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Summer of 95

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    Weather, stargazing, linguistics, travelling.

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  1. Yet again I wonder why if 35C heat can get from the Sahara to SE England unimpeded, it finds it so damn difficult to reach other parts of Britain? Back in the 80s/90s these "record breaking" spells would typically be low 30s and sunny over most parts of England and Wales, sometimes even into Scotland and Ireland, with London maybe 2-3 C warmer than round here. Now the sky is the limit in Londonland while it is often 8-10C cooler here, as much as 15-20C cooler further north, and it very rarely stays sunny if it isn't just cloudy to begin with. This SE versus everywhere else divide is just getting bigger and bigger, I first really noticed it happening around the early 2000s. I thought it had got silly around 10 years ago, but this summer it's been like Egypt versus Norway. Is it just my perception or is the SE really getting hotter and sunnier in summer at the expense of everywhere else. And if so, why?
  2. I'm sure I've read somewhere (might have been on uk.sci.weather years ago) that the famous West Country snowstorm of 1978(?) was forecast to hit most of the southern half of Britain with ~15cm or so but ended up somehow stuck around Devon and Dorset area, resulting in them getting feet while other places got flurries. But it's true the snowstorm that never happened could describe many a winter forecast here, just like the heatwave/thunderstorms/gales/sunshine that never happened at various times of year!
  3. Been cloudy with spots of rain here since about 1.30. Morning was beautiful, touched 30C at lunchtime, could have reached 32-33 but no the mid level cloud and drizzle had to turn up again while the East hogged all the hottest temps. The front was still in Ireland when it turned up! Nearly every one of these plumes does this nowadays, at least we got half a day of hot sunshine unlike 1st July 2015 when it turned up at 8am and wouldn't get lost all day.
  4. Looked like it was finally brightening up at 4pm and then- more horrid drizzly rain appears from somewhere. Looks nailed on now that May will have more sun than June and July combined (need the next 2 days to have 15 hours each to prevent it). 2010 had more in June than July and August combined but can't remember May doing it. Unlike June it hasn't been a particularly wet month in July in terms of actual totals, just the number of days and hours with rain has been high. Nothing convective or thundery, just drizzly stuff all the time. And when not raining it's been cloudy all the time- stratus, stratocumulus, altostratus, anything with strat in it and nothing else. Will the heatwave come off or will it just be more cloud (a la 1st July 2015)?
  5. 17.7 and 40mm We must have a half decent August at some point!
  6. June was the most thundery month here for years, also got one in May, but July... oh dear. No storms, no real convective weather, little sun or warmth, just cloud and persistent drizzly rain.
  7. I can vaguely remember at the end of summer 2008 news reports saying that farmers were calling it the worst harvest in 40 or 50 years. Both for lack of growth and difficulty in reaping it I think. I think it was the persistent rain and cloud that just wouldn't let the ground dry out and the fact that August was particularly damp and dull. 2007 and 2012 presumably not quite so bad because August was the driest summer month? I remember the shops having difficulty getting hold of some vegetables in early summer 2012 and saying it was due to the weather. I wonder what 1992 was like, that was a horribly wet August but followed a warm May and June.
  8. Raining or drizzling for 30 hours non-stop now. Much of it that horrible soaking drizzle that doesn't look heavy till you go out in it. And the temp has been between 12-14C the whole time. Late October or July? Charts showing high pressure Sat-Sun, even a couple of days of 20-21 and sunshine will be a huge improvement on what we have seen this month so far.
  9. It's very true that 2018 had no spring at all. Snow on April 2nd, then about 10 days with virtually no sunshine and single figure temps, midmonth it suddenly flipped to 20C+ and clear, like going from Feb to June almost overnight. And it stayed mostly warm and sunny until early August. The total opposite of years where it seems to be permanently spring or autumn (2008 and 2015 I'm thinking of you..)
  10. 2006 was certainly the best. The only really sunny summer that decade (though August was a letdown), the biggest snowfall of the decade in March, plenty of frosty weather in winter (even in the mild December) and some decent convective setups. 2005 had such brilliant synoptics that never delivered, except in late June and part of July. Late Feb/early March should have been like 2018, August much warmer and late December much colder and snowier. It just seemed to keep being as frustrating as possible. Still wasn't a "bad" year, but should have been awesome. 2001 was quite a good year, no season was a classic but it did get properly cold in winter and hot in summer a few times, and lacked long spells of SW'lies. April and September were the months that spoilt it. 2002 just varied between tedious and boring (most of the summer) to absolutely vile (late Jan, Feb, November and December), and it started so promisingly with that cold first week. 2007 is famous for its "summer" but other months had their moments: snow in Feb, warm sunny April, some nice weather in August, dry autumn. Better than 2008 for me.
  11. Very hard to pick. 2010 had more in the way of warm sunny weather (in June) but also more in the way of cloudy rubbish (virtually all of July and August). July 2009 was horribly wet but the other two months were on the dry side. August 2009 was just very frustrating with it being constantly warm in the SE while it couldn't top 25C here but it wasn't as bad as August 2008 or 2010. 2010 had the better shoulder season weather. A very sunny spell in April (when the volcano went off) and actually had its warmest day in late May. September wasn't too bad either as I recall.
  12. 25C at Lands End, that's impressive. So often the far SW just sits in murk and 18C when it's high 20s plus elsewhere. Or sea breezes stop it getting above 21-22 even when it's sunny. Shawbury currently 28C, maybe still a bit of heating to go (often it's warmest around 5-6pm), notice the dew point is higher round here than in the SE for some reason (15C vs 10-13C). Feels very warm and hardly a cloud.
  13. If Heathrow is always hottest because of the planes, why is it never Birmingham, Manchester, Stansted or any other airport, just Heathrow? Then again it's right next to some of the busiest motorway in the land, and it's downwind of the London heat island in an easterly (but it is often warmest in W'lies too?). You hardly ever see the yearly maximum outside the SE and E Anglia nowadays, it was common until the 90s. Even if it's 33 in the Midlands or Yorkshire it'll be 34 somewhere in Londonland.
  14. I'm sure it's happened before, just before they measured temperature by modern standards. When the Romans grew grapes in Yorkshire, no rain fell for 3 years according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, sophisticated observatories in what are now some of the cloudiest places around- certainly wouldn't rule it out. Just like -30C was probably done in one of the "cold eras". In the modern age it might have happened somewhere without a weather station (Cheltenham is in the Cotswolds - How hot was it down below by the Severn in 1990? That hot day in 1808 sounds like a possibility as well). Those satellite measurement that detect temperatures remotely, I wonder why they can record in Britain. And when Britain was still joined to the continent but after the ice age had finished, who knows? That "climatic optimum" in the early Holocene, warmer than today and no sea to cool 40C air from the east.
  15. 2012 definitely. 2007 had a cracking April, a fairly decent spell in early June and some spells of decent weather in August (particularly the bank holiday). It was most of May, late June (though that was thundery) and especially July that were bad. The rain seemed to come in a few great 2-3 week deluges with drier spells in between. 2012 had only that brief warm sunny spell in late May. Otherwise it was a cloudy, cold, damp crapfest from early April until late September. Even when it was drier and warmer it was still mostly dull (eg August), even that attempt at a good spell in July was spoilt by nuisance cloud here on many days. Then there was that 32C and sunny with storms in London, 21C and cloudy elsewhere day or two in August as a final insult. The second best summer spell of the year was in late March. That was how awful it was. One thing redeemed the April though, the only significant snowfall of the year on the 4th. It really was a year without any semblance of seasons in the right place. December was also a washout and very mild in the second half. I'd be inclined to agree 2008 was also worse than 2007, it had a decent first half of May and a hot week in July but that was it. June was just mediocre (not unlike 2002) but it was August that really stank it out. Unlike the deluges of 2007 it was just grey cloud and steady rain all month, even when it wasn't raining it was overcast. July and August 2010 were also appallingly cloudy but not as wet (June 2010 had more sun than July and August combined here). The best summer of that period was Autumn 2011!
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