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December 1981-January 1982

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The thing that I remember most is freezing weather lasting two or three weeks at a time even in the South . Temps sometimes would not rise above -5c and nights temps often down to -10c. Now if we are lucky, we might get a couple days and maybe I am better off because of the height values at Biggin Hill

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Yep Paul S, I would have loved to have seen some of those legenedary 80's cold spells, 3 stick out in my mind, Dec-Jan 1981, Feb 1986 (for its sheer cold) and also Jan 87...for obvious reasons!

Such an impressive looking cold spell though and when you think December 1981 was 2C colder then the cold December 1995 shows just how amazing this cold spell was, esp given that it was the 2nd coldest month out of the 80's is pretty noteable given the 80's did have some pretty cold months in there.

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Thanks Mr Data. It was a great winter that one , and one I will never forget. I remember, and I was only 12 in 1981 that it begun snowing on the Thursday night at around 9pm and it snowed heavily all the way through to saturday and stopped around 3pm.WOW. Now thats what I call winter. Interesting to note that in some spots the temperature dropped the lowest for nearly 100 years, hope im around for the next one! :lol: :cold: After the snow fell it was thick freezing fog for about a week adding to the winter wonderland. I have a warm nostalgic feeling about that winter, even though it was damn cold, and a very special time in my life , one I never will forget. :wub: ;) BRING ON THE NEXT WINTER LIKE THAT! :shok:;)

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When you think of some of the temperatures even for the Heat Island called Central London . Max -2c min -5c. Feb 1991 was the last time those temps happened.

At the time I was living in Woking and Temps then on some occasions only reached a maximum of -5c. We took it all for granted little realising that GW was on the way. People say the country will grind to a halt if we have those sort of winters again well I don't believe that, once the first couple days of a big freeze was over we got use to it and somehow managed to cope. :lol:

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Mr Data,

I have had enough of this.

Every day now, right in my face you post such weather reports.

Yes, I remember this event. Every winter I try to forget this wonderful time and have not been able to do so.

Last year I went for counselling and thought I had made significant progress.

What happens this year, you bring it right back up again. Not alone do you talk about it in your postings but Oh, No you have to scan newspaper articles and worse still photos. I know you mean well but I may have to "Block" your posts if this continues.

I know we live in a democracy but a bit of sensitivity would not go amiss for poor people like me.

I was 24 at the time of this event and was in a perfect position to appreciate the impact of it. i.e. 36 hours of continuous blizzard conditions that began that Thursday evening. I was even being wise enough when I woke up (in fact I never got any sleep that night or the next) to realise that if I went to work I would not make it back home. I just sat and looked out the window and other times went out and walked to experience the wonderment of the sight of the snow mounting hour by hour until all was so quiet. The air became so cold after the snow stopped and eventually fell to over -10C for the next few nights. :rolleyes:

My councillor did tell me if things ever got too much again to talk about it to someone. I do feel a little bit better now MR Data but please try and keep these posts to a minimum in order that I can keep my sanity. :doh:

Edited by John Cox

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Mr Data,

I have had enough of this.

Every day now, right in my face you post such weather reports.

Yes, I remember this event. Every winter I try to forget this wonderful time and have not been able to do so.

Last year I went for counselling and thought I had made significant progress.

What happens this year, you bring it right back up again. Not alone do you talk about it in your postings but Oh, No you have to scan newspaper articles and worse still photos. I know you mean well but I may have to "Block" your posts if this continues.

I know we live in a democracy but a bit of sensitivity would not go amiss for poor people like me.

I was 24 at the time of this event and was in a perfect position to appreciate the impact of it. i.e. 36 hours of continuous blizzard conditions that began that Thursday evening. I was even being wise enough when I woke up (in fact I never got any sleep that night or the next) to realise that if I went to work I would not make it back home. I just sat and looked out the window and other times went out and walked to experience the wonderment of the sight of the snow mounting hour by hour until all was so quiet. The air became so cold after the snow stopped and eventually fell to over -10C for the next few nights. :cold:

My councillor did tell me if things ever got too much again to talk about it to someone. I do feel a little bit better now MR Data but please try and keep these posts to a minimum in order that I can keep my sanity. :(

lol John,yep im scarred for life myself with this one too.I remember one of the bread trucks couldn reach the shopping centre close to me and selling the bread at the side of the road.Myself and the brother took a trip on our makeshift sledge to buy some.Funny thing is i drive down the same road to work every morning where that truck was stranded and a rye smile always comes over me followed by sadness of nearly once in a lifetime event.Never see the likes of it again. Edited by Snowbie

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lol John,yep im scarred for life myself with this one too.I remember one of the bread trucks couldn reach the shopping centre close to me and selling the bread at the side of the road.Myself and the brother took a trip on our makeshift sledge to buy some.Funny thing is i drive down the same road to work every morning where that truck was stranded and a rye smile always comes over me followed by sadness of nearly once in a lifetime event.Never see the likes of it again.

Hi Snowbie,

Yes, there was panic buying of groceries. I had to pull a sledge 1 mile with coal on it as the coal men could not get through to our estate.

People even got to know their neighbours (well those living very near) :cold:

Edited by John Cox

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To the Irish members, if you thought Jan 82 was bad wait till you read about February 1933 when I post those articles. It talks about Ireland being cut off from the rest of the world for nearly 60 hours.

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Hi Mr Data

Looking at the last newspapers clippings, it had Cardiff as the wettest place in the UK at 1.77ins . If that is all snow then we are looking 2ft of level snow, that is an incredible amount, or did it start off as rain then turn to snow. Just a fact that I would love to know the answer too. ;)

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Very interesting read indeed! I do remember that Winter, but was too young to remember much detail sadly. I remember starting Infant school in January 1982, and the blizzards came just a couple of days later. I remember trudging to school through deep snow and icy slush for over a week. I think it was the deepest snow I've yet seen in my lifetime. Will we have a repeat performance this Winter? Very much doubt it but you never know.

To think that the second half of that Winter was generally mild!

Big thank you to Mr Data.

;)

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Hi Mr Data

Looking at the last newspapers clippings, it had Cardiff as the wettest place in the UK at 1.77ins . If that is all snow then we are looking 2ft of level snow, that is an incredible amount, or did it start off as rain then turn to snow. Just a fact that I would love to know the answer too. :o

It was sub zero throughout so it was snow but it would have drifted with a mean windspeed of 28mph peaking to 37mph

Edited by Mr_Data

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Having just looked at the charts for December 1981, it struck me as a cold but not very cold month as the -10° hpa850 line rarely reached Aberdeen (there were lots of snow days in Aberdeen that month). Aberdeen seemed to be between the -5° and -10° hpa850 mark meaning the number of days that snow did fall, it would've been close to sleet or rain???

Having just looked at the charts for December 1981, it struck me as a cold but not very cold month as the -10° hpa850 line rarely reached Aberdeen (there were lots of snow days in Aberdeen that month). Aberdeen seemed to be between the -5° and -10° hpa850 mark meaning the number of days that snow did fall, it would've been close to sleet or rain???

Actually that is a rubbish post as a very similar setup existed in the first week of March last year when we had over a foot of snow in Aberdeen!

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On ‎17‎/‎11‎/‎2006 at 16:25, Defector said:

Fantastic memories! I grew up in Swansea and remember this period of snow very well. The icey conditions were a wonder to behold and even the main roads were car free for a long time. I was working in a local hospital at the time and had to rely on the army to get me to work.

I seem to remember a low night time temp of -11c being recorded at one stage.

I too was living just outside Swansea on the edge of the Gower Peninsula during this winter and I remember it vividly.  The blizzard was extraordinary and I remember the drifts outside our house and the main roads being impassable for days.  Totally once in a lifetime event for that area and I'm glad I was there to enjoy it.  Needless to say for most of the other winters I lived in Swansea (about 15 years) we were lucky to get a sprinkling of snow in most winters and that was if we were very lucky.

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On ‎16‎/‎10‎/‎2007 at 14:39, Weather-history said:

It was sub zero throughout so it was snow but it would have drifted with a mean windspeed of 28mph peaking to 37mph

I was living in Swansea at the time and I would have said the snow level was easily 2 feet and even more in the drifted areas of snow.  It was truly an incredible amount of snow the likes of which have not yet been repeated.

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I was living in Denmark at the time and remember the snowfall of mid-December which dumped feet of the stuff on the country in 36-48 hours. Yet nothing stopped working or running and the roads were cleared.

I was due to head back for Christmas and travelled on the train from Aarhus to Cologne and then on to Ostend where I was due to get the overnight ferry back to Dover. The trains were freezing and I lived on coffee and bockwurst for hours.

At Ostend I got on the ferry but the crossing was hellish - there was a huge storm, people were throwing up everywhere - it was the same storm which claimed the Penlee lifeboat. We couldn't land at Dover because of high seas and so went to Folkestone where I got off about dawn, walked up the hill into the town, found a café, had breakfast and then went on to Folkestone Central to catch the train home.

I remember it being a snowy Christmas and I was due to fly back on the 7th from Gatwick and miraculously I got to the airport and the plane went. I remember looking out the window as we climbed out of Gatwick and seeing southern England under a blanket of white.

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It was mainly just December here, January was more normal.
It didn't get going until about a week in, there was quite a dramatic start with sort of wall of heavy snow sweeping from the north.
Soon there was about two feet of snow which remained dry and powdery through until after Christmas.
We recorded some of the lowest temperatures ever here with -15C often reached even before dusk.
Often after it got dark temperature seemed to rise a little, probably due to not being all that far from the Sea.

December 2010 freeze started the last week of November and there was no significant thaw for about six weeks rather than four in '81.
Deeper snow and a similar mean but the absolute lows were less extreme at -12.3C, though the difference may well be accounted for by more accurate measurement now - as in 1981 we just put out a thermometer intended for checking the freezer was cold enough!. We don't get as cold as areas further inland though, and lower than -10 is quite a rarity.
In 2010 there was no significant thaw for about six weeks rather than four in '81.

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