Central England temperature

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The Central England Temperature (CET) record is a meteorological dataset originally published by Professor Gordon Manley in 1953 and subsequently extended and updated in 1974, following many decades of painstaking work. The monthly mean surface air temperatures, for the Midlands region of England, are given (in degrees Celsius) from the year 1659 to the present.

This record represents the longest series of monthly temperature observations in existence, it is a valuable dataset for meteorologists and climate scientists. It is monthly from 1659, and a daily version has been produced from 1772; the monthly means from November 1722 onwards are given to a precision of 0.1 °C. The earliest years of the series, from 1659 to October 1722 inclusive, for the most part only have monthly means given to the nearest degree or half a degree, though there is a small 'window' of 0.1 degree precision from 1699 to 1706 inclusive. This reflects the number, accuracy, reliability and geographical spread of the temperature records that were available for the years in question.

Data quality[edit]

Although best efforts have been made by Manley and subsequent researchers to quality control the series, there are data problems in the early years, with some non-instrumental data used; these problems account for the lower precision to which the early monthly means were quoted by Manley. Parker et al. (1992) [1] addressed this by not using data prior to 1772, since their daily series required more accurate data than did the original series of monthly means. Before 1722, instrumental records do not overlap and Manley used a non-instrumental series from Utrecht compiled by Labrijn (1945), to make the monthly central England temperature (CET) series complete.

For recent years there are two versions of the series: the "official" version maintained by the Hadley Centre, and a version maintained by Philip Eden which he argues is more consistent with the series as originally compiled by Manley.[2]

Trends revealed by the series[edit]

CET and its 10-year and 30-year moving averages (orange and black traces, respectively).[3]
This stacked warming stripes graphic—technically a two-dimensional heat map—organizes CETs by month (vertically) and by year (horizontally).[4]

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a cool period which coincided with snowy winters and generally cool summers, the temperatures fluctuated widely but with little trend. From 1910, temperatures increased slightly until about 1950 when they flattened before a sharp rising trend began in about 1975. Temperatures in the most recent decade (years 2001-2010) were warmer than any other.[5]

Extrema[edit]

Taking the 359-year period for the series as a whole:

Hottest[edit]

Period Record Mean Year
Year 10.95 °C (51.71 °F) 2014 [6]
Spring (March–May) 10.27 °C (50.49 °F) 2017
Summer (June–August) 17.77 °C (63.99 °F) 1976
Autumn (September–November) 12.63 °C (54.73 °F) 2006
Winter (December–February) 6.77 °C (44.19 °F) 1868/1869
January 7.5 °C (45.5 °F) 1916
February 7.9 °C (46.2 °F) 1779
March 9.2 °C (48.6 °F) 1957
April 11.8 °C (53.2 °F) 2011
May 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) 1833
June 18.2 °C (64.8 °F) 1846
July 19.7 °C (67.5 °F) 2006
August 19.2 °C (66.6 °F) 1995
September 16.8 °C (62.2 °F) 2006
October 13.3 °C (55.9 °F) 2001
November 10.1 °C (50.2 °F) 1994
December 9.7 °C (49.5 °F) 2015

Coldest[edit]

Period Record Mean Year
Year 6.86 °C (44.35 °F) 1740
Spring (March–May) 5.63 °C (42.13 °F) 1837
Summer (June–August) 13.10 °C (55.58 °F) 1725
Autumn (September–November) 7.50 °C (45.50 °F) 1676
Winter (December–February) −1.17 °C (29.89 °F) 1683/1684
January −3.1 °C (26.4 °F) 1795
February −1.9 °C (28.6 °F) 1947
March 1.0 °C (33.8 °F) 1674
April 4.7 °C (40.5 °F) 1701 and 1837
May 8.5 °C (47.3 °F) 1698
June 11.5 °C (52.7 °F) 1675
July 13.4 °C (56.1 °F) 1816
August 12.9 °C (55.2 °F) 1912
September 10.5 °C (50.9 °F) 1674, 1675, 1694 and 1807
October 5.3 °C (41.5 °F) 1740
November 2.3 °C (36.1 °F) 1782
December −0.8 °C (30.6 °F) 1890

Mean, Maximum and Minimum Temperatures[edit]

Since 1878, the Central England temperature has recorded daily maximum and minimum temperatures; its daily mean records began in 1772; the tables below show the record average max/min for each season and each calendar month since 1878.

Highest Minimum[edit]

Period Record Mean Year
Year 7.19 °C (44.94 °F) 2006[7]
Spring (March–May) 5.97 °C (42.75 °F) 1999[8]
Summer (June–August) 12.40 °C (54.32 °F) 2003
Autumn (September–November) 9.10 °C (48.38 °F) 2006
Winter (December–February) 3.83 °C (38.89 °F) 1934/35
January 5.2 °C (41.4 °F) 1916
February 4.3 °C (39.7 °F) 1903 and 1926
March 5.6 °C (42.1 °F) 1957
April 6.5 °C (43.7 °F) 2011
May 8.9 °C (48.0 °F) 1889 and 1952
June 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) 2017
July 14.0 °C (57.2 °F) 1983
August 14.0 °C (57.2 °F) 1997
September 12.8 °C (55.0 °F) 2006
October 10.2 °C (50.4 °F) 2001
November 7.7 °C (45.9 °F) 1994
December 7.0 °C (44.6 °F) 2015

Lowest Minimum[edit]

Period Record Mean Year
Year 4.36 °C (39.85 °F) 1879[7]
Spring (March–May) 2.30 °C (36.14 °F) 1887[8]
Summer (June–August) 9.70 °C (49.46 °F) 1922
Autumn (September–November) 4.17 °C (39.51 °F) 1919
Winter (December–February) −3.10 °C (26.42 °F) 1962/63
January −4.8 °C (23.4 °F) 1963
February −5.1 °C (22.8 °F) 1895
March −2.0 °C (28.4 °F) 1883
April 1.4 °C (34.5 °F) 1917
May 4.7 °C (40.5 °F) 1885
June 7.9 °C (46.2 °F) 1916
July 9.8 °C (49.6 °F) 1919
August 9.3 °C (48.7 °F) 1885
September 6.6 °C (43.9 °F) 1986
October 3.2 °C (37.8 °F) 1919
November −0.4 °C (31.3 °F) 1915
December −3.8 °C (25.2 °F) 2010

Highest Maximum[edit]

Period Record Mean Year
Year 14.84 °C (58.71 °F) 2003[9]
Spring (March–May) 15.73 °C (60.31 °F) 1893[10]
Summer (June–August) 23.47 °C (74.25 °F) 1976
Autumn (September–November) 16.23 °C (61.21 °F) 2006
Winter (December–February) 9.63 °C (49.33 °F) 2015/16
January 10.3 °C (50.5 °F) 1916
February 11.3 °C (52.3 °F) 2019
March 13.8 °C (56.8 °F) 1938
April 17.1 °C (62.8 °F) 2011
May 19.0 °C (66.2 °F) 1992
June 22.6 °C (72.7 °F) 1976
July 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) 2006
August 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) 1995
September 20.9 °C (69.6 °F) 2006
October 17.1 °C (62.8 °F) 1921
November 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) 1994 and 2011
December 12.3 °C (54.1 °F) 2015

Lowest Maximum[edit]

Period Record Mean Year
Year 10.52 °C (50.94 °F) 1879[9]
Spring (March–May) 10.10 °C (50.18 °F) 1879[10]
Summer (June–August) 16.97 °C (62.55 °F) 1879
Autumn (September–November) 11.03 °C (51.85 °F) 1887
Winter (December–February) 2.47 °C (36.45 °F) 1962/63
January 0.6 °C (33.1 °F) 1963
February 0.1 °C (32.2 °F) 1947
March 5.7 °C (42.3 °F) 2013
April 9.3 °C (48.7 °F) 1879
May 12.8 °C (55.0 °F) 1902
June 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) 1909
July 16.6 °C (61.9 °F) 1879
August 16.0 °C (60.8 °F) 1912
September 14.4 °C (57.9 °F) 1952
October 10.1 °C (50.2 °F) 1896
November 5.8 °C (42.4 °F) 1919
December 1.2 °C (34.2 °F) 1890

Daily Records[edit]

Daily mean temperatures have been available since 1772, with max and min data available from 1878 onward.[11]

Highest Mean[edit]

Period Record Mean Date
January 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) 23 Jan 1834
February 12.8 °C (55.0 °F) 4 Feb 2004
March 14.8 °C (58.6 °F) 27 Mar 1777
April 19.7 °C (67.5 °F) 29 Apr 1775
May 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) 29 May 1780
June 23.0 °C (73.4 °F) 3 Jun 1947
July 25.2 °C (77.4 °F) 29 Jul 1948
August 24.9 °C (76.8 °F) 1 Aug 1995
September 22.6 °C (72.7 °F) 1 Sep 1906
October 20.2 °C (68.4 °F) 1 Oct 1985
November 15.4 °C (59.7 °F) 5 Nov 1938
December 12.9 °C (55.2 °F) 12 Dec 1994

Highest Minimum[edit]

Period Record Mean Date
January 10.5 °C (50.9 °F) 3 Jan 1932
February 10.8 °C (51.4 °F) 4 Feb 2004
March 11.2 °C (52.2 °F) 30 Mar 1998
April 12.3 °C (54.1 °F) 24 Apr 2007
May 14.6 °C (58.3 °F) 30 May 1944
June 17.2 °C (63.0 °F) 22 Jun 1941
July 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) 29 Jul 1948
August 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) 11 Aug 1997
September 18.4 °C (65.1 °F) 5 Sep 1949
October 15.4 °C (59.7 °F) 3 Oct 2011
November 13.5 °C (56.3 °F) 22 Nov 1947
December 11.9 °C (53.4 °F) 12 Dec 1994


Highest Maximum[edit]

Period Record Mean Date
January 13.7 °C (56.7 °F) 9 Jan 1998
February 16.4 °C (61.5 °F) 13 Feb 1998
March 22.1 °C (71.8 °F) 29 Mar 1965
April 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) 16 Apr 2003
May 29.0 °C (84.2 °F) 29 May 1944
June 30.3 °C (86.5 °F) 28 Jun 1976
July 33.2 °C (91.8 °F) 3 Jul 1976
August 33.2 °C (91.8 °F) 3 Aug 1990
September 31.3 °C (88.3 °F) 2 Sep 1906
October 27.1 °C (80.8 °F) 1 Oct 2011
November 18.7 °C (65.7 °F) 4 Nov 1946
December 14.7 °C (58.5 °F) 23 Dec 1977

Lowest Mean[edit]

Period Record Mean Date
January −11.9 °C (10.6 °F) 20 Jan 1838
February −8.8 °C (16.2 °F) 9 Feb 1816
March −6.5 °C (20.3 °F) 13 Mar 1845
April −0.5 °C (31.1 °F) 3 Apr 1799
May 2.9 °C (37.2 °F) 8 May 1861
June 7.3 °C (45.1 °F) 9 Jun 1816
July 8.7 °C (47.7 °F) 20 Jul 1836
August 8.8 °C (47.8 °F) 26 Aug 1864
September 4.9 °C (40.8 °F) 28 Sep 1824
October 0.3 °C (32.5 °F) 29 Oct 1895
November −4.6 °C (23.7 °F) 24 Nov 1904
December −10.8 °C (12.6 °F) 25 Dec 1796

Lowest Minimum[edit]

Period Record Mean Date
January −13.4 °C (7.9 °F) 21 Jan 1940
February −13.6 °C (7.5 °F) 24 Feb 1947
March −9.4 °C (15.1 °F) 5 Mar 1909
April −4.9 °C (23.2 °F) 2 Apr 1917
May −1.5 °C (29.3 °F) 4 May 1941
June 1.3 °C (34.3 °F) 5 Jun 1991
July 4.7 °C (40.5 °F) 4 Jul 1965
August 4.0 °C (39.2 °F) 31 Aug 1921
September 0.3 °C (32.5 °F) 29 Sep 1919
October −3.9 °C (25.0 °F) 27 Oct 1931
November −8.8 °C (16.2 °F) 24 Nov 1904
December −15.9 °C (3.4 °F) 13 Dec 1981


Lowest Maximum[edit]

Period Record Mean Date
January −5.7 °C (21.7 °F) 12 Jan 1987
February −4.5 °C (23.9 °F) 6 Feb 1895
March −0.7 °C (30.7 °F) 6 Mar 1942
April 2.3 °C (36.1 °F) 5 Apr 1911
May 6.0 °C (42.8 °F) 3 May 1892
June 10.1 °C (50.2 °F) 8 Jun 1897
July 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) 5 Jul 1920
August 12.0 °C (53.6 °F) 16 Aug 1888
September 8.3 °C (46.9 °F) 29 Sep 1918
October 3.1 °C (37.6 °F) 31 Oct 1934
November −1.0 °C (30.2 °F) 28 Nov 2010
December −4.0 °C (24.8 °F) 29 Dec 1908

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parker, D. E., T. P. Legg, and C. K. Folland, 1992: A new daily Central England Temperature Series, 1772-1991. Int J Climatol, 12, 317-342. [1]
  2. ^ Checking the CET
  3. ^ Date source: Met Office U.K. (31 July 2019). "mean CET ranked coldest to warmest from 1659 to 2019". Met Office, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  4. ^ @iamreddave (16 June 2016). "England Temperatures Since 1659". Archived from the original on 7 September 2019.Data source: Met Office U.K., Hadley Centre (archive).
  5. ^ CET Data; Mean annual temperature for 2001 to 2010 is 10.22°C compared to the warmest decade of the 20th century -the 1990s - 10.06°C, and the warmest decade of the period 1659 to 1900 - the 1730s - 9.54°
  6. ^ Mean CET, 2014
  7. ^ a b https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/mly_cet_min_sort.txt
  8. ^ a b https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/ssn_HadCET_min_sort.txt
  9. ^ a b https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/mly_cet_max_sort.txt
  10. ^ a b https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/ssn_HadCET_max_sort.txt
  11. ^ https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cet_record_breakers.html

Further reading[edit]