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About this blog

After a truly dreadful 2015 for missing out on thunder events in Guildford, where thunder was heard on only 6 days in the entire year and only 2 of those days can be considered as 'moderate' I think something better is due in 2016. Furthermore, the active window of thunder activity last year was a pathetic 3 months 1 week (19th May to 26th August), probably the shortest season ever. There were thunder events 'there and everywhere but here' virtually every week within this period without counting the let-downs during the 2014/15 winter and after late August. 

However, I cannot see any improvement in the general pattern and suspect this year will be as big a let-down as last year. Might be fun to document how bad it really gets this year right from the beginning. Might as well start today as the first really annoying 'bust' is unfolding right at present. 

After missing the hailstorms and thunder by the usual 10 mile distance last Sunday (Easter Sunday) I vowed to give it until September when my holidays are over. If I have not witnessed a decent thunder event by mid-September, then it is time to renew the passport and book a trip to the USA to go storm chasing in 2017 and not book my annual Cornwall trip for a change.

I cannot believe how unlucky the Guildford area has been in the last 19 months with missing out on so much where there still seems to have been a considerable amount of thunderstorm activity always around 10 miles away or just further, in any direction, typically the limit of thunder audibility. Also typical is the sods law factor - Guildford getting a storm on the few days of the year when I am away from the area. Case in point is the forecast for next Saturday (9th April) - guaranteed to verify - and the area where I am visiting (Herefordshire) will be cold with slight showers and no thunder risk. 

 

The Busts and Let-Downs of 2016 to date.

(1) Sunday 7th February: Active cold front arrives just before midnight. Torrential rain and some hail. Thunder reported from Warlingham (2 discharges) as well as heavy hail. Flashes seen locally but despite having windows open and looking out for lightning activity, none was seen. 

(2) Wednesday 2nd March: Thunder at Warlingham associated with hail showers.

(3) Sunday 27th March: Heavy showers through morning. Soaked and frozen on Easter Sunday bike ride to Leith Hill, Ockley and Cranleigh. Hail reported at Guildford at home, heavy hail at Woking and thundery activity northwards including Reading, Bracknell and Maidenhead . Thunder at Warlingham - again.  

(4) Sunday 3rd April: Usual 2015-type let-down. Thundery activity forecast for S.E. (typical that S.E. get the storms while Guildford always misses out, yet when drizzle and dross is in the forecast for the S.E., Guildford is always in the firing line). 
Guildford just too far west to benefit today with all the storms moving N.N.W. at just too far a distance to see lightning or hear thunder and miss the more interesting rainfall event. Thunder reported at Warlingham yet again.
2016 so far: Warlingham 4 - Guildford Nil.
How many more times are we going to have to endure this glorified Kent / Sussex / London clipper which was the theme of the entire summer last year?     

Entries in this blog

 

Wednesday 8th June

A major disappointment. Now up to Bust No.24. No.21: Sunday 5th June: Failed forecast of scattered thundery showers. One large cell near Wellington, Somerset. No.22: Monday 6th June: Failed forecast of scattered thundery showers for local area. Widespread and intense activity over west again, Ireland and Irish sea. No.23: Tuesday 7th June: MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT AND LET-DOWN. The last two entries were mildly annoying - today's bust has been the most infuriating event for many years.

Severe Blizzard

Severe Blizzard

 

May - Continued lack of activity

May has yielded NO thunder (or even any distant lightning) in Guildford. There have been 20 'busts' in 2016 now - a truly horrendous figure. Getting thoroughly bored writing about missing out on thunderstorms while seeing the usual areas enjoying another 'good' convective and thundery year. Can't believe that the sum total of two 'good' convective months, April and May, can only deal out two rumbles locally (26th April) and one of those two months is completely thunder-free, again. Aft

Severe Blizzard

Severe Blizzard

 

Thursday 28th April: Bust No.9

Frontal system crossing UK was supposed to bring heavy rainfall and was NOT supposed to be thundery. S.E. gets massive downgrade with barely any rain while there was an unpleasant gusty wind instead. Meanwhile, parts of the Midlands including Bolton, Lancashire saw big upgrade with outbreak of thunderstorms along the cold front - this was a surprise and not forecast. Cannot remember when there was last such a surprise here in Guildford, possibly 28th July 2014!   Firmly get the impression t

Severe Blizzard

Severe Blizzard

 

Tuesday 26th April: Partial success.

Thunder heard at 4:31 pm from cell to N.E. giving heavy soft hail shower over Ripley at this time. Further rumble at 4:37 pm. First thunder heard for exactly 8 months, previous being 26th August 2015. Good to finally have our first event of the year, although it was not from an overhead source. There had been moderate soft hail showers at 3:43 pm and another at 7:30 pm (Guildford).

Severe Blizzard

Severe Blizzard

 

Bust No.8 - Thursday 14th April

More thundery showers in the south midlands, including Cambridgeshire areas and parts of East Anglia.  Thundery showers were supposed to also affect areas to the south such as Surrey. Also annoying that thunder risk over all the next few days has been downgraded for Guildford area - no doubt this will verify as nothing thundery or snow-related ever upgrades for this location. Meanwhile, another hard-earned day off (Friday 15th) to be ruined by the usual drizzle and light rain dross with ano

Severe Blizzard

Severe Blizzard

 

Bust No.7 - Wednesday 13th April

Convergence line develops over area just to the south of Guildford with hopeful darkening of sky to S.S.W. at 1700. Light shower of large droplets at 1718~1730. Cu develop overhead and to north after 1730 and evident heavy shower to north and N.E. to at least 1900. Rainfall radar showed sferics only 4 miles from home. No thunder actually heard.  Also, quite good thunderstorm evident over Canterbury earlier in afternoon and the usual traditional areas that 'do well' (Peterborough and pa

Severe Blizzard

Severe Blizzard

 

Thursday 7th & Tuesday 12th April - 2 more busts

Bust No.5; Thursday 7th April: Morning drizzle finally gave way to decent convection after 1500. There was an impressive heavy shower at 1635~1650 giving ice pellets at 1640 and slightly larger 4~5 mm hail at 1642~1647. An impressive shower and so close to getting that elusive thunder - expecting a flash and bang during the most intense part of the rain and hail mix. Some sferics observed to the north and east including the Twickenham area and, earlier to the N.W. over Reading and Berkshire.  

Severe Blizzard

Severe Blizzard

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