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1998, 1999 and 2001 underrated Summers?


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Do you think the summers of 1998, '99 and '01 get perhaps an unfair amount of bad press? All three seemed to be at worst 'average', with plenty of good spells intermixed with the lousy stuff. 1998: Seem to remember the second half of June being pleasant, July was poor but August was reasonable nationwide and very good in the south; even though it wasn't hot, it was sunnier than August 1997 which gets rave reviews. 1999: Seem to remember June was mediocre and August started hot but became thundery and very wet around mid-month and finished off similar in dullness to 2008 and 2010. But that July was a belter and arguably the best summer month between August 1995 and July 2006. 2001: There were about five hot spells I think and I know one of them was very thundery. All spaced out nicely with a couple of weeks of cooler and wetter weather in between. I think they all lasted between 2-5 days so nothing major, but not many UK summers have had this many hot spells. Are these three underrated then? Also 2000 seems to get a fairly bad press but I don't remember that being particularly bad.

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I always ranked 1999 as a mixed summer, a hot July, following a poor June, with lots of thundery activity. Think it was the most thundery summer since 1983, or 82.

August 99 was more average to poor.

I remember 1998 being rather cool and unsettled. July was terrible that year, while August was the best month, but still poor.

Have little memory of 2001, but May was nice and warm, and parts of June, one or two hot spells during July I think. August was on the poor side.

2001 had a cold spring. 
 

I would rate 1999 as the best one, then 2001. 1998 was the worst.

I can’t comment on 2000, as I was living in Toronto for the whole of 2000.

Summer 2000 in Toronto was quite thundery and cool at times. I remember some days where temps failed to reach 17c in June, with lots of changeable thundery periods.

That said, we still had some hot weather, but summer 1999 was much better in Toronto. It was very hot and sunny.

Edited by Sunny76
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I think 1998 was quite a different summer depending on where you were as the north seemed to fare off a lot worse than the south particularly in August. Although September was very warm that year I think.

1999 was pretty cool in the first half of June but the second half and July were warm. July was also very dry that year I’m sure. August was average.

2001 had a excellent May but the summer was quite poor from what I can recall. June and July were quite wet and June was notably cool. August was bang average.

Suppose different depending on where you live. I have good memories of summer 2009 yes it was very wet but it was rarely cool and the rain fell in massive downpours. We had a couple of flash floods but there wasn’t many dull, wet and cool days. 

 

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Tricky one as each summer had good periods of weather but also lengthy periods of relatively poor weather.

I'd have to agree that 1998 was the worst because both June and July were dull and wet, and July was completely devoid of anything warm. At least June there was a brief heatwave one weekend. August, however, was dry and very pleasant with plenty of sunshine and was occasionally hot.

June 1999, although not as wet and thundery as May, was rather disappointing until after midmonth when it turned warmer and sunnier, ready for July which was definitely the best month. It was very sunny and often warm or hot. August began well but quickly deteriorated into a showery mess, albeit thundery. Later on it felt more like September. Ironically, the first week of September was more like August but again turned even wetter after that.

2001 could be best described as periodic. June was actually very dry here, on the back of a dry May. The first half was largely cool and often cloud, a brief unsettled blip midmonth, then warm/hot and sunny during the second half. July began the same way, but after the spectacular thunderstorms on the 04th-07th, was very unsettled until the final week when a hot sunny spell set in again. Early August brought a return to changeable conditions but here, 2/3 of the month's rain fell in two days on the 08th/09th, and after the 10th it was again quite dry. The final third brought a return to summery conditions. September was cool and dull.

Overall, I'd say they don't belong in the poor or good category - with ample periods of both weather types.

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Here in the pennines there were no poor summers in the 90s except for 1998.Both 1999 and 2001 were quite decent here.1998 however was poor,not because it was particularly wet but working on the farm at the time trying to make hay was very difficult.I seem to recall almost all all July and into early August being a complete cloudfest and although Much of August did eventually become nice with plenty of sunshine it was very calm,lots of dew in the mornings and many times hazy.We spent all our time having to shake the hay in an afternoon after the dew had dried to get the hay dry enough.yes if you wasn't a farmer you would say it was nice but for farmers making hay it was terrible.

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1998 was on the poor side but not the absolute worst: May had quite a decent spell, June was mediocre but not as poor as 1997, July was lousy with no hot spells, August was an improvement. It wasnt a classic but it did have one very nice warm weekend and several warm and sunny-ish days. September as I remember also had a late warm spell, before a horrid wet and windy October

1999 can be summed up simply: superb July surrounded by rubbish. June was wet and unsettled though it did have some thundery stuff (similar to 2016), August was a shocker once the storms and humid weather that ended the July spell departed around the 3rd. I have a particularly poor opinion of that month because of the total cloud cover that I saw down in Devon on eclipse day! September again had a warm spell though. July 1999 was the best summer month here between 1995 and 2006, but it seems forgotten for being a one-off.

2001 was and still is my benchmark for an "average" or "typical" summer. It repeatedly had 3 or 4 day hot spells, often ending in thunder, mixed in with a fair bit of cold wet rubbish and several 20-22C partly cloudy days. It was a real mixture of synoptic types that kept us guessing, but when the hot spells arrived they delivered. Unlike 1998 and 1999 September was just cold, dull and horrid, then October was an odd one, very warm but unsettled.

I suppose 2001 and 1999 were both average but in completely different ways. As for 2000, it had a decent start to May and one hot weekend in June, then a lot of cloudy cold stuff in July and a completely unmemorable August. It was a poor summer overall but nothing compared to that autumn.

 

Edited by Summer of 95
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Summer 1998 was every bit as bad as its reputation IMHO in most parts of the country, with the exception of the south-east, where it was redeemed somewhat by a very sunny August: at Heathrow August 1998 was the second sunniest August of the 1990s. 

But in Tyneside, where I was, all three months were duller than average.  June was the second very dull wet June in a row, and while July and August were just slightly cloudier than average, they suffered somewhat by comparison with the preceding run of sunny Julys and Augusts.  I remember that July 1998 had a fair number of bright showery days in the period 10th-24th, but it was very dull early and late in the month, and August was quite dry and sunny, if breezy, until around the 20th but then had a lot of cool cloudy northerlies.

1999 is generally underrated in my view, especially for those who like their convective storms, as there were plenty of those.  Again the south-east fared best sunshine wise, with London having slightly above average sunshine in June, well above average sunshine in July and near average sunshine in August.  In Tyneside, June and August were wetter and slightly cloudier than average, but June was a case of a cool cloudy first half partially offset by a warm sunny second half, and this led into a warm dry sunny July.  Summer-like weather also persisted well into September, and September was warmer by day than August had been, and somewhat sunnier.

2001 again had a NW-SE split, it was a cloudy summer for much of Scotland but a fairly warm and sunny one for the south-east, and again many areas had a fair amount of convective activity of note (though, unlike 1999, not in Tyneside - I only recorded one day with thunder in summer 2001).  But even in Scotland and north-east England, the extended summer of 2001 wasn't all gloomy, as those same regions had an exceptionally sunny May.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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1998 was a poor summer in London. 1999 and 2001 were about average.

1998 had a terrible June/July, a decent August.

1999 had a cool June and August, good July.

2001 was average throughout.

 

Edited by B87
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Posted (edited)

'Summer of 95' has mentioned the eclipse which took place on 11th August 1999. I was on the south coast in Sussex that day and the weather was decidedly sunnier there than further west in Devon and Cornwall where the total eclipse took place. I recall the temperature dropped by several degrees on the coast as the eclipse (about 80% there) took place but warmed up quickly as the sun reappeared. A memorable day even though I missed the total eclipse! 

Edited by A Face like Thunder
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No summer 1998 was overall poor for that timeframe. The summers of the 1990s were the best decade for summers, IMO, for the 20th century. 

Summer 1999 is a difficult one, it is whether the good July outbalanced the mediocre August 

Don't remember that much about summer of 2001, it didn't stand out for me. 

 

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10 minutes ago, A Face like Thunder said:

'Summer of 95' has mentioned the eclipse which took place on 11th August 1999. I was on the south coast in Sussex that day and the weather was decidedly sunnier there than further west in Devon and Cornwall where the total eclipse took place. I recall the temperature dropped by several degrees on the coast as the eclipse (about 80% there) took place but warmed up quickly as the sun reappeared. A memorable day even though I missed the full eclipse! 

It would have been more than 80%, it was 90% here in Manchester, I reckon it would have been about 98% where you were. The totality path crossed over the English Channel into northern France around Cherbourg peninsula. A memorable day, saw the eclipse at maximum, there was a temperature drop, a strange light and notable that the sky was darker to the south than to the north. 

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13 minutes ago, A Face like Thunder said:

'Summer of 95' has mentioned the eclipse which took place on 11th August 1999. I was on the south coast in Sussex that day and the weather was decidedly sunnier there than further west in Devon and Cornwall where the total eclipse took place. I recall the temperature dropped by several degrees on the coast as the eclipse (about 80% there) took place but warmed up quickly as the sun reappeared. A memorable day even though I missed the total eclipse! 

I was lucky to witness that, as I was flying off to Toronto on a chartered flight from Heathrow via Paris Charles de Gaulle.

We were given sunglasses to view the eclipse as we boarded the Air France plane, and a few minutes before the landing, I noticed the clouds appeared reddish in nature. It was a very strange sight to see.

Then, as we approached the runway, the lights on the runway came on, and the sky went pitch black for a few minutes. 
 

We left the plane and walked on to the tarmac, to witness the sun coming back out, only to hear one twit say ‘it’s nothing special’ but a woman nearby called him out and said ‘this is something we only see once in a lifetime’.

I will never forget that time. 21 years ago now, hard to believe. 

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In Leeds, 1998 was pretty poor, with only August resembling something close to normal. The highest temperature for the 3 summer months - and the year as a whole - was a pathetic 26.5C in June. Definitely one of the poorer summers of the 1990s.

1999 was much better with a good July. August was mediocre but the first two days reached 30.8C and 31.4C respectively. June was just average.

2001 was probably the best overall imo with both July and August being decent. The 15th of August reached 30.2C. June again was just average.

I do remember the eclipse of 1999, I was in hospital with my mum at the time. We watched it from one of the balconies. Disappointingly cloudy though.

Edited by cheese
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I was in Tyneside also during the eclipse of 1999.  It was a fairly sunny day up there and although the eclipse was less dramatic than down south, I remember a period when the sun dimmed somewhat.  It would've been disappointing living in the South West then and having overcast weather.

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I was on the south coast for about 10-12 days round about the time of the eclipse in August 1999, and I recall it was hot and muggy for most of that time, with a temperature of above 30 degrees C on some days. If the circumstances (a family bereavement) had been different, I might have enjoyed the hot weather on the beach.

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Summer 98 was poor in the Lake District, lots of rain and generally cool, can't remember any lengthy dry sunny warm spell. It came on the back of the wet summer of 97.

Summer 99 was better, July in particular being very good lots of warm sunny dry weather, August was very cloudy though, June no strong memories probably just average

Summer 01 had its moments, a few shortlived decent warm sunny dry periods interspersed with nearer average temperatures, rain and cloud. A typical summer as one or two others have stated.

Summer 00 was generally poor.

Indeed we had a preety lacklustre run of summers from 97 - 02, then a run of very good or excellent summers 03-06, then back to poor summers in the main 07-12, but since 13 a run of  generally good or very good ones - a long run now...7 years  time ticking???

 

Interesting to note how these same spells saw differences in winters in the main, 97-02 generally very mild and very wet, 03-06 colder more blocked conditions at times, though 04-05 was very wet until Feb, 07-12, taking out 07-08 colder snowier winters, since 13, very wet and very mild in the main.

Edited by damianslaw
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On 24/05/2020 at 09:36, Thundery wintry showers said:

I was in Tyneside also during the eclipse of 1999.  It was a fairly sunny day up there and although the eclipse was less dramatic than down south, I remember a period when the sun dimmed somewhat.  It would've been disappointing living in the South West then and having overcast weather.

i was in the south west back then..yes it was mostly overcast but the clouds did break long enough to see the full eclipse ..filmed the whole thing on my video camera..not sure what happened to the tape though ?

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