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Very wet and cool 1960s - Atmospheric nuclear testing


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Rainfall is hypothesized to be influenced by droplet charge, which is related to the global circuit current flowing through clouds. This is tested through examining a major global circuit current increase following the release of artificial radioactivity. Significant changes occurred in daily rainfall distribution in the Shetland Islands, away from pollution. Daily rainfall changed by 24%, and local clouds optically thickened, within the nuclear weapons test period. This supports expectations of electrically induced microphysical changes in liquid water clouds from additional ionization.

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.198701

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I do not know what to make of this theory, but I do know that the 1960s were seen in the media as the beginning of a 'mini-ice age'. Certainly I recall the winters were almost all cold and miserable and with frequent and sometimes heavy snowfall in the South East, particularly of course in early 1963. The summers were also uniformly lousy, particularly 1968 when I can recall only one very hot day at the beginning of July and September brought heavy rain and floods to the South East. My understanding is that there were no really good summers between 1959 (when my family was abroad) and July 1975 leading into the hottest summer of them all in the 20th century in 1976. I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong on any of this. 

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Posted (edited)

I looked at the average July highs by decade at Heathrow, from 1947-2019.

The 1960s July's were over 1c cooler than the next coolest.

1947-49: 23.3c, 50s: 22.4c, 60s: 21.4c, 70s: 22.6c, 80s: 22.9c, 90s: 23.5c, 00s: 23.3c, 10s: 24.6c. 

I think only 1964 and 1969 had anything approaching a normal summer in that decade, yet they were still poor.

 

Edited by B87
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17 hours ago, B87 said:

Just saw this article, stating that the very rainy and chilly conditions of the 1960s were caused by the atmospheric nuclear tests of the time.

GettyImages-1010873206-hero-2d5a566.jpg?
WWW.SCIENCEFOCUS.COM

The nuclear explosions affected weather thousands of miles away from the detonation sites.

What do you think?

Nuclear test ban treaty was signed in 1963, this ended atmospheric tests China became an atomic power in 1964, not sure they were performing atmsopheric tests.

Not convinced by this

Infact if you look at the rainfall figures from 1962 to 1964 for England and Wales, they look drier than average to me. 1964 was a very dry year, 10th driest year on record and there were 5 summers sub 200mm during the 1960s. 

Looks more cyclical to me than anything to do with nucelar testing.

 

 

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11 hours ago, B87 said:

I looked at the average July highs by decade at Heathrow, from 1947-2019.

The 1960s July's were over 1c cooler than the next coolest.

1947-49: 23.3c, 50s: 22.4c, 60s: 21.4c, 70s: 22.6c, 80s: 22.9c, 90s: 23.5c, 00s: 23.3c, 10s: 24.6c. 

I think only 1964 and 1969 had anything approaching a normal summer in that decade, yet they were still poor.

 

Have a look at the Junes of the 1960s, it is notable they tended to be on the warmer than average side. 1960 was warm one. 

Infact in the 2010s, they were two Junes cooler than any of the Junes in the 1960s for the CET, 

 

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4 hours ago, Weather-history said:

Have a look at the Junes of the 1960s, it is notable they tended to be on the warmer than average side. 1960 was warm one. 

Infact in the 2010s, they were two Junes cooler than any of the Junes in the 1960s for the CET, 

 

June mostly seemed to be average or above, though there were 2 very cool Junes on par with 2012.

Augusts were dreadful.

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Summer average highs 1960-69 (vs current average)

June: 20.7c (-0.3c)

July: 21.4c (-2.1c)

August: 20.9c (-2.3c)

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Posted (edited)

Manchester Summer Indices for the 1960s don't look that especially bad to me.

 1960 217 1961 203 1962 197 1963 194 1964 197 1965 189 1966 192 1967 223 1968 215 1969 234 

3 of the last 4 summers for NW England and Wales have been wetter than any of the summers of the 1960s. 1969 is in the top 20 driest summers for the region

Which does bring into question even further when people talk about how wet the summers of the 1960s were, unless they actually mean rain days rather than rainfall amounts.

 

 

Edited by Weather-history
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The initial post was about 'very wet and cool 1960s' and I am sure this is correct, certainly so far as cool years in the 1960s is concerned. In 1962, the temperature in London never got above 25 degrees C, 77F all year, a low maximum temperature not seen in any other year of the 20th century. In 1965, there were places where the highest temperature of the year came at the end of March. 1968 was known for its cool temperatures and severe flooding. July 1963 has been mentioned but even this had a mean max of -2.2 below average in London (Brazell) and it was certainly not tropical in the North East of England. Perhaps that should be 1964 which was +1.2 above average and pleasantly warm at times in the NE. The winters were cool / cold with periods of heavy snow noted in London & the South East by Philip Eden in Dec 1961 - Jan 1962, Jan - March 1963, Jan 1964, Jan 1965, Jan 1966, Jan 1968 and Feb 1969. Whatever the cause, I believe the hypothesis is correct, at least in terms of 'cool 1960s'.  

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