Tag Archives: thunderstorm over London

Thunderstorm: May 29th 2018

Posts about thunderstorms are usually few and far between – the average number of thunderstorms in this part of the UK in a summer month (July) is just 3.5.

So experiencing four in four days must be very rare; the record for thunderstorms in a month is 12 in June 1982 though I’ve no idea how many of these were on consecutive days.

While the storms over the weekend were all about lightning this one was all about rain and loud thunder. Tuesday, May 29th, started cloudy and dull with some light rain. I was expecting some rain but it lingered and became heavier at 11.30am before turning torrential at 1pm, going against forecasts from BBC and Met Office – the trough was a lot further north than modelled. I pointed this out to the UKMO to be told that a yellow warning was in place for the whole SE region.

29th rain
The bulk of the rain fell between 1pm and 2pm
Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 01.13.12
A marked drop in pressure coincided with a bright flash of lightning that was almost instantly followed by thunder that was as loud as cannon fire

Some 26.5mm fell in just over two hours bringing lots of surface water and flash floods around Leyton and Walthamstow. At 1pm, while driving in this area, a bright flash was quickly followed by cannon-like thunder. A further fall in the early hours brought the 09-09 total rainfall to 29.8mm, the 5th greatest May fall since 1959.

With the storm the previous evening the 48hr rainfall total was 40mm!

In the neighbouring borough of Barking and Dagenham it was reported that lightning struck a chimney which caused a fire in a terraced house in Rush Green at 2pm.

Local media pick up the story here, here and here.

image
The position of the storm around the time of the loudest thunder
South acess
South Access Road in Walthamstow suffered flash flooding as drains failed to cope with the volume of rainfall
trough
The trough on this FAX chart suggested the heaviest rain would be slightly further south than it was

rain1315

warn
The Met Office forecast for Tuesday shows how useless auto generated apps can be, the 10-20% risk of rain between 1300-1400 contradicts the yellow warning
cum
Posted by Simon Cardy: “The large mature Cumulonimbus clouds over SE England (outlined purple on the map) are producing frequent lightning, very loud thunder and heavy rain. (credit: EUMETSAT).”

 

 

Thunderstorms 26th-27th May 2018

Last night’s intense thunderstorm was probably most notable for its high-level sheet lightning than rainfall, thunder or fork lightning.

At my own station I recorded 4.8mm of rain which at its heaviest fell at a rate of 24.1mm/hr at 0046. To put that into perspective that’s just under a quarter of the rainfall rate during the thunderstorm at the beginning of last June. Rainfall in nearby Woodford Wells fell at a rate of 35.6mm/hr at 0040.

The rainfall was much heavier to the west of London. Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 13.06.37

Also of note was how warm the night was. A low of 15.3C made it the 8th equal warmest May night since 1959.

There’s probably going to be a few more storms this bank holiday weekend though it remains to be seen whether this is going to be a classic summer for storms.

At it’s peak at 2305 there were 16800 strikes, according to Blitzortung.

Lightning from the storm in the early hours of the 27th caused a fire at a house in Romford.

There is an account of the family’s ordeal here.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 15.13.10

Here’s a few traces from the station.

Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 23.39.37

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.51.20

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.51.37

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.52.18

Around the capital and the south east

Elsewhere in London there was some excellent footage posted on social media.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 13.03.15

 

The 27th was fairly quiet but with abundant sunshine and little wind it wasn’t long before more storms, this time homegrown, developed over the Midlands and the south. Severe flash flooding was reported in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham after a month’s worth of rain fell.

And as dusk approached a huge storm toward to the north-west of London and Chilterns. With little wind the storm stayed more or less in situ, expending all its energy with the most amazing lightshow – lightning within cloud that became more and more vivid as darkness approached.

Because these storms can reach heights of 29,000ft – roughly the height of Everest – they can be seen from over 40 miles away.

I had a go myself.

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 10.34.52

Not bad but the best footage I’ve seen was captured by Simon Cardy from east London and can be seen here.

 

 

I also took this video.