Graphical Climatology of Oxford, UK Temperatures, Precipitation, and Sunshine (1815 – 2020)

The following is a graphical climatology of Oxford, UK (Radcliffe station)  daily temperatures, precipitation, and sunshine, from the start of 1815 (temperature), from 1827 (precipitation) and from 1921 (sunshine), through 2020. The Radcliffe station history is the longest continuous one of its kind in the UK, and one of the longest in the world.  As with the other twelve stations contained on this website, it is intended as a encyclopaedic-type graphics’ resource.  The Oxford record actually extends as far back as 1767 but for these earlier years the available data are in monthly form.  Temperature and precipitation data is this site are expressed in terms of Deg F and inches, respectively. 

Attribution: “Oxford Weather and Climate since 1767 by Stephen Burt and Tim Burt, published by Oxford University Press, 2019“,

Website:  https://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/research/climate/rms/daily-data.html

Last Update: 22 Oct 2021     e-mail contact:  cjfisk@att.net

HISTORICAL SERIES

CLIMATE OVERVIEW CHARTS

         Oxford Mean & Extreme Daily Max/Min Temperatures at One-Third Month Intervals (1815-2020 Period of Record)
         Boxplots of Oxford Calendar Month Precipitation Distributions (1767-2020 Period of Record)  

YEAR-TO-YEAR-GRAPHS

  •     The individual year-to-year graphs contain three to five charts,  depending on the particular year concerned.  From 1815 thru 1826, day-to-day temperatures (three types: max/min, arithmetic daily departures and standardized daily departures) are presented. At the top is a “floating-bar” or “hi-lo” depiction of the year’s daily maxima and minima.  Superimposed are two line traces, the upper one connecting average daily maxima, the lower one average daily minima (1815-2020 period of record).  For effect, the bars are deliberately adjoined with no spaces in-between, the intent being to give an enhanced “signature” appearance (the lone exception is the position for 28 February which is left blank for non-leap years).  Note: clicking on the yearly charts a second time after they appear on the screen will enlarge them even further.   
  •     The second graph down depicts arithmetic anomalies from the day-to-day mean temperatures (sum of the daily maximum plus the daily minimum divided by two) less the corresponding calendar-day average means. Vertical lines extending upward from the zero line indicate above average means (colored red), those extending downward indicate below average ones (colored blue). 
  •     The third chart down shows chart two’s departures in deseasonalized or “standardized” terms.  Standardization is done by divided the arithmetic departures for the day in question by its corresponding calendar day mean temperature standard deviation to create “z-scores”. Z-score departures in excess of plus or minus 3.0 are very rare, making up only 0.2% of the more than 75000 1815-2020 Oxford daily temperature observations. Just five surpass plus or minus 4.0.
  •    Fourth chart down, commencing with 1827, depicts daily precipitation amounts, and the fifth, for years 1921 and on,  portrays total daily hours of sunshine.  The dark blue line trace superimposed on the daily sunshine bars are calendar-day means.  

  Below is a selection of charts representing those years of which showed some distinguishing features climatologically (heat anomalies, cold anomalies, precipitation, or unusual patterns) that set them apart from the others.  These are linked in order of the most recent to oldest.  After these is a block of links to each of the individual years. 

LINKS TO SOME OF THE MORE INTERESTING YEAR-TO-YEAR GRAPHS, WITH ACCOMPANYING NOTES

2020 – Annual minimum temperature for the year (28 F)  the mildest in history.
2019 – 98 F recorded on 25 July the warmest in history.
2018 – Warmest Summer (June-August) in history (66.0 F)
2015 – Exceptionally mild November & December help produce the mildest winter (Nov.-Jan.) in history (45.3 F). 
2014 – Warmest year in  history (53.2 F) 
2012 – Wettest calendar year in history (38.56″)
2011 – Warmest Spring (Mar.-May) in history (53.4 F)
2006 – Warmest Autumn (Sep.-Nov.) in history (56.2 F)
1983 – July monthly mean (70.2 F) the highest in history
1982 – Severe cold in January; 2 F recorded on 14th, lowest since Dec 1860. 
1976 – Two week heat wave covering late June & early July. Nine daily max’s at 90 F or higher, the most for any one year in history. Forty-day drought spell follows, from 19 July.   
1963 – January coldest calendar month in history (26.6 F)
1947 –  Abnormal cold from mid-January to early March, including 3 F in late February, but frequent abnormal warm spells over the rest of the year.
1941 – 89 F/66 F max/min on 22 June, 4.2 standard deviations above average for the day (based on 1815-2020 daily means).
1911 – Nine-week spell of continuously above average daily temperatures, July thru early September, including 95 F in early August, highest temperature yet recorded in the history.
1908 – In late-April, pronounced five-day changeover from unseasonably cold to unseasonably warm 
1879 – Coldest year of the entire history (45.9 F)
1867 – Alternating mix of both extreme cold and warm spells over the year. 
1862 – Strlking short-period oscillations in day-to-day temperatures, January thru early May  
1860 – Coolest summer of entire history (57.5 F) and coldest daily minimum temperature recorded in entire history, on 24 December (0 F) 
1859 – Great gyrating temperature spells over Oct.-Dec.
1845 – 25 F/10 F  max/min on 18 March. 4.6 standard deviations below average for the day (based on 1815-2020 daily means)
1837 – Coldest Spring in entire history (mean: 41.8 F).
1826 – Spells of both extreme cold & warmth during the year. A Hot Summer
1816 – Continued response to 1815 Tambora eruption, second coldest year in all history (46.1 F).
1815 – Coldest autumn in all history (Tambora eruption response): mean: 45.6 F

YEAR-TO-YEAR GRAPHS – COMPLETE SET OF LINKS

1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

  • *Member, American Meteorological Society
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