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<<<<1750 - 1799

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

 Date T R S  Description  Ref:
 1800 - 1849
 1800-1839
(40 years)
  These first 40 years of the 19th century often contained references to excessive rainfall, floods etc. Using the EWP series, the following years had precipitation %ages of roughly=/> 110% . . . 1816, 1821, 1824, 1828, 1830, 1831 & 1839. In particular, 1828 & 1839 (~120%) stand out, though even these don't appear in the 'top-10' of wettest years in that series. There is evidence from London-area data that (as might be expected) there were notable regional variations. For example, from the Greenwich series (LW), the wettest years in these four decades did NOT coincide with the EWP set; for London, it appears that 1821 (~140%) and 1824 (~150%) captured the most rainfall, and two years (1817 & 1819), although not 'notable' in the England/Wales-wide series, were wet in the London/SE area.
However, as always with such sweeping statements, there were notable exceptions! The following years and / or seasons are noted as being 'dry' during these first 40 years of the 19th century:
>1800 - A dry summer.
>1802 - A dry year.
>1807 - A dry year & a dry summer.
>1818 - A long, dry & hot summer. (see below)
>1825 - A dry summer. A notable hot spell in July.
>1826 - A warm summer. (see below)
>1827 - A dry summer.
>1835 - A dry summer.
>1840 - A dry year; a dry summer.
 EWP,
8
 First 40 yr. of 19th C.  Often wet in London, with 8 years wet (1816, 1817, 1819, 1821, 1824, 1828, 1831 & 1839), with 1821 & 1824 being 'outstandingly' wet. 10 wet summers noted: just 3 'dry' years in this period noted: 1802, 1807 & 1840.
There were 7 severe winters in this period: 1813/14, 1815/16, 1819/20, 1822/23, 1829/30, 1837/38 & 1840/41. There was a great deal of ice on the Thames during most of these winters, but the ice does not seem to have been strong/thick enough for people to walk from one side to the other.
1809-1819: After a relatively benign period from 1790 (several warm summers & less cold winters), these years saw a return to often harsh winters & unsettled, cold & wet summers. The decade from 1810-1819 was the coldest in England since the 1690's. Lamb (CHMW) ascribes this reversal to a renewal of volcanic activity. [ It is generally thought that the works of Charles Dickens take the character of the weather from this less than perfect period, e.g. the often-quoted snow / frost in such as 'A Christmas Carol' & 'The Pickwick Papers'.]
 1, 8
 1800  A dry summer (London/South).  8
 1802  A dry year (London/South).  8
 1805  A wet summer (in London).  8
 1807  A dry year; a dry summer (London/South).  8
 1807 (December)  Fog daily 17th - 21st December (London/South).  8
 1808
(January)
  Northwesterly (?) gale affects east coast of England. Serious flooding East Anglian marshes (significant breach is sea walls), with loss of farming stock and damage to ships, onshore etc.  (local)
 1808: (February)  12th: Significant snowstorm (heavy snow / high winds) affects East Anglia / East of England fens. Dislocation to movement for "several days". This was followed in the days after by a 'very intense frost'.  (local)
 July 1808  1. Notably warm month (using the CET series since 1659). With a value of 18.4degC, it is in the 'top-10' of such-named months for warmth. In particular, there was a hot spell from the 12th to the 15th, with a peak around the 13th/14th, when the CET daily temperature (i.e. average of 24hr maximum & minimum) climbed to just over 24degC. Studies since that date have shown that individual day maxima were well above 25degC (possibly to 28degC) in the West of England; up to (almost certainly over) 32degC in London & possibly as high as 34degC in Kingston upon Hull (ER Yorkshire): however caution is required with all these values due to the differing instruments, exposure, accuracy of recording etc. It was undoubtedly a very hot spell though, as deaths (people & animals) from heat exhaustion were recorded, particularly from the agricultural areas in the east and north of England. One report at the time (from farm records in the eastern Fens), says that the temperature in the shade near London was 96 (degF), which converts to just over 35degC: the same reference notes that this spell is the "hottest day ever known in Eng'd … the Hot Sunday in 1790 was only 83 Deg". [ NB: August 1808 also reasonably warm, with anomaly circa + 1degC. ]
2. 13th: 'Hot Wednesday': shade temperatures 33 to 35degC in E. and SE England, 37degC (99degF) reported in Suffolk (exposure & instrument details unknown . . see 1. above).
3. Damaging hailstorm affected counties in SW England afternoon / evening of the 15th (presumably as the hot spell above was breaking down), primarily affecting Dorset, Somerset & Gloucestershire. The storm first hit areas in the Sherborne / Templecombe area late afternoon then moved (or developed) NNW'wards to reach Bristol mid-evening. From reports at the time, the diameter of much of the hail was of the order 11 cm, with much damage being recorded - including injury & death to people in the open. If these reports are correct, then this 1808 hailstorm (according to Colin Clark / 'Weather' July 2004), produced the largest hail diameters for Britain known (along with that for 1697).
 6, TORRO, CET
 1808/09 (Christmas & New Year)  Fog daily 24th December to 2nd January (London/South). Further fog on 7 days later in January.  8
 January 1809  A flood occurred, which may have been tidal in the lower reaches of the Thames, carried away bridges at Eton, Deptford and Lewisham. Flooding noted at Windsor. Highest flood level (as at 2003) on the upper River Thames recorded at Shillingford Wharf (47.25m above OD). After a cold / frosty period, during which the ground became thoroughly frozen, rain fell on the 19th January, which itself froze, plus a period of snow. Then on the 24th, what is described as 'intense' rainfall, coupled with snowmelt produced a rapid rise in the waters of the Thames over the near-solid surface. A major flood was the result, causing much damage (which may have been aggravated by an above-average high tide in the lower reaches of the Thames), which amongst other things took away the central arch of Wallingford Bridge, part of the old Bridge at Wheatley, and damaged or destroyed bridges downstream, e.g. at Bisham, Eton & Windsor. flood damage also specifically noted at Deptford & Lewisham. Has been dubbed by some: "The Great Thames Flood". It wasn't a particularly wet winter, but the combination of snow/frozen ground and high-intensity rainfall was more than poor flood defence schemes (if they existed) could cope with.
26th: SW gale and a rapidly rising temperature in Scotland after a snowstorm ended a severe frost period with easterly winds which began in December 1808.
 6, 8
 26th April 1809  Thames in flood at various points (specifically noted at Windsor).  8
 1809 (October)  Fog on 11 days, with thick fog last 3 days (London/South).  8
 January 1810  10 days of fog in London.  8
 October 1810  Fog on 5 days (London/South).
Snow on the 30th (London??).
 8
 November 1810  Easterly gale: sea floods around Boston, Lincolnshire.  6
 Jan 1811  Thames frozen over.  8
 May, 1811  Thunderstorms on 9 days in May in the London area.  8
 1811 (September)  Fog on 7 days (London/South).  8
 March 1812  Snow fell 1 foot (circa 30cm) deep about Edinburgh, followed by drifting in NE gale 21st to 23rd.  6
 1812
(Spring, Summer
& Autumn)
 1. Spring & Summer 1812 were notably cold. The anomaly for both seasons on the whole-series (CET) mean was around -1.5C, with March, April, June, July & August having anomalies in excess of -1C. April 1812 was unusually cold, with a CET value of 5.5degC (-2.4C) & thus one of the 'top-dozen' or so cold such-named months. It was the coldest Spring since 1799, and it was not to as cold again in Spring until 1837, though in this latter year, the summer was warm. By contrast, 1812 experienced one of the coldest summers across England & Wales using the CET series (began 1659).
2. In addition to the extended cold, rainfall was often excessive. The months of February & March 1812 experienced EWP anomalies of 177% & 150% respectively, which with the cold ground, would have had a severe effect on the germination of crops sown, or about to be sown. Indeed, although April was drier than average, May, June and July were all wet (averaging ~135%), so sowing may have been impossible on heavier soils.
3. The backwardness of the crops, plus the extended wet/cold weather (with probably a lack of sunshine, though there are no contemporary records for this), meant that the harvest that year was also delayed, as well as being of a low yield. From records in Yorkshire, the harvest began around 20th September, and was not finished until the second week of November (Wintringham Parish Register).
 1, CET, EWP
 1813/1814
(winter)
 1. One of the four or five coldest winters in the CET record. See also 1683/84; 1739/40 and 1962/63. Particularly cold January to March: CET values, with anomalies ref. 1961-90 averages: Jan: -2.9(-6.7), Feb: 1.4(-2.4), Mar: 2.9(-2.8): We had to wait until 1962/63 for comparable, extended cold periods, in particular for the January values. The last time that the 'tidal' River Thames froze over sufficiently to hold 'frost fairs' etc. The activities surrounding the fair lasted well into February, but around 5th/6th February, a thaw set in and the ice started to break up, helped by rain: some people were drowned and many booths were destroyed. The loose ice did much damage to shipping of all sizes on the river. (After this time, the removal of the old London Bridge in 1831, plus other work enabled the Thames to increase it's flow, and freezing of the tidal stretches has not occurred since.) Most commentators say this was the 'last great frost fair' held on the Thames. The greatest frost of the 19th century commenced on the 27th December 1813; the onset of the frost was accompanied by thick fog.
2. Probably one of the snowiest winters in these islands in the last 300 years (1947 comparable). Much disruption in January in particular due to the snow. Reports from Perth (Scotland) spoke of low temperatures in the first week of January: by the end of the week, snow was falling in Aberdeenshire and a few days later reports from Kelso (Borders) spoke of heavy snow blocking roads to Edinburgh. By Monday, 17th January, the storm had become so severe that the newspapers opined that this storm was the worst since 1795. In Dublin, the snowfall was so severe that people were trapped inside their houses, and it is reported that Canterbury (Kent) was cut off for at least six days.
Heavy snow fell during the period 3rd to 5th January, 1814 and this was followed by a temporary thaw which only lasted one day; the frost then returned (often severe over snow cover) and persisted until the 5th February. The Thames was frozen solid from 31st January to 5th February and a frost fair was held on the river; a thaw took place between 5th and 7th February and the drifting ice damaged shipping considerably. [Note also that other rivers had ice problems, such as the Mersey & the Severn - the Thames always gets the headlines! Mention in chronicles of skating at Bristol and horses being ridden over these rivers: no doubt others in the country were similarly affected.]
In addition to the heavy frost, fog was an additional hazard, which commenced (in London) on the 26th/27th December, and only lifted on the 3rd January, 1814. On the 27th December, the fog was so dense (under 20 yards/metres) that the Prince Regent (later George IV), who was on his way to visit the Marquis of Salisbury at Hatfield House, near St. Albans, had to turn back at Kentish Town and return to Carlton House. This short journey took several hours and one of the Prince Regent's outriders fell into a ditch at Kentish Town. The fog was still dense on the 28th December and on that night the Maidenhead coach, which was returning from London, lost its way and overturned. Dense fog continued on 29th December and the Birmingham mail coach took nearly 7 hours to go from London to just past Uxbridge (west Middlesex). Traffic was almost at a standstill in London on the nights of 30th and 31st December; many coachmen had to lead their horses and others only drove at a walking pace. Only pedestrians who knew the locality well dared venture forth, and even some of them lost their way. The fog was finally cleared by a cold northerly wind, accompanied by heavy snow, which set in on the 3rd January 1814 (though Lamb in ref. 6 says this occurred 5th/6th).
 6, 8
 1814 & 1816  These years were as cold, if not colder than, 1695. The 'Frost Fair' in February of 1814 is thought to be the last held on the Thames in London (1st to 4th). The summer of 1814 was cold: This year, together with that of 1816 (q.v.), were two of the coldest years in the CET record (began 1659). The value for 1814 was 7.7degC, which places it within the 'top-10' of all-series cold years.
1816 is famously known as 'the year without a summer': in this latter year, heavy snow fell all day on the 14th April, and snow fell on the 12th May.
 8,
CET
 June 1815  The May and June of 1815 were very unsettled, and marked by high rainfall totals across the Low Countries. In particular, the heavy rain-storms in the lead up to, and immediately prior to the Battle of Waterloo (17th/18th) across Belgium may have been a contributory factor in the defeat of the Napoleonic French forces - the French cavalry in particular finding it difficult to traverse the rain-sodden ground.  6
 1815/16
(winter)
 A severe winter (London/South).  8
 1816 & 1817  Two wet years, with wet summers - in London.  8
 1816
(Spring)
 Whether linked to the volcanic eruption (Tambora/q.v. below) of the previous year or not, spring of 1816 had an overall anomaly (on the whole-series mean) of greater than -1C; snow is reported to have fallen 'all day' on Easter Sunday (14th April, quite late) in the 'London' area, with further snow reported on the 12th May.  8
 1816 (Annual / Summer): THE 'YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER'  A violent volcanic eruption of Tambora, in the East Indies (Sumbawa island / modern-day Indonesia) in April of 1815, threw enormous amounts of dust & sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere, which spread around the globe, not only cutting out direct insolation, but leading to a distortion of the global wind circulation [via stratospheric / high tropospheric temperature changes]. In Europe, grain harvests were late, and in western areas of Britain and across Ireland, continuous rain / low temperatures led to total failure of crops with much distress.
Notably cold periods June to September). In particular, summer 1816 had a CET value of just 13.4degC, putting it firmly in the top 2 or 3 coldest summers by that measure.
The annual (estimated) CET for 1816 = 7.9degC, about 1.3degC below the 'all-series' mean. (NB: however, that Scotland was apparently drier/sunnier than elsewhere - this is taken to imply depressions taking a much more southward path. ) [ See also 1883/Krakatoa ]
 CET, 11, 13,
VOLC
 September & October 1816  2nd September: Sharp frost: ice on water near London (Luke Howard) .. this in early September remember!!: (This was described as 'the year without a summer' - see above; there were snowdrifts still on Helvellyn, Lake District, on the 30th July. )
After the cold, cheerless summer & early autumn [above], on October 20th, local accounts covering NE Scotland note ' a great hurricane & snowstorm. The stooks of corn were yet out in the fields, and the snow had to be cast to get at them; when dug out they were a frozen lump, and could not be thawed for the cattle '.
 6
 1817
(Summer)
 A wet summer across England & Wales. (according to Lamb, in CHMW). The anomaly is given as 149% of LTA (1916-1950).
1817 was also a 'bad' year across Scotland - with early (i.e. autumnal) frosts damaging / delaying the autumn harvest & much hardship in rural / highland areas.]
[ It may be that this obviously cyclonic type was a consequence of the cold, disturbed patterns induced by the Tambora event .. see above. ]
 1
 1817 (September)  Fog on 7 days in September (London/South).  8
 January 1818  Severe westerly gale damaged buildings in Edinburgh; repeated SW-NW gale on the 14th/15th.  6
 March 1818 Very severe gales caused much damage on 4th, 7th & 8th March.
Notably wet across England & Wales (using the EWP series).
 8, EWP
 1818 (summer)  The summer was claimed to be the longest, driest & warmest in living memory. (?London/South) Overall, using the CET series, the anomaly for the three summer months (JJA) was +1.3C, with June (16.4degC/+2.1C) & July (18.2degC/+2.3C) notably warm. However, August was slightly cooler than average, with an anomaly of -0.3C. It was certainly a dry season, with an EWP figure of 102mm representing ~50% of the all-series mean. At Greenwich, only 40mm of rain was recorded over these three months, with August particularly dry: the value measured at the time (in inches) was 0.1" (or 2.5mm). This remarkable summer was followed by a wet autumn.  8,
CET,
EWP
 1819
(May)
  A period of severe frost affected large areas of Britain around the end of the month, tentatively in the period 27th to 30th (based on CET daily series). Considerable plant damage reported as far apart as the Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire), Rugby & several places in Scotland.  CET
 1819
(October)
 Snow fell across southern England (including the London area) on the 22nd; amounts in London around 2 inches / 5 cm reported, with greater amounts in the (then very) rural areas of Surrey.  8
 1819  A wet year (in London).  8
 1819/20
(early to mid-winter
& 'winter'
half-year)
 Notably cold weather by CET series. Both December 1819 & January 1820 were notably cold (though not in the 'top-10' of such-named months), and the overall winter season figure of 1.4degC represented an anomaly of around -2.3C on the all-series mean and was ranked just outside the top-20 of coldest winters by this measure. Perhaps of more interest, since this winter, there have only been 6 colder such-seasons viz (date order, with value): 1829/30(1.1), 1837/38(1.4), 1878/79(0.7), 1894/95(1.2), 1946/47(1.1) & 1962/63(-0.3).
[ NB: February not nearly so cold.]
On the 21st/22nd October, 1819 - falls of snow across southern England: snow lay fairly deeply in Surrey (5cm reported in London) after a fall in the early hours of the 22nd probably as a result of a vigorous plunge of Arctic air.
Snow fell widely & heavily towards the end of December, particularly notable on the 28th. During the first three weeks of January, a particularly severe spell produced deep snow across many southern & southeastern counties of England, including the Isle of Wight. The non-tidal Thames froze as far downstream as Kew. There were ice floes in the Thames estuary, with shipping disrupted (very important to commerce in these pre-railway days).
At Tunbridge Wells (Kent) a temperature of (minus)23degC was reported, but there are no details of exposure, instrument etc.('Weather Eye' / Issue 19 / Ian Currie)
Looking at the longer 'winter half-year' of 1819-1820 [October - March], then all months were COLDER than average with respect to the 'all-series' means & notably so when compared with modern data: for example, the monthly sequence of anomalies w.r.t. 1971-2000 averages is: -1.3C, -2.8C, -3.7C, -4.5C, -1.0C & -1.6C.
 8, CET, Currie
 January 1820  Minus 23degC (-10degF) reported at Tunbridge Wells - no details of exposure known.  6
 1820
(summer)
 A wet summer (in London).  8
 May 1821  27th: snow in London area. One of the latest known, and possibly *the* latest until 2nd June 1975. (noted as lasting for some 5 minutes).  6, 8
 November & December 1821  A wet couple of months (November and December 1821). Total EWP rainfall = 307mm, or about 160% of average. By December, the Thames had risen so much that it flooded the church at Bisham, with a local bridge being washed away on the 26th December. The river was at its highest on the 27th; it was noted at the time as being within 3 inches of the level of the significant floods of 1809. The flooding continued into the New Year.  8, EWP
 1821
(December)
 Extremely low atmospheric pressure reading in London. At around 0500/25th, a reading of 948.7mbar (originally read in inches/to nearest 1/1000'th) was observed at Greenwich. Until at least 2006, this is the lowest known reading for the 'London' & SE area (Burt/'Weather'/January 2007).  x
 1821
(Annual)
 A wet year (in London).
A very wet year using the EWP series (across England & Wales). The %age value was ~115% of the whole-series mean. It was also a notably wet year in the London area (and by rough extension, the SE of England), where Greenwich recorded 34.5 inches (~876 mm) of rain, representing at least 140% of the long-term average. (LW) [ See also the general note at the head of the 1800s ]
 8,
EWP
 1821/1822
(August - June)
 11 months with the CET values above the all-series average, with eight of them (September, November & December 1821, January to March 1822 & May & June 1822) all >1C above the average & five of them (November, December, February, March & June) >2C above.
[ This extended period of warmth was sandwiched between a notably cold late spring/ early-mid summer of 1821 (anomaly ~ -1.6C) and the chilly 'high summer' of 1822. ]
 CET
 1821/1822
(Winter)
 Notably mild. The CET value was 5.8degC, some 2C above the all-series mean & in the top dozen-or-so mild winters in this long established series.
Significant flooding along the Thames over the months of December & January: hardly surprising, given the excess of rainfall in the second-half of 1821, with November & December (EWP) taken together seeing a figure of some 150-160% of the long term average rainfall. Floods were reported from Henley, Maidenhead & Kingston-upon-Thames. (LW)
This winter was often stormy according to Lamb [see entry against February, below], and as noted above, was notably mild.
 1, CET, EWP,
23
 1822
(February)
 Severe gale did a great deal of damage on 5th February (London/South?).  8
 1822/23
(Winter)
 The notably mild winter of 1821/22 (see above) was followed by a notably cold winter! The 3-month average for this season was 1.4degC, representing an anomaly of over -2C on the all-series mean.(CET). During this severe winter, there was much ice in the Thames at Greenwich by the 30th December.  8, CET
 Feb. 1823  8th: Great snowstorm in N. England: the ways subsequently opened by tunnelling through drifts.  6
 1823
(Summer)
 Using the CET series (began 1659), this summer was one of the coldest by that measure across England & Wales.  CET
 October to December 1823  31st October: gales.
Thames in flood at Windsor at the beginning of November.
Gales 17th December did great damage.
 8
 1824  A very wet year using the EWP series (across England & Wales). The %age value was ~113% of the whole-series mean. It was also a notably wet year in the London area (and by rough extension, the SE of England), where Greenwich recorded 36.3 inches (~922 mm) of rain, representing at least 150% of the long-term average. (LW)
[ See also the general note at the head of the 1800s ]
3rd March: Serious damage caused by gale (London/South).
Autumn: with an EWP value of 388mm (~150% of LTA), this Autumn is one of the dozen or so wettest such seasons in that series. A number of reports of flooding around the country.
On the evening of the 22nd November 1824, a vigorous depression, almost certainly producing a significant storm surge, affected much of the south coast of England, with the high winds causing much damage well away from the coast. A naval officer (variously recorded as being in either Portland [SW Dorset] or Sidmouth [SE Devon]) likened the wind strength, and its effects in coastal areas, to that of a "West Indian hurricane": this may be one of the earliest uses of that name in connection with a 'mid-latitude'/extra-tropical cyclone. Indeed in one report after the event, he is quoted as saying that the wind strengths were greater than a hurricane, though of course the latter are variable anyway & it would depend upon his personal experience. [Ref & much more data: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/chestorm.htm]
 8,
EWP
 1825 (February)  Fog on 6 days in February (London/South).
4th/5th: major storm affecting the North Sea & adjacent coasts; the bulk of the problems (wind damage/storm surge) seems to have been a feature for the continental side of the Sea, but high winds would also have affected the Scottish & English coastline, as a very strong gradient from the NNW developed from the second-half of the 3rd February.
 8, Lamb / Wheeler,
23
 1825
(summer)
 A dry summer. Three days with maximum temperature 90 degF (32 degC) or above between 15th and 19th July. (London/South?)  8
 1825  Violent gales did much damage 5th August.
Snow fell on 20th & 21st October (?London/South).
Damaging gales 3rd November.
 8
 1826
(January)
 A notably cold January (~-3C anomaly/CET) with 'a great deal of ice' noted on the Thames at Greenwich on the 13th January, and nearly frozen (?over) at Deptford on the 17th (LW).  8,
CET
 1826
(Summer)
 1. June, July and August: persistently warm weather by CET series. For these three months, the figure was 17.6degC, placing it as the second hottest summer in that series (began 1659) after 1976.
The period mid-June to mid-July using the CET series, was one (of two) hottest 30-day periods in that series, with a value of 19.7degC. (See also 1976)
2. Dry by the EWP series. June 1826, with 12.4mm, was the 3rd driest June in that series (update to 1998). Total (summer) rainfall was just 122mm .. not 'record-breaking', but still noteworthy. " A warm summer" (London/South).
 8, EWP, CET
 1826: (Annual)  A dry year, in the top 20 dry years in the EWP series, and just inside the 'top-10' (as at 2002).  EWP
 1827  A dry summer (London/South).  8
 1828
(Summer
& Annual)
 A wet summer (148% of LTA 1916-1950) across England & Wales (according to Lamb/CHMW).
It was also a wet year by the EWP series.
Gale damaged houses & trees on the night 9th/10th August (London/South?).
 1, 8, EWP
 1828  A wet year.  8
 1829  A cold year: Continuous frost 16th to 24th January; ice in the Thames on 23rd January.
A notably wet summer (168% of LTA 1916-1950) across England & Wales (according to Lamb/CHMW). Note the second wet summer in a row, though only three years after a notably dry year of 1826! [N.B. Warm & dry across the northern highlands of Scotland during May & June; local drought here - hence the dramatic impact of the floods / high rainfall noted below.]
The 'extended' summer (June to September) showed a %age of 185%.
Over an inch (~ 2.5cm) of snow fell on the 7th October. Six inches (circa 15cm) on 25th November (?London/South). (see also entries below).
 1, 8, EWP
 1829
(July)
 July, had an EWP of 144mm, and this represented ~230% of the LTA. There was severe flooding on tributaries of the River Aire & reservoir failure at Adel, Leeds (W. Yorkshire) in this month.  EWP
 August 1829  Disastrous floods of all rivers between Moray & Angus, after torrential rains 2nd to 4th August, with NE winds & waterspouts. Stone bridges and houses washed away in 5 or 6 counties, coastline altered at river mouths. (July had been very thundery in the South, but cold with night frosts in Scotland).
27th: Further floods in the same districts in NE Scotland as above.
August 1829 in particular was in the 'top-10' of wet such-named months in the EWP series: floods washed away bridges, altered river courses & caused much loss to agriculture. It was also a cold month, with an anomaly of around minus one-and-a-half C.
 6, EWP, CET,
23
 October & November 1829  7th October: snow lay for a while in the London area & elsewhere in the South. From Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire) there was a report of a heavy fall of snow for three hours. (Up to the 1960s, the earliest known date .. "several inches" according to contemporary reports).
14th October: Severe NE gale 13th/14th in Scotland; ships lost.
25th November: ENE gale in Scotland: many ships lost.
 6,
8
 1829/30
(Winter)
 Severe winter. Almost continuous frost 23rd to 31st December 1829, 12th to 19th January 1830 and then 31st January to 6th February. Much ice in the Thames on the 29th December and 22nd January. Thames at Greenwich blocked by ice on 3rd February, but all the ice had drifted out to sea by the 10th February.
The CET value for the three 'standard' winter months of December, January & February was 1.1degC, or an approximate 'all-series' negative anomaly of over two-and-a-half C. Further afield, Lake Constance in central Europe froze over completely for the first time since 1740, and it did not do so again until 1963.
 1, 8, CET
 1830
(Spring,
Summer
& early Autumn)
 Another rather wet period from April to September (England & Wales).
A wet summer (in London). Further afield, the summer of 1830 was noted as being "remarkably cold & wet" in Kendal, Westmorland. Using the CET & EWP series, for the three months June, July & August, the overall temperature anomaly was -1C & the precipitation value represented well over 150% of the all-series mean precipitation.
 8, CET, EWP, CUMB
 1830 (December)  1. 'Spectacular "White Christmas" ' this year is thought to be the model on which Charles Dickens based his 'Christmas at Dingley Dell' episode in 'Pickwick papers'.
2. Minimum temperature at Greenwich on 25th December was on 11degF (- 12degC).
 8
 1831  A wet year (in London). During a severe storm, 1 inch (25mm) of rain fell in about 30 minutes. Thunderstorms daily from 2nd to 5th August in London.  8
 1832
(February)
 Thick fog 22nd to 25th February (London/South).  8
 1832
(Summer)
 A dry summer across (at least) southern Scotland [more data needed - this taken from local newspaper reports for Moffat in the Border country].  x
 1833: (February)  Wettest February (as of 2007) in the EWP record. EWP
 1833:
(May)
 Warm & dry, at least across much of England & Wales. Using the CET series, it was the warmest May on record by a large margin over its nearest rival, 1848. The value quoted (MetO/Hadley series) is 15.1degC, or an anomaly on the 'whole-series' of roughly +4C.
This month was also dry, at least across the domain of the England & Wales precipitation series: with a value of 22 mm, this represents roughly a third of 'average' rainfall, and places it (as at 2008) equal 10th driest with 1956, in that series.
 CET,
EWP
 1833/1834: (Winter)  1. One of the warmest winters (by CET) in the series which began in 1659. Up to 1997, rank=2 Value=6.53; Dec=6.9, Jan=7.1, Feb=5.6 (Others: 1686, 1734, 1796, 1869, 1935, 1975, 1989 and 1990.)
2. Notably WET January by the EWP series.
 CET, EWP
 1834/35 to 1837/38: (Winters/Springs): sequence of 4 notably SEVERE winters/cold-springs in Scotland.)  1. 1834/1835: Notably snowy winter in Scotland. By the third week of January, 1835, there had been enough snow to seriously disrupt the 'Mails', but it was not until the end of February that the greatest quantities were reported. The bad/snowy weather lasted well into mid-March, with depths of 8 or 9 feet being reported.
2. 1835/1836: Another bad winter for snow in Scotland. From December until the end of March, snow was a feature. Heavy falls were reported in January and February, 1836, followed by 'considerable' accumulations in March, especially across northern Scotland. In Edinburgh, snow was a problem as late as the 31st March, and it was not until 7th April that there was a significant easing in the situation.
3. A very wet March across England & Wales in 1836; (in the 'top - 10' of wettest such-named months in the EWP series).
4. 1836/1837: Although considerable snowfall was reported in January, 1837, the worst of the weather as far as snow was concerned, was still to come. blizzards began at the end of February and on the 14th March, the weather was still 'severe'. All through March, the weather is still described as 'severe' both as to cold & snow. Much transport dislocation, and distress to livestock, damage to root crops etc. On the 12th April, the Glasgow Chronicle reported that the Campsie and Kilpatrick Hills were still white with snow. The wheat was so badly damaged by frost that the farmers had harrowed it down, and were sowing oats instead. Deer were dying through lack of fodder in the hills & the frost was so severe that many lambs died immediately they were born.
5. 1837/1838: Further considerable snowfall across Scotland. However a late start to the winter, with as late as the 6th January, the weather reported as mild with farmers well on with the work. After the 8th, hard frosts & snow however then became a feature of the winter/early spring, with further notes of disrupted mails, hardship for people and livestock. In some parts of northern Scotland, snow was noted to fall on most days between January 8th & May 3rd. snow was also noted in upland areas of NE Scotland in June.
6. 1837/1838: A cold winter across England & Wales. In the CET record, the value is given as 1.4degC, an approximate anomaly of -2.3C on the all-series mean. Of particular note were the low temperatures experienced during January, 1838, when the monthly average (CET) is assessed as -1.5degC, equal 8th coldest such named month in the series (with 1709 & 1881); the estimated anomaly for this month being over four-and-a-half degC colder than the long-term mean. Indeed, this month only fails by a whisker to make it into the 10 'all/any-month' coldest list. (CET)
 1, CET,
EWP
 1834  A dry spell from February to June, then a wet summer (in London).
Fog from 30th September to 6th October (London/South).
 8
 1835
(summer)
 A dry summer (London/South).  8
 1836
(March)
 A very wet March across England & Wales in 1836; (in the 'top - 10' of wettest such-named months in the EWP series).  EWP
 October 1836  28th (or 29th?): Snow lay in Edinburgh 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13cm) deep: earliest date (up to 1960s).
Remarkable (compared with conditions for the late 20th/early 21st century) snowfall in the east and southeast on the 29th. An inch (2.5cm) in London, and five inches (eleven or twelve inches claimed in places) lay at Bury St. Edmunds (Suffolk) for five days. Two inches (circa 5 cm) at Cobham (Surrey), which lay for 5 days, with day maxima barely above freezing. From ng/GPE: 25 cm at Newmarket (Suffolk) (LW, amongst others)
 6, 8
 29th November 1836  A severe gale blew down trees and unroofed houses (London/South?).  8
 25th December 1836  Great ENE gale and snowstorm 25th - 26th, many lives lost: roads throughout England impassable for several days, snow 5 to 15 feet (1.5 to 4.5 metres) deep in many places, a few great drifts 20 to 50 feet (6 to 15m). [ see also entry above and below for whole winter.]  6
 1837
 1836 - 1837 (winter & early spring)  Although considerable snowfall was reported in January, 1837, the worst of the weather as far as snow was concerned, was still to come. Blizzards began at the end of February and on the 14th March, the weather was still 'severe'. All through March, the weather is still described as 'severe' both as to cold & snow. Much transport dislocation, and distress to livestock, damage to root crops etc. On the 12th April, the Glasgow Chronicle reported that the Campsie and Kilpatrick Hills were still white with snow. The wheat was so badly damaged by frost that the farmers had harrowed it down, and were sowing oats instead. Deer were dying through lack of fodder in the hills & the frost was so severe that many lambs died immediately they were born.
During this winter, the only (known) disastrous snow avalanche in these islands occurred on the 27th December 1836, at Lewes, Sussex. Heavy snow started to fall on Christmas Eve, and easterly gales blowing over the top of Cliffe Hill with associated eddies, caused a cornice of snow to build up, overhanging a row of houses which stood below. Three days later, on the 27th, bright sunshine caused a fissure in the cornice. Householders ignored a warning. The houses were demolished, and eight people were killed. The "Snowdrop Inn" on the site commemorates the event.
 GBWFF
 1837 (Spring)  The coldest spring (March / April / May) in the entire CET record. March, with a value of 2.3degC (anom. ~-3C) was one of the 'top-10' such-named months, whilst April (4.7degC/anom. ~-3.2C) was the coldest April in the entire series. May was also cold (anom. ~-1.3). The overall seasonal mean CET value was 5.6degC, or around -2.5C on the all-series value (and about 3C below the 'modern-day' average). (See also 1770 & 1695)
Snow or sleet showers on the 10th & 22nd May (?London/South?) [ see also 1770 & 1695]
 8,
CET
 1837/38
(Winter &
early Spring)
 This severe winter was called "Murphy's winter"; Patrick Murphy won fame and a small fortune from the sale of an almanac in which he predicted the severe frost of January 1838 (a 2 month frosty period set in with a light SE wind & fine day with hoar frost on the 7th (or 8th) January).
20th January 1838: Lowest temperatures (known / accepted) of the 19th century in London; -16degC reported at Greenwich about sunrise (close to minimum time), -20degC at Blackheath, -26degC at Beckenham (Kent). The temperature in Greenwich was -11degC at midday. The Thames at Greenwich was completely covered with ice at high water on the 27th January 1838 & elsewhere, ice floes were reported in the Thames or the Estuary.
Considerable snowfall across Scotland. However a late start to the winter, with as late as the 6th January, the weather being reported as mild with farmers well on with the work. After the 8th, hard frosts & snow then became a feature of the winter/early spring, with further notes of disrupted mails, hardship for people and livestock. In some parts of northern Scotland, snow was noted to fall on most days between January 8th & May 3rd. snow was also noted in upland areas of NE Scotland in June.
A cold winter across England & Wales. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb): Using the CET record, the average across December / January / February was 1.4degC, or nearly 21/2C below the all-series mean. December was not particularly extreme, but January, with a value of -1.5degC, was in the 'top-10' of coldest Januarys, whilst February, with a mean value of 0.4degC, lay just outside the top-10 coldest such-named months in the same record.
 6, 8,
CET
 1838 (February)  THE 'BUDE BREAKWATER' GALE
1. On the evening of the 24th February, 1838, a southerly gale developed (" more violent than for years "), this veering west-southwesterly through the night and coincided with a high tide in the early hours of the 25th. The inside slope of the Bude Breakwater (built to protect the harbour/canal entrance between 1820 and 1822) gave way (?scouring / over-topping?), with three-quarters of the structure giving way. [ Apparently the mortar had been weakened by a severe frost in the winter; however, the structure was also deemed to have had too steep a slope, and the replacement breakwater was of much better construction, and has survived many a gale to this day/2003.] damage also occurred to sea structures all along the south coast of England, including the Plymouth breakwater.
 12
 1838 (late Summer / Autumn)  Following a severe winter/early spring of 1838 over Scotland [ see above ], the crops were already delayed, and were then damaged in the ground by frost in August, with the cold, frosty weather continuing through September & October. A large proportion of the crop was lost, with much hardship for rural tenants.  x
 1838  Cold year:
fog on 11 days in September (London/South).
Snow showers on the 13th October (?London/South?).
 8
 January 1839  "The Night of the 'Big Wind'": this is the most notorious of all storms to affect Ireland (also affected other parts of the British Isles - see later). An unusually deep depression (one of the deepest ever recorded so close to the British Isles) travelling in a north-east direction to the north of Ireland was responsible for gusts widely 75-90 knots, and in excess of 100 knots in a few places; Lamb says there is 'evidence of whirlwind / tornado activity'. At least 90 people were killed across Ireland & surrounding waters, though the death toll was surprisingly low, allowing for the lack of warning. There was considerable damage to buildings, shipping and crops right across the island. Around 20-25% of houses in Dublin experienced some form of damage, though some was minor (broken windows). Several tens of thousands of trees were uprooted. The aforementioned storm also affected other parts of the British Isles, particularly western & northern parts of Britain. The newly-built Menai Bridge was severely damaged. In Liverpool & in the adjacent waters of the Irish Sea, much damage ensued - building damage ashore, and loss of vessels & lives afloat. Deaths in the Liverpool area, both on land & at sea is stated to be around 115, with many-a-breach of local sea walls, and the death total across the entire British Isles may have been in excess of 400. (Remember that coastal shipping was of great importance in these days before the railway network reached all corners of the Kingdom - also Ireland was then an integral part of the United Kingdom).  6,
23
 1839 May  Showers of snow, sleet and hail on the 14th & 15th May.  8
 1839
(Summer,
Autumn &
early Winter)
 A wet summer (148% of LTA 1916-1950) across England & Wales. Specifically, July 1839 was in the 'top-10' of wettest such-named months in the EWP series.
Over the longer period from June to November 1839, using the EWP series, the RAINFALL %age was around 150% averaged over the England & Wales domain, and probably close to twice-average across southern England.
 1, EWP
 1839 (Annual)  A wet year and a wet summer (in London).
A cold year for Scotland. Specifically for agricultural areas of NE Scotland (though not exclusively so - just that this is the area I have data), the following are noted:
> March: a severe snowstorm, with much drifting - loss of life.
> May: about the middle of that month, there was a heavy fall of snow with much drifting.
> September: Severe flooding after heavy rainfall. Damage / destruction of bridges in the area.
Over England & Wales, the period June 1839 to January 1840 was notably wet (including the wet summer - see above); the cumulative anomaly for this period was 140%.
In December, FOG 1st to 7th December (London/South).
 8, EWP
 1840 (Autumn)   Excessively wet over parts of Scotland, particularly the northeast.  x
 1840 (November)  Thick fog 27th to 29th November (London/South).  8
 1840  A dry year both by the London & England & Wales series. From the Greenwich record, the total rainfall for this year was 16.43 inches / ~417mm, or about 70% of the contemporary average. February, March, April, August & December were all dry, March & April notably so (just 0.09 ins / ~2mm in the latter month). Using the wider England & Wales series, the total was 801mm (~88% of LTA), with March & April very dry: March 1840, with 10mm (~13%) of rain was the third driest such-named month in the entire series. (LW/EWP)[ contrast with Scotland in the autumn - below ]  8,
EWP
 1840/41
(winter)
 Severe winter. All three winter months had CET anomalies considerably below average.  8,
CET
 1841
(High summer & autumn)
 A wet sequence of months from July to November inclusive across England & Wales. Using the EWP series, the approximate anomaly for the period overall was 140-150%. No individual month was exceptionally wet by this series, but the consistency of high rainfall (May & June also had above-average values) led to local flooding later in the year. This was a period of feverish railway building in Britain, and work was often affected due to collapse of cuttings / embankments etc. [ various railway histories ]  EWP
 1842
& 1843
(Decembers)
 For two years running, these Decembers were remarkably mild, with CET values respectively 7.2 & 7.4degC: these values represent an anomaly on the all-series mean of at least +3C, and on the modern-era mean of at least +2C. As of 2008, these two early-winter months are comfortably within the 'top-10' of this long established series.  CET
 1844 (Annual)  One of the driest years across England and Wales using the EWP series.
April, May (DRIEST May in that series), June & December all exceptionally dry.
 EWP
 1844/1845
(Winter)
 A cold winter over western Europe / implied for parts of Britain. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb)  1
 1845
(late Summer/early Autumn):
 BLIGHT & CROP FAILURE ACROSS EUROPE
1. Notably cold weather July to September. The summer of 1845 (June, July & August) had a mean CET=14.2degC, around a degree below the all-series mean. Specifically, August 1845 was over 2 degC colder than average. This summer was part of a run of poor such seasons from 1843 to 1845, with significantly below average temperatures using the CET series.
2. Persistent / often heavy rains over Ireland accompanied by depressed temperatures during the second half of the summer, precipitated the start of a great famine. The failure was caused by rotting of the potato (a staple food for poor families in the island) in the ground - the weather conditions (cold / damp) being ideal for spread of the spores which caused the Blight. By October of 1845, there had been a total collapse of the Irish potato source. The situation was made worse because of the failure of the corn harvest in Britain and western Europe, and the indifference of both the government in Westminster [ Ireland was at this time part of the United Kingdom ] & of the land-owners, many of whom were English, or Anglo-Irish.
 CET, 14
 1845/1846
(Winter)
 Notably mild winter in Scotland. (c.f. to 'severe' winter conditions much further south e.g. Paris). The generally mild weather lasted from December to early March, when 'winter' set in. The mild conditions were also reflected in the CET record, where the value was 5.8degC (roughly +2C), placing the winter within the top dozen-or-so of mild winters.  1, CET
 1846
(April)
  A wet month, with an EWP value of 112 mm, representing roughly 180% of the contemporary LTA. In Dorset, work on the Southampton to Dorchester Railway was halted for a time due to the wet conditions underfoot.  EWP
 May/Jun 1846  Hot, dry spell began on 25th. Ended (as a 25-day exceptionally hot, dry spell) in Ireland on 18th June.  6
 August 1846  1st: Violent thunderstorms. Hail smashed glass arcade over Regent Street pavements in London beyond repair.  6
 1846
(Summer)
 1. Further high rainfall in Ireland - causing additional misery after the previous failure of the potato crop (see above). The hardship in the island continued for many years (until at least July 1849), encouraging emigration & fostering the ill-feeling towards rule from England which was to cause so much strife in the next 150 years. In 1841, the census total for Ireland was 8.17mn; by the 1851 tally, it had fallen to 6.55mn: it has been estimated that over 1mn people died due to the Famine.
2. With a CET value of 17.1degC, this summer over England & Wales was in the 'top-5' of WARMEST summers in that series (began 1659). [ I suppose you could speculate that it was for this reason that English landowners did not fully appreciate the plight of poorer people in Ireland. However note that summer 1846 was also WET in the EWP series, with ~125% of LTA rainfall.]
 14, CET, EWP
 September - November 1846  20th September: Beginning of period of violent gales in Ireland, lasting until 21st November.
20th October: Violent storm in Ireland, probably former tropical hurricane.
 6
 1846/1847
(Winter)
 The winter of 1846/47 was noted for severe frosts and heavy rains across southern England. Using the CET record, December had a value of 0.5degC, at least 3.5C below the all-series mean; January and February anomalies were between -1 and -1.5C. The winter as a whole ranked within the 'top 10%' of coldest winters in this long established series. [CET] { Rainfall, using the EWP series, doesn't appear to be extreme (December relatively dry), but this series may not reflect local conditions. } On the Southampton & Dorchester Railway, then under construction, working across the soils of the New Forest proved to be very difficult. In a single week, a total of 13 horses became stuck in the mud and had to be destroyed.  CET, EWP
 July 1847  Cloudburst on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall: Flooding rivers destroyed bridges.  6
 1848: (February)  1. One of the wettest Februarys across England & Wales (using the EWP series). EWP
 1848
(Summer)
 A notably wet summer (157% of LTA 1916-1950) across England & Wales (see Lamb/CHMW). At Greenwich, the total rainfall for the three months of June, July & August=247mm (161%). June 1848 was especially wet here (Greenwich), with 89mm or ~210% of LTA. July had below average rainfall (85%), but August was back up to 186% anomaly with 108mm, by far the wettest month of that very wet year (q.v.).  1, EWP
 1848 (Annual)  9th wettest in the EWP series (as of 2004). Notable floods along the Thames Valley. EWP
 April 1849  Great snowstorm in S. England: Westerham (Kent) coach buried in drifts.  6
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