2 0 0 2
1 February	The county is buffered by strong winds gusting to severe
		gale force. Gusts of up to 50mph are recorded at Pitsford
		Hall. The police close a section of the A14 due to the
		risk presented to high sided vehicles and part of the
		roof of a service station in Towcester is lost due to
		the high winds.

26 February	Severe weather batters the county during the morning,
		bringing down power-lines and damaging roofs. Fire-
		fighters are called to Banbury Close in Northampton
		where a garage roof had blown off on to a car. The
		maximum gust of 59mph at Pitsford Hall was recorded
		between 0400 and 0430 GMT. Flying debris caused minor
		damage to one of the Stevenson screens, the first
		occasion on which met equipment has been damaged by
		the weather since the station's inception in 1998.

9 March		Severe gale batters the county. Winds gust up to 60mph
		at Pitsford Hall with gusts reaching 80mph reported 
		elsewhere. Toddlers escape serious injury as a pane
		of glass is blown from a second-floor shop window in
		Gold Street, Northampton. The strong winds force the
		postponement of the Saints' clash with Newcastle at
		Frankin's Gardens rugby ground and power lines in 
		Hanslope are brought down causing delays for rail 
		passengers between Rugby and Northampton. 

17 April	First rain since 31 March 2002: 17 consecutive days
		without rain.

1 May 		April was a month of marked dryness for the first 3 weeks 
		with the majority of the month's rainfall falling in the 
		final week. The following breakdown was provided for the 
		COL bulletin:

		1st dry period:

		31 March 2002 first 0.0mm day
		16th April 2002 last 0.0mm day 

		2nd dry period:
		20th April 2002 first 0.0mm day
		24th April 2002 last 0.0mm day

		7.0mm fell between 17th and 19th April 2002 (0900-0900) 
		inclusive, comprising 2 wet days and 1 rain day.

9 June		Torrential rain lashes down across much of the county.
		Peak rainfall rate recorded by AWS at Pitsford Hall: 56.4mm 
		per hour at 1430GMT accompanied by thunder. 20.4 mm is recorded 
		over the 24 hour period up until 0900 hrs on 10 June, mostly 
		falling in a little over 3 hours.

30 July		Heavy rain and thunderstorms across the county leave
		thousands of homes without power. Flash flooding occurs
		in the Wellingborough area and across the border in
		Market Harborough. 26.7mm is recorded over the period
		0900-0900 GMT at Pitsford Hall, most falling in torrential 
		downpours peaking at 56.4mm per hour at 1750 GMT. The flooding
		in Market Harborough is reckoned to have cost tens of
		thousands of pounds worth of damage with much of the
		town centre under water as the River Welland bursts
		its banks.

16 October	49.9mm of rain is recorded over the period 0900 on 15th to
		0900 on 16th. Peak rates of 12.6mm per hour were recorded
		by AWS at Pitsford Hall between 1710 and 1730 GMT. A grand
		opening ceremony to unveil flood defences in Northampton
		was forced to be postponed as high winds and torrential
		rain prevent the use of cranes intended to hoist the 
		final few concrete blocks on top of an embankment along
		side the river at Weedon Bec. 70 homes were flooded in this
		area of Northampton during the Easter floods of 1998. 

27 October	Storm force winds, gusting to 70mph at Pitsford Hall, 
		savage Northampton leaving a trail of destruction and
		swamping emergency services. Town centre leisure centre,
		Sol Central, is evacuated as the wind rips apart of its
		huge metal roof. Cinema and restaurant goers are told to
		leave for their own safety as emergency crews fight to
		control the situation on top of the tall building. Roads
		leading to the complex are sealed off amid fears of
		injury being caused to passers-by on the streets below.

		At least 11 houses were hit by trees across Northampton.
		About 50 roofs were severely damaged and scores of
		chimney stacks were left in a dangerous state. Many homes
		were left without electricity and about 70 trees
		blocked roads and threatened further damage. 

		Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported despite
		a total of six deaths nationally being attributed to the
		storms.

		Reports were received of even greater maximum gusts 
		across the county. 80 mph was recorded at Brixworth
		(site affiliated to Pitsford Hall) just before 12.00
		GMT. 

		1 fallen tree at Pitsford Hall came perilously close to
		causing damage to the weather station's sunshine recorder,
		positioned at ground level on the school's southern 
		perimeter for the duration of the winter. Fortunately, no
		serious damage was rendered to any of the station's
		inventory, although remedial work was necessary to the
		AWS anemometer which had been thrown off position during
		the gales. The storm force winds had sufficient strength
		to bend the mast which was replaced and strengthend once 
		the storm had eased.
		

		Trees brought to the ground at Beckett's Park, Northampton.

30 December 	The Environment Agency releases a floodwatch warning for
		the county following persistent downpours over the festive
		period. 9.4mm were recorded at Pitsford Hall on the 28th
		followed by a further 10.6mm on the 29th. Motorists are
		urged to avoid driving along flooded roads or through
		fords crossing rivers and streams.

		Large parts of the Nene catchment remain heavily saturated
		since the 21.4mm recorded on the 21st.


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 *.