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The thunderstorms of August 1938


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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

The first 12 days of August was very warm thundery especially over England and Wales. 80F was recorded at least one location on each day of the first 12 days of August. Also thunderstorms broke out on each of the first 12 days.

87F was recorded at Camden Square on the 1st
86F at Poole on the 2nd and 3rd.

Low pressure was to the south of the UK and this pulled thundery troughs over the UK from time to time. The southwest was particularly severely hit on the 4th with Torquay measuring 6.39 inches of rain.

A report by Mr Bellinger on the Torquay storm

12am: distant thunder
4am: louder thunder
5.05am: heavy rain and hail for 15 minutes.
6.50am to 12pm: Intense thunderstorm

On the 5th, to the southeast of Horncastle, 2.22 inches fell in 75 minutes.
On the 6th, 2.25 inches fell in one hour at Lexden, Essex. Temperature fell from 83F to 65F
Flooding at Liverpool from an early morning storm.
On the 7th, 1.78 inches fell in 3 hours at Fairford, Gloucestershire.
On the 8th, there was local flooding in Lancashire and a rectory in Breconshire recorded 3.65 inches in 24 hours.
On the 9th, 1.45 inches fell in 45 minutes at Bishop Cannings, 0.53 inches in 12 minutes at Wellingborough, 0.50 inches at Birmingham, 1.80 inches at Wallasey in 105 minutes.
On the 10th, 1.13 inches fell in 48 minutes at Blandford, Dorsetshire
On the 11th, some very intense thunderstorms broke out. Near Bridlington, 2ft of hail was reported and cars had to be dug out. 2.25 inches fell in 90 minutes at Wembley causing flooding. 1.18 inches fell at Peterborough in 20 minutes.

A severe thunderstorm broke out to the south of Glasgow and to the east of Kilmarnock.  A funnel cloud was observed was observed for nearly 20 minutes. Ball lightning. the size of a football, was also witnessed. A landslide caused a train derailment and many roads and fields in the Strathaven area were flooded.

The 1st August 1938 was a  good Bank Holiday but the signs of things to come with storms in the southwest.

From Guardian of 2nd August 



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  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

interesting sunset statement in that weather report...'for every ten miles north of Manchester sun set is later by 35 seconds'

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