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Review of Weather in Bedfordshire (and UK) 2011


Certainly 2011 has been a remarkable year around here. Several things unseen for 100+ yrs or more.

1. Mar+Apr combined rainfall of under 10mm

2. Spring total rainfall of under 30mm (driest season of any name on records)

3. Warmest April

4. Warmest October day on record

5. 2nd warmest Autumn in 100+ yrs

6. 2nd warmest November in 100+ yrs

7. One of the least snowy (days where sleet or snow observed)

8. On the coldest night of the year (in March!) the temperature only fell to -3.0C, the ‘warmest’ ‘coldest night’ of the last 15 years.

Its also the 2nd warmest year and one of the driest of the last 100 too.

Now looking at my own records (only back to when I moved here, 15 years ago)-

Average Temperature: 12.0C (warmest in series) (1.0C above average)

Rainfall: 434mm (3rd lowest in series) (82% of average)

Days with Thunder: 4 (Average is 9 days – joint fewest)

Days with Hail: 1 (Average 6 days – fewest on record)

Days with Snow: 3 (Average is 11 days)

Days with Snow Lying: 0 (Average 5 days – 1998,2002+2006 also had 0 days)

Days with Air Frost: 14 (Fewest on record – Average 34 days)

Days with Air Frost all day: (Ice days) 0 (Average 1 day – 8 of the last 15 yrs also had 0 days)

Month by Month:

February – Very mild. 1 air frost, fewest for February on record. -1.7C: warmest coldest night of Feb on record.

March – Very dry. Driest on record, 3 rain days (days with measurable >0.2mm rain) fewest for March on record.

April – Very warm and very dry. 2 rain days – fewest on record. +3.9C: warmest coldest night of Apr on record.

May – Warm and dry (warmest on record). 8 rain days – joint fewest. 13 rain days in spring, meaning 79 out of 92 days in spring with no rain recorded.

July – Cool (mean night time temp 2nd coolest in 15 yrs)

August – Lowest daytime max temp (14.5C on 18th) on record.

September – Warm. Warmest September day on record (also came on last day of month!)

October – Very mild and dry (driest on record). Warmest October day on record here and nationally.

November – Very mild and dry (warmest on record). Warmest November day on record.

December – Very mild and wet (only wet month of year). Average temp 6 degrees higher than last Dec. Greatest leap in temperature from one year to the next for a month.

Year overall – a remarkable 2.4 degrees warmer than last year (which was the coldest on my records).

Favourite Days
1st October – breaking the all time October record – very nearly 30.0C, that in October is as remarkable as the 37C recorded in August 2003.

Memory in future years
Very warm year despite cool summer.

Garden notes-

In my small town centre garden I lost the top growth on a 15 year old Cordyline Australis which is over 20 foot tall. It grew new spikes from the base. The top is covered nicely by a Clematis Montana so I haven’t chopped it down, but I will need to check its secure and think about doing something about it this spring. Thanks to the mild January and February there were no other casualties and spring bulbs and flowers were pretty early. Alliums (Giant purple/blue var) were blooming in late April, about a month earlier than in 2010, but it did seem that many of the bulbs came and went rather quickly – snowdrops for instance were late Feb/early March – I had some of the later tulips just weeks later, I’ve actually got snowdrops flowering this time as I speak (on 1st Jan and they have been flowering for a couple of weeks). Summer bedding went on and on and I only lost the Begonias (the semperflorans vars) just over a week ago after a frost of -2C – I still have osteospermums flowering away happily! The garden looks very different to a year ago, leaves are clinging on to the Clematis, Hydrangea and Fuchsia for instance. The summer crops faired ok but needed a lot of watering to get going in the spring. The dry weather has probably contributed to my Brussels Sprouts not being ready for the Christmas plate. Strawberries flowered and fruited into November and started very early (late April). All in all it was a long growing season but the watering had to be kept on top of, the cloudy weather for much of summer gave me some concerns but the tomatoes/cucumbers etc ripened happily after all in September and enjoyed the autumn heatwave.


The UK Met Office still issue contingency forecasts for up to 3 months ahead, and favour a greater chance of a milder than normal 3 month period between January and March. Rainfall, rather worrying, is not expected to be much above average.Link:

Please visit my website for more info.

Best wishes, weatherwise and otherwise in 2012,

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Cool blog - pardon the pun - I loved that heat in October - and the fact it has been very mild - great records

1 Jan, 2012


Happy new year Joe :o)
Nice to keep records like that (they would have been quite different if you lived here ...)
My dad used to be able to give accurate weather forecasts, - much better than the ones on tv lol

1 Jan, 2012


Happy 2012 Joe.
You keep useful weather records :o)

1 Jan, 2012


Happy New Year Joe.

Interesting blog, can't quite believe the year we had. Shame summer ended pretty much in April lol. But still loved that sudden October heat. What a surprise.

1 Jan, 2012


Thanks everyone. Yeh you're dead right Hywel for a pretty small island we can have some quite different weather (and climate) from one side of the country to the other. I've been keeping my own records since I was a kid now, they are great to look back on. I have been off GOY for a little while so looking forward to sitting back with a cuppa and taking a look through some of the recent blogs and pics.

1 Jan, 2012


Try Amazon see if they have the book "the wrong kind of snow" it has weather records for everyday of the year and stories for eveyday of the year too !!!

1 Jan, 2012


warmest ever day says in book for Jan 1st 15 degrees Welshpool and Colwyn bay in 1922 - coldest day on this date - 17.2 Wallingford in 1962 - has more too on each day :)))

1 Jan, 2012


Yes Paul. Thats a great book. I think I must have every weather book going and thats one of my favourites - just to pick up and look back 'on this day'.

1 Jan, 2012



1 Jan, 2012

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