SEVERE WEATHER RECORD 2003
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.
3 January The Environment Agency releases a Severe Flood Warning for the River Nene between Billing and Denford following two days of heavy rain: 25.5mm falling in 48 hours since 0900hrs on 1st at Pitsford Hall. The notice is downgraded to a Flood Warning at 12noon. 3 January At 19.37hrs the Environment Agency extends its Flood Warning on the River Nene to include the Bridge Street & industrial areas of Thrapston, Barnwell and Oundle Mills. By evening several properties are being inundated by the rising river levels. 19 March Sun pillar (optical phenomenon) observed in Pitsford at sunset. Also noted from other localities. 31 May An unusually warm final week in May culminates with a daytime maximum of 27.5C at Pitsford Hall. Maxima from the 28th onwards had peaked in the low to mid 20's. The 'mini' heat wave was also dry lacking any convectional/thunderstorm activity. A partial eclipse of the sun is also observed across the county. Mist and cloud cleared just in time for the eclipse to be seen. The full annular eclipse was observed further north in Scotland. 22 June Daytime maximum of 28.9C triggers a thundery breakdown to a warm spell of weather. Thunder is first reported shortly after 14.00 hrs. Prolonged and heavy rain during the evening and overnight delivers 18.9mm in the space of 7.3 hrs. 16 July Hot spell ends with a thundery breakdown as 8.8mm of rain is delivered at Pitsford in less than one hour. Temperatures reached maxima of 30.1C, 31.6C and 28.7C on the 14th, 15th & 16th respectively. 4 August A speed limit of 20mph is imposed on trains south of Northampton to prevent damage to the rails as air temperatures exceed 30C and track temperatures reach 50C. 6 August Heatwave continues as temperatures reach 32.5C making this the hottest August day in Northampton since 11 August, 1997 (33.1C) and the fourth hottest since 9 August, 1911 (35.3) when the old UK record for the hottest day was noted at Raunds (36.7C) until beaten by Cheltenham in 1990. Only August 1990 and August 1995 recorded higher temperatures (35.6C and 34.6C respectively). 9 August Heatwave continues as temperatures rise to 34.1C at Pitsford making this the hottest August day in Northampton since 1995 (34.6C) and the third hottest since 1911. 10 August Thunderstorms destroy the county's chances of retaking the UK highest temperature record on a day when 36C or more was forecast. However, the 1990 Cheltenham record (37.1C) is beaten by Brogdale nr Faversham (38.5C). Temperatures at Pitsford Hall climbed to a mere 30.9C. 24 August 14 days elapse since any rainfall is recorded at Pitsford Hall signalling the start of an official drought. 31 August The month ends without any significant rainfall (i.e. wet days with 1mm or more of rain) recorded since 10th August making this the driest August in Northampton since 1947. 28 October The first significant rainfall across the county since the start of the summer. 12.7mm is recorded over 17.7hrs at Pitsford Hall. The rainfall comes as a great relief for farmers across the county bemoaning the loss of this year's oilseed rape and Anglian water whose reservoirs at Pitsford and Ravensthorpe are suffering falling levels. 30 October A further 18.3mm of rain is delivered in over 17 hrs - again welcome relief for farmers.
The weather extremes documented here are generally only those observed at Pitsford Hall Weather Station. Reports received of extreme events in other parts of the county are indicated by *.