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Early June 1996: Short Heatwave And Intense Thunderstorms


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

There was a short intense heatwave during the first week of June 1996, where maxima got as high as 33.1C in London on the 7th, however by that Friday evening, some really severe thunderstorms developed and the worst affected areas was an area from Weymouth to western parts of Norfolk. Golf ball sized hail fell widely in this area and in an area from south Oxfordshire to west Berkshire, rainfall totals exceeded 40mm. Lightning was widely seen across England in one of the most brilliant and widespread displays of recent times.

In Manchester, the Friday was clear and not especially hot but during the evening heavy rain and thunder suddenly spread up from the south. Quite a turn around from during the day.

7th June 1996 heatwave

St James's Park: 33.1C

Gravesend, Wattisham: 32.9C

Heathrow: 31.8C

Cambridge: 30.0C

Rrea00219960607.gif

Edited by Mr_Data
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Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)

That early June heatwave in '96 must have come as a shock to the system following on from an unusually cold May. It appears the maximum of 33.1C at St James's Park, Westminster set a new daily extreme for the 7th of June, with only 1947 and 1950 having comparable temperatures during the first week of June.

The Journal of Meteorology has an interesting article on the thunderstorms and hail on 7 June 1996. Colder air from Greenland undercut the 'Spanish Plume' from the West that day. In the evening a large storm area developed from the Chiltern Hills across East Anglia, and also from Dorset towards the South Midlands.

A tornado causing damage to roofs, walls and trees was reported in Basingstoke, Hants. The passage of three succesive storms dropped rainfall totals that day of 73.9mm at East Lockinge, near Wantage, Oxon; 48mm was recorded at Woodlands St. Mary, Berks. Outflow winds associated with the squalls over Oxfordshire produced gusts of 44 knots at RAF Benson, near Wallingford.

Elsewhere, a storm in the early evening at Bourn, Cambs produced golf-ball sized hailstones breaking roof tiles, sash-window panes and greenhouse glass. Later that evening, there were reports of hail the size of cricket balls over Leagrave/Sundon Park districts of North Luton -with 70 roof tiles broken on a few houses! The storms were also accompanied by fierce lighning displays. The hail caused considerable damage to crops and lightning also damaged buildings. Good trade for the builders, glaziers, car repair firms etc. Not so good for insurers!

Edited by Nick F
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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

That particular event spread up the eastern side of Britain as far north as Tyneside. I remember an interesting day on 5 June, with some varied cloud formations, some sun and a couple of showers, then on the 6th the continental plume spread up from the south resulting in a warm, humid and sunny afternoon. The temperature reached about 22C.

On the evening of 6 June, thunderstorms rumbled northwards into the area, reaching the location at about 10pm.

On 7 June, it was another warm and humid day, but without the excessive heat that occurred "down south"- again it only reached 23C. Most of the day was dry and sunny, but some heavy rain spread up from the south that evening. There was no thunder accompanying the rain, but the rain itself was very intense, amounting to 12mm, almost a third of the total for the entire month. The rain accompanied a spectacular sunset and came from towering cumulonimbus cells.

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Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset

As I was still a small child at that time, I can only remember 5 consecutive hot sunny days, 2 of which were spent in school! :D

I don't think there were any storms as such. However hot it became, I certainly remember around the 25th of May when it was only 12C at 3pm. :D

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  • 3 years later...
Posted
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and storms
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.

Thanks for historical info Mr D. Fascinating as always. What is interesting is that this is a pattern that I can see developing this June 13 years on!

Edited by chionomaniac
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Posted
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and heatwave
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft
As I was still a small child at that time, I can only remember 5 consecutive hot sunny days, 2 of which were spent in school! :angry:

I don't think there were any storms as such. However hot it became, I certainly remember around the 25th of May when it was only 12C at 3pm. :cold:

Amazing memory to remember what the weather was like at 3pm on a given day, 13 years ago and as a small child :rolleyes:

Was it 1995 that had a hot summer, I remember having no pump for my small fish pond and the fish were dying.

Guy next door had his water spray on 24/7 and it warped my fence

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Posted
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.

On June 6th highest temp reached 21c and it was humid,then on the 7th it was still humid with showery outbreaks with a rumble of thunder,then later that day there was distant thunderstorms to the S/SE.

If it`s the day I thinking about those CB storm clouds were quite spectacular.

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

1995 was the hot summer but 1996 was also on the warm dry and sunny side over much of England and southern Scotland.

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  • 2 years later...
Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

Here's my latest download from 7th June 1996. Also I have added on some footage of the thunderstorm that struck Birmingham during the late afternoon of 7th July 1989. Play between England and Australia has stopped about an hour before. This clip was taken from a BBC complilation of that summer's Ashes series. I remember it well! Watching Tony Lewis jump when a thunderclap occurred. It's weird looking back at it knowing now that it would take 16 years before England beat Australia!

http://youtu.be/Hdaw1ucvMDw

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset

Thanks for sharing Mr D !

I remember both dates, (living in Birmingham) and both were spectacular !

The 7th July 1989 storm was very impressive for the intense black skies, frequent forked lightning, and very strong gusts (at a guess, nearly 50 mph briefly) just before the heavens opened.

I also loved the 7th June 1996 storm - lots of lightning around and just after dusk, gusty winds at times, and large hailstones. The temperature drop was also very marked during the evening and around midnight - I have no records, but I'm guessing around 27 or 28 c to about 11 or 12 c in just a few hours. The following day had gorgeous deep blue skies...

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

No very high temperatures here during that spell, the highest being 21.4c on the 5th while the 7th managed 21.0c.

We did get a thunderstorm on the evening of the 7th which produced 12.8mm of rain and the following day was sunny and almost 5c cooler.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I remember some close relatives of mine calling 1996 a poor summer, though admiittedly they might have been thinking more in terms of the length (May 1996 was cold, and September 1996 got off to a very grey drizzly start in north-east England).

I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed that summer, it had a mixture of weather and each of the three months had at least one significant hot sunny spell. Opinions on the letdowns might reflect either preferences or regional variation, as personally I quite enjoyed the first week of July (sun, showers and thunder in Tyneside, albeit rather cool and breezy) but found the last week of July somewhat disappointing (mostly cloudy, cool and westerly-dominated). In most parts of the country June was the driest and sunniest month of the summer, though the heatwave on the 7th was a one-off.

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  • 8 years later...
Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
On 26/04/2020 at 10:43, Paul Danvers said:

Hi! Is this the storm that washed so much pollen down through the atmosphere that there was a huge peak in asthma attacks, even with those who didn't normally suffer? 

Getting the feeling that was in 1994 

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Posted
  • Location: Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
  • Location: Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

Yep that was 24th June 1994.  Huge circular MCS spread up from northern France in the evening with extremely poor air quality just before the storm.

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Posted
  • Location: Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
  • Location: Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

I do remember the 1996 event.  I was in Clacton and the sky was flashing constantly to the W in the evening and at times overnight.  Incredible.  A roll cloud passed over during the night from outflow from one of the distant severe storms with a very lively westerly gust and a temporary decrease in humidity.

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Posted
  • Location: Merseyside/ West Lancs Border; North West England
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cool & dry, with regular cold, snowy periods.
  • Location: Merseyside/ West Lancs Border; North West England

I certainly remember the sunny warm/hot weather; I also think the Saturday was Derby Day, and the start of Euro 96, so spent most of the afternoon indoors. I have to say there was a period in 1995-96 when the weather was how you want it; hot & sunny summer 1995, then winter 95-96 periods of cold & snow, and even Summer 1996 was pretty decent.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
On 05/05/2020 at 03:32, HafrenLMP1 said:

I certainly remember the sunny warm/hot weather; I also think the Saturday was Derby Day, and the start of Euro 96, so spent most of the afternoon indoors. I have to say there was a period in 1995-96 when the weather was how you want it; hot & sunny summer 1995, then winter 95-96 periods of cold & snow, and even Summer 1996 was pretty decent.

yep 8th Jun 1996 was start of Euro 96..i went to that opening game between Eng and Switzerland and drove up the evening before from Exeter via the A303 lots of storms across Salisbury plain.

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  • 3 years later...
Posted
  • Location: Coventry, 96m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow in winter, thunderstorms, warmth, sun any time!
  • Location: Coventry, 96m asl
On 04/06/2012 at 19:17, knocker said:

Okay can someone delete it or just transfer the paper link if it's of interest.

Yes, cross posting to this relevant thread, here's the full article, an interesting read: Cc @WeatherArc @Eagle Eye

Weather - 2012 - Webb - Thunderstorms and hail on 7 June 1996 An early season Spanish plume event.pdf

The TORRO hail scale rates this storm as H6, so hail diameter of 40-60mm! Swath length, 180km

https://www.torro.org.uk/research/hail/events

image.thumb.png.bcfa7311e23b0699058e95785d653b3f.png

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