1974 (2nd September): THE 'MORNING CLOUD' STORM
1. With a value of 16.4 degC (+2.3C on 61-90 LTA), this was one of the WARMEST
June's in the CET record in the 20th century, and in the 'top-dozen' of WARMEST
such-named months in the entire record.
2. 90 minute RAINFALL of 111 mm was recorded at Miserden, Gloucestershire on
the 10 June 1970.
> A 12 minute RAINFALL of 51mm at Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire on the 27 June
1970 is the HIGHEST RAIN-RATE (over this 12-minute period) in the 20th century.
1971 (January): RECORD HIGH UK MID-WINTER TEMPERATURE
1. At Aber (Gwynedd/N.Wales), a MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE of 18.3degC was recorded on
the 10th - the (equal) highest known for the UK (and Wales) for January. (see
also 1958 & 2003).
1971 (30th November): MAJOR ACCIDENT IN FOG ('MOTORWAY
A 50 vehicle 'pile-up' on the M1 near Luton in Bedfordshire in thick fog was
responsible for the deaths of 7 people and over 40 injured. The term 'motorway
madness' was in use from the late 1960s but came into common use in the 1970s
as the U.K. motorway network grew sharply, and motorists needed to adjust to
the different requirements of driving on such roads.
1972 (12th/13th November):
1. A rapidly developing (and eventually intense) DEPRESSION passed swiftly
across Ireland, Britain and the southern North Sea over the course of these two
days. At midday on the 12th, the low was within sea-area Shannon with a central
pressure of 983 mbar; 24 hours later it was approaching the southern Baltic,
but on its way, the central pressure had dropped to 959 mbar over north Holland
& the Heligoland Bight coastline. There was major DAMAGE caused across wide
areas from Wales and southern England to the Low Countries (especially the
Netherlands) & across the North German Plain. At least 50 DEATHS were
reported along the track of the storm. For England, a large number of trees
were lost, with many buildings affected - Lamb notes the main impact as having
occurred over the East Midlands & East Anglia & he also speculates that
some TORNADO activity may have occurred. [HS/23]
1973 (2nd April):
1. SEVERE GALES over England & Wales. A low pressure system moved east,
deepening rapidly. It travelled from Ireland (992mbar) at midnight at the start
of the 2nd, to be down to 973mbar over the North Sea at midday. WINDS were
GALE-FORCE over much of the southern half of Britain and reached Force 9 behind
the cold front to the south of the centre; GUSTS to over 60 kt were recorded at
Coventry, Bedford (66kt at 10GMT), Wattisham and Shoeburyness. The strongest
winds however sprang up to the west of the centre as air from the central North
Sea accelerated into the system. Maximum mean 10-minute (& gusts) recorded
(a selection): 70kt (90kt) at Whitby CG; 70kt (88kt) at Kilnsea; 34kt (66kt) at
West Raynham; 37kt (63kt) at Coltishall; 49kt (73kt) at Hemsby; In general,
contemporary reports suggest winds to 'Force 10, possibly Force 11'. Many
trees, tiles and television aerials were blown down and caravans destroyed. To
the north of the low, HEAVY SNOW brought traffic disruption to northern
1. In what was generally a DRY year (see below), a notable fall of RAIN was
recorded in the Sheffield (South Yorkshire) area. The monthly total at
Sheffield (Weston Park) was 201 mm, making this month one of the WETTEST
any-month at this station in a record that started in 1882. This total was
helped by a daily total of 119 mm on the 15th, with as much as 137 mm being
recorded in the foothills of the Pennines to the NW of the city. The M1 was
FLOODED (not an uncommon occurrence actually), many roads in the city centre
were blocked and the railway station had water up to platform height rendering
it unusable. The rain on this day was part of a larger-scale event that covered
the whole of South Yorkshire, the lower Trent valley and north Lincolnshire.
1. Notably DRY year in the EWP series: 740 mm (or roughly 80% of the long-term
average). At Bristol, in a composite record that started in the mid-1930's, it
was the DRIEST year with just 578.2mm of RAIN.
1. The New Year had a WINDY start across the British Isles, and there were two
notable STORMS to significantly affect Ireland. The storm of the 11th/12th
caused severe FLOODING due to wind-driven high tides in the area of Cork and
also across NW coastal Ireland. Many harbours & boats were DAMAGED, with a
large number of trees lost. It was during this storm that a GUST of 124 mph /
108 kn / 200 km/hr was recorded at Kilkeel in Co. Down (Northern Ireland),
making it the highest sea-level WIND speed recorded in Ireland (to that date).
The highest hourly mean WIND speed of 92 knots at Great Dun Fell on the 12th
January, 1974 was/is the highest known. During the same STORM, a GUST of 90
knots (about 104mph) was recorded on Salisbury Plain, which even allowing for
the exposure is quite exceptional for inland southern England.
A fortnight later (27th/28th), another significant STORM to affect Ireland
produced a highest GUST of 96 kn near the coast of Co. Mayo (NW Ireland).
2. 8th: 125mm of RAIN fell in the southwest. Flooding in Wales, and four people
> 17th: 238.4 mm of RAIN fell in a 24 hr period at Loch Sloy main adit
(OED="main approach"), Strathclyde (near Loch Lomond) on the 17th ...
the HIGHEST such 24hr period total for January known, and amongst the top 5 or
6 such events for any month of the year (also the highest known for
Scotland for any-month).
Rainfall totals for the month exceeded 1000mm at a few sites in western
Scotland. (But note:... due to the synoptic pattern, some stations in NE
Scotland were notably DRY with 25mm of rain on average for the month. )
1. Notably CYCLONIC/UNSETTLED/WET. November RAINFALL at Kew Observatory was
138mm (219% of average), and coming after October [69mm/121%] and September
[124mm/248%], this contributed to Kew having just over twice normal autumn
rainfall: I remember the banks of the Thames over flowing at the Brocas, Eton.
2. Probably the COOLEST autumn for England and Wales since 1952. Of particular
note was that the October of 1974, using the CET series, was colder than the
December of that year. The respective CET values, and anomalies wrt 1961-1990
series mean were: 7.8degC (-2.8C) October vs. 8.1degC (+3.4C) December. This is
the only time this has happened in the CET record (up to 2005), though 1842
& 1852 had similar or the same values.
1974 (2nd September) THE 'MORNING CLOUD' STORM
A storm surge driven by persistently gale-force winds up the English Channel
(circa F9 at times) caused the yacht 'Morning Cloud III' to sink off
Brighton, as she was hit by an estimated 26 foot (8 metre) wave. Two of the 7
crew members, including one of Edward Heath's godchildren had been lost at sea.
The yacht was owned by Edward Heath, from 1970-74 Prime Minister of the UK (and
at the time still leader of the Conservative party - until 1975).
Tory leader Edward Heath's yacht Morning Cloud
capsized and sank in strong gales off the south coast on September 3 1974. The alarm
was raised by five survivors who struggled ashore in a life raft. One crew
member drowned and Mr Heath's godson, Christopher Chad, 23, was also lost at
sea. It was the latest in a series of blows for the ex Prime Minister, who lost
his office in March the same year. http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/features/Retro-Cloughie-controversy.6547517.jp
Heath came into conflict with
the trade unions over
his attempts to impose a prices and incomes policy. His attempts to legislate
against unofficial strikes led to industrial disputes. In 1973 a miners'
work-to-rule led to regular power cuts and the imposition of a three day week.
Heath called a general election in 1974 on the issue of "who rules".
He failed to get a majority and Harold
Wilson and the Labour
Party were returned to power. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRheathE.htm
1.It was the 2nd MILDEST winter in England and Wales since 1869, and notably
SNOWLESS . Also, one of the 9 WARMEST winters (by CET) in the series which
began in 1659. Up to 1997, rank=4 Value=6.43; Dec=8.1, Jan=6.8, Feb=4.4
(Others: 1686, 1734, 1796, 1834, 1869, 1935, 1989 and 1990.)