Uncharted Territory

July 13, 2012

2012 Not Record Warmest in English History (Probably) Shock!

Filed under: Global warming, Science, UK climate trends — Tim Joslin @ 6:04 pm

OK, this is the last on the weather for a while, honest – there was a bit of a backlog.

After some prevarication, I’m calling it. It’s now very unlikely that 2012 will be the warmest year in the Central England Temperature (CET) record:

The point, of course, is that, due to global warming, this particular record is vulnerable every year.

But, as the above figure shows, this year (represented by the green column at the extreme right of the above histogram) has not been quite warm enough.

And the outlook – given that the mean Central England temperature for July is approaching 16C, and London must be warmer than that – is distinctly chilly (and somewhat damp):

Thanks to the exceptionally useful WeatherCast site for that one.

The Wetterzentrale site that I also like provides some pretty pictures showing the cold air around the UK:

Of course, nothing’s certain in this weather business and there’s always the possibility of some freak warmth in the later part of the year. In fact, I hesitated before writing this post when I checked what happened in 2006, the warmest year in the CET:

The back of an envelope reveals that the average temperature to the end of June 2006 was only around +0.53C warmer than in an average year (“the anomaly was +0.53C” in the jargon), roughly what it is now:

Thanks (again) due to Tim Legg at the Met Office who maintains this data.

To be honest, I’ve actually been hesitating on calling off this year’s record warmth attempt since mid-February when I noticed that January’s mildness had been wiped out by the cold snap which had by then given us several days of lying snow in Ealing, no doubt a significant anomaly on that measure for the third winter running (Met Office graphics not yet available). It’s been an interesting year so far, what with widespread flooding during the drought and all. After the exceptionally mild – and dry – March, I thought the record might be back on again. But by mid-May – before the warm (and dry) spell in the second half of that month – I was again nearly ready to declare it wouldn’t happen this year.

Now, the anomaly is at +0.52C in mid-July and, with no warm settled weather on the horizon, it’s beginning to seem more and more like an unsuccessful run-chase in limited overs cricket. Now, as the Met Office point out (above), every day that’s less than 2.29C warmer than usual for the time of year leaves us further behind the record.

In fact, this summer is so far even cooler (anomaly -0.6C so far, see above) than last year’s (-0.53C for June through August, see below) which I’ve shown was an around a once a century event, compared to contemporary summers:



  1. […] previous post on weather/climate called 2012 as not the warmest year in the CET. This was as early as last July, which was bold of me. The reason the record is significant is that […]

    Pingback by Actually Boris, This Winter’s Been Surprisingly Mild, Considering « Uncharted Territory — February 6, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

  2. […] Last year, it was July 13th before I felt able to make a similar statement. […]

    Pingback by Could 2013 Still be the Warmest on Record in the CET? | Uncharted Territory — April 9, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

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