climate-uk
A little background on the CET and EWP series
Provisional CET series
Text Box: The Central England Temperature (CET) series
 
The CET was devised and compiled by the eminent geographer and climatologist, Professor Gordon Manley (1902-80). The culmination of a life’s work, Manley’s final paper, Central England temperatures: monthly means 1659 to 1973, was published in the Quarterly Journal of the Meteorological Society in 1974, but several earlier publications -- mostly in the QJRMS -- had paved the way for this magnum opus. 
 
Because of the availability of long records at single sites at Oxford’s Radcliffe Observatory and in Lancashire, he chose to take the average of the two series of observations “to give something representative of the west midland counties lying between”.
 
Since Professor Manley’s death the Meteorological Office seems to have become the self-appointed guardian of the CET series, although one wonders whether it is a guardianship of which Manley would have approved. Their continuation of the series from 1974 onwards uses observations from a variety of stations in the English Midlands (including the southeast Midlands); neither Oxford nor stations on the Lancashire Plain have been utilised, and for 30 years one coastal site was included. It is therefore manifestly not the same series, and large inhomogeneities are apparent.
 
Work is underway to produce a continuation of the original CET series, maintaining Manley's aims
and methods.  A provisional version is available  by clicking on the link, top left.
Monitoring the accuracy
of the CET
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Text Box: The England and Wales Rainfall Series
 
This standard index of rainfall for England and Wales originally covered the period 1766 to 1980 and was presented by T Wigley, J Lough, and P Jones, all then working in the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, in 1982. It was published in the (International) Journal of Climatology in 1984, and further papers in the IJC have updated the series irregularly since then.
 
The Meteorological Office used a rainfall series developed in-house, originally by F Nicholas and J Glasspoole who published monthly values in British Rainfall, 1931, eventually and reluctantly converting to the UEA series in the 1990s.
 
In order to acquire daily and monthly values in real time, the Meteorological Office introduced a scheme in 2002 (backdated to 1996) to use a coarse network of daily-reporting stations. The results bear a rough approximation to the true UEA series but should never be regarded as an adequate surrogate.