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Posted
  • Location: Birmingham
  • Location: Birmingham

I was reading this excellent site The British Weather, which gives monthly descriptions of the weather all the way back to 1900, and I noticed this from 1910, does anyone know how such an event can occur

August 1910: On the 6th Shetland reached 28C - the highest temperature of the month anywhere in Britain. Very oddly, nowhere else in Britain exceeded 20C

I find it hard to believe that Shetland reached 28C and nowhere else on that day reached 20C, surely if Shetland reached 28C, nearby places such as Orkney must have exceeded 20C.

What is Shetland's record max temperature, I'm not sure that it is possible for Shetland to reach 28C.

Edited by Sunshine
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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I can't be sure that the Shetland thermometer was under standard Met Office conditions- which is often a problem with high temperature readings.

However it's not unknown for that sort of thing to happen. Around 5-7 June 2002, most of mainland Britain was cool and cloudy with low pressure, while a long drag of southerlies over the near Continent was imported to Shetland via easterlies and brought exceptionally high temperatures.

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

It happened during May 2004. The far north of Scotland and the Northern Isles were the warmest locations in the UK for the 8th and 9th of May 2004 thanks, to believe it or not a NEly flow from Scandinavia.

Baltasound recorded a maximum of 19.1C on the 8th of May and 20.3C on the 9th of May.

On the upper air charts, that the 850hpa temps over Scandinavia were fairly high and this was pulled towards northern Scotland

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/20...00220040509.gif

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/20...00120040509.gif

It looks like a similiar set up occured for August 1910

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/slp/1...slp19100807.gif

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Posted
  • Location: Brixton, South London
  • Location: Brixton, South London

For Shetland to record 20c in early May is quite astonishing when one considers that because of its position (surrounded by and very much influenced by open seas) its warmest month on average is August (not July) and its coldest month February (December is as cold/slightly milder than March [according to whether one takes the 1961-90 or the 1971-2000 averages]. Although in terms of sunshine/rainfall May has the most clement weather in the Northern Isles it is on average only the sixth warmest month (June to October are warmer) whereas in the UK as a whole May is the fifth warmest month.

As to the reputed maximum of 28c...I find that hard to believe ( I have a rather vague recollection that 23-24c is as high as Shetland has ever had: in many years the highest temperature in Shetland is 17-18c). I will pm Philip Eden to see what he has to say...

Regards

ACB

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Posted
  • Location: Brixton, South London
  • Location: Brixton, South London
I was reading this excellent site The British Weather, which gives monthly descriptions of the weather all the way back to 1900, and I noticed this from 1910, does anyone know how such an event can occur

I find it hard to believe that Shetland reached 28C and nowhere else on that day reached 20C, surely if Shetland reached 28C, nearby places such as Orkney must have exceeded 20C.

What is Shetland's record max temperature, I'm not sure that it is possible for Shetland to reach 28C.

Well Philip Eden agrees with this: see excerpt from a pm:

"bizarre as it seems, it is true; I can't remember the precise figure which of course at that time was recorded in fahrenheit, but it was in the low 80s, and it was recorded at Sumburgh (at the southern tip of Shetland) in one of those short-lived hot tropical-continental cyclonic flows of north African origin, travelling up into Scandinavia and then heading across Shetland as an easterly or northeasterly. Everything has to be just right (especially dewpoint and sea-surface temperature) otherwise Shetland just sits in fog.

It was written up in the Journal of Meteorology many years ago ... when I get home (I'm in France at the mo) I'll try to find it."

Regards

ACB

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  • 2 years later...
Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

Read an article I have by R.G.K. Lempfert of the Met Office from 2nd September 1910 and he commented on this temperature.

Sumburgh Head apparently had no record of a temperature of 70F+ since at least 1871. At first, it was thought to be an error, so an investigation was begun but the figure was confirmed by the observer, Dr Saxby. 77F was also recorded at Balta Sound.

Oddly, Wick and Deerness (Orkney) recorded no maxima of 58F+.

Dr Saxby comments. "On Saturday, August 6th, I wakened at 5am and was unable to sleep again on account of the "closeness" of the air, so rose and went out at 5.30am. The sun was shining brightly and from the card had been shining since a few minutes past 3am. Calm, cloudless sky, air oppressive, sultry not scorching; 9am temperatures, dry bulb 76.5, wet bulb 69.0, humidity 65%. The air was just perceptibly moving, I recorded it as E.1 Sky still clear. At 11m the dry bulb showed 73.0, wet 67.2, humidity 71%. The maximum thermometer recorded 77F, so the highest reading was apparently between 9am and 11am. During the rest of the day, there was a light wind veering to the south, the sun felt scorching not sultry. Duration of sunshine 15.6hrs."

It is believed warm air advected from Scandinavia across the North sea towards the Shetlands. Maxima on the 5th of August from Scandinavia include

Bodo: 75F

Christiansund: 77F

Skudenases: 70F

The CET maximum daily mean for that day was just 17.1C

It is more likely that the Shetlands being the warmest place in the UK would occur during the winter months than during the summer months.

Say a high pressure centre over northern England and the far north of Scotland would then be under an Atlantic airflow, whilst further south would be under a continental flow such as happened in December 1933.

Edited by Mr_Data
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Guest Shetland Coastie

Such events are indeed a rarity in summer months and as Mr.Data points out it is more likely for Shetland to be the warmest place in the UK during the winter than the summer months, although there is always the ever-present windchill which lowers the 'real feel' despite what the thermometer says.

During the summer months you are more likely to find thick fog whenever the temperature gets much above 15C and during the winter months, although the wind can be bitingly cold, frost is fairly uncommon.

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  • 1 year later...

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