Not surprisingly in these days of galloping climate change only one extreme month has appeared in the top twenty ranked list of coldest months, seasons and years in the central England series. The reason I know this is that I’ve just written some code to generate ranked tables of months, seasons and years, and only the solitary month of December 2010 has managed to make it into a list of extremes, in this case December 2010 was the second coldest December since 1659 in central England. Here is the ranked list of extreme coldest months, seasons and years since 1659.
Not unsurprisingly this is not true for extreme warm months, seasons or years. Ten of the top twenty warmest years for example have occured during this century. Five of the mildest winters have occurred since 2000, seven of the warmest springs, and though only three of the warmest summers made it into the top twenty, ten of the mildest autumns did. What is really surprising is that twenty first century extremes have had little impact on certain months, take for example the month of June, only one June since 2000 features in the top twenty warmest Junes. Two months from the nineteenth century top the warmest on record for both May (1833) and June (1846), and the warmest February occured in the eighteenth century (1779). The mildest winter is still 1869, and the warmest summer occurred over forty four years ago back in 1976. It seems that global warming has some catching up to do with regards to temperatures in central England, and if anything it’s been the autumn and winter periods that have seen most of the warming in recent years.
Let me know if you spot anything that looks amiss with these tables – I am far from infallible.