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<<<<1700 - 1749

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

 Date T R S  Description  Ref:
 1750 - 1799
 1750  A very thundery year, with severe thunderstorms & hail causing flooding on the 11th & 24th July in this year.  8
 1751-1760
(10 years)
  In England, the summers of this period were the wettest in a record that began in 1697. These 10 wet summers in a row produced an overall anomaly of 127% of the modern-era mean.
1751 in particular is regarded as a notably wet year, at least in the London/SE region. It included a wet March, a wet first two-thirds of May and some severe thunderstorms & flooding in November.
The 1752 summer (London/SE) was noted as 'cool & damp'.
More wet summers for London/SE in 1755, 1756 & 1758.
 1,
8
 1751  A wet year. A wet March with continual rain from the 1st to 11th. Heavy rain during the first 18 days of May. Thunderstorm with snow/hail caused flooding on the 21st November. (all London).  8
 1751
(February)
 26th February(OS)/9th March(NS): severe gale affected most of the southern half of the country and destroyed a number of ships in the Thames.  8, 23
 1752-1840's  According to Lamb, this period (though with a 'lull' from 1783-1802) was "extraordinary for the frequency of explosive volcanic eruptions, which maintained dust veils high in the atmosphere & may have contributed (perhaps significantly) to the reversal of what otherwise would have been a noted climatic recovery from the late 1600's onwards. Some of the more notable events were:
(a): 1783 - Iceland, Japan.
(b): 1812 - St. Vincent, West Indies & Awu, Celebes.
(c): 1814 - Philippines.
(d): 1815 - Tambora, East Indies. (Lamb/CHMW) Optical effects recorded by observers of the time, along with some famous 'sunsets' in paintings by such as Turner.
[ see details against the particular years - where available. ]
 1
 20th July 1752  A whirlwind associated with a thunderstorm lifted two boats several feet (3 feet ~ = 1 metre) out of the Thames at Vauxhall and smashed one of them to pieces on the river bank. It is claimed (?) that this was the only thunderstorm in London during this year. A cool, damp summer.  8
 October 1752  Dry & warm (London/South).  8
 1753  Whitehall flooded on the 22nd March. (Storm-surge?)  8
 1755
(mid/late Winter - early/mid Spring)
 Odd sequence overall - generally cold, but with an anomalously warm April sandwiched in amongst the chill! The year 1755 was cold, with an anomaly of (minus)0.7C for the year. January (-1.0C), February (-2.6) & March (-1.3) were all notably cold, but April tried to correct this, promising a fine Spring. The CET figure for that month was 10.0 (+2.1C), and placed this April just outside the warmest 10 such-named months in the entire series. However, the promise failed, as May turned cold again, and ended up with an anomaly of -1.8C.  CET
 1755, 1756 & 1758  All wet summers in the London area. More generally, April of 1756 was notably wet by the EWP series: amongst the top 3 such-named months. (See also 1782 and 1818).  8, EWP
 1756
(May)
 May 1756 was notably cold. With a CET value of 9.1degC, this placed it just outside the 'top-10' or so coldest Mays in that long series, with an 'all-series' anomaly of over -2C.
> 6th May: Almost every day for a fortnight there has either been snow (large flakes) or large hailstones, and excessively cold. (as reported in the Journals of Ralph Jackson/Newcastle upon Tyne)
 CET,
other
 1756
(October)
 October 7th: a major cyclonic storm, with tornadic elements, affected much of the southern and central North Sea, most of Britain and continental areas on the other side of the North Sea. The strongest winds over Britain (with the most documented damage) occurred over northern England, with numerous trees blown down ('twisted-off', hence possible tornadoes). Buildings were damaged and there was considerable sea-salt contamination of farming land around the Solway Firth. In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, houses were 'blown down', ships sunk and others foundered on the shoreline or were blown out to sea. A high tidal surge reported on the German, Dutch & Danish coastlines: all these reports point to strongest winds being from NW or N.  23
 1757: (July)  A notably warm month by the CET record (starts 1659). The value of 18.4degC is roughly +2.5C on the all-series average, and placed it in the 'top-10' Julys in terms of warmth. The other 'summer' months were nothing special though; indeed, August 1757 was on the 'chilly' side, with a negative anomaly using the CET series.  CET
 1758
(Summer)
 A wet summer across England & Wales. The anomaly is given by Lamb (in CHMW) as 143% of LTA (1916-1950).  1
 December 1758  Thick fog on 2nd and 3rd December (London/South).  8
 January 1759   Exceptionally dry month over England & Wales.  x
 1762  Great flood in the Thames valley (.. date not given).  8
 1762 (late spring/early summer)  Fine, warm or very warm weather - prolonged from April to July. In the CET series (began 1659), it was in the top 10 to 15 summers (June, July & August) by that measure.  CET
 October 1762  Snow on 28th October (London/South).  8
 December / January 1762/63  January 1763 was a bitterly cold month. There was an intense frost from Christmas Day, 1762 until the end of January (?London/South)(LW), often accompanied by an easterly wind - which implies a Greenland / Scandinavian anticyclonic-blocking episode. The CET value was -0.8degC, some 4C below the approximate 'all-series' mean.  8,
CET
 1763-1772
(Summers)
 These years experienced wet summers, with an average for the period of 117%  1
 1763
(Summer)
 A very wet summer across England & Wales. The anomaly is given by Lamb (in CHMW) as 181% of LTA (1916-1950), and he ranks it as the second wettest in the rain-gauge record.
However, note that across Scotland, there are reports of a 'Great drought' during the summer of 1763 & differences north-to-south like this are quite common occurrences.
 1
 1763  Thames flooded (.. date & type not given, but given the wet summer noted above, possibly a fluvial event autumn / winter?).  8
 June 1764  18th: Severe thunderstorms: lightning destroyed churches & naval ship. (Helped to hasten introduction/installation/acceptance of lightning rods on tall buildings). A wet summer.  6, 8
 1765  A dry summer (London/South).  8
 1765  Foggy 21st to 26th August (London/South).  8
 Winter 1765/66  Severe winter [ November to February ]. Using the CET series, each of these months had an anomaly exceeding -2C, with December & January values nearer -2.5C (wrt all-series mean).
The driest January in the EWP series (which starts in this month/year), at 4.4mm. (see also ... 1740).( Also, the third driest any-month in the series. )
 8, EWP,
CET
 1766-1768
(Three consecutive cold Januarys)
 As an additional note to that above (q.v.), the Januarys of 1766, 1767 & 1768 were all bitterly cold, with anomalies (using the CET series) much greater than -2C, and that of 1767, with a CET of 0.1degC had an all-series anomaly of -3.1C.  CET
 Summers of 1766 & 1767  Both years had wet summers.  8
 start 1767 & start 1768  Both these years commenced with severe frosts which were described as comparable with the intensity of frosts of 1739/40. [ see also below ]  8
 May 1767  Snow on 5th May (London/South).  8
September 1767  Foggy 19th - 25th September; thick fog on 20th & 21st September.  8
 December 1767 - January 1768  Severe cold spell set in from roughly mid-December 1767 and lasted until beginning of the second week of January, 1768. Gilbert White (Selborne) writes: .. "the most severe known for many years - much damage to ever-greens". [This latter comment perhaps implies that as well as very low temperatures, there was a considerable 'wind-burn' effect.]
During last few days of December 1767, 'considerable' falls of snow at Selborne (NE Hampshire). Bitterly cold spell second half of December 1767. Further snowfall in the opening days of January 1768. Some very low temperatures - daytime maxima no higher than 18 or 19 degF (circa -7degC) in some places.
Severe frost and deep snow (London/South).
 8, White
 1768
(February)
  Snow-melt & rain event overtopped banks (of the River Aire) in Leeds (W. Yorkshire). The EWP value (representing an areal average across England & Wales) for that month showed nearly twice the 'all-series' value for that month, following a slightly-above average precipitation value for January. Following-on the remarks under January (above), I think we can assume that snowfall during January around and above Leeds (across the Pennine headwaters of the Aire) must have been considerable. [The year 1768 is the second-wettest year in the EWP series - see below].  EWP
 June
(& summer) 1768
 7th: Beginning of wettest part of a record wet summer in England. Rain on at least 36 days out of the next 44; thundery. On 11th/12th June, a "two day deluge".
A wet summer across England & Wales. Lamb (in CHMW) gives the anomaly as 164% of LTA (1916-1950), and he ranked it as the sixth wettest in the rain-gauge record. [See also the comment against September/below]
 1, 6, EWP
 1768
(September)
  Heavy rain at Bruton, Somerset led to severe flooding in the area on the 1st. The river rose very rapidly, completely destroying one of the stones bridges, with the force of water causing the breaking of house windows in the nearby village of Pitcombe. According to contemporary reports, a localised 'violent' storm (presumably adding to already high water levels - see below), caused the River Brue to "swell three feet perpendicular within 5 minutes", resulting in the severe flooding of numerous houses, destruction of the town bridge and demolition of walls throughout Bruton. (1768 was a notably wet year - see below: the immediately preceding summer 1768 [ JJA ], was also wet using the EWP series, with June 1768 the second wettest June in the series, and the summer anomaly averaging out at over 175% of long-term).  EWP
 December 1768  A report of the London-Exeter coach being carried away by a flood on the Thames near Staines (? 1st) with the loss of all 6 passengers & four horses.  8
 1768  The second wettest year in the EWP series (as at 2006), with 1247mm of rain. See also 1872, 1852, 1960 & 2000.
A notably wet year in London. A wet summer but the heaviest rain fell in the autumn. Major flooding along the River Thames during December.
 8, EWP
 1769  Foggy 10th to 13th October (London/South).  8
 1770
(February)
 Wind-driven storm caused much wave-damage at Porlock & Watchet (Bristol Channel coast, Somerset).  x
 1770
(Spring)
 With a CET averaged over the three months of March, April & May 1770 of 5.97degC, this Spring was technically the second-coldest such-named season in that record (but for all intents, equal with 1695 given the approximations involved in the earlier part of the series). (See also 1695 & 1837)
SNOW on 2nd to 4th May (London/South).
 8,
CET
 1770
(August)
 The storms / floods affecting many parts of the south of England from the 6th onwards (& parts of SE Wales) were notable. Severe thunderstorms broke out in west Cornwall on the 6th - extending across much of Cornwall, Devon & the West of England by the end of the 7th. A great flood occurred at Lynmouth (North Devon) - on a par with the event of August, 1952. The notably stormy weather, with high-intensity rainfall events, lightning / hail damage, violent thunder etc., extended across most southern areas by the 12th August. Deaths, both stock & humans were reported. Much loss of crops. (NB: the EWP value for this month was nothing special).  x
 1770
(November)
 1. Second wettest November in the EWP series (began in 1766). Total rainfall was 201mm, not far short of the record for November of 203mm set in 1852.[ One of only three months (any month that is) in the record to reach or exceed 200mm, the others being October, 1903 and November, 1852 ]. In Worcester, on the River Severn, there was a 'very great flood', with the waters 10 inches higher than the flood of 1672 (q.v.)  EWP
 1771
(February & May)
 Foggy 18th - 24th February; thick fog 3rd, 11th & 12th May (London/South).
A wet summer.
 8
 1771
(March)
 25th March: (Lady Day) - In Margate (Kent), the snow was drifted above 6 ft (~2m) with temperatures below 0degC.  x
 November 1771  6th: Heavy rain & floods at Kings Lynn.
16th: Heavy rains flooded the rivers Tyne, Wear and Tees, washing away most bridges.
 6
 1772  A dry warm summer (London/South).  8
 1773
(late Spring & Summer)
 Based on records from Lambeth (London/south of the River), May, July & August were all part of a wet summer for the capital & surrounding areas. May in particular experienced over 180% of the contemporary average, and August, which was the second-wettest month of that year, had 3.96ins / 100mm, representing ~160% of the mean.  8
 Summer to early September 1773  2nd September: First rain in N. Scotland after long/dry summer with waterfalls dried out. However note that in LW, summer 1773 is noted as 'wet' - not unusual for this 'upside-down' precipitation pattern though.
7th September: Very wet & stormy in NW Scotland & Hebrides: autumn continued rainy until 3rd November. 20th September: Rain/gales in Hebrides.
 6, 8
 1773/1774 (autumn+winter+early spring):  September 1773 to February 1774: By EWP series, and relating to the 1961-1990 average, all months were above average; total rainfall this period=688mm [ average=508mm ], which represents 135%. None of the months exceptionally wet but enough prolonged rainfall to cause significant problems in the early Spring of 1774.  EWP
 March 1774  12th(NSP): Henley bridge (Berkshire / Oxfordshire border) destroyed by flood waters - partly tidal (!) though primarily due to heavy rainfall/fluvial drainage. This flood was the highest on record at Teddington, and more generally the worst flood of the 18th century along the Thames Valley. The sequence of events (a deep/penetrating frost leading to frozen ground, some heavy snow, then a rapid thaw accompanied by heavy rain) led to the flooding (and remember the sub-soil was already saturated after the sustained rainfall since the previous autumn. 12th March was the nominal high point of the Thames flood. Elsewhere, 50 acres of land destroyed by a landslip at Selbourne (Hants). At Mapledurham, (between Pangbourne & Reading), recent estimates are that the flood level at this point was 0.6m / 2ft above the level of the major inundation of 1894 (q.v.)
 8
 1775-1784
(Summers)
  Another in the 18th century series of wet summers (see also 1751-1760 & 1763-1772). The anomaly for these years is given by Lamb as 115%. This set of summers were also warm.  1,
CET
 1775
(late spring - early summer)
 Fine, warm weather prolonged through April, May and June. Very heavy thunderstorm with hail (in London) on the 30th.  8
 1775
(Summer)
 A wet summer across England & Wales. Lamb (in CHMW) gives the anomaly as 144% of LTA (1916-1950). In fact, the anomaly was concentrated into July & August (well over twice average rainfall taking the two months together), whereas June was largely dry (see above). The wet 'high summer' months were followed by a wet autumn, and the anomaly July to November~160% of LTA.  1, EWP
 1776 (January - February)  1775/76: Severe winter; Severe cold weather much of Europe 9th Jan to 2nd Feb: Thames frozen for some time; intensely stormy cyclonic February followed.
January: A widespread and often severe frost for a large part of the month. Also snow. (The 'Great Frost' from accounts by Gilbert White). The month overall almost as cold as the record cold January of 1963. A severe/prolonged cold spell. There were interludes of mild/melting, but snowfall was often considerable, with frequent drifting. Considerably low temperatures over the snow-cover during the second half of the month. Minima recorded at South Lambeth were reported as 11, 7, 6 and 6degF on the nights of 28th to the 31st. (in degC down to about -14degC.). At Selborne (NE Hampshire), the figures for the same nights were: 7, 6, 10 and 0 degF, the 0degF converts to -18degC. These low values were often accompanied by fog, and some reports suggest temperatures as low as -4 deg Fahrenheit at Chatham and -11deg Fahrenheit at Maidstone, both Kent. Obviously daytime temperatures were very low, with sub-zero values persistent.
By the CET series, this January is in the 'top-10' of cold such-named months in that dataset, which runs from 1659.
(A sudden thaw/milder weather evening 1st February.)
 6, White, CET
 October - December 1776  Fog on 14 days in October, 11 days in November and 18days in December (London/South).  8
 1778 - 1800  Dry years frequent in London area over these years. The following are picked out as 'noteworthy': 1780, 1781, 1788, 1795 & 1796. Includes four warm summers (1778**, 1780, 1781 & 1783). [ ** contains a wet July!]
[ However, note also that this period contained some notably wet years/summers! ]
 8
 1779 (January to March)  The first three months of this year were exceptionally dry by the EWP series. January 1779 was the 3rd driest January in that series, February 8th driest, and March 7th driest. In all, under 20% of the average rainfall was assessed by the EWP set.
Exceptionally warm February in particular: by the CET series, the warmest February in that series with a value of 7.9degC. March was in the 'top-10' of warmest such named months. Also 'fine, warm and mild' in Scotland. [ NB: the winter 1778/79 was also mild, which is unusual, because we (early 21st century) have become used to mild winters/early springs being associated with wet seasons.]
 CET, EWP
 1779
(late Summer/early Autumn)
Warm, or very warm through July, August and September,but see note below & elsewhere.
Lambeth recorded 6.5 inches of rain (~165mm) in July 1779; this is a considerable amount above the local average - something around 275%.(LW) Using the wider EWP series, the total was 149mm (roughly 250% of the mean), and it just comes into the 'top-10' of wettest Julys in that series: the rainfall was obviously excessive over a wider area of England & Wales.
 8,
EWP
 1779  After the notably dry start (see above), it turned out to be a rather wet year, with a wet summer (see above) - though LW notes the August as being 'fine & warm'.  8
 1779/80
(Winter)
 Severe winter (London/South).
Coldest winter in the series 1764/65 to 1962/63 at Edinburgh, Scotland.
Using the CET series for lowland England, the anomaly for the three 'standard' winter months of December, January & February was -2.3C on the all-series mean. January 1780 was particularly cold with a CET value of -0.9degC (-4C anomaly).
 8,
CET
 1780: (Annual)  A notably dry year by the EWP series - in the 'top-5' by that measure (at 2002). (See also 1788, 1854, 1887 & 1921);
a dry/warm summer (London/South).
Fog on 10 days in August (London/South).
 8, EWP
 1781  Heavy thunderstorm on 17th February.
1781: (March): An exceptionally dry month in the EWP series. 5.6mm of rain credited, the driest March in the series, and in the 'top 5' driest *any-month* in that series. Coming after a notably dry year (1780/q.v.) and a dry winter, the lack of rainfall during this 'sowing-out' month must have hit agriculture hard.
A dry year; a notably warm summer (London/South & more generally across England & Wales). Remarkably warm by the CET series June, July & August.
 8, EWP, CET
 1781
(Summer)
 In Scotland, (in contrast to note above), the summer was cold & dry: grass & corn failed to grow properly.  1
 1782
(February & March)
 Aberdeenshire: snow began to fall in earnest on 1st February, with a 'good deep storm on the ground' by the 8th. The snow continued to fall thereafter, with hard frosts, so that by the 14th February, 'it was computed 8 inches over all (circa 20cm). The hard, persistent frost was also noted at Forres, Morayshire - here it is said to have began on the 1st February & continued for 8 weeks, i.e. throughout March.
By the 1st March, much of the earlier snow in Scotland had disappeared from the lowlands, but with plenty remaining on the hills. Mixed weather came to an end on the 10th, with a return of widespread snow to north and south of Scotland alike. On the 11th, it is reported that there was a 'great' fall of snow, which continued at least 12 hours. Aberdeenshire again badly affected, with snow recorded every day between the 12th & 28th. Snowfall, with depths of between 2 and 3ft [~ 1m ] also noted at Forres, Morayshire.
 x
 1782
(April & May)
  Wettest such pair of months in the EWP series. Total=281mm. (see also 1983 & 2000). In particular, April was the wettest such-named month in the EWP series (until 2000 q.v.). 112.5mm recorded for this month in Oxford (Radcliffe Observatory?).
6th April (Scotland): A late 'storm' of snow in the West Highlands proving fatal for large numbers of sheep. Heavy snow was also noted from Northamptonshire [English east Midlands] during April.
 EWP
 1782
(Annual & individual)
 A wet year with a wet summer (in London). The equal 10th wettest year in the EWP series, with 1109mm (= with 1789). Amongst the wet months that year were: January, April (139mm/wettest April in series), May (142mm/2nd wettest May in series), July, August (151mm/6th wettest August in series) and September.
1782: (January): Three floods in 10 days noted at Forres, Morayshire.
April & May: wettest such pair of months in the EWP series. Total=281mm. (see also 1983 & 2000)
In Scotland, for the second year in a row, the season was 'cold & backward' such that unripened corn was buried by the snow that fell in October.
 1, 6, 8, EWP
 1782
(September
& October)
 A great fall of snow across NE Scotland (" the black aughty-twa ") on September 15th & again on October 31st - oat crops ruined and it was Christmas before the crop was cut - and even then it was only fit for cattle feed. The resultant dearth of food led the Duke of Gordon to give his tenants a rebate on rents, or extended time to pay them.  1
 Summer 1783 to late winter 1783/84  Icelandic volcanic eruption (Laki): Primary eruptions (five) from June 8th to July 8th, 1783 (60% of the total volume of ejection), but minor eruptions occurred until early February, 1784. A major event, with huge production of sulphur & acid products, as well as the largest production of lava in recorded history. The majority of emissions are thought to have been confined to the troposphere, but the initial ejections of each of the five major events did penetrate the tropopause and entered the stratosphere. The intense period of eruption tallied with contemporary reports across Europe of a blue haze or dry-fog in the atmosphere, damage to vegetation and occurrence of respiratory problems (later analysis suggests that the mortality due to the sulphur-based haze was counted in tens of thousands dead): the effects noted at the time throughout summer & autumn. These effects are consistent with increased atmospheric loading of acid aerosols, particularly sulphates. Because of the (suspected) lack of major stratospheric impact, there is controversy surrounding this event: For Iceland itself, the following winter (1783/84) was known as the 'Famine Winter': 25% of the population died (many from wet and dry deposition of acidic pollutants). Note, there is still some argument as to whether this led to changes to the regional/European climate in the years 1783, 1784 etc., and / or by how much.  (var, VOLC)
 late Winter / early Spring 1783/1784  January to April 1784 ... notably cold, and persistently so by CET series. In particular, the winter (1783 December - 1784 February) CET=1.2degC, some 2.5C below the all-series average. The Thames was completely frozen in February and traffic crossed on the ice. (LW)
In Scotland, the period around and after Christmas was bitterly cold with a 'violent' easterly storm 25th/26th December, which caused havoc along the Scottish east coast, and brought a large amount of snow which drifted significantly.
(NB: the following winter/1784-85 was also about 1degC colder than average. This has been attributed to the Laki eruption event but there is some doubt about this - see above.)
2nd/3rd January: Scotland - a severe snowstorm affecting at least the Aberdeen area, with much drifting. Drifts were reported to have reached around 5 or 6 metres in Aberdeenshire, seriously dislocating travel. Houses all down the eastern side of Scotland were unroofed, rocks were blown into harbours on the east coast, and stacks of corn & hay were carried away. Reports from Edinburgh suggest that widespread bad conditions occurred elsewhere.
 CET,
8, 23
 Summer 1783  1. Hot dry weather set in during June after continual rains. The fine weather was marred until 20th July or later by persistent thick smoky haze and pall, apparently from an Iceland volcano [ see above ]. Overall though, noted as a 'warm' summer (London/South).
2. July 1783 was a notably warm month (in the CET series), not only for July but for any summer month. The value of 18.8degC represents an anomaly of +2.9C over the all-series mean, placing it second warmest in the July lists, and also making it the fourth warmest any named month in that series (which starts in 1659.) [ The other summer months, June and August, were above-average, but by half-a-degree or less, so nothing special. ]
3. A 'high-summer' noteworthy for it's thunderstorm activity. There is a possible link with the high pollution (atmospheric aerosols) due to the 'Laki' eruption.
 6, 8, CET
 1783 (autumn)  Foggy 26th September to 6th October (London/South).  8
 1783/84 & 1784/85
(winters)
 Two successive severe winters occurred in these years; in both winters the Thames was completely frozen for a short period, with navigation affected for much longer periods. In 1783/84, almost continuous frost from late December 1783 to late February 1784. In 1784/85, frost/snow from early December 1784 to early January 1785, most of February and during the first half of March.
Regarding the winter of 1784/85 in particular, in East Anglia (& more widely), the 'winter' season was regarded as extending from the first fall of snow in October (7th) to that which fell on April 4th. The whole period (apart from 12 days in January) had been frosty. Reports from southern Scotland also make mention of 'remarkable' snow & drifts during the winter, with the Spring notably frosty. Other reports from London & the south (LW) note a 'severe winter'. Frost & snow from early December to early January, most of February and during the first half of March. The Thames frozen solid at times and traffic crossed on the ice.
The mean CET for the extended 'winter' period of December 1784 to March 1785 inclusive, was 1.3degC, nearly 3C below the all-series mean for that four-month period. In fact January 1785 in this series was just above average, so it could have been even worse!
[ This has been attributed to the Laki eruption event but there is some doubt about this - see above.]
 8,
CET
 1784-1786  Three successive cold years; heavy snow fell on the 25th October 1784 and there was snow on the 26th & 29th October 1785.  8
 1784
(Annual & Summer)
 In this cold year (in the 'top-10 coldest years in the CET record - see below), the summer was wet in London/South; sleet observed near coast of the Moray Firth in August & heavy snow (?London) on the 25th October.
1784 was a notably cold year; with a CET value of 7.8degC, this year falls within the 'top-10' of coldest years in this series (since 1659), and is approximately 2C below the modern-day average. In particular, the summer was consistently chilly. Each summer month (JJA) had a CET anomaly of at least (minus)0.5C, and August had an anomaly of -1.6C on the whole-series mean.
(The 1780's were one of the coldest decades in the CET series & this year was the coldest within those 10 years. There was a notable sequence of three cold years, 1784-1786, where the annual mean for each year was over 1C below the modern-day average.)
 6, 8, CET
 1784
(October)
 Following a dry September (EWP=41mm/~50% LTA), October 1784 was exceptionally dry using this same series, with a value of 16 mm, representing roughly 18% of the average, and placing it third driest for the month of October across England & Wales.
Not only was it notably dry but it was cold; the CET value is quoted as 7.8degC, which gives an anomaly of roughly -2C on the all-series average. Snow fell in Suffolk on the 7th, at the start of a remarkably cold & dry spell that lasted right through the winter and spring of 1784/85.
 CET,
EWP
& Earl Soham
diary
 January 1785  Over Scotland, around the middle two weeks of January, some severe snowstorms, followed by prolonged frosts - lasting into May in some areas. (Not necessarily continuous though!)  x
 1784 December to 1785 June  Notably dry during this period. Less than 50% of the average rainfall over these 7 months, and includes the exceptionally dry months of March 1785 (19mm) and April 1785 (10mm/6th driest April in the series). Great distress to Agriculture by the spring / early summer 1785, with spring-sowing failing due to lack of moisture & cattle having to be either killed or fed on sub-standard supplies. [ The drought even more severe in France. ]
 x
 1785:
(March)
 Very cold: CET=1.2 degC, the second coldest March in the series.  CET
 1785:
(Annual)
 One of the driest years across England & Wales (using the EWP series) - into the 'top-10' using that measure.
Cold year: snow on the 26th & 29th October (?London).
 8, EWP
 November 1785  1st: Tornado damage in Nottinghamshire.  6
 1786  A cold year: A dry summer (London/South).
Autumn (September to November), was persistently cold (based on the CET series). All three months had anomalies (w.r.t. modern values) between -2 & -3.5C, & November 1786 was equal-tenth (with 1923, 1919, 1740 & 1746) coldest such-named month in the series with a CET value of 3.3degC. For the autumn overall, the average CET of 7.5degC is nearly 3C below the 1971-2000 average for autumn.
 8,
CET
 1786
(September)
 14th/15th September, 1786: Major storm affected much of the British Isles (but perhaps not Scotland) - destroyed houses, overturned coaches/wagons & killed many people. Many trees in the south of England were 'torn up by their roots', with the New Forest specifically mentioned. Ships were driven ashore and damaged or destroyed, with deaths of sailors the result. Lamb thinks that the strongest winds (possibly gusts to 80 knots) occurred in a broad belt across the English Midlands, and the wind may have been 'unusually squally'.  23
 1786/87 (winter)  Notaby mild in Scotland. (Severe/cold winters were common at this time - so quite unusual). December was wet & stormy according to an Aberdeen paper, without much frost/snow. The remarkably mild weather affected much of January - temperatures by day in Kelso for example rising to 5 to 10 degC from late December until mid-January. February also noted as being without 'harsh' weather.  x
 1788  A dry year (London/South). The driest year in the EWP series with 612mm of rain; this represents roughly two-thirds of the all-series mean. [Other dry years: 1921 & 1887 q.v.]. Includes the driest December in the EWP series, with a value of just 9 mm averaged over England & Wales. From records in the London area (quoted in 'London Weather'), both South Lambeth and Somerset House failed to record any rain during December.  8, EWP
 June 1788  28th: probably the wettest day ever recorded in Suffolk.  6
 1788/89
(winter)
 30th November 1788 - earliest known case of a long unbroken frost began on this date, lasting until early January 1789. Although the winter overall didn't stand out as regards severity, December, and to a lesser extent January, were bitterly cold. The CET value for December 1788 was -0.3degC, some 4.4C below the 'all-series' mean for that month, and for January 1789, the value of 1.5degC was nearly 2C below the 'all-series' mean. December 1788 in particular is comfortably in the 'top-5' of coldest Decembers in the CET series. The Thames was completely frozen during this severe winter (implying a persistence of sub-zero temperatures) and a frost fair was held on the river, with the usual reports of sports / pastimes etc. "Deep snow" is noted in contemporary reports, diaries etc. (In the London area, the 'hard frost' is noted as having lasted from the 25th November, 1788 to the 14th January, 1789.(LW)
The combination of the extreme drought of 1788 (q.v.) & the bitter, frosty conditions, meant that water was in very short supply in the winter of 1788/89; much 'profiteering' as small quantities of water were sold for high prices.
 6, 8, usw, CET
 1789  A wet summer (in London). Probably the 10th wettest year (equal with 1782) in the EWP series: in particular, May to July of that year was a particularly wet period, with a total rainfall for those three months of around 350mm (EWP), representing roughly 180% of the mean. This was of course in marked contrast to the previous (notably dry) year - see 1788.
(This was only beaten for these three months by 2007 / 415 mm May, June & July q.v.)
 8,
EWP
 1789/90 (winter)  Very mild winter in Scotland. December 1789 began with mild, dry weather from the south-west followed by a mixture of frost and 'fresh' days, with some snow about. Frost at the beginning of January was certainly hard enough to stop ploughing, but fine, fresh weather returned from the south on 6th January and continued for the next three weeks. February continued in similar vein, with winds generally from the southwest.
(However, winter 'arrived' in April, with severe frosts and frequent snowfall; (see below.)
[ Also a mild winter England & Wales, with an anomaly for the three 'winter' months of +2C.]
 x, CET
 1790 (January)  Fog on 22 days in January (London/South).  8
 1790 (April)  After a notably mild winter (see above), 'winter' weather set in with a vengeance in Scotland. Intense cold with frequent hail / snow, with snowfall in the hills more like January than April. Great deal of snow on the 12th with intense cold. Similar on the 15th, with further snowfall in Scotland. The CET value was 6.1degC, around 1.8C below the all-series mean; this month was colder than February or March this year.  CET
 1790 (June)  Temperature of 91degF (33 degC) on 22nd June (London??)  8
 1790 (December)   December 23rd: a severe storm of rain, hail & thunder with very vivid and long flashes of lightning. It extended (reportedly) over the greater part of England & Ireland. Much damage was done to shipping and to houses in London, Windsor, Colchester etc.  x
 1791
(February)
 February 2nd, a notably high tide accompanied by high winds led to flooding down many east English coastal areas. Specifically, we have notes of flooding in Westminster ('Lawyers were ferry'd into Westminster Hall'), Ipswich, and other coastal areas of Lincolnshire, East Anglia & Kent. (LW/Earl Soham).  8
 1791 (June)  On the 12th June 1791 (also the 2nd June 1975), snow fell in London (and elsewhere across southern England), but melted off almost immediately. [With these older reports, we always have to consider the possibility of mis-reporting soft hail etc. June 1791 is not noted as being a particularly cold month - indeed, by the CET series, it was slightly above average as far as the all-month temperature goes. However, in that other famous example, 2nd June, 1975, the cold start, with snow, turned rapidly to a fine, warm type thereafter q.v.]  x
 1792 (summer)  A wet summer (in London).  8
 1792 (December) According to Lamb, the month of December, 1792 is remarkable for the frequency with which gales and storm-force winds were reported from many parts of Europe, including the areas adjacent to the North Sea. The upper-air pattern must have been greatly developmental with a very strong jet persisting.
Amongst the notable storms that Lamb (& others) analysed for this month are included: 5th (Southern North Sea), 7th/8th (whole North Sea), 10th-12th (whole North Sea) and 19th-23rd (eventually the whole of the North Sea).
Lamb / Wheeler,
23
 1792
(Annual)
 This was a wet year (~120% of long-term average), with a particularly wet spell from July to September, the latter month being 9th in the 'wettest' list (for Septembers) in the EWP.  EWP
 1793  A dry summer (London/South).  8
 January 1794 A 'remarkable' snowstorm swept the southwest of Scotland beginning on the 23rd January 1794. It came to be known locally as the 'Gonial Blast' because of the extraordinary number of sheep that were killed, in addition to the deaths of many of the shepherds attending. [gonial/goniel=mutton of sheep]{'Weather': Vol49/p415,416}
The following is a report written after the event: " there is a place called the Beds of Esk, where the tide throws out and leaves whatever is carried into it by the rivers. When the flood after the storm subsided, there was found on that place and shores adjacent, one thousand eight hundred and forty sheep, nine black cattle, three horses, two men, one woman, forty-five dogs and one hundred and eighty hares, beside a number of meaner animals."
 see
text
 1794 (summer)  A dry, warm summer (London/South).  8
 1794
(Autumn)
 A very wet season over England & Wales (by the EWP series): The anomaly over the three months September, October & November was ~140%. In Norwich specifically, 'excessive rains in September, October & November occasioned a flood of the lower parts of the city; boats were rowed in several streets, and the water was from 2 to 3 feet deep in many houses.  EWP
 1794/95 (winter & early spring)  The winter of 1794/95 was exceptionally severe, with the very cold conditions setting in on Christmas Eve 1794 (though it had been cold since November). The frost then lasted, with some breaks, until late March. The cold was most intense during January, with resulted in the coldest January (and the coldest 'any-month') in the instrumental era (as assessed by CET measure/series begins 1659). The February value of 0.8degC was 3.0C below the long-term mean. On the 23rd, the Severn was frozen and so was the Thames, with the usual 'frost fairs' being set up there. On the 25th January, an extreme temperature of (minus) 21 degC (converted from degF) was recorded at an unspecified location in England, though some references give this as 'London'(**).
A rapid but temporary thaw, accompanied by heavy rain began on the 7th February(##). This resulted in much flooding across large areas of (at least) England - extensive damage to bridges. The severe cold returned after February 12th, and (as noted above), continued well into March. Snow was noted on several occasions between 13th February & 2nd March at Syon House, then a highly rural location on the north (Middlesex) shore of the Thames, opposite Kew Gardens. The snow events were accompanied by 'easterly' winds & anticyclonic type positioned to the north.
In Scotland, it was the seventh coldest winter at Edinburgh in the series 1764/65 - 1962/63. {coldest 1779/80} Frequent heavy snowfall reported from many places in Scotland during January 1795, with transport severely disrupted.
**[There are considerable doubts surrounding the exact value here; one interpretation of the original value is that it represented -38degF, representing -39degC. This would be extreme indeed, and given that temperatures were often read inside unheated rooms at this time, and that the likely location was London (albeit a fraction of it's current size), -39degC is in my view far too low.]
##The problem was one of melting snow plus heavy rain, on top of frozen ground (which takes some time to thaw out after an extended very cold winter), coupled to a wet previous autumn: the autumn of 1794 averaged over England & Wales had around 140-150% of 'normal' rainfall, with much of the excess 'locked up' in the ground by early severe frosts from November onwards. There are many contemporary reports of buildings of 'every description' being swept away; bridges, canals, turnpikes etc., being rendered unusable. Many lives lost. Even some of the 'great' country houses of the land were 'mid-leg deep in Water', with tales of people passing from room to room in boats.
 6, 8, CET
 February 1795  Thames flood in mid-February (in London).  8
 April & May 1795  April brought significant flooding after the snow of the winter (see above), and May brought more snow. On the 15th May (calendar uncertain), snow lay about a foot (30cm) deep in Aberdeenshire, and thick layers of ice covered the rivers.  x
 1795
(September)
 A remarkable September! It was both one of the wrmest Septembers on record, with a CET value of 16.0 degC (nearly 3C above the all-series mean), and in the 'top-5' of warmest such-named months. It was also very dry with an EWP value of just 13 mm, placing it also in the 'top-5' of dry such-named months. Indeed, at Somerset House (London), only 0.08 ins of rain was recorded, or roughly 2 mm.  CET,
EWP,8
 1795  A dry year; Hot & dry in September (London/South).  8
 1795/96 (winter)  One of the warmest winters (by CET) in the series which began in 1659. Up to 1997, rank=7 Value=6.20; Dec=6.6, Jan=7.3, Feb=4.7 (Others: 1686, 1734, 1834, 1869, 1935, 1975, 1989 and 1990.)  CET
 1796  A dry year; a dry summer (London/South).  8
 December 1796  Very severe frost in London on the 25th: -21degC in Marylebone, -19degC in Mayfair. Thames frozen.
Although the winter overall did not stand out as regards low temperatures, December in particular, using the CET record, was amongst the five coldest such-named months in that record (since 1659), and included a bitterly cold spell around Christmas. The temperature in London on Christmas Eve was noted as ~(minus)21degC, and Christmas Day was intensely cold, with the Thames frozen.
 6, 8, CET
 1796/97 (winter)  A notably stormy season.  x
 1797  Fog daily 16th - 28th February (London/South).
A wet summer (in London). A rather wet summer generally across England & Wales. According to Lamb (in CHMW), the anomaly was 140% of LTA (1916-1950).
 1, 8
 1798 (late spring)  Persistently warm weather through April, May and June by CET series.  CET
 1798/99
(Winter)
 Severe frost late December to early January (London/South).
Frequent, heavy snowfalls affecting at least eastern and central Scotland, from last third of December onwards. Much transport dislocation in late 1798, and again from late January 1799 onwards. (No details for elsewhere in the UK.)
A notably severe winter over western Europe / implied much of Britain (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb).
Early February, 1799 (probably 1st to 3rd), an Edinburgh paper noted that 'these 3 days past, intense frost, accompanied by heavy snow, with a strong gale from the NE. All communication with the country (Scotland) will be interrupted.' Similar story from Aberdeen for these days, there reporting snow 'for eight days past' i.e. from late January. A 'strong gale' from the NE caused much drifting. Later, on the 7th, a great fall of snow interrupted communications, and a 'great storm of snow' in the Edinburgh area on the night of the 8th is reported: newspapers on the 9th confirmed the extreme effects from as far north as Banff. Road completely blocked by blowing snow.
 1, 8
 1799 (spring)  March to May: persistently cold weather by CET series. In particular, the CET value for March (3.4degC) and April (5.4degC) were some 2 to 2.5 degC below average. From records in Devon (Moretonhampstead), winds were often from between north and east. Snow also often noted. From records in Kendal (Westmorland / Cumbria), we have . . "No vegetation in the fields, nor blossoms upon the fruit trees, on the 7th May, 1799. The skins of upwards of 10,000 lambs, which perished in the spring, were sold in this town. The weather was cold and wet all through the year."  CET,
CUMB
 June 1799  22nd June: beginning of long rainy spell: only 8 days without rain in a spell lasting until 17th November.
June 23rd: snowstorm, three feet (about 1m) depth in some places in upland areas of NE Scotland.
 6
 August 1799  August 17th: severe southwesterly storm (with heavy rain) affected the West Country. A lot of damage reported from agricultural property (loss of crops etc.), with the Corn crop particularly affected. Fruit also severely 'blown'.  (Local)
 1799
(Annual)
 Looking at the CET record, the year 1799 was within the 'top-20' of coldest years in that series [value=7.9/about -1.3C all-series anomaly](starts 1659), and for the 18th century specifically, it was beaten for low temperatures only by 1784 (7.8degC) & 1740 (6.8degC).  CET
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