It is curious how often one’s discovery of information previously unknown – or unremembered – is followed within days by a restating elsewhere of the same facts, perhaps in a different context.

Thus it was that the excellent new book Oxford Weather and Climate Since 1767 (OUP, £35) made me aware of the climatic consequences of the eruption in 1815 of the Indonesian volcano Tambora.

The following year became known for a generation as “the year without a summer”. Oxford’s temperatures in August were the month’s second coldest on record.

Holidaying beside Lake Geneva in that same distant ‘summer’ – as I learned from a recent article by Craig Brown in the Mail on Sunday – were Lord Byron and a group of his friends. With the party confined indoors by lashing rain, Byron suggested all should try their hands at a ghost story.

His own effort and that of fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley were duds. But Mary Godwin (Shelley, as she would soon become) penned Frankenstein and Byron’s doctor, John Polidori, produced The Vampyre and with it the abiding myth of Dracula.

“It’s odd to think,” wrote Brown, “that a sudden change in the weather – probably caused by the eruption of [Tambora] – resulted in the creation of two of the most dramatic figures in all fiction.”

Indeed it is. But then again weather has often been a matter of enormous importance. Think of the events 75 years ago in early June 1944 when the last-minute intervention by forecaster Capt James Stagg delayed, and almost certainly saved from failure, the D-Day landings in Normandy.

Whether it rains or shines, freezes or blows, we are always ready to talk about it, not always kindly.

W.H. Auden – to name another poet – supplies in Winds, one of his Bucolics, lines that stay in my mind for the truth they tell: “[W]eather/Is what nasty people are/Nasty about and the nice/Show a common joy in observing.”

The lifelong observers Stephen Burt and Tim Burt – the joint authors of Oxford Weather and Climate Since 1767 – seem firmly in the camp of the nice.

I judged this before plunging into their impeccably researched book, with fascinating facts paraded on every page, amid telling tables and fabulous photographs. And why? It’s for their sense of fun.

At the end of their preface they write: “By the way, in case you are wondering (how could we not be?), we are not related! Nor are we the only UK climatologists with this surname – indeed, we plan a multi-authored ‘Burt’ paper . . . once we can find a suitable excuse in the form of a unifying theme.”

Almost certainly I am wrong, but I wondered if Stephen Burt mightn’t have been pulling our legs with the title of one of his earlier books, One Hundred Years of Reading Weather. I assumed this was the sort of ‘reading weather’ associated with weather readings.

But perhaps – just perhaps – his concern was weather in the town of Reading. It was, I think, John Betjeman (today’s fourth poet) who found similar confusion over ‘Reading Library’ spelled out in carved letters on the building.

The matter was settled when I read on and found Mr Burt had retired last year from the Department of Meteorology at the University of . . . Reading.

Tim Burt, for his part, was Director between 1986-96, of Oxford’s Radcliffe Meteorological Station (with the lovely James Wyatt-designed Radcliffe Observatory), where local weather has been recorded since the 1770s.

The pair’s meticulous work is evident throughout the book, with its league tables covering every aspect of the weather.

How one sympathises, 310 pages into the book, when their chronology comes to 2018 and the year’s many notable features are trotted out – among them. the third warmest on record, some of the hottest days on record, tenth sunniest year on record.

“The year represented a considerable challenge,” they write, “for each of these records or near records necessitated rewriting part, or in July’s case most of, the material for that month’s chapter.”

From the Burts’ amazing pot pourri of weather facts I propose to pluck for the close of this piece some that surprised me enough to require jotting down as I read. So here goes (and in no logical order).

Oxford’s hottest October day (29.1C) was October 1, 2011. It was also the hottest day of the year, the only time in more than 200 years that this occurred in October.

The three driest months since 1767 have all been Aprils (1908, 2000 and 2012. May 31 is, on average, the year’s sunniest day. The earliest day of the year on which 30C was reached was May 27, back in 1841.

May has seen the hottest day of the year ten times since 1815, the last time in 1978. The warmest day of the year on average is July 29. Oxford’s wettest day in almost 200 years of records was July 10, 1968 when 87.9mm of rain fell.

Oxford’s hottest day (35.1c) was on August 19, 1932, and the coldest (-9.6C) was as long ago as January 8, 1841. So now you know.