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The winter of 1995-96


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    19th February 1996: heavy snow showers. I remember it was a lovely clear cold morning after a snow shower had passed through then about from midday, large cumulonimbus clouds erupted with heavy snow showers giving temporary blizzard like conditions and low visibilities.

    ITN on the snow and blizzards

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

    More excellent footage from a very good winter for cold and snow. Watching the forecasts and seeing the synoptics emphasised how unusual winter 95/96 was - heights were very strong over the mid atlantic for much of the time indicative of a very negative NAO pattern, however, unlike winter 09/10 the only winter since with such a negative NAO, we never managed to see such heights migrate into Greenland for any lengthy period of time which enabled atlantic attacks from the NW - you can see this evidently in the 18-20 feb footage. When we did manage to see heights transfer into greenland in late december we saw record breaking cold temps in Scotland.. similiar in many respects to Dec 10, winter 95/96 certainly had the potential to be a jolly cold one. Winter 95/96 was also devoid of any particularly stormy conditions. Apart from the first half of Jan, winter 95/96 was consistently cold with three distinct notably cold spells i.e. 5-9 Dec, 24-31 Dec, 22 Jan - 9 Feb. The snowy period around the 18th Feb and the cold March made for a preety cold 4 months but not exceptionally so. Up until winter 09/10 winter 95/96 was regarding as the modern benchmark, and I was beginning to think we would never see the likes of it again, we got close in winter 08/09, but smashed it in winter 09/10.

    Overall winter 95/96 brought some classic snow cold lover dream synoptics in the period 24-29 Dec and around the 25-27 Jan and the 5/6 Feb, I'd be happy to see a repeat of winter 95/96 this winter.

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

    I love watching these old weather forecasts. As I've said before though, considering how cold winter 1995/6 was it was disappointing for snowfall in my area with most falls hardly amounting to anything. The largest fall of snow was during the 18th-20th February cold snap but that was only moderate.

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

    I vaguely recall a surprise thaw in Cleadon near the Tyneside coast overnight 19th/20th February 1996, following a very snowy day on the 19th. I'm not sure if it was mainly down to the strong NE winds lifting the temperature near the coast or mainly a "dry windy thaw", but we woke up to about 1-2cm on the morning of the 20th after having seen a good 2-3 inches on the ground during the previous evening. I remembered John Kettley's forecast referring to a "finger" of showers in NE England late on the 20th, but frequent heavy snow showers unexpectedly developed over NE England after the forecast was issued and restored the snow cover to about two inches again.

    The radar outputs from the forecast on the 19th show how widely the snow showers developed to the west of the Pennines- perhaps a combination of the strong winds bringing the showers well inland plus a modest amount of solar heating adding a homegrown element to the convection (like also happened in the northerly outbreaks of late-February 1993 and 2004). Lancaster reported two inches of lying snow on the morning of the 20th.

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    More excellent footage from a very good winter for cold and snow. Watching the forecasts and seeing the synoptics emphasised how unusual winter 95/96 was - heights were very strong over the mid atlantic for much of the time indicative of a very negative NAO pattern, however, unlike winter 09/10 the only winter since with such a negative NAO, we never managed to see such heights migrate into Greenland for any lengthy period of time which enabled atlantic attacks from the NW - you can see this evidently in the 18-20 feb footage. When we did manage to see heights transfer into greenland in late december we saw record breaking cold temps in Scotland.. similiar in many respects to Dec 10, winter 95/96 certainly had the potential to be a jolly cold one. Winter 95/96 was also devoid of any particularly stormy conditions. Apart from the first half of Jan, winter 95/96 was consistently cold with three distinct notably cold spells i.e. 5-9 Dec, 24-31 Dec, 22 Jan - 9 Feb. The snowy period around the 18th Feb and the cold March made for a preety cold 4 months but not exceptionally so. Up until winter 09/10 winter 95/96 was regarding as the modern benchmark, and I was beginning to think we would never see the likes of it again, we got close in winter 08/09, but smashed it in winter 09/10.

    Overall winter 95/96 brought some classic snow cold lover dream synoptics in the period 24-29 Dec and around the 25-27 Jan and the 5/6 Feb, I'd be happy to see a repeat of winter 95/96 this winter.

    It was a largely Scandinavian high winter with Scandinavian highs giving the early December cold spell, the late January easterly spell, the snow events of early February, mid March and mid April. The winter of 2009-10 was largely a Greenland high winter. We are due a Scandinavian high winter or at least a properly decent one during the height of winter.

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

    Mr Data is correct, the cold in winter 95/96 largely came courtesy of a scandanavian high as opposed to a greenland high unlike winter 09/10. However, quite often we saw strong heights over the mid atlantic as well with high pressure cells developing over the country from time to time more so in the second half of Feb and through March.

    I remember the snowfalls of 12th March very well - we managed a good three inches which took a couple of days to thaw. Its rare to see atlantic fronts forced to retreat back westwards thanks to strong heights to our east exerting greater influence, this happened both on the 12th March and 5/6 Feb. Indeed we saw very similiar set up exactly 10 years later to the day - 12th March 2006. However, I don't believe we managed similiar synoptics since.. correct me if I'm wrong, most of the snowfalls during winters 08/09, 09/10 and 10/11 came courtesy of arctic northerlies and northeasterlies or shortwave/trough and frontal features embedded within cold air. We did manage a mini-episode last february but the front never retreated westwards back into N Ireland it simply fizzled out as it hit the east coast with the cold remaining in situ away from western parts.

    Its perhaps the best snow type set up - rain slowly turning to snow as the cold wins out, esp when it wins out against the atlantic, but sometimes even more rarely we manage to see fronts move down from the north which give rain to scotland but turn to snow in the south when for example we have a cold southeast continental pool of air in these locations.

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    I remember the snowfalls of 12th March very well - we managed a good three inches which took a couple of days to thaw. Its rare to see atlantic fronts forced to retreat back westwards thanks to strong heights to our east exerting greater influence, this happened both on the 12th March and 5/6 Feb.

    And on the 12th April 1996.

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

    Thanks Mr data for this footage - yes we were in the firing line on that occasion too with a slushy deposit of wet snow later that evening - I remember it being a Friday but wasn't sure what synoptics caused it. So we had three occasions in the space of 2 months when a front from the west became unstuck as it hit the pennines and was forced to retreat westwards again thanks to strong heights to the NE. The spring of 1996 was unusual in the amount of 'cold synoptics' with blocking to our NE very much in permanent residence. May 96 was particularly chilly.. there were very similiar echos of the feb-apr 86 period during the feb-may 96 period.

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    • 7 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and warm, sunny summers
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Bumping this so @Weather Monkey can read about Winter 1995-96 for his curiosity.

    It's also the most recent solar minimum winter with a transitioning west to east QBO.

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

    Great winter! childhood winters ruled, 90's winters ruled, but hey up, 80's apparently were even better

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    A long remembered winter, probably one I will bang on about when I'm 90.. (I hope!). The christmas freeze and snowfall of 5/6 February being two of the most memorable winter events of my lifetime so far. It was an episodic winter though, which kept it very interesting, started off mild but quickly turned cold on the 5 December, rest of the month saw cold dominating in the main, and it was good to see the mild trying to oust it away in the run up to christmas, winning for a day, but then forced to retreat. We had a 7 day run of ice days from 25-31s Dec. The first three weeks of January though were preety miserable, mild cloudy dank affair. The period from the 21st Jan until the 9 Feb was exceptionally snowy here, a very cold easterly blast that eventually produced a good few inches on the 26th/27th, the following few days became a bit milder, but still cold, then bang we had the battleground snow event on the 5/6th Feb which left 18 inches here.

    The snow stuck around until the 9th, the rest of Feb was preety cold, further snow on the 18-20th, and ended cold. March brought more very cold weather and snowfall,  further snow in April and a notably chilly frosty May.. the winter that didn't want to go away.

    I group winters 95/96 and 09/10 in the same category, and to an extent the following two that followed were very similiar as well 96/97 and 10/11, the latter more extreme but both saw very cold starts ebbing away by second week of Jan and the rest of those winters were very mild and wet.

     

    Edited by damianslaw
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