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The decline in thunder days.

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TM figures back up my gut feelings and observations. We've all noticed Spanish plumes lack the humidity of the past. Locally any storms that do encroach my area are normally taken out the high ground to the south and west. The north and east Sheffield have done better as storms have started rebuilding but I suspect their figures are down on what they used to have.

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First storm to hit Market Harborough in May since 2004, and we get two on Sunday 27th May 2018.

First storm was the best in the early hours lasted nearly an hour, lots of lightning, lets hope this set up continues NE Wind feeding in from the North Sea, Storms moving out of Southeast England on a NW direction heading towards Cheshire. Thanks to the NE winds its producing convective storms across the Midlands.

More Storms forecast for later today and Monday, fingers crossed.

Edited by Storm_Front_81
Spelling mistake.

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Much more mid-level thunderstorms than suface thunderstorms we seem to get to say the first half of the 80`s which were all surface storms,less low cloud then,less mid-level cloud full stop.

Location location wind direction favours different places,E/SE favours here..flow is currently E/SE.

Edited by Snowyowl9

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Nothing thundery forcast here for the foreseeable, just dry dry dry all the way,  will 2018 be the first thunderless year   for my location , it looks very possible now , I never thought it could happen, but the way things have been going over the last few years , less and less thunder days,  its kind of happened anyway if you take into account a rolling 12 month period , last storm was in may 2017 , shocking 

Edited by IanR

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Tweeted Matt Hugo and although he doesn't keep numbers, he's noticed it as well and yesterday only emphasises the decline.

"I don't really, no. But yeah these last few years there's not been many at all. Summer time synoptics this summer especially, have simply not allowed it and today we are just not positioned right. Last 'proper' storm here in E Lancs was circa 22nd Sept 2016 😒"

https://mobile.twitter.com/MattHugo81/status/1022912101478748161

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Last year I recorded two thunder days here, this year there has been just one so far,  Contrast that to pre 2000 where 7 thunder days would be about the norm,  thats discounting those nights where we would get a good distant lightning show but no thunder, which perhaps would happen twice yearly

a full calendar year with no thunder is on the cards in the not too distant future me thinks  , I thought it was going to be this year but a decent thunder day two Saturdays ago saved a totally thunderless 2018 up to that point , there is still time in 2018, but I think it could be a very long wait now  

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Its now two years to the day since we last had a decent storm for this area.

This year has had just two thunder days for my location.

2018 is up there with 2010 in how little thunder there has been. 

 

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There has only been two good thunder and lightning storms in Thurrock, this year and it was earlier on in the year in May.

Edited by Katrine Basso
unfinished word

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Constant high pressure just to the south of UK which we have had now for 7 months will always result in very little thunder activity. Lack of instability and absolutely nothing from the continent. They have had just as little thunder storm activity as us. 

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Some parts maybe, but certainly not the Munich area for instance (I follow a few of the webcams there, there were some spectacular looking storms there in late May in particular). 

It's not unusual for a summer like this year's to be largely devoid of thundery activity though.  There weren't many thunderstorms about during the summers of 1976, 1989 and 1990, and while 1995 had a thundery July, June and August of that year had somewhat less thundery activity than usual.

Continuing a pattern seen in several recent years, parts of north-east England have had above average thundery activity this summer.  At my parents' location up in North Yorkshire there were 9 days with thunder during the summer quarter, which is close to the long-term annual average for that area of the country.  Here in Exeter, in contrast, there were none at all.  2007, 2009 and 2011 were other marked examples of summers when the north-east often seemed to be favoured.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers

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On 16/06/2015 at 06:39, Weather-history said:

I can only speak for this area as you are going to get local variations as always when it comes to the weather but looking at the figures for Manchester Ringway, Woodford, my observations and feelings, the number of days with thunder have definitely declined in the last few years especially since and including 2010.

The figures I have

1981: 12

1982: 15

1983: 21

1984: 19

1985: 7

1986: 7

1987:13

1988: 14

1989: 6

1990: 21

1991: 15

1992: 20

1993: 14

1994: 21

1995: 17

1996: 12

1997: 13

1998: 17

1999: 23

2000: 17

2001: 12

2002: 10

2003: 4

2004: 17

2005: 5

2006: 12

2007: 9

2008: 10

2009: 8

2010: 2

2011: 3

2012: 8

2013 was a better year, even had thunder snow that year, last year was very poor and this year, no thunder at all the far.

The 1990s were brilliant for thunder which confirms my recollections of that decade. 1992 and 1994 have stuck in my mind for thunder. 1999 was another good year for thunder.

The figures suggest to me that thundery plumes coming up from the south affecting this area has declined since the start of the 21st century and markedly since 2010. Also showery airstreams with a westerly component especially the NWly are infrequently producing the classic shower passing through with a single crack of thunder.

Unless the rest of the years of the 2010s change drastically and this year is showing no change thus far, the 2010s are looking a very thunderless decade here overall.

1) There is a theory that the decrease in moisture retentive land/ground might play a part. More tarmac and concrete = less moisture retaining ground = less moisture in convection. 

2) Less smoke. Stubble burning stopped after the 1990s. Reduction in coal powered factories and power stations. 

3) After mid1990s continental weather has had less impact and atlantic weather more impact on the UK. 1980s and 90s were the last years whereby one could rely on at least one long warm/dry spell in summer and one good cold spell in winter. That doesnt happen now. Any warm spells occur in spring with generally cool, wet summers. The ingreedients for the thunderstorms is not there to such an extent anymore.

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Last year wasn't too bad, but there was a bit of a thunder drought in the summer.

Friday the 1st of June last year we had three separate single cell storms move through one after another... It was great seeing the next one brew up after one had passed. :oldrolleyes:

Then the thunder drought of 2018 was broken on Sunday the 12 of August, and we had quite a nice little evening storm for about half an hour or so, which left some beautiful convective cloudscapes. 


 And then on Friday the 21st of September, and extremely blustery day, we had a couple of distant rumbles from a storm that was over towards Ellesmere Port way, but we had blue skies!

So far this year we've had one small storm that produced a few flashes and a couple of good rumbles, and a covering of hailstones as well. 

But as I said in my previous post, although I've seen an increase in the amount of thunder days for this area, the type of storm has dramatically altered! I just hope we don't have to wait too long before our next thundery outbreak. :oldsmile:

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1998 wasn`t great here at all a few rumbles from april 27th and thundery showers well spread through the year out to late September,little or nothing in the summer itself a few rumbles on June 1st,heavy showers crack of thunder august 23rd and that was summer over,sept couple of rumbles,late September more active sept 30th heavy thunder showers.

2008 though was a very good  year to that infact early may was memorable,thundery shower on june 5th,same july 2nd,5 other days with rumbles thundery bits.

The highlight that 2008 was 2 days early may and July 28th with 7 hours non stop of very heavy sometimes torrential thunderstorms from 7.45pm to 2.45am with 1.7inches of rain.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Snowyowl9

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well, 2018 was absolutely woeful here.

2 thunder days to my knowledge (the April plume and one other thundery shower in June I think)

 

Will this season deliver? Gonna record it in my sig I think.

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Some areas have heard thunder but nothing on this side of Greater Manchester this year. 

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Posted (edited)

I've lived in Northern England since 2003 and it is utterly pathetic for thunder! Maybe a decent storm once every 3-5 years and about 3-4 days with some rumbles a year on average. I get my storm fill from YouTube videos mostly, and also I watch the high quality webcams in places like Chicago, Dallas or New Orleans when they get big spring/summer thunderstorms. 

The two places I lived which actually got something resembling a "thunderstorm" once a year in the UK were  Berkshire and Lincolnshire.

Edited by Thundershine

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Can concur, here in Carmarthenshire. I have seen 1 in 2 years.

Spent all my life here, used to see frequent lightning storms when I was younger. I even have footage I believe on some USB somewhere!

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Posted (edited)

Thunderstorms have dwindled in frequency/intensity beyond all comprehension in my neck of the woods. I honestly don't know what it's like to experience one here any more. I take to watching thunderstorms on webcams in the USA (sadly many don't have sound though) but this area is utterly, pathetically useless for thunder, you'd have more chance of hearing it in the Atacama desert, in all seriousness. Maybe one storm every 5 years, if you're lucky. 

Edited by Thundershine

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Usually this time of year end of May June we usually get our storms for the year here in my part of Scotland but nothing so far......... YET

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Living through storms in the 80's to 1994 period I can confirm there would be a plume almost every May during that time.

With various French imports during July-August period.  

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Does anyone have  answers for the decline ? , big decline here too over the last decade  

Or just theories  ?  its very notable now the lack of big storms ,  last humdinger here was july 2015 , however we have had the odd thundery shower in the following years but not many , 

 

But  2018 was the worst year ever , just one thunder day over the 12 month period ,  ludicrous and shocking.    And no night time lightning, forgot what that looks like in reality, 

In the seventies and eighties its was not uncommon to  see evening heat lightning in the distance on warm summer evenings now and again ,  sometimes it came overhead, that just does not happen here anymore, not even the distant night lightning  😩        

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It's quite striking (excuse the pun) just how much thunder says have declined. I can also remember numerous instances as a kid in the 90s and early 2000s where there were some great night time light shows. It's not just nostalgia. 

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This is sad. . . It's June already and not a pattern in sight for good thunderstorms 😞 How many years has it been since we had a good season? 

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