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July 1955: a very dry, sunny month but floods in places.....


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

July 1955 was an odd month. It was a very warm month with a CET of 17.7, the warmest July since 1934 and the driest month for England and Wales (26.1mm) since 1911 but thunderstorms gave flooding and enormous rainfall totals at a few loactions.

Bury St Edmunds recorded no rain this month, yet Martinstown, Dorset recorded 279.4mm on the 18th 

From 19th July 1955 Guardian

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From 20th July 1955 Guardian

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14th July thunderstorms caused the death of 6 people through lightning strikes

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It was a very sunny month, Southport had their sunniest month since records began in 1896. 

Sunshine % of average

Engand and Wales: 146

Scotland: 172

Northern Ireland: 184

It was a hot day for NE Scotlaand on the 6th July 

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Rainfall totals for the month

Camden Square, London: 5.8mm

Cardiff: 15mm

Edinburgh: 39.6mm

Aldergrove: 31.2mm

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Posted
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and warm, sunny summers
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland

This month holds the record highest monthly sunshine total for various stations in Ireland as well as the national record of 308.2 hrs which was strangely at Valentia Observatory - a station normally prone to cloud and exposed to southwesterlies so a weird quirk but is indicative of how unique of a month July 1955 really was. 

Dublin Airport wasn't far off with 305.9 hrs, May 2020 was the closest competitor to this with 295.0 hrs. 

June 1957 and June 1959 were also exceptionally sunny; 292.7 hrs at Belmullet (northwest Ireland) and 301.0 hrs at Rosslare (sunny southeast) in the respective Junes.

Yes a long time ago but July 1955 and August 1947 are terribly forgotten if you ask me, both gems of summer months in vintage years for weather too. 

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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

Thank you for this Weather-history, most interesting. The figure for Martinstown, Dorset, was astonishing and was (I believe) a record rainfall and the only time that 10+ inches of rain fell in a 24 hour period in the 20th century (correct me if I'm wrong). I wonder what caused this terrible rainfall and loss of life? Presumably a low pressure system of some sort. We had 4 ins of rain in Dorset in 24 hours when we camped there at the end of July 1978, and thought that was bad, but July 1955 was on another scale.

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

The synoptic setup on 18 July 1955 had a ridge of high pressure over the north, a thundery-looking low to the south:

image.thumb.png.a612ef7bad3c8035cc5824656ca35a1f.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts
  • Weather Preferences: Snow snow and snow
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts
On 12/07/2021 at 22:58, A Face like Thunder said:

Thank you for this Weather-history, most interesting. The figure for Martinstown, Dorset, was astonishing and was (I believe) a record rainfall and the only time that 10+ inches of rain fell in a 24 hour period in the 20th century (correct me if I'm wrong). I wonder what caused this terrible rainfall and loss of life? Presumably a low pressure system of some sort. We had 4 ins of rain in Dorset in 24 hours when we camped there at the end of July 1978, and thought that was bad, but July 1955 was on another scale.

And they had nothing to blame it on back then......

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Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

Also interesting to note was that this summer was sandwiched between arguably the two worst summers in living memory,that of 1954 and 1956,both worse than either 2008 and 2012

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