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Memories of 1986


Sunny76

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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London

It’s been a while since we did one of these, but I’m not sure 86 has been covered.

Here goes:

I remember a cold February and March, have no memory of January.

Just remember it being cold and dull for long periods of the year, and the only warm and sunny spell i remember was in June. It was hot and sunny for a couple of weeks.

After this, the summer seemed very poor with dull and cool weather. August had some overnight storms on a weekend, over the London and southern area. 
 

Don’t remember the autumn.

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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

I remember camping on the Surrey / Hants border during the Spring Bank Holiday week of 1986 and it was uniformly cloudy but dry, in fact I don't recall seeing the sun at all that week. Quite a contrast with the same week and location in 1985 which started off humid and thundery and ended up with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Late July 1986 saw us camping in Dorset and whilst the weather was better than in 1985 in Shropshire (not difficult!), it was certainly not days of sun and heat. Probably the best day was the day of Andrew and Fergie's wedding which I think may have been a bank holiday. 

Philip Eden noted:

28-30 Jan 1986 - heavy snow in the Midlands and up into Derbyshire and Yorkshire

February 1986 - freezing rain in N England, Midlands and Wales and heavy snow on 6th-7th in parts of the Home Counties, Hants and IOW.

25-26th August 1986 - the famous 'Hurricane Charlie' depression which brought heavy rain and chaos in England over the August Bank Holiday, with 25-50mm over a record wide area. I was lucky in being in Scotland where the Monday was not a bank holiday and I climbed Ben Lomond in the dry and without incident.      

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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
1 hour ago, A Face like Thunder said:

I remember camping on the Surrey / Hants border during the Spring Bank Holiday week of 1986 and it was uniformly cloudy but dry, in fact I don't recall seeing the sun at all that week. Quite a contrast with the same week and location in 1985 which started off humid and thundery and ended up with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Late July 1986 saw us camping in Dorset and whilst the weather was better than in 1985 in Shropshire (not difficult!), it was certainly not days of sun and heat. Probably the best day was the day of Andrew and Fergie's wedding which I think may have been a bank holiday. 

Philip Eden noted:

28-30 Jan 1986 - heavy snow in the Midlands and up into Derbyshire and Yorkshire

February 1986 - freezing rain in N England, Midlands and Wales and heavy snow on 6th-7th in parts of the Home Counties, Hants and IOW.

25-26th August 1986 - the famous 'Hurricane Charlie' depression which brought heavy rain and chaos in England over the August Bank Holiday, with 25-50mm over a record wide area. I was lucky in being in Scotland where the Monday was not a bank holiday and I climbed Ben Lomond in the dry and without incident.      

You missed the overnight August thunderstorms.

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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)

February was not only very cold...but very dull and not much in the way of snow..kind of reminds me of the weather you can get here esp in late Feb early March 

April was horribly cold and wet... the worst Spring month i can ever remember bar none

Summer wasn't great either 

Autumn must have been ok because i don't really remember it weather wise 

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

I have the feeling we've done 1986 already - but will post anyhow as the year featured some very interesting spells of weather (mixed with some pretty dire ones):

I have remarkably few memories of January, suggesting the month was non-descript, and a look at the Monthly Weather Report suggests it indeed was. A rather wet and somewhat mild Atlantic-driven month, becoming much colder at the end. Memories are limited to two walks by the sea, on consecutive Sundays, at Bognor and Southsea, in rather unsettled, windy, but not wet weather - plus some cold dull weather at the end, the start of the epic spell of weather which would typify the following month.

February on the other hand was epic, and of course historic. The coldest month of my lifetime (I wasn't around in 1963), and I suspect it will remain that way given how rare real cold is nowadays. Starting cold and dull, the snow arrived on Thursday February 6th and I distinctly remember doing a school cross-country run in it. The weather remained very cold, and very, very dry, for the remainder of the month but became sunnier. The snow didn't really melt but gradually became more and more "messy" due to trampling, and frequently froze hard at night. There were some really clear, cold nights with sparkling stars.

March was a typical 80s changeable one. It started with a new heavy snowfall on Saturday 1st. Soon after that the cold spell ended and the snow thawed, but I can't actually remember the thaw. It appeared it was a 'clean' thaw with a toppling high and milder air gradually infiltrating south. The first half of the month was dry, and steadily milder, and I remember Thurs 13th, a school 'field day' being mild and sunny. However, the weather deteriorated for the second half of the month and the last 10 days were uncommonly stormy for March. However the low pressure track was further north than this March, so it wasn't quite as unpleasant as it is right now. The winds gradually veered more and more from west towards NW, resulting in increased sunshine and lower temperatures with time.

April is well known as a cold and dull month. The winds veered first N and then NE, with the low at the end of March migrating eastwards into the continent. Consequently the first few days were fairly sunny but with wintry showers, and over the weekend (6th I think) I distinctly remember a thundery shower move in from the NE. This, at the time, was quite a novelty as all other storms I can remember up to this point had moved in from the S or W.

After that there was a week of dry, very cloudy weather. In the third week the school holidays ended, and my memories also dry up, but apparently there was a dull, wet Atlantic spell - so easy to see why that was forgettable. However a brief burst of warm, hazy, bright weather with occasional showers arrived during the weekend of the 26th/27th. It was only about 16C or so, but compared to the year thus far, felt seriously warm. Winds were E-ly.

May 1986 is a month I have remarkably few memories of, compared to other Mays of the 1980s. In fact it is the 1980s May I remember least, despite there being 6 earlier Mays in the decade. Apparently bland weather was the cause: it was an uncommonly Atlantic, westerly month: rather cloudy, slightly wet and generally a bit unexciting all-round. Memories are restricted to one school field-day (again!) around the 9th or so with cloudy, dry and slightly warm weather; a Saturday which started wet and became sunnier (probably the 17th); and a lengthy spell of dry, but cool and very cloudy weather late in the month, round and just after the Bank Holiday weekend.

June 1986 was not unlike that of 1989, in the sense that it started cool and cloudy for around 10 days but then rather suddenly became warm and sunny round the 10th or so. Warm, or hot, and sunny weather then prevailed all month. There was a slight interruption on Sat 21st when a thundery low moved along the channel and produced some thundery showers shortly after dark, but the following week was sunny, humid and very hot.

July 1986 also started hot and sunny, but a rather sudden change to cooler weather occurred during the first weekend, possibly a northerly outbreak but haven't checked the charts to be sure. Apparently hot weather did come back around the 12th/13th but I can't remember it. I do remember the weather being relatively benign until around the 20th though, before deteriorating markedly and the remainder of the month was unseasonably cool, dull and damp, though the rain was not heavy.

August 1986 is well known as one of the poorest of recent times, though I was fortunate to have been out of the country, in Germany, for the first 12 days or so, during which time there were two hot spells, each ending with a violent thunderstorm, and generally warm, fine weather. As we returned (perhaps about the 12th?) there was a vast area of unseasonable fog covering much of western Germany and adjoining areas of France (Black Forest/Alsace-Lorraine/Saarland). This persisted for a whole day and the following day; we only emerged from the fog some considerable distance west in France, between Metz and Reims. I would be interested to know what caused this unseasonable foggy episode.

Back home it was dull and wet, enough to restrict outdoor activities; I seem to remember staying in a lot for a week or two. This culminated of course in the major windstorm of ex-hurricane Charley which produced perhaps the worst August bank holiday weekend of modern times; I seem to remember rain and wind all day for all three of the weekend days.

The Charley storm finally moved away and the Tues-Fri of the final week were bright, with increasing sunshine and occasional showers, if windy. Winds were generally NWly.

September was notable for settled, dry, sunny weather - quite a contrast to August. Nonetheless there was a brief dull, wet spell from the 13th to the 15th due to a channel low. It was apparently cold too though strangely I can't remember that; the sunshine and the dryness are my persistent memories. It turned a little foggy towards the end.

October was a month of two halves; first half dry, if rather cloudy, then becoming changeable with Atlantic lows, though not excessively wet as the jetstream wasn't too far south.

November was a nondescript month of zonal weather and frequent Atlantic lows, though there was about a week of dry foggy weather towards the end.

In contrast to the month that would follow, December was an utterly nondescript zonal month of frequent Atlantic lows.

 

 

Edited by Summer8906
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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

No strong memories of 1986, I was 7-8 a little too young to remember much. I do recall snow early in January coincided with a trip to a pantomime trip to Lancaster. January overall was quite wintry and cold but nothing severe.

Feb 86 vague recollections of the cold but not much snow.

March, April, May - no memories whatsoever, April was an exceptionally cold month though. A very late Spring that year.

Summer 86, one of the terrible foursome that happened between 1985-88, with an exceptionally poor wet chilly school holiday period.  Being 7-10 during those summers, I just remember many washout days where we had to stay in during the daytime, or just be wet in the rain, deep puddles everywhere.

Autumn and Dec 86 - again no memories.

1986 was a cold year, one of the coldest last 50 years or so. It featured 4 very cold months to the average, Feb, April, August and September. January and March were below average as well. 

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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
1 hour ago, Summer8906 said:

I have the feeling we've done 1986 already - but will post anyhow as the year featured some very interesting spells of weather (mixed with some pretty dire ones):

I have remarkably few memories of January, suggesting the month was non-descript, and a look at the Monthly Weather Report suggests it indeed was. A rather wet and somewhat mild Atlantic-driven month, becoming much colder at the end. Memories are limited to two walks by the sea, on consecutive Sundays, at Bognor and Southsea, in rather unsettled, windy, but not wet weather - plus some cold dull weather at the end, the start of the epic spell of weather which would typify the following month.

February on the other hand was epic, and of course historic. The coldest month of my lifetime (I wasn't around in 1963), and I suspect it will remain that way given how rare real cold is nowadays. Starting cold and dull, the snow arrived on Thursday February 6th and I distinctly remember doing a school cross-country run in it. The weather remained very cold, and very, very dry, for the remainder of the month but became sunnier. The snow didn't really melt but gradually became more and more "messy" due to trampling, and frequently froze hard at night. There were some really clear, cold nights with sparkling stars.

March was a typical 80s changeable one. It started with a new heavy snowfall on Saturday 1st. Soon after that the cold spell ended and the snow thawed, but I can't actually remember the thaw. It appeared it was a 'clean' thaw with a toppling high and milder air gradually infiltrating south. The first half of the month was dry, and steadily milder, and I remember Thurs 13th, a school 'field day' being mild and sunny. However, the weather deteriorated for the second half of the month and the last 10 days were uncommonly stormy for March. However the low pressure track was further north than this March, so it wasn't quite as unpleasant as it is right now. The winds gradually veered more and more from west towards NW, resulting in increased sunshine and lower temperatures with time.

April is well known as a cold and dull month. The winds veered first N and then NE, with the low at the end of March migrating eastwards into the continent. Consequently the first few days were fairly sunny but with wintry showers, and over the weekend (6th I think) I distinctly remember a thundery shower move in from the NE. This, at the time, was quite a novelty as all other storms I can remember up to this point had moved in from the S or W.

After that there was a week of dry, very cloudy weather. In the third week the school holidays ended, and my memories also dry up, but apparently there was a dull, wet Atlantic spell - so easy to see why that was forgettable. However a brief burst of warm, hazy, bright weather with occasional showers arrived during the weekend of the 26th/27th. It was only about 16C or so, but compared to the year thus far, felt seriously warm. Winds were E-ly.

May 1986 is a month I have remarkably few memories of, compared to other Mays of the 1980s. In fact it is the 1980s May I remember least, despite there being 6 earlier Mays in the decade. Apparently bland weather was the cause: it was an uncommonly Atlantic, westerly month: rather cloudy, slightly wet and generally a bit unexciting all-round. Memories are restricted to one school field-day (again!) around the 9th or so with cloudy, dry and slightly warm weather; a Saturday which started wet and became sunnier (probably the 17th); and a lengthy spell of dry, but cool and very cloudy weather late in the month, round and just after the Bank Holiday weekend.

June 1986 was not unlike that of 1989, in the sense that it started cool and cloudy for around 10 days but then rather suddenly became warm and sunny round the 10th or so. Warm, or hot, and sunny weather then prevailed all month. There was a slight interruption on Sat 21st when a thundery low moved along the channel and produced some thundery showers shortly after dark, but the following week was sunny, humid and very hot.

July 1986 also started hot and sunny, but a rather sudden change to cooler weather occurred during the first weekend, possibly a northerly outbreak but haven't checked the charts to be sure. Apparently hot weather did come back around the 12th/13th but I can't remember it. I do remember the weather being relatively benign until around the 20th though, before deteriorating markedly and the remainder of the month was unseasonably cool, dull and damp, though the rain was not heavy.

August 1986 is well known as one of the poorest of recent times, though I was fortunate to have been out of the country, in Germany, for the first 12 days or so, during which time there were two hot spells, each ending with a violent thunderstorm, and generally warm, fine weather. As we returned (perhaps about the 12th?) there was a vast area of unseasonable fog covering much of western Germany and adjoining areas of France (Black Forest/Alsace-Lorraine/Saarland). This persisted for a whole day and the following day; we only emerged from the fog some considerable distance west in France, between Metz and Reims. I would be interested to know what caused this unseasonable foggy episode.

Back home it was dull and wet, enough to restrict outdoor activities; I seem to remember staying in a lot for a week or two. This culminated of course in the major windstorm of ex-hurricane Charley which produced perhaps the worst August bank holiday weekend of modern times; I seem to remember rain and wind all day for all three of the weekend days.

The Charley storm finally moved away and the Tues-Fri of the final week were bright, with increasing sunshine and occasional showers, if windy. Winds were generally NWly.

September was notable for settled, dry, sunny weather - quite a contrast to August. Nonetheless there was a brief dull, wet spell from the 13th to the 15th due to a channel low. It was apparently cold too though strangely I can't remember that; the sunshine and the dryness are my persistent memories. It turned a little foggy towards the end.

October was a month of two halves; first half dry, if rather cloudy, then becoming changeable with Atlantic lows, though not excessively wet as the jetstream wasn't too far south.

November was a nondescript month of zonal weather and frequent Atlantic lows, though there was about a week of dry foggy weather towards the end.

In contrast to the month that would follow, December was an utterly nondescript zonal month of frequent Atlantic lows.

 

 

We talked about the thunderstorms of early august 1986 in another conversation, but I don’t think we ever did a full year review.

I do remember some violent overnight thunderstorms during a Sunday night into a Monday morning, during the August period. It was cloudy and humid, so it must have been warm or even hot and humid to create those storm systems.

This could have been part of the same system that produced the fog over Germany. 
 

 

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

This picture taken somewhere on the 27th of April, 1986 is quite indicative of how cold that spring was. The trees have barely any leaves going into May. Even in 2021 by this point there was some growth due to the warm spell in March. Could contain: Bus, Minibus, Transportation, Van, Vehicle, Person, Machine, Wheel

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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm-by-day sunny thundery summers , short cold snowy winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
2 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

This picture taken somewhere on the 27th of April, 1986 is quite indicative of how cold that spring was. The trees have barely any leaves going into May. Even in 2021 by this point there was some growth due to the warm spell in March. Could contain: Bus, Minibus, Transportation, Van, Vehicle, Person, Machine, Wheel

Indeed, very backward, reminiscent of 2013.

I think the weekend of the 26th/27th April was literally the only time that month it was warmer than average.

The brightly-coloured minibus on public service is also very much a "sign of the times", I could pin that photo down to between about 1986-93 just based on that.

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Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m
3 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

This picture taken somewhere on the 27th of April, 1986 is quite indicative of how cold that spring was. The trees have barely any leaves going into May. Even in 2021 by this point there was some growth due to the warm spell in March. Could contain: Bus, Minibus, Transportation, Van, Vehicle, Person, Machine, Wheel

The spring of 1986  is almost certainly the latest of any in my lifetime.The only other spring i could think of that would be similar would be 1979 with 2013 and 1996 a little way back.You have to remember the cold that season started at the end of October 1985 followed by the coldest November in a century,a cool,showery and cold end to December,a cold and changeable January with wintery spells,a subzero February ,a cold and wintery March and the coldest April since 1917.

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

Wasn't aware the autumn of 1986 was so sunny. It's the fourth sunniest autumn on record. Always knew September 1986 was the strange cool but sunny but it was very sunny apparently and October and November were both decently sunny too apparently.

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