127 years since UK’s joint-lowest temperature… will we see it again?
11 February will mark 127 years since the UK’s joint-lowest temperature was recorded, at Braemar in Scotland. The record low figure of -27.2°C has been equalled twice, but never exceeded, in all instrumental records since the mid-19th century. It remains one of the longest-standing national records in the Met Office archives.
In the 127 years since 11 February 1895, the record low figure of -27.2°C has been reached a further two times, once in Braemar on 10 January 1982 and again on 30 December 1995 at Altnaharra.
The 1895 record is the second-oldest individual national temperature record still standing and, in the context of warming global climate, raises an interesting question on the likelihood of seeing temperatures so low again in the UK.
Of course, UK weather is notoriously erratic, capable of balmy days in the summer heat and bone-chilling cold snaps in the winter. However, when looking at the UK individual national records for temperature extremes, three countries (England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) have broken their highest maximum temperature record since the year 2000. However, for lowest minimum temperatures, only Northern Ireland has broken a national record since 2000, when it got to -18.7°C in 2010.
In the context of a changing climate, daily temperature records in any year are just one part of the picture. An overall warming global climate is evident, indeed, the warmest seven years globally have all been since 2015, but what does this long-term warming trend mean for breaking individual, daily low temperature records?
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