The deadly hurricane of October 1817

Two hundred years ago this autumn a devastating hurricane ripped through the Caribbean. Thousands lost their lives as the winds destroyed hundreds of homes, ships and sugar plantations.

An account in Luke Howard’s The Climate of London reports the loss of 1,800 lives in Martinique alone during the storm that was the most destructive in at least 37 years.

One extract from a ship’s officer on November 30th, 1817, reports on the devastation seen on St Lucia: “We were struck with astonishment at the total change in the whole face of the country.

“We left it the day before the hurricane a beautiful rich green and every thing in a most flourishing state. It has now the appearance of a severe European winter. We went on shore of the 7th of November the scene of destruction which then presented itself is far beyond my power of description.

“On Pigeon Island three houses only are left standing out of nearly 259 the rest with the church are almost totally demolished.”

I have attached the entries below.

hurricane 1

hurricane 2

hurricane 3

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Summer 2017 review

Summer 2017 was a season of two halves, the mean temperature of 18.5C (1.3C above average) made it the tenth warmest summer since 1797.

Though it was warm overall it was also wet. Nearly 234mm of rain were collected, 159 per cent of average, making it the wettest summer since 1987.

Just under 535 hours of sun were recorded, 94 per cent of average and the sunniest summer for three years.

summer 2017 mean
The graph of the mean temperature for the 3 months shows a marked decline from the second week of July
summer 2017 rain
There were at least 3 falls of rain greater than 30mm over 24 hours though classic thunderstorms of recent years were notably lacking
summer 2017 sun
Sunshine was broadly average

 

 

 

 

 

August 2017: average temps, wet

The final summer month proved to be a disappointment for anyone wanting a return of the heat in June.

The mean temperature finished 17.4C, 0.8C below average and the coolest August for three years.

Some 70.2mm of rainfall was recorded, 140% of the 1981-2010 average. Just over 170 hours of sunshine were recorded, 88 per cent of average.

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August 2017