Alan Heath – 50 years of Weather Recording in Long Eaton. yahoo-weather-icon

Heath_weather station image

Alan Heath with weather station 1997

Weather Records have been kept by Alan Heath (current LENS chairman) for many  years, but for the period 1st January 1960 to 31st December 2009 inclusive, it has been possible to compile a record for 50 years.

Alan was encouraged to do weather recording by the late F.W. Graham, former headmaster of Grange School, Long Eaton and whilst a pupil at that school in the 1940s was weather monitor. Only later was it possible to produce regular weather records from a fixed location in Long Eaton.

The main reason for keeping records was to supplement data for natural history and astronomy, both subjects in which Alan was, and still is, deeply involved. It is well known that changes of weather over short distances occur in Long Eaton, especially rainfall.

The Weather Station was at Trowell Grove, Long Eaton from 1960 to 1997 after which it moved to Harlaxton Drive Long Eaton which is still within the Long Eaton boundary.

Trowell Grove, Long Eaton
52° 54′ 22″ N   1° 17′ 14″ W
National Grid Reference 479 347  Height: 36 metres

Harlaxton Drive, Long Eaton
52° 54′ 03″ N  1° 15′ 18″ W
National Grid Reference 501 340  Height: 30 metres

The two locations are separated by 1.5 miles (2.25 km)

Alan Heath – 50 years  Long Eaton Weather Summary 1960-2009

Ocassional blanks appear in the original weather records which are due to holidays, illness etc. A single record covering two consecutive months may appear, again the overlap being due to absence in part of each month. Sometimes an absence is covered by another person, hence the missing records are minimal and do not affect the overall results.

The rainfall record is from 1967 (43 years) but it has been possible to record the number of wet/dry days, thunderstorms etc., for the whole 50 years.

Highest Temperature:  98.5°F (36.9°C) 3rd August 1990
Lowest temperature:  6°F (-14.4°C) 23rd January 1963, followed closely by
7°F (-13.9°C) on 14th January 1971
Average maximum temperature:  87.94°F (31.08°C)
Average minimum temperature:  19.34°F (-7.03°C)

Highest Barometer:  31.10  26th January 1992
Lowest barometer:  28.25  1st December 1996

Total Rain:  1070.53 inches (273.13cm) – period 1967-2009 (43 years)
Average rainfall per year: 24.89 inches (63.22cm)
Average rainfall per week:  0.47 inches (1.19cm)
Wettest year: 1982 with 32.98 inches (83.77cm)
Driest year:  1991 with 17.20 inches (43.69cm)
Wettest month:  June 1982 with 7.49 inches (19.02cm)
Driest month:  January 1963 with no rain, but there was a little snow
Heaviest rainfall:  30th June 1992 with 1.5 inches (3.81cm) in an hour

Thunderstorms:  317
Greatest number of thunderstorms:  15 in 1982
Least number of thunderstorms: 2 in 1962
Month in which thunderstorms most frequent:  July
Average thunderstorms per Year: 6.34

Total Snow: 206.25 inches (533.88cm)
Greatest snowfall:  20.75 inches (52.71cm) in 1979
Least snowfall:  None in 1961, 1974, 1992 and 2002
Days with new snow on the ground:  259
Average days with new snow on the ground:  5.18

Total Fog: 345
Average fogs per year: 6.98
Greatest number of fogs/year: 24 in 1964
Least number of fogs/year:  None in 1994 and 2004
Month in which fog occurred most frequently:  December

Prevailing Wind:  West
Least wind:  South East
Very strong winds including gales:  260
Average very strong winds including gales:  5.20
Total Gales:  50
Average gales per year:  1
Month in which very strong winds
(including gales) occur most frequently: January
Month in which very strong winds
(including gales) occur least frequently:  July
Direction from in which very strong winds
(including gales) occur most frequently:  West (149 occurrences)
Direction from which very strong winds
(including gales) occur least frequently: East (None)

More Recent Weather Records

Weather Records in Long Eaton 2010-2014 pdf by Alan W. Heath. Published Jan. 2015, this is a continuation of the 50 year report of 1960-2009.

Please also see Alan’s yearly weather records included in many of our bulletins.

Earlier Records

Please also refer to the Flood History and Extreme Weather pages of the Long Eaton and Sawley Archive website.

The History of British Winters – D. Fauvell and I. Simpson, covering many winters from the 17th Century to 2008.

Alan Heath mentions weather recording being conducted at the Grange School, Long Eaton in the 1940s, and I can remember a Stevenson Screen being constructed by pupils at the Brooklands school, in the small garden adjacent the old school building, which was visible from Tamworth Road (probably in the late 1960s). Lens member David Pinney recalls a Stevenson Screen at Trent College in the 1970s.

The following pdf contains the results of online research into the historical climate and weather recording in Long Eaton and the surrounding areas, conducted by David Gell;


The initial pages (2 – 9) in the pdf are from Cambridge County Geographies – Nottinghamshire (H. H. Swinnerton. Cambridge University Press 1910). Mellish’s Rainfall Distribution map (30 year period) on page 7 of this pdf shows Trent College, Long Eaton as a weather recording station. It is not clear from the text as to the specific years the period covered, however further research led to the discovery of an article by Henry Mellish, F.R.Met.Soc. published in the Quarterly Journal of the Meteorological Society, volume 19, Issue 85, pages 45-57, January 1893. A 30 year period (1861-90) is the subject of his paper, and it is therefore assumed that Mellish’s map in Swinnerton is part of that study.

Trent College did not open its doors to pupils until April 1868 (source Wikipedia), so their rainfall records would not have covered the full period 1861-1890. Mellish does state however that calculations were made using mean ratios, comparing with nearby stations, in cases where records did not cover the full period.

It is not know if any of the original (or even later) weather records taken at Trent College, Long Eaton  have survived, but there is a possibility that they may be held in at the Nottingham University Manuscripts and Special Collections, Kings Meadow Campus, Nottingham (see above pdf). A recent enquiry suggests that no weather records (historic or recent) are currently held at Trent College.

Separate research has also been undertaken by David Gell into the former Lowe family observatories at nearby Beeston/Lenton, from which weather recordings and other observations were also conducted.

Please click on image below for enlarged view. Complete map version for printing here.
Note: a line connecting points of equal rainfall is called a isohyet.

mellish rainfall map image

Mellish – average 30 year rainfall (1861-90) showing Trent College, Long Eaton

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has a National Hydrological Monitoring Programme (NHMP) and produces a monthly Hydrological Summary of the UK. This regular report describes the hydrological conditions during the preceding month, using the data holdings of the National River Flow Archive and National Groundwater Level Archive. Focussing on rainfall, river flows, groundwater levels and reservoir stocks, it places the events of each month, and the conditions at the end of the month, in a historical context. Hydrological summaries go back to December 1988, and are available in pdf format.

Wildlife Response to Climate Change

New research by UK based scientists shows that species have responded to climate change up to three times faster than previously appreciated. The results are published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Science.

Analysing data for over 2000 responses by animal and plant species, the research team estimated that, on average, species have moved to higher elevations at 12.2 metres per decade and to higher latitudes at 17.6 kilometres per decade.

First author Dr I-Ching Chen, previously a PhD student at York and now a researcher at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, said, “This research shows that it is global warming that is causing species to move towards the poles and to higher elevations. We have for the first time shown that the amount by which the distributions of species have changed is correlated with the amount the climate has changed in that region.”

Project leader Chris Thomas, Professor of Conservation Biology at York, said, “These changes are equivalent to animals and plants shifting away from the Equator at around twenty cm per hour, for every hour of the day, for every day of the year.  This has been going on for the last 40 years and is set to continue for at least the rest of this century.”