Frost in central England since 1878

The average number of air frosts has decreased markedly in central England from 51.7 days in 1878 to 34.6 days in 2020. That’s a decrease of around a third in those 142 years. The number of ice days, that’s the days when temperature fail to rise above 0°C, have also decreased, from an average of 3.4 days in 1878 to just 1.0 in 2020, that’s an even larger decrease of over two thirds. The linear trend for the date of the earliest frost shows that this is now 15 days later than it was in 1878, slipping from the 29th of October to the 13th of November. The average date for the earliest frost is now 8 days earlier than it was in 1878 and now occurs on the 7th of April. The frost statistics are one of the most useful and simple measures to illustrate just how much our climate has warmed from the mid-Victorian era, more’s the pity. The frostiest winter (years commencing the 1st July and ending on the 30th June the next year) according to my count was the winter of 1887-88, there are five entries from this millenium in the top 27. The least frostiest winter was that of 2013-14 with only 8 days of frost, there are nine winters in the top 20 from this millenium.

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