Summer of 1976 (Europe)

The summer of 1976 was considered to be the hottest summer in Europe, and especially the United Kingdom,[1][2][3] during the 20th century.[4] A large high-pressure area dominated most of Europe for all of the summer months. The pressure system moved into place in late May 1976 and remained until the first traces of rain were recorded on 27 August. Rainfall throughout the July–August period was down by half the annual average. During this spell of hot weather temperatures exceeded 32 °C (89.6 °F) at several weather stations within the United Kingdom every day and the town of Cheltenham had eleven, including seven successive days from 1 July - recording 35.9 °C (96.6 °F) on 3 July.[5]

Low water in Upper Neuadd Reservoir, Wales in the drought of 1976.

For the entire period much of Europe was bathed in continual sunshine with the United Kingdom seeing an average of more than 14 hours of sunshine per day. 1976 was dubbed "the year of the ladybird" in that country due to the rise in the mass numbers of the insect brought on by the long hot period. In the United Kingdom, the summer coincided with a 16-week dry spell, the longest recorded over England and Wales since 1727.[6]

The summer of 1976 is by now an established reference point for discussion in the UK of contemporary hot spells.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The summer of '76". BBC News website. BBC. 20 March 1998. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  2. ^ Gray, Louise (27 May 2010). "Met Office predicts a return of the summer of 1976". Daily Telegraph website. London: Telegraph Group. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  3. ^ Wainwright, Martin (17 May 2006). "The great drought". The Guardian website. London. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  4. ^ Eden, Philip (10 May 2006). Change in the Weather. A&C Black. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-8264-8029-3.
  5. ^ Payne, Billy. "The summer of 1976". MeteoGroup website. MeteoGroup. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  6. ^ Quote From Met Office