The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

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Monday, June 08, 2020

The wild weather of East Anglia

Nowadays, any unusual weather is ascribed to global warming. Actually, the weather in the British Isles has always had unusual spells. The weather is always variable. This was observed by a correspondent to the paper, in 1849, who mentions in passing the destruction of the tower of Acton Church in a 'Thundersnow' storm on April 12th 1824. His earliest observations were taken from the Philosophical Transactions Magazine of the time ; the middle portion from the MSS. of  Dr. Hamilton ; and the remainder were recorded by the correspondent 'Orlando Whistlecraft' writing in 1849

1775. April 29th excessive heat, thermometer 85 deg. (29.5 c), and no other day so hot all that year.
1779. A long period of unusual heat from the close of February to the end of Autumn.  The earliest year ever known.
1780. May 29th. thermometer 84 deg (28.9 c).
1785. Severe frost and much snow in the middle of April.
1794. Great heat from the 18th to the 27th April.
1802 Piercing cold for many days in May, and a great fall of snow on 15th and 16th.
1805. April 29th, snow four inches deep in Ipswich
1806. Much snow and frost in March and April.
1807. May 2nd, very hot, and an awful storm of hail and thunder here at 5 p.m. The hail was as large as the egg of a bantam hen, and did much damage to windows, here and at Eye.
1808. Great snows in April, but on 14th, 15th, and 16th May the thermometer stood from 80 (26.5 c) to 86 deg. (30 c)
1809. April 21st. a very deep snow, but the whole month of May was very hot summer weather, and a great thunder storm with hail on 19th.
1811. Another hot May. and the whole spring, summer, and autumn very warm.
1814. After the " hard winter." a very warm April, and cold May.
1815. A continued fineness and warmth from February to October, and on the 31st March, thermometer. 74 1/2 deg. (23.6 c)
1816 May 12th, a very great fall of snow.
1818. Great falls of rain from the beginning of March to May 16th. On the morning of April 12th, the floods so great as to destroy the old " Stoke bridge," Ipswich. A hot and dry summer was the sequel.  No rain from May 16th to Sept. 5.
1819. Three hot weeks in May, succeeded by a severe frost on Whitsunday morning, the 30th, by which the ash buds, kidney beans, and potato tops were
partially destroyed. Another hot and dry summer followed.
1821. April 23rd to 28th very hot, even like summer; but in the third week of May sleet and frost.
1822. A very warm and early season.   On May 6th a deluging thunder storm over Fakenham, Stowlangtoft, etc; a waterspout descended, and the flood burst over banks and hedges, and beat down brick walls
1823. A cold season till the close of April.  On May 2nd it became very hot, yet on the 4th night a frost; again on the 7th the heat returned and increased, so that the thermometer stood at 82 deg.  (27.7 C) the highest for that year, and at Midsummer we needed fires in our rooms!
1824 April 12th, Acton spire destroyed by lightning in a storm of snow! May 2nd to the 5th, and on 14th, 15th, and 16th continuous rain and floods. Great damage by it on the gardens near the Thames, on the Surrey bank. 
1827. Great heat April 6th; snow on 25th, but on 30th intense summer heat. 
1832. Sunday, May 13th, snow four inches deep.
1833. After thirteen wet weeks a very hot and dry May, thermometer from 80 to 85 deg. (26.6-29.5 c) on several days, and some pigs at Botesdale fair died from the heat of the solar rays on 16th.
1835. Good Friday, April 17th, sharp frost and deep snow.
1836. Great fall of snow at Easter, April 1st. 2nd, and 3rd.
1837. Severe cold weather all the spring ;  sharpest frost after the Equinox, and on Easter Sunday evening, March 26th, snow to the depth of 18 inches in two hours.
1840 Great heat in April, thermometer 80 deg. (26.6) on 26th.
1841. Great heat in April, 27th, a very hot May also.
1844 A very hot and dry April, thermometer near 80 deg. (26.6 c) on 26th.
1845. Intense frost and snow to the Equinox. Thermometer 5 deg. on March 14th A warm April, but a dark, wet, and cold May.
1846. A warm and early season like 1779, followed by the "notably hot summer."
1847. Cold and dry to April 25th ; a very hot May, and thermometer on 28th, 87 1/2 deg. July and August also very hot and dry.
1848. March ended and April began very hot, but snow on April 10th. May was very hot and dry; thermometer on several days above 80 deg. (26.6 c) A wet June and August.
1849. A mild, sunny, and lovely February, and dry March: very few frosts this spring, compared with other years ; but on April 18th the degree of frost was unusual, and did more injury than several nights would of common severity. May 4th, thermometer 74 deg. ; but since the 8th we have bad great rains, and severe thunder storms.

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