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<<<<1600 - 1649

(T: warm/cold events; R: dry/wet events; S: 'stormy' events)

 Date T R S  Description  Ref:
 1650-1699
 1650
(Spring)
 In Scotland, a poor season, with frequent periods of cold/frost, wind & rain.  17CWx
 1651-1654  Four successive fine (i.e. often dry / hot) summers but that of 1651 appears to have been 'fine' only across England; Scotland though is specifically included for the other years in the various chronicles. 1651 in particular across England (only?) was noted as being dry with a 'scorching' summer - a 'great' drought with excessive heat. Kent is specifically mentioned (continental influence). It may be that only the southern half of Britain was so favoured, as there are notes that in Scotland, this year (1651) was subject to even 'greater dearth' than the preceding year. In 1652, the summer of this year was noted for 'extraordinary drought' across the whole of Scotland, with high temperatures and little rain - great impact upon agricultural production, both good and bad; in England, 1652 saw a good harvest, particularly as regards fruit. The summer of 1653 was also described as being one of 'great drought & excessive heat' across England. From October 1653 until 21st March 1654 (i.e. across nearly the entire 'winter-half' of the year), the weather was apparently benign, mild & dry; likened to a 'second summer'. In Scotland, the extended winter period 1653-1654 was notably dry, which of course would have been a disaster for autumn/winter-sown crops. The summer of 1654 was 'dry & scorching'. Although drought would have impacted on some arable crops (and farm animals depending upon the feed), other agriculture, such as fruit growers, had a bumper harvest during 1654. From Edinburgh & Fife, great lack of water (wells drying up), with lesser problems in the west.  8,
17CWx
 1655
(Annual)
 Scotland: notable for 'excessive' rainfall and snowfall. Great problems for agriculture (and therefore for food supply to the population). Unspecified (as to date) storms which killed vast numbers of sheep - in the cold season, the frost was severe enough (and presumably persistent) such as to kill broom & whins. It is particularly noted that a severe frost set in during February which lasted until 15th April; whether unbroken or not is not stated. Elsewhere, in Edinburgh, February & the greater part of March are noted as being 'wet, cold & stormy'. Also, October had notable rains.
During August & September, it seems from contemporary reports that it was unusually stormy, at least around southern British waters, specifically along the English Channel & Dover Strait. There are also reports inland of frequent 'foul' weather and much rain.
 17CWx
 1655/1656
(Winter &
early-mid
Spring)
 A cold winter in western Europe / implied for much of Britain. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb).
December 10th (OS)/20th(NS): The east coastal counties/areas of Scotland, particularly Fife, the Lothians & the Firth of Forth estuary, were affected by what Hubert Lamb has interpreted as a severe gale from the east. This brought, in addition to the high winds, much snow, and the combination of snow and wind (or blizzard conditions) for many hours drove ships onshore, wrecked vessels in harbour, and breached sea defences, piers, harbour walls etc. Many trees were also lost and buildings inland damaged or destroyed. This must have been some event given the implied wind direction, with a significant high 'block' to the north and strong cyclogenesis to the south.
Particularly harsh weather this winter across Scotland with 'excessive' snow & rain. According to records kept by foreign ambassadors, the cold/snow was also a feature in London, so a widespread harsh winter seems likely across these islands.
March & April in Scotland (at least - perhaps elsewhere across Britain) were cold, with frequent frosts.
 1,
LWH, 23,
17CWx
 1656
(November)
  Several accounts throughout this month of major storms around British & Irish coasts leading to loss of shipping & deaths. At least three dated storms [ 4th, 11th & 25th / calendars not certain ] were particularly severe.  17CWx
 1657
(Summer)
 Some notably hot & humid weather over England - noted as beginning from last third of June (C?), but no other details.
From Scotland, it was noted as being 'exceedingly pleasant and early' and hot/dry, with a good harvest. It may also have been a dry year over England, but no details on this.
 LWH,
17CWx
 December 1657 to March 1658  11th December 1657: Beginning of one of the longest periods of snow lying in England, lasting (reputedly) until 21st March 1658.
A notably severe winter over western Europe & much of Britain (Easton in CHMW/Lamb). In some parts of England, the frost lasted from 1st December (OSP) to 10th March (OSP). Ice was reported around coasts of SE England.
In Scotland, the winter was also 'seasonably severe', but the cold lingered through March into April, with frequent wind from the east or NE.
[ see also entry below re: June.]
 1, 6,
8,
17CWx
 1658
(June)
 A cold month - likened at the time to a 'winter' month.  17CWx
 3rd
September 1658 (OS)
 A 'wild & stormy night', with chimneys and roofs blown down and many trees uprooted. This was the night that Oliver Cromwell (the 'Lord Protector' of England during the 'Inter-regnum') died.  8
 1658/59
(Winter)
 Possibly a very mild (and perhaps windy?) winter across England. Some reports suggest that January in particular was stormy, which would tie in with a highly zonal type, enhanced westerly jetstream and frequent cyclonic disturbances moving in off the North Atlantic.
16th December(OS)/26th(NS), 1658: East coast of Scotland, Fife and the Firth of Forth. Severe gale and heavy rain, after an extended wintry period, with snow. Flooding (melting of previous snow?) and people were drowned on the coasts of the Firth of Forth (which implies a storm surge!) The location of the weather may be biased here by the source (Fife); this event almost certainly affected a much wider area.
 23,
17CWx
 1659
(August /
September)
 Possibly highly unsettled (i.e. cyclonic) with frequent spells of high winds, heavy rain & flooding across Scotland (and almost certainly other areas of Britain). The period 1st to 4th September (OSP) in particular is noted as one where areas adjacent to the Firth of Forth were subjected to dramatic & damaging storms. There are also reports of flooding & damaging winds from England - for example, in September, the marshy areas of Lincolnshire were inundated by flood waters.  17CWx
 1660
(November
& December)
 Significant flooding is recorded in the Thames Valley on the 11th November(OS); taken together with the entry below (re: winter warmth), this implies a markedly zonal type (or high NAOI), with the associated mean jet translated far enough south to propel cyclonic disturbances across southern Britain in quick succession.
Based on contemporary reports from London [Pepys], Yorkshire & Edinburgh, it seems as if the month of December 1660 was often windy/stormy; [this unsettled/zonal weather possibly extended into early January 1661, which would tie in with the remarks at note above]. In particular, around the 8th December(OSP), from late afternoon through the night, high winds caused considerable damage to thatch, windmills, trees etc., across the north of England at least.
 8,
17CWx
 1660/1661
(Winter)
  A mild winter - using the (early) CET record (nearest whole degC only), the average comes out at 5degC, or roughly one-and-a-quarter C above the all-series mean. Pepys mentions in late January that there had been a general lack of cold weather, and that it was 'dusty' (implying a warm & dry winter), with plants well ahead for the season. However, to counter that statement, there are reports elsewhere at the time of 'high winds, excessive rainfall & flooding'. The two 'types' aren't mutually exclusive though because it could mean that the southeast / London was subject to broadly above-average pressure and small amounts of rain, whilst stormy, wet spells affected the more 'Atlantic' facing regions north & west.  CET,
17CWx
 1661
(August &
September)
 Several reports from southern England of heavy rain & flooding. A particularly bad flood of the Severn towards the end of September, which implies great excess of rainfall in the weeks beforehand.  17CWx
 Early
-mid winter 1661/62
 A mild winter (second one in a row), and to judge by some accounts (see below), a wet one too (unlike the previous winter across the southeast of Britain - it was apparently wet over north & west Britain). Using the CET record (to nearest degC only at this early stage), the DJF mean CET was 5.7degC, or roughly 2C above the all-series average.
According to Evelyn .. "there having falln so greate raine without any frost or seasonable cold ..."; suggests mild, cyclonic, wet & windy regime much of the winter until at least the middle of January (1662). Reported at the time as … "like May or June".
 (LWH),
Pepys,
Evelyn
 1662
(February)
 "WINDY TUESDAY"
[17th/18th February 1661(OS) / 27th/28th February 1662(NS)]
A major severe gale / storm affected certainly the southern 'half' of Britain, with damage reported from widely scattered locations: according to Pepys, it was 'dangerous to go out of doors', with several people killed (5 or 6 in London?; several elsewhere across southern England), houses damaged / destroyed in London. Also reported are major falls of trees, e.g. "above 1000 oakes and as many beeches are blown down in the Forrest of Deane"; also, there is a report of 57 Elms being felled on an estate at Nettleton (Wiltshire) [thanks to Barbara Walker for this]: no doubt much damage was done to stands of trees around the southern UK. Defoe writes: " a very great storm of wind . . . began in the early morning . . . continued with unusual violence till almost night". Churches & windmills damaged or destroyed & three cathedrals damaged. A good deal of rain, hail & thunder reported too.
[ Later in the year (1662), a commission was set up to enquire into the state of English forests, as of course these were important to the sustenance of the Royal Navy.]
 Pepys, Evelyn,
23 (Defoe)
 Winters 1662/63 to 1666/67  Three of the five winters in this period were cold, with severe frosts. It is claimed that skating was introduced into England during the winter of 1662/63 and that the King (Charles II) watched this new sport on the frozen Thames.  8
 1663
(Late Spring &
Summer)
 Cold summer across England. By the (very crude at this time) CET record, the overall anomaly was about -0.5C. Several contemporary reports of this being a cold, wet season, following a lot of rain falling in May. Some reports have the wet weather (with flooding) lasting from the latter half of April until at least mid-July. Even in August, though the reports for rain/floods ease, it obviously remained on the chilly side, with Pepys noting on the 28th August (OSP) 'cold all night and this morning, and a very great frost, having no summer at all almost'; fog was also reported in London at sometime in August.  CET,
LWH,
17CWx
 1663, August  Fog in London (in August!) .. not sure how significant this is - except perhaps to emphasise the damp, cold conditions during this month (see above).  8
 1663
(September
& October)
 A cold, wet early / mid-autumn to judge by reports, at least in the London & Home Counties area; several remarks by Samuel Pepys of excessive rainfall, due to either continuous rains, or vigorous thunderstorms. Also, in October, frost & snow was reported around the middle of the month in Essex. Although it is not clear if these inclement conditions affected the whole of Britain, in October at least, Edinburgh experienced dramatic thunderstorms & heavy rainfall.  17CWx
 17th
( 7th old-style calendar)
December 1663
 A flood (driven by gales) submerged Whitehall, and was produced by a high tide that was said not to have been exceeded for more than 200 years. This storm-surge would have also damaged properties / structures elsewhere along the Thames Estuary, and perhaps coasts adjacent to the southern North Sea, though I have no references for this assumption. [ This would have occurred around 17th December if our current calendar had been in operation. ]  6, 8
 1663
(Annual)
 Possibly a wet year overall, at least across England. Whilst we have no 'rain gauge' data, from the various (and frequent) reports through the year [above], it seems a reasonable assumption to make.  17CWx
 1663/1664
(Winter)
 For Scotland at least, the months November & December 1663 were reported as being mild/fair (some reports talk of 'hot'), without frost/snow, and January & February 1664 were also regarded at the time as 'unseasonably' warm; Edinburgh in particular had a 'very fair and pleasant' January & February. Looking at the CET record (to the nearest whole degC at this early stage in its life), then the winter 1663/1664 had a mean temperature around 1degC above the whole-series mean - by no means the warmest in the 1660s or otherwise. However, various diarists of the time across southern England (including Pepys in London), note cases of 'unseasonable' warm conditions.  17CWx,
CET
 1664
(Spring,
Summer &
Annual)
 Possibly a cold spring & also much of summer for London/SE with some notable thunderstorms / hailstorms & heavy rain events. The summer was described as being wet in England, with much disease in cattle. [NB: the CET figure doesn't really stand out for spring & summer - so perhaps there were lengthy chilly periods, without being overall cold?]
Much thunder & lightning during the year 1664. This implies frequent occurrence of cold air at middle levels, and might imply that the zone of mobility was transferred well to the south of its modern-day position.
 8, CET,
17CWx
 1664/65
(Winter)
 Severe frost from 28th December(OS) to 7th February(OS). 6th February(OS) reputed to be one of the coldest days ever in England! However, Evelyn (probably in London) notes that the cold weather set in somewhat earlier, around 22nd December(OSP). Whatever the true 'outer limits', the severe winter affected much of Britain, with frequent snowfall in Scotland; indeed, contemporary reports state that snow lay on the ground in the south & east (e.g. Fife) of Scotland from Christmas Day, 1664 to 14th March (OSP).  8,
17CWx
 1665
(mid/late winter to spring)
 cold / dry winter & a dry spring. Thought to be a factor in the outbreak of the 'Great Plague' later that year due with ideal conditions for breeding rats. " Frost was severe enough to kill broom & whins " (SBM for latter quote; whin=gorse/furze)  SBM
 October 1665  Cold weather & rain in London: death rate from plague began to fall off.  6
 1665
(November)
 Obviously a very stormy month, at least across England. Pepys notes (London & environs) high winds between 14th & 17th (OSP) - with that on the 14th / 15th "severe". This storm did great damage to shipping all around the southern & eastern coast of England, with tidal surges reported at Yarmouth & inundation across the low-lying lands of Lincolnshire. [The storms also affected the Dutch significantly]. Further storms noted around 24th/25th, with more significant damage, coastal flooding & shipwrecks, including around Irish coasts.
7th (not sure if this is associated with above event/calendar distinction, or a separate occasion): deep depression probably brought the lowest barometric pressure ever measured in London (about 931 mbar .. probably still a record as at 2010, but note it doesn't figure in the 'official' lists as we can't be sure about the instrumentation, calibration etc.).
30th: Climax to a month of wind & rain, the roads very bad. English ships trapped by ice in port at Hamburg (Pepys): obviously an anticyclonic spell had allowed near-continental temperatures to fall significantly - see below as the severe cold impacted on these islands.
 6,
17CWx
 1665/1666
(November to September)
  Every month from November 1665 to September 1666 was dry. By August, 1666, the River Thames at Oxford was reduced to a 'trickle'. This drought was a large contributory factor in the 'Great Fire of London' (q.v.), bearing in mind that many houses in London had a high proportion of timber in them - and presumably old timbers too. [ A rainy spell started just after the Fire ... 9th by the old calendar, and there was prolonged / heavy rain for 10 days early in October 1666. ] The dryness extended to Scotland, at least from May to mid-July.
Perhaps confirming an 'anticyclonic' bias to the broadscale type, The River Thames was frozen over in London by mid-December 1665 & blocked by ice by the end of the month.
 1, 8,
17CWx,
CET
 December 1665
- January 1666
 2nd December: Severe frost in London 2nd to 7th.
21st December: Severe frost set in again, the Thames blocked by ice in London by 30th. The plague much reduced, but flared up again in the mild weather after 6th to 10th January 1666. A mild January followed.
 6
 February 1666  On 3rd(OSP): according to Pepys: "a most furious storm", with houses blown down in London.  6
 Summer 1666  27th June(OS): heat wave began: mostly dry in London since the 12th(OS).
On 5th July, 1666(OS), Pepys writes: "extremely hot ... oranges ripening in the open at Hackney".
July 6th(OS): Beginning of period with occasional showers/heavy rains though often warm. July 26th(OS): Hail ' as big as walnuts ' in London and 27th(OS) on Suffolk coast.
The climatological summer (June, July & August) of 1666 was amongst the top 10 or so of warm summers in the CET series (began 1659).
This period is right at the start of Gordon Manley's Central England Temperature (CET) series, and the data are only reproduced to the nearest whole degC. However, in that series, July 1666 had a value of 18degC, and August 17degC. Relating these to the 'whole-series' mean, this implies a rough anomaly for this 'High Summer' period of ~+2C, the heat, added to the extended dry weather (see above) aiding the heightened risk of fire in populated areas.
 6, CET,
Pepys
 August & September
1666
 The drought over these two months is noteworthy because it preceded the Great Fire of London; apparently the east wind, which prevailed during that period, had dried the wooden houses of London until they were like tinder. When the fire started early in September (12th/New Style), the east wind drove the flames before it and helped the fire to spread rapidly; smoke from this reached Oxford in the days thereafter. The prevailing weather was noted as 'hot & dry', and strong east Winds during the fire caused great problems with fire-fighting. On the 2nd/old-style (the first day of the fire), a 'strong' east wind is noted - Evelyn notes this as a "Fierce" eastern wind in a very dry season. It is not clear though whether the wind was caused by the fire, or was there anyway. However, Evelyn does note that there had been a...."long set of fair and warm weather". On September 4th (14th new-style), Evelyn still notes: "The eastern wind still more impetuously driving the flames forward. "Later on the 5th(OS), the wind is noted as 'abating' -- again not certain whether this was due to the fire burning itself out. In any case, this was effectively the end of the Great Fire.
15th September(OS): Foul weather in the southern North Sea began the breakdown of the long dry warm summer weather (see previous).
19th September(OS): The first considerable rainfall quenched London fire: rainy autumn followed.
 6, 8
 1666
(October,
November
& part of
December)
 Probably a period with well above-average rainfall and frequent occurrences of stormy conditions, both due to intense depressions, and localised thunderstorms. There are several reports from both months, but particularly during November, of coastal shipping being lost and/or damaged due to high winds. The unsettled conditions lasted into December, though at what point the highly cyclonic conditions changed to the settled/anticyclonic type (below) is not clear. The last mention of 'storm' occurs on the 6th (OSP), and Pepys notes in London 'cold/snow' on the 23rd (OSP)  17CWx
 1666/67
(winter & early spring)
 A cold winter over western Europe / implied parts of Britain; cold weather, hard frost in London on 31st December; Thames covered with ice on the 1st January. Using the CET series [ 'central' England ], the overall figure for the three 'classical' winter months of December, January & February showed an anomaly of -1.5degC on the all-series mean. December was around a degree (C) below average, but January was bitterly cold, with an approximate anomaly of at least -3degC; February was about average, but this was followed by a very cold March (q.v. below).
Ice floes were a problem on the River Thames in London during this winter. It was probably not a continuously severely cold spell, as there are records of Atlantic storms causing much damage around the 18th of February in Ireland & on the 27th February, Pepys in London notes that the 'bitter cold' has returned after 'warm' (i.e. mild) weather.
March of 1667 was very cold: nominal CET (to nearest 0.5degC and perhaps inaccurate?) was 2degC, representing an anomaly on the 'all-series' mean of at least -3degC. Perhaps in the 'top-5' coldest March's of the series.
 1, 8, CET,
17CWx
 1667
(Summer)
 11th June: Beginning of long dry spell lasting until mid-August; great heat in June & July. Although it doesn't stand out in the rather rough CET record for this time (anomaly around +1C against the all-series mean & certainly not as warm as 1666), it appears that there were several very warm/hot spells during this summer, and it was noted from England at least, that a prolonged dry spell occurred from early June to mid-August; June & July are particularly picked out as being months with an 'exceptional drought'. Pepys (London) notes a dramatic ending to the hot/dry weather around 16th August (OSP).  6,
CET,
17CWx
 1667
(early/mid
Autumn)
 From the latter part of September, until at least end of October, many reports of severe gales/storms causing problems for coastal shipping. It would appear to have been a very unsettled spell, with heavy rainfall also noted [ It may be that these unsettled/cyclonic conditions lasted right through to December, but there are no reports covering November so I've discounted that possibility for the time being. ]  17CWx
 1668
(February)
 "The spire of St. Audoen's steeple was blown down by a storm ...".[Annals of Dublin / www.chaptersofdublin.com]"  op.cit.
 1668
(March &
April)
 Possibly extended periods of dry weather, at least in the London/SE area of England.  17CWx
 1669
(Annual &
Summer)
 Dry year, hot summer (London/South). Using the CET series (in its early, rather crude state), the overall summer-time temperature represented an anomaly of about +1C on the all-series mean.
Although it doesn't really show up in the CET record, it appears that the hot/dry weather continued through September & parts of October. [ However, it appears that spring & the start of summer may have been notably cold, at least across England. ]
 8,CET,
17CWx
 1669
(October &
November)
 13th October(OS)/23rd October(NS) - East coast of Scotland - A great storm of wind, rain & thunder arose in the night and caused great losses both on land and sea. Ships lost, even in harbour, e.g. at Dundee. In the Firth of Tay, some of the islands used for grazing cattle were submerged by the sea and all the beasts were drowned. Trees uprooted in many places. Lamb writes that this was probably an easterly or north-easterly gale, accompanied by some sort of tidal surge in the Forth and Tay estuaries [ note, some sources places this in 1668].
It appears that these two months may have experienced several occasions with high winds/storms, with one such noted 30th October / 1st November (OSP), and further storms reported on the 5th & 9th (both OSP). The storminess appears to have been widespread across maritime NW Europe.
 23,
17CWx
 1669/1670
(Winter)
 A cold winter, both using the CET record (value=2.0degC / ~2.5C below 'modern-day' averages) & contemporary reports. For example, several reports from Scotland of severe frost /snow, and these were echoed across England.
Colder in London on 26th December(OSP) than for past 5 or 6 years; freezing quickly for some days. Much colder than 1665 and 1666.
 8,
CET,
17CWx
 1670s
(Decade)
 Using the CET record (representing broadly the Midlands & NW Home Counties of England), this decade was the second-coldest (after 1690s q.v.) in the entire series [began 1659]. Six of the winters (1669/1670, 1671/72, 1673/74, 1676/77, 1677/78 & 1678/79) had overall anomalies >-1C w.r.t. the all-series mean.  CET
 1671
(March)
 1670(OSP) (I think this would be 1671(NS)?): " A great storm happening at new moon, with great winds and rain, the wind at S.E. the water over flowed the bank at Ringsend, Lazer's-hill, and over Mr. Hawkins's new wall up to the college, and flowed very high into the city, which overthrew some houses and laid many cellars and warehouses under water." (Possible storm-surge?)
[Annals of Dublin / www.chaptersofdublin.com]
 op.cit.
 1671
(September
& October)
 Probably an often stormy couple of months, at least around southern & eastern English coasts. There are several contemporary reports of shipping being affecting at various times.  17CWx
 December 1671  Evelyn described the fog this month as ... "the thickest and darkest fog ever known in the memory of man".  8
 1671/1672
(winter)
 A cold winter (but December an oddity) over western Europe / implied for parts of Britain. The anomaly on the 'all-series' CET figure was approx. -1.5degC.
December 9th (C?) - Southern England - Freezing rain - Great tree damage. December 1671 was a month of 'chop and change' contrasts, with exceptionally MILD weather (some trees flowering as if it were spring), interspersed with bitter cold weather. On the 8th (OSP), there was widespread snowfall, at least across southern Britain, following by the freezing rain event noted above; this caused a great destruction of trees across southern England - but to emphasise the previous mildness, there was no ice on the ponds or other still water. This 'ice storm' was followed by notably mild conditions.
 1, CET,
LWH,
17CWx
 1672
(Summer)
 From contemporary reports, a lot of rain (quoted as 'violent'). Seriously affecting the subsequent harvest.  17CWx
 1672
(December
& Winter
1672/73)
 Possible great storm after Christmas (old-style dating ~29th/30th December): Widespread reports of damage due to high winds from the Channel Islands as far north as Richmond in Yorkshire and Dunfermline in Scotland & eastwards to the Low Countries. [Although we can't be sure, it seems as if the widespread reports of high winds point to a vigorous, rapidly deepening depression crossing northern Britain, with a tightening gradient on it's rearward flank.]
There are reports of a 'great flood' in Worcester, on the River Severn, on the 23rd December, which taken with 1. above, implies that December 1672 was very unsettled & almost certainly MILD (though not notably so using the Manley CET series).
The entire winter may have been 'unusually' stormy - there are several contemporary records of housing damage & shipwrecks attributed to stormy weather.
 (Widespread ecclesiastical records ex. Internet).
CET,
17CWx
 1673
(Summer
& Annual)
 Possibly a very wet summer in Scotland specifically, though a reference to a 'great flood' at Oxford (June), flooding at Derby & London (July) suggests that wet weather was more widespread across Britain.
Although we don't have any instrumental records, it appears from several reports throughout the year, from April to at least September, that the weather was often wet & perhaps stormy. Using the rough CET record, it was a cold year, with the anomaly on the all-series mean of -1degC, and -1.5degC on the 'modern-day' figure. This might tie in with frequent incursions of high-latitude colder air and implied lower sea surface temperatures.
 CET,
17CWx
 1673/74
(Winter)
 A 'mixed' but extended winter: bitterly cold in December, with a CET anomaly around -3degC, followed by a mild January (+2degC), then a cold or very cold February (-2degC).
[ This was followed by a very cold March - see below.]
Snow lying from mid-January to mid March in the Scottish borders: storm of snow with penetrating frost; much loss of livestock (especially sheep), with extreme hardship - lack of fuel. The 'thirteen drifty days' (Scottish Borders / Dumfries, Selkirk) are assumed to run from 20th February (OSP) to the first week of March. [SBM]
(Listed as 1673 some records, but I think this is the ecclesiastical year): A great snow (East Anglia / Norwich) from February 24th, which lay on the ground until Easter (end March) when it suddenly thawed. (Norwich/Cathedral records).
 CET,
SBM,
17CWx
 March
1674
 13-day snowfall / blizzard - "The thirteen drifty days" in the Scottish Borders began about 5th to 8th March (new style). Most of the sheep perished. From Norwich cathedral records (listed as 1673 some records, but I think this is the ecclesiastical year), a great snow (East Anglia / Norwich) from February 24th, which lay on the ground until Easter (end March) when it suddenly thawed. (Norwich/Cathedral records)
In the CET series, the coldest March, (since 1659), with value 1degC (poor accuracy for the record so early on, but obviously very extreme). This represents an anomaly (on the 'whole-series' mean) of something like -4degC; however, it would appear that the weather 'broke' after mid-month, because there are reports of 'favourable' sowing conditions for two weeks up to 1st April.
 6, CET
 1674
(Summer)
 The estimated value of CET for this season (June, July & August) was 13.7degC. At this point, only monthly values to the nearest whole degree C are available, but there is little doubt that this summer was one of the coldest such seasons across England & Wales in the CET series (began 1659).
Also noted as being wet across some (unspecified) areas - which delayed the harvest; however, the abundance of rain encouraged grass growth and cattle / sheep, after the disastrous start to the year (see above) picked up to give good yields by September and October, offsetting somewhat the losses due to cereal crop failure.
[Interesting to note that it comes only 2 years after, and 2 years before, notably warm summers!]
 CET,
17CWx
 1674
(October /
November)
 At least the second-half of October, and much of November, events were often described as 'stormy' in contemporary reports with severe problems for coastal shipping. There are also reports (e.g. from Dover) of damage to harbours & significant movement of beach sand/shingle etc.  17CWx
 1675
(Spring)
 Several reports in May from Kent, NE England & elsewhere suggest that this spring was cool & dry. Using the CET [crude] record for March, April & May, then the overall temperature was roughly a degC below the all-series mean. There are references to the wind often being from east or NE, which suggests a prolonged anticyclonic period with high pressure to the north or north-west of the British & Irish Isles. Certainly the drought must have been notable given that the spring is noted as being markedly 'backward' with hard-baked soils not able to be planted in good time.  CET,
17CWx
 1675
(Summer
/ Autumn)
 Wet, cool summer. For the second time, a notably cold summer using the CET record: the value was estimated to have been 13.7degC, the same as in 1674. However, there are contradictory reports, because in the West of England, it was noted that there was little rain from early July until the end of October [Okehampton] & there are other references to extended dry weather, though the location is unspecified. These references extend the 'dry' weather well into the autumn, at least at places like Stockton-on-Tees.  CET, 8
 1675
(December)
  There are several reports of a series of major storms of wind during this month. In fact, the generally windy conditions may have begun in late November. Reports from coasts around the West of England & along the English Channel / Kent coasts of shipwrecks - one report states that the high winds lasted for at least 8 days from the 14th, and even as late as the 27th (Deal) and 30th (Swansea), considerable problems for shipping were being reported due to stormy winds.
(Note that Lamb hasn't got this one!)
 17CWx
 1675/1676
(Winter)
 This winter was mild; using the CET record, and bearing in mind the approximate nature of the figures at this early point in that series, this winter was the mildest since 1661/62 (14 years), and it was not to be beaten (using the mean temperature as a discriminator) until winter 1685/86 (10 years later). It was all the more remarkable because, with an anomaly of at least +1C on the all-series mean, it was buried within the second coldest decade in the CET series.  CET,
17CWx
 1676
(Spring & Summer)
 Spring 1676 was on the chilly side, with the CET averaged over the three months of March, April & May just below average. (Note that the previous two Springs had been much colder); it was also dry, probably excessively so for many across large areas of England, as there are parish records (e.g. from Wintringham, Yorkshire & Westonzoyland, Somerset) which make note of extended dry conditions; indeed, the drought extended through the summer, and there are notes in local records from the Somerset levels for example, that sluices had to be set so as to admit water to farmland (rather than the more common need of keeping sea water out). However, reports made at the time suggest that the yield/harvest from spring sowing was 'good' - indeed in some places it was described as 'abundant'.
With a CET value of 16.8degC, this was one of the 20 or so warmest summers across England & Wales in that series (began 1659). In particular, June 1676, with a value of 18.0degC was the second warmest such-named month in that series (as at 2005). Note that this Summer followed two notably cold summers: see above. There was 'exceptional' heat 19th June to 1st July 1676.
Taken together, the cold spring, warm / hot summer & extended drought suggests frequent anticyclonic episodes, with a bias for the highs to be centred to the north or NW, favouring easterly or northerly winds.
 6, CET,
17CWx
 1676/77
to
1678/79
(Winters)
 Three successively very cold winters, at least across the 'central England' domain. In order, the CET values for these winters was 2.0, 1.8 & 1.0degC. Note that these means are based on December, January & February, and the figures for these months are provided only to the nearest half-a-degree C. Nevertheless, these figures represent a rough anomaly on 'modern-day' winters of between -2C & -3.5C, so truly exceptional conditions. I doubt we would survive nowadays!  CET
 1676/1677
(Winter)
 A very cold winter across most of western Europe and across much of the British & Irish Isles. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb); contemporary reports suggest that the occurrence of cold (and occasionally snowy) spells lasted from the second week of November to roughly the second week of March. A remark that the frost at Barnstaple was 'great' in December 1676 which is noteworthy given the location. Further reports of severe frosts/snow throughout. Thames & Derwent frozen; huts to sell brandy built on the river Thames: reports from the time state that the cold weather set in around Martinmas (11th November) and continued well into the New Year.
[ The first of three successive notably cold winters, with considerable impact on wildlife and the populace - see above. ]
 1, 8,
17CWx
 1677
(April &
May)
 After a very cold (and often snowy) extended winter, these two months are noted as being wet from widely separated places in England, with reports of flooding around Oxford & across Nottinghamshire at least.  17CWx
 1677
(July)
 This month was very warm or hot; with a CET value of 18degC, it was around 2C above the all-series mean, and would be roughly (given the crude nature of the record at this date) be placed within the top 15 or so warmest Julys in that series.  CET
 1677/1678
(Winter)
 The second (of three) very cold winters; The cold conditions are noted as having set in, for England at least, around the second week of December & lasted until at least the second week of February. However, it is clear from reports that there were short-lived less cold periods, with rain then snow - probably causing more problems than if it had just stayed bitterly cold!  CET,
17CWx
 1678
(April /
May)
 A cold couple of months [following a bitterly cold winter]. The anomalies, wrt the all-series means were (respectively) -1C & -1.5C.  CET,
17CWx
 1679
(Summer)
 In Scotland (at least), a hot summer - no rain from May through the summer, but 'the autumn was very rainy'. This ties in with the CET record, which shows that the climatological summer had a rough anomaly of +1C on the all-series mean. Also, records from England show that the lack of rain (and periods of very warm or hot weather) affected a much wider area of Britain - with mention of easterly winds - presumably with anomalously higher pressure to the north. However note that by July, there are records of excessive rainfall affecting the hay harvest!  CET,
17CWx
 1680
(Summer)
 Various reports from both Britain & Ireland suggest that this season was often wet. Flooding was noted from places such as Wakefield (Yorkshire) & Nottinghamshire, both during August.  17CWx
 1680/1681
(Winter &
early Spring)
 A severe winter (Dec-Mar inclusive). The overall CET value for the three months December, January & February was just 1.0degC [ individual months to nearest half-a-degC ], and as such the anomaly wrt 'modern-day' means was around -3.5C. The snow was already well in evidence by the second week of December 1680, with significant snowfall being reported from Hampshire & East Anglia by the 13th (OSP).
It is apparent from contemporary reports that the deep cold conditions [ individual CET anomalies wrt all-series mean for December to March inclusive were: -3C, -2.5C, -2.5C & -1C) were interrupted by brief mild but wet spells, which of course only added to the considerable snowfall experienced across the country. The spring had a delayed start (i.e. leaves slow to appear, and snow lying well on through March.
[ See also entry below re: exceptionally dry conditions.]
 CET,
17CWx,
8
 Christmas 1680
to June 1681
 Severe, prolonged drought, with scarcely any rain from Christmas 1680 to mid-June .. as this is according to Evelyn ... " there still continues such a drought as has hardly ever been known in England", we may assume that this relates specifically to the London / Home Counties area of England. However, there is some doubt surrounding this, as the price of wheat was not unduly high. In Scotland, end of 4 months spell of dry, easterly winds; there are reports of DROUGHT conditions being reported elsewhere (i.e., away from the 'southeast'), e.g. Derbyshire - in this latter case, the drought is recorded as having 'ended' (presumably notable rain returning) on June 20th(OSP), but against this, we have reports from Norfolk that the 'drought' lasted until mid-July. Whatever the true length, extent etc., it certainly seems to have been a remarkable event.
[ The winter 1680/81 noted as 'severe': see separate entry above.]
 6, 8,
Evelyn,
17CWx
 1681
(late
Autumn/
early
Winter)
 Reports from East Anglia & Nottinghamshire suggest that throughout October, November & perhaps December, rainfall was excessive, with flooding noted November & December from Essex & Nottinghamshire (River Idle).  17CWx
 1681/1682
(Winter &
Spring)
 Some notable storms (of wind) across Scotland during this winter. It may be that storminess was widespread and sometimes severe during at least part of this winter; there are reports that around the end of January 1682, a significant storm / storm surge affected areas adjacent to the North Sea, with the Low Countries particularly affected as were low-lying regions of Yorkshire & Lincolnshire. The report mentions that rainfall had been excessive over the winter (especially across Scotland), so the flooding may not necessarily (this side of the North Sea) have been due to a storm surge.
Following from above, it would appear that both seasons were wet as there are further reports of flooding, and / or excessive rainfall through April & May.
 23,
17CWx
 1682  Thames flood. (month & type not known, i.e. whether land-water after high rains, or storm-surge type.)  8
 1682
(May)
 A severe thunderstorm at Oxford 31st May (old-style calendar). Nearly '2 feet' of 'rain fell' into a 4 foot diameter container. Almost certainly accompanied by a tornado and there is much speculation about how much of the rain was due to a collapsing very strong updraught or tornado vortex.  x
 1682
(Summer)
 With a CET anomaly of around -1C on the all-series mean, and brief remarks such as "rain, hail, floods all summer", it would appear that this season was very trying - following on from the wet weather over the previous 6 months (see above). Poor harvest followed.  17CWx,
CET
 1682 (?)
(October)
  Drifting snow around the end of the month reported from Fife in Scotland; depths of 12 to 20 feet were recorded (~4 to ~8m). [ This dating needs confirmation - it may be October 1683. ]  x
 1683
(August &
Summer
/
Autumn)
 It appears that summer & early autumn 1683 were wet.
August 1683 in the CET record was notably cold (& from contemporary reports, probably wet, at least across England); the index value for that month (nearest half-degC only) was 13.5degC, representing roughly -2.5C on the all-series mean, and nearly 3C below modern-day values, placing it within the 'top-10' coldest Augusts in that series: this would be consistent with a markedly cyclonic pattern & a southerly-displaced jetstream: possibly the main axis of the upper trough locked in the vicinity of the British & Irish Isles & somewhat sharper?
October 1683 was decidedly colder than average. (CET=6.5degC, at least -3.5C anomaly on whole-series mean, and a good -4C or more on 'modern' values).
4th/5th October 1683 (prior to the notably cold winter of 1683/84) - strong winds, as a low came down with an arctic outburst behind it; in Teesdale snow on the 6th, with hard frost to follow.(CET)
[ See also August 1986 which is the most recent modern-day equivalent. ]
 CET,
17CWx
 1683/84
(Winter
& early
Spring)
 One of the four or five coldest winters over the British Isles (& large parts of Europe), and the coldest in the CET record. (LW/Manley -'Weather', but note that the CET record to the nearest 0.5degC at this time).
The 15th December 1683 saw the onset of a great frost in England & central Europe: Thames frozen down to London Bridge by 2nd January 1684, with booths on the ice by 27th January and for more than a fortnight thereafter - coaches were observed on the ice and the royal court (King Charles II) visited the fair held on the frozen Thames. Other rivers across Britain were so affected, e.g., the Tees in NE England - they didn't get the attention of the Thames! Many birds perished. This great frost was claimed to be the longest on record; the Thames in London was completely frozen for about two months and the ice was reported to be 11 inches (circa 28 cm) thick. Sea ice was reported along the coasts of SE England and many harbours could not be used due to ice: according to some sources, ice formed for a time between Dover & Calais, with the two sides ' joined together '! Severe problems for shipping accessing such ports on either side of the North Sea. Near Manchester, the ground was frozen to a depth of 27 inches and in Somerset to more than 4 feet. The winter was 'incredibly severe' according to John Evelyn and a Frost Fair was held on the ice. "No vessels could stir out or come in while a thick fog occurred towards the end of January which made it difficult to see across the streets". (This latter due to warm advection no doubt, as a thaw set in over snow/ice covered surfaces).
HH Lamb has constructed a tentative mean seasonal pressure pattern with High pressure in the Faeroes area, an arctic northerly from Spitzbergen to the Baltic, thence an anticyclonic east or northeasterly over NW Europe / British Isles. See also 1739/40; 1813/14 and 1962/63.
(Technically, this winter was the coldest in the CET series, but series here is noted to the nearest 0.5degC only). Using the CET series, both January (-3.0) & February (-1.0) has sub-zero mean temperatures, only one of four instances of successive 'sub-zero' months in that series (see also 1740, 1878/79 & 1963). This was the winter that was described so vividly by R.D. Blackmore in his novel: "Lorna Doone".
First half of February: based on reconstructed records: CET averaged (minus) 6.6 degC: the coldest 15 day period of the entire 336 year record (up to 1995, and almost certainly beyond that). However, from roughly the second-week of February, a fitful thaw set in.
On 18th Feb. 1684, rain / thaw after 8 weeks with Thames frozen: ships could reach Port of London by 20th/22nd.
Following the 'record-breaking' severe winter (see above), the early part of spring 1684 (March & much of April) continued the cold theme; in the CET record, March 1684 had an 'all-series' anomaly of around -3C, followed by April with -1.5C (remember the monthly values are only to nearest half-degree C). Many reports at the time speak of a 'backward' spring, which is hardly surprising!
 1, 8, CET,
LWH,
17CWx
 1684
(Late Spring
&
Summer)
 Drought: dry & hot spring & summer. This made a welcome change from the extended bitter cold of the preceding winter & early / mid spring. It was not until early August that there was mention of the rains returning, but even then, it remained hot, with severe thunderstorms. These remarks strictly apply to London / SE England, but probably apply to wider area of England at least.  8,
CET,
17CWx
 1684
(December)
 December 23rd (C?) - southern England - blizzard - many froze to death. [ See general entry below for Winter 1684/1685.]  LWH
 1684/85
(Winter)
 Although nothing like as cold as the previous winter, the three months December 1684, January & February 1685 realised an anomaly (on the all-series figure) of roughly -1C, largely due to January being very cold: the CET value given for that month is 0.5degC [nearest half-degreeC only], and was thus some 2.5C below the all-series mean for January, and nearly 4C below the 1981-2010 average value! There are again accounts of the Thames being frozen through London - with booths etc., being set up. However, remember that at this time it was relatively easy to 'freeze' the flow of the river due to problems such as the restricted passage of water through the old London Bridge. Evelyn noted in January that the FROST wasn't continuous, unlike the previous winter season.  CET,
17CWx
 1685
(late Winter &
Spring)
 Drought: no rain for many months before June (London/South).  8
 1685/86 (Winter)  One of the warmest winters (by CET) in the series which began in 1659. Up to 2010, rank=5 Value=6.33 (but note that this mean is based on data to nearest half-degree C only); Dec=6.5, Jan=6.5, Feb=6.0
[ Others: 1734 (6.10degC, 1796 (6.20degC), 1834 (6.53degC), 1869 (6.77degC), 1935 (6.13degC), 1975 (6.43degC), 1989 (6.50degC), 1990 (6.23degC & 2007 (6.43degC.]

As might be expected with the mildness of the season, it was reported as being also very wet, at least across central and southern England.
 CET,
17CWx
 1686
(Summer)
 Hot, dry summer (London/South), but as usual in such seasons, some localised torrential downpours / thunderstorms - these reported during June & July from as far afield as London, Durham & the Lake District.  8,
17CWx
 1687 - 1695  A spell of often cool summers; the summers of 1694 & 1695 were particularly cold. Both of these latter years (overall) were cold.  8,
CET
 1687
(December)
 4th / 5th (OSP): " A great inundation happened in the river Liffey from excessive rains and a violent storm, which laid low parts of the city under water up to the first floors; insomuch that boats plied in the streets. A part of Essex-bridge, which had been built bu 11 years before, was broken down, and a coach and horses passing over it fell into the river. " [Sounds like a storm-surge]. [Annals of Dublin / www.chaptersofdublin.com]
18th (OSP): At Stockton (on-Tees?), a north-easterly storm at sea and overland, which sunk or grounded about 50 ships (at Stockton - presumably the storm would have caused similar problems elsewhere up and down the North Sea coast). There is also a report "towards the end of the year" when due to 'great rains' and high tides, large areas north of Doncaster (South Yorkshire) were flooded. Considerable destruction and damage to stored harvests. Taken with the report at Stockton, and looking at the lie of the land, it suggests a storm surge with a deep low crossing the southern North Sea, coupled to high inland rainfall, leading to a dramatic flood of the river valleys draining into the Humber estuary above Goole. The floodwaters did not recede markedly for at least a week.
( This is another one that Lamb hasn't got! )
 op.cit.,
17CWx
 1687
(May)
 On May 12th a hurricane(!) occurred in London. Apparently, " it kept the flood out of the Thames so that people went on foot over several places above the bridge " (London Bridge?). (Evelyn - suggests a major storm-surge in the opposite direction!)  17CWx
 December 1687  5th December: boats plying in the streets of Dublin after heavy rains 4th/5th.  6
 1688
(October / November)
 William of Orange (brother-in-law to James II / VII), later William III of England, Ireland & Scotland, (married to Mary, daughter of British king, James II - hence his claim on the title) was 'invited' to take over the throne [ The 'Glorious Revolution' ]. He set sail from Holland on October 16th to cross the North Sea. Autumn storms forced the fleet to return to Holland when only half-way across the North Sea (not unusual in this era of sail).
On October 30th (some texts have November 1st), the fleet sailed again, intending to land in Yorkshire, but again a significant gale, initially SW'ly, soon veering NW'ly and accompanied by a high sea, forced the fleet to return to port - they suffered much loss - sounds as if a North Sea storm surge was involved.
Strong, cold winds then prevented another attempt at a North Sea crossing until a few days later; however, the east or northeast wind, which was described as a 'gale', favoured the Dutch fleet, but prevented the English Royal Navy from leaving the Thames Estuary (3rd). The Dutch fleet sailed for Torbay - they couldn't land (due to 'haze' - perhaps thick mist/fog), but on the 5th, after an air-mass change, visibility picked up and a 'southerly' wind blew the fleet back to Torbay (from near Plymouth), and William's forces were able to land on English soil and claim the title.
 23,
17CWx
 1688
(Annual)
 With a mean CET value of 7.8degC (rough anomaly on whole-series mean of -1.4C), this year was the coldest of the 1680s, one of the six or seven coldest of the 17th century, and ranks 8th (as of 2010) coldest year in the entire series. Only January had a value (technically - doubt due to crude accuracy at this stage in the data-set) above the all-series mean; four months (February, April, October & November) had anomalies >=-2C and one, October, with a value of 7.0degC, was nearly 3C below the all-series mean. The spring / early summer was noted at the time as being very backward, and the descent into the notably cold winter of 1688/89 [see below] was marked by late October.  CET
 1688/89
(Winter /
January)
 From late December 1688 to early February 1689, extended period(s) of bitterly cold weather across England. Noted as a 'Severe winter' (though the overall winter CET not impressive). However, January 1689 was notably cold, with an estimated anomaly (on the whole-series) of at least -2.5C. A frost fair was held on the Thames (by 3rd January (OSP), Thames already 'full of ICE', such that boats could not navigate; by the 7th (OSP), Evelyn notes that the Thames was 'almost frozen over'.), which implies persistent sub-zero temperatures & often strong east winds to allow the ice to form to sufficient thickness / stability.  8,
CET, LWH,
17CWx
 1689
(March &
April)
 These two months may have been excessively wet, at least across southern England, with at least two reports from Oxford and Berkshire of heavy rain (and snow in March) leading to flooding.  17CWx
 1689
(Summer
/ early
Autumn)
 The early part of the summer (June) had been characterised by a drought, but also, at least in London, by dramatic thunderstorms. However, by August 25th (OSP), Evelyn is noting that the summer has been 'most seasonable', and there are reports elsewhere of the harvest 'across Britain' being plentiful, which suggests that whatever problems there were in the first-half of the year, things improved throughout July & August, lingering into September.  CET,
17CWx
 1689
(October /
early
November)
 It would appear that rainfall was excessive and prolonged, at least across central, east and NE England during this period. There may also have been a North Sea 'tidal surge' during the second-half of October. There are specific instances of flooding (whether fluvial or tidal) from places as far apart as Norwich, Durham, Newcastle, York and across the low-lying lands of NE Nottinghamshire.  17CWx
 1690 - 99  6 out of 10 of these winters defined as 'severe' in the CET series. That is, CET mean temperature value for the months December, January and February, below 3.0 degC.
Although that series applies strictly to a closely-defined area of central & southern England, it is clear from accounts of the time that 'harsh' weather occurred elsewhere within this period: for example, in NE Scotland, much outward migration of farming folk occurred after a series of bad harvests - with tales of mills falling into disuse. With such a recurring depth / persistence of cold in these winters, it is not surprising that the subsequent spring and summer seasons were also largely cold; only in the summers of 1691 & 1699 did the overall mean reach or slightly exceed the long-term average: all the others were below with two summers (1694 & 1695) notably cold.
> The mean value of the CET for these 10 years is around 8.1degC (low-resolution to the series at this time), which is at least 2C below the modern-day average value & is the coldest decade in that series [starts 1659]. There were four years with a mean CET below 8degC: 1692(7.7), 1694(7.7), 1695(7.3) & 1698(7.6). These years are respectively the 6th, 5th, 2nd & 4th coldest years in the entire series.
Although the figures above are strictly applicable only to an area of lowland 'middle' England, the CET series is a reasonable proxy for other parts of Britain, and certainly contemporary reports relating to harvest failures, food shortages & extreme hardship right across these islands attest to probable sustained severe / inclement weather elsewhere - certainly for central and southern Scotland & much of Wales. As well as the depressed temperatures, there is strong evidence from various sources that, at least across northern Britain, there was a succession of wet spring & summer seasons, again compounding the problem of low temperature / poor growth of cereal and other crops. In Scotland in particular, the oat harvest is said to have failed on seven out of eight years.
 CET
 1690
(January &
Winter
1689/90)
 January 11th (OSP) - England - gale / storm - of wind / snow / rain for 3 hours. Many killed. The storm is recorded by Evelyn (presumably reliable) as occurring overnight 11th / 12th (OSP), beginning circa 2 am and easing around 5 am - there are several reports relating to its effects, ranging from losses of shipping in the Tees estuary to significant losses in the waters off Kent and into the Thames Estuary. The storm also caused major losses to shipping interests on the French side of the Channel. In addition to these maritime losses, Evelyn noted damage to houses and caused loss of woodland & there is a note of flooding at Oxford during this month (i.e. January). [ Evelyn noted that the winter had, up to that point, been extremely wet, warm & windy - the mildness would be unusual in the winters following. ]
[Lamb doesn't appear to have this one.]
 CET,
17CWx,
LWH
 1690/91
(Winter /
early Spring)
 In Fife, many areas were 'knee-deep' in snow from January until the beginning of April; there was 'great distress' by reason of sickness.  x
 1691
(Annual &
Seasonal)
 Dry year. Hot / dry during late summer & autumn - dry winter. (London/South - but probably applies to wider area of England at least).
July & August of this year were noted as being often 'hot' but with notable thunderstorms, violent rain etc.)
 8,
CET,
17CWx
 1691/1692
(Winter)
 At the start of what was to become the sixth coldest year in the CET record (mean value=7.7degC / around -2C anomaly on modern-day values), this winter had a CET anomaly of ~-2C on the 'whole-series' mean, and included a bitterly cold February, which, with a value of 0.0degC, was around four degrees C below the all-series (and modern-day) long-term average. It was, however, at least across southern Britain, apparently a dry season - despite some notable snowfalls.  CET,
17CWx,
8
 1692
January
& February
 [ February ] .. Freezing NE gale and heavy snow in Highlands ended mild, fair weather and brought renewed severe/wintry weather, as had held sway Dec 1691-Jan 1692, thereby providing cover for escapes from the Massacre of Glencoe. Also, from Ireland, "January 19 - following a great frost, which held till the middle of February" [Annals of Dublin / www.chaptersofdublin.com]
(Probably) Evelyn notes from London .. "an extraordinary snow fell" in February.
 6, 8,
op.cit.,
17CWx
 May 1692  Warm thundery spell set in on the 30th May, 1692 & lasted about 3 weeks.  6
 1692
(Summer)
 The summer of 1692 was exceedingly wet (at least over England - can't say for elsewhere) and rather cold & was stated to be the worst summer since 1648.
June 19th: wind and rain stripped trees of their leaves, climax of 3-day rainfall around London. Continual rain / floods went on through July & August.
This season was part of one of the coldest years in the CET record (q.v.), with frequent spells of adverse weather. The subsequent harvest was bad, and this failure was noted across many areas of western Europe (probably only adjacent areas to British & Irish Isles.)
 6, 8,
CET,
17CWx
 1692
(late Summer / early Autumn)
 August 26th: Beginning of fair warm weather which lasted until 14th September after the summer rains.  6, 8
 September 1692  25th: NE gale introduced long spell of stormy NE-NW winds, mostly dry but very cold day and night: frosts around London from 9th October prevented fruit ripening.  6
 1693
(Spring &
Summer)
 Though probably not as wet as the previous year, this spring & summer probably experienced excessive rainfall, at least across England. However, according to Evelyn, by early August, there was 'very lovely harvest-weather'. Also, it is worth noting that in Scotland, whatever had occurred before, by the end of August (and certainly by 7th September (OSP), the weather was wet.  17CWx
 1694
(Annual &
Seasonal)
 1694 was a cold year (London/South): the CET value for 1694 was ~ 7.7degC [ crude data at this date ], which is some 1.5C below the long-period average & would place it in the 'top 5 or 6' coldest years in that series; a notably cold summer & early / mid-Autumn using the CET record.
August, 1694 in particular was one of the two or three coldest such-named months in the CET record & September 1694 was the coldest such-named month in that series - though note carefully the lack of definition at this early stage of the series.
The three months August, September & October 1694 had CET anomalies, with reference to modern-day values, of around -3C, truly remarkable for the persistence of cold.
 6, 8, CET
 1694
(November)
 Early-November(NS). Notable storm, wind possibly BFt 11. Villages in NE Scotland (near the Moray coast) buried in sand due to a prolonged (Lamb indicates 36 hours) northerly or north-westerly gale. November 1st/2nd (NS) - Scotland - sandstorm - Culbin village 'lost' for 230 years. This was, apparently, one of the most fertile areas in northern Scotland.
[ As with many such events, the area was probably at risk of sand inundation for centuries before, nevertheless, this does seem to have been a spectacular storm. The drifting of sand in the area was only stopped when the area was extensively planted-up with trees in the early part of the 20th century.]
 1,
LWH, 23,
17CWx
 1694/95
(Winter &
Spring)
 Long & severe frosts during the winter of 1694/95. A severe winter.
December 1694 - frost / snow started in London on 25th(OSP). At Oxford, frost began around 28th(NS)
January 1695 - Fairly general 'severe' conditions. Thames frozen on 23rd(OSP) and by the 30th(OSP), frost / continual snow had last for 5 weeks in London.
February 1695 - Deep snow after heavy falls 8th/9th(OSP). More snow end of month London area.
March 1695 - further 'significant' snowfall.
April 1695 - severe frost / heavy snow continuing well into around mid-month.
The third-coldest spring (March/April/May) in the CET record: with a value averaged over those three months of 6.0degC, the anomaly was approx. -2C below the all-series mean. (see also 1770 & 1837)
 6, 8,
CET, LWH
 1695
(Annual &
Seasonal)
 This is thought to be, for the British Isles as a whole, one of the coldest years 'ever known' (though sources don't make it clear if this is within the 'instrumental' era, or a much longer historical time-span. By the CET record (covering 'Midland' & parts of SE England), it is technically the second-coldest in that series (began 1659), with a value of 7.25degC. Only 1740 was colder. However, the series at this point is in its early phase with data given to the nearest 0.5degC only and based on few observations.
With a CET value (based on crude data at this point in the series) of 13.2degC, it was a notably cold summer - one of the 'top-5' cold summers using that series. July & August specifically were the second-coldest such-named months in that record: July 1695 was equal second (with 1802) with a value of 13.5 (to nearest half-degree C), beaten only by July 1816. August 1695 was equal second (with the previous year, 1694) with a value of 13.0, beaten only by August 1912. For these two months, the values represent an anomaly of something like two-and-a-half to three degrees C below the all-series average.
 6, 8, CET,
17CWx
 August - October
1695
 August 1695: 21st - N wind and night frost at the end of a cold summer with continual rain and westerly gales. 'Greater frosts were not always seen in winter' (John Evelyn at Wotton, Surrey).
(The summer of this year was one of the first in a sequence of disastrous harvests in Scotland, where famine ensued).
August 27th: Renewed rain / gales (winds mostly between NW & E) set in, and lasted until 12th October.
This was, for England at least, a wet season [ Summer ] - though perhaps only July & August. Evelyn notes on the 28th July (OSP) that this was "a very wet season". This succeeded much wet weather and set harvest extremely back". By the 25th, he wrote: "the season wet, great storms, unseasonable harvest weather". And on the 29th, " the weather very sharp, winter approaching apace". This seems to have been a remarkable couple of months, as the notes relating to the CET values (above) show.
September 12th (OS) / September 22nd (NS) - violent storm affecting the southern North Sea, the English Channel, Belgium, northeast France & coasts of England adjacent (i.e. Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent & perhaps Sussex). Many ships lost or damaged (significant of course given that much commerce was sea-borne); for example, 70 coaling ships were beached, with much loss of life as well as property, on the East Anglian coast. Trees felled in London (at least) & lives lost elsewhere due to shipwrecks.
 6, CET, 23,
17CWx
 December 1695
to February 1696
 With the exceptions noted below, it was a mild winter; using the CET record, the value averaged over the three months December, January & February was 4.7degC (based on monthly data to nearest half-degree C), which is roughly +1C anomaly on the whole-series mean & close to what we would expect in the 'warmed' modern-day era. It was also probably a wet season, at least up to early February (Evelyn).
An interval of snow / frost in the London area after mild, dark misty weather and before a long wet spell which lasted until February 1696. Intense frost (London/South?) on 26th January, temperature 9 degrees (?F) below zero in London. (in degC this would be: -23degC.)
 6, 8,
17CWx,
CET
 1696
(Summer)
 Westerly winds and frequent rains / gales set in on the 4th July, after warm, thundery June, and lasted until 15th August. Wet summer (and possibly a wet spring too) for London / Surrey & almost certainly more widespread across England - probably including Scotland.) Periods of flooding. There are reports from as far afield as Orkney of the harvest having been bad, or as having 'failed' due to the coldness and unseasonableness of the summer and the great rains. And this strain on agriculture (and therefore on the populace for availability of food) is noted widely across Scotland by December of 1696. [ Note that this season wasn't particularly cold across the CET domain, so it was probably a 'regional' event rather than British-wide. ]  6, 8,
17CWx,
CET
 August & September
1696
 18th August: End of rains in the South, where W winds brought mostly fair weather over the next month; dearth of food becoming serious in Scotland.  6
 1696
(September)
 18th September: stormy wet weather returns  6
 November
1696
 13th: Mostly fair weather, but with severe frosts near London, set in 13th to 20th after frequent stormy winds and rain since 18th September (q.v.).  6
 1696/97
(Winter)
 1696/97 A severe winter. The overall CET value for December, January & February was=1.3degC (monthly data to nearest 0.5C), which represents a rough anomaly of -2.5C on the all-series mean, and more than -3C on modern-day values. As the note below makes clear, the cold persisted throughout February, and Evelyn notes that there was also snow; soldiers in the armies and garrison towns were frozen to death at their posts.
11th December: East wind brought in spell of snowy weather lasting until February 1697.
West wind 27th to 29th December brought more snow but did not break the long frost near London.
8th January: NE gale renewed the frost ( after brief intermission with rain and drizzle in the London area 6th to 8th ).
February 1697 was a severe month in a severe winter in a decade of severe winters. CET=+ 0.5degC (at this point, the series is the nearest half-a-degree C only). [c.f. with the 1961-90 mean of 3.8degC.] Not a 'record-breaker', but certainly colder than we have become used to.
 6, 8, CET,
17CWx
 1697 & 1699  Appear to have been dry years. The total in the Upminster record for 1697 was 15.6 ins / 396 mm. Particularly dry (& warm) in the London area in 1699.  8
 May
1697
 Two notable hail storms this month, and others with little detail.
May 10th: (NS) at Chester, Edmund Halley recorded 'huge' hailstones which smashed roofs and windows. This is thought to have tracked for a distance of 53 miles from North Wales to NW England. Some of the individual stones weighed up to 8 ounces and were 5 or 6 inches in circumference.
May 14th or 15th (NSP) / ( May 4th in the calendar of the day ) 1697, a damaging hailstorm affected parts of Hertfordshire, observed to run from Hitchin to Great Offley (Hertfordshire), though the track may in fact have been longer: this would imply a movement from ENE to WSW. Several people killed. The size (diameter) of the hail from contemporary reports must have been in excess of 6 cm, and probably up to 8 or 9 cm. [ see also 1808: July & the TORRO web-site. ]
Other 'great thunderstorms, with hail', were noted on the 4th May (OSP) - stones described as being of 'immense size'; these may, of course, simply be re-stating the entry for the Hertfordshire event (above).
It was noted that there was a snowstorm in Wiltshire. Not perhaps unusual, but emphasising the persistence of cold long after the severe winter had ceased, however we also have to allow for the fact that hail (particularly large amounts of soft hail) are being called 'snow': it happens even today!
 TORRO,
LWH,
17CWx
 June 1697  Severe flood caused by lake burst in bog near Charleville, Co. Cork, the spring having been uncommonly wet in England and Ireland with frequent rain/hail.  6
 1697
(Autumn)
 A very cold season. The mean CET for the season (September-October-November) was 8.3degC (data to nearest half-degree), and placed it within the coldest two-dozen autumns in the series.
1st/2nd October (new-style calendar): Two weather-related disasters imply an event similar to that of January, 1953:
(a) A sand-drift disaster on the island of North Uist, where an inhabited site was buried by sand in the autumn of 1697, and
(b) a great storm-surge affecting both sides of the southern North Sea, though apparently it was most destructive on the continental shore.
This was a notably stormy period at the end of the 'Little Ice Age'. Both events were thought to have been caused by Gale/severe gale force north-westerly winds lasting over 24 hours.
Frosts sharp/severe in November, with rivers in the Netherlands blocked unseasonably early (even for those cold times). Fall of snow in the London area on the 24th November. Remaining cold/sleet/snow to the end of the month.
 23,
CET,
17CWx
 January
1698
 Before the cold / snow got going in earnest (see below), a wet / stormy period on the 3rd/4th January 1698. (Not unusual - see for example, 1947).  x
 Winter 1697/1698
& year 1698
 A severe winter (1697/98). Using the monthly mean values of CET, all three winter months (Dec, Jan & Feb) can be classified as 'very cold'; that is December 2.5degC; January 0.0degC and February 0.5degC, giving a seasonal mean of 1.0degC (NB: series only to nearest half degree C at this point in the record). When compared with the 1961-90 long period average, this represents an anomaly of -3.1 degC, and places it roughly 10th coldest in that 350+ year series. In this instance, the severe cold extended to Scotland as well, with great hardship at the time and throughout the year of 1698.
In general, frosty weather with heavy snow and frozen rivers occurred during much of this January (of 1698) in south-east England (and perhaps elsewhere - record not available). From the 10th January 1698, snow with deep drifts reported across the southeast of Britain. There is a report made at the time [17CWx ex Lamb] that the ice was 20 cm thick (presumably not measured in cm) on the coast of Suffolk.
[ This would imply that British Isles weather was dominated by a blocking high extending westwards over the country from Russia (using mean monthly reconstructed mslp maps).]
Frost, hail & snow persisted from January to May in this year (1698).
1698 reputed to have been the coldest year between 1695 & 1742.
First week of February. 1698: ice 8 inches (circa 20cm) thick on the sea coast of Suffolk.
There was deep snow all over England on the 3rd May (after snowfall up to 6 inches/15cm in Yorkshire on the 1st - and a keen frost) and the spring of 1698 was the most backward for 47 years; further snowfall 13th May in London and Yorkshire, with corn/fruit crops damaged. More snow 19th in Shropshire - described as 'deep';
Before the cold/snow got going, a wet / stormy period on the 3rd/4th January 1698. [see also notes re: February & March below]
 6, 8,
17CWx
 1698
(February & March)
 The severe conditions that occurred at the end of the January (see above), continued into February, but a rapid thaw set in on the 3rd(OSP) which lasted until the 14th(OSP). On the 24th February(NSP), with a return to wintry weather, a great snowstorm occurred with strong northerly winds: roads became blocked with drifts to 3m or more. [No further details as yet]. After a temporary thaw at the end of February, 1698, March turned out to be another 'winter' month: A cold easterly flow became re-established in early March, with freezing conditions, and by the 8th, rivers in south-eastern England were again frozen with ice 10cm or so thick. This cold spell, one of many that winter, lasted until the latter part of the month. On the 21st March though, milder southwesterly winds set in.  x
 1698
(May/spring)
  May, 1698 was the coldest May in the CET series (also for large parts of west/central Europe). The mean temperature for the month was 8.5 degC, almost 3 degC below the 1961-90 mean, and barely above the normal for April. The spring of 1698 followed a severe winter, and even in the 'Little Ice Age' was reputed to be the most backward for almost 50 years.
Contemporary accounts spoke of frequent heavy frosts, snow and hail throughout the spring, with a "great deep snow all over England" on 13th May(NS). [ Some sources have this as the 3rd May(OSP) ]
 CET, 8
 1698
(Summer &
Annual)
 The summer of 1698 was notably cold using the CET series. It may have also been wet (but no data on that), as the remark below implies that the growing crops were held back - usually a sign of a combination of cold and wet.
Added to the events listed above (q.v.), 1698 turned out to be another cold year (within Lamb's 'Little Ice Age'), with the CET value placing it within the 'top-5' of coldest years in that dataset (began 1659).
Based on remarks made at the time, and the Upminster (then Essex) record, it was a wet year (Upminster annual total=24.6" / ~624 mm), with July in particular very wet: total for that month=3.42 / ~87 mm) [ for comparison, the modern-day averages for that part of (now) London would be roughly 580 mm annual & 38 mm July, so the annual rainfall doesn't stand out, but the month of July certainly does - something like 200% of the modern-day mean value. ]
Much impact upon agriculture (e.g. extensive spoiling of the corn crop) and delay to harvest well into September & the poor / failed harvests are noted as far afield as Scotland (harvest not complete / possible here until January 1699) and the North Country; with wheat in particular badly affected, much hardship must have ensued to rural & poor urban families.
 CET,
8,
17CWx
 August
1698
 20th: Beginning of a short period of fine weather which saved some of the harvest in Yorkshire: later a long wet autumn ruined most of the crops, which sprouted before harvest.  6
 1698/1699
(Winter)
 Possibly a very wet season, at least in the London/SE area. Also mild, with no extended spells of cold/snowy weather, again at least in the London/Home Counties area.
February 19th (OSP): Possibly a major storm causing damage & death due to fall of trees etc. This would fit in with the idea of a markedly disturbed, cyclonic, mild winter (see above).
 17CWx /
Evelyn
 1699
(late Winter
/ Spring
 Before what appears to have been a widespread warm / hot summer across Britain (see below), Scotland at least (and perhaps also northern England), had a cold spring, which, taken with the poor summer & autumn of the previous year & the possibly excessive rain of winter, caused great hardship across the northern parts of these islands.  17CWx
 1699
(Annual & Summer /
early Autumn)
 Along with 1697 (q.v.), a dry year: a notably dry summer - the first of several hot summers after nine successive cold summers. July in particular stands out in the CET record with a value of 17.2degC, representing at least +1C on the all-series mean; there are also comments in the contemporary record that suggest that July 1699 was also very hot in Scotland, at least across the lowlands / border region. From comments by Evelyn, the hot weather may have started in the second half of June that year & continued into July - the June CET value isn't particularly dramatic, suggesting an 'unbalanced' month (cold first-half, warm / hot second-half); again after Evelyn, the warm / dry conditions may have continued throughout September & for the first two-thirds of October, and again, from contemporary records, these benign conditions thankfully extended to Scotland, at least the fertile lowlands, to allow them to recover somewhat from the failure of the harvests of previous years.
The annual rainfall for 1699 at Upminster (Essex) was just 15.19 ins / 386 mm.
[ In the CET series, the 1690s summers were the coldest, confirming the individual events noted above, but 1699 marked the start of a sharp reversal in fortunes. ]
 8, CET,
17CWx
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