Tropical Nights On The Rise? Not According to CET!

By Paul Homewood



Tropical nights were once so uncommon in Britain that just eight were recorded in the 30 years between 1961 and 1995.

Now, thanks to the heatwave, we have seen 16 such uncomfortably hot evenings this summer, with more forecast for this week.

These hot nights, when the mercury does not drop below 20 degrees, were once so uncommon in Britain that they were not logged, but now a large proportion of our summer nights are spent tossing and turning, and this year looks likely to set a record.

Climate change means that tropical nights are likely to continue to increase year on year, and become a regular part of our summers, meteorologists have warned.

Data shows that the average number of tropical nights per year only became statistically significant after 1995. Now, there has been an unbroken run of at least 10 tropical nights per summer from 2011 to 2020.

Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesperson, told The Telegraph: “Minimum daily temperatures of 20.0 C or above are still extremely rare events in the UK, but with a changing climate we can expect to see more incidents. Mostly it is weather stations in the south east of England which record these high temperatures, and there have only been three in Scotland since 1961 and none in Northern Ireland over the same period. However, as well as in increasing frequency of events we can also expect to see more occurrences outsides of the south east of England.

“There is a huge interest from the public about daytime high temperatures. While this is important, tropical night temperatures can be extremely challenging for those with underlying health conditions as it means that when overnight temperatures remain high, it is very difficult to get any respite and rest before the next day’s heat begins to build.” 


But is there any real evidence for any of this?

We know how the Met Office cheated by excluding older, inconvenient data records, when they declared a record daily record rainfall for June this year at Honister. Can we be confident that they have not also ignored old data showing equally warm nights in this instance? I am hugely suspicious when we are told tropical nights “ were once so uncommon in Britain that they were not logged

We also need to question the effect of UHI, which undoubtedly will have affected their results.


Accepting that warmer nights are more likely to occur in the south east, if what is claimed is true we should see similar trends in CET:



In fact, we don’t. There was one standout night in July 2016, when temperatures hit 19.4C, the highest on record. And there are clusters of warm nights in 1995, 2003 and 2006.

But only three nights since 2006 have been above 17C. It is notable that seven such nights occurred in the 1940s.

Moreover, no night so far this summer has hit the 17C mark, and apart from one instance in June temperatures have been well below daily records:

In short, CET does not support the Met Office’s claims. If it did, we would see the frequency of warmer nights increasing.

There is no evidence that global warming trends have affected the south east, but not the rest of the country in this way.

If their claims are true, they seem to be the result of UHI and ignoring older data.


August 11, 2020 at 12:51PM

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