From autumn to spring in December 1806

December 2015 is most definitely an odd one. With its weather statistics and Natural World tales, it is certainly becoming one for the history books. Although, it is worth noting that we have been here before, as this example from 1806 shows, courtesy of the wonderful Wanstead Meteo blog. Of course, my current mean Temperatures of 5.4c above average could and perhaps should still be viewed as rather concerning.

Wanstead Meteo

When I was writing up my winter forecast I came across an analogue that was very similar to what seems to be unfolding this December.

The River Lea close to where Luke Howard's laboratory stood by wanstead_meteo The River Lea close to where Luke Howard’s laboratory stood

Luke Howard, in his first volume of The Climate of London, describes a very warm December that followed on from a warm November that fooled flora and fauna into thinking spring had begun early.

Howard’s statistics are very high: a November mean of 9.5C while December was 9.3C. CET that November was 2.3C above average while December was 3.3C above average. A slightly wetter than average was followed by a very wet December – over 250% the monthly average caused the River Lea to burst its banks in several places

“The catkins of the filberts expanded prematurely. On December 25th a hedge sparrow’s nest was taken at Doveridge, Derbyshire, with four eggs and…

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2 thoughts on “From autumn to spring in December 1806

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  1. I’m not a history buff, however I like finding out about climate or plants from historical writing. Like how Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein during 1816, during the ‘year without a summer’ when Mt Tambora blew… The opening to the story was the mention of the constant darkness of the sky. ..

    1. Hello MPG,

      Good to see you around again and Thanks for commenting. Whilst, I can’t take the credit for the original blog post, it did contain some fascinating information in the blog itself and via the reader’s comments. I’ve been talking to my parents about the prospects of a “year without a Winter” which in recent years we have gone very close to achieving over here in the UK. Please don’t let that be the case. The balance will surely be restored before too long and my longing for some seasonality and perhaps some snowflakes will no doubt come good, although I best be careful what I wish for, in terms of how much I might want to see fall.

      Best Wishes MPG and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.


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