Esoteric London

No. 500: Ritherdon Road, SW17

Posted in Lettering, Meteorological by esotericlondon on January 27, 2012

Ritherdon Road, London, SW17. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

London Fogs – R.Russell, 1880:

Some of the great fogs of the end of January and beginning of February, 1880, were uncommon in their character and development. On the 27th of January there was a sudden great increase in the intensity of the frost, almost absolute calm prevailed, and the easterly current gave way on the ground to a westerly air, with which it became intimately mixed. The east wind apparently continued at a moderate elevation. In many parts of London the fog was exceedingly dark, being mixed with a great volume of smoke, and the sun was invisible. At Hammersmith, at midday, the sun was just visible, at Richmond shining dimly, and at Willesden very brightly. The fog was not inconveniently thick outside London till the evening, when it greatly increased in density. At Richmond, at 2.45 P.M., the thermometer stood at 22, an extremely low temperature. More or less fog occurred here and there on the following days, and the sky remained clear above it. On the 30th and 31st an exceedingly light lower current from the south moved over southern England, greatly augmenting the temperature. Radiation, however, was not arrested by clouds, and the ground being chilled to a temperature much below the freezing-point by the previous severe frosts, did not thaw even when the thermometer stood at 45 in the open air. Thus, in certain localities, especially those least exposed to sunshine, very dense clouds were formed upon the ground by the reduction of the temperature of this slow warm current below the dew-point. On the 31st, at 10 A.M., a ground fog of extraordinary density, little discoloured by smoke, lay over parts of the south-western district of London.

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