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100.5F at Tonbridge, 22nd July 1868 The last great "8" summer

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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

There was a very notable heatwave during mid July 1868 where maximum got into the 90+Fs including a temperature recording of 100.5F at Tonbridge on the 22nd of July 1868. However, this figure is now discredited as the temperature was not recorded at standard exposure.

15th-22nd July 1868 CET: 20.6C

Here is a selection of some other temperatures recorded during that period although the readings are questionable as to whether they are what we would call "standard exposure"





Camden Town: Only 1 day on which shade max. was below 72F, on 4 days it was above 90F

Linton Park: An exceedingly hot and dry month. Water becoming scarce

Hitchin: Such heat, such drought and such a high barometer have never been recorded during 19 years, the barometer has been below 30 inches only on 17 days out of the last 92.

Culford: Shade max of 90F and upwards on 4 days. Wheat crop excellent but turnips and green crops poor..

Cirencester: An extraordinary month for heat, yet breezy and cool nights; the intense sun and cloudless sky account for burnt pastures.

Shifnal: Another broiling month.

Orleton: A remarkably brilliant hot and dry month.

Boston: A month of unusually high temperatures; cloudless skies and almost no rain. Pastures burnt and bare and great hardships both for man and beast owing to the want of water in the Fen Districts.

Cefnfaes: Hot and dry, water very scarce in this district.

Dumfries: Hot and droughty, water very scarce in the district.

Auchendrane: River Doon normally 104ft wide is reduced to a stream of just 6ft wide and 2ft deep.

Ballater: The river Dee lower than ever observed.

Aberdeen: Remarkable for heat and drought, pastures burnt up.

Doo Castle: Intense heat and great drought, spring wells dried up.



Edited by Weather-history
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  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire

I think it is safe to say that we have now broken the run of years ending in "8" having cooler than average summers which stretches all the way back to 1868.  In particular the warmest July in a year ending in "8", since 1868,  was in 1878 with 16.6*C, which is only just above average.  The warmest July of recent times in a year ending in "8" was in 2008, with 16.2 (close to the older LTA).  Other than these two years the only other year ending in "8" since 1868, which saw a July CET breach 16.0*C was 1928 (16.1).  It is certainly a statistical quirk that all the 14 years ending in "8" from 1878 to 2008 all had a July that was cooler than average except for two that were around average.

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