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Hottest Week Since 1961 ....REALLY????

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Bedpan

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LBC announced in their newses yesterday afternoon that temperatures had reached 34 degrees somewhere in Britain for six days in a row, making it the hottest week since 1961. The claim was repeated on the BBC News at Ten (or maybe the weather forecast after) and there is mention of it in at least two newspapers.

I vividly remember the big freeze of 1962/63, I remember a very warm day in February 1960 or 61, and I can remember being on holiday in a caravan in Cornwall in 1961 and the weather being cool and drizzly for the two weeks we were there, so although I was only been a child at the time I am sure that I would have a memory of it being exceptionally hot for a week, if it had been. So I decided to do a bit of research and found a website https://www.trevorharley.com/1961.html where it has a fairly comprehensive description of the year's weather (Trevor Harley has one for every year, they are quite interesting if you like that sort of thing), and he makes no mention of a sustained period of 34 degrees (or 94 degrees as it would have been then) plus hot weather. I won;'t reproduce it here as it is too long, but the hottest spell he mentions is from the end of August into September when there were a few days of 30+ but nothing above 32.

So... does anybody have any memory of this widely reproted exceptionally hot weather, or know anybody who can recall it?
 
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yorksrob

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Presumably it's beaten the great 1976 heatwave that my family regularly recall.
 

mmh

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Presumably it's beaten the great 1976 heatwave that my family regularly recall.

Not yet for my family, as we haven't had the "plagues of ladybirds" they all mention about 1976. Mind you, it's not been that hot here compared to England, it seems.
 

Bedpan

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1976 - That's another year i can vividly recall, for the long hot summer. I remember it as Trevor Harley has described it at https://www.trevorharley.com/1976.html.
Trevor Harley said:
1976 was a wonderful year, one of the best, with a phenomenal summer - the best (hottest, sunniest, and until 1995, driest) on record - and the Great Drought. Remember the Minister for Drought? Just look at that run of very dry months until the autumn. I was in the right place for a change - Southampton. The great summer really started in May. May and June had some hot spells, interspersed with cloudier, cooler periods. The height of the great summer was 22 June to 26 August; and the month from 22 June to 21 July had an average temperature of 20.9C. Somewhere in the country reached the 80s from 22 June to 16 July, and most extraordinarily of all, somewhere reached the 90s (32C) for 15 consecutive days from 23 June and 7 July (before or since there has been no such spell longer than give days over 90F in a row). Heathrow had 16 consecutive days over 30C between 23 June and 8 July, a record. The period September 1975 - August 1976 was the driest 12 month period on record. A Minister for Drought was appointed this year.

Definitely higher temperatures than 1961. I can believe that the hot weather at the moment is probably the hottest since 1976!
 
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DavidB

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This sort of story is a media favourite! Several times a year we have the hottest/coldest/wettest/driest/windiest day/week/month/year since records began/this century/since 1900...
 

Trackman

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AFAIK the only record that has been broken is consecutive warms nights over 20C
 

philjo

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Today’s Daily Telegraph ( 13 August, page 9) reports that the 6 consecutive days in London over 34C is the record since 1961.
 
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SteveM70

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This sort of story is a media favourite! Several times a year we have the hottest/coldest/wettest/driest/windiest day/week/month/year since records began/this century/since 1900...

....and if you’re the Daily Mail how it affects the value of your house
 

Peter Mugridge

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Presumably it's beaten the great 1976 heatwave that my family regularly recall.

Not really - if I remember rightly, the 1976 record is for days over 30°C, so that record can still stand even with this new record for days over 34°C.

On the opposing side, on 1975 it famously snowed in June...
 

pdeaves

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Wasn't 1976, whilst a long hot summer, more about lack of rain/drought. There have been plenty of other hot summers but accompanied by wet so it didn't seem as bad.
 

Bald Rick

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LBC announced in their newses yesterday afternoon that temperatures had reached 34 degrees somewhere in Britain for six days in a row, making it the hottest week since 1961. The claim was repeated on the BBC News at Ten (or maybe the weather forecast after) and there is mention of it in at least two newspapers.

I vividly remember the big freeze of 1962/63, I remember a very warm day in February 1960 or 61, and I can remember being on holiday in a caravan in Cornwall in 1961 and the weather being cool and drizzly for the two weeks we were there, so although I was only been a child at the time I am sure that I would have a memory of it being exceptionally hot for a week, if it had been. So I decided to do a bit of research and found a website https://www.trevorharley.com/1961.html where it has a fairly comprehensive description of the year's weather (Trevor Harley has one for every year, they are quite interesting if you like that sort of thing), and he makes no mention of a sustained period of 34 degrees (or 94 degrees as it would have been then) plus hot weather. I won;'t reproduce it here as it is too long, but the hottest spell he mentions is from the end of August into September when there were a few days of 30+ but nothing above 32.

So... does anybody have any memory of this widely reproted exceptionally hot weather, or know anybody who can recall it?


AIUI reliable records for such things were only started in 1961 (which surprised me), so the report is a slight misrepresentation. It should be “since at least 1961”


Nevertheless it still surprised me, as I could swear that we had more than 6 consecutive days of 34C + in July / August 2003. I lived in central London st the time and it was unbearable for (seemingly) weeks.
 

158747

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This sort of story is a media favourite! Several times a year we have the hottest/coldest/wettest/driest/windiest day/week/month/year since records began/this century/since 1900...
On January 1st of any year it’s possible to have the coldest and hottest day of the year on the same day.
 

C J Snarzell

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It has been exceptionally hot recently but I do think people forget about previous hot summers we've had.

1976 always stands out as the ultimate summer of hot basking weather and probably sits well for people who are 45+ because of fond memories of childhood and younger more innocence times.

2018 has to be up there with hottest summers - this was my final year in the police before I decided to quit. I remember from April to at least July, I was struggling at work each day because of the body armour I had to wear and having to drive neglected job cars that had no air conditioning. I began feeling physically drained, nauseated and fatigued because of the lack of sleep I was getting because of the humidity.

1990 was another significant year for the hot weather. This was the year my parents divorced (which is why I remember it so well). Me and my brother lived with my Nan during our school holidays and spent hours playing out in the street & nearby woodland from first thing in the morning until it went dark at 9/10 O clock at night. I also remember a local kid who was a year older than me, drowning in a nearby quarry when he took a plunge into the icy waters.

CJ
 

Vespa

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I remember the hot summer of 2018 which is also the same time as the Royal weddong of Meghan and Harry, I was sat in a pub in Paignton watching it over a pint, it was a good holiday, rode the Paignton-Dartmouth railway.

I'm old enough to remember 1976 and 1990, there is a trend for warmer weather over the last 10 years, we did have a blip in 2010 which is probably the worst winter I experienced since the big winter of 1981/1982.

One thing I will say weather in this country is never boring.
.
 

C J Snarzell

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I remember the hot summer of 2018 which is also the same time as the Royal weddong of Meghan and Harry, I was sat in a pub in Paignton watching it over a pint, it was a good holiday, rode the Paignton-Dartmouth railway.

I'm old enough to remember 1976 and 1990, there is a trend for warmer weather over the last 10 years, we did have a blip in 2010 which is probably the worst winter I experienced since the big winter of 1981/1982.

One thing I will say weather in this country is never boring.
.

Defo about the winters - I got the keys to my first house on the 17th December 2010 and the family who vacated the house on the same day nearly didn't leave because their removal truck was struggling to get off the housing estate because the snowfall was do bad. I then had to wait until the second week of January (2011) to officially move in because the snow & road conditions were so bad.

The snowfall in February 2018 was horrific. People had to be rescued from cars in blizzard conditions on the M62. 2018 was a really strange year - Alaskan weather conditions and eight weeks later we saw the start of one of the longest spells of warm weather on record with people sunbathing in Hyde Park in the middle of April.

CJ
 

route101

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Last week here in Glasgow temperatures have been in low to mid 20s, best run of August weather id say since 2003. Nights have been humid. Usually August is apoor month in Scotland.
 

Busaholic

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I'd reiterate the post earlier which speculated on 'the longest hot spell since 1961' actually meaning 'the longest hot spell since those specific records were created in 1961'. Any such hot spell (consecutive days over 34C) would almost certainly occur in S.E. England, and I was a 13 year old schoolboy in that area then and I recollect no such weather:however, the weather of 1961/2 winter was considered as pretty bad until trounced by that of 1962/3.
 

C J Snarzell

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I'd reiterate the post earlier which speculated on 'the longest hot spell since 1961' actually meaning 'the longest hot spell since those specific records were created in 1961'. Any such hot spell (consecutive days over 34C) would almost certainly occur in S.E. England, and I was a 13 year old schoolboy in that area then and I recollect no such weather:however, the weather of 1961/2 winter was considered as pretty bad until trounced by that of 1962/3.

Wasn't that the same winter that London was hit by the fog known as the 'Pea Soup'?

I remember watching news archives from the era and the fog was so dense it caused chaos everywhere.

CJ
 

Busaholic

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Wasn't that the same winter that London was hit by the fog known as the 'Pea Soup'?

I remember watching news archives from the era and the fog was so dense it caused chaos everywhere.

CJ
There was a particularly nasty foggy spell around then - I've mentioned on this forum before the time when my bus from school to home (around six miles) was guided along the South Circular Road by the conductor walking in front with a flare, for a couple of miles. I did recently read in a magazine another account by someone of around my age relating a similar account on another bus route that shared our routeing in part. I'm pretty sure I'd remember if we'd had a hot spell similar to the recent one.
 
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