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Whining World Special - The Storm Starved South East


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Posted
  • Location: Guildford, Surrey.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms & Snow
  • Location: Guildford, Surrey.

    Live in the South East? Fed up with no storms? Fed up with the constant let downs, false promises and downgrades? Fed up with summer 2009?

    Then this Whiner's Corner Special – The Storm Starved South East is for you!

    This section can be used in conjunction with the No Storms Club section which gives a more generalised picture across the U.K. The NSC is not really a Whining World posting section and Whining World has not yet been updated for summer, hence I thought of this specific section to fill the gap.

    After the last few weeks I have reached the point where I am getting totally fed up with the 'summer' weather and having experienced yet another letdown today, the day that every forecast made a song and dance about and even I thought would deliver, it is now the right time to start grumbling!

    It is 5:30 pm and as expected all there is are large Cumulus congestus clouds with no further convection to the point of kicking off storms.

    My rant is as follows. I have tried to condense it to prevent repetition and being accused of being too verbose. I have left out examples for the points as one would need a high capacity server on which to store all the information and life's too short.

    Background

    Local areas – Guildford and Fleet – have only witnessed ONE day of thunder in the vicinity in the last 9 months. Last summer was also virtually thunder free and for the first time since 1990 (which was a hot, sunny and dry summer) there was no major thunder event at either site. The last period of high thunder activity was in April 2008, where cyclonic and unstable conditions prevailed and led to 5-6 days of thundery showers and some hail. The unsettled nature of summer 2008 had insufficient instability for thunderstorms as the S.E. was always on windy shower-less southern flank of the endless Atlantic depressions which brought so many storms and heavy rainfall events to the midlands northwards. Summer 2009 just feels like a continuation of where we left off form last year except it is (thankfully) less windy.

    The Main Points

    (1) There is a lack of viable synoptic situations which favour the S.E. and local areas.

    (2) The infrequent and transient nature of the favourable situations prevents any establishment of the ingredients for any thunderstorm let alone a good one.

    (3) Synoptic situations are usually unfavourable with no nice surprises.

    (4) Any glimmers of hope, such as forecasts – from any medium – are downgraded, usually hours before the event or establishment of the favourable synoptics.

    (5) After such downgrades, forecasts are more interested in the continuation of the dry weather or the next weak front letdown bringing the usual drizzle or fizzling out situation.

    (6) There is no second chance of the establishment of another event to get excited about – so if the event on the day is a letdown – tough luck and now there is another long wait for the next opportunity, usually a month or more later.

    (7) Funny how the conditions which are not met with such enthusiasm such as bright, breezy, dry weather with blowing dust or uncomfortable high humidity seem to be upgraded or develop unexpectedly. Thunder situations don't develop unexpectedly and this region never seems to get any pleasant surprises these days.

    ( <_< I work outdoors in a manual job with the public, which can be quite physically demanding and also stressful. In certain conditions the job is relaxing, rewarding and fun. However, the heat and humidity make the job more strenuous and stressful and it is not enjoyable dealing with bad tempered customers and chavs shouting abuse from cars when suffering in these hot and sticky conditions. It is even more annoying slogging away and having to make the effort knowing damned well that long awaited storm won't materialise and somebody else will hit the jackpot.

    (9) One's temper is not helped by the inability to sleep well in the sticky and humid conditions. Insect bites and the general upsurge in numbers of other annoying insects like wasps and fruit flies doesn't help either. Putting up with this would be worth it for a good thunderstorm!

    (10) Current situation is all the more frustrating as we are still waiting for our first proper storm of the year.

    (11) Because of the specific synoptics, certain areas always seem to be favoured – these include the general Midlands, East Anglia, Lincolnshire, and anywhere northwards. The S.E. tip of Kent and parts of the S.W. seems to be favoured too. I do apologise to those members that are still in the No Storms Club who live in these otherwise favoured non-S.E. England locations. I recognise that not all Midland observers have had the pleasure yet this year. However, I feel that these areas away from the S.E. have probably seen more thunderstorm activity per 10 km square grid than a comparable area in the S.E.

    (12) While the promise of much wanted thunder and severe weather events get downgraded for this region, subsequently not to develop at all, other locations get the jackpot as promised and often have the pleasant surprise events which this area never seems to get.

    (13) The S*ds Law effect. This is another rant and is off topic, but just to say, on the occasion when some event does materialise, I am miraculously away from the area at the time and end up missing it. Yet, many of my friends go on holiday annually and get caught in some exciting and memorable event and don't miss anything when away.

    Thanks for reading,

    Rant over.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)
    Well all i heard today is some rumbles of thunder. would have loved a storm but hey can't have everything, at least we will still hold onto the warmth longer than the rest of the country.

    We often do, lol! I got a few storms so I am happy, though nevertheless we are still WAY down on average!

    July and August have often brought great plume thunderstorms in the past - here's hoping 2009 has them in abundance :shok:

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    Posted
  • Location: Deiniolen, 223m, N. Wales
  • Location: Deiniolen, 223m, N. Wales

    At least there is a better chance of storms in SE than here in North West Wales - Loo at today you're enjoying sunny spells and temperatures of 20+C when we here have heavy rain, Fog, wind and a cool 12C!!! We've only had one lightning and a clap of thunder with one distant thunderstorm towards the North East!! :shok:

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    Posted
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)

    Mainly sunny and 23C here in London - LOVELY! Breeze in fact v warm, even when it clouds over!

    Almost feels quite muggy too - shame no convective stuff forecast - in fact all of the rain has broken up en route to us!

    I would say looking towards the end of next week, at the moment at least, there could well be some storms knocking about :shok:

    (7) Funny how the conditions which are not met with such enthusiasm such as bright, breezy, dry weather with blowing dust or uncomfortable high humidity seem to be upgraded or develop unexpectedly. Thunder situations don't develop unexpectedly and this region never seems to get any pleasant surprises these days.

    ( I work outdoors in a manual job with the public, which can be quite physically demanding and also stressful. In certain conditions the job is relaxing, rewarding and fun. However, the heat and humidity make the job more strenuous and stressful and it is not enjoyable dealing with bad tempered customers and chavs shouting abuse from cars when suffering in these hot and sticky conditions. It is even more annoying slogging away and having to make the effort knowing damned well that long awaited storm won't materialise and somebody else will hit the jackpot.

    (9) One's temper is not helped by the inability to sleep well in the sticky and humid conditions. Insect bites and the general upsurge in numbers of other annoying insects like wasps and fruit flies doesn't help either. Putting up with this would be worth it for a good thunderstorm!

    These are very relevant points Severe Blizzards - some areas of the UK that sadly do not see as many storms compared to the SE, do not have to put up with as many 'discomforts' as use SE'eners either (to my knowledge anyway). Don't get me wrong, I love our warmer summers and warmer evenings, but sleeping is a mega-bit*h when the day time temps and humidity are up (33C+) and night time temperatures dont fall below 20C on some nights (Add 10C for the room temperature)

    The numbers of wasps, hornets, stag beetles, fruit flies, midges and mosquitos compared to our more northerly neighbours is also a bit*h. I may be wrong, but I suspect we get these little 'critters' on a greater scale than the North due to the slightly higher average temperatures - some mornings I wake up covered with bites over my head, neck, back, legs, arms - its nasty. Last summer I was out running at a fitness session, where there so happened to be a convenient cloud of 'biting insects'. Within half an hour I counted the best part of several dozen bites, and on one of my mates, 31 bites!

    London underground/mainline train temperatures often sore above 40C, are warm, ultra sticky and exceptionally uncomfortable. Get covered in sweat!!

    Some times, like you, I think we deserve our storms! When we don't get them, as a reward for our discomfort, we get ultra irritable, lol!!! I think, to be fair, its understandable.

    Having said all of this, I wouldn't change the warmer summers for anything, despite the added irritations

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

    The perceived lack of storms in the SE is purely a case of selective memory I'm afraid! On average south-east England's thunder frequency is comparable to the most thunder-prone regions elsewhere in Britain (e.g. east of Manchester, Lincolnshire, East Anglia) and the southeast is more prone to very intense storms than any other region.

    I agree about the humidity in the southeast- which is why I have difficulty when answering a question like "which was your favourite July from the archives". In Leeds July 2006 would comfortably take that award, but if I was living in central London I would almost certainly have found the month unbearably hot.

    The main problems with heat in the SE are to do with humidity and the urban character of many of the areas. When I've been to the Greater London area I have usually struggled to cope in anything above 24C. In Norwich the threshold is more like 28C and in rural France it is more like 32C! So yes, I do sympathise, the "better summers" in the South East are not all roses and in a summer like 1995 or 2006 I would rather take the gloriously warm sunshine of further north.

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    Posted
  • Location: Clifton, Bristol
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but dull cloud
  • Location: Clifton, Bristol

    YES thank netweather for the creation of this page!! :lol:

    Like the last 'storm' only a few days ago i went on some long cycle to maidenhead and back with 70% storm risk forcast and 1,250J of (wasted) CAPE. Not the first time either.

    As it happens i would have done better staying in SW London cos there was a bit of thunder there...

    However there were some dark clouds on the horizon; so close yet SO far :lol: One gave out a great yellow fork of lightening as i looked at it. :lol:

    Hey it's all probability though and has no bearing on what is to come..... :shok:

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

    Hi there, storm starved South Easterners.

    Some of us in the Midlands and South West are rather storm starved too :lol:

    I bet you will all see a good storm before us lot ( I speak for myself really lol)

    Good luck anyway, next Friday onwards could be the beginning of a stormy week espicially for you storm starved in the SE :lol:

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    Posted
  • Location: Maidstone, Kent
  • Location: Maidstone, Kent
    Hi there, storm starved South Easterners.

    Some of us in the Midlands and South West are rather storm starved too :lol:

    I bet you will all see a good storm before us lot ( I speak for myself really lol)

    Good luck anyway, next Friday onwards could be the beginning of a stormy week espicially for you storm starved in the SE :lol:

    Jane I admire your optimism, I really do. You are extremely storm-starved and yet your always seem to be in a good mood, and always reassure us that something will come along one day. I was OK for the first 6 months or so without a storm, but when i started to notice some parts of the Midlands getting regular storms whilst the southeast continuously got zilch i started to lose the plot! How do you keep so calm and cheery? :lol:

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    Posted
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
    These are very relevant points Severe Blizzards - some areas of the UK that sadly do not see as many storms compared to the SE, do not have to put up with as many 'discomforts' as use SE'eners either (to my knowledge anyway). Don't get me wrong, I love our warmer summers and warmer evenings, but sleeping is a mega-bit*h when the day time temps and humidity are up (33C+) and night time temperatures dont fall below 20C on some nights (Add 10C for the room temperature)

    The numbers of wasps, hornets, stag beetles, fruit flies, midges and mosquitos compared to our more northerly neighbours is also a bit*h. I may be wrong, but I suspect we get these little 'critters' on a greater scale than the North due to the slightly higher average temperatures - some mornings I wake up covered with bites over my head, neck, back, legs, arms - its nasty. Last summer I was out running at a fitness session, where there so happened to be a convenient cloud of 'biting insects'. Within half an hour I counted the best part of several dozen bites, and on one of my mates, 31 bites!

    Well, really, there are worse places for storms in the UK than the SE. Crikey, what carry on!

    As for this 33C+ stuff. How often does that happen? I'd bet if you took averages for the last 30 years, it probably comes out at about 1 day a year that exceeds 33C. In the meantime, you have 364 days when you can be slightly happier.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
    Jane I admire your optimism, I really do. You are extremely storm-starved and yet your always seem to be in a good mood, and always reassure us that something will come along one day. I was OK for the first 6 months or so without a storm, but when i started to notice some parts of the Midlands getting regular storms whilst the southeast continuously got zilch i started to lose the plot! How do you keep so calm and cheery? :(

    Hi mw, :(

    I used to get really angry and frustrated following the storms a couple years back. Staying up all night was never good for me due to not being well and I always ended up exhausted and even more angry if a storm never happened lol. But now I think 'Oh well, even if we don't get a storm it's fun to watch the radars and to see who's getting them even if it's not me lol'. A storm even close to me puts me into high spirits and I sit and hope it comes my way lol ( even though it never does).

    If it doesn't happen. I always know there will be another opportunity with the next batch in the summer and always feel very happy for everybody else who is storm starved and get's a storm. :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Romford
  • Location: Romford

    Storm starved South East? The other week I got 5 storms in one day, 2 of which were bordering on severe with several CGs within a mile within the space of a couple of minutes, from both. So its not all storm starved down here, and powerful storms usually have a habit of either going just east or dieing near this town. :doh:

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    Posted
  • Location: Tonbridge,Kent
  • Location: Tonbridge,Kent
    Storm starved South East? The other week I got 5 storms in one day, 2 of which were bordering on severe with several CGs within a mile within the space of a couple of minutes, from both. So its not all storm starved down here, and powerful storms usually have a habit of either going just east or dieing near this town. :)

    You have hit the jackpot then cause i have had diddly squat :(

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    Posted
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)

    I have had more but been robbed of the real intense stuff lastminute.com, more often by the channel pushing them east!!

    I think my luck, and that of Jshaw, is better such that we live closer to the UHI of London, and also to the Thames estuary, which this year and countless others if my memory serves me right, has been responsible for a lot of the storms I see.

    But then, that's why I get so frustrated - the build and build here, then as soon as they get interesting they start moving N or NE.

    Still, plenty more plumes to come I feel - plenty more chances of a direct hit :D

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