SEVERE WEATHER RECORD 2006
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
Severe Weather Record for This Year
Temperatures stay below freezing all day. Daytime maxima at Pitsford struggles at -1.3C falling overnight to -3.3C. The cold conditions develop as a result of lingering low cloud and fog brought on by a protracted period of anticyclonic gloom.
Freezing fog depositing rime produces a very wintry scene across the county. Clearing skies overnight, virtually no wind and a fall of snow sends overnight temperatures at Pitsford Hall plummeting to -6.4C. Temperatures take a while to climb above freezing during the morning, but strong sunshine (5.8hrs) sees a good recovery during the afternoon. However, the clear skies subsequently see another hard frost on the 4th with lows falling to -4.5C with a grass minimum of -9.6C.
Frontal systems move southwards through the county during the day bringing wintry showers and an unseasonal fall of snow overnight. The county wakes to a thin blanket of snow on the 10th quickly melting in the strong sunshine.
The warmest day of the year so far. Temperatures at Pitsford Hall reach a maximum of 26.8C at 1600hrs GMT. The 5th remains warm with highs reaching 20.1C, although an erratic frontal system working in off the North Sea introduces spells of rain and cooler temperatures by the weekend.
A warm day (maximum 23.6C at Pitsford) ends with a spectacular thunder and lightening storm accompanied by downpours of rain. 6.6mm is recorded over 4.9 hours at Pitsford. Relative humidity during the day falls markedly to around 24% during the afternoon, recovering dramatically during the evening storms.
A daytime maximum of 30.4C is recorded at Pitsford Hall during a short heatwave. After 31.0C last June, this represents the second warmest June day since 1996 (30.6C) and the third warmest since 1976 (34.0C).
The month ends with only 4.9mm of rain recorded at Pitsford, making this the second driest June on record - the driest June since 1925 when just 0.5mm of rain was recorded. The prolonged dry spell provokes further concerns at potential water shortages this summer.
Heatwave across the county which started with temperatures soaring to 28.8C on 1st July fuels a spectacular thunderstorm that moved north-westwards through the county during the late afternoon. Reports were received of flash floods and damaging hail on the A43. At Pitsford 3.3mm of rain is delivered in the space of 10 minutes at 16:40 GMT.
A spectacular thunderstorm works through the county during the morning, earlier than forecast. 6.1mm is delivered in 10 minutes at 08:20 GMT at Pitsford. Reports are received of localised flooding as gutters and drains fail to cope with the intensity of rainfall. In total 15.5mm of rain is recorded as being delivered in the 24 hour period from 0900 GMT on the 4th to 0900 GMT on the 5th, most of this falling in just under an hour. 4500 people in Crick, West Haddon and Long Buckby are left without electricity for several hours. Corridors around the stroke unit at Northampton General Hospital's Billing Road entrance are flooded by the downpours. Flash floods are reported elsewhere around Northampton including St James, Abington Street and Bedford Road.
County suffers in a heatwave which sees daytime temperatures exceed 30C on every day at Pitsford. On the 19th several stretches of tarmac on the county's roads begin to melt forcing gritters to take to main routes with granite dust. Liquefied tarmac is reported between Old and Walgrave, Kelmarsh and Sibbertoft. Speed restrictions are introduced on the railways between Northampton and Birmingham/London amidst fears that tracks could buckle in the heat. The online automatic weather station registers a high of 37.3C at 14:30 GMT triggering frenzied media interest - click on news report. However, the official temperature recorded in the station's met enclosure was a mere 35.5C compared to the official high of 36.5C recorded at Wisley in Surrey. Nevertheless, this was still this the hottest July day on record in Northampton.
Heat triggers spectacular lightnings displays across the county and torrential downpours. 20.5mm is delivered in just 1.6 hrs at Pitsford. Two houses in Lumbertubs, Northampton are flooded by two feet of water as a result of a blocked drain. Wellingborough Road is rendered into a river at its junctions with Beech Avenue and Abington Park Crescent. Northamptonshire's Fire and Rescue receive more than 30 calls during the peak of the storm between 13:30 and 14:30 GMT. The automatic weather station registered a drop in temperature from 29.1C at 1300hrs GMT to 17C at 14:40hrs GMT. The storm was also accompanied by some particularly strong wind gusts.
Afternoon heat triggers a dust whirl (or 'devil') in Hardingstone*. Reports are received of garden furniture and pot plants being thrown into the air. By-standers claim to have witnessed a small tornado, although cloud amounts were insufficient to confirm the phenemena.
26th & 27th July
Violent thunderstorms late on the 26th and early on the 27th result in a loss of power to over 1000 homes across Northampton, several hundred of which remain without electricity until late on the 27th.
Spectacular thunderstorms give rise to downpours and localised flash floods. During the peak of the storm at 12:20 GMT 4.6mm falls in the space of 10 minutes recorded by AWS at Pitsford. In the 24 hour period from 0900GMT the weather station records a total of 12.3mm.
Further heavy thunderstorms work through the county around lunchtime. During the peak of the storm at 13:10 GMT a total of 5.6mm of rain falls within a 10 minute period at Pitsford, 12.0mm falling between 12:50 and 13:20 GMT. At neighbouring Brixworth, the automatic weather station records the peak of the storm at 13:00 GMT with a total of 6.3mm falling during a 15 minute interval. At Brixworth 15.5mm is recorded as falling between 12:30 and 13:45 GMT. Lightning strikes set several properties in Northampton on fire. Flash floods are reported in several areas of the county including Blisworth and in the Lake View and Lings areas of Northampton. Shoppers at Morrisons on the Kettering Road in Northampton have to wade through a flooded car park. Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue receive 40 calls for help.
Afternoon thunderstorms track across the county. Lightning strikes the wind farm at Burton Wold near Burton Latimer, the first operational wind farm in the county, causing problems to underground power cables.
Daytime temperature at Pitsford Hall reaches 29.3C making this the warmest September day since 1921. The unseasonal warmth encourages further media interest in the weather station. Click here for video feed.
Heavy rain tied into thunderstorms results in localised flooding across the county. 23.3mm falls in 3.8 hrs at Pitsford. Standing water on roads make driving conditions particularly hazardous.
11.0mm falls over 7.0hrs at Pitsford Hall overnight on the 24th leading into the 25th. The rain, torrential at times, causes havoc across the county with Saturday sporting fixtures cancelled, roads closed and drains blocked. Fire crews are called out to rescue residents of several bungalows in Farthingstone threatened with flooding. Bridge Street in Weedon is closed to traffic as storms drains become blocked and rainwater floods the road. Shoppers at Tesco in Brackley are forced to abandon the store as the car park is inundated in 4ft of water.
Gale force winds develop across the county during the night. Peak gusts of 58mph are recorded at Pitsford Hall's affiliated site at Brixworth. Strong winds continue through the following day. The wind is strong enough to register as a rare 'gale' around 0615 GMT. Structural damage across the county is minimal and no reports of disruption despite Met Office warnings are received at Pitsford.
The weather extremes documented here are generally only those observed at Pitsford Hall Weather Station. Unconfirmed reports received of extreme events in other parts of the county are indicated by *.