How sunshine, rain and temperature are linked in the UK

Posted: July 4, 2015 by tchannon in Analysis, weather

This work is intended to give insight into the climate of the UK.


Figure 1, Sunshine and temperature relationship

At first sight the above might seem strange but is logical. Regional effect can be seen, particularly the Atlantic maritime, eg. East vs. West Scotland, a contrast with the dryer East Anglia and NE England.

The underlying data is a heavily processed version of Met Office areal series by the author, all results 1929 through June 2015. Final data section is linked to various plots and data.



Figure 2, for completeness the anti-correlation of sun and rain

Next is the stranger rainfall vs. temperature


Figure 3

The connection between rain and temperature is altogether more interesting and here a strong regional pattern appears between the Atlantic West and the East.

For Scotland a surprise is how the rain vs. maximum temperature correlation is reversed.


A year or so ago the moaning and poor practices of the UK Met Office tripped me into taking their own data, doing a careful analysis, which showed weather is weather, and pushing that back out. No-one has objected technically.

This week
A whim led me to refine the automatic plots slightly in preparation of updated data, I’ve added a last few years plot, a great improvement, at a glance see now.

In addition
With recent events in mind Paul Homewood’s interest in sunshine being linked to temperature came to me. As is my way the above work has fat, I write out some result files which have no actual use for the plots being done.

Those will do, dropped them into a spreadsheet, compute correlations, figure out a sensible plot and the article images here were born.


  1. Input CSV used for this article here (zip 750kB)
  2. Spreadsheet containing (1) and computation here (.ods in .zip 1MB)
  3. Revised plots of areal data as PDF here (zip, 9MB, 85 pages of plots)

Post by Tim

  1. Should be obvious that there is a link between sunshine and temperature. The 1941 paper by Kreutz showed from measurements several times a day over 1.5 years that radiation input (from the sun) leads temperature which in turn leads CO2. A ordinary person getting up early can note that it becomes warmer after the sun rises and that it cools rapidly when the sun sets. It should also be obvious that if it is raining at night that the temperature will be above zero. It can be below zero if there is a clear sky or it is snowing. If it is raining during the day then of course the temperature will be lower than if it clear and the sun is shining.
    The alarmists do then consider logic they just alter measurements to suit.
    It should repeated over and over CO2 lags temperature on a daily, monthly, seasonal, yearly, 11 year cycle, 50 year cycle etc. That note of raw measurements or do the test yourself.

  2. In Australia:

    Effect of water vapour is significant as it strongly alters the thermal capacity and density of the air as well as providing phase-change heat transport mechanisms. Its hypothetical radiative capacity change is orders of magnitude less significant.

  3. Have you looked at seasonal trends and correlations, Tim?

  4. Richard111 says:

    Well, for what its worth, I arranged a 1/2 square metre steel plate, about 3mm thick, (1/8 inch) on a thick sheet of polystyrene suspended horizontally about half metre above the ground. The sensor of a digital thermometer was bolted to the centre of the steel plate. It was left outside over night, plate was at local air temperature. About half an hour after dawn, sky overhead was turning blue and clear of cloud, no wind. I noted the temperature of the plate was starting to rise and local air temperature unchanged. Up to the point the sun was about to appear over the horizon the plate was a good 2 degrees C above local air temperature. With the sun above the horizon but not shining on the plate, plate and air temperature rose together.
    Not sure what this is telling me but thought it was an interesting experiment.

  5. tchannon says:

    Paul, not as such.

    I remove the annual as effectively as I am able since that is of no actual interest.

    Now consider, if there is change over time within that characteristic for a geographic location it must appear as a change in the remainder, ie. you can see it.

    I’ve found nothing notable. I wish there was something useful to report.

    IMO the underlying data is too poor for much to be deduced, all the mess from Nyquist and Shannon being ignored.

  6. tchannon says:

    Bernd, completely agree, water is critical. it the plots above, wet west, dry east.

    Recent Heathrow matter was more about outlier atmospheric conditions, the story I think revealed via satellite images. I’m waiting on archival of a polar orbit set.

    Heathrow and Northolt are both dry sites. Airports tend to be built on poor flat ground, for Heathrow a clue is in the name heath. Another affect by ground conditions is Santon Downham where the name clue is sand, on ancient east coast dunes. Another is Norwich Airport. All these figure with extremes.

    Airports are drained, rainfall is piped away which suggests abnormal water table.
    Other sites have trees and hedges too close, ground water suckers.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Heathrow Airport Limited
    Heathrow’s North-West Runway
    Water Quality and Hydro-ecology Assessment

    All 86 pages of it 😉

  8. tchannon says:

    Probably no surprise Richard so the question is what is scattering sunlight. The one that comes to mind is ozone.

    A selective surface might give some clues.

    On searching for a memory jogger I’ve come across a very interesting piece of work, PhD Thesis in Oceanography dated 1966. Measurement of Radiant Energy Over a Mixed Body of Water

    This mentions peculiarities including just before sunrise.

    If Tallbloke is around he might be unhappy about the radiant emission from seawater.

    Anyone reading the work who is unfamiliar with Ly it is the unit Langley, the older unit where today we use Watts sqm, the conversion factor will be on the net.

    I’m not sure if there is a simple way to get a crude spectrum.

  9. tchannon says:

    Good point oldbrew, there will be reports. From what I can see the met station is in a null area,. Is shallow gravel over most of the site. Plan 3B (groundwater flow) doesn’t seem to be attached.

  10. Richard111 says:

    Thanks Tim. Was trying to measure effects of Rayleigh scattering. Found our good old greenhouse gas, CO2, is also active there.

  11. Interesting article on radiation measurement Thanks Tim