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1981 Dull and rather wet. A snowy December.
In the year that both US President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul the second were shot by would be assassins, Rupert Murdoch became the owner of the British Times and Sunday Times, and the Brixton Riots took place in South London. In the music world, Adam and the Ants was the most popular band with their 2 hits 'Stand and Deliver' and 'Prince Charming' spending a total of 9 weeks at Number One. Bucks Fizz was the UK winner of the European Song contest.
Weather Notes:-
24th April - Heavy snow fell in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and parts of  northern and western England. Level snow over 50cm on some high ground. At Eskdalemuir (Dumfries and Galloway) over 60mm of 'rain' was recorded from melted snow.
6th August - Severe thunderstorms with day darkness occurred across a large part of England. Nearly 60mm of rain fell at Worthing (West Sussex), but  nearly 109mm at Manchester.
12th/13th December - Over deep snow cover the temperature at Shawbury (Shropshire) fell to minus 25°C. 

In London...

 Temperature10.3°C  Rainfall749.0 mm  Warmest 28.8°C
 Sunshine1294 hrs   Coldest -11.8°C

JanuaryDry, sunny and rather mild.
 Mean Temperature  5.2°C  
 Monthly highest 12.5°C  Total Rain 33 mm
 Monthly Lowest -2.4°C Total Sun 62 hrs

The first half of January was unsettled and often windy as Atlantic frontal systems rushed across the country. Amounts of rain were generally small and in the short-lived ridges between systems it was often sunny with highs typically around 5°C. On the 16th it snowed for a while, but mild air was quick to return. During the last 2 weeks pressure was  high, and although often cloudy with light rain from weak fronts, it was mild, and the end of the month was sunny. 

February - Very dry, rather cold and with above average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature  3.9°C  
 Monthly highest 13.9°C  Total Rain 12 mm
 Monthly Lowest -5.5°C Total Sun 72 hrs

It was mainly mild early in the month, and on the 6th the temperature almost reached 14°C. It was changeable, but during the second week pressure rose and there was plenty of sunshine with sharp overnight frosts. Daytime temperatures were near average at first, but winds turned easterly duiring the third week and temperatures fell. Light  snow fell during the last week and the maximum temperature on the 26th was only 3°C. It then became milder. 

March - Very mild, dull and wet.
 Mean Temperature  9.3°C  
 Monthly highest 18.3°C  Total Rain 91 mm
 Monthly Lowest -0.2°C Total Sun 57 hrs

The month was very changeable, and with winds mainly from the southwest it was often cloudy and mild with daily maxima typically around 14 or 15°C. There were some exceptions. On the 4th, under a transitory ridge of high pressure, the temperature only reached 5°C, and around mid month a brief incursion of northwesterly winds lowered maxima to 10°C. or less. At the end of the month, cool and cloudy northeasterlies resulted in highs of only 9°C.

April - Dull and wet with temperatures close to average.
 Mean Temperature  8.9°C  
 Monthly highest 21.7°C  Total Rain 80 mm
 Monthly Lowest -0.6°C Total Sun 130 hrs

The first week was rather cloudy with cool northeasterly winds predominating. Winds then turned south or southeast with temperatures rising markedly. On the 10th, the high was close to 22°C. It then became unsettled for a while, but after warm and sunny days around mid month, cold northeasterlies set in again. During the last week it was particularly dull, cool and changeable, and apart from on the last 2 days, maximum temperatures were mostly below 10°C.

May - Very dull and wet with temperatures slightly below average.
 Mean Temperature 12.3°C  
 Monthly highest 21.8°C  Total Rain 80 mm
 Monthly Lowest  0.1°C Total Sun 112 hrs

The beginning of the month was cool with daytime temperatures struggling to reach 10°C. However, cool, damp northerly winds were replaced by southeasterlies, and on the 7th the temperature approached 20°C. The high was near 22°C. on the 11th, but although temperatures fluctuated,  the weather remained rather cloudy and unsettled. After mid month it stayed very cyclonic but temperatures were close to,  or above normal, despite plenty of cloud.

June - Dull, rather cool and dry.
 Mean Temperature 14.5°C  
 Monthly highest 27.0°C  Total Rain 39 mm
 Monthly Lowest  5.5°C Total Sun 152 hrs

The opening fortnight of the month was rather cloudy, breezy, cool and changeable. Overnight on the 1st/2nd thunderstorms produced nearly 26mm of rain, but generally rainfall was light. A very brief influx of warm and cloudless air within a ridge of high pressure, helped to lift the temperature to 27°C. on the 14th, Otherwise temperatures rarely reached 22°C, and during the last 10 days brisk, cloudy northerlies were accompanied by highs often between 14 and 15°C.    

July - Dull and rather wet with temperatures slightly below normal.
 Mean Temperature 17.4°C  
 Monthly highest 27.8°C  Total Rain 57 mm
 Monthly Lowest  8.8°C Total Sun 149 hrs

It was changeable during the first 6 days with temperatures not far from normal. On the 7th, it was sunny and much warmer , and on the following 2 days the highs were near 28°C, However,  it turned thundery during the 9th, and on a dull 10th the high was only 21°C. Temperatures then stayed near average until mid month, but it became increasingly unsettled, and eventually cooler. On the 24th, the high was only 15°C. The last week became mostly fine and warm.
August - Sunny, rather warm and dry.
 Mean Temperature 17.9°C  
 Monthly highest 28.8°C  Total Rain 45 mm
 Monthly Lowest  8.5°C Total Sun 218 hrs

The early part of August was quite warm and thundery. On the 4th, the temperature rose to 28°C., and the following day was a degree warmer. On the 6th, it was extremely dull with thunderstorms resulting in 24mm of rain. The following 3 days stayed dull but it was mainly dry. It became fine and warm during the second week and on the 12th, 14th and 15th  the temperature reached 27°C. It then became somewhat cooler, but still with plenty of dry and sunny weather.

September - Wet and rather warm with above average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature 15.8°C  
 Monthly highest 25.5°C  Total Rain 95 mm
 Monthly Lowest  6.7°C Total Sun 151 hrs

High pressure was dominant at the beginning of September bringing plenty of dry and fairly warm weather. On the 6th, the temperature rose above 25°C. It remained warm into the second week but Atlantic fronts became more active and temperatures fell. Rainfall exceeded 10 mm on several occasions after mid month, and although rather cool and windy for a while during the last week, there were a few more sunny and pleasantly warm days.

October - Cold and rather wet with above average sunshine
 Mean Temperature  9.4°C  
 Monthly highest 20.0°C  Total Rain 77 mm
 Monthly Lowest  0.5°C Total Sun 110 hrs

The first fortnight of the month was very unsettled, sometimes windy and often wet. Temperatures were mostly below normal, although the maximum on the 1st was 20°C, and towards the end of the second week it felt decidedly cold as the winds became northwesterly. On the 15th, the high was only 9°C. During the second half of the month, the weather was often cool and breezy, but rainfall was generally lighter and spells of sunshine were longer.

November - Very dull and mild with below average rainfall.
 Mean Temperature  8.4°C  
 Monthly highest 16.9°C  Total Rain 55 mm
 Monthly Lowest -0.3°C Total Sun 34 hrs

It was changeable early in the month but the temperature rose above 16°C. on the first 2 days. From the 3rd, an anticyclone developed bringing a week of cooler air but with plenty of sunshine. It then became unsettled but initially amounts of rain were small with pressure remaining  high. On the 20th the temperature rose close to 16°C, but following a squally cold front on the 23rd, it became less mild during the rest of the month and often windy. 

December - Very cold and wet with near normal sunshine.
 Mean Temperature  1.6°C  
 Monthly highest 10.3°C  Total Rain 85 mm
 Monthly Lowest -11.8°C Total Sun 47 hrs

The first week was fairly mild with highs around 10°C. on both the 3rd and 4th. Colder air spread from the north early on the 8th and it then snowed for most of the day. Frosty weather followed with daytime highs briefly reaching 1 or 2°C. On the 11th, over 20cm of snow fell and on the night of the 11th/12th the low was near minus 12°C.. Snow turned to rain on the 13th, but after a brief thaw, the cold and snow  returned until milder weather set in on the 28th.

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