Here’s Jim with the weather - from 56BC

Jim Rothwell with his study, the Central England Weather Series, which is based at Nottinghamshire County Council archives service.
Jim Rothwell with his study, the Central England Weather Series, which is based at Nottinghamshire County Council archives service.
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OCTOBER 2011 saw more than its fair share of wacky weather - with sunbathing in Scarborough, floods in the west country and snow on the Scottish peaks.

But what about the year summer flowers were in bloom at Christmas?

That was in 1607 in the reign of James I according to Sheffield University scientist Jim Rothwell, author of perhaps the most complete English weather study yet completed.

Jim, aged 80, has used records and writings dating all the way back to 56BC and the days of Julius Caesar.

The retired meteorologist, who worked for the Met Office for 38 years as a forecaster, has devoted over 20 years to his studies - and he hasn’t finished yet.

He said: “The records show that the warm weather in October that we have witnessed this year is not unique. All sorts of unusual weather has occurred during all of the seasons in central England in the past.

“The direction of wind plays a big part in the weather situation. People are alert to unusual weather patterns at the time they happen, but do tend to forget these exceptions as time goes on.”

Jim has concentrated his work on the heart of the country, a flat area stretching from South Yorkshire to London.

He believes the inclusion of hilly areas can affect his calculations, skewing temperature records.

He said: “There are regional variations especially in the Peak District, or in Scotland and Wales, which is why I decided to concentrate on the flattish area of central England where temperatures do not vary greatly on a daily basis.”

Jim, who has a Masters degree in climatology from Sheffield, has donated his work to Nottinghamshire County Council archives.