Sunday, 17 January 2016

What was the Weather?

8 January 1947 is a date I picked not quite at random.

It saw the birth in Brixton, south London, of David Robert Jones, in the news recently, The birth was originally registered in Lambeth under his mother's maiden name of Burns.

What was the weather like that day?

The British Meteorological Office have issues of the Daily Weather Report since the 1860s scanned and free online. For much of the period it includes a weather map showing an analysis of weather systems on the morning of that day.
A major low pressure system is off the British coast while London is in a calm area. There's a more detailed weather map for the UK and listings of weather reports for many sites on a 6-hourly basis.
The nearest weather reporting station to Brixton is at Kew, just 10 Km away. It shows that at 6 am GMT it was overcast, foggy with visibility less than 66 yards, wind calm with temperature 36F and dew point the same meaning 100% relative humidity. Pressure was 1009.4 millibars and rising slightly. By noon the fog had lifted but it was still overcast, the pressure was dropping, the wind had picked up from the ESE, temperature risen a couple of degrees. By 6 pm the temperature was up to 43F, the pressure dropping further and the wind picked up from the SSE.
Find the map and detailed weather reports at Download the pdf for a better view.

It was a wholly unremarkable dull London day that greeted the birth of David Bowie.

Even if your interest is more in Canada than the UK the weather map may be a useful complement to Meteorological Service of Canada historical data found at


Roberta Estes said...

I would like to find a site like this for historical US weather but have been unable to do so. If anyone knows of one, please share.

JDR said...

Roberta: Have you checked what's available through the National Climatic Data Center? Promising avenues under Data Access look to be Quick Links and
Land-Based Station.