n o t a b l e  w e a t h e r  n e w s  2 0 1 9

16 & 17 January

First recorded snowfall of the winter season at Pitsford. Heavy rain during the afternoon turns to sleet and then snow overnight on the 16th into the 17th  as temperatures fall. Snow showers clear early on the 17th to leave a fine day. Accumulations are slight with only 1cm of lying snow in the Met Office enclosure.

22 January

Further falls of snow recorded at Pitsford. Again accumulations are slight, but with temperatures remaining close to freezing for a couple of days, 1cm of snow continues to lie for a couple of days.

The Met Office enclosure at Pitsford on the morning of the 23rd January with a thin dusting of snow.

30 & 31 January

Coldest night of the year so far at Pitsford with air minima falling to -6.0C and grass minimum temperature recorded of -20.3C, one of the coldest grass minimums recorded by the weather centre at Pitsford. Limited amounts of lying snow from a brief snow event late on the 29th. Daytime temperatures on the 31st struggle at 3.5C.

25 February

The gradual rise in temperature through February places daytime temperatures significantly above the seasonal average with the warmest February day on record for Northampton being recorded at Pitsford on the 25th. The maximum of 17.9C, repeated again on the 26th, beats the previous February record of 17.8C recorded in 1982.

Above: Trend of daytime maxima and minima at the Met Office monitoring site at Pitsford showing the exceptional warmth towards the end of the month and the record temperatures recorded on the 25th and 26th. Click on the image to enlarge into a new window.

7-13 June

A prolonged period of exceptionally wet weather delivers more than a month's rainfall in just under a week. 74.5mm is recorded at Pitsford between the 8th and 14th of June with some significant falls on the 7th (15.5mm), 10th (23.3mm). 12th (16.3mm) and 13th (11.2mm). The rain is associated with a series of very slow moving low pressure systems tracking from south to north across the UK. The saturated ground causes a landslide on the railway between Kettering and Corby stranding passengers for several hours.

Above: Following a largely dry second half of May, June rainfall totals rapidly excalate during the second week with some torrential downpours. Below: Stranded trains following a landslide near Corby on the 13th June.

29 June

The county experiences a short-lived heatwave as a southerly breeze introduces some extremely warm air from the near continent. Temperatures at Pitsford reach 32.5C making this the second warmest June since 1976. Warm as it is, temperatures are cool by contrast to temperatures in the low to mid 40s which are being felt across parts of France and Germany.

25 July

Several days of soaring temperatures culminate in the hottest July on record in Northampton as temperatures measured here at Pitsford reach 35.9C. Temperatures had been rising since the 22nd when daytime maxima were reaching the high 20s and low 30s. The heat prompts speed restrictions on railways running through the county amid concerns that the tracks might buckle in the heat. In the event, damage to sagging overhead power cables forced the cancellation of rail services for several days.  The all-time temperature record for the UK also falls close by at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens where temperatures reach 38.7C, beating the previous record of 38.5C at Brogdale in Kent recorded on 10th August 2003. The all-time temperature record for Northamptonshire still remains the 36.7C recorded at Raunds on 9th August 1911, a figure which was the UK temperature for many years.



Above: Graph showing the trend of temperatures around the 35.9C maximum recorded on the 25th July. Note the steep decline in temperatures the following day with the arrival of a cold front. The main disruption was to rail services owing to damage to sagging power cables.

8 - 11 August

A deep low moves up from the south-west tracking very slowly across the UK bringing very unseasonable conditions to the county. Strong winds, thundery downpours and more prolonged spells of rain cause localised flooding and bring down several trees and large branches. 18.2mm of rain is recorded at Pitsford in the 24 hour period ending at 10:00BST on 9 August with a further 15.4mm being recorded in the 24 hours up to 10:00 BST on the 11th. The peak of the winds is felt as the storm system clears on the 11th with gusts at Pitsford reaching 38mph.

Analysis chart at 0hrs on 10th August 2019 showing the storm system that brought unseasonably strong winds and heavy rain to the county. The system would take several days to finally clear. Click on image to enlarge into a new window.

14 November

Widespread travel disruption across the county follows nearly half a month's rainfall overnight. Rainfall over the 24 hr period ending at 0900GMT at Pitsford measured 26.1mm, 44% of the normal average for November. The rain falls on already saturated ground following a very wet October, and so far, a very wet November. Numerous roads across the county are under water. Following further rain on the 15th, the Environment Agency releases a flood warning for the River Nene at Cogenhoe Mill caravan park requiring residents to take action. Further flood alerts are put in place for the Middle Nene, Upper Nene, River Ise and Alledge Brook. The Washlands storage basin near Billing is being used to minimise the magnitude of potential flooding downstream.

Flooded fields nr Northampton following the deluge on 14 November.

21 December

Following three very wet days across the county during which 27.6mm of rain is recorded at Pitsford, half of the normal December total, another flood warning is declared on the river Nene at Cogenhoe Mill caravan park and two further flood alerts are put in place on the upper Nene at Kingsthorpe and the river Tove near Towcester. So far rain has been recorded on every day in December since the 5th, bringing the monthly total to 67.3mm, 122% of the normal amount. Over 10mm of rain was recorded on the 12th as well as the 19th and 20th.

Map showing the flood warnings and alerts across Northamptonshire and adjoining areas on 21st December.

 Averages used in these reports refer to the period 1981-2010 unless otherwise indicated.