1896 the year to beat for driest May

Raw data courtesy of UKMO

May 1896 still holds the record of being the driest May in four out of the six English regions in the gridded data set from the UKMO which now extends back to 1862. May 2020 at the moment has a reasonable chance of beating that 124 year record, at least in the southern and southeast regions, that’s if the rest of May remain as dry as many of the NWP models suggest it will be.

May 1896 looks to have been a much more anticyclonic than 2020 has been, with frequent spells of northeasterly winds across southern parts.

MWR courtesy of the UKMO library
MWR courtesy of the UKMO library

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