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The Cold & Wet Augusts Of 1941 and 1951

September 2, 2021

By Paul Homewood



Weather wise, August this year has been a pretty nondescript month, with very little of note. This has not always been the case!


Back in 1941, it really was an unpleasant month, cool and very wet in places. In England, for instance, rainfall was 45% above average, with the Thames Valley seeing double the usual rainfall:




August 1951 was very similar. Again, rainfall in England was one and a half times the usual, and large parts of the East and Midlands saw double the norm. Heavy rainfall was also a feature on several days:







Tomorrow we’ll look at 1961 and 1971.

  1. roger permalink
    September 2, 2021 11:55 am

    Ah but, New York unprecedented flooding due to seven centimeters of rain in one day.
    BBC this am

    • Tim Leeney permalink
      September 2, 2021 12:13 pm

      Looks like 2.75 inches – must have happened before.

  2. dearieme permalink
    September 2, 2021 12:15 pm

    It’s not been nondescript for us. Gloomy, occasional rain to spoil a day out but not remotely enough for the garden, windy, cool. My arthritic joints think it’s autumn though at least the trees are still all in leaf. And the blight has hit our tomatoes. Shoulda gone to Galloway.

  3. September 2, 2021 12:28 pm

    Goodness, we had 3-5″ here as the north end of Ida brushed across northern West Virginia

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 2, 2021 12:44 pm

    UK Summer 2021 was warmer than average countrywide, despite perceptions. It varied from very much warmer in the north west, to, not by a lot, right down on the south coast.

    Whereas August was almost completely average for mean CET, summer 2021 as a whole was warm, ranked joint 43-46 of 363 years.

    • roger permalink
      September 2, 2021 4:33 pm

      I refer you to my entry above. Neither I nor my tomatoes believe you

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        September 2, 2021 4:48 pm

        And all mine got blight. Doesn’t alter the fact of how the weather was.

  5. Beagle permalink
    September 2, 2021 12:50 pm

    Difficult to know what average actually is. Poor August in Suffolk.

  6. Mark Winthrop permalink
    September 2, 2021 1:05 pm

    CNN Weather chap this morning claimed one part of New York State had a one thousand year rainfall event as tropical storm Ida passed through.
    Really? Really?
    Not even the BBC have gone that far in our latest earth shattering weather event.
    Really? is the key word here.

    • dave permalink
      September 3, 2021 10:09 am

      “…thousand year rainfall event…”

      This sort of stuff is always effective propaganda; for it is liable to be (mis)interpreted by the listener as, ‘first time it has rained like that, anywhere in the world, for a thousand years.’

    • September 3, 2021 11:13 am

      Their daily rainfall records for the last several thousand years prove it, no doubt 😆

  7. europeanonion permalink
    September 2, 2021 1:14 pm

    There are laws that govern the environmental conditions in offices, that is an example of caring. Pity there is no such legislation for private houses. The evening temperature here, in the midlands, was cool enough last night for the central heating to be on. Because of cost considerations I have not had the immersion heater working for some time. Perhaps working from home will come to demand that the law recognises how home owners are suffering and make adjustment for home energy use. In the meantime I am weighed down by layers of clothing and have a car rug at the ready for the evenings in case I sit down and watch some television. Houses should have a rating for liveable temperature (temperature records kept) and adjustments calculated to tax (or pension) to ensure that temperature can be maintained for a suitable portion of the day. Otherwise, the idea of people dying from heat will become risible and we will be infested with claims for people dying from the effects of cold.

  8. Ben Vorlich permalink
    September 2, 2021 1:58 pm

    I remember a very wet August/September in the 1960s/70s in Perthshire. It was when I was working as a grouse beater/ponyman in the summer. It was extremely wet and I started to run out of dry socks and trousers. We had no electricity or gas and the only heat was from coal fires which only gave a couple of hours drying.
    I can’t remember the exact year, so I’m interested in what 1971 shows.

  9. Gerry, England permalink
    September 2, 2021 3:49 pm

    For my corner of Surrey I would say that August was mainly dry such that having had the softest ground conditions in the 6 years I have been here, it all hardened up during last month. Lots of cloud and cool for the last week or so, with a NE wind. I would expect below average.

  10. cookers52 permalink
    September 2, 2021 9:12 pm

    In my corner of Mordor (deepest rural central England on the Warwickshire Feldon) the Mayflower did not bloom till June.

    The blackberries are already ready for picking, and I gave up on my garden some weeks ago, nothing is growing let alone flowering.

    A gloomy summer.

    • dearieme permalink
      September 3, 2021 1:49 pm

      We’ve had brambles from the garden – not very tasty – presumably starved of water and sunshine. Maybe I should revert to boyhood and eat the flesh of rose hips.

  11. John189 permalink
    September 3, 2021 6:31 pm

    Seems to have been a gloomy August with a pattern of dull days leading to evenings of variable sun and cloud. I am surprised by reports of the meteorological summer being warmer than average – July will have helped of course, but I wonder whether warm Tmins have played a part in August turning out average?

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