UK Weather - past and present
Month of April
Extraordinary Temperatures for April, 1840
To The Editor of the Times
Sir, - I send you a copy of my register for the last seven days, which exhibits the intense heat, particularly in the sun. On referring to my record of the past year, I find the greatest degree of heat in the sun was upon the 18th of June, when the mercury reached 111 degrees of Fahrenheit; but on Saturday last my index reached 114, being 3 degrees higher than any one day last year. I am, Sir, your subscriber, Paragon, New Kent Road, April 29th, 1840. H.P.
Comments about April, 1868
To The Editor of the Times Sir, - The succession of furious hurricanes which occurred late in the Mauritius had their mitigated counterparts in the northern hemisphere. On the day of the fatal cyclone of the 11th and 12th of March, which is represented to have been one of the most violent and disastrous experienced in those latitudes, an equatorial gale, almost due S., raged in England. Again, on the 13th of December, 1867, a cyclone passed over Mauritius, and in England the wind was rough, squally, and unsettled. February also was unusually boisterous in both latitudes; and on the 19th a furious gale raged on the coast of Cornwall. If we possessed authentic records we might probably find that the atmosphere of the whole earth is sometimes simultaneously stirred to its depths by these elemental perturbations. It is an ascertained fact that the diameters of the great wind circles which visit England from intertropical regions vary from 700 to 1,000 miles. The initials of the following table donate date, cloud, wind, barometer (day and night temperature), rainfall, ozone, hygrometer, and mean temperature. Height of cistern of barometer 600ft. above the mean level of the sea. The "M.T." is deduced from three diurnal observations:-
From the 1st to the 8th inclusive, the mean temperature of the air in April is estimated at 47.5 degrees, the day at 57, and the night at 38.5 degrees. On the 4th the sun's power at noon was 100 degrees, and an earthquake is recorded in Jersey. From the 9th to the 16th inclusive - On the morning of the 9th a cold N.E. wind blew, at 12.30 p.m. a heavy shower of hail and rain passed over from N., and the thermometer fell to 40 degrees. This was the coldest day hitherto of the month. Hailstorms occurred at various periods of the day, and at 1.30 p.m. hail, rain and snow fell. On the 10th the minimum night temperature was 1 degree below freezing. On the night of the 12th the thermometer sank to 30 degrees, and the surface of exposed water was covered in ice. Frosts occurred nightly until the 15th. From the 17th to the 23rd inclusive - On the 17th the wind returned to N.N.E., and the night temperature rose to 48 degrees, atmospheric pressure diminished, and was followed the succeeding day by a dense canopy of rain cloud. On the 19th, at 10 p.m., the wind, which had been squally, rose to a tropical paroxysmal gale, accompanied with heavy rainfall. The gale lasted for four days; and it was attended with loss of human life and great damage to shipping. From the 24th to the end of the month - The 24th was calm and mild, on the 25th the wind suddenly chopped round from N.E. to S.W., but owing to a Polar upper stratum which existed in direct antagonism to the earth's current, the temperature sank to 4 degrees. On the 27th the wind was cold, at 5.15 p.m. a brisk shower of rain fell, mixed with hail. The following day was wet and windy, at 5 p.m. sudden condensation occurred, which produced thick fog. On the 29th the night temperature registered an increase of 9 degrees, and the morning a rise of 12 degrees, the wind was high and variable. On the 30th the wind was rough and squally, and at intervals attained the force of a gale. The last day was the mildest of the month, and exceeded the acknowledged standard by 2.5 degrees. Rainfall - The maximum was on the 20th, and was the product of a gale, which raged for four days, and in its course deposited 2.28 inches. Ozone - Very largely developed, and attained a maximum on 16 days. On this elevated spot the registration is subject to comparatively slight fluctuations. Wind - The prevailing winds were the equatorial, which touched S. and W. on 18 days, and N. and N.E. on 12. The gales were all tropical. The mean diurnal temperature of the month was subject to considerable fluctuations. On several occasions sudden condensations occurred, which ended in thick fogs or hailstorms. Deep purple mists also hung on some days amid the foliage of the distant landscape. Altogether, the month was insalubrious, and the rate of mortality high. On the 4th an earthquake was felt in Jersey, a dense fog existed in London, and at Maidstone, in Kent, the sun's force at noon was 100 degrees. I am, Sir, your faithful servant, R.H. Allnatt.
Sussex, April 30th.
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