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St Swithin's Day: 15th Of July


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    St Swithin was the bishop of Winchester and died on the 2nd of July 862. Swithin was buried outside his cathedral at his request, so that the "sweet rain of heaven" could fall on his grave. In 971, it was decided to move his body to a new indoor shrine but the ceremony was delayed for 40 days as a sign by Swithin of his displeasure. Since then the legend has it that if it rains on St Swithins Day it will rain for the next 40 days and 40 nights.

    Is there any grain of truth to the legend? Here's was the weather for some recent St Swithin's Day of the past and what happened in the next 40 days.

    2005: Some showers in the north. Next 40 days was mixed with setteled and unsettled spells

    2004: Unsettled: Heavy rain and thunderstorms were frequent through the 40 day period

    2003: Heatwave across the country, sunny and dry. Rain did fall during the second half of July but August was a particularly hot month and dry.

    2002: There was rain across the north and west but it was dry to the south and east, the weather was generally unsettled through the rest of July and August.

    2001: There were isolated showers but it was mostly dry, however the weather was changeable with dry hot interludes and disturbed spells.

    2000: A distinctly cool day with showers especially in the east. The weather was generally unsettled afterwards.

    1999: There were some showers around, but the rest of July was fairly warm and dry although August was fairly unsettled.

    1998: Unsettled and this continued for the rest of July but August was a much warmer, drier month.

    1997: Unsettled, the rest of July was changeable and August was hot but mixed.

    1996: Dry and fairly sunny. The weather was mixed but it was warm and there was some good sunny spells.

    1995: Fairly unsettled with showers and storms but for rest of July and August, it was hot and mostly dry.

    1994: Some rain on the day itself, there was some fine spells for the rest of July but August was fairly unsettled.

    1993: Unsettled and it was like this for the rest of July and into August but the weather did settle down around the 16th of August.

    1992: Unsettled and it was unsettled for the rest of July into August.

    1991: Showers on the day itself, it was fairly unsettled for the rest of July into August until about the 13th.

    1990: Mostly dry and rainfall totals were generally below average for the rest of July and into August.

    1989: There was some light rain in the east. It was generally dry and warm until about the 11th of August.

    1988: Some showers in the east but generally a brief drier interlude. The rest of July was disturbed but the weather settled down somewhat going into August.

    1987: Unsettled and this continued into August.

    1986: Unsettled in the north, mostly dry in the south. The weather was disturbed and cool for the rest of July and August.

    1985: Unsettled as it was for the next 40 days.

    1984: Mostly dry with a just a few showers. The next 40 days were mostly dry and warm.

    1983: Dry in the south, some rain in the far north. Generally that was the case for the rest of July but August was drier everywhere.

    1982: Unsettled. The rest of July was rather dry but August was unsettled.

    1981: Unsettled. The rest of July was unsettled but the weather was drier in the south during August.

    1980: Cool and showery, the weather was generally unsettled for the next 40 days.

    1979: Mostly dry but the weather was mixed for the res of July. August was more unsettled though.

    1978: Mostly dry but cool, the weather was unsettled though and cool and this lasted to about the 17th of August.

    1977: Rain coming into the west. The rest of July was fairly mixed. August did have some longer drier interludes.

    1976: Unsettled. The rest of July was fairly mixed with the drier spells being more frequent but August was very warm and settled.

    1975: Showery. The rest of July was mixed but rainfall was below average. August started with a heatwave but it became more disturned as the month went on.

    1974: Unsettled as it was for the next 40 days.

    1973: Unsettled as it was until the 11th of August.

    1972: Sunny and warm, the rest of July and August were fairly dry with below average rainfall.

    1971: Rain spreading southwards. The rest of July and August was unsettled.

    1970: Cool and showery. The next 40 days were generally unsettled

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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)

    The St Swithin's day lore, well a better known version of scottish origin, also imlplied that if it was dry on the day it would be dry for forty days after:

    St Swithin's Day an' ye be fair,

    For forty day's 'twill rain nae mair.

    ... this certainly applied to 1989 and 1990 summers after the 15th July.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    St Swithin's is the most famous and most notorious weather day of the year.Even now farmers take this date very seriously for they say a dry St Swithin's can mean a less worrying harvest.

    A couple of proverbs are:

    In this month is St Swithin's Day

    On which if,that it rain they say,

    Full forty days after it will

    Or more or less some rain distil.

    ~ Poor Robin's Almanack 1697

    St Swithin's is christening the apples

    (This saying is applied to rain on St.Swithin's Day.)

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