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Summer 2018

chesham-temperatures

Summer 2018

So it's been a good summer (so far). After a severe cold spell in February, a wet spring and an Easter washout, the temperature in our head office town of Chesham has steadily climbed to reach a high of 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit). Inside homes and non air conditioned workplaces it has of course been a good deal warmer.
Back in that summer of 1976 the heatwave began during Wimbledon in the last week of June. For over 2 weeks somewhere in UK exceeded 32 degrees Celsius. What made 1976 memorable was the duration of the hot period. Until the then Prime Minister James Callaghan appointed a minister for drought did the weather break just in time for the August bank holiday (of course). It then chucked it down with flooding in the west after which September was the wettest since 1918 and October the wettest on record. Not for nothing is the UKs weather a subject of much conjecture and conversation. So how do the two compare?

1976

  • 15 days when temperature reached 32C
  • Average maximum daily temperature in June 1976 - 19.9C
  • Average mean daily temperature in June 1976 - 15C (the highest on record - still)
  • Average hours of sunshine in June 1976: 205
2018
  • 2 days when temperature reached 32C (89.5F)
  • Average maximum daily temperature in June 2018 was 19.9C
  • Average mean daily temperature in June 2018 - 14.8C
  • Average hours of sunshine in June 2018: 240
Given that at the time of writing (mid July 2018) the weather looks set to break in around a week or so then 1976 looks set to retain its title of 'that summer'. 1940 by the way had higher average maximum temperatures - not that the public could read the weather forecast back then as it was 'classified' due to the hostilities.

My memory of 1976? Driving to Cornwall, parking the open top car with the roof down in a friends drive just in time for the night when the weather broke. Thankfully it had removable drain plugs in the floor!

The image behind the graph is a sunset in Chesham, South East England, the town where the 50plus head office is located. Data from the Met Office and timeanddate.co.uk.

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