British Weather Extremes



Avalanche: 8 killed when a cornice of frozen snow broke away in sunshine and fell about 60 m (about 200 ft) onto houses in Lewes (East Sussex), 27 December 1836.
Flood: 2,000 died around the Severn Estuary, 20 January 1606.
Lightning, annual total: 31 deaths in 1914.
Smog: 3,500-4,000 died, mostly children and the elderly, from acute bronchitis caused by smog in London, 4 to 9 December 1952.
Windstorm: approx. 8,000 killed by "The Channel Storm" of 26 November 1703.
Sunshine: approx. 40,000 new cases of skin cancer and approx. 2,000 deaths from skin cancer occur annually, with totals rising year-on-year.
Whirlwind: 5 killed on 27th October 1913 in Abercynon and Edwardsville, near Merthyr Tydfil, when a T7 tornado affected parts of south Wales.


Longest duration at low altitude: 4 days 18 hours in London, from 26 November to 1 December 1948 and again from 5 to 9 December 1952.


Lowest mean: 513 mm (20.2 in), 1964-1982, at Lee Wick Farm, St. Osyth (Essex)
Highest mean: 4,391 mm (173 in) at Styhead Tarn (Cumbria).
Lowest in any year: 236 mm (9.3 in) at one station in Margate (Kent) in 1921.
Highest in any 24 hours: 279 mm (11 in) at Martinstown (Dorset) on 18 July 1955.
Highest in any month: 1,396 mm (55 in) at Crib Goch (Gwynedd) and 1,361 mm at Birkside (Cumbria) in December 2015. 1,349 mm at Styhead (Cumbria) in November 2009.
Lowest in any month: Note - nil monthly rainfall at a local level has been occasionally reported, e.g. recently in May 2020 (nil at Benson, Oxfordshire). The driest month over England and Wales was February 1891 (most places receiving less than 2.5mm), while over Scotland August 1947 was outstanding with a large area of the normally wet west (including the Glasgow area) being rainless.
Highest in any year: 6,527 mm (257 in) at Sprinkling Tarn (Cumbria) in 1954.
Longest duration of no rain: 73 days at Mile End (London) 1893 (4 March to 15 May inclusive).


Highest: 1054.7 hPa (31.15 in) at Aberdeen (Grampian) on 31 January 1902.
Lowest: 925.5 hPa (27.33 in) at Ochtertyre, near Crieff (Tayside) on 26 January 1884.


Least in any month: nil, at Westminster, London, in December 1890.
Most in any month: 384 hours at Hastings and Eastbourne (both East Sussex) in July 1911.


Greatest diurnal range: 29°C (52.2°F), from -7°C (19.4°F) to 22°C (71.6°F) at Tummel Bridge (Tayside) on 9 May 1978.
Highest: 40.3°C (104.5°F) at Coningsby on 19 July 2022.
Lowest: -27.2°C (-17°F) at Braemar (Grampian) on 11 February 1895 and 10 January 1982; and at Altnaharra (Highland) on 30 December 1995.
Warmest annual mean: 11.5°C (52.7°F) at Penzance (Cornwall) and on the Isles of Scilly, averaged from 1931 to 1960.
Highest dewpoint temperature:
Lowest dewpoint temperature:
Highest 850 hPa temperature: 25.2°C at Camborne on 18 July 2022 (17z).
Lowest 850 hPa temperature: -20°C at Hemsby on 1 February 1956 and at Crawley on 12 January 1987.
Lowest 500 hPa temperature: -46°C at Albemarle on 28 February 2018.
Highest 1000-500 hPa thickness: 578 dam at Camborne (Cornwall) on 28 June 2019.
Lowest 1000-500 hPa thickness: 497 dam at Hemsby (Norfolk) on 1 February 1956 and 12 January 1987.
Warmest Christmas Day maximum: 15.6°C (60.1°F) at Killerton (Devon) on 25 December 1920.
Coldest Christmas Day minimum: -18.3°C (-1.0°F) at Gainford (Durham) on 25 December 1878.
Warmest Good Friday maximum: 26.9°C (80.4°F) at St James's Park (London) on 22 April 2011.
Warmest Holy Saturday maximum: 29.4°C (85.0°F) at Camden Square (London) on 16 April 1949.
Warmest Easter Day maximum: 25.3°C (77.5°F) at Lee-on-the-Solent (Hampshire) on 24 April 2011.
Warmest Easter Monday maximum: 25.0°C (77.0°F) at Heathrow, Northolt (both London) and Wisley (Surrey) on 22 April 2019.
Coldest Easter Day minimum: -12.5°C (9.5°F) at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on 31 March 2013.
Warmest Early May Bank Holiday maximum: 28.7°C (83.7°F) at Northolt (London) on 7 May 2018.
Warmest Spring Bank Holiday maximum: 32.2°C (90.0°F) at South Farnborough (Hampshire) on 29 May 1944.
Warmest Late August Bank Holiday maximum: 33.2°C (91.8°F) at Heathrow (London) on 26 August 2019.
Warmest Halloween maximum: 23.6°C (74.5°F) at Kew Gardens (London) on 31 October 2014.


Highest hourly mean: 159 km/h (99 mi/h) at Great Dun Fell (Cumbria) on 15 January 1968 and Lowther Hill, Scotland on 20 January 1963.
Highest annual mean at low altitude: 33.1 km/h (20.6 mph) at Fair Isle (Shetland), from 1974 to 1978.
Highest non-tornadic gust: 278 km/h (172 mph) on Cairn Gorm Summit on 20 March 1986.
Highest non-tornadic gust at low altitude: 228* km/h (142 mph) at Fraserburgh (Grampian) on 13 February 1989. *Under review
Highest wind in upper atmosphere: 656 km/h (408 mph) at 47,000 m (47 km) or 154,200 ft (29.2 mi) recorded by rocket above South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 13 December 1967.
Strongest tornado: On 23rd October 1666 a T8-9 tornado (213-269 mph) passed through Welbourn, Wellingore, Navenby and Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire, with a reported maximum track width of 200m and a track length of 5km. Also a T8 tornado at St. Mary le Bow, central London on 23 October 1091 and T7-8 from Old Portsmouth to Southsea Common (Hampshire) on 14 December 1810.