A Warm December

It’s been a warm December here in the UK. I thought I’d have a look at the data from the Met Office to see quite how warm it’s been. It’s also interesting to see how the temperature has changed since the monthly statistics began in 1910.

First I downloaded the data for UK mean temperatures and had a look in Excel.

Below is chart of mean temp for the month of December from 1910 onwards. dec-mean-temp

As you see, 2015 is easily the warmest. It’s roughly 3-4 degrees Celsius warmer than the average. In fact, calculating the average (3.99 Celsius) and the standard deviation (1.45 Celsius) it’s roughly 2.7 times the standard deviation higher than the average. If it were distributed normally 99.6% of the months should be colder. I’ve no idea what the expected distribution is but it’s probably not normal. In any case, it was abnormally warm.

For comparison, I’ve plotted the averages and standard deviations for each month below.

Interestingly the spread of temperatures is higher for the winter months.

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