Weather of 1931

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    IN a pamphlet entitled “Notes on the Weather of 1931”, issued by the Meteorological Office (Air Ministry), the topsy-turvy character of last year's weather is clearly brought out. New ‘records’ for cold were set up in March and October, months that are only on the fringe of winter and sometimes provide summer warmth. On March 3 temperature fell to 1 ° F. at Braemar, and on March 10 to 5 ° F. at Rickmansworth. On the latter date temperature failed to rise above 30 ° during the day in many places in south-east England. The night frosts of the last week of October were in some parts of England the most severe ever recorded in that month. There was a pronounced tendency for the worst weather in the south-east of England to be reserved for week-ends and public holidays, and the August holidays provided some days that were much colder than those experienced at Christmas. The gale in the English Channel on Aug. 24 would have been noteworthy had it occurred in mid-winter. No temperature within three degrees of the reading of 61 ° that was recorded at Aberdeen on Christmas Eve has ever been known there in December for at least sixty years. Mention should be made also of the very rare event of a tornado of the American type, on June 14, at Birmingham. Although not to be compared with the worst tornadoes experienced in America, this storm was violent enough for roofs to be stripped, and there was loss of life. The zone of destruction was, fortunately, a characteristically narrow one, varying from 200 yards to 800 yards. The year must be regarded meteorologically as one of the most eventful known since the Meteorological Office was inaugurated nearly eighty years ago.

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    Weather of 1931. Nature 129, 90 (1932) doi:10.1038/129090b0

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