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Severe Thunderstorms in Birmingham - 27th May 2018


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I have chosen to open my very first historic weather topic on the subject of the severe, violent and destructive thunderstorms in Birmingham two years ago. I will give a description of what happened that day and what my memories are of this day.

The rumbles of thunder from the first storms started around 1 am on Sunday 27th, with the 1st round of storms fully passing through my local area by around 3 am. The 2nd round of storms passed through the area around 7 am. These storms were not that extreme, but the final round of storms later that afternoon was much worse.

I always remember that whilst I played tennis in Northfield early that afternoon it was really humid and cloudy, but it was warm. I even suggested to my tennis partner that there was a strange atmosphere in the air as if another round of storms was coming, but I didn't know what was about to happen. I was about to finish my tennis match when the 1st rumbles of the final round of storms started around 4 pm, although I'm not as sure as I was about the exact time this started. Rain started falling as I was getting in the car to go home, with rumbles continuing overhead. The rain became more and more intense and by the time I started my car journey with my parents to a pub in the Selly Oak area, visibility was harder, with continuous low rumbling and loud crashing lightning. Drain covers were popping out because of the flash flooding. There wasn't daytime darkness, but the raindrops were large in volume. The rain became so bad the pub I arrived at stopped serving food because of safety concerns. The thunder carried on loud and continuous until the final round of storms passed through my local area around 6 - 7 pm. When driving home from the pub and getting a Chinese takeaway, the air felt cool and fresh, but there was deep water in and around a park with a stream  normally running through it.

I later found out how bad things had been around the Midlands, with a man dying, and homes flooded in 2016 being flooded again 2 years later.

Met office stats showed 58.6 mm rain fell in just 1 hour at Winterbourne, which is not far form the pub I was in. That hourly figure was a months worth of rain that falls in an average Midlands May. Winterbourne also recorded 81.0 mm rainfall in 24 hours, which includes that exceptional hourly total.

This event shows the real cost of severe weather to people, with flooding causing death and the loss of people's personal belongings. Thankfully my home wasn't flooded.

My personal opinion on this event is that it remains the most remarkable and exceptional thunderstorm and rain event that I have directly bore the brunt of. I struggle to see this day of thunder being beaten in the future. This would make up my top 10 weather events in my lifetime so far. I also reckon the 3rd and final round of storms would be comparable to the more severe thunderstorm outbreaks of the more thundery era of the past. The next worst thunder outbreak of my life is the 28th June 2012 storms, but that is the subject of another thread.

I would like to get other opinions from fellow Netweather users about this event, and what memories my fellow Midlanders have of this exceptional day of thunder on the 27th May 2018. 

This post is so long, I think I'll have a lie down. ?

All the best guys and I hope you have fun with this discussion. ?   

   

   

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Down in London, we were hit by a severe thunderstorm between 10pm until after 11ish, then some distant rumbles after midnight. 
 

What was notable about those storms on the Saturday night of May 26th, was how strong the wind was. It was like a torrential thunderstorm with gusty winds. And the flashes were frequent, it was constant for about 10-15 minutes at one point and very violent. 
 

We had distant rumbles on the bank holiday, so this could have been the storm system or part of it, that was heading up to Birmingham. Sunday was very warm and sunny, but still quite humid.

Definitely a stormy period of weather, although the remainder of summer didn’t bring anything else, those storms stand out even more.

2016-2018 was a golden period for storms again in my opinion, but 2019 seemed to be lacking anything thundery, apart from a few distant storms after that heatwave in mid to late July. It wasn’t memorable, but others told me they got hit by storms in July 2019.

I digressed a bit lol.

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Here in the Coventry, I also got violent storms, Firstly woke up at night by accident around 2am to open the curtains and see constant light before my eyes and torrential rain. it was amazing. Distant rumbles continued into the morning strangely when there usually isn't storms as not much day time heating (so they were elevated ones). There was a nearby storm to the south west 9am and sun coming out too as if a clearing after the storm.

Throughout morning and into early mid afternoon it was very warm and humid and i thought more would form. They indeed did and Met Office issued amber thundnerstorm warning for me as torrential rain expected. eventually formed just to my south and was quite slow moving. They did kinda skip oiver me so rain wasn't too special. However quite frequent thunder and lightning to my north throughout rest of afternoon. One of my best memories of thunder (don't really remember June 28th or July 1st 2015) apart from July 2019 ofc.

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I'm not in the Midlands but here in Bedford we got hit by the storms at around 1am. The storm continued for an hour with constant lightning and deep rumbles of thunder. I remember in the morning when I woke up at around 8am it felt very warm and sticky and I could even make out some clouds from the thunderstorms that just passed over Birmingham at the time. Later in the day when it was around 3pm I think some thunderstorms broke out over the Rugby area and I could even make out those clouds too. After when I had dinner at 6pm some showers started to pep up around the north London area, travelling northwards. Later on one of these showers electrified and I was treated to a nice little distant lightning storm with some faint rumbles of thunder. About an hour after that I remember a storm developed over Northampton and a few more breaking out over Milton Keynes, and that's when hell broke loose. I was treated to an incredible lightning display to my west, with constant lightning and non-stop rumbles. It felt very eerie at the time. Which was when another storm developed behind the main band in Aylesbury and also produced frequent lightning and even a tornado if I remember correctly.

 

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13 hours ago, Sunny76 said:

2016-2018 was a golden period for storms again in my opinion, but 2019 seemed to be lacking anything thundery, apart from a few distant storms after that heatwave in mid to late July. It wasn’t memorable, but others told me they got hit by storms in July 2019.

 

In my area, I can’t remember any storms in 2016 and I only had a loud crack of thunder in early August 2017. The best years for storms in my area that I remember well were summers 2012 and 2013. In 2012, I was hit by severe storms on 28th June and experienced quite a thundery August relative to average. In 2013, I had thunderstorms at the end of the hot July, that were not quite as severe as 2012 and the aforementioned 2018, and I also had rumbles of thunder at the start of August that year. 2014 had storms on the night of the 18th-19th July that were decent if you like staying up late for them, but I unfortunately fell asleep just as the second round of storms was about to pass through. 2015 had storms at the start of July. The only storms I had over my house in 2018 were the ones mentioned above in this topic, but I saw a distant flash of lightning on 21st April after the very warm/hot spell that month. In 2019 I had storms with some brilliant lightning in late July, which was during or after that exceptional 38.7*c hot spell. However, for the sake of the poor locals who had their homes flooded during those violent 2018 storms, I wouldn’t like to experience that extreme amount of rainfall in a short space of time ever again. Unfortunately, I don’t have control of what extreme weather will happen in the future, which, I suppose can make our interest in the weather more interesting. ?

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2016 has some insane storms in June. Pretty much constant lightning for about 3-4 hours.

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2 hours ago, B87 said:

2016 has some insane storms in June. Pretty much constant lightning for about 3-4 hours.

Yes, the night of the Referendum. It was a Thursday night and very humid. Storms were rumbling on and off during the night. 
 

Similar storms were around in mid July 2017. On and off overnight.

I think there were storms on the night of the Scottish referendum in September 2014, in the London region. 

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4 hours ago, Sunny76 said:

Yes, the night of the Referendum. It was a Thursday night and very humid. Storms were rumbling on and off during the night. 
 

Similar storms were around in mid July 2017. On and off overnight.

I think there were storms on the night of the Scottish referendum in September 2014, in the London region. 

I remember walking to the polling station and it feeling very muggy, even though it was only 21c. I later found out that thw dewpoint was 20c!

July 2014 had some great thunderstorms in London, our street was turned into a river within a matter of minutes. July 2014 was also impressive in that it had an almost 26c average high, yet never really got hot. Highest temp of the month (and year) was only 30.3c.

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Will always remember that day. and the night of the 26th into 27th too, i remember watching the storms make their way up from London, and warning some friends we're gonna get some big thunderstorms soon and by about 2am, it reached us and the lightning was so spectacular it goes into my top 3, with July 3/4th 2015 and July 23/24th 2019 being the others. Was watching these until about 4am when they moved on. Only had around 4 hours sleep because by 8am another round of storms was skirting to the west and some flashes were slightly visible but thunder was audible clearly. Then the rest of the day was muggy and warm and got quite cloudy, and around 3 pm the first signs  of storms started showing on the radar, and was watching the first one just past east but thunder was continuous, then saw one develop exactly on the path where i was. These got bigger and more intense and kept firing in the same line for a good few hours. I think they started as elevated but then became surface based if im not mistaken, massive CGs with shotgun thunder were frequent, some pea sized hail and the rain was biblical, it caused flooding around here in places that i didn't even know could flood. Around the entire house there was surface water flooding but luckily didn't get too deep that it went inside the house. I went for a small walk when the rain got a little lighter and there was chaos with floods everywhere, even cars getting stuck a few roads up from me. Out of nowhere the heavens opened once again and got absolutely drenched in literally seconds, and had to walk through a river on a road to get back home, the storms continued until around 7pm. An amazing day weather wise.

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19 minutes ago, Sparkiee storm said:

Will always remember that day. and the night of the 26th into 27th too, i remember watching the storms make their way up from London, and warning some friends we're gonna get some big thunderstorms soon and by about 2am, it reached us and the lightning was so spectacular it goes into my top 3, with July 3/4th 2015 and July 23/24th 2019 being the others. Was watching these until about 4am when they moved on. Only had around 4 hours sleep because by 8am another round of storms was skirting to the west and some flashes were slightly visible but thunder was audible clearly. Then the rest of the day was muggy and warm and got quite cloudy, and around 3 pm the first signs  of storms started showing on the radar, and was watching the first one just past east but thunder was continuous, then saw one develop exactly on the path where i was. These got bigger and more intense and kept firing in the same line for a good few hours. I think they started as elevated but then became surface based if im not mistaken, massive CGs with shotgun thunder were frequent, some pea sized hail and the rain was biblical, it caused flooding around here in places that i didn't even know could flood. Around the entire house there was surface water flooding but luckily didn't get too deep that it went inside the house. I went for a small walk when the rain got a little lighter and there was chaos with floods everywhere, even cars getting stuck a few roads up from me. Out of nowhere the heavens opened once again and got absolutely drenched in literally seconds, and had to walk through a river on a road to get back home, the storms continued until around 7pm. An amazing day weather wise.

That was my experience too.

 

I'd never see anything like it, it went so dark and the rain was truly biblical for a while.  Our back garden flooded and the water came within an inch of flooding our living room - we actually had to open the back gate to allow the water to flow out and into the road.

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10 hours ago, Sir Mim said:

That was my experience too.

 

I'd never see anything like it, it went so dark and the rain was truly biblical for a while.  Our back garden flooded and the water came within an inch of flooding our living room - we actually had to open the back gate to allow the water to flow out and into the road.

Yeah forgot to mention how dark it got, dark enough for the street lights to come on, only remember a couple of times that happening, and yeah Walsall really was hit severely with that rain, and of course we cant forget the tragic death of the elderly man that happened due to the floods too in Rushall, Walsall. 

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Posted (edited)

 

On 29/05/2020 at 00:21, 2010cold said:

I have chosen to open my very first historic weather topic on the subject of the severe, violent and destructive thunderstorms in Birmingham two years ago. I will give a description of what happened that day and what my memories are of this day.

The rumbles of thunder from the first storms started around 1 am on Sunday 27th, with the 1st round of storms fully passing through my local area by around 3 am. The 2nd round of storms passed through the area around 7 am. These storms were not that extreme, but the final round of storms later that afternoon was much worse.

I always remember that whilst I played tennis in Northfield early that afternoon it was really humid and cloudy, but it was warm. I even suggested to my tennis partner that there was a strange atmosphere in the air as if another round of storms was coming, but I didn't know what was about to happen. I was about to finish my tennis match when the 1st rumbles of the final round of storms started around 4 pm, although I'm not as sure as I was about the exact time this started. Rain started falling as I was getting in the car to go home, with rumbles continuing overhead. The rain became more and more intense and by the time I started my car journey with my parents to a pub in the Selly Oak area, visibility was harder, with continuous low rumbling and loud crashing lightning. Drain covers were popping out because of the flash flooding. There wasn't daytime darkness, but the raindrops were large in volume. The rain became so bad the pub I arrived at stopped serving food because of safety concerns. The thunder carried on loud and continuous until the final round of storms passed through my local area around 6 - 7 pm. When driving home from the pub and getting a Chinese takeaway, the air felt cool and fresh, but there was deep water in and around a park with a stream  normally running through it.

I later found out how bad things had been around the Midlands, with a man dying, and homes flooded in 2016 being flooded again 2 years later.

Met office stats showed 58.6 mm rain fell in just 1 hour at Winterbourne, which is not far form the pub I was in. That hourly figure was a months worth of rain that falls in an average Midlands May. Winterbourne also recorded 81.0 mm rainfall in 24 hours, which includes that exceptional hourly total.

This event shows the real cost of severe weather to people, with flooding causing death and the loss of people's personal belongings. Thankfully my home wasn't flooded.

My personal opinion on this event is that it remains the most remarkable and exceptional thunderstorm and rain event that I have directly bore the brunt of. I struggle to see this day of thunder being beaten in the future. This would make up my top 10 weather events in my lifetime so far. I also reckon the 3rd and final round of storms would be comparable to the more severe thunderstorm outbreaks of the more thundery era of the past. The next worst thunder outbreak of my life is the 28th June 2012 storms, but that is the subject of another thread.

I would like to get other opinions from fellow Netweather users about this event, and what memories my fellow Midlanders have of this exceptional day of thunder on the 27th May 2018. 

This post is so long, I think I'll have a lie down. ?

All the best guys and I hope you have fun with this discussion. ?   

   

   

 

 

 

Hiya 201cold... Hope this 'account' is of use to you.

My memories are similar to yours, but here in C Solihull  it was slightly less lengthy as I believe it started to develop over us.

I was playing golf from 14:00 and was able to watch it develop at first hand.

About 15:00 I noticed on the hot muggy day that just to the east of here that the CB's were developing rapidly (around Knowle?).

The wind was a light SE.

The clouds were building rapidly and as they moved overhead I stood and watched a CB shoot up rapidly and stood there watching the development in amazement.  It really was incredible to see. However there was no lightening at that stage as it moved slowly westwards (towards Bham). It had got to about 45 degrees up(down?)  in the sky (say Olton Hollow) when the first thunder crack was heard. Stayed dry and we completed it back to the clubhouse about 15:30-45. The clouds were rapidly taking on a black/blue hue.

I stopped as by this time the thunder was peeling away to the west, and the sky was as black as ink  (over Harborne, Tyseley  area) and now with one or two more CB's shooting up all around to my east, I thought it too dangerous to continue. I said to my playing partners we should go in. They agreed.

Got home (10 mins) and for about an hour we could hear the constant thunder and lightening over South Bham. Was really dark over there and could see lightening flashes.

Still totally dry around here.

Then about 16:45 I noticed that the storm appeared to be returning from the West.

Over 10 minutes it got darker and darker until at about 17:00 the storm burst back over the top of us.

The rain was biblical for about 30 minutes and the local roads became inundated as the manhole covers blew up.

The storm then starting moving off again and then went off in a NNW direction as it died out.

It almost did a loop as I watched it on the Netweather Radar. I knew places just to the west were/had  taken a beating.

Even so, the level of the water in the road flooded the houses opposite (mine is slightly raised) and  the level was the second highest I have seen behind a monumental downpour of a storm in the late 1970's when I have photographs of my kids waist deep walking on the road, playing with a yacht.(Been here 48 years now).

So an interesting experience for me here. The storm was not as bad as in central/southern Bham.  as it was developing as it passed  over here and we got swiped by its tail as it moved away. We 'only' had about 30-45 mins under the torrent. I recorded just over an inch of rainfall.

I think that places that had 1 - 2 hours underneath the main storm centre as it stopped and then returned towards me again, were the worst hit.

I think I had a 'grandstand seat' watching it develop, right over the top of us here.

Never witnessed that happening before.

Here though the worst thunderstorm I remember was 'El Brummie'. I watched it develop over the Brecon Beacons and move slowly N Eastwards towards us.  The lightening was constant on the radar and the rain became intense around the centre. As it passed over the wind twisted around in a violent gale and the visibility became virtually nil with the wind swirling around and shaking the house. The wind started off in a SE quadrant and moved around to the NW as it cleared through. As I remember rightly it developed a tornado over the East Midlands. We may have experienced a similar effect such as a wall cloud as it passed here, but the visibility was so bad that it was not possible to tell.

I have never seen more active lightening as that storm produced.

Its centre was very violent.

MIA

 

Edited by Midlands Ice Age
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5 hours ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

Hiya 201cold... Hope this 'account' is of use to you.

My memories are similar to yours, but here in C Solihull  it was slightly less lengthy as I believe it started to develop over us.

I was playing golf from 14:00 and was able to watch it develop at first hand.

About 15:00 I noticed on the hot muggy day that just to the east of here that the CB's were developing rapidly (around Knowle?).

The wind was a light SE.

The clouds were building rapidly and as they moved overhead I stood and watched a CB shoot up rapidly and stood there watching the development in amazement.  It really was incredible to see. However there was no lightening at that stage as it moved slowly westwards (towards Bham). It had got to about 45 degrees up(down?)  in the sky (say Olton Hollow) when the first thunder crack was heard. Stayed dry and we completed it back to the clubhouse about 15:30-45. The clouds were rapidly taking on a black/blue hue.

I stopped as by this time the thunder was peeling away to the west, and the sky was as black as ink  (over Harborne, Tyseley  area) and now with one or two more CB's shooting up all around to my east, I thought it too dangerous to continue. I said to my playing partners we should go in. They agreed.

Got home (10 mins) and for about an hour we could hear the constant thunder and lightening over South Bham. Was really dark over there and could see lightening flashes.

Still totally dry around here.

Then about 16:45 I noticed that the storm appeared to be returning from the West.

Over 10 minutes it got darker and darker until at about 17:00 the storm burst back over the top of us.

The rain was biblical for about 30 minutes and the local roads became inundated as the manhole covers blew up.

The storm then starting moving off again and then went off in a NNW direction as it died out.

It almost did a loop as I watched it on the Netweather Radar. I knew places just to the west were/had  taken a beating.

Even so, the level of the water in the road flooded the houses opposite (mine is slightly raised) and  the level was the second highest I have seen behind a monumental downpour of a storm in the late 1970's when I have photographs of my kids waist deep walking on the road, playing with a yacht.(Been here 48 years now).

So an interesting experience for me here. The storm was not as bad as in central/southern Bham.  as it was developing as it passed  over here and we got swiped by its tail as it moved away. We 'only' had about 30-45 mins under the torrent. I recorded just over an inch of rainfall.

I think that places that had 1 - 2 hours underneath the main storm centre as it stopped and then returned towards me again, were the worst hit.

I think I had a 'grandstand seat' watching it develop, right over the top of us here.

Never witnessed that happening before.

Here though the worst thunderstorm I remember was 'El Brummie'. I watched it develop over the Brecon Beacons and move slowly N Eastwards towards us.  The lightening was constant on the radar and the rain became intense around the centre. As it passed over the wind twisted around in a violent gale and the visibility became virtually nil with the wind swirling around and shaking the house. The wind started off in a SE quadrant and moved around to the NW as it cleared through. As I remember rightly it developed a tornado over the East Midlands. We may have experienced a similar effect such as a wall cloud as it passed here, but the visibility was so bad that it was not possible to tell.

I have never seen more active lightening as that storm produced.

Its centre was very violent.

MIA

 

Hi, Midlands Ice Age. In my area the storm was parked over us for around 2 hours and I think the rain only became less heavy for a short time before it became torrential for a second time. My house wasn’t flooded because I’m fortunate to live on a hill, but despite that, my area really bore the brunt of that storm and in my 20 years of life, I’ve never known a storm as severe as that. I think the 28th June 2012 was quite severe and that storm had a great, eye-catching anvil cloud in the aftermath. The 2012 storm flooded parts of my secondary school playground, but I know places like Newcastle-Upon-Tyne bore the brunt of those June 2012 storms. ??

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