Weather watch

weather-wave-ilfra_2780330bBritain is renowned for its changeable weather – everything from rain to shine in the space of one day. So with a heatwave promised for this weekend here’s a round-up of some of our most extreme weather moments…

In January this year half the country was battered with fierce thunderstorms with winds of more than 50mph reported in the Midlands and East Anglia.

Three people were injured in Leicester in June 2012 after being hit with hailstones the size of golfballs after “super cell thunderstorms” that are usually common in areas like the Midwest plains in the US hit the Midlands.

In the winter of 2010 temperatures plummeted as low as -18°C in what became known as The Big Freeze. The snow started to fall on 17 December and brought much of the country to a standstill until well into the new year.

Twenty-two people were killed in the hurricane of 1987 that also uprooted 15 million trees as wind speeds reached a terrifying 122mph.

From Boxing Day 1962 to March 1963 the country was brought to a standstill with freezing conditions that actually froze the sea for up to a mile out from Herne Bay, with many rivers freezing including The Thames and the River Dee.

A windstorm in the North Sea in 1953 caused a storm surge in eastern England that killed 300 in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and around 1,800 in Holland.

On the 21 May 1950 two people died when storms and a tornado hit southern England, overturning buses, cars and injuring livestock with lightning strikes causing house fires.

Between 8,000 and 15,000 lives were lost in the Great Storm of 1703 with widespread flooding. Thought to be God’s wrath for the sins of the population, in response the Government declared a day of fasting in 19 January 1704. It was used as part of moralising sermons into the 19th century.

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