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<<<<1800 - 1849
 Date T R S  Description  Ref:
 1850 - 1899
 1850
(January)
 A cold month with CET=0.7degC. From 3rd to 15th, generally cold & frosty across the UK. On the 15th in Bermondsey, London, the temperature remained below freezing all day. At Greenwich observatory, the day maximum on that day (15th) was only (minus) 2.8degC. During this period, ice noted on the Thames.
Heavy snowfall in the north of Scotland early in the month, especially over Aberdeenshire, Morayshire & Banffshire - considerable drifting with some drifts up to 5 metres. Many roads were impassable by the 19th of the month. Generally a severe winter in Scotland.
 CET
 1850
(February)
 A 'damaging gale' on the 5th/6th. The west coasts of both Britain & Ireland were particularly badly affected, and the gale is noted as having "occasioned fearful loss of life". On the west Cornish coast, near Mawgan Porth, the 'Lord Duncan', a Dartmouth (South Devon) registered vessel was lost with all hands. In Aberystwyth the winds blew down various buildings: at Limerick (western Ireland) it was reported that a 'violent gale from the northwest brought heavy showers of rain & sleet, with window glass broken, slates removed from houses and chimneys blown down. On the Isle of Man the Castletown windmill was destroyed by fire - the wind had turned the sails with such force that friction set the mill bearing alight. And in the Isles of Scilly, the first Bishop Rock lighthouse (not as yet in operation) was destroyed on the 5th in these high winds - however, some allowance must be made here for the possibly poor design of the original structure. There were reports of shipwrecks (in an age when sail was still widely in use) from places such as Southend-on-Sea, Bridlington, Ayr, Ilfracombe, Bideford, Cardigan, Staithes (N. Yorkshire coast) and Stranraer. In the open waters of St. George's Channel (between Ireland and Wales), an American registered ship was wrecked but the crew and passengers took to boats and were all saved. Elsewhere though, the various shipwrecks occasioned loss of life. The high winds were not confined to coastal/sea areas though, and in London, this event was recorded as a "great gale". (various sources: principally 'Weather' RMetSoc & Limerick Chronicle archive)
[ NB: of interest, the Neolithic settlement on Orkney known as 'Skara Brae' was 'uncovered' from extensive sand dunes due to the scouring effect of high winds & tides during the winter of 1850. There is considerable ambiguity about exactly when this occurred; however, it appears that this February event was the single most dramatic STORM during the winter of 1849-50, so in the absence of evidence to the contrary, this may be the storm that was responsible: use this statement with caution though!]
 (var)
 1850
(August)
 During an unseasonable 'cold-snap' in mid-August, the weather in Ireland was reported to be as inclement as a day as February with showers of rain & hail falling. At Bermondsey, the minimum temperature was just 6degC, while Lamb notes " snow on the Cairngorms nearly down to Braemar " and " a week of very cold weather ". August was the first of three successive cool months at Greenwich.  8
 1850
(October &
November)
 7th October: A 'violent gale' in some parts of England. Boats driven ashore, and loss of life inland due wind damage. In the English Channel, a packet steamer ran aground near Margate, and near Bridlington one man fell to his death from the topsail to the deck of a ship.
25th November: A 'severe gale' with squalls. Ships foundered in the Bristol Channel with loss of life. This storm also caused damage (minor) to the Crystal Palace, then being readied for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
 x
 1851/52
& 1852/53
(Winter/Spring)
 The winter of 1851/52 in Scotland saw some heavy snowfall. The first major event affected the north of Scotland on the 13th with considerable disruption to mail services. The railway to Aberdeen from the south was kept open only with difficulty. It was reported that deaths occurred, due to often 'blizzard' conditions. [NB: the word 'blizzard' would not have been in use in the UK at this time - see later.] The storms did not continue beyond the end of January.
The winter of 1852/53 in Scotland also was severe, particularly in February. Low temperatures and heavy snowfall. This time, severe conditions of cold and snow lasted well into March.
 x
 1852
(July)
 In the middle of what was to become one of the wettest years over England & Wales in the modern record [see below], this July was notably warm. The CET value (started 1659) was 18.7degC, representing an anomaly of +2.8C on the all-series mean, and placing it in the 'top-five' of warmest Julys in that series. [ As so often happened with warm Julys, the contiguous summer months (June & August), were nothing special, and June 1852 in particular was quite chilly with an anomaly of over -1C. ]  CET,
EWP
 1852
(Summer)
 A very wet summer across England & Wales (166% of LTA 1916-1950) in what was to become a notably WET year (q.v.). In the Greenwich record, the total rainfall for the three months of June, July & August=285mm (188%), with June exceptionally wet at 277% of LTA for that station.  1
 1852
(August to
December)
 Remarkable rainfall totals over these 5 months: total for this period (EWP)=717mm (or ~170% of the long-term average). November in particular was exceptionally wet; with 203mm for the EWP, this represented some 220% of the average, and is the wettest November (and the second wettest any-month) in that series. By November and through December, the Thames Valley from Vauxhall to Windsor resembled a 'vast lake'. Oxford was standing in a 'sea of water', the Cherwell and Isis being several miles wide. At several places along the river, (e.g. Maidenhead, Reading, Ealing and Uxbridge), the principal corn fields were inundated by several feet of water. Flooding extended to other areas in the southeast of England - Epsom, Dartford, Lewisham and Charlton all mentioned. On the North Kent railway, the valley of the Medway and the marshes along the Thames were one expanse of water for many miles. Parts of Chatham, Rochester and Stroud (all Kent) were also flooded. At Guildford, Chertsey, Woking and Battersea, the flood was several feet deep. Many other like reports across the region.  EWP
 1852
(December)
 Over the Christmas period (25th to 27th) two major storms of wind (from the SW) affected the British Isles: Heavy rain also a problem (see above) and there was widespread & serious damage due to high winds & flooding. Specifically, on December 25th: from Kendal (Westmorland), " violent storm of wind from the SW, nearly equal to that of January 7th, 1839; a lady killed in Highgate, by the falling of a chimney. December 27th, again a "great storm of wind" from the same quarter, accompanied by heavy rain & extensive damage caused by the flood at Foulshaw".(CUMB). Sea walls damaged / destroyed at Southport, Lancashire.  CUMB
 1852
(Annual)
 A notably wet year over England & Wales: With an EWP of 1213mm, it is placed 4th in the all-record list (as at 2003). (See also 1872, 1768, 1960 & 2000).
At Oxford, the annual total rainfall was 1047mm, representing 160% of the average, and up to 2004, this was the highest total in a series that stretched back to 1766 ('Weather' Oct. 2004).
EWP, RMetS
 1854
(Annual)
 A notably dry year by the EWP series - as of 2012, in the 'top-5' driest by that measure. Part of a notably dry period in the mid/late 1850s: see below. (see also 1788, 1887 & 1921)  EWP
 1855
(January -
March)
 From various reports across the British Isles, an unusually extended and occasionally severe spell of cold held sway, from the third week of January until around 21st/22nd February, 1855. Even in NW Ireland, close to the coast, frost was persistent and accompanied by falls of snow, that on the 22nd February being described as heavy. In Ireland specifically, it was referred to for years afterwards as "The year of the Great Frost".
February 1855 in the CET series had a value of -1.7degC, representing an anomaly of roughly -5C on the all-series mean, and placing it third coldest such-named month in that series, and only a couple of tenths C away from the 'all-time' coldest February of 1947.
The River Severn was frozen to a sufficient depth at Worcester on the 24th February that a printing press was set up there - previously this had only been known in January, 1795.
 CET,
ORAM
 1855
(Annual)
 A notably dry year over England & Wales: Using the EWP series, with a value of 745 mm (~80%) this year was within the 'top-20' of driest years since that record began in 1766. This year was part of an historically dry period - especially noteworthy for the dry winters (see later), the cumulative effect of which was to lead to extreme drought stress across lowland England.  EWP
 1856
(late winter
- mid spring)
  From a farming diary kept in the coastal district of NW Ireland (Connaught), the period mid-February to early May may have been one of notable lack of rainfall. In the Armagh Observatory record ( a fair way away from the diary source of course ), February, March and April all had well below-average rainfall / precipitation amounts. It was also described as being 'cold' for lengthy periods as well, which implies persistence of anticyclonic types.  ORAM
 1857
(late winter
to
early summer)
 It appears from a contemporary farmer's journal kept in coastal districts of Connaught, NW Ireland that it was (in NW Ireland) . . . " very wet and cold and backward in spring and up to the 10th June, after which it proved extremely fine & warm. " January was cold with mention of hail/thunder and snow implying deeply cold tropospheric airmasses, which gave way to a wet February when the land was often too wet to plough - April was also noted as being . . . "Exceedingly cold & wet".  ORAM
 1857
(late Summer/
early Autumn)
 Persistently warm weather from August to October, by CET series.  CET
 1858
(mid-February
to
early March)
 A period of persistent cold set in during the middle part of February and ended sometime in the second week of March. In Connaught (NW Ireland) in specifically, the frost was noted as 'hard' on occasion, which suggests a strong anticyclonic spell given the location of the reports. As the event gave way, which occurred 10th/11th March in Ireland, then significant snow was recorded - this may have been a feature elsewhere across the British Isles, but I've no other data to back that up. [ORAM, CET]  ORAM,
CET
 1858
(late August
to
mid-September)
 From contemporaneous farming records in Connaught (NW Ireland), it appears that the period August 26th to September 17th was very wet: so much so, that by the end of the period, some bridges were washed away. The wet weather serious hampered the gathering of the harvest.  ORAM
1858
(Annual)
 A notably dry year over England & Wales: Using the EWP series, with a value of 739 mm (~80%) this year was within the 'top-20' of DRIEST years since that record began in 1766. This year was part of a historically dry period - especially noteworthy for the dry winters (see later), the cumulative effect of which was to lead to extreme drought stress across lowland England.  EWP
 1859
(mid-January
to
April)
 Although by both the EWP and Armagh Observatory records it wasn't particularly wet during the opening months of 1859, a contemporary farming diary from Connaught (NW Ireland) details spells of persistent & heavy rain which impacted severely upon work on the farm . . . "too wet to plough" being a frequent comment. The wet, unsettled conditions set in on the 15th January, and came to a halt during the first week of April - however note that the remainder of April was still hardly conducive to efficient farming being often recorded as cold, with snow / hail and frost. At the end of they year, John Oram says . . . " a cold backward spring up 'till May which month was remarkably dry . . ": all this implies, to my mind a high degree of blocking in the NE Atlantic.  ORAM,
EWP,
ARMAGH
 1859
(October)
 THE "ROYAL CHARTER" STORM.
The gale of 25th / 26th October 1859, which wrecked the fully rigged ship "Royal Charter" on the coast of Anglesey, drowning about 500 people (and loss of gold bullion), led to the introduction of gale warnings (in 1861) by means of hoisting of signals around the British & Irish coastlines ('hoist North Cones'!). The ship was only one of over 200 vessels wrecked between the 21st October and 2nd November, with the loss of around 800 lives - most of these losses occurred in the 'Royal Charter Storm'.
 22,
23
 1860
(Summer)
 Using the CET series (began 1659), this summer was one of the top 5 or so coldest across England & Wales. It contained the wettest June in the EWP series.
It was also one of the wettest summers across England & Wales. The anomaly was 169% of the LTA (1916-1950). At Greenwich, the total rainfall for June, July & August=312mm (210%), with June alone accounting for 147mm/~350% LTA. [ Fortunately October & November of that year were not excessively wet, otherwise flooding would have been almost certain. ]
(This wet summer event effectively brought to an end an extended hydrological drought, due largely to a seven-year [1853/54 - 1859/60] sequence of dry winters across the English lowlands & parts of northern England. The winter of 1857/1858 in particular was especially dry: with an EWP value of 92 mm (~third of LTA) it ranks second driest [behind 1963/64, 89mm] in that series. [Weather/April 2007 &c])
 CET, EWP, 8
 1860
(Annual)
  A farming diary maintained in coastal Connaught, NW Ireland, states that the year 1860 was . . . " the coldest and wettest year on record, a very late harvest - I saw two fields of oats in stook in Co. Meath on the 17th Decr. ": There were two mentions of significant gales during the year, one on the 21st January and the other on 14th September. All three months, January, February and March were noted as being 'wet, rough and cold' and coupled with the other remarks, it suggests the jetstream was abnormally strong and displaced in such a position that it propelled frequent Atlantic disturbances across at least Ireland. As noted elsewhere, it was also a wet summer across England.  EWP,
ORAM
 1861
(February)
 On the 21st February, 1861 part (one wing) of the Crystal Palace** along with the tower of Chichester Cathedral were destroyed in a gale/storm. Lamb notes possible 'squalls' associated with a trailing cold front close-to / over southern England. [see reference]
[** The Crystal Palace was a large glass and iron structure, which was built for the 1851 'Great Exhibition': this was held in Hyde Park, London. The 'Palace' was home to the exhibits, whose primary object was to display the (then) considerable advances in science/technology and Empire in the Victorian era. Sir Joseph Paxton (the designer) suggested moving the exhibition hall (i.e. the 'glass palace') to Penge Place Estate, Sydenham once the exhibition was over. In June 1854 Crystal Palace was re-opened by Queen Victoria & gave its name to that area of London. The site attracted 2 million visitors a year, quite respectable for the time, and was home to various displays, festivals and music shows. However, it was subject to a number of disasters, of which the 1861 gale was one, and it's end came on the night of 30th November 1936, when a huge fire broke out across the building. By morning most of the Palace was destroyed. ]
 23
 1861
(Summer/
early Autumn)
 In contrast to areas across England & Wales (which latter had above-average rainfall, but not excessively so), from Ireland it appears that this 'extended' summer was dramatically wet. In the Armagh Observatory record, with a total of over 500 mm for the four months June to September inclusive, this represents well over twice-average rainfall at this station. From Connaught (NW Ireland) there were reports of much wet weather in July and August in particular, with several reports of floods & adverse effects on the harvesting of crops. By October, it was reported that potatoes were in a bad way with large proportion of the crops diseased. The failure (or partial failure) of the potato crop in Ireland, as in 'marginal' rural areas elsewhere, would lead to much distress in the tenant farming community.  ORAM,
ARMAGH
 1862
(March)
 Notably wet across England & Wales. EWP
 1862
(Summer)
 The summer of 1862 was notably cold using the CET series. All three summer months (June, July & August) had below-average mean temperatures, with anomalies (on the all-series dataset) of -1.6, -1.8 and -1.0C respectively, giving an overall deficit of -1.5C. As of 2013, it ranks within the 'top-15' of coldest summers using that long series. Specifically in NW Ireland (from a farming diary in Connaught), there are frequent notes of 'wet days' and 'alarming cold', coupled to occasional days of high winds/damage: specific occasions of 'gales' are thought worthy of record on the 4th & 7th June and the 19th July; it was noted that the harvest was 'terrible'. It looks as if our old friend the polar jet was displaced southward again and no doubt stronger than the long-term average.  CET,
ORAM
 1864
(January)
 January had many days of heavy snowfall including the 7/8th, 11th, 18th, 22nd and 27th.  x
 1864
(Annual)
 A notably dry year by the EWP series: in the 'top-10' using that measure. The main drought period ran from April to August.  EWP, 18
 1865
(January &
February)
 Heavy snow fell in the last week of January, 1865 between the 25th and the 31st, and there were further significant snow events throughout February in many parts of Britain. The snow averaged about 22 cm depth in some places, with snowdrifts of up to four and a half metres. In South Wales the snowfall is said to have been unequalled for forty years. Temperatures over lying snow cover were sometimes as low as -15degC.  x
 1865
(late Spring)
 April, May and June ... persistently fine and warm weather. Using the CET record, all three months had anomalies exceeding +1C, with April, at a value of 10.6degC, having an anomaly with respect to the all-series mean of around +2.7C.  CET
 1866
 1866
(January)
 Heavy snowfall event in southern England between 10th and 11th January.  x
 1866
(November)
 Great damage occurred at Hesketh Bank (south-side of the Ribble estuary, near Southport, Lancashire) when the sea burst through earth banks and flooded parts of the village and large areas of farmland. (This is presumably a wind-driven tidal surge, possibly coupled to large volumes of land-water running off the Pennines: see below)
Extensive flooding on the Aire & its tributaries such as the River Worth, including at Keighley, Stockbridge & Leeds. At Apperley, the railway viaduct collapsed and floodwater reached several feet deep in houses at Castlefield Mill and Bingley. Out of bank flows reached two to three feet deep as far downstream as Leeds. Near Leeds, the Kirkstall railway bridge overtopped, flooding Kirkstall Station & Kirkstall Road. This is the largest recorded event in Leeds and six people drowned.
 x
 1866
(December)
 The final heavy snowfall of 1866 occurred on the 30th December causing many roads in East Anglia to become impassable, and for a 2.5 metre snowdrift to be found in Regent Street, London. [ see also entry below for early January, 1867.]  x
 1867
(January)
 A snowstorm occurred between the 1st & 2nd, 1867 causing great hindrance to railway traffic. [ q.v. entry above for late December. ] Snowdrifts of 6 metres were recorded while 20cm of snow fell on the morning of the 2nd in the Home Counties [Presumably the original depths were in feet]. On the 10th, heavy snow blocked roads and railways in London. South Shields, Tyne and Wear and Peterborough, Cambridgeshire also received large amounts of snow as well as the rest of the east coast of England. Dover and Deal in Kent and Brighton, East Sussex, became completely cut off. More heavy snow occurred between the 22nd and 23rd January, with extensive snow in eastern parts of Scotland, blocking railways. 75 cm of snow fell in Aberdeen, with snowdrifts up to 6m high. The very cold weather with snow was also reported by John Oram from Co. Mayo, Connaught in NW Ireland - I intrepret his comments to imply that the event there was most unusual.  x,
ORAM
 1868
(January-March)
 It appears to have been a wet start to the year across at least northern & western parts of Ireland. From a farming diary kept in Co. Mayo, Connaught (NW Ireland), January was so wet that it was impossible to plough the land on occasion; February was also noted as being a 'very wet' month (but not cold): the very wet weather apparently lasted until the last week of March. In the Armagh record (Ulster), all three months had well-above average rainfall, with the three-month total of 363 mm representing around 180% of the LTA. [ORAM, ARMAGH]<<  ORAM,
ARMAGH
 1868
(early & mid
Summer)
Persistently warm weather by CET series over period May to July. The summer of 1868 was very hot & dry, with some of the highest temperatures ever recorded for the second half of July occurring in this year. There was a remarkable spell of hot days, with temperatures over 30degC in England. For the south-east of England specifically, a maximum temperature above 32degC was recorded in each of the months from May to September, and in July specifically, the temperature exceeded 32degC on 9 days; the soil was very dry (lack of precipitation), which would of course mean that solar energy was most effective. [ Note that consistency of instrumentation / housing was not as high as it is today.]
> It was regarded for many years, until 1976 at least, as the longest (due lack of rainfall) & hottest in the instrumental record for England.
2. Although not accepted (because of problems of comparison between Glaisher and Stevenson screens), the maximum temperature recorded on the 22nd July, 1868 at Tonbridge, Kent is still remarkable: 100.6 degF/(converted=38.1degC) [ It is now thought that this value, when compared with the 'standard' Stevenson screen, is about 1.5C or 2C too high.]
3. Notable drought May to July over England & Wales in particular: somewhere around 40% of long term average. Using the EWP series (Hadley), both June & July were in the 'top-10' of dry such-named months (4th driest as at 2007), with 17 mm (~25% average) & 20 mm (~33% average) respectively. Not quite so dry in Scotland (just under 70%).
 CET, EWP, 1, 10, 18
 1868/1869
(Winter)
November 1868 was a cold month, with a CET anomaly of -1.1C. However, this turned out to be a false start to the 'winter' season, as the subsequent 'standard' winter (DJF) became, until the 21st century, the warmest winter (by CET) in the series which began in 1659. The overall value (December, January & February) was = 6.77, representing an anomaly of +3.2C on the all-series mean; December had a value of 7.2 (+3.1), January 5.6 (+2.4) & February 7.5 (+3.7). December was in the 'top-10' of warm such-named months, whilst February 1869 was the second-warmest February in the entire series. (Other warm winters/ending February of year indicated: 1686, 1734, 1796, 1834, 1935, 1975, 1989, 1990 & 2007.)
With high rainfall being recorded in both the England & Wales series (EWP) and from stations in Ireland (e.g., Armagh Observatory), it suggests a highly zonal / westerly pattern held sway from late November 1868 until at least February 1869. Several storms with high tides were noted in Connaught in the first couple of months of 1869 (Oram).
 CET,
EWP,
ORAM,
ARMAGH
 1870
(May)
 UNUSUAL SKY COLOUR - CANADIAN FIRES
Over the period 22nd/23rd May (1870), there were reports of unusual coloration to the sun: the exact colours are described differently, but initially white (not long after sunrise), then "purple side of red" or "dark red", then as the sun climbed higher in the sky . . . . "pink, inclining to purple", seems to sum up the observations from a wide area from Ireland & Britain to western mainland Europe; the phenomenon lasted several hours at any one location and the overall sky was described as 'hazy' (high dust loading); observers described the sun as if "shining through smoke" and "so dim it looked like the moon". Some reported seeing sunspots on the solar disk - looking directly at the sun, even through opera glasses and as no ill-effects were noted, we must assume that the sun's radiation intensity was significantly reduced.
The phenomenon was due to a major fire that had occurred in Canada 18th/19th May (i.e., 4 or 5 days previously) in the Saguenay region of north-eastern Québec. The spring had been unusually dry and farmers had ploughed their fields by early May. A huge forest/brush fire had broken out, with a strong wind fanning the flames, and the 'wildfire' spread rapidly (no doubt generating its own high wind field), the plume of smoke penetrating high into the troposphere. The fire spread so quickly and was so intense that some only had enough time to reach safety or the nearest area of water to survive without their valued possessions - and of course agriculture was severely impacted. By evening on the 19th May, the fire had largely burnt itself out, but by that time a huge plume of smoke particles was being carried towards the east (and eventually Europe) on the upper winds.
 x
 1870/1871
(Winter)
 A cold winter over western Europe / implied for parts of Britain. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb). Using the CET record, the overall value for the three 'winter' months of December, January & February was 2.4degC, representing an anomaly of roughly -1.3C on the all-series mean.  1,
CET
 1872
(January)
 Notably wet over England & Wales (using the EWP series). EWP
 1872
(Summer)
 A wet summer across England & Wales. According to Lamb/CHMW, the anomaly was 140% (of LTA 1916-1950).  1
 1872
(Annual)
 Wettest (calendar) year for England and Wales in the EWP series. (1284.9mm for the EWP series.) & also the wettest any twelve months: (at the time). [ Superseded by 2000 period April 2000 to March 2001 (for twelve months) q.v.].
The wet conditions extended across Ireland as well; in the Armagh record, the 12 months from February 1872 to January 1873 saw 1251 mm of rain fall, which represents around 150% of the LTA for this station; in a farming diary kept in Co. Mayo, Connaught, NW Ireland, the persistent wet weather caused considerable distress through loss of harvests and difficulty of working the land.
EWP,
ARMAGH,
ORAM
 1872-1879
(8 years)
 These eight years began with the wettest calendar year in the EWP series (see above), and culminated in the second wettest summer in that set; the 'growing-to-harvest' periods (May - September) of 1872, 1875, 1877, 1878 & 1879 all experienced well-above average rainfall - that of 1879 being some 160% above the 'all-series' mean. Summer-time temperatures were also either 'average' or depressed, and again, in 1879 the CET value of 13.7degC was some 1.5degC below the all-series average, a considerable amount. It is no surprise then to find that British agriculture entered a period of depression (some have called it a 'crisis'), beginning in 1875 and not recovering until 1884; the downturn was aggravated by foreign wars and imbalance in trade (depressed home prices), coupled to unsustainable land rents. EWP, CET
 1874-1883
(Wet 10
years)
 In parallel with the entry above, using a rolling ten-year average, then these 10 years were the wettest such period in the EWP dataset, with an annual average of 1017mm. (as of 2009 / EWP)
(Now, see entry at 1884-1902)
 EWP
 1874
(October)
 21st: Possible storm (missed by Lamb) - schooner "Margaret Potter" driven ashore by " N by E F9 " wind 3 miles south of Fraserburgh Harbour. Also, from Dumfries and Galloway, same date, "storm morning 21/10/1874 - approached ferocity of January 1839 and March 1856; substantial parts of woods at Dumcrieff destroyed."; and another … the "Chasun", an iron paddle steamer had left Glasgow on the 8th bound for Shanghai, but by the time the vessel had reached Waterford (in Ireland) she had to return to the Clyde due to a fault with her engines. On the 21st October, she was near the Clyde, but encountered the storm as above, and had to run for shelter into Ardrossan harbour. But the seas and winds were too high - the vessel lost headway and ran aground - the sea quickly broke the ship in two; 15 of the crew including the captain were drowned. (Limerick chronicles)  x
 1874
(December)
 December 8th/9th?: (Lamb hasn't got this one, so needs confirmation): Storm in 1874 along the coasts of England, but particularly affecting the east & NE coastline. Occurred in the 'early hours' (of the 9th presumably), with most reports suggesting a peak between 1am & 5am. From the reports, suggests mean speeds at least Bft9 for several hours, and almost certainly Bft10; for example, the gable end of a house in Hull fell through the roof of an adjoining house, and tiles were blown from houses in almost every street. Much disruption / damage to coastal shipping, with a few deaths. Rain & snow was reported at Whitby, where this report comes from: " At Whitby, up to about 11 o'clock (PM) on the 8th, there were no indications of a coming storm. Rain had fallen in torrents during most part of the day, but at the time mentioned the hitherto clouded sky was clear, and the stars shone with peculiar radiance and lustre [ suggests open warm sector to me ]. Suddenly the wind sprung up from the east-north-east veering to the north and within an almost incredibly short time swelled into the dimension of what is known officially as a full gale. " All this suggests a rapidly developing wave moving quickly ENE along a trailing cold front.
[ see: http://www.scarboroughsmaritimeheritage.org.uk/ayorkshirestorm.php ]
 web
 1875
(Early/mid
Summer)
 June & July 1875 were wet months, across at least England & Wales. June had ~140% of long-term average (EWP series), though with near-average temperatures. However, in July, averaged over the England & Wales domain, roughly 240% of long-term average rain fell, and it was also cool, with CET anomaly around -1degC. [See general comments in entry for 1872-1879 above.]  EWP,
CET
 1876
(January)
 After a mild start, it turned much colder. On the 21st January, a heavy snowfall / blizzard: 14 deaths occurred as two trains collided near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, because one of the drivers was blinded by the blizzard causing the train to over run the signals. Snow on the cables and arms had forced all the signals into the 'clear' position.  x
 1877
(January)
 Notably wet over England and Wales (using the EWP series). EWP
 1877
(Annual)
 Notably wet year by the EWP series - in the 'top-10' using that measure. EWP
 1878
(March)
 "LOSS OF HMS EURYDICE"
On 24th March, 1878, a sudden and severe squall resulted in the sinking of the naval training ship HMS Eurydice, with the loss of all but two of the approximately 368 men aboard. A strong north-to-northwesterly flow affected the British Isles on the SW flank of large/irregular depression centred over southern Scandinavia. A small-scale secondary depression (polar low?) produced a snowy squall-line, as it ran southeastwards during the afternoon, reaching the Isle of Wight area around mid-afternoon (the time/place of the disaster). HMS Eurydice was a full-rigged sailing vessel, homeward bound from the West Indies after a three month training tour on station. At 3.45pm, the ship was off Ventnor (Isle of Wight) running before a nearly westerly wind, with all sail set. Before sail could be shortened, the squall hit, and as the lee ports were open, the ship took on a large quantity of water, filled and capsized. It has been speculated that the crew had been drinking heavily and had not noticed that snow had gathered in the top sails. However, two enquiries (including the formal 'Court Martial') at the time found that the primary cause of the disaster was the abrupt onset of the squall, after a day of fine weather and I find the 'heavy drinking' explanation highly suspect if not downright misleading. One land-based observer noted how the squall was 'double-fronted', with an advance 'blow' masking the main line-squall. This may have led the Captain of the Eurydice to think that he had time to react to a marked change in the conditions. This was regarded at the time as one of the 'greatest disasters that had befallen the British Navy for many years'.
['Weather', Abercromby & Goldie, pp 168 et.seq., & various web sites.]
 21,
23
 1878/79
(late Autumn/
early Winter)
 November to January .. notably and persistently cold by CET series.  CET
 1878/79
(Winter)
 The coldest winter in a Glasgow composite record from 1868. (2nd coldest was 1962/63) [ for the CET series, winter 1962-63 was the lowest CET = (minus) 0.33, with the winter of 1878/79 coming seventh in the series at + 0.70degC. ]
Ice floes were reported "on the Thames", or in the Estuary.
( see 'Weather' August, 1963: pp226-228 )
One of only four occasions in the CET series when there were consecutive 'sub-zero' mean temperatures: December 1878 (-0.3) and January 1879 (-0.7). [The others were 1684, 1740 & 1963]. [ The coldest winters were: 1684, 1740 & 1963 ]
A very snowy winter / early spring November to April. A severe snowstorm occurred on the 12th November, when northern England and Scotland experienced between 37 and 45 cm of snow. Trees were reported to have been blown down as well as damage reported to sprouts and shrubs.
Number of snowdays (assumed snow-lying, not falling) very large; in places in north there was 3 months cover.
[ See entry under late spring/summer - below ]
 6,
CET
 1879
(late Spring
and
Summer)
 April to August ... notably and persistently cold by CET series. For all these five months, the anomaly was greater than -1C, with April, May & July greater than -2C (wrt all-series mean): more below.
It was also very wet, particularly in June, July & August; loss of bee colonies reported widely & great loss of harvest (see general comment above).
Winter 1878/79 was notably cold (see above). The anomaly (CET) on the standard DJF was -3C all-series mean, and nearly -4C on 'modern-day' values. With the arrival of the longer days of spring & summer, there was to be no 'recovery'; 1879 continued in the same vein, with both seasons having anomalies of around -2C on modern-day values & they are within the 'top-20' of coldest spring & summer seasons in that long series. From April to August, all these months individually were notably cold, with May & July being in the 'top-5' of coldest such-named months across England. The cold, often wet weather was a feature right across the British & Irish Isles; from the west coast of Ireland (Co. Mayo) for example, it was reported that it was a 'disastrous year for farmers', with a very bad harvest. July and August in particular experienced major STORMS with the land being extremely WET. [CET, Diary of John Oram]
 CET,
EWP
 1879
(Summer/
early Autumn)
 Notably wet period. The five months May to September, 1879 accounted for 580mm of rain by the EWP series; circa 190%. The three 'high-summer' months of June, July & August each had nearly double average (1961-90) rainfall amounts and (up to 1999) was the second wettest summer in the EWP record. Lamb writes: " the summer was the wettest and one of the .. coldest in the long instrument records for England. The cold, wet weather delayed the ripening of the harvest, so that even in East Anglia in some places the corn had not been gathered in by Christmas. The decline of English agriculture, which lasted for fifty years, dated from this time." (Lamb/CHMW)
(Next time this wet in 1903; wettest summer in the series=1912).
 EWP, 1
 1879/80
(late Autumn
& Winter)
 November to January .. notably and persistently cold again (see above) by CET series. Compared with continental Europe (see 2. below), the winter was not so severe, but deaths from cold were reported and evergreens were killed. On the 4th December, 1879, the temperature of (minus) 23degF (circa (minus) 31degC) was recorded at Blackadder, Berwickshire though this is not recognised due to poor exposure and lack of certified instrument. Being part of a severe winter, many reports of rivers frozen over. At Exeter, the River Exe was completely covered in ice. (Devon Co.C web site)
December 1879 was the coldest month of the 19th century in France & central Europe, and the cold persisted into January 1880; the Dutch waterways were frozen for nearly two months and in Paris, fifty people died of cold.
28th December, 1879: TAY BRIDGE DISASTER.
The original Tay Bridge (3km/1.85mi) railway crossing was the scene of a disaster during the evening when a section of the bridge was blown away in a storm as a train was crossing over it from south to north. Circa 75 deaths. Some tornadic activity evident as waterspouts were observed in the vicinity. However, even without any such activity, Lamb has stated that 'straight-line' winds in the area were in excess of the 100 mph that the contemporary enquiry suggested were the probable speeds. He also suggests that this was 'one of the great storms' to affect this region of northern Europe.
Notable drought from October to January. Over England & Wales, 40% or less of LTA, and even in Scotland, less than 60% of rainfall for many.
 18, CET,
GBWFF,
23
 1879
(Annual)
 Unusually unsettled (see individual entries above), and thought to be comparable with worst years of the Little Ice Age; coldest year in London (?Kew Observatory) since detailed records first kept in 1841.
By the wider-area CET record, with a value of 7.4degC (nearly two-and-a-half degC below modern-day means), it was the third coldest year in that series, only beaten by 1695 (7.3degC) & 1740 (6.8degC), both years within the aforementioned 'Little Ice Age' period.
A wet summer - collapse of agriculture.
 1,
CET
 1880
(Spring /
Summer /
early Autumn)
 A fine spring / summer across Scotland. The summer is noted in contemporary reports as being 'hot'. The harvest was finished early.  x
 1880
(Autumn /
early Winter)
 A wet autumn & early winter: the total rainfall (EWP series) from September to December (inclusive) was 502 mm, which represents roughly 140% of the all-series average.
Heavy fall of snow in NE Scotland in the 2nd week of October. Unusually (for the late 20th/early 21st centuries anyway!), an early heavy snowfall between 19th and 20th October, 1880. This snowfall mainly affected southern England for up to 12 hours in places. 30 cm of snow fell at Sevenoaks, Kent and 20 cm at Crowborough, E. Sussex. 15 cm fell in other areas of Kent, as well as London and Surrey, damaging oak and elm trees as foliage was still upon many trees.
Also heavy snow and severe frost in December - the latter being noted at the time as the most intense for 50 years. The harsh conditions continued into early New Year 1881 (see below).
 EWP
 1881
(January)
 The easterly blizzard between the 18th and 20th in 1881 was most intense in central southern counties of England ( Dorset, Wiltshire, and the Isle of Wight ) giving about 1 metre of level snow in the Isle of Wight with heavy drifting. (One of the greatest on modern record). Affected the whole of England, except far north. About 100 people lost their lives and most businesses were halted for a day. Plymouth deprived of water for a week, and it took about a week before road and rail travel returned to normal. In London, the snow depth was about 25cm, with 1m drifts. Possible 5m drift in Oxford Circus. 2 m drifts in Portsmouth. 45cm depth in Brighton, 30cm in Exeter and on Dartmoor, as much as 100 cm.  11, 18
 1881
(July)
 Hot weather affected much of northern Europe through July, but for Britain, the heat only really extended to the London/SE region (see below in Scotland for example). Temperatures reached 35degC in Stevenson screen conditions at Camden Square, and around 32degC at other locations across SE & CS England. ('Weather' August 2004)  R MetS
 1881
(Summer/
Autumn)
  Snow & frost in June in Scotland, with young grouse dying in large numbers. June, July & August were very cold, and snow fell on August 12th. Harvest began in the second week of October in wet, cold weather, and much of the harvest (corn) had to be brought in green.  x
 1881
(October)
 On the 14th/early 15th October in 1881 an exceptionally severe Gale [F9/F10, locally F11] caused extensive damage across the British Isles & areas adjacent to the North Sea, especially along the north east coast of England & across the eastern parts of the English Midlands. 108 ships were reported missing. Inland, this gale was considered a 'great storm' with extensive loss of timber, especially in Scotland. One particular tragedy involved the destruction of almost the entire fishing fleet from the port of Eyemouth in Berwickshire. The morning (14th) had been fine with near-calm wind. 41 vessels, mostly big deep-sea boats sailed out. In the middle of the day, the wind fell light, and then the storm struck suddenly. Nineteen of the boats were lost and 129 men failed to return to port.  23
 1881
(November)
 November 1881, with a CET value of 8.9degC (~ +3C on the all-series mean), comes within the 'top-10' of warmest Novembers in this long series. It was often windy, particularly so after mid-month. On the 26th/27th November, 1881, gales strong enough to be called 'hurricanes' toppled at least 500 trees in Betteshanger Park (Kent), and looking at the synoptic pattern of that date, there would have been high winds (& associated damage) elsewhere across Britain.   CET
 1882
(Summer)
 A wet summer across England & Wales with 303mm using the EWP measure: this represents around 150% of average (whole series). However, in the London area, based on the Kew Observatory record, it was not as wet: indeed only June had above average rainfall (118%), with August notably dry at 29mm (~50% LTA).
Contemporary records from Scotland indicate that it was also wet there, with a poor / delayed harvest.
 EWP, 8
 1882/1883
(Autumn &
Winter)
 After the wet summer (see above), and a brief 'average' respite in September 1882, the rains returned with a vengeance in October (EWP 163 mm/~180% LTA / in the 'top-10' of such-named wettest months), and marked the start of a significantly wetter-than-average period lasting until February 1883. The total for autumn (SON) was 370 mm (~140%) & that for winter (DJF) was 332 mm (~130%). Flooding was reported nation-wide, and farmers in particular had a bad time, both in trying to rescue that year's ripe crops from the wet summer/autumn weather and trying to plant crops ready for 1883.  EWP
 1882 (December)  The heavy snowfall between the 4th and 8th December was the worst snowfall of 1882. Snow fell across southern Scotland, northern England and the northern-most parts of the Midlands. The snowstorm was known as the 'Border Blizzard'. The depth of snow was reported to be over a metre high, with drifting causing roads and railways to be blocked. Nottingham received 15 cm of snow; Sheffield 50 cm, and snowdrifts of up to 6 m blocked roads in Derbyshire for several days. In Scotland, more than 30 cm of snow fell, while at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire the heavy snowfall did much damage to trees and shrubs.  x
 1882
(Annual)
 A notably wet year by the EWP series - in the 'top-10' by that measure with a total of 1146 mm/~125% LTA. However, in the Kew Observatory record, the anomaly for the whole year was just 107%, with only four months having above average rainfall. This suggests that the southeastern counties of England fared rather better than elsewhere. EWP, 8
 1883
(March)
 A 'normal' start to the month (first five days), but as the northerly airstream/[ex-Arctic] set in on the 5th/6th (see below), the weather turned dramatically colder. There were frequent severe frosts, with snow & hail reported throughout the month accompanied by strong gales (occasional further severe gales/see below, especially around the 10th/11th). Eventually, this March, with a CET value of 1.9degC (anomaly ~ -3C) turned out to be in the 'top 5' coldest such-named months in the series (from 1659).
6th: Northerly gales (F9, isolated F10 / squally) northern half of the British Isles. 23 fishing smacks from Hull were lost, with 135 crew-members dead. Over 70 other vessels were damaged. There was also a severe snowstorm over parts of Scotland (presumably north & east) as the cold air set in.
 23,
CET
 1883
(Spring)
 Lack of rainfall across Britain - 'drought' remarked upon across Scotland. Using the EWP series (not necessarily representative of the whole of Britain), the anomaly was between 60 and 70% of average for that season. A subsequent effect upon the harvest etc.  EWP
 1883
(August)
 ERUPTION OF KRAKATOA (then Dutch East Indies / now Indonesia Java).
August 26th to 29th, (peak / major eruption on 27th) - major eruption ejecting material into the stratosphere led to an estimated suppression of world temperatures by some 0.5degC, a significant amount. The dust veil has no effect on long-wave / outgoing radiation, but intercepts the solar / short-wave radiation, in this case, a decrease of some 10% is estimated to have occurred. It also led to some spectacular sunrises and sunsets: these were world-wide within two weeks of the primary eruption, and lasted for many months.
[ The following three winters were rather cold, at least in Europe. It also led to some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. As the dust veil spread around the globe: the main body of the cloud moved from east to west (in the stratosphere, showing for the first time that winds in these latitudes were predominantly easterly, at least in the summer half-year**), and completed at least two circuits of the earth in low latitudes. With one month, the cloud had spread laterally through the tropical belt but then took near 2 months to penetrate poleward across the northern-hemispheric sub-tropics. The noise of the explosion was heard for thousands of km and the pressure (gravity) wave was detected on barographs around the world.
(**Because the existence of the strong easterly winds in the stratosphere were revealed by this volcanic eruption, they were known for a long time as "Krakatoa winds".)[Ref: Tropical Meteorology, H. Riehl, 1954]
(various
incl. VOLC)
 1883
(October)
 On the 13th, after a quiet start to the month, the weather became markedly cyclonic, with a persistent run of W or SW winds until well into the second-half of the month. On the 16th/17th, widespread gales, coupled to abnormally high tides caused significant flooding in areas adjacent to the Severn Estuary. In particular, the workings of the nearly completed Severn railway tunnel were flooded. From contemporary reports . . . "Then out of the darkness, there suddenly emerged a tidal-wave engulfing the land with a solid wall of water six feet high". (var. histories of the Great Western Railway)  x
 1884-1902  (DRY LATE VICTORIAN PHASE)
For these 19 years, 15 had annual rainfall totals below the all-series average, with 5 of those years (1884, 1887, 1893, 1898 & 1902) notably dry. 1887 specifically was the third driest year in the EWP series (q.v.), and the other four had anomalies of 85% or lower. Notably low river flows recorded in parts of southern Britain, particularly over the chalks of SE England. It should be noted that this era coincided with rapid growth in urban areas, both in areal extent and population density: (The 'Sherlock Holmes' period!)
 EWP
 1884
(January)
 LOWEST MSL PRESSURE IN BRITISH ISLES
The mean sea level pressure dropped to 925.6 mbar at Ochtertyre, Perthshire (26th). This occurred during the passage of an intense depression across Scotland.
The depression that produced the record-breaking low pressure (as above), was responsible for widespread gales/storms across the British Isles/NW Europe 26th/27th, with considerable damage to trees and buildings. [HS/23]
23,
Burt
 1885
(Annual)
 A chilly year. The overall CET anomaly for the year was -0.6degC, and for the summer in particular it was -0.7degC on the long-term average. The chill was not confined to England, as there are reports of a 'cold, dry & windy' year across Scotland. Frosts were frequent and late (in Spring).  CET
 1886
(February /
March)
 Significant snowstorm affected northern England end of February and early March.  18
 1886
(October)
 14th-16th: a depression (small-scale but intense) tracked ENE'wds across central Ireland during the 15th, with lowest pressure estimated ~969 mbar. Gales, at least BF10, were reported by most ships and some coastal stations across the southern part of the British Isles, with ENE'ly gales across Scotland (north of the depression track). The low then moved slowly ESE to central-southern England (perhaps deepening a little) on the morning of the 16th, allowing N'ly gales (at least BF10) to affect the Hebrides. Many trees were blown down across Ireland, the English Midlands & in counties bordering the English south coast. Damage also occurred to standing crops, and the high winds were accompanied by heavy rain, which brought river flooding to England, Wales & Ireland - delaying the harvest - which was already compromised by the wet/windy weather. Some bridges were swept away.   23
 1886
(December)
 One of the deepest depressions on record crossed the north of Ireland this month in 1886. Around 1400hrs on 8th December, 1886, the sea level pressure at Belfast touched 927.2 mbar, a value that still stands as the British Isles December record. (as at 2006)(Burt/'Weather'/Feb2007)
In association with the event (above), severe gales were reported widely across the British Isles (& adjacent regions of maritime NW Europe). Lamb notes Bft 11, ocnl Bft 12, the latter at some points on the west coasts of Ireland and France and in the Channel on the 8th. In Wales, great damage to tree stands.
On the 26th, a heavy snowfall (accompanied by a high wind) over southern Britain. The snowfall wrecked overhead telegraph wires and trees for several miles around London, as well as southern and SW England. Kent received over 30 cm of snow, with snowdrifts up to 2.5 metres.
Exceptionally sunny over England & Wales.
 23
 1887
(Spring)
 Notably and persistently cold by the CET series. Relative to modern-day means, the anomaly for March, April & May combined was over -2C.  CET
 1887
(October)
 Snow reported as lying on the streets in London on the 11th.  8
 1887
(Annual)
 An exceptionally dry year by the EWP series: 669mm; ranks third driest in the EWP series (as of 2012). [ Driest in that series (up to 2012), were 1788 with 612mm and 1921 with 629mm ] . Severe drought recorded across Britain (i.e. not just England & Wales). Major impact upon water supplies, via rivers, wells, aquifers etc. Specifically, hydrologists identify the period late winter 1887 to summer 1888 as the 'core' of the historically extreme precipitation-deficit spell across a range of time-frames.
The focus of the drought occurred from February to July with anomalies across Britain roughly 50-75% of long term average for these 6 months.
['Weather', April 2007 &c.]
 EWP, 18
 1888
(Summer)
 In July of this year, ice is reported to have disrupted the fishing fleets in/out of the Faeroes .. this must imply markedly cold conditions at these latitudes, probably extending to at least the Shetland Isles. By the CET series, it was a notably cold summer, with a mean of 13.7degC - in the 'top-10' of coldest summers in that series.  CET, 1
 1890-1910
(Two decades)
  Major drought, but with some very wet interludes (see various entries below). Initiated by a sequence of notably dry winters. Major/sustained groundwater impacts. Most severe phases: 1893, 1899, 1902 & 1905. ['Weather', April 2007]  x
 1890
(Summer)
 A notably cold summer in the CET record. The anomaly on the all-series mean was around -1.3C (much more on modern-day values), and this summer was one of a cluster of four 'poor-to-indifferent' summers in the first half of the 1890s: 1890 itself, 1891, 1892 & 1894, all with anomalies of -0.7C or greater on the all-series mean.  CET
 1890/1891
(Winter)
 The winter of 1890/91 was remarkable for its long duration, from 25th November to 22nd January, rather than for the intensity of the frost, though December 1890 was the coldest such-named month in the CET record (q.v.)
During this period (last week of November to third week of January), the average temperature was below 0 degC over nearly the whole of England and Wales and below (minus) 1 degC in East Anglia and the south-east Midlands. Skating in Regent's Park occurred on 43 days, the thickness of the ice exceeding 9 inches (circa 23cm) but the frost penetrated in the ground to a depth of only about 30cm. At Worcestershire, on the Rivers Severn & Avon, the ice was thick enough to allow ordinary road traffic to pass over the ice-covered river and to permit sheep & pigs to be roasted on the surface. Ice floes were reported in the lower Thames and the Estuary.
The first heavy snowfall of the year (1890) occurred between the 25th and 28th November with heavy snow falling over England, especially Kent when up to 60 cm of snow was reported, with 40 cm of snow falling at Ipswich, Suffolk. In Sussex, 30 cm of snow fell at Crowborough on the 26th. In the Ashdown Forest the snow caused evergreen trees to be damaged on the 27th.
A heavy snowfall occurred in England and Wales between the 18th and 20th December. A snowfall of 45 cm occurred at South Petherwin, Cornwall on the 20th, with over 30 cm of snow falling at Batheaston, Somerset on the same day. On the 18th, Llanfrechfa Grange, Gwent had just over 20 cm of snow, and on the 19th, Chepstow, Gloucestershire had a snowfall of 18 cm.
(CEPB): The synoptic pattern was dominated by a large anticyclone covering northern Europe with a marked ridge extending over southern England, giving almost continuous east or northeast winds. [ similar severity to 1946/47 ]
The CET value for the winter (DJF) was 1.5degC, representing an anomaly on the all-series mean of around minus 2C, and compared with 'modern-day' winters, something like minus 3C! In particular, December 1890, with a CET value of -0.8degC/~5C below average, is the coldest December in the CET record.
 6,
18,
CET
 1891
(March)
 9-13th March 1891, easterly "blizzard"**. Heavy, fine powdery snow and strong easterly winds raged across SW England, southern England and Wales, with over half a million trees being blown down, as well as a number of telegraph poles. On the 9th (and later?), great snowstorm in the west of England, trains buried for days: E-NE gale, shipwrecks, many lives lost. (Eden notes: 220 people dead; 65 ships foundered in the English Channel; 6000 sheep perished; countless trees uprooted; 14 trains stranded in Devon alone.) Although the West Country was the worst affected, southern England, the Midlands, and south Wales also suffered. snowdrifts were 'huge' around some houses in the London - would be accounted a most remarkable sight nowadays! A man was reported found dead at Dorking, Surrey, while snowdrifts of 3.5 metres were recorded at Dulwich, London and Dartmouth, Devon. At Torquay and Sidmouth, Devon over 30 cm of snow fell.
**This may be the first time in the UK that the word 'blizzard' was used. Thought to derive from a German expression: " Der sturm kommt blitzartig", which translates as "The storm comes/came lightning-like".
 17
 1891
(May)
 On the 18th May 1891 snow fell over a wide area in the Midlands and East Anglia, to a depth of 15cm.  x
 1893
(Spring/early
Summer)
 A notably dry season over England and Wales. (see also 1990). Some places in SE England had no rain for 60 consecutive days, from mid-March to mid-May with the longest absolute drought of all being at Mile End (London) from 4th March to 15th May. This (at 1993) is thought to be the longest period without measurable rain ever recorded in the British Isles. During the period March to June, in southeast and central-southern England, some areas experienced less than 30% of average rainfall & over a wider area of England & Wales, the anomaly was under 45%.
Notably persistent warmth over period April to June. The combined effect of the drought, above average temperatures and often intense/prolonged sunshine meant that by the 21st of June, many agricultural areas of southern England and the east Midlands were undergoing great stress: the ground parched, meadows burnt dry with many crops declared a failure. Fruit was withering (not helped by some sharp/late frosts in May) and the hay crop was much reduced; root crops also severely affected. Using the climatological definition of spring (March, April & May), this year's such-named season was warmest (with 2011/q.v.) in the CET record. (See article R. Brugge, 'Weather' May 1993).
 18, EWP,
24
 1893
(August)
 On the 10th August in 1893, at Preston (Lancashire) a rainfall of 53mm in 35 minutes is thought to have included the highest known 5 minute fall in the United Kingdom - 31.7mm.  x
 1893
(November)
 Over the period 17th/18th November, 1893, as a vigorous depression moved from SW Scotland to the southern North Sea, high winds caused considerable damage across northern areas of Ireland, much of Scotland (even normally sheltered spots), near the west & north coast of Wales & more irregularly inland elsewhere. Much loss of standing timber reported, especially noteworthy in NE Scotland. Lamb notes reported winds of at least Bft 10 or 11 in association with this storm.
There was also considerable snowfall across eastern Britain, with severe drifting (& consequent transport dislocation - e.g., stranded trains) as far south as the southern Home Counties around London. The combination of low temperatures and high winds also produced bitterly cold conditions.
 23
 1893
(Annual)
 In this year, a station on Jersey (details unknown at this time) recorded 2340 h of bright sunshine. If this value was recorded using a Campbell-Stokes recorder exposed & used to a standard practice, then it would represent the highest known annual sunshine total within the British Isles in the sunshine-recorder record (starts ~ 1880). (See also 1959)  MWR
 1894
(November)
  MAJOR THAMES-VALLEY FLOOD
Major flooding across the mid/upper Thames Valley (i.e. non-tidal leg). The differences above the normal ("summer") prediction at various points were: Oxford +3.7ft; Reading +6.8ft; Maidenhead +7.9ft; Windsor +8.9ft; Kingston +11.5ft.
At the upper Thames recording point of Shillingford Wharf, the flood-level was 46.96m above OD, the second highest at this point, (and up to 2003), in that record. The Thames burst its banks and affected scores of towns / hamlets along the river, and many thousands were driven from their homes. (The peak date of the flood events is given as the 17th November.) The floods were stated at the time to be so spectacular and widespread as to be regarded as the greatest floods ever, and a 'yardstick' by which future inundations are measured. Flooding was also reported from other parts of southern England, following high rainfall in both October & November. Using the EWP series, the anomaly for October + November ~ 130% of the all-series average.
[ see also 1774 ]
 6, EWP
 1894/95
(Winter)
 Exceptionally cold / wintry from 30/12/1894 to 05/03/1895. To horticulturists and ice skaters in East Anglia, it was the winter of the ' twelve week frost '. Thousands skated on the frozen Serpentine in London, including a detachment of soldiers. Records from Cambridge Observatory show that there were actually air frosts on 70 of the 84 nights between 26th December 1894 and 20th March 1895. In particular, the mean air temperature recorded in London from the 26th January to 19th February was around -3degC: From the 9th to the 17th February, the whole of the Thames was reported as more or less blocked by ice-floes, some 6 to 7ft thick (circa 2m). [ It is not clear where this observation was made, but I suspect that this was referring to the Pool of London - a very important port for transfer of goods.] Water mains were frozen well below the surface to a depth of 2 to 3 ft (just under 1m).
January 1895: A lot of snow, both from frequent showers off the sea, and mid-month heavy snow over England and Wales with 1m or so of snow reported from Faringdon, Berkshire, and many places reported 8 to 15cm deep, with strong SE winds (classic block/anticyclone to NE of British Isles, with Atlantic frontal systems attempting to penetrate from the south & SW).
After a relatively mild spell mid month, renewed heavy snow in strong northerly winds with trains again getting stuck in NE Scotland & East/NE England.
The month of February 1895 stands out at Oxford as having the lowest average minimum temperature (minus 5.6 degC) and the highest number of ground frosts (27) for any February in the 113 years to 1993 at the Radcliffe Observatory. From the 9th to the 17th February the whole of the Thames was more or less blocked by ice-floes, some of them 6 or 7 feet thick. The non-tidal mid/upper Thames frozen at various times, with reports of an Ox being roasted on the Thames at Kingston & coaches (horse-drawn) crossed the river at Oxford. Similar tales of thick ice, with "roasts" etc., are listed for the Rivers Severn & Avon in Gloucestershire & Worcestershire & adjacent counties.
Second coldest winter in a Manchester long-period record (from 1888), comprising Manchester (Prestwich) 1888-1900; Manchester (Whitworth Park) 1901-1941; & Manchester (Ringway) from 1942.
The coldest winter was, as in many places in England & Wales, in 1962/63. However, in the CET series, the winter of 1894/95 did not appear in the top 7 cold winters, so the fact that Manchester stands out is interesting.
The UK lowest (known) air temperature was recorded during this winter: -27.2degC at Braemar (Grampian) on the 11th February 1895. [ It is equalled by the same value at the same place recorded on the 10th January, 1982. ]
February 1895 was a very dry month: in the EWP record, with 11 mm, it ranked within the 'top-10' of driest Februarys in that series (began 1766); some places in England (at least) had no precipitation whatsoever during this month.
 18,
EWP
 1895
(February to
June)
 A five month drought, with anomalies on long-term average circa 60-70% over the whole of Britain, but some places notably less.  18
 1896
(January to
May)
 The total rainfall using the EWP series (England & Wales) for the months January to May 1896 (inclusive) was 202 mm, which represents approximately just over half the long-term average for this period. Only March had significantly more than average rainfall, but this was more than offset by the other notably dry months, with May 1896 (12 mm / ~fifth of average), the second driest such-named month in that series..  18
EWP
 1897
(January)
 Some of the few heavy snowfalls of this year occurred on 22nd/23rd January. Blizzards occurred between Aberdeen and Kent.  x
 1897
(November)
  Exceptionally heavy daily rainfalls included 204mm at Seathwaite (Cumbria / Lake District) on the 12th November in 1897. [This was noted at the time as 15mm higher than the previous daily highest fall on a record at the site back to 1844.](See Burt & others, 'Weather'/RMetS/August 2005)  x
 1899 (Summer &
early Autumn)
 Notable drought with extended heatwaves. The total rainfall for the summer months amounted to roughly 65% of the long-term average, so not particularly exceptional, but coupled with the high-heat, and the fact that the previous year (1898) was very dry, extreme distress resulted. The summer (June, July & August) temperature (average=16.9degC) in the English lowlands [ based on the CET series ] is on a par with those of 1995 (q.v.).
For many across southern-most England, the fine weather continued through September & into October: however, these benign conditions were not continued further north.
 CET,
EWP
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