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Summers 1979-82 v 1985-88


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Many people go on about now poor the summers of 1985-88 were, but 79-82 was also fairly poor, although I have vague memories of warm or hot spells in the early 80s. However, this could be my clouded nostalgia lol.

Which summer was the best one out of all of those, and which one was the worst?

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Yes, there were very cold winters, and also a few mild ones in those periods. Best winter was probably 78-79, 84/85, 81/82 and 86/87. With the best winter months being December 1981, January 1979

Being brought up as a farmer I base my summers on making hay and since you need dry and preferably sunny conditions to do that it is a good barometer.From what I remember 1980 was the worst of the 79-

2016 was poor, despite some warm periods. It just felt cloudy and humid during much of that summer in the south east. Nothing great in my book.

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Posted (edited)

July 1980 was worse than any July or August from 1985-88. Only July 1954 was worse.

In London, July 1985 was the best month of all those, but 1982 was the warmest summer (though still poor). June 1986 was the best performing relative to average. Infact, of all those summers, the only months to be average or warmer than average were June 1982 and June 1986!

Edited by B87
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14 minutes ago, feb1991blizzard said:

That would be a good comparison for winters as well - some really good snow events in those sets.

Yes, there were very cold winters, and also a few mild ones in those periods.

Best winter was probably 78-79, 84/85, 81/82 and 86/87. With the best winter months being December 1981, January 1979, January 1987, January 1985 and February 1986.

Worst for cold weather fans would be winter of 79/80, 80/81 and 82/83, 

Worst months for mild weather : January 1983, February 1980, December 1980, February 1981, December 1985.

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In Dulin for me 1986 was the worst and i remember a day or 2 in august with condensation on my breath in the middle of the afernoon and just being miserably cold after my brother took me out in his new boat on malahide estuary. Put me off boats . We also had ex-hurricane Charley which wrought havoc on the east coast and some parts of Co Wicklow had over 250mm of rain there was serious river flooding.                                           1987 was probably the best as I remember some good dry spells and decent days of sunshine but Ihave to mention 1985 when at the end of June we experienced the most vivid electrical lightning storm for about 5 hours from 11pm and many chimneys were brought down in Dublin that night and lightning strikes were 2 or 3 a second at times I have travelled to many foreign countries but have never seen anything like it since.The earlier summers were just cool and average.                            

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20 minutes ago, B87 said:

July 1980 was worse than any July or August from 1985-88. Only July 1954 was worse.

In London, July 1985 was the best month of all those, but 1982 was the warmest summer (though still poor). June 1986 was the best performing relative to average. Infact, of all those summers, the only months to be average or warmer than average were June 1982 and June 1986!

July 2004 was almost as bad as July 1980. I remember daytime highs of less than 16c in July 2004, and that was in London.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Sunny76 said:

July 2004 was almost as bad as July 1980. I remember daytime highs of less than 16c in July 2004, and that was in London.

July 2004 was far superior to July 1980 in London. July 1980 was the joint coldest July on record for London.

July 1980: 19.7c/11.9c, 59.3mm, 163.7 hours

July 2004: 22.7c/13.3c, 37.6mm, 201.5 hours

For people who like warm, dry, sunny weather, July 2004 was better than July 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012!

Edited by B87
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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, B87 said:

July 1980 was worse than any July or August from 1985-88. Only July 1954 was worse.

In London, July 1985 was the best month of all those, but 1982 was the warmest summer (though still poor). June 1986 was the best performing relative to average. Infact, of all those summers, the only months to be average or warmer than average were June 1982 and June 1986!

1982 was certainly the warmest. All three summer months in 1982 were warmer than average in London. Figures for Heathrow:

June 1982: 17.1C (+1.3C)
July 1982: 18.0C (+0.6C)
August 1982: 17.5C (+0.5C)

In the cause of August 1982, it was actually the third of three consecutive above average Augusts (albeit barely). 

From the MetOffice weather report.

DIGITAL.NMLA.METOFFICE.GOV.UK

 

Edited by reef
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24 minutes ago, B87 said:

July 2004 was far superior to July 1980 in London. July 1980 was the joint coldest July on record for London.

July 1980: 19.7c/11.9c, 59.3mm, 163.7 hours

July 2004: 22.7c/13.3c, 37.6mm, 201.5 hours

For people who like warm, dry, sunny weather, July 2004 was better than July 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012!

It was still poor, probably not as cold, but it didn’t feel like a summer month.

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28 minutes ago, B87 said:

July 2004 was far superior to July 1980 in London. July 1980 was the joint coldest July on record for London.

July 1980: 19.7c/11.9c, 59.3mm, 163.7 hours

July 2004: 22.7c/13.3c, 37.6mm, 201.5 hours

For people who like warm, dry, sunny weather, July 2004 was better than July 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012!

It wasn’t warm, and your comparing it to poor Julys. 

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20 minutes ago, reef said:

1982 was certainly the warmest. All three summer months in 1982 were warmer than average in London. Figures for Heathrow:

June 1982: 17.1C (+1.3C)
July 1982: 18.0C (+0.6C)
August 1982: 17.5C (+0.5C)

In the cause of August 1982, it was actually the third of three consecutive above average Augusts (albeit barely). 

From the MetOffice weather report.

DIGITAL.NMLA.METOFFICE.GOV.UK

 

August 1980 was cooler than average no? But the nights were warm.

August 81 was sunny and warm I think.

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21 minutes ago, reef said:

1982 was certainly the warmest. All three summer months in 1982 were warmer than average in London. Figures for Heathrow:

June 1982: 17.1C (+1.3C)
July 1982: 18.0C (+0.6C)
August 1982: 17.5C (+0.5C)

In the cause of August 1982, it was actually the third of three consecutive above average Augusts (albeit barely). 

From the MetOffice weather report.

DIGITAL.NMLA.METOFFICE.GOV.UK

 

1982 was the transitional period from the colder winter, to a milder one and hot summer the following two years. Quite a few months in 1982 were warmer than average, but the first part of the year was cold.

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3 minutes ago, Sunny76 said:

It wasn’t warm, and your comparing it to poor Julys. 

It was a below average month, but it was warmer, drier and sunnier than July 1980, and in fact every July from these time periods being discussed, with the exception of July 1985.

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7 minutes ago, B87 said:

It was a below average month, but it was warmer, drier and sunnier than July 1980, and in fact every July from these time periods being discussed, with the exception of July 1985.

I agree July 1980 was horrendous, and hopefully we never witness anything like that again. But, overall I feel summer 1986 was the worst when you count June to August. August 1986 was awful and it felt cold all the time.

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Being brought up as a farmer I base my summers on making hay and since you need dry and preferably sunny conditions to do that it is a good barometer.From what I remember 1980 was the worst of the 79-82 summers but the other 3 were not that bad.Maybe 79 being 2nd worst with 1981 being reasonable with a good August and 1982 being the best with plenty of good weather even if not one of the greats certainly nothing bad there.What I do know is after the greats of 1983 and 1984 the summer of 1985 was truly a shocker.I think it started off ok but I remember weeks of wet weather from mid July,it was this year that I saw the first round baler where hay was bagged in plastic which meant it could be made without having to be crisp dry.It would be September before we saw anything dry.1986 wasn't as wet but cold and dull it certainly was,there hasn't been a colder August since,it was very dull and drizzly and a constant cool breeze.1987 and 1988 were slightly better on the whole  but not much.For me I don't recall 1980 being greatly bad but I think it probably was but I would still say 1985 and 1986 were worse in my book

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Statistics speak for themselves, out of all of them it seems 1980 the worse one, followed by either 1985 and 1986.

Too young to remember 79-82 period, but have some memories of 85-88 summers, admittedly none seem to stand out strong, as a child you remember the long hot summers and days playing outside. We did still do this but most likely under rain and cloud. Memories of the school holiday periods of these years being particularly poor. 1985 wet, 1986 cold, 1987 wet, 1988 very wet. Have strong memories of July and Aug 1988 as a washout.

Thankfully this period was followed by a run of very good school holiday periods in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

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27 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

Statistics speak for themselves, out of all of them it seems 1980 the worse one, followed by either 1985 and 1986.

Too young to remember 79-82 period, but have some memories of 85-88 summers, admittedly none seem to stand out strong, as a child you remember the long hot summers and days playing outside. We did still do this but most likely under rain and cloud. Memories of the school holiday periods of these years being particularly poor. 1985 wet, 1986 cold, 1987 wet, 1988 very wet. Have strong memories of July and Aug 1988 as a washout.

Thankfully this period was followed by a run of very good school holiday periods in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

I remember 1989 and 90 as warm and sunny or consistently hot and sunny, apart from the odd few days of rain in August 1989 I think. I know summer 89 had at least one period of cooler unsettled weather, but at the time it was the best summer for some years(1984).

1991 however, was a mixed bag. I remember the cold June, early July was hot and thundery, and the rest of July was mostly warm or hot and sunny at times. We had some more warm sunny days in August, but I also do remember some wet weather. 

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Posted (edited)

Here are the summer indices for London for those years. For comparison, the worst summer of the 21st century was 2012, with a summer index of 233. An average London summer has a summer index of 289.

1979: 254

1980: 242

1981: 268

1982: 264

1985: 244

1986: 264

1987: 239

1988: 247

Using summer index, 1987 was the worst summer of that period. 1981 was the best (though 1982 was the warmest).

Edited by B87
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Posted (edited)

I remember 1985 as being a particularly poor summer in the south east, coming after two good summers in 1983 and 1984, and it was not until the autumn of 1985 that there was something approaching an 'Indian summer'. Philip Eden supports this view in his book on Great British Weather Disasters, and he points out that the summer of 1985 (June to September) was particularly disastrous for farmers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England. It could not have been much better for farmers further south.

Edited by A Face like Thunder
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1 hour ago, A Face like Thunder said:

I remember 1985 as being a particularly poor summer in the south east, coming after two good summers in 1983 and 1984, and it was not until the autumn of 1985 that there was something approaching an 'Indian summer'. Philip Eden supports this view in his book on Great British Weather Disasters, and he points out that the summer of 1985 (June to September) was particularly disastrous for farmers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England. It could not have been much better for farmers further south.

85 and 87 were poor, but in London I remember at least one or two weeks of hot weather in both years. 

July 85 was warm to hot at times, as we were house sitting at the time around Live Aid. I just remember lots of sunny warm days during that period, but during out break down in eastbourne in August, it was just cold and dull all the time. Depressing when you’re a child.

I remember 1987 being similar, but with more thunderstorms in London, especially during the school holidays, but with warm or hot weather in between, and more storms in August. 
 

1986 was the worst one for London, as it just seemed to be consistently dull and cold. Only June 86 was half decent.

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Posted (edited)

July and August 1987 were probably in the "consistently rather poor" category but June 1987 was a very different matter, and dragged the summer down.  Some stats:

Heathrow: Mean max 18.6C (1.8C below 1961-1990 average), rainfall 69.9 mm, sunshine 132.9 hours

Ringway (Manchester Airport): Mean max 15.8C (more than 2C down on the 1961-1990 average), rainfall 174.3mm, sunshine 102.9 hours

Durham: Mean max 15.1C (2.4C below its 1961-1990 average), rainfall 92.4mm, sunshine 89.4 hours

As you can see rainfall varied quite a bit around the country, it wasn't that wet at Heathrow but it was exceptionally wet in the Manchester area.  What was very consistent over most of the UK was notably low daytime maxima and a considerable shortage of sunshine.  The sunshine totals at Durham and Manchester were around 55% of the normal, and at London around 65%.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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8 hours ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

July and August 1987 were probably in the "consistently rather poor" category but June 1987 was a very different matter, and dragged the summer down.  Some stats:

Heathrow: Mean max 18.6C (1.8C below 1961-1990 average), rainfall 69.9 mm, sunshine 132.9 hours

Comparable to the dreadful June 2012.

The 5 worst summers by summer index since 2000, with the 79-82 and 85-88 summers for comparison.

2012: 233

1987: 239

1980: 242

2007: 244

1985: 244

2011: 247

1988: 247

2008: 253

1979: 254

1986: 264

1982: 264

1981: 268

2016: 271

They fit right in amongst the worst of the 70s and 80s.

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