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Heat of 26th June 1976


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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    This day 45 years ago was also a Saturday and produced the hottest day of a heatwave spell in a summer which was the hottest of the 20th century. On that day, the temperature rose to 35C, 95F where I was in S London, dropping by a degree to 34C the following day. Starting on the 23rd, there were 15 days with a temperature of 32C or more somewhere in England, and on five of those days, the mercury passed 35C (Eden). Many people died from heatstroke and hundreds of others were hospitalised. I believe the 35C temperature was the highest in the country until 3rd August 1990. No such problems this year!

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    14 minutes ago, A Face like Thunder said:

    This day 45 years ago was also a Saturday and produced the hottest day of a heatwave spell in a summer which was the hottest of the 20th century. On that day, the temperature rose to 35C, 95F where I was in S London, dropping by a degree to 34C the following day. Starting on the 23rd, there were 15 days with a temperature of 32C or more somewhere in England, and on five of those days, the mercury passed 35C (Eden). Many people died from heatstroke and hundreds of others were hospitalised. I believe the 35C temperature was the highest in the country until 3rd August 1990. No such problems this year!

    I do believe that Southampton saw 36C, the following day?🤔

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    Posted
  • Location: Islington
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing cold snowy winters & unsettled summers.
  • Location: Islington

    The interesting thing is that the uppers were relatively unremarkable. It was a combination of dry ground and strong sunshine and day after day of heat that culminated in the 35.9C in early July. I've seen people say about how nowadays the same setup would produce 40C but I'm not quite sure about that. The notable thing about 1976 was its consistency. Nowadays our very hot temperatures are recorded in short bursts of heat from blink and you miss it southerlies. None of that in 1976. I can only imagine how pleasant it must have felt in the dry air. And how bad Jun. 1977 must of felt in comparison!

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    Posted
  • Location: Islington
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing cold snowy winters & unsettled summers.
  • Location: Islington
    Just now, Ed Stone said:

    I do believe that Southampton saw 36C, the following day?🤔

    35.6C in Southhampton on the 28th. Rounds up to 36C if you look at it that way. The equal highest ever June temperature ever recorded with Jun. 1957.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    Thanks for clarifying. I wouldn't say it was 'pleasant' and driving around the south of England in a non-air-conditioned Hillman Imp was certainly no fun, but I survived, and at least I wasn't having to travel up to London on the train every day as I had to at other times in the 1970s.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire
    Posted (edited)

    This was from the Sunday Express 45 years ago today. The London Weather Centre were not far off the mark in suggesting that the heat was here to stay!

     

    1008824823_coulsdonJune1976.thumb.jpg.a9a9f6b56cd1341f81874a8149a05af0.jpg

    Edited by A Face like Thunder
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    Posted
  • Location: Basingstoke
  • Weather Preferences: In summer, a decent thunderstorm, and hot weather. In winter, snow or gale
  • Location: Basingstoke
    23 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

    The interesting thing is that the uppers were relatively unremarkable. It was a combination of dry ground and strong sunshine and day after day of heat that culminated in the 35.9C in early July. I've seen people say about how nowadays the same setup would produce 40C but I'm not quite sure about that. The notable thing about 1976 was its consistency. Nowadays our very hot temperatures are recorded in short bursts of heat from blink and you miss it southerlies. None of that in 1976. I can only imagine how pleasant it must have felt in the dry air. And how bad Jun. 1977 must of felt in comparison!

    Yes I have read somewhere that the consistency of this spell is totally unrivalled in the record.  I stand corrected if wrong, but the next longest run of days (above 32c somewhere) in a row was in 1995, with just 6 days.  

    2003 had 5 days, then another 3.  I believe 1983 had 5 days, 1990 had 4.  1911/1947 I am unsure of the duration but would have been nowhere near 15 days

    Would have loved to have lived through that summer!

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    Posted
  • Location: Cardiff
  • Weather Preferences: Warm and sunny!
  • Location: Cardiff
    On 27/06/2021 at 15:57, SummerShower said:

    Yes I have read somewhere that the consistency of this spell is totally unrivalled in the record.  I stand corrected if wrong, but the next longest run of days (above 32c somewhere) in a row was in 1995, with just 6 days.  

    2003 had 5 days, then another 3.  I believe 1983 had 5 days, 1990 had 4.  1911/1947 I am unsure of the duration but would have been nowhere near 15 days

    Would have loved to have lived through that summer!

    Didn't August 2020 have 6 consecutive days where somewhere in the UK reached 34°C?

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    Posted
  • Location: Back in Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Location: Back in Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
    On 27/06/2021 at 08:57, SummerShower said:

     

    Would have loved to have lived through that summer!

    i vaguely remember the summer of 1976..esp the fact of having enough pocket money one day to buy a yorkie bar from the local newsagent (they came out in 1976)  and being upset as it had melted in the heat by the time i had walked home 😭

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    Posted
  • Location: Wendover, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Cold Snowy Winters, Hot Thundery Summers
  • Location: Wendover, Buckinghamshire
    2 hours ago, Earthshine said:

    Didn't August 2020 have 6 consecutive days where somewhere in the UK reached 34°C?

    Yup it did, I think that run of days has to be the most unpleasant in the UK for how stifling the humidity was.

    Interesting with regards to the 40C discussion above. Usually with these high pressure dominated setups you don't often see the really high uppers... 2018 was similar... However I do think 40C is possible if such a high pressure dominated spell ended in a major plume. The model output for August 2018 showed this happening though a clean plume didn't quite materialise.

    Some of the model output in July 2015 showed 40C+ temps in southern and central parts of England though that plume got cut short to just one day (still got to 37C in London though). I think Heathrow could have got above 40C in July 2019 if some afternoon cloud didn't compromise things.

    1976 is still at the very top of UK summers, especially the consistency in the heat from late June to mid-July. However I think the same synoptics would produce temperatures a degree or so warmer then back then, perhaps more so if France had an intense area of heat if high pressure is ridging across the UK. Maximum temperatures in summer 1976 were also a bit higher then usual because of the dry conditions that had persisted through the mid 1970s.

    Edited by Quicksilver1989
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    Posted
  • Location: Manchester
  • Location: Manchester

    I find it quite interesting how the 70s have had the warmest and coolest June's we've seen in living memory. 16.4c 1970, 17.0c 1976 and 12.4 (1971), 11.8 (1972), 12.2 (1977). 

    June 1977 must've been a shock considering the June previous was the warmest since 1846. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Cardiff
  • Weather Preferences: Warm and sunny!
  • Location: Cardiff
    18 hours ago, Frigid said:

    I find it quite interesting how the 70s have had the warmest and coolest June's we've seen in living memory. 16.4c 1970, 17.0c 1976 and 12.4 (1971), 11.8 (1972), 12.2 (1977). 

    June 1977 must've been a shock considering the June previous was the warmest since 1846. 

    Wow those are some abysmal June CETs.  June 1972 was only a couple of degrees warmer than December 2015!

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Philip Eden in his 1995 book Weatherwise noted that Llandudno had a record high of 18.3C in January 1971 and then on the same day of June 1971 it only reached 11C.  I particularly liked his concluding statement, which went along the lines of, "So if you want to sunbathe in Llandudno, forget flaming June, try January instead.  But you will have to choose your dates carefully."  There was also an unusually warm southerly spell in December 1972 which might have produced similar quirks relative to June 1972.

    Summer 1977 was an oddity, it was cool everywhere, dull and wet in the SE, but sunny and dry in the NW, so many parts of north-western Britain had three dry sunny summers in a row, though 1977 would still have felt cool compared to the previous two summers.

    I remember seeing charts comparing the Junes of 1976 and 2018 and noting that whereas warmth was quite widespread globally in June 2018, 1976 was one of the coolest years of the 20th century globally, and in June 1976 the warm patch over western Europe sticks out somewhat.  The main cause of the warmth of June 1976 was a much above-average frequency of southerly winds, which combined with high pressure from the 22nd-26th, and then high pressure sat on top of the country on the last few days with the unusually hot airmass not really moving much.  Dry weather in the spring in southern Britain and neighbouring parts of continental Europe might also have intensified the heat due to dry soils tending to contribute to intense heat.

    Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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    Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl .
  • Weather Preferences: Sun, Snow and Storms
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl .

    I well remember this summer.

    Never to be forgotten.

    I had 2 weeks booked in a caravan at Saundersfoot, (Tenby) with my very young kids (6 and 4).

    The grandparents had arranged to drive down for the second week.

    On the Friday before,  a small low passed through the country. dumping a very welcome  1 to 2 inches of rain in most places which was very welcome as we had experienced 12 months with hardly any rain.

    Anyway set off early sat morning (about the 26th June) and the forecast were set for at least one week of heat wave conditions, with the high building in such a position that it was bringing in SE off the warm continent.

    Drove down, and the temps had already reached 88F somewhere, in perfect conditions. 

    You should know that I had been camping the previous 3 summers and had been washed out on them all!!!

    The weather just got better and better and I think the first Sunday was Sunday June 20th (or thereabouts, haven't checked the exact date!), when the temp first reached 90F (32C) somewhere in the UK.

    I spent all day in the sea!!! with the kids. It was perfect with a lovely cooling sea breeze.

    However, I started to develop a heat rash round my (thinish in those days???) stomach and felt a bit unwell out of the water.

    Temperature continued to rise with London initially the hottest. Then the heat transferred westwards towards Southampton and towards the end, I remember Cheltenham had several days as the hottest with temps at about 95F. (33-35C).

    All the while I was in the sea and I wondered what the fuss was about on the News and Press,

    Towards the end of the first week, my rash had not cleared up and with my parents appearing on the Saturday , I decided I had better check it out.  Low and behold it was shingles. So I kept my shirt on for the second week, but as I found it so relaxing, I spent the whole time in the sea with my shirt on.

    Meanwhile the weather was still fantastic. The wind had backed more to the East, so with a cool North Sea the highest temps had moved to the South and South West.  (London being cooler). 

    A further week spent under idyllic clear blue skies, with reports of isolated heat storms causing a bit of flash flooding in Central areas, 

    Come the Saturday and time to drive home.  

    After about  5 miles the countryside became 'white'. Totally parched everywhere one looked.

     I distinctly remember driving onto the M5. For about a mile it was brown and green. Obviously hit by one on the storms.

     The rest of the journey all the fields were very flat and white.

    Got home to find the garden totally toasted and temps still 88F - 92F (31 - 33C)..

    Never to be forgotten summer holiday.

    This was just the start of the heat. Temperatures just refused  to drop back to normal, with temps in the mid eighties for day after day, until an ex hurricane broke through towards the end of August.

    I remember seeing my parents, who had been brought up at Ogston in Derbyshire.

    This had been moved and flooded for a reservoir about 20 years previously.

    He took the opportunity to show me the old village and the tennis courts he had played upon as a kid, as the water levels had dropped to just a small pool in the middle. Even the old chapel was visible,

    I do not think that the old village has even been seen since.

    Certainly a  1 in a 100 year experience, and in terms of the 1970's weather was totally unforgettable.

    2010 was however a 'reverse' psychology experience.

    MIA

        

    Edited by Midlands Ice Age
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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    Thanks for all your most interesting comments, and particularly the comparisons between hot and cold June's in the 1970s. When the Met Office publish a report on climate change and compare 1961 to 1990 with 1991 to 2020, it may have been overlooked that the hottest of them all was in the earlier period, and of course there was no mention of climate change in those days. Two abiding memories - the number of  windscreens lost to stones in the roads, including my own. In those pre-Autoglass days, you had to fit a temporary and horribly hot plastic windscreen until a permanent replacement was available, or go without altogether. I was not brave enough to do the latter. The other was standing on Epsom Downs and watching the fires consuming large areas of Surrey heathland. I was reminded of my mum seeing the Crystal Palace burning down from afar in 1936, forty years before. On one occasion, a huge fire had obviously enveloped the area around Kingswood where I was heading for. I went another way. If we get a similar problem now, I think our 'belov-ed leader' should appoint another Minister of Drought and order everyone to share baths. That should do the trick, it certainly did in 1976! 🤩   

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