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Sunny76

Summers of 1980 and 1987

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Hi there, I'm new to this forum, but have always had a keen interest in the uk climate, especially since 1987. I put this down to a few weather events that occurred during that year which included the big freeze, some of the heaviest snowfall in London and the southeast area for a number of years.

Also the Great October Storm, and thundery summer, particularly the mid august thunderstorms which occurred on a Friday night( if I remember correctly), and carried on into the following day.

My question here is, were the summers of 1980, and 1987 as bad as most people tend to remember them? 

I do recall some cooler spells, but remember August 1987 having long hot periods, and parts of june and July of 1980 being hot and humid at times. 

Maybe my memory doesn't serve me so well these days. Does anyone have a good account of both summers, and if so, which one was poorer?

 

 

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Unfortunately for you I live in Yorkshire so our summer's are completely different to those in the south.I also don't have any records for 1980 as I only started taking readings in  April 1981 when I was 13. I was brought up on a farm and our summer's were spent haymaking so I tend to remember them better than most.For me there were 4 poor summer's in the 80s those of 1985 to 1988 none were great with lots of dull cloudy and wet periods with hood sunny days in very short supply.I know 1980 was probably similar from what I have been told although I don't remember struggling with the hay as in the late 80s.However all that Wes made up for by the amazingly good 1983 1984 and 1989  where these are only bettered by 1995 and 1976

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From memory, 1980 summer was pretty average around these parts.

i was playing a bit of cricket at the time and remember a few weekend games being rained off.

it was probably similar to this year in fact with a few decent days followed by a wet spell although I don't remember much in the way of hot conditions.

the others I agree being as you said, 83 and 84 were belters, 83 with a hot July and for us was also a cracking hay making period, other than the sunburn I got one weekend, 84 for its dry, drought conditions.

then it was downhill into a few years of poor conditions and I don't remember much in the way of memorable heat until 1989 and 1990

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On 21 July 2017 at 12:47, Sunny76 said:

Hi there, I'm new to this forum, but have always had a keen interest in the uk climate, especially since 1987. I put this down to a few weather events that occurred during that year which included the big freeze, some of the heaviest snowfall in London and the southeast area for a number of years.

Also the Great October Storm, and thundery summer, particularly the mid august thunderstorms which occurred on a Friday night( if I remember correctly), and carried on into the following day.

My question here is, were the summers of 1980, and 1987 as bad as most people tend to remember them? 

I do recall some cooler spells, but remember August 1987 having long hot periods, and parts of june and July of 1980 being hot and humid at times. 

Maybe my memory doesn't serve me so well these days. Does anyone have a good account of both summers, and if so, which one was poorer?

 

 

Hi sunny76

I don't recall August 1987 having any long hot periods, they tended to be short and in the second half of the month. There was a Friday in August of that year when it just got to 11C or 12C in Manchester as a maximum! I remember it.

One good thing about that summer was that we got thunderstorms but June 1987 was diabolical for this area, wettest month of the 1980s.

 

 

Edited by Weather-history
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I have a very good memory of Summer 1987 (well from July 3rd to August 8th) as I was 16 at the time and on holiday in the UK as I then lived in Australia. The combination of being in a foreign country, at a formative age has meant things like the weather have stuck in my head.

My main memory is of arriving on the second Friday of the Wimbledon Championships at the start of a fantastic 4 day heatwave in which temps reached 30 degrees widely. This  of course took in the Mens Final Day where Aussie Pat Cash won his only Grand Slam Championship. My family all went to the Henley Regatta that day where it was meltingly hot.

The rest of the time the weather was for more average. Lots of dull cloudy weather with max temps between 19 and 22 C. Not too much rain except for a spell we had in the Lake District and also a weekend coach trip we made to Paris (for £50 no less)  on the 16th/17th where there were some regular terrific downpours. Around the start of August there was a very cool spell so much that where I was staying in Reading I needed to put the electric blanket on at night which coming from Australia I felt was crazy.

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Summer 1987 was overall a relatively cool summer.  June 1987 was persistently cool, dull and wet with any warmer days near the end of the month.  The CET was 12.8, and since then only 1991 was cooler, compared to the coolest June of recent times which was 13.5 in 2012.  July 1987 saw a fair amount of warm and dry days in the first half, but then was mostly cool and wet in the second half.  August 1987 was often cool and cloudy although there was a warmer spell in the third week.  Summer 1980 was another cool one overall.  June started with a few warm days but was then mostly cool and wet.  July 1980 was very cool and cloudy especially in the first three weeks with any warmer days towards the end of the month.  It was also cool for the CET (14.7), and only 1988 since has been similar, compared to the coolest Julys of recent times which were 15.2 in 2007 and 2011.  August 1980 was fairly average although often unsettled I believe.

 

Edited by North-Easterly Blast
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We had a 3 week family holiday travelling around Scotland in August 1987 - I was only 9 at the time but remember parts of the trip well and one thing I can recall is the lack of heat.  I remember feeling cold dressed in shorts & t-shirt and have photos in which I'm wearing a large duffle coat!  Having said that I don't remember any problems with rain spoiling the trip, we did manage a lot of outdoor activities although being a kid it is possible my parents planned these around any rainy days without my realising.  

Of course the weather in Scotland doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't a scorchingly hot month in England, Wales or Ireland, but given the recollections of others here I doubt it!  

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With regards to 1987:

Looking back at the records for Heathrow, it was a pretty drab summer overall.

June had an average maxima of 18.7c, July was 21.9c and August 21.8c. All below average for this part of the world.

There were a few warmer spells though:

- The last 3 days of June were 25c, 29c and 24c

- A warm spell in early July, temperatures between the 3rd and 15th were 23c, 26c, 28c, 28c, 25c, 23c, 22c, 27c, 26c, 23c, 26c, 25c and 23c.

- And a warm spell in mid-August, with these temps between the 14th and 22nd: 24c, 26c, 28c, 24c, 24c, 25c, 29c, 29c and 24c.

A summer without the temperature breaking the 30c mark is pretty poor down here! 

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1980 looks even worse than 1987:

Heathrow had an average maxima of 19.7c in June, 19.7c in July and 22.1c in August. 

Maximum temperature for the entire summer for here failed to break the 30c mark, as did 1987. Top temp at Heathrow was 29c on 4th June and 15th August.

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Don't remember Summer 1987 being anything special. Indeed the summer holidays of 1985-1988 were mostly cloudy cool and wet here, very disapointing for a child aged between 7 and 10 years as I was then - a time when you want to be outside! not stuck in the house.. but I remember many washout days trying to entertain ourselves in the house. 

The period was bookended by some very good summers in 1983, 1984, 1989 notably so, and 1990. The winters made up for it though, with lots of cold frosty snowy conditions.

Looking at the statistics, summer 1980 was equally very poor, often cool wet and cloudy. The 80's overall were not renowned for there summers, bar the exceptions of 1983, 1984 and 1989. 

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i remember summer of 1980 being cool and cloudy not wet though...Spent two weeks in France on a family holiday in June and it was cool and cloudy there to. I remember 1987 being pretty average and dry and warm in August..i remember 1985, 1986 and 1988 all being worse than 1987.

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