n o t a b l e  w e a t h e r  e v e n t s  2 0 1 7

A summary of severe weather warnings and other notable weather extremes for Northamptonshire since February 1998.

Severe Weather Records from Previous Years:
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

9 January

Temperatures fall sharply between 16:00 and 16:10hrs associated with the passage south-eastwards through the county of cold front. A drop of 2.3C is recorded at Pitsford (8.5C at 16:00, followed by 6.2C 10 minutes later). Winds also switch from a steady south-westerly to a north-westerly at the same time.

Sudden drop in temperature and wind direction associated with the passage of a cold front during the late afternoon of 9 January 2017.

23 February

Storm Doris sweeps across the county causing widespread travel disruption. Wind speeds at Pitsford reach gale force during the afternoon with a peak gust of 57.9mph recorded at 14:47.  Several roads are closed due to fallen trees and branches, including Bridge Street and Abington Street in Northampton town centre, and there are reports of trees having fallen on to houses in Daventry and Holcot. Sidewind causes a lorry to overturn on the A43 near Hannington.  A glass panel on the roof of the Hope Centre in Northampton becomes partially detached causing the area to be cordoned off to the public. Winds gradually die down during the evening.

Trends in pressure, wind speed, peak gusts and rainfall during Storm Doris beginning at 18:00hrs on 22nd February.

30 March

A warm sector moves in from the south-west rising daytime temperatures at Pitsford to 20.4C at 15:51, making this the warmest March day since 20.7C was recorded in 1990. The day represents the 6th warmest March day since temperature records began in Northampton in 1880.

Temperature recorded at Pitsford weather centre on 30th March 2017.

Averages used in these reports refer to the period 1981-2010 unless otherwise indicated.

17-21 June

Temperatures soar as the county experiences a heatwave. Daytime temperatures reach 28.5C on the 17th, 29.6C on the 18th and then exceed 30C on the 19th and 21st with the 20th only being slightly cooler. The high of 31.9C recorded on the 19th represents the warmest June day in Northampton since 1976 when 34.0C was recorded. Some brief showers and rumbles of thunder during the morning of the 22nd introduce fresher conditions bringing the heatwave to a close. Despite the fresher conditions, dry conditions continue to prevail with the last significant rainfall recorded on the 9th.

Record of air temperature recorded at Pitsford weather centre during the heatwave June 17-21st.

 6 September

The weather centre receives a report of a mini-tornado in the village of Pitsford during the evening. Eye witnesses report seeing trees swaying violently and a strong gust of wind sounding like an express train. There are no reports of any structural damage. Observations at the weather centre corroborate the report as wind speeds increased dramatically at 19:44 gusting to 32mph.


Observations made by the automatic weather station at the time of the reported tornado in Pitsford on 6 September. Click on graph to enlarge.

16 October

Winds increase across the county during the afternoon as ex hurricane Ophelia tracks across the Republic of Ireland. Whilst winds across Ireland exceed 100mph claiming the lives of 3 people, across Northamptonshire winds peak at just under 40mph. However. the 'red sun' is a notable feature caused by Saharan dust and smoke from Portuguese wildfires being drawn up on Ophelia's strong southerly airstream.


Left: Visible satellite image of ex hurricane Ophelia approaching the coast of Ireland at 08:00GMT on 16 October. Right: The 'red sun' observed across the county during the same afternoon.

The weather extremes documented here are generally only those observed at Pitsford Weather Centre. Unconfirmed reports received of extreme events in other parts of the county are indicated by *.

Averages used in these reports refer to the period 1981-2010 unless otherwise indicated.