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The great Christmas Blizzard of 1927

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The Christmas Blizzard of 1927 was one of the worst blizzards of the 20th Century to hit the south.

On Christmas Eve, there was a cold ENEly flow across the UK bringing with it, snow showers to the east coast and night frosts.

By Christmas Day, a low pressure had moved into the English Channel and this engaged the colder air. Initially, the precipitation that fell was rain but as the low pulled down even colder air, the rain turned readily to snow and by midnight, many southern and southeastern counties had a snow cover. Conditions the next day were horrendous with heavy snowfalls and a gale force NEly wind bringing blizzard conditions and severe drifting. Villages were cut off by drifts up to 20 feet and food supplies had to be air-drop. Transport was virtually paralysed with train services seriously delayed or cancelled. Even in central London, depths of snow were approaching 10"

By the 27th, high pressure had built across northern parts and the south became drier but with a cold easterly wind. The snow cover was to last until the New Year but then came another weather problem that was to have deadly consequences.


The Thames Flooding of January 1928

The Thames flooding of 7th of January 1928 caused serious flooding in London as a combination of a high tide and melt water from the rapidly melting snow caused the Thames to burst its banks.

After the Christmas Blizzard came a thaw with southerly winds flowing across the UK at the New Year. With all the melt water, the Thames was higher than normal. On the 7th, a deep depression was to the north of the UK and there was strong NWly winds and in combination with a high tide, it caused the Thames to burst its banks. There was serious flooding in the City, Southwark, Westminster, Putney and Hammersmith. The vaults of the Palace of Westminster was flooded as was the normally dry moat of the Tower of London. The Tate Gallery was badly affected with several valuable paintings damaged.

The human cost was worse with 14 people dying, mostly drowning in their basements and hundreds more, homeless. Following this flooding, the Thames embankment was raised a metre higher.


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thanks for posting this MR DATA

i never knew it ever happened

migthy 2 weeks of weather that may never have been topped in this country to date

thanks again for sharing

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Here are the "rainfall" totals for this event


6pm Christmas Day


Biggin Hill, photos by J.A. Capon




Andover-Winchester Road by Ms M.R. Babbage


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