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!)
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:
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.
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.
|Favourite past months|