The Central England Temperature (CET) record is a meteorological dataset originally published by Professor Gordon Manley in 1953 and subsequently extended and updated in 1974, following many decades of painstaking work. The monthly mean surface air temperatures, for the Midlands region of England, are given (in degrees Celsius) from the year 1659 to the present.
This record represents the longest series of monthly temperature observations in existence. It is a valuable dataset for meteorologists and climate scientists. It is monthly from 1659, and a daily version has been produced from 1772. The monthly means from November 1722 onwards are given to a precision of 0.1 °C. The earliest years of the series, from 1659 to October 1722 inclusive, for the most part only have monthly means given to the nearest degree or half a degree, though there is a small 'window' of 0.1 degree precision from 1699 to 1706 inclusive. This reflects the number, accuracy, reliability and geographical spread of the temperature records that were available for the years in question.
Although best efforts have been made by Manley and subsequent researchers to quality control the series, there are data problems in the early years, with some non-instrumental data used. These problems account for the lower precision to which the early monthly means were quoted by Manley. Parker et al. (1992)addressed this by not using data prior to 1772, since their daily series required more accurate data than did the original series of monthly means. Before 1722, instrumental records do not overlap and Manley used a non-instrumental series from Utrecht compiled by Labrijn (1945), to make the monthly central England temperature (CET) series complete.
For recent years there are two versions of the series: the "official" version maintained by the Hadley Centre, and a version maintained by Philip Eden which he argues is more consistent with the series as originally compiled by Manley.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a cool period which coincided with cool winters and generally cool summers, the temperatures fluctuated widely but with little trend. From 1910, temperatures increased until about 1950, when they flattened before a sharp rising trend began in about 1975. The warmest decade on record is the 2000s with a mean temperature of 10.39 °C (50.70 °F).
Taking the 359-year period for the series as a whole:
|Year||10.95 °C (51.71 °F)||2014|
|Spring (March–May)||10.27 °C (50.49 °F)||2017|
|Summer (June–August)||17.77 °C (63.99 °F)||1976|
|Autumn (September–November)||12.63 °C (54.73 °F)||2006|
|Winter (December–February)||6.77 °C (44.19 °F)||1868/1869|
|January||7.5 °C (45.5 °F)||1916|
|February||7.9 °C (46.2 °F)||1779|
|March||9.2 °C (48.6 °F)||1957|
|April||11.8 °C (53.2 °F)||2011|
|May||15.1 °C (59.2 °F)||1833|
|June||18.2 °C (64.8 °F)||1846|
|July||19.7 °C (67.5 °F)||2006|
|August||19.2 °C (66.6 °F)||1995|
|September||16.8 °C (62.2 °F)||2006|
|October||13.3 °C (55.9 °F)||2001|
|November||10.1 °C (50.2 °F)||1994|
|December||9.7 °C (49.5 °F)||2015|
|Year||6.86 °C (44.35 °F)||1740|
|Spring (March–May)||5.63 °C (42.13 °F)||1837|
|Summer (June–August)||13.10 °C (55.58 °F)||1725|
|Autumn (September–November)||7.50 °C (45.50 °F)||1676|
|Winter (December–February)||−1.17 °C (29.89 °F)||1683/1684|
|January||−3.1 °C (26.4 °F)||1795|
|February||−1.9 °C (28.6 °F)||1947|
|March||1.0 °C (33.8 °F)||1674|
|April||4.7 °C (40.5 °F)||1701 and 1837|
|May||8.5 °C (47.3 °F)||1698|
|June||11.5 °C (52.7 °F)||1675|
|July||13.4 °C (56.1 °F)||1816|
|August||12.9 °C (55.2 °F)||1912|
|September||10.5 °C (50.9 °F)||1674, 1675, 1694 and 1807|
|October||5.3 °C (41.5 °F)||1740|
|November||2.3 °C (36.1 °F)||1782|
|December||−0.8 °C (30.6 °F)||1890|
Since 1878, the Central England temperature has recorded daily maximum and minimum temperatures; its daily mean records began in 1772. The tables below show the record average max/min for each season and each calendar month since 1878.
|Year||7.19 °C (44.94 °F)||2006|
|Spring (March–May)||5.97 °C (42.75 °F)||1999|
|Summer (June–August)||12.40 °C (54.32 °F)||2003|
|Autumn (September–November)||9.10 °C (48.38 °F)||2006|
|Winter (December–February)||3.83 °C (38.89 °F)||1934/35|
|January||5.2 °C (41.4 °F)||1916|
|February||4.3 °C (39.7 °F)||1903 and 1926|
|March||5.6 °C (42.1 °F)||1957|
|April||6.5 °C (43.7 °F)||2011|
|May||8.9 °C (48.0 °F)||1889 and 1952|
|June||11.6 °C (52.9 °F)||2017|
|July||14.0 °C (57.2 °F)||1983|
|August||14.0 °C (57.2 °F)||1997|
|September||12.8 °C (55.0 °F)||2006|
|October||10.2 °C (50.4 °F)||2001|
|November||7.7 °C (45.9 °F)||1994|
|December||7.0 °C (44.6 °F)||2015|
|Year||4.36 °C (39.85 °F)||1879|
|Spring (March–May)||2.30 °C (36.14 °F)||1887|
|Summer (June–August)||9.70 °C (49.46 °F)||1922|
|Autumn (September–November)||4.17 °C (39.51 °F)||1919|
|Winter (December–February)||−3.10 °C (26.42 °F)||1962/63|
|January||−4.8 °C (23.4 °F)||1963|
|February||−5.1 °C (22.8 °F)||1895|
|March||−2.0 °C (28.4 °F)||1883|
|April||1.4 °C (34.5 °F)||1917|
|May||4.7 °C (40.5 °F)||1885|
|June||7.9 °C (46.2 °F)||1916|
|July||9.8 °C (49.6 °F)||1919|
|August||9.3 °C (48.7 °F)||1885|
|September||6.6 °C (43.9 °F)||1986|
|October||3.2 °C (37.8 °F)||1919|
|November||−0.4 °C (31.3 °F)||1915|
|December||−3.8 °C (25.2 °F)||2010|
|Year||14.84 °C (58.71 °F)||2003|
|Spring (March–May)||15.73 °C (60.31 °F)||1893|
|Summer (June–August)||23.47 °C (74.25 °F)||1976|
|Autumn (September–November)||16.23 °C (61.21 °F)||2006|
|Winter (December–February)||9.63 °C (49.33 °F)||2015/16|
|January||10.3 °C (50.5 °F)||1916|
|February||11.3 °C (52.3 °F)||2019|
|March||13.8 °C (56.8 °F)||1938|
|April||17.1 °C (62.8 °F)||2011|
|May||19.0 °C (66.2 °F)||1992|
|June||22.6 °C (72.7 °F)||1976|
|July||25.6 °C (78.1 °F)||2006|
|August||25.1 °C (77.2 °F)||1995|
|September||20.9 °C (69.6 °F)||2006|
|October||17.1 °C (62.8 °F)||1921|
|November||12.5 °C (54.5 °F)||1994 and 2011|
|December||12.3 °C (54.1 °F)||2015|
|Year||10.52 °C (50.94 °F)||1879|
|Spring (March–May)||10.10 °C (50.18 °F)||1879|
|Summer (June–August)||16.97 °C (62.55 °F)||1879|
|Autumn (September–November)||11.03 °C (51.85 °F)||1887|
|Winter (December–February)||2.47 °C (36.45 °F)||1962/63|
|January||0.6 °C (33.1 °F)||1963|
|February||0.1 °C (32.2 °F)||1947|
|March||5.7 °C (42.3 °F)||2013|
|April||9.3 °C (48.7 °F)||1879|
|May||12.8 °C (55.0 °F)||1902|
|June||15.5 °C (59.9 °F)||1909|
|July||16.6 °C (61.9 °F)||1879|
|August||16.0 °C (60.8 °F)||1912|
|September||14.4 °C (57.9 °F)||1952|
|October||10.1 °C (50.2 °F)||1896|
|November||5.8 °C (42.4 °F)||1919|
|December||1.2 °C (34.2 °F)||1890|
Daily mean temperatures have been available since 1772, with max and min data available from 1878 onward.
|January||11.6 °C (52.9 °F)||23 Jan 1834|
|February||12.8 °C (55.0 °F)||4 Feb 2004|
|March||14.8 °C (58.6 °F)||27 Mar 1777|
|April||19.7 °C (67.5 °F)||29 Apr 1775|
|May||21.2 °C (70.2 °F)||29 May 1780|
|June||23.0 °C (73.4 °F)||3 Jun 1947|
|July||25.2 °C (77.4 °F)||29 Jul 1948|
|August||24.9 °C (76.8 °F)||1 Aug 1995|
|September||22.6 °C (72.7 °F)||1 Sep 1906|
|October||20.2 °C (68.4 °F)||1 Oct 1985|
|November||15.4 °C (59.7 °F)||5 Nov 1938|
|December||12.9 °C (55.2 °F)||12 Dec 1994|
|January||10.5 °C (50.9 °F)||3 Jan 1932|
|February||10.8 °C (51.4 °F)||4 Feb 2004|
|March||11.2 °C (52.2 °F)||30 Mar 1998|
|April||12.3 °C (54.1 °F)||24 Apr 2007|
|May||14.6 °C (58.3 °F)||30 May 1944|
|June||17.2 °C (63.0 °F)||22 Jun 1941|
|July||18.8 °C (65.8 °F)||29 Jul 1948|
|August||18.8 °C (65.8 °F)||11 Aug 1997|
|September||18.4 °C (65.1 °F)||5 Sep 1949|
|October||15.4 °C (59.7 °F)||3 Oct 2011|
|November||13.5 °C (56.3 °F)||22 Nov 1947|
|December||11.9 °C (53.4 °F)||12 Dec 1994|
|January||13.7 °C (56.7 °F)||9 Jan 1998|
|February||16.4 °C (61.5 °F)||13 Feb 1998|
|March||22.1 °C (71.8 °F)||29 Mar 1965|
|April||25.0 °C (77.0 °F)||16 Apr 2003|
|May||29.0 °C (84.2 °F)||29 May 1944|
|June||30.3 °C (86.5 °F)||28 Jun 1976|
|July||33.2 °C (91.8 °F)||3 Jul 1976|
|August||33.2 °C (91.8 °F)||3 Aug 1990|
|September||31.3 °C (88.3 °F)||2 Sep 1906|
|October||27.1 °C (80.8 °F)||1 Oct 2011|
|November||18.7 °C (65.7 °F)||4 Nov 1946|
|December||14.7 °C (58.5 °F)||23 Dec 1977|
|January||−11.9 °C (10.6 °F)||20 Jan 1838|
|February||−8.8 °C (16.2 °F)||9 Feb 1816|
|March||−6.5 °C (20.3 °F)||13 Mar 1845|
|April||−0.5 °C (31.1 °F)||3 Apr 1799|
|May||2.9 °C (37.2 °F)||8 May 1861|
|June||7.3 °C (45.1 °F)||9 Jun 1816|
|July||8.7 °C (47.7 °F)||20 Jul 1836|
|August||8.8 °C (47.8 °F)||26 Aug 1864|
|September||4.9 °C (40.8 °F)||28 Sep 1824|
|October||0.3 °C (32.5 °F)||29 Oct 1895|
|November||−4.6 °C (23.7 °F)||24 Nov 1904|
|December||−10.8 °C (12.6 °F)||25 Dec 1796|
|January||−13.4 °C (7.9 °F)||21 Jan 1940|
|February||−13.6 °C (7.5 °F)||24 Feb 1947|
|March||−9.4 °C (15.1 °F)||5 Mar 1909|
|April||−4.9 °C (23.2 °F)||2 Apr 1917|
|May||−1.5 °C (29.3 °F)||4 May 1941|
|June||1.3 °C (34.3 °F)||5 Jun 1991|
|July||4.7 °C (40.5 °F)||4 Jul 1965|
|August||4.0 °C (39.2 °F)||31 Aug 1921|
|September||0.3 °C (32.5 °F)||29 Sep 1919|
|October||−3.9 °C (25.0 °F)||27 Oct 1931|
|November||−8.8 °C (16.2 °F)||24 Nov 1904|
|December||−15.9 °C (3.4 °F)||13 Dec 1981|
|January||−5.7 °C (21.7 °F)||12 Jan 1987|
|February||−4.5 °C (23.9 °F)||6 Feb 1895|
|March||−0.7 °C (30.7 °F)||6 Mar 1942|
|April||2.3 °C (36.1 °F)||5 Apr 1911|
|May||6.0 °C (42.8 °F)||3 May 1892|
|June||10.1 °C (50.2 °F)||8 Jun 1897|
|July||12.5 °C (54.5 °F)||5 Jul 1920|
|August||12.0 °C (53.6 °F)||16 Aug 1888|
|September||8.3 °C (46.9 °F)||29 Sep 1918|
|October||3.1 °C (37.6 °F)||31 Oct 1934|
|November||−1.0 °C (30.2 °F)||28 Nov 2010|
|December||−4.0 °C (24.8 °F)||29 Dec 1908|
The United Kingdom straddles the higher mid-latitudes between 49° and 61° N on the western seaboard of Europe. Since the UK is always in or close to the path of the polar front jet stream, frequent changes in pressure and unsettled weather are typical. Many types of weather can be experienced in a single day. In general the climate of the UK is cool and often cloudy and rainy, and high temperatures are infrequent.
Gordon Valentine Manley, FRGS was a British climatologist who has been described as "probably the best known, most prolific and most expert on the climate of Britain of his generation". He assembled the Central England temperature (CET) series of monthly mean temperatures stretching back to 1659, which is the longest standardised instrumental record available for anywhere in the world. It provides a benchmark for proxy records of climatic change for the period covered, and is a notable example of scientific scholarship and perseverance. His two papers describing the work are available online.
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