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The decline in thunder days.

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On 24/05/2019 at 14:42, BenAbano said:

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!

When was your footage taken?  I'm in Carms and there definitely seems to have been a decrease in the frequency of storms over the last 4 - 5 years.  2014 was the most active year for storms I can remember here with 14 days of thunder heard, compared to 4 last year, 2 in 2017 and none so far this year.  I think the period 2005 - 2014 was the most active period, especially 2005 - 2009, but many of these were winter storms where the lightning wasn't that frequent.  The biggest storm I can remember was an overnight event around 2005, probably an MCS, and several storms in succession on 9 November 2008.  Oct 2014 & Nov 2009 were both very thundery.

I remember very few storms growing up, so my perception is that storms were more frequent here in SW Wales between 2005 and 2014 than in the 1980s and early 1990s, although we had some in May 1992 and I remember a daytime summer storm when I was a kid in the 1980s which was quite severe.  I was living in London towards the end of the 1990s so it's certainly possible that period may have been more thundery back here.

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This is a very old article - and behind a paywall - but the map on the front page shows the frequency of thunder in various UK regions between 1930 & 1960 which might be of interest to anyone wanting to compare to now?  https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-85294-7_115 

The link to the solar cycle is also interesting given we're now in a period of lower solar activity.

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15 hours ago, Weather-history said:

Remember these storms.

One thing i noticed is the wind direction the storm movement in the 90's storms either moved N or NW, Now it's to NE. most plume events the low is sitting out to the SW in the bay of biscay is the position of the Low a big factor here which is why they mostly hit Kent. if you look at the low in the first video it's sitting over spain Storms would move in a more NW direction.  

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Does the arrival time of the storm make a significant difference? I have a feeling that in the 80's most of the plume style events landed in London between 2-3am. The 90s seemed to have an arrival of early to late evening (but still daylight). Some of the worst and most intense (prolonged) storms appeared to be the evening ones. The early hours provided fantastic lightning displays, I distinctly recall those crawlers. Perhaps it makes no difference at all!

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The other thing I was thinking is that the perception of storms, or using advancing technology to track storms has perhaps made us judge the intensity in a different way? There was nothing like no nothing whether a direct hit was on the cards. Also I think there is quite some distortion that also goes on in memory. But I will say that those night-time plumes certainly lasted for a considerable amount of time. Perhaps less industry has made some impact over the localized weather in London?

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Yeah normally 90's plume events where always between 6-8pm, i think it has alot to do with the position of the low aswell and the veering winds. Would be interesting to compare a plume event from the 90's and compare it to the 20's i bet that the Low was further south (around spain) which mean that storms would come from the SE to NW. 

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I'm also of the opinion that thunder days have decreased a lot this decade. I haven't even heard a rumble here this year thus far. Last year we had a fantastic one at the end of May but that was it I think. 2017 was practically thunderless though with only a couple of distant rumbles heard all year. I think pretty much every year this decade has only managed about one thunderstorm a year at best though.

obviously Terminal Morraine's graph illustrates a greater frequency of thunderstorms in previous decades going back to the 60s at least. 

I would doubt this is totally unprecedented though. I wonder what the frequency of storms in some earlier decades such as the early 20th century was like, for example. I don't suppose many really know. Could be something that happens for so many years every 70 to 100 years perhaps. Or as Beng speculates it could be a consequence of the phases of the AMO, the solar cycle or any other combinations of phenomena. If it is any of those things causing it though it likely won't last forever, and maybe we'll hopefully notice an increase over time. It can't get much poorer though that's for sure.

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Here is a forecast from 29th July 1994. Rob McElwee forecasts that any storms will be over eastern parts. Infact the screenshot itself shows you.

The next day, however the storms were further west than forecast, we actually had two at my location, a few hours apart.

 

I can't help feel that if that happened today, the opposite would happen and the storms would have been further east still than forecast. 

It feels as though plumes and thunderstorms back then could be further west than forecast whilst today they feel like they will be further east! 

Maybe looking through cynical eyes but I can't shake this view.

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I have also noticed since using this forum is when the lack of storms started  😮 , if they are forecast and I click on this forum , particularly the storm thread, it seems to jinx them , I just clicked on the storm thread , so that is it  no thunder here today !   Need to avoid this place,  maybe I might get more thunder 😜 

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It is looking increasingly like a thunderless first half to the meteorological summer here. I can't see where the next thunder opportunity will rear its head. 

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Yes, it's been an absolute thunder drought here since April 2018. One rumble from a distant shower back in early May this year. I'm so bored:(

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On 27/06/2019 at 11:38, tempesta said:

Does the arrival time of the storm make a significant difference? I have a feeling that in the 80's most of the plume style events landed in London between 2-3am. The 90s seemed to have an arrival of early to late evening (but still daylight). Some of the worst and most intense (prolonged) storms appeared to be the evening ones. The early hours provided fantastic lightning displays, I distinctly recall those crawlers. Perhaps it makes no difference at all!

I think it varies tbh. I can remember some corkers at completely different times of the day/night - 7.30pm (I was on the roof of the greenhouse, never got down so fast from anywhere), 9.30am (I was judging at a dog show in Lincs that day and suspended judging, the lightning was rather worrying - that was probably an MCS), 2.30pm (sounded like the guns on the battle area nr Cressingham, it was actually constant thunder); 11am  (remembered for all the wrong reasons i.e. leaving a velux window wide open whilst out shopping and finding a junior water fall...). These examples were all in the 80s/90s. Since then the better examples have all been post midnight with very few daytime storms bar the occasional popcorn variety. 

 

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2 hours ago, Norfolk Sheep said:

I think it varies tbh. I can remember some corkers at completely different times of the day/night - 7.30pm (I was on the roof of the greenhouse, never got down so fast from anywhere), 9.30am (I was judging at a dog show in Lincs that day and suspended judging, the lightning was rather worrying - that was probably an MCS), 2.30pm (sounded like the guns on the battle area nr Cressingham, it was actually constant thunder); 11am  (remembered for all the wrong reasons i.e. leaving a velux window wide open whilst out shopping and finding a junior water fall...). These examples were all in the 80s/90s. Since then the better examples have all been post midnight with very few daytime storms bar the occasional popcorn variety. 

 

The morning storm of August 6th 1981 (I think), london, was the worst and first I experienced. Proper daytime darkness and constant thunder and lightning. I think this storm is searchable. 

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Hmmm.... Tuesday night spectacular thunderstorms knocked out the electric hit a huge tree massive branch well third of a tree snapped off and it knocked the phone off which I`ve never known before and the phone is still off with 17 faults on the line.

Couldn`t make it up.

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and all we managed was a weak storm Tuesday night and the awful heat produced one distant rumble of thunder Thursday night. The decline doesn't look like halting even with ideal conditions.

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Still having Brontophobic tendencies (although my Brontophobia isn't as bad, as it used to be), I "come" at the Title of this Thread from a different angle than most Members. 

Living in S.E.London, I can't believe the number of thunder "bullets I've dodged", over the last few Summers. 

Although I don't keep a record of "thunder days", I can only recall hearing thunder on one occasion this Summer and my calendar tells me starting tomorrow, there's only 3 days left of official Summer and looking extremely unlikely that total will be added to!! I really can't remember a less thundery Summer than this one and I'll be 64 in a couple of Weeks time.

One "thunder day" for the whole of Summer for my "neck of the woods", is very strange but I'm not complaining!! :nonono:

I've lived in S.E.London/N.W.Kent, for the great majority of my life. 

What is especially noticeable are the lack of "French Imported" t/storms, in the last couple of Decades.

"Back in the day", you could guarantee a couple of these events every Summer but they've disappeared off the Radar, literally!!

It was one of these such French Imports, that began my Brontophobia, back in June 1966. I was left in the care of my domineering, half-German Father. My Italian Mother was in a Maternity Hospital, giving birth to my younger Sister. During this time, a violent t/storm broke over Bromley, N.W.Kent. It started at Midnight and was still rumbling away at 6 AM. From reports in the local press the following Week, it seems the area was struck by a huge M.C.S.

I'd often blamed my Father for my Brontophobia (Dad was very unsympathetic towards me that night, back in 1966). He wouldn't close the curtains or close the windows and called me a "sissy", for making such a fuss about a bit of lightning and thunder. It wasn't a bit though, lightning was flashing every few seconds and the thunder was deafening!!

In the last few Years, I've realised the Phobia was "implanted" by my superstitious Italian Mother. At the first sign of lightning, Mum would make the "Sign of the Cross" and invoke Santa Barbara ( the Patron Saint of lightning/storms in general, in Southern Italy). So this 10 Year old at the time, grew up thinking that lightning/thunder were very bad things and to be feared.

I was talking, the other day, to local Meteorologist Ian Currie about the decline in thunder, over S.E.England. We both commented on the presence of relatively High Pressure over the Biscay area, which seems to have pushed "thundery breakdowns and associated t/storms", further East over N.France. With steering winds of these t/storms now aligning themselves more SSW>NNE, rather than a direct S>N flow, I apply what I've entitled the "Cherbourg Peninsula Test". When t/storms initiate on the same Longitude as the Cherbourg Peninsula, or just to the East, with a steering flow from the SSW, any t/storms that survive the hop across the Channel, will only affect E.Kent and E.Sussex. The dreaded "Kent Clipper", bane of S.E.Members, located in a different part of the S.E.Region. I've applied this theory many times since I joined NW, in 2005 and it's amazing how many times it's proved effective and I've been pleased to see sferics track harmlessly away from London and up the English Channel, towards the Benelux Countries.

This Year has seen N/N.E. England and E,Scotland, even "out-thunder" S.E.London this Summer. Very strange!!   

Regards,

Tom.     :hi:

Edited by TomSE12

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Steering winds from the SSW will naturally take weather away from the South coast if the developments are far enough East. That's not a theory, it's called physics.

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