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: 74 killed when train plunged into sea from Tay Bridge (Tayside), after bridge collapsed under impact of 2 or 3 waterspouts, 28 December 1879.


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: 1,430 mm (56.3 in) at Styhead (Cumbria) in November 2009.
Lowest in any month:
Highest in any year: 6,527 mm (257 in) at Sprinkling Tarn (Cumbria) in 1954.
Lowest in any year:
Longest duration of no rain:


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.
Sunniest month:


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: 38.7°C (101.7°F) at Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July 2019.
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°C at Camborne on 28 June 2019.
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: 16.0°C (60.8°F) at Teingmouth (Devon) on 25 December 2015.
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.


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.
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: T8 (343-386 km/h, 213-240 mph) at St. Mary le Bow, central London on 23 October 1091 and Old Portsmouth to Southsea Common (Hampshire) on 22 September 1810.