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The winter of 1995-96


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I remember the Sun having an article during November 1995 saying the Met Office were predicting this to be a bad winter compared to recent ones They certainly went for a cold winter.

i remember the 30th december well. -26c overnight minimum here; apart from lots of burst pipes, the beer froze in my hand on the porch before i could drink it.

There was an article about the surprise thaw overnight 27th/28th January 1996 shortly afterwards in the "Weather" journal. Even at Cleadon near the east coast the thaw was unusual (the snow only thaw

Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    I note that the forecasts both predicted continued snowfall on the 28th January. In Cleadon there was sunshine and snow showers on the 26th and persistent snow on the 27th but the snow then turned sleety near the coast that evening, resulting in a complete thaw, and then the 28th was dry with sunny intervals (the day when Tynemouth saw 3 of the month's 5 hours of sunshine). In inland parts the snow stuck around rather longer, but I don't think snowfall was widespread generally after the 27th, as drier and more stable air pushed in from the SE. It may well be another illustration of the great difficulty that forecast models have in projecting convection over the North Sea.

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    There was that strange and unexpected thaw during the evening of the 27th January, where the snow disappeared but it was a dry thaw. Despite a fairly decent covering, we lost all our covering very quickly but with little melt. Not sure whether it was sublimation but it did half go quick!

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    12.5cm of snow fell here on the night of Jan' 26th 1996 and there was a further 1.5cm during the morning of the 27th but after that, despite the temperature remaining below 0c, the snow gradually compacted to 9cm by the 28th.

    This snowfall was half way through an 11 day spell of 'ice days' with the temperature continuously below freezing from January 23rd to February 2nd inclusive.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    There was an article about the surprise thaw overnight 27th/28th January 1996 shortly afterwards in the "Weather" journal. Even at Cleadon near the east coast the thaw was unusual (the snow only thawed quite slowly when it was sleeting that evening, then disappeared completely overnight after the sleet cleared) but the rapid thaw that some inland and western parts saw despite temperatures close to freezing was particularly unusual.

    It reminds me of the rapid thaw that north-east England saw from a dry easterly flow on the 10th January 2010, with surface temperatures of 3 to 5C but dewpoints well below freezing (not normally a combination conducive to rapid snowmelt). Perhaps a combination of the very dry air and strong winds might have assisted sublimation on both occasions.

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    There was an article about the surprise thaw overnight 27th/28th January 1996 shortly afterwards in the "Weather" journal. Even at Cleadon near the east coast the thaw was unusual (the snow only thawed quite slowly when it was sleeting that evening, then disappeared completely overnight after the sleet cleared) but the rapid thaw that some inland and western parts saw despite temperatures close to freezing was particularly unusual.

    It reminds me of the rapid thaw that north-east England saw from a dry easterly flow on the 10th January 2010, with surface temperatures of 3 to 5C but dewpoints well below freezing (not normally a combination conducive to rapid snowmelt). Perhaps a combination of the very dry air and strong winds might have assisted sublimation on both occasions.

    I remember receiving a decent covering overnight on the 26th and into the early hours of the 27th. Not sure how much but around 3-4 inches. My memory is rather hazy, but I think the snow stuck around for quite some time, though it did melt somewhat during the following week and there certainly wasn't enough to cause any problems on the roads neither did it become an ice rink.. despite cold days and nights. The period between 23rd Jan and 10th Feb was very cold and wintry with an absence of atlantic air, easterlies followed by high pressure overhead and then the snowy southeasterlies of the 5-8 Feb, it was a great period of wintry weather in a very blocked winter when the atlantic hardly bothered the country. Not one atlantic storm brushed the country all winter.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bratislava (240m)
  • Location: Bratislava (240m)

    Those forecasts don't seem to place much importance on more western areas early on the 26th, but I distinctly remember waking up for school that morning (it was a Friday) to a decent covering with snow falling. As a kid Friday was always my favourite time of the week, and this time round it was rather special. I was locked out one of those days when I came home, and my hands nearly fell off waiting for my parents to get back.

    Definitely my favourite easterly spell of the last 20 years, with the strong winds pushing the snow showers westwards and a big battleground dumping coming later. Puts the feeble, half-baked February 2012 to shame.

    Edited by AderynCoch
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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    Those forecasts don't seem to place much importance on more western areas early on the 26th, but I distinctly remember waking up for school that morning (it was a Friday) to a decent covering with snow falling. As a kid Friday was always my favourite time of the week, and this time round it was rather special. I was locked out one of those days when I came home, and my hands nearly fell off waiting for my parents to get back.

    Definitely my favourite easterly spell of the last 20 years, with the strong winds pushing the snow showers westwards and a big battleground dumping coming later. Puts the feeble, half-baked February 2012 to shame.

    Yes I always thought we didn't get the snow until nightfall, but we may well have had some early on the 26th, I was in upper sixth form and don't remember not being able to make it to school, nor going home early, I think the overall amounts were too small to prevent closures, but I do remember thinking it was a very good snowfall, it was the first decent snowfall of the winter despite very cold conditions during December we only managed a couple of inches at best. What was also great about that weekend was the prospect of another week of very cold weather, has I the internet then I would have been relishing prospects of the battleground event, however, back then, the infamous 5/6 feb event was a major surprise and unforeseen until the weekend. I would rate winter 95/96 on a par with winter 09/10, both produced over a foot of snow in these parts with many days of snow cover, a number of ice days, very cold christmas periods and wintry conditions lasting well into March.

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    Posted
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn Mornings, Thunderstorms and snow
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth

    I clearly remember that Saturday playing total and utter chaos with the local football down here. As it was there was only 1 game to survive in the whole of Devon and Cornwall played surprisingly at Tavistock FC v Saltash Utd in the old South Western League. It was a bitterly cold day even by normal standards and the game wasn't the best either (Tavistock beat Saltash 1-0).

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Mr Data - you are a star, been waiting to see forecasts from christmas 95 for ages - if you have one from the 27th, 28th or even better 29th that would be superb, I think the 29th would be best with the -20 degree symbol over scotland..

    The "who's counting" forecast as John Kettley says

    Edited by Mr_Data
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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    Thanks Mr data - a reat treat. Wonderful to see -19 degree min for central scotland and -24 degree min for Highlands, the -10 degrees over Cumbria should have been a -15 degrees.

    -7 degree max for central scotland is also very rare - we never saw such temps shown on the maps during Dec 2010.

    The snowfall event as discussed never happened - had it, it could have been a very severe event indeed as the front took its time to move North, indeed the 30th was largely dry in the northern half of the country.

    I have really enjoyed this particular thread in recent weeks - dedicated to winter 95/96 a winter I remember exceptionally well.

    Do you have a forecast from the 12 March 96 when we saw another snowfall.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bratislava (240m)
  • Location: Bratislava (240m)

    Late December 1995 remains the only time I've ever seen -20s appearing on television forecasts.

    I believe it also happened in December 1981 but I wasn't around then.

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    Posted
  • Location: Home: Chingford, London (NE). Work: London (Central)
  • Location: Home: Chingford, London (NE). Work: London (Central)

    Late December 1995 remains the only time I've ever seen -20s appearing on television forecasts.

    I believe it also happened in December 1981 but I wasn't around then.

    I'm pretty sure they appeared in December 2010.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ludgershall, Wiltshire
  • Location: Ludgershall, Wiltshire

    I'm pretty sure they appeared in December 2010.

    I think you're right.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    They should have appeared in December 2010- I remember that on the 20th it only got to -3.3C here at Cleadon which is extremely impressive for a coastal site. In parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland daytime temperatures struggled to get above -10C on occasion during that second cold spell. However across Scotland and northern England the late-December 1995 cold spell was right up there with it.

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Late December 1995 remains the only time I've ever seen -20s appearing on television forecasts.

    I believe it also happened in December 1981 but I wasn't around then.

    I think they even had to produce new magnetic symbols that low for December 1981

    Here's the 29th December 1995 forecast and Peter Cockcroft even says a very small chance of freezing rain. Infact it was mostly freezing rain. It really was a disappointing breakdown.

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    Posted
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl
  • Weather Preferences: obviously snow!
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl

    Sat 30th Dec 1995 very snowy here, all snow, no rain strong E winds, but did turn milder on new years eve

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    I'm pretty sure they appeared in December 2010.

    The trouble with the forecasts now compared to back in 1995 is that the temperatures shown are indicative of named towns and cities rather than the countryside. Hence the only place where -20 degrees was shown was north highlands when they zoomed in on Scotland. The BBC often mentioned there was a chance of -20 degrees or less in the Highlands on many occasion during Dec 2010, however, they often underestimated the depth of cold that occured in places such as Belfast, Manchester and Glasgow on many occasion - showing -7 's and -8's as opposed to -12's and 13's. I much prefer the old style forecasts which showed chloropleth maps of temperatures with the various shadings - these showed up best on cold nights with the depth of blue becoming very pronounced just away from coastal parts and also away from the heat islands such as London.

    Mr Data - thanks for the dec 29th chart. In the end the 'snow event' was a damp squib here, with little more than a douse of freezing rain - nothing on the scale that occured 9th Feb this year. The front weakened considerably as it moved northwards, however, I do recall some parts of central england got quite lucky with a decent hit of snow. I remember New Years Eve being a horrible dank foggy affair with the snow slowly thawing and New Years Day being a cold grey dark foggy gloomy day.

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    • 5 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)
  • Weather Preferences: Wind driven falling snow
  • Location: Calgary, Canada (1230m asl)

    I'm pretty sure they appeared in December 2010.

    I'm pretty sure they appeared just a few months ago too!!

    Evidently not...I've lost a year somewhere :rofl:

    Edited by CatchMyDrift
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