September 1919 – Heatwave then snow

Just after the end of WW1, September 1919 was an unusual month as it went from a late summer heatwave to early winter snowfall in the space of just a few days.

A hot southerly flow had allowed temperatures to climb as high as 32.2C at Raunds on the 11th September 1919.

However by the 12th, the wind flow switched and came in from the North Sea and maxima temperatures plunged to the teens.

The real dramatic change came about a week later on the 18th September, when a low pressure system tracked to the north of Scotland, then deepened as it moved into the North Sea and a vigorous cold front plunged southwards with a notably cold northerly flow behind it.

This cold flow brought early snow and frosts, with lying snow reported as far south as Northern England, even on low ground. This is one of the earliest recorded dates of lying snow across low ground in the UK, and the earliest date for low level snow in the 20th Century.

The daily Central England Temperature (CET) mean for the 20th September 1919 was just 6.8C.

An amazing month of contrast!

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