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The most severe thundery outbreak in recorded U.K. history?


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Posted
  • Location: Islington
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing cold snowy winters & unsettled summers.
  • Location: Islington
    Posted (edited)

    Most likely impossible to say, but I do wonder what the most intense thundery plume/spell ever was, at least in recorded history - taking into account severity (lightning strikes, rainfall rates, hail etc) and how widespread the storms were, also including fatalities as well.

    I recall reading how widespread the storms of July 1, 1968 were so maybe that's up there with the worst (or best).

    What do you think? More a question of pondering than having an exact answer!

    Edited by LetItSnow!
    title edit
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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    Thanks for this post. Interesting. By their nature, thundery spells tend to be localised and I recall the 1st July 1968 was the hottest day of a turgid summer in the South East, with the sun out all day. Fast forward ten days, and a wide area of England suffered severe flooding, with several sites in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire receiving over 100mm of rain (Philip Eden). I'm not sure whether this included thundery activity. In terms of such activity, one could perhaps turn back to Derby Day 31st May 1911 when a thunderstorm and lightning resulted in 17 fatalities in the London area, with another 7 deaths resulting from lightning strikes in London three years later on 14th June 1914. In more modern times, there was a truly dramatic thunderstorm on 5th September 1958 affecting a wide area of SE England, with huge rainfall totals, tornadoes and the largest authentic hailstone in the UK. In the last ten years, I would rate mid-September 2016 as the most thundery spell, with a game at Man City being called off following a thunderstorm which moved through Cheshire earlier, and a real 'humdinger' of a thunderstorm two nights later which kept us awake in a hotel at Alton in Hants for most of the night and caused extensive flooding.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield
  • Weather Preferences: thunderstorms, heatwaves, snow
  • Location: Sheffield
    3 minutes ago, A Face like Thunder said:

    Thanks for this post. Interesting. By their nature, thundery spells tend to be localised and I recall the 1st July 1968 was the hottest day of a turgid summer in the South East, with the sun out all day. Fast forward ten days, and a wide area of England suffered severe flooding, with several sites in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire receiving over 100mm of rain (Philip Eden). I'm not sure whether this included thundery activity. In terms of such activity, one could perhaps turn back to Derby Day 31st May 1911 when a thunderstorm and lightning resulted in 17 fatalities in the London area, with another 7 deaths resulting from lightning strikes in London three years later on 14th June 1914. In more modern times, there was a truly dramatic thunderstorm on 5th September 1958 affecting a wide area of SE England, with huge rainfall totals, tornadoes and the largest authentic hailstone in the UK. In the last ten years, I would rate mid-September 2016 as the most thundery spell, with a game at Man City being called off following a thunderstorm which moved through Cheshire earlier, and a real 'humdinger' of a thunderstorm two nights later which kept us awake in a hotel at Alton in Hants for most of the night and caused extensive flooding.

    importedImage149214_header
    WWW.ITV.COM

    Manchester City's Champions League game against Borussia Monchengladbach has been called off due to heavy a storm | ITV National News

     

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

    I am fortunate enough to have witnessed the 'Halifax storm' the most intense rainfall which holds the UK 2 hour rainfall record of 198mm.There is however debate on the accuracy of this figure but it was the blackest cloud i have ever seen and i was drenched with water overflowing my wellingtons and we were only at the edge of the storm,19th May 1989.

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

    I am fortunate enough to have witnessed the 'Halifax storm' the most intense rainfall which holds the UK 2 hour rainfall record of 198mm.There is however debate on the accuracy of this figure but it was the blackest cloud i have ever seen and i was drenched with water overflowing my wellingtons and we were only at the edge of the storm,19th May 1989.

    Quite an incredible feat for a chart like this:

    archives-1989-5-19-12-0.png

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire
    Posted (edited)

    Perhaps surprisingly, although the thunderstorms of 6th August 1981 are probably best remembered for 'when day turned into night' in London & the SE, the heaviest rainfall was actually recorded at Eaton near Tarporley in my adopted NW and at Norton Junction, near Daventry, Northamptonshire, in both cases 132mm of rain (P Eden), so widespread.

    Edited by A Face like Thunder
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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    If we look back 20 years, the period between 29th July and 9th August 2002 saw widespread thundery activity and flooding, including Fylingdales and Pickering in N Yorkshire - 115mm - on 2nd August where I took this picture, Penistone (S Yorkshire), Leeming (NY) and Hampstead (London).

    pickering flood 5.jpg

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    Posted (edited)
    2 hours ago, MP-R said:

    Quite an incredible feat for a chart like this:

    archives-1989-5-19-12-0.png

    Indeed - and down in the south (in NW Sussex specifically) I don't recall even the slightest hint of thunder on that day. If I remember right it was perhaps 10 days of continuous sunshine until the 24th when we did finally get storms down here.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Stevenage Herts
  • Location: Stevenage Herts

    I remember a big storm in herts or several in herts in 1998 that lasted from 8am till 4pm in the afternoon and also a very noisy storm in  1979 80 that was two storms meeting

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    Posted
  • Location: East coast side of the Yorkshire Wolds, 66m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storms, and plenty of warm sunny days!
  • Location: East coast side of the Yorkshire Wolds, 66m ASL
    Posted (edited)

    The storm that i always remember as a kid was the 9/7/84, the night the York Minster got struck, i cant recall ever hearing thunder that loud, i remember my father coming into our bedroom to check we were ok and to re-assure us everything was ok, (i was petrified of thunder n lightening as a kid) then getting up next morning and watching the scenes from York on breakfast Tv, it maybe statistically doesn't feature that high but it was very memorable for me personally,

    Edited by Wold Topper
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    Posted
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines
  • Weather Preferences: Summer heat and winter cold, and a bit of snow when on offer
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines
    3 hours ago, hillbilly said:

    I am fortunate enough to have witnessed the 'Halifax storm' the most intense rainfall which holds the UK 2 hour rainfall record of 198mm.There is however debate on the accuracy of this figure but it was the blackest cloud i have ever seen and i was drenched with water overflowing my wellingtons and we were only at the edge of the storm,19th May 1989.

    I remember this storm but as is often the case, it was very localised and even though we are only about 10 miles west of Walshaw Dean Reservoirs where the 198mm figure was recorded, we had nothing.

    there must have been massive damage down in Hebden Bridge and Luddenden Foot.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    July 1955 was a curious month. London had only 16% of average rainfall, yet Martinstown in Dorset had a (then) UK record 24 hour rainfall amounting to 279mm, most of which fell in 10 hours, with 100mm+ in an area of over 800 sq km. And, according to Eden,  at least 14 people were killed by lightning during the month. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire
    55 minutes ago, iand61 said:

    I remember this storm but as is often the case, it was very localised and even though we are only about 10 miles west of Walshaw Dean Reservoirs where the 198mm figure was recorded, we had nothing.

    there must have been massive damage down in Hebden Bridge and Luddenden Foot.

    Ditto Hampstead on 14th August 1975 when 171mm of rain fell in 150 minutes, and yet where I was working about 5 miles away, there was no rainfall at all.

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    Posted
  • Location: Telford
  • Weather Preferences: Heat, thunderstorms and snowy or frosty winters
  • Location: Telford

    I don't know why but 1994 seems to stick in my mind as a very thundery year whether it was being a kid at the time that made the memory of looking back at storms made them seem more severe I'm not too sure but there was one on that year around the June or July that started in the early evening and rumbled on well into the night with some of the most colourful lightning I remember one flash being a vivid lilac colour, I also remember it causing a powercut that lasted for hours from around 7:30pm to around 10 or elevenish, the thunder was shotgun loud and I remember it feeling like it shook the house, it would be interesting if anybody has any information on storm activity from around this time for the Midlands area.

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

     

    image.thumb.png.91f92d6fc0e828c56b86af660af8eb7b.png

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Reading the reports from mid July 1923, I posted an old article on this years ago, that was a hell of a storm/series of storms that hit the SE/London area. 

    A peak rate of 47 flashes per minute was recorded. 

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    6 hours ago, Weather-history said:

    Reading the reports from mid July 1923, I posted an old article on this years ago, that was a hell of a storm/series of storms that hit the SE/London area. 

    A peak rate of 47 flashes per minute was recorded. 

     

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    9D8bGXT.jpgYLYz5aG.jpgglGP34M.jpgIobG5hy.jpg

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    Posted
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines
  • Weather Preferences: Summer heat and winter cold, and a bit of snow when on offer
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines
    8 hours ago, A Face like Thunder said:

    Ditto Hampstead on 14th August 1975 when 171mm of rain fell in 150 minutes, and yet where I was working about 5 miles away, there was no rainfall at all.

    We had a storm here in mid July 1975 which dumped almost 50mm of rain in under an hour and caused damage throughout the town.

    However what little movement there was took it towards Todmorden and a couple of miles down the valley it was completely dry.

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    16 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

    Most likely impossible to say, but I do wonder what the most intense thundery plume/spell ever was, at least in recorded history - taking into account severity (lightning strikes, rainfall rates, hail etc) and how widespread the storms were, also including fatalities as well.

    I recall reading how widespread the storms of July 1, 1968 were so maybe that's up there with the worst (or best).

    What do you think? More a question of pondering than having an exact answer!

    For me, it was the 5th or 6th of August 1981. I was only 5 at the time, but remember it being pitch black darkness outside during the mid morning(9-11ish or maybe 12), and being quite scared during the event.

    My mum was babysitting at the time, and I have vague memories of sitting in the living room, while Chant No1 by Spandau Ballet was played on the radio. Lol

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    16 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

    Most likely impossible to say, but I do wonder what the most intense thundery plume/spell ever was, at least in recorded history - taking into account severity (lightning strikes, rainfall rates, hail etc) and how widespread the storms were, also including fatalities as well.

    I recall reading how widespread the storms of July 1, 1968 were so maybe that's up there with the worst (or best).

    What do you think? More a question of pondering than having an exact answer!

    Another storm or set of storms were the ones that hit London on Friday in late June 1994(24th I think?), while I watching the USA World Cup with my uncle.

    Brazil hammered Cameroon 3-0. And what a Brazil team that was btw.(we supported them, as England didn’t qualify that time round)

    Back to the storms, and it was a hot week of sunny weather, with some dry heat type days and a breeze. It turned increasingly hot and humid on the Thursday and Friday, then  the storms rolled in around 8pm until after dark.

     

    Another severe one was on a late august Friday evening in 1987. Similar to the June 94 storms, with more storms during the night and next day. That was also during a hot spell.

    Early June 1996 had some storms I think after a week of hot weather, and this followed a very cold May.

     

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    11 hours ago, biddie said:

    I remember a big storm in herts or several in herts in 1998 that lasted from 8am till 4pm in the afternoon and also a very noisy storm in  1979 80 that was two storms meeting

    My family told me we got hit by a storm in June 1980, while on a canal trip in broxbourne herts. Could this be the same one?

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    10 hours ago, Row w said:

    I don't know why but 1994 seems to stick in my mind as a very thundery year whether it was being a kid at the time that made the memory of looking back at storms made them seem more severe I'm not too sure but there was one on that year around the June or July that started in the early evening and rumbled on well into the night with some of the most colourful lightning I remember one flash being a vivid lilac colour, I also remember it causing a powercut that lasted for hours from around 7:30pm to around 10 or elevenish, the thunder was shotgun loud and I remember it feeling like it shook the house, it would be interesting if anybody has any information on storm activity from around this time for the Midlands area.

    Being 18 at the time, I can certainly tell you that 1994 was a very thundery summer.

    I remember the Friday evening and into the night one in June 1994, then another one in July on a Tuesday night, which happened during the hot spell and temps around 33-34c. This was the hottest period of weather since 1990 at the time.

    I think we had another storm in early August. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire
    10 hours ago, Weather-history said:

    Reading the reports from mid July 1923, I posted an old article on this years ago, that was a hell of a storm/series of storms that hit the SE/London area. 

    A peak rate of 47 flashes per minute was recorded. 

     

    Yes, the storm of 9-10th July 1923 must have ranked as one of the worst ever in the UK. Philip Eden suggests that it was seen as ' the most dramatic in living memory', with Eton College chapel destroyed by fire after a lightning strike, dozens of houses struck by lightning, 103mm of rain with flooding in Seaford and Newhaven, and (a few days later) severe damage to roads railway and buildings in Inverness-shire.  

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    I recall it said that there was a huge thunderstorm on the eve of World War 2, and this is confirmed by Philip Eden who notes a widespread very thundery spell from 20th August to 2nd September 1939, with Bryanston (Dorset), Frome, Oxford, Staffs and S Yorkshire particularly badly affected. On the 21st, sadly, 7 people were killed by lightning in Valentine's Park, Ilford. An ominous sign of things to come perhaps.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    13 hours ago, iand61 said:

    I remember this storm but as is often the case, it was very localised and even though we are only about 10 miles west of Walshaw Dean Reservoirs where the 198mm figure was recorded, we had nothing.

    there must have been massive damage down in Hebden Bridge and Luddenden Foot.

     

    The Cb responsible for this storm must presumably have been visible for a huge distance if it was as localised as it sounds. Can anyone recall seeing it from afar?

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