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Contrasting Starts To May: May 1979 And May 1990

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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

The first week of May 1979 was one of the coldest starts to May of the 20th century. A very cold arctic flow flooded the UK during the last day of April and this brought showers of hail and snow to many areas and extensive air frosts. Maxima were well below average for May often in single figures. There was a slow warm up but it wasn't until the 11th of May that the real warm up reached the far north of Scotland.



Here's some of the maxima that was recorded on the 4th of May 1979

Blackpool: 8C

Bournemouth: 10c

Brighton: 9C

Cardiff: 8C

Clacton: 7C

Douglas: 8C

Exmouth: 10C

Hastings: 9C

Jersey: 10C

London: 10C

Lowestoft: 6C

Penzance: 9C

Scarborough: 7C

Shanklin: 10C

Torquay: 9C

By contrast, the first week of May 1990 was the hottest start to May during the 20th Century. With high pressure nearby and under brilliant sunshine, temperature soared to 25+C in many places even as far north as Scotland. RAF Lossiemouth recording 27.4C on the 1st, Rothes in Scotland 28.3C on the 2nd, 28.6C at Brabourne (Worcs) on the 3rd and 28.3C at Cheltenham on the 4th. All these values are record maxima for their respective dates. The weather did become cooler and unsettled by the 6th.



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