IN PICTURES: Northamptonshire's wacky weather in 2020 with storms, floods, record highs and a TORNADO
Remember when Ciara blew the roof off two cinemas, a sweltering VE Day and twister's trail of destruction
Never mind the coronavirus, 2020 has been the year of crazy weather in Northamptonshire.
Wind, rain, record high temperatures, a tornado, more rain leading to floods and — finally — more wind and more rain.
That's been the story of the last 12 months across our county and weather watchers admitted they’d never seen anything like it.
Jamie Dunlop, of @NNweather, said: “It was a stormy February with two named storms causing damage and disruption in the space of a week — yet even stronger winds hit the county on July 25 when a tornado tore through the county with gusts estimated between 73mph and 92mph.
“The tornado was captured by many people with mobile phone footage giving some dramatic images rarely witnessed here in Northamptonshire.”
Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis battered Northamptonshire on successive weekends back in early-February with 60mph gusts.
Storms left behind scores of damaged buildings and remarkable footage of passing motorists’ lucky escape as part of the roof blew off Sol Northampton.
Main roads around the leisure and entertainment complex were shut off for three weeks while engineers carried out repairs and safety checks.
Film fans fared even worse at Rushden Lakes as Cineworld was shut even longer by damage. Less than three weeks after it reopened, cinemas everywhere were closed by the pandemic lockdown.
While we were all stuck indoors, Northamptonshire saw its hottest and driest May on record — which included a sweltering VE Day early on in the month — but that was nothing compared to late-July's mini-heatwave when the mercury soared to 36°C.
Just a week earlier, though, an otherwise quiet summer Saturday night was interrupted by a tornado ripping its way across part of the county in an 15-minute trail of destruction from Weedon to Moulton.
Jamie added: "The tornado was captured by many people with mobile phone footage giving some dramatic images rarely witnessed here in Northamptonshire."
Flash floods during Wellingborough and Storm Francis felled several trees blocking some roads as 50mph gusts caused more disruption in August.
Yet, again, that was only a ‘preview’ of what was to come in the final few days of the year.
Mother Nature had still not finished as 24 hours of torrential rain ahead of Storm Bella blowing in brought devastating floods forcing people to be evacuated from their homes just from days before Christmas.