Two records smashed data at historic Sheffield weather station shows

Sheffield enjoyed a scorching hot May Day bank holiday as the city bathed in sunshine and scorching temperatures - in fact, it has been confirmed as a record-breaking day for the city.

Friday, 11th May 2018, 3:32 pm
Updated Friday, 11th May 2018, 3:46 pm
Alistair McLean in the weather station at Weston Park with the wind gauge on top of the museum.

The mercury hit 27C at the city's weather station in Weston Park - making it the warmest first Monday of May since records began at the site in 1882.

The weather station, which has been an official Met Office station since the late 19th century, sends data to authorities like Sheffield Council and subscribers, including construction companies.

Sheffield has enjoyed a fortnight of dry, sunny weather.

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It occupies a small area near the front of the park, where strange-looking gauges and the Stevenson screen with thermometers inside remain.

Wind measuring equipment is on top of the museum and a one metre deep ground thermometer continues to record the water table temperature.

Alistair McLean, curator of natural science at Museums Sheffield, who is in charge of the weather station, said: "One of the reasons we are such an important site is the longevity because it's unbroken which means you can look at how the climate has changed over a long period of time.

"Our data does suggest that there has been an increase in temperatures in Sheffield but the site has changed massively over the years. Even though we have got all this tarmac down now which is reflecting heat and all of the buildings around but the rise is in line with the national rise.

"The really interesting change is rainfall. It's been more or less static in the almost 140 years since records began but in a different pattern. We are getting more short periods of intense rain in the last 40 years than we had for the previous 100 years."

Over the years the station has recorded extreme weather, including The Great Sheffield Gale of 1962 when freak winds of 90mph killed four people and flattened houses.

More recently in 2007 widespread flooding caused major damage and tragic loss of life.

And 2018 has already seen two records broken. The hottest first Monday of May - labelled as such because the day only became a bank holiday in 1978 - came just a fortnight after April 24 saw the hottest day in the month at 26.4C.

You can follow the data from the station by following @WPWeather on Twitter. Staff at Weston Park also offer sessions for school visits .