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1974 Rather wet, but sunny. Mild Winter, Dry Spring, Cool Summer and Cool and Wet Autumn
In the year that US President Richard Nixon resigned as the 'Watergate Scandal' unfurled, Helmut Schmidt was elected Chancellor of West Germany and Turkey invaded Northern Cyprus after a Greek-inspired coup temporarily removed President Makarios from Office. In the world of music, Mud spent a total of 8 weeks at number One in the UK charts with 'Tiger Feet' in January and February, and 'Lonely at Christmas' at Christmas and beyond. It was also the year that Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Waterloo'.
Weather Notes:-
17th January - Warm sector orographic rainfall at Sloy, near Loch Lomond, produced more than 238mm of rain. 
16th June- Severe thunderstorms and flash floods in Oxfordshire. Ambroseden (near Bicester) recorded 96mm of rain.
27th September - Complex depression crossed southern Britain bringing over 50mm of rain to north Devon and maximum temperatures of just 7°C. to Nottingham and 8°C. to Ross on Wye (Herefordshire).
7th October - Snow observed falling on the higher parts of the Chilterns.

In London...
 Temperature  10.3°C   Rainfall 714.0 mm   Warmest  25.0°C
 Sunshine 1606 hrs      Coldest  -4.8°C

January Very mild, rather wet and average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature   6.9°C    
 Monthly Highest  14.1°C   Total Rain  61 mm
 Monthly Lowest  -4.8°C  Total Sun  47 hrs

The year began dull and cold with maximum temperatures of only 2°C. on both the 1st and 2nd. It then became mostly mild or very mild, changeable and often windy. From the 10th to the 19th maximum temperatures were 10°C., or above, on every day, and on the 15th the high exceeded 14°C. Temperatures fell close to normal for a few days around the end of the third week, but the month ended with another windy and unsettled spell. 

February - Mild, wet but fairly sunny.
 Mean Temperature   6.1°C    
 Monthly Highest  12.7°C   Total Rain  64 mm
 Monthly Lowest  -3.3°C  Total Sun  74 hrs
 
The first week was mainly  changeable, windy and mild. On the night of the 5th/6th over 14mm of rain fell as a deepening depression moved east across central Britain.  The second week was very changeable and mild with highs between 10 and 13°C. After mid month, pressure was generally higher. Cloudy, misty weather, alternated with sunny days, with near normal temperatures. On the 27th, winds briefly turned easterly and the high on that day was only 4°C.

March - Dry with temperatures and sunshine close to normal.
 Mean Temperature   6.1°C    
 Monthly Highest  16.8°C   Total Rain   30 mm
 Monthly Lowest  -4.8°C  Total Sun  111 hrs

After an unsettled start to March, it became mainly fine until the beginning of the second week. Winds were mainly from the east, and although mild at first, colder air arrived during the 8th. On the 9th, rain and sleet occurred, amounting to 16mm. Mild, damp southwesterlies occurred around mid month, but at the end of the third week easterlies returned. Although often rather dull and cold, there were some warm, sunny days. Highs on the 25th and 31st reached 17°C.

April - Very dry, rather sunny and with temperatures close to normal. 
 Mean Temperature   8.9°C    
 Monthly Highest  19.7°C   Total Rain   10 mm
 Monthly Lowest  -2.3°C  Total Sun  163 hrs

Apart from the opening 3 days, the first 3 weeks of April were dominated by high pressure. There were some warm and sunny days, especially early in the month, and on the 10th the temperature almost reached 20°C. However, there were several dull, cold and drizzly days when northeast winds brought in thick cloud from the North Sea.  During the last week, low pressure over the near continent brought cool, damp weather. On the 25th the high was only 10°C.  
 
May - Dry and rather cool with above average sunshine
 Mean Temperature  11.4°C    
 Monthly Highest  22.4°C   Total Rain   25 mm
 Monthly Lowest  -1.6°C  Total Sun  225 hrs

The first week of May was cool and changeable. There was plenty of cloud but amounts of rain were small, and later in the week  there were some slight frosts. The weather remained unsettled through the second week but it became warmer. Around mid month there was a warm spell, and from the 17th to 20th highs were between 21 and 23°C. The last 10 days of the month were mixed with cool, showery northerlies, but also with a few warm and sunny days.
  
June - Rather cool and wet with average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature  14.6°C    
 Monthly Highest  25.0°C   Total Rain   62 mm
 Monthly Lowest   4.0°C  Total Sun  207 hrs

After a warm, mainly dry, start to June, it became rather cool and showery, but this was replaced by warmer dry conditions early in the second week. From the 14th to 16th daily maxima were close to 25°C. After a short unsettled interlude, there was sunshine and a high of 25°C on the 20th. The last week of June was cooler and cloudier, and on the 26th it was wet with a total of 19mm of rain falling. The high was 15°C., and on the following day it was just 13°C. 

July - Cool, dry with slightly above average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature  16.1°C    
 Monthly Highest  24.3°C   Total Rain   34 mm
 Monthly Lowest   5.8°C  Total Sun  209 hrs
 
This was an unsettled month with winds predominantly between southwest and northwest. However, pressure was often fairly high and there were several sunny days, but maximum afternoon temperatures on the warmest days were only between 22 and 24°C. Around the middle of the month the Atlantic frontal systems were quite active and it was cooler with unseasonably strong winds occurring. Generally, though, fronts were weak with rainfall totals staying low. 

August - Sunny and rather cool with rainfall slightly above average.
 Mean Temperature  15.8°C    
 Monthly Highest  24.0°C   Total Rain   62 mm
 Monthly Lowest   3.2°C  Total Sun  207 hrs

The 4th was wet and the  highest temperature was only 15°C. However, much of the first week was rather warm and sunny. On the 7th, the high was 24°C. It then became fairly unsettled, but rain was light. Pressure was high from mid month with plenty of sunshine occurring, although there were a few thundery showers at first. On the 22nd the high was 24°C. Weak fronts gave cloudier skies during the last 10 days of August and it was generally cooler. 
  
September - Very wet, cool and rather sunny.
 Mean Temperature  12.9°C    
 Monthly Highest  20.9°C   Total Rain  124 mm
 Monthly Lowest   0.5°C  Total Sun  170 hrs

The first few days of September were very disturbed with some strong winds, rain and relatively low temperatures. On the 5th, nearly 31mm of rain fell with a maximum temperature of only 15°C.  The weather became  less unsettled during the third week with sunny periods and highs approaching 21°C. Towards the end of the month it became cool and very unsettled with strong winds and heavy rain. More than 20mm of rain was measured on the 27th. 

October - Very cool, and rather dull and wet.
 Mean Temperature   8.1°C    
 Monthly Highest  13.2°C   Total Rain  69 mm
 Monthly Lowest  -1.7°C  Total Sun  89 hrs
 
Much of the first 2 weeks were windy, cool and wet. On both the 2nd and the 7th maximum temperatures were only around 9°C. Late in the second week winds became light and temperatures rose. Wet days on the 16th and 18th both produced 13mm of rain, and at the end of the third week the northerly winds returned, and although temperatures rose to 13°C on both the 25th and 26th, the end of the month was very cool, and on both the 29th and 30th highs were close to 7°C.

November - Very wet, rather mild and dull.
 Mean Temperature   7.7°C    
 Monthly Highest  14.0°C   Total Rain  138 mm
 Monthly Lowest  -1.8°C  Total Sun    45 hrs

The beginning of November was unsettled, but for the first 10 days, fronts were rather weak, and although it was often cloudy, rainfall was mostly light. On the 11th, an active cold front gave more than 10mm of rain, and more than 15mm fell on the 14th as a cold front stalled close to Southeast England. No let up occurred after mid month with more than 20mm of rain falling on the 18th. On the 21st nearly 30mm fell as Atlantic fronts continued to affect the country.  

December - Very mild, dry and sunny
 Mean Temperature   8.7°C    
 Monthly Highest  15.2°C   Total Rain  35 mm
 Monthly Lowest   0.8°C  Total Sun  59 hrs

In this frost-free month, the temperature reached, or exceeded, 10°C. on each of the first 9 days of the month, with maxima of 14°C on the 2nd and 7th. On the 10th, winds turned northwesterly and temperatures were near normal for a while as sunshine and rain bands alternated.  The highest temperature was 10°C. again on the 19th, and most daily highs were above 10°C. for the rest of the year. On the 28th, the maximum temperature was above 15°C. 

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