The mean temperature of central England, 1698–1952



A table of monthly mean temperatures representative of the English Midlands has been constructed for the period 1698–1952. From 1815 it is derived from the average of the ‘Radcliffe’ (Oxford) and ‘Lancashire’ monthly means. From 1771–1815 it has been built up by averaging the departures, or anomalies, for each month at a number of inland stations whose records are long enough to be bridged into the years 1815–1840; from 1771–1798 the values thus obtained are reinforced by direct values based on the long Midland record at Lyndon. Before 1771 the existing Edinburgh, Greenwich and Lancashire means are supplemented by further direct values based on Lyndon and Exeter. For all years previous to 1752 the Old Style calendar months have been rectified to the New Style, and the direct values derived from early MS. journals in London, Plymouth, and the Midlands have been carefully collated back to 1728, and extended by means of other short records from Halifax, London and elsewhere back to November 1722. Finally, a direct reduction of Derham's Upminster record, 1699–1706, has been used as a basis for the earliest years. For the intervening years estimates are provided from a consideration of the Utrecht reductions, supplemented for 1713–1722 by non-instrumental observations of wind and weather in England. Some corroboration of the values so obtained during the eighteenth century is provided; it is hoped that the table can serve as a general standard for studies of English temperature variations until such time as something better can be provided.