Friday, 6 February 2009

Winter weather 1894 and 2009

Rebekah Higgitt says.....
Don't worry - Christie will be back tomorrow! In the meantime, since London has recently experienced its largest snowfall in 18 years and some fairly low temperatures, I have had a quick look at the report from the Observatory's Magnetic and Meteorological Department for 1894. 5 January 1894, when Turner reported snow and low temperatures in his Journal, was the coldest day in the year from May 1893-May 1894 and temperatures plunged to 12.8° Fahrenheit (-10.67° Celsius) with the maximum that day only reaching 19° (-7.2° Celsius). This temperature was apparently “lower than any previously recorded since 1841, with two exceptions". I can only imagine how modern London's transport system would react!

This image was published in 1881 and shows some of the meteorological equipment used at the Observatory, including the self-registering equipment that was brought in by Christie's predecessor and former boss, George Airy. Some further information about this aspect of the Observatory's work can be found here.

Greenwich Observatory: Photographing the Temperature: Method of Reading Thermometers, 1881 © NMM

Lots of pictures of the Royal Observatory in the snow this week can be found on Flickr, including this set.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to see what real wintry weather used to be like! Wonder if we'll ever see conditions like that again in the UK?