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La Nina Vs Uk Winter

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La Nina Episodes Vs UK Winters 1949 - 2011 - Updated 22-OCT-2011 with futher references

[color=#00ffff][b]Weak (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly -0.5 to -0.9)[/b][/color]
[b]1956-57[/b] Little snow overall. White Christmans for the NW of UK, though Mild & Wet with Atlantic LP dominating in the most part (w/swerlies)
[b]1962-63[/b] Very Snowy,Widespread heavy snow throughout Nov - March aka "The big freeze of 63"
[b]1967-68[/b] Little snow overall - Largely dry and a tad mild due to HP frequently building over us from the South & S West
[b]1974-75[/b] Little snow, Remembered for the 6 year snow drought, Largely dry and mild due to HP influence large swathes of the UK.
[b]1995-96[/b] Average, Snow (some very heavy) tended to fall in certain areas of the uk at certain points of the winter so not widespread and frequent enough to class as very snowy
[b]2000-01[/b] Average, as with the above, some heavy snow fell late Dec through into Feb but mainly a nothern England & Scotland affair including some decent drifting

[b][color=#0000ff]Mod (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly -1 to -1.4)[/color][/b]
[b]1954-55[/b] Very snowy, Widespread, blizzards,Dec- drifting/snow through to May
[b]1950-51[/b] Very snowy, Widespread heavy falls Dec, 102 days lying.
[b]1964-65[/b] Little snow , First 2/3rds of this winter dominated by mild/wet swerlies before becoming dier and colder with blocking/ northerlies.
[b]1970-71[/b] Little snow ,Remembered as the start of a 6 year snow drought. Dry in December. Jan & Feb Atlantic dominant- mild & wet overall.
[b]1971-72[/b] Little snow , Remembered for the 6 year snow drought, Again Dry in December but mild, Jan & Feb dominated by atlantic S/Swerly
[b]1998-99[/b] Little if any snow, All 3 months in the most part dominated by Westerlies & Swerlies along side LP. Mild & Wet Overall
[b]2007-08[/b] Little snow, Another mild, largely snowless winter, but followed by some noteworthy wintry spells in early to mid spring. There were localised snow events from short-lived Arctic incursions in November, one in the Midlands on the 18th and another minor snow event in north-eastern areas on the 23rd. After a snowless December (the second in a row), a brief easterly blast brought snow showers and local thunder to eastern Scotland, NE England and Northern Ireland on the 3rd January, but mild air returned on the 4th. The rest of January was mostly mild with south-westerly winds, but further localised snow events occurred during the first half, mainly on high ground in the north. February was remarkable for its sunshine over much of England and Wales, but the only snow event of note occurred on the 1st/2nd, with high ground in northern England, plus parts of Scotland and Norfolk, briefly affected. Wet & Mild overall due to LP ifluence and W/SWerlies
[b]2010/11[/b] Average, No-body needs reminding of this one, however, it started off a snowfest for most of the country but sadly became a mostly dry affair Jan and February. That said, was a pretty damn cold winter at that. Snowy Start with Jan/ Feb generally cold and dry.

[color=#800080][b]Strong (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly -1.5 +)[/b][/color]
[b]1949-50[/b] - Little snow, Generally dominated by LP to the west or NW and W/SWerly winds so plenty of mild wet weather.
[b]1955-56[/b] Very snowy - Netweather claim this was same as 54-55 (Very snowy with blizzards and throughout winter)
[b]1973-74[/b] Little snow, remembered for the 6 year snow drought, Again LP along with Westerly/ Swerly flow prevailed. Mild & Wet overall.
[b]1975-76[/b] Little snow, remembered for the 6 year snow drought. A good deal of the UK and indeed the winter dominted by HP. Dry & Mild.
[b]1984-85[/b] Very snowy, Widespread heavy snow for most of the uk Jan & Feb
[b]1988-89[/b] Little snow- Warmest uk winter on record after a stormy autumn. Mild & Wet overall.
[b]1999-2000[/b] Little if any snow, some say virtually nothing. With HP and LP being close most of the country would have had Wet & Mild muck

Info regarding these winters has been taken from Netweather british winter history page. Little, Average or Snowy classification takes into account Widespread snow fall and lying days over the 3 months of winter. EG. Heavy snow in December does not count as very snowy if Jan and Feb are dry unless of course the snow has remained into either of these months or snow still falls in these months little or not. if snow is isolated to few areas such as scotland this would also be classed as Little snow.

Out of the last 21 La Nina episodes :

13 Co-incided with poor snowless winters some of which were mild
2 Were average winters where you would either see the north, south, east or west of the uk getting snow but not exactly widespread or continous throughout the winter months, with some milder interludes
5 Were real snow fest winters throughout the 3 months and in somecases longer. These were in the 1950's 60's and mid 80's
Only 1 from reports I've read and the model achives I've viewed was actually Cold & Dry for the most part and that was 2011 after such very snow start.

Had widespread snow continued through Jan-feb 2011 or the snow remained on the ground for longer than it did, then I would have classed that as a very snowy la nina winter also.



PS. Here's the above in a simple chart form:

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