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Three foul Septembers.


LetItSnow!

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Posted
  • Location: Islington, C. London.
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and mixed summers.
  • Location: Islington, C. London.

There were a notable run of three very poor Septembers in the mid-1970s, here are some charts and stats. Any memories I would love to hear as always. 

The summer of 1974 had been very poor & September would get even worse. The opening week was cold & stormy with low pressure barrelling its way in from the Atlantic. No respite. The 2nd recorded a wind gust of 70mph in Plymouth.  A yacht was hit with an eighth metre wave on the 2nd. There were widespread falls of over 50mm during the first week, including 80.0mm at Foffany Reservoir (Co Down) on the 2nd. The 4th saw 73.0 mm fall at Woking. The 7th was a particularly violent day; unusually there were widespread recordings of 70mph wind gusts with two men being killed in the Midlands and considerable damage to crops. A stadium roof was blown off during a match between Newcastle and Derby

image.thumb.png.6c0bcdaee45e9278a22f5ffdc20d3e65.png2 Sep. 197480D8A342-8408-4A60-A1A6-AA1B120C899A.thumb.png.88143b05cbeee796b9127e494bba3064.png

A brief warmer spell occurred mid-month but this was associated with some violent thunderstorms. The 12th was a particular violent day with thunderstorms scattered all across England and into S Scotland. Lightning damage was widespread at 20mm of rain fell in ten minutes at Oxford. It then reached 25C on the 16th

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Cold & stormy conditions returned from the 20th. Multiple tornadoes spawned on the 21st on a cold front, particularly around Bicester. The 23rd was yet another violent day with 80mph wind gusts in the SW and falls of over 60mm.0C27BDC8-01A8-4A84-931E-8DE36229E53A.thumb.png.10080221e8bb81f84bc1cde291ecc0e7.png

A plunge of cold air from a divebombing low was associated with flooding and freezing temperatures from the 26th to 28th. Nineteen cows had to be evacuated by helicopter in Dorset to save them from drowning. At the same time, the temperature fell to -6.0 at Braemar, the lowest U.K. reading in September since 1942. A max of just 8C in the Midlands on the 27th.

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Overall Sep. 1974 was very cold and very wet (12.1 CET, 152.6mm EWP), the wettest since the remarkably wet Sep  1918. Plymouth recorded almost 220mm.

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Unlike 1974, 1975 featured a hot and dry summer, with the hottest August on record at the time, a stark contrast. 

Unlike the previous year, this September started out relatively quiet and even got quite warm; multiple readings of 24-25C in the SE on the 8th. All change thereafter. 

 image.thumb.png.1e1190f3f6fe38306ac1607a2bbf409b.pngimage.thumb.png.3e65ddc67e4b1e292fd975a0aa16c007.png

The first breakdown came on the 10th and introduced heavy rain and thunderstorms between then and the 12th. As this low tracked along southern England on the 13th/14th it brought flooding and exceptionally cold temperatures. Central London recorded a maximum of 10C on the 14th, 9C in the SE. t the same time, Southampton had its wettest day of the century. 91mm at Margate and widespread 75mm across Kent and surrounding areas. A destructive tornado destroyed glass in Sussex. Then cold Artic air shot temperatures as low as -6.2 at Dalwhinnie. -3 in the SE.

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Another stormy spell from the 20th onwards. 100mm of rain at Honister Pass in Cumbria on the 24th, classed as ‘exceptional’.  Readings of 80mph winds recorded on the 27th.  

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Overall it was much warmer than Sep. 1974 with just average temperatures, but the north was cool and the south slightly warmer than average. Nationally it was the driest of the three Septembers, but C/SE England recorded in excess of 300% normal rainfall in places. (13.5 CET, 106mm EWP

 

I needn’t write much about the summer of 1976 as 99.9% of you already know EXACTLY what that summer was like. The great drought was beginning to break with a thundery spell at the end of August, but for a time it turned dry and fine again. Indeed, early September was fine and dry for a time with warm days and chilly nights. 25C was recorded at Saint Helier on the 7th. There was a remarkable turnaround by the 9th.

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The onslaught began on the 9th and never really ended. The 11th was a very violent day. There were a number of places scattered across North Wales and north-eastern England which recorded rainfall amounts in excess of 120 mm. In Cumbria, there was a gust in excess of 100 mph on the same day. Shortly afterwards it turned cold and even frosty in places

image.thumb.png.b2c5374182eeca1ed7513fdfc7b43ffc.pngimage.thumb.png.ac3c5e113d3d4e5efd8e044a830dc540.png

 

The rest of the month turned quite a bit warmer with winds from the south, but this was associated with more unsettled weather. Torrential rain from thunderstorms gave severe flooding in Polperro the night of 24th/25th, a man was swept away. Over 80mm fell in 3 hours in Glasgow on the 28th. 

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It was also very dull. Edinburgh had its dullest September since records began and much of E. Scotland was sunless from the 20th onward. Overall, extremely wet but with temperatures close to average. It was part of a remarkably wet autumn after an extended drought. (13.4 CET, 150.8mm)

image.thumb.png.f5b72702a1fa327ebd8d3f1af5962048.png

 

Very long post but it came in my head so I thought I’d do it. All info comes from Met Office Monthly Weather Report Documents and Trevor Harley

. A lesson that while regarded as a quaint and quiet month nowadays, September can still pack a punch.

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Posted
  • Location: Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Weather Preferences: Heat, sun and thunderstorms in summer. Cold sunny days and snow in winter
  • Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

Something tells me that we are in for a predominantly poor September this year. Probably not as bad as those you have mentioned, but not as good as many of the benign Septembers in recent times either. Though there will be a short settled blip at some point during the month. I can see it ending up being like a cooler version of this August.

Edited by Weather Enthusiast91
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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

Not alive during those Septembers.. there was a poor 3 year run between 1993 and 1995. The late 90s conversely brought three good Septembers 97-99. 

Thinking about 1975, 76 and 95 is there a correlation between good summers and poor Septembers. Mind 2006 was very good and 2018 I don't recall being poor. 

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Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
5 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

Not alive during those Septembers.. there was a poor 3 year run between 1993 and 1995. The late 90s conversely brought three good Septembers 97-99. 

Thinking about 1975, 76 and 95 is there a correlation between good summers and poor Septembers. Mind 2006 was very good and 2018 I don't recall being poor. 

Wouldn’t go as far as to say 98 and 99 were good. Both had warm/hot spells, particularly 99, but both were very wet. Thundery in 99’s case.

1999 was kinda like a slightly wetter version of 2006.

The 2000s brought the best Septembers.

The 2010s then brought a veritable mixed bag, as one would expect.

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

Having looked at those Septembers I don't think September 1975 looks that bad in many parts of the country, overall pretty average, though it might have clashed with the preceding summer somewhat.  1974 and particularly 1976 look like they were washouts though.

I remember growing up in a run of poor Septembers in Tyneside.  Those of 1992 to 1994 were all dull and wet, especially so in the case of 1993.  September 1995 also started off dull and very wet, contrasting very sharply with the preceding August, although there were some fine spells in the second half of September 1995 and so temperatures and sunshine for the month came out close to average.  With frequent easterly winds, September 1996 was also a cool cloudy drizzly month in that region of the UK, though it was somewhat drier than average.  Thus, the 1990s contain a lot of childhood memories of enjoying warm sunny weather in the summer, and then going back to school in early September with grey skies, persistent rain and a nagging north-east wind.

For a large majority of the UK I'd say that 1992-94 has to go down as a run of three consecutive poor Septembers, but those of 1995 and 1996 were dry and sunny in the west, so it's only in some eastern areas that the run extends to four or five years.

I don't think there's a strong link between hot dry sunny summers and cool wet cloudy Septembers.  The two fine summers of the 1950s (1955 and 1959) contained marked counterexamples.  September 1959 in particular was widely one of the driest and sunniest Septembers on record, and October 1959 was also one of the sunniest Octobers.  September 1947, following an August that was on a par with August 1995, was generally warmer, drier and sunnier than average.  September 1949 was one of the warmest on record.  In recent times, September 2018 was pretty average and quite sunny.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm-by-day sunny thundery summers , short cold snowy winters.
  • Location: Hampshire

I can't remember 74-75-76, but have certainly heard of the latter one and its high rainfall.

As for the more recent summers, 1999 was pretty poor in the main after an exceptionally good start. First 10 days were brilliant, started breaking late on the 11th with a weak cold front, briefly fine on the 12th although the Atlantic had gained a toehold by then, and then it was non-stop unsettled, and pretty dull if I remember right. Unusually severe night time thunderstorms in cloudy rPm airmasses provided an interesting diversion at times, though.

I seem to remember September 1981 being rather like 1999. Great until the 10th, then persistently unsettled with some really heavy rain at times. Thereafter the similarity ended: October 1981 was dull and wet while the remainder of autumn 1999 was pretty benign.

1995 was also very unsettled in this area, despite forecasts at the end of August of a dry, benign, 1989-like September.  A cold front came through from the northeast, an unusual direction, on September 2nd producing a short period of rain accompanied by thunder. The high then retrogressed into the Atlantic with a cool, showery but bright weekend with northerlies or NW-lies. Thereafter a southerly jet-stream broke through and we had two really active lows in the first 10 days with heavy rain. However there were brighter Pm days in between with some entertaining showers on I think the 5th.

From 11th-17th 1995 a slack cyclonic setup took hold, with showery conditions. Winds were westerly at first but became NE-ly the weekend of the 16th, and overnight 14/15th we had some really heavy convective rain, though without thunder. I remember the cloud for this looking decidedly menacing as it retreated on the morning of the 15th. The 16/17th brought showery hazy weather with NE-ly winds.

Then a week or so of more settled interlude, before bog-standard changeable autumnal westerlies took over around the 23rd. Then of course that memorable October, and the most interesting winter since 1986/87...

Incidentally, there seems to be something of a pattern for recent Septembers beginning on a Wednesday (1993, 1999, 2004 and 2010). All started fine and settled, to a varying degree. Then all became more unsettled, again to a varying degree, between around the 5th and 12th. This varied from 1993 at one extreme (fine and sunny first week, then very cyclonic and wet) and 2004 the other (fine first 9 days, then nondescript westerlies but quite dry in the south). Wonder if this year, the first Sep to begin on a Wednesday since 2010, will continue the trend: some forecasts are suggesting yes.

Edited by Summer8906
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Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
17 hours ago, MP-R said:

 

The 2000s brought the best Septembers.

 

Sept 2000 was a shocker ..wettest since 1976 leading the charge into the wettest Autumn on record

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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm-by-day sunny thundery summers , short cold snowy winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
1 hour ago, cheeky_monkey said:

Sept 2000 was a shocker ..wettest since 1976 leading the charge into the wettest Autumn on record

Furthermore I think the majority of the rain fell from the 18th onwards - the first 17 days were (in the south) mostly nondescript cloudy westerlies with the odd bit of light rain - with a fine weekend 2nd/3rd and a brief heatwave on the 10th.

The westerly suddenly became an elongated low  over the UK, if I remember right, giving convective downpours and then the jetstream dropped, setting in motion the extreme cyclonic autumn and early winter that some of us thought would never end.

That said it's been a while since the last really bad September, though 2017 was pretty poor if I remember right and the last 10 days so of 2019 were enough to make the month as a whole distinctly wet, despite the dry first three weeks.

Edited by Summer8906
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Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
2 hours ago, cheeky_monkey said:

Sept 2000 was a shocker ..wettest since 1976 leading the charge into the wettest Autumn on record

That's obviously not one of the good Septembers I was referring to then was it lol.

2002, 2003, 2007 and 2009 were particularly settled.

2004, 2005 and 2006 all had warm spells in the first half of the month, then became their respective degrees of unsettled. In 2004 from the 10th, 2006 from the 12th after an already unsettled opening, and 2005 replaced the thundery summery unsettled type with autumnal weather from the 23rd.

That leaves 2000, 2001 and 2008 as the least nice Septembers. 2000 and 2008 very wet and dull, 2001 just dull but not that wet here until later on.

I'd say the Septembers of the 2010s featured a mixture of the poor ones of the 90s and the better ones of the 00s in each respective month. Only 2014 stands out as notably settled, and to a lesser extent 2018. 

 

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

I remember pointing this out some time ago, I think the dry/settled-sunny relationship is stronger in the south-west of Britain than in the east.  The Septembers of 1996 and 2014, and to a lesser extent 2002, were fairly dull in the east despite being very dry, but averaged nationally both 1996 and 2002 were somewhat sunnier than average.  September 2014 was sunnier than average only in the west.  Cloud off the North Sea when the high is unfavourably placed tends to be the main reason.  I guess dry, settled but cloudy months are less common in the west due to the tendency for westerlies to bring rain as well as cloud.

With just limited regional exceptions here and there, there was a run of sunny Septembers from 2002 to 2007 inclusive, all of which were also warmer and/or drier than average for most.  I have fond memories of most of those Septembers, I think 2003 may be the pick of the bunch for me because of its contrasting episodes and warm days and cool nights.  I remember the September of 2008 being a shock to the system after what I had got used to over the previous six years.

The 1990s were a real mixed bag, as we had plenty of fine sunny weather in 1991 and 1997 in particular.  1999 has been mentioned in a few posts, that one had a fair amount of regional variation, as in Tyneside that month was sunny all the way through despite a rather wet, thundery second half, and felt like a continuation of the summer, but some other regions were quite dull in the second half.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

I remember reading about the Stokesley, N Yorkshire floods of 11th September 1976 when water 2m deep flowed through the village and 140-145mm of rain fell at nearby Kildale and Danby. All the more remarkable in view of what had gone before during the summer of 1976. I recall an overnight storm around about that time in Surrey when 2ins of rain fell, but in the context of the heavy rain which fell widely in the period 11th to 28th September, it was quickly forgotten. I can't recall when the Minister of Drought (Denis Howell) left his job, having achieved his aims and outcomes, but I imagine it was before the end of September!

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Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
11 hours ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

I remember pointing this out some time ago, I think the dry/settled-sunny relationship is stronger in the south-west of Britain than in the east.  The Septembers of 1996 and 2014, and to a lesser extent 2002, were fairly dull in the east despite being very dry, but averaged nationally both 1996 and 2002 were somewhat sunnier than average.  September 2014 was sunnier than average only in the west.  

With just limited regional exceptions here and there, there was a run of sunny Septembers from 2002 to 2007 inclusive, all of which were also warmer and/or drier than average for most.  I have fond memories of most of those Septembers, I think 2003 may be the pick of the bunch for me because of its contrasting episodes and warm days and cool nights.  I remember the September of 2008 being a shock to the system after what I had got used to over the previous six years.

Must've been quite far west, as both 2002 and 2014 did suffer from lingering cloud here too - either all day or taking until the afternoon to clear. Contrast that with some of the more mobile Septembers that were actually a lot sunnier e.g. 2005. Definitely agree about 2003 - that's probably the gold standard of Septembers, I remember it well. 2004, on the other hand, went downhill rapidly from the 10th and there was a run of very wet sporting fixtures during that month; it was also very dull after the sunny start. 2005 much better - an interesting one as high pressure was rarely overhead but conditions were often fine. 2006's feature was the warmth, but it was rarely settled; in fact the second half of the month was actually quite thundery. 2007 was a bit like 2002 in reverse here, with the unsettled weather at the end rather than the start, but the benign conditions often plagued by cloud. 2008 was then the worst September since 2000! At least 2009 was another very settled one, but yet again a number of benign days plagued by cloud.

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Posted
  • Location: Saltdean,Nr Brighton,East Sussex,Hither Green,SE London.
  • Location: Saltdean,Nr Brighton,East Sussex,Hither Green,SE London.

My interest here has to be the extreme weather events from tornados to flash floods and violent gusts.

All gets my mouth watering!

We are told we live in an age of extreme weather events due to climate change, but our weather in the U.K seems less extreme imo in recent years compared to our recent history...

I am sure those who have encountered flash flooding would disagree with me.

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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm-by-day sunny thundery summers , short cold snowy winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
On 23/08/2021 at 22:49, Thundery wintry showers said:

I remember pointing this out some time ago, I think the dry/settled-sunny relationship is stronger in the south-west of Britain than in the east.  The Septembers of 1996 and 2014, and to a lesser extent 2002, were fairly dull in the east despite being very dry, but averaged nationally both 1996 and 2002 were somewhat sunnier than average.  September 2014 was sunnier than average only in the west.  Cloud off the North Sea when the high is unfavourably placed tends to be the main reason.  I guess dry, settled but cloudy months are less common in the west due to the tendency for westerlies to bring rain as well as cloud.

In Hampshire 1996 and 2002 both seemed to be predominantly sunny with low humidity and rather moderate temps, so I guess we were far enough west in these years. However I do remember 2014 as being more cloudy than either of those two - though I seem to remember dull anticyclonic SW-lies with tropical maritime air trapped in the high was the main culprit.

On 23/08/2021 at 22:49, Thundery wintry showers said:

With just limited regional exceptions here and there, there was a run of sunny Septembers from 2002 to 2007 inclusive, all of which were also warmer and/or drier than average for most.  I have fond memories of most of those Septembers, I think 2003 may be the pick of the bunch for me because of its contrasting episodes and warm days and cool nights.  I remember the September of 2008 being a shock to the system after what I had got used to over the previous six years.

2008 was probably only bad relative to the 2000s-norm; I would agree it was more unsettled than 2001-2007 and 2009. The 2000s did indeed produce a notable run of settled Septembers. 2008 had a long spell of fine settled weather here from at least the 13th until the very end of the month, with the fine weather still here on the weekend of the 27th/28th. I think a northerly plunge arrived right on the last day.

The first 12 days were unsettled I believe but I was in Spain from the 4th-12th so for me, it was a notably warm and sunny month overall... just what was needed after what must be the dullest August of my lifetime!

On 23/08/2021 at 22:49, Thundery wintry showers said:

The 1990s were a real mixed bag, as we had plenty of fine sunny weather in 1991 and 1997 in particular.  1999 has been mentioned in a few posts, that one had a fair amount of regional variation, as in Tyneside that month was sunny all the way through despite a rather wet, thundery second half, and felt like a continuation of the summer, but some other regions were quite dull in the second half.

1990 and 1991 were mostly fine, though 1991 was rather like 2019 in the sense that there was a dramatic deterioration round the equinox. 1992 wasn't too bad here in the south, 1993-95 unsettled, 1996-97 notably fine, 1998 rather unsettled but with one very nice week just after mid-month, and 1999 has already been discussed.

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Posted
  • Location: Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Weather Preferences: Heat, sun and thunderstorms in summer. Cold sunny days and snow in winter
  • Location: Birmingham, West Midlands
On 23/08/2021 at 22:49, Thundery wintry showers said:

With just limited regional exceptions here and there, there was a run of sunny Septembers from 2002 to 2007 inclusive, all of which were also warmer and/or drier than average for most.  I have fond memories of most of those Septembers, I think 2003 may be the pick of the bunch for me because of its contrasting episodes and warm days and cool nights.  I remember the September of 2008 being a shock to the system after what I had got used to over the previous six years.

I can remember September 2008 being a continuation of that year's poor summer - being particularly unsettled during the first week of that month. From around the 20th onwards, it became more settled with some calm sunny days and cool nights.

Edited by Weather Enthusiast91
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