spring19931996
Summer20081998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
Autumn20022000
Winter19981993
Annual20021998, 2000, 2004

Worst month of all?  It's a close run thing between January 1996, March 1996 and December 2002, but I think December 2002 just shaves it.  The inverse of 1995 fittingly ending with a white Christmas, 2002 fittingly ended with a very dull month.

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