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A strange darkness


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Here's a couple of reports from 1888 of a strange and remarkable darkness that affected parts of the UK

    From the 10th of October 1888

    "The sun was shining brightly, when. about 3.30pm, a very dark cloud came up from the NE along the valley of the Ouse; it was impossible to distinguish any object 10 yeards off. The owls, bats and beetles all came out and the pheasants went up to roost." - Hitchen, Herts.

    "Remarkable phenomenon; total darkness from 3.00 to 3.20pm." - Derby.

    From the 1st of November 1888

    "A London darkness came about 1pm, necessitating lights; it passed off in a few minutes."

    No rain nor thunderstorms were reported in any of the cases accompanying the darkness, although it is clear from the 1st of November chart that the weather was unsettled for that day. It was probably very deep cloud in that case. Daytime darkness is often associated with deep thunderstorms as happened during August 1981.

    Here's the chart for the 10th of October 1888

    Rslp18881010.gif

    And the 1st of November

    Rslp18881101.gif

    The report from Hitchen looks odd, so dark you couldn't tell objects from 10 yards away? However, it is backed up with the report from Derby. However, neither case reported a thunderstorm at the time which they obviously would have.

    A possibilty could be industrial smoke trapped under a cloud as happened in mid January 1955 for the London area for the October 1888 case.

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
    A strange darkness often descends on me....normally whenever I go near the climate change area.

    Or, in fact, leave your house!

    Seems to me like some sort of smog problem under an inversion.

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

    Another unusual darkness occurred on the 27th of April 1907. Here's some reports.

    Stoke Bishop (Avon): " Extraordinary darkness during the afternoon, lights have to be lit at 2.40pm."

    Winchcombe (Glos): "Thunder with intense darkness from 1.15pm to 2pm, causing all work to be suspended."

    Cheltenham: " The morning had been fine, but shortly after one o'clock a mass of black cloud came up from the north-east and gradually blotted out the whole of the sky to the horizon.The gloom became deeper and deeper until by half-past one it became impossible to distinguish objects at a short distance in the darkness. For a long time no rain fell. Then came a copious shower of half an hour's duration , but with no thunder or lightning. On Cleeve Hill, the favourite haunt of golfers, which seemed to be at the centre of the storm area, the players caught in the deluge dared not seek their way to the clubhouse in the darkness for fear of stumbling into the quarries and natural bunkers which abound on these links. In the village, labouring men took their midday meal by candle-light. In the town, electric trams had all their lights switched on, an cyclists were met trying to thread their way between the few travelling vehicles with the aid of lamps. The feathered world was seriously disturbed. The hour of complete darkness hushed the song-birds into stillness, and the first streaks of "dawn" early in the afternoon found domestic fowls roosting in a conscientious effort to sleep."

    On the 22nd of January 1907, there was another report of darkness from Waterford.

    "A curious darkness came about 3pm which gave the impression of an eclipse more than anything else. It was surmised that it might be due to the approach of snow, but it passed off in about half-an-hour and the sun shone."

    Another report from the 29th of January 1907, from Spilsby, Lincs.

    "Extraordinary darkness at 3.15pm, lasting 20 minutes. Intensely dark sky, so that out-of-doors it was not even possible to see trees at close hand. A little snow fell in large flakes but it did not lie."

    Edited by Mr_Data
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    Posted
  • Location: Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire
  • Location: Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire

    Im starting to think perhaps Volcanic activity..that report of snow in the last one could possibly be mistaken for ash perhaps?

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    Im starting to think perhaps Volcanic activity..that report of snow in the last one could possibly be mistaken for ash perhaps?

    I think the nearest active volcano to the UK is around Iceland? I can't see it being volcanic activity and more to do with the heavy smoke from industry.

    Edited by Mr_Data
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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Here's a report from the 18th of March 1908 about the black fog that gripped Edinburgh.

    "The pall of fog made the morning one of the darkest of the year. Artificial light had to be used everywhere, and citizens groped their way to business in semi-darkness. As the forenoon advanced matters grew worse instead of better, and at noon it was darker in the city than it was at midnight. Day had entirely disappeared - in fact- it had never dawned - and a pitchy blackness, which was more impenetrable than the ordinary of darkness of night, enveloped the city. Probably never in the memory of living inhabitants in the city has such a thing occurred. The authorities had not risen to the occasion, and the consequence was that neither the lectric nor gas lamps in the city were lighted."

    Edinburgh Evening Dispatch.

    Edited by Mr_Data
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