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Posted
  • Location: G.Manchester
  • Location: G.Manchester

It's nearly 30 years since the most famous summer ever- The long hot summer of 1976 which was during a 16 month exceptional dry spell. Hosepipe bans were across al parts of the country with some areas so desperate people had to get outside their house and fill containers up with water because the water companies were so concerned with resevior levels...more like Africa than the UK. For 15 consequtive days the temperature exceeded 32c somewhere and 35c on 5 consequtive days..most of which happened in June!

June overall was the hottest ever with a CET of 16.5c. The first week of June was on the cool side with outbreaks of rain and cool temperatures. Warm middle then very cool http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119760619.gif for a few days but as from the 23rd hot dry air smouthered the UK as a deep HP developed from the south feeding unusually hot temperatures from the south east and with no wind whatsoever;

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119760628.gif

"

June. Phew, "what a scorcher." The hottest, most prolonged summer on record, peaking from the 22 June to 16 July. After a unremarkable beginning to the month, with some frontal activity, an anticyclone moved in and winds turned to the south. The temperature was in the 80s on the 7th and reached 31C in the SE on the 9th. It then turned cooler and more unsttled for 10 days before the high pressure returned. A warm front then moved north-east on the 21st, ushering in the extraordinary heat, as the Azores high built, and some very hot air swept across the country. The previous dry weather facilitated some very high temperatures. From 23 June to 7 July inclusive, for 15 consecutive days, the temperature exceeded 32C (nearly good old 90F) somewhere in the country. No previous heatwave (or indeed, any since) had seen more than five consecutive days over 90F. Furthermore, five days exceeded 35C (a temperature only recorded 7 other times in the 20th century). On the 26th, 35.4C was reached at North Heath (Sussex) and East Dereham (Norfolk) - the earliest date in the century on which 35C was exceeded. Then there was a maximum of 35.6C at Mayflower Park in Southampton on the 28 June. This is the equal record high for June. It made 35.5C there the preceding day. Fortunately, I was there! I did a summer job in a factory, and the heat was stifling. Have you tried frying eggs on the pavement? (This is apocryphal. According to my copy of Mcgee's On Food and Cooking you need to reach 70C to cook egg white - and according to my weather newsgroup chums tarmac starts to melt at 50C! Stories abound about attempts to make it look like eggs are fying on pavements "assisted by" meths.) Southampton is favoured in hot spells with a NE breeze because it is sheltered from the wind. Please let's have another summer like this one ... The skies were largely cloud free, and the humidity was very low. Needless to say, at the peak of the "Great Drought", it was very dry, although there was a prolonged downpour on the 19th (a Saturday) in the south of England (preventing play in the test match against the West Indies on the Saturday), as a waving cold front gave 25 mm of rain in places. The month overall was the warmest June of the century in England and Wales (16.5C CET). Of course, this must be the June month of the century for weather.

July. Wonderfully hot (18.2), particularly notable as part of the whole summer, as high pressure dominated the British Isles. It was even hot in Scotland; Wauchope (Borders) reached 32.4C on the 2nd. Even Braemar reached 30C on the 8th. 27C (80F) was exceeded somewhere in the country every day from 22 June to 16 July. Heathrow had 14 consecutive days above 31C between 23 June and 8 July. Somewhere in the country reached the 90s (32C) for 15 consecutive days from 23 June and 7 July. The summer was quite poor in the Western Isles, however, as fronts coming around the high affected the far NW. Cheltenham reached 35.9C on the 3rd, the highest corroborated maximum. Also very sunny: there was 318 hours of sunshine at Cromer. Fronts moved east on the 9th, bringing some rain to some places, and slighly cooler weather. While there were some high minima in urban districts, clear skies led to ground frosts in the country.

August. The month continued the great summer, ending with memorable thunderstorms from the 27th on. Maxima of around 30C in the south on the 24-25th, with some places hitting 32C. Many parts of the south recorded 330 hours sunshine; 333 hours at Ilfracombe. It was very dry, with England and Wales having only 29% of the average. An air minimum of -0.6C was reported at Great Gaddesden (Herts.) on the 1st, a consequence of intense night-time radiative cooling under clear skies. It was 32C in the south on the 25th, and Teignmouth enjoyed its 45th consecutive day without rain. Then the hot, sunny weather started to break down on the 26th - just in time for the Bank Holiday - as the high pressure system that had been responsible for the wonderful weather retreated towards Iceland, bringing a cooler and cloudier NE airflow across the country. For many places, the great drought ended on the 29th or 30th: in some areas there had been 45 consecutive days without rain. The wet autumn made up for it. There were some severe storms on Saturday 29th and Monday 30th in the south, with flooding in East Anglia. For example, there were 76 mm of rain at Spalding on the 30th, which was a good start to ending the drought. With a CET of 17.6C, it was a hot month."

http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/1976_weather.htm

A summer I would loved to have experienced. After August the 16 month drought ended with September nearly the wettest recorded..although average temperatures overall. And then a very cold December to follow.

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

Weird I had a precognitive feeling that someone had posted an article about summer 1976 :whistling:

Here's the article I wrote about it.

The summer of 1976 was the hottest and driest summer ever recorded in the UK with a CET of 17.8C. Here's a summary of that summer.

JUNE

June started with cloud and some rain over the UK as fronts passed through but on the 2nd the Azores High ridged towards the UK settling the weather. Fronts moved across the NW parts of the UK but the ridge held sway across southern parts. As the ridge moved into Europe, southerly winds flooded the UK and temperatures rose to the high 20s in the sunshine. A cold front moved into western parts on the 9th but ahead of this system, temperatures rose into the low 30s in the SE. The cold front moved through bringing cooler weather to all parts.

The middle of June was mixed with unsettled weather in the north but the high pressure to the south of the UK ensured that the southern parts of the UK saw little rain until the 19th where a frontal system straggled southern parts.

The weather changed on the 20th, when a high developed over the SE of the UK and this drew up very hot air from the Meditterenean. This was the start of a remarkable heatwave where temperatures were 30+C every day until the end of the month. The London Weather Centre recorded a maximum of 34.8C on the 26th, southampton recorded a maximum of 35.6C on the 28th. The weather was uncomfortably hot for those who work in offices as most did not have air conditioning. Nights were particularly uncomfortable with minima as high as 20C. The heat caused heath fires in the south as a result of the lack of the rain but in the NW of Scotland there was no lack of rain here as fronts off the Atlantic continually brush the far NW. It was a particular dull month here but elsewhere it was a fairly sunny, dry hot month.

JULY

The heatwave of late June continued into July with the high moving to the north of the UK and this allowed a hot gentle easterly flow across the UK. 32+C was recorded everyday somewhere in the UK up to the 7th. After the 7th, the heat lost its intensity as Atlantic systems moved into the west with some rain but the south and east remained mostly dry. The weather had becomed unsettled generally around mid month with westerly winds and lower temperatures. There were thunderstorms in the SE ahead of a cold front and more on the 20th and 21st but there was little rain with pressure high to the west of Ireland. A cold front swept through at the end of the month and this brought cool northerly winds and even a touch of ground frost to the north.

It was a very warm and largely dry July over most parts although the NW of Scotland missed out again

AUGUST

Although the month started with fronts across the UK, it wasn't long before high pressure was back to retain the dry weather. The high cell moved into Scandinavia and although fronts tried to move into the UK, they were killed off by the high. The weather became hot again and temperatures were in the low 30s around the 24th and 25th just as the high began to recede into the Atlantic. This allowed low pressure over Spain to move northwards and a front to the north to move southwards. This resulted in heavy rain and storms, the first significant rain for a number of weeks in many places.

August was another very warm dry month.

The effect of the summer was huge. Drinks, ice cream, barbecue, and bikini sales rocketed during the summer but the greatest impact was the lack of water. Reservoirs were drying up and the Government launched meaures to conserve water. People were advised to share baths, to use the bath water to water the garden, to place bricks in toilet cisterns to conserve water. Standpipes were launched and many parts of the UK had no running water for much of the day. The drought caused forest and heath fires in the south and fireman were unable to control these because of a lack of water. Gardens and parks were brown and parched. The Government created a minister for drought, Denis Howell, such was the serious nature of the drought. The ministry was created just as the heavy rains came to replenish the reservoirs

June overall was the hottest ever with a CET of 16.5c. The first week of June was on the cool side with outbreaks of rain and cool temperatures. Warm middle then very cool .

June 1976 actually had a CET of 17.0 and the hottest June on record was 1846 with a CET of 18.2 :)

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Posted
  • Location: G.Manchester
  • Location: G.Manchester

Excellent summery there Mr.D. "1846 with a CET of 18.2" that's really exceptional for June, was the 1846 summer a hot one as well?

I remember hearing that people were adviced to share baths and use the same water? I find it hard to believe, but it's possible.

Whenever I think of the 1976 summer, the 1995 summer pops into my head. The 1995 summer only really lasted for 2 months but the CET for July was similer butAugust were much higher then that of 1976;

June 1976; 16.5c-June (hottest June of the 20th century) 1995 14.3c

July 1976; 18.7c- July 1995 18.6c

August 1976; 17.6c- August 1995; 19.2c (hottest August of the 20th century)

Both summers contained one month where the CET was record breaking for the 20th century.

Also, who can forget that amazing July of 1983? The hottest month ever recorded in over 300 years;

"July. The hottest of the century (19.5C), and indeed the hottest month since records began. Also mostly dry and sunny, but with some severe thunderstorms. A ridge of high pressure extended from the Azores as the month started. The temperature reached the magic 32C somewhere in the country every day from the 12-16th, and the average daily maximum at Heathrow in the month was 27.6. There were 17 consecutive days above 27C (80F) somewhere in the country between the 3rd and 19th, and 22 days above 27C in total; the temperature exceeded 21C somewhere in the country every day but one. The highest temperature of the month was 33.7C at Liphook (Hants.) on the 16th. A possible record high of 31.2C for Northern Ireland was set at Downpatrick (Co. Down) on the 14th; a more definite 30.8C was recorded at Belfast on the 12th (the equal confirmeed highest for the region). Cardiff recorded its highest ever temperature, of 33.1C, on the 13th. Even Coatbridge in Scotland reached 31.5C on the 12rh. It was also very humid. Some cool mist on North Sea coasts with NE winds; but the east coast improved later in the month as winds became more westerly. Thunderstorms on the 6th and 16-17th. Lightning deaths on the 6th; 95 mm of rain at Sevenoaks and 81mm at Croydon. More lightning deaths in the storms of the 16-17th. 68mm of rain in 45 minutes at Cromer. Severe hailstorms. Flooding in the Pennines. A cold front moved south on the 18th, bringing more normal temperatures to the south for a few days before pressure built again. Penzance was flooded in the 22nd. 70mm of rain in one hour in Dumfries and Galloway led to flooding there. It was very warm again at the end, with 32C at Skegness and Liphook on the 29th. More widespread thunder on the 31st. The heatwave almost exactly coincided with the calendar month. This was my summer of love, and I remember being able to sit out in the sun in the parks of Dundee. Hence I make this the most interesting July for weather of the century."

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
Excellent summery there Mr.D. "1846 with a CET of 18.2" that's really exceptional for June, was the 1846 summer a hot one as well?

Summer 1846 was a scorcher (17.1) but not a dry one though.

May-June 1846 is the warmest May-June period on record with a CET of 15.25

As for summer 1995, well July-August period was the hottest on record with a CET of 18.9!

Also the period July-September 1995 is the warmest such period with a CET of 17.17 despite the average September

The period August-October 1995 is the warmest such period with a CET of 15.27

July 1995 is the 5th warmest on July on record

August 1995 is the hottest August on record

October 1995 is the 4th warmest October on record

So the period July-October 1995 was exceptional despite the average September

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Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury
Summer 1846 was a scorcher (17.1) but not a dry one though.

May-June 1846 is the warmest May-June period on record with a CET of 15.25

As for summer 1995, well July-August period was the hottest on record with a CET of 18.9!

Also the period July-September 1995 is the warmest such period with a CET of 17.17 despite the average September

The period August-October 1995 is the warmest such period with a CET of 15.27

July 1995 is the 5th warmest on July on record

August 1995 is the hottest August on record

October 1995 is the 4th warmest October on record

So the period July-October 1995 was exceptional despite the average September

If it wasn't for the poor first half of June, I'm sure 1995 would have wiped the floor with 1976 as far as temperatures are concerned. I wonder whether the astronomical summer (ie 21 June-20 Sep) in 1995 also beat the same period in 1976, I'd think it quite likely. The hot weather in 1995 (save for the warm first week of May) started bang on June 21st.

Oddly, as I've said before, the period about 10 May-15 June 1995 was by far the coldest such period I can remember. It just didn't rain very much (hardly at all in fact) which is why people forget it. Looking at the MO pages I see it's 6 years since we had a June colder than 1995's, despite June 30th 1995 being the hottest June day in recent times here.

September 1995 was average, never very hot but never cold either. And not particularly wet in this area, save for one thunderstorm on 4th. In fact it was notably drier than September 1994 which was a grim month here, over 1C colder than 1995 and around 20mm wetter.

I tend to perceive September as "those few weeks of boring weather between the last heatwave and the first frost". In recent years this has all too often included October as well.

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Posted
  • Location: G.Manchester
  • Location: G.Manchester

May 1995 had a few unusually cold periods;

"May. Dry and sunny. Notable heatwave in the first week, bettered only by May 1990. 26C in Wst Yorkshire on the 3rd, 28C in the Channel Islands (St. Helier) on the 5th and Southampton on the 6th. 27C was reached somewhere in the south every day 4-7th. As there was little wind pollution levels were high, although in some places there were 120 hours of sunshine in the first ten days. Temperatures were 12C lower on the VE celebration Bank Holiday Monday on the 8th. The remainder of the month was dull, quite cold, and with frosts midmonth in the north. The 17th was very wet over England and Wales, with some snow in some areas (Shropshire, Durham) as temperatures only reached 5C. Thunderstorm in Leeds on the 24th contributed to the deaths of12 people when an aircraft landed shortly after takeoff. Frost and snow in the second week."

Although May overall had just about average temperatures..slightly milder then average (+0.3c)

Rrea00119950518.gif

The main summers for me are 1976,1995 and 2003. I particulary remember the start of June 2003...it was really cool and wet, don't remember it being so cold before for the start of June. Yet the summer was in the top five hotest ever. Only June came close to the hot CET of 1976 with a CET of 16.0c compared to 1976's 16.5c.

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Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury
May 1995 had a few unusually cold periods;

"May. Dry and sunny. Notable heatwave in the first week, bettered only by May 1990. 26C in Wst Yorkshire on the 3rd, 28C in the Channel Islands (St. Helier) on the 5th and Southampton on the 6th. 27C was reached somewhere in the south every day 4-7th. As there was little wind pollution levels were high, although in some places there were 120 hours of sunshine in the first ten days. Temperatures were 12C lower on the VE celebration Bank Holiday Monday on the 8th. The remainder of the month was dull, quite cold, and with frosts midmonth in the north. The 17th was very wet over England and Wales, with some snow in some areas (Shropshire, Durham) as temperatures only reached 5C. Thunderstorm in Leeds on the 24th contributed to the deaths of12 people when an aircraft landed shortly after takeoff. Frost and snow in the second week."

Although May overall had just about average temperatures..slightly milder then average (+0.3c)

Rrea00119950518.gif

The main summers for me are 1976,1995 and 2003. I particulary remember the start of June 2003...it was really cool and wet, don't remember it being so cold before for the start of June. Yet the summer was in the top five hotest ever. Only June came close to the hot CET of 1976 with a CET of 16.0c compared to 1976's 16.5c.

Yes I remember the snow in Shropshire on the 17th :( May actually had more frost and snow than February in 1995!

Obviously I rate 1995 the best summer of my life, second and third would be 1989 and 1990; not sure which order. 1994 and 1999 both had excellent Julys, but in both cases August was disappointing (in 1994 cool and showery, in 1999 warmish but very wet). as was June in 1999.

Strangely the other summer besides 1995 that I remember vividly was 1992; which had a superb May and June then a poor July and abysmal August.

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