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Posted
  • Location: EAST HEREFORDSHIRE
  • Location: EAST HEREFORDSHIRE
    a quick addition to this

    from my weather diary; February 1956

    cold spell 1-4th, second one 9-25 and 27th

    total snow falling measured at 25 inches with considerable drifting

    coldest morning 12.2F and lowest temp in late afternoon=22.1F

    24 days with frost.

    quite a month it seems

    I had not long left school and started work when 1956 dawned (I was 17 by the time this year rolled round - I turned 18 on 07 April 1956).

    In my job I had to undergo an in-house training course lasting from early January to early March 1956, this taking place in a large and fairly isolated mansion type house close to Chalfont St Peter, in Buckinghamshire. I had to travel there by train from Herefordshire, and at that particular time in January heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures affected many areas of the UK. As a matter of interest, the area around Boston, Lincolnshire, was very badly affected by very deep snow, with level depths in excess of two to three feet or more after a very prolonged snowstorm in that locality.

    I travelled from Ledbury direct to Paddington on the same through train (the old steam locos of very fond memory) and through countryside blanketed with snow, and the closer to London we got the lying snow became thicker. I had to then go from Paddington to Marylebone train station to catch the train to a small station called Denham Golf Club Halt, where we were to be met by a mini bus type thing to take us to the training college.

    In London there was a yellowish sort of smog hanging over the city which looked really eerie and you could hardly see one end of a street from the other, and I remember seeing the piles of dirty snow lying in the gutters all discoloured grey and yellowish - it looked horrible.

    At Denham Gold Club Halt the snow was about 4 or 5 inches deep, from memory, and as several of us trainees had arrived on the same train we all stood and chatted in the freezing cold on the snowy platform until the transport arrived, and we all piled into it and then slithered and slid our way along the rutted snowy country lanes until we got to The Lodge, as it was called.

    As it happened, one of the guys on the course actually came from Boston, Lincs., and I remember him describing the very snowy conditions up there. Yet he still managed to travel from there to London by train in spite of the heavy snows, so I reckon it was testimony to those powerful old steam locomotives of the time that the very snowy conditions didn't prevenmt the trains from operating, even if they were delayed now and again - as far as I recall my train arrived more or less on time at Paddington, but as it was now so long ago I can't be sure about that.

    All I know is that all the trains ran without much in the way of disruption, as in those days they actually fitted snowploughs to the front of the engines, as winter snow was more or less expected at some stage as a matter of course in the average winter back then. No way did the trains give up the ghost over the "wrong kind of snow" or cease functioning because of a snow drift measuring all of 1cm as happens nowadays! I particular remember the magnificent snow cornices overhanging the railway lines from the top of the embankments in the winters back then, as well as seeing snow plastered right across the outside of the windows so that you could see nothing from inside. It's strange how some things stick in your memory.

    A couple of days or so later the weather changed to milder conditions, but towards the end of January 1956 the weather turned a whole lot colder again, with very low temperatures and the snow returned. Our course was all in house as it was all administration and lecture room based, but they had also arranged PE and outdoor sporting events as we were all young lads c. 17 to 25 or so, with me being at the younger end. I enjoyed the cross country running very much, across all the meadows and through woods around the Chalfont and Gerrards Cross areas (in 1956 the area was very much different to what it is today - none of the modern day development so it was still quite rural on the whole).

    The 1st February 1956 was intensely cold, and snow once more blanketed the scene entirely, but that didn't stop us trudging through the snow on our cross country runs to keep us fit (the food on this course was great as I remember). On 01 February 1956 temperatures remained well below freezing in most inland areas, and maximum temperatures of about -5C that day were widespread. My record book shows Pershore, Worcestershire, as registering the lowest max temp that day with -7C as the high for the day.

    This very cold weather persisted for much of February 1956, and with snow being plentiful with fairly frequent falls every so often it was a decidedly wintry month, so we got used to slogging away across snowy fields and along snowy lanes and by-ways and crunching over snow buried twigs and undergrowth in the woods, and in spite of the daytime frosts we kept moving and kept as warm as toast - at least I did as I remember. WE did it all in just shorts and a top of some kind in spite of the very cold weather. They bred us hardy back then!

    I thoroughly enjoyed that training course as it was the first time I had ever been away from home. The next time I was away from home was exactly a year later - February 1957 - and this time it was for two years on National Service in the RAF, spent mostly in Norfolk, where we had a couple of quite notable snowy and very cold spells in early 1958 and 1959.

    Yes, February 1956 was a mostly very cold and snowy month, but by the time I got back home by the time March arrived it had turned a lot milder - with rain instead of snow.

    As a matter of interest, Christmas Day 1956 was very much a White Christmas - heavy snow fell for much of the day and roads became blocked by tea time and power cuts meant candle light and roaring log fires from mid afternoon. Quite Dickensian.....

    Funnily enough, exactly 30 years later, in February 1986, very cold and snowy conditions also lasted for much of the month. That was the month when redwings invaded all the gardens in this area and stripped the average cotoneaster shrubs of all their berries in about 10 minutes flat! They couldn't feed in the open fields as normal because they remained continuouslky snow covered for much of the month.

    Less than 7 years after February 1956 came the Winter to beat all Winters....the most severe for almost 300 years - but that is an entirely separate story all of its own! One thing was for sure - I didn't do any cross country running then in just shorts and a top as I had done seven years earlier in spite of the cold and the snow....

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    tks TM and LL for those posts, great to read them,

    how about you both do 1962-63 for us all, please?

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    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet

    Yes a very interesting thread indeed, thanks John, LL, and TM, for those reports and memories, really is good stuff to read, and as John says, would love to read your 62 / 63 memories and reports.

    Paul

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    Posted
  • Location: Brixton, South London
  • Location: Brixton, South London
    As it happened, one of the guys on the course actually came from Boston, Lincs., and I remember him describing the very snowy conditions up there. Yet he still managed to travel from there to London by train in spite of the heavy snows, so I reckon it was testimony to those powerful old steam locomotives of the time that the very snowy conditions didn't prevenmt the trains from operating, even if they were delayed now and again - as far as I recall my train arrived more or less on time at Paddington, but as it was now so long ago I can't be sure about that.

    You may well be right regarding steam locomotives: I recall that during the Great West Country Blizzard of February 1978, when at one time the whole of Somerset was effectively cut off from the outside world, the only effective mode of transport was the steam hauled West Somerset Railway running from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead.

    Certainly the 'third rail' system of electrification for services in the old BR 'Southern Region' [660V DC third rail electrification of suburban lines was started in 1913 by the pre-Grouping London & South Western Railway Company in 1913 and became the norm for the program of main line electrification carried out by the post-Grouping Southern Railway from 1931] does not perform well in heavy snow (not a problem nowadays save for Kent services). I read somewhere that third rail electrification was chosen as opposed to the competing overhead 1500 V DC [from 1955 25kV AC] system pioneered by the LNER because there had been a succession of relatively snowless winters in south east and central southern England...I wonder if there is any substance to this argument?

    regards

    ACB

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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

    On the High Peak railway, in 1947, the steam loco' was fitted with a huge shovel and used as a battering ram to blast its way a few yards into the enormous drifts to assist the army of P.O.Ws, railway workers and volunteers in their efforts to keep the line open.

    Due to the constant blizzards and drifts up to 35 feet deep in some of the cuttings their success was limited but I can't imagine a modern inter-city being used in the same way.

    T.M

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    • 4 weeks later...

    First time post for me so I hope this works ok.

    I spent much of my childhood living in the North Notts area during the 1950s. During this time I became interested in the weather, particularly the more dramatic aspects, thunderstorms, snow etc. I recall many events, but cannot attribute dates until I believe 1 Feb 1956 when I clearly remember the bitter cold and new snowfall. The small bottles of milk provided for children in those days had been left outside the school building in the early morning and most had frozen by the time the chidren arrived, trudging in the snow. I remember snowstorms in 1958 January & in particular February, probably 24th-25th. By 1960 I had aquired a second hand aneroid barometer, together with various weather books etc. In March 1962 age 13 I decided to start keeping a daily descriptive account of the weather, to include a barometer reading and wind direction/force. I had attempted to adjust the barometer, probably using a TV weather chart for reference. Wind direction was taken from a wind vane on a nearby building. A thermometer was fixed to a tree trunk in the garden.

    As it turned out the first winter I recorded was 1962/3. For anyone who may be interested I have copied the months of Nov 1962 to March 1963 and they are seen below( I hope). Best to recall my comments above re pressure, wind and temperature as the entries are unlikely to stand close scrutinity!. Hope anyone interested enjoys.

    Chartplotter

    1962

    November

    1 Cloudy all day. Rain commencing about 9:45am. Mostly fine after 2pm but rain in the evening, clearing by dark.

    Much of the rain heavy. Cold early but mild evening. Misty late evening. 29.25 S 1 to 5

    2 Cloudy or dull morning with some rain. Quite sunny during the afternoon but with rather prolonged heavy shower.

    Average temperature. Sheet lightning visible until midnight. 29.20 S 1 to 4

    3 Clear sky at first. Cirrus cloud later, with some cumulus and congestus during the afternoon, clearing during the evening. Quite clear night. Rather warm. 29.38 S to SW 3

    4 Diffuse cirrus all day with some cumulus also. Short rain shower in early evening with strengthening wind. Cloudy by 10:30pm.29.28 S then SE 3

    5 Rather cloudy all day with short burst of heavy rain about 9 - 10am. Then mostly dry but rain at times during the night. Warm. 29.11 SE 3 to 5

    6 Foggy early. Dull or cloudy all day but mostly dry. Less warm. 29.33 E 0 to 3

    7 Dull and rather foggy all morning with rain for about 2 hours. Brighter afternoon. Clear periods during the night. Cool.29.58 SE 0 to 2

    8 Dull and rather foggy morning. Dull, damp and wet with drizzle for rest of the day into the night. Strengthening wind.29.64 NE 0 to 5

    9 Rather wet all day with a lot of drizzle. Cool.29.79 NE 4

    10 Dull all day with rain and drizzle all morning. Cloud thinning and air becoming drier by early night.30.16 N'NE 5 to 6

    11 Cloudy and cold with showers during the afternoon.30.22 NE 4

    12 Cumulus and congestus developing but clearing during the evening. Some clear periods during the night. Cold.30.21 Mainly N 3

    13 Showers about early but mostly cloudless for the rest of the day. Frosty by late evening. Cold.30.30 N 2

    14 Mostly cloudy all day with some slight rain during the afternoon and evening. Less cold but becoming cold again during the night.

    29.90 NW 4

    15 Cloud in very small amounts only all day. Cold with a keen wind and frost early and late. 30.16 N 3 to 4

    16 Frosty but cloudy early. Snow starting about 7am and continuing until around mid day. Cloudy but dry for rest of the day. Cold. 29.62 SE 4

    17 Cloudy but dry all day. Rain, sleet or snow most of the night. Cold. 29.28 E then N 4 to 5

    18 Rain or sleet all morning. Dry afternoon but cloudy. Frost during the night. Cold. 29.58 N 7

    19 Some sunshine during the morning but also rather frequent snow showers. A veritable blizzard for about 20 minutes with snow cover changing to ice in shade. Very cold. Frost by evening.30.00 N 4

    20 Heavy frost early. Cloudy all day with sleet or snow during the night. Cold. 29.68 SE 3

    21 Snow early but only a light covering. Most of the snow thawing later in the rather weak sun. Frost by evening. Cold. Misty later. 29.60 N 0 to 2

    22 White frost early but thawing in sun. Rather misty. Mackerel sky in evening but frost returning. 30.26 N 0 to 1

    23 Frosty and cold early. Cloudy all day and dull most of the afternoon with rain, heavy at times, continuing well in to the night. Cold. 30.10 S 0 to 4

    24 Some sunshine all morning but with much streaky and patchy cirrus. Mostly cloudy or dull afternoon but dry. Dense fog by 10pm. Mild but becoming colder by evening. 30.01 SW 2

    25 Fog and cloud early. Weak sunshine all day. Fog patches at night. 30.60 Var 0 to 1

    26 Cloudy morning with thick mist or fog patches. Brighter afternoon. Fog patches during the night. Cool. 30.79 Var 0 to 1

    27 Dull all day with much mist. Cold. 30.76 Var 0 to 1

    28 Dull all day and misty. Rather cold. 30.60 Var 0 to 1

    29 Thin stratus cloud all morning. Mostly sunny afternoon and clear periods during the night. Much less misty than previous days. Cool or rather cold. 30.46 W 2 to 3

    30 Drizzle towards the end of previous night. Cloud morning but sunny afternoon. Clear night with fog and frost. Cold.30.71 Var 0 to 1

    December

    1 Rather foggy and damp early. Quite a lot of rather hazy sunshine all day. Clear night with frost.30.80 SE 2

    2 White frost early. Temperature barely reaching 32F and severe frost during the night. Dense fog all night.30.71 SE 2

    3 Severe frost continuing all morning. Persistent fog all day with rime on trees. Cloudy night with freezing temperatures

    but stronger wind. Very cold. 30.60 SE 0 to 3

    4 Dull and foggy all morning. Clear afternoon but with fog quickly returning in the evening. Temperature failing to reach 32F. 30.57 SE 0 to 2

    5 Severe frost all morning with everything covered in thick rime. Frost returning around 3pm. 30.58 S 1

    6 Frosty most of the morning. Sunny all day but with frost returning in the evening. Cold.30.45 S 1

    7 Frosty and foggy morning, clearing during the afternoon with a veil of high cloud and freshening wind. Mild by late evening. 30.24 S 0 to 4

    8 Cloudy morning with rain and a heavy downpour around 12 noon. Dry afternoon with clear evening. Heavy rain around 5am next morning. Mild. 29.71 SW 5 to 6

    9 Dry all day with quite a lot of sunshine. Cool. 29.74 NW 5 to 6

    10 Mostly sunny all day but with some small patches of cloud. Cold early. High cloud thickening during the evening. 29.91 NW 3

    11 Mostly cloudy or dull until evening with rain at times. 29.12 W'SW then NW 4

    12 Mostly cloudy all day with some rain or sleet during the morning and snow during the afternoon. Cold. 29.21 N 6

    13 Frosty early. Snow showers all morning and some sleet showers in the afternoon. 29.88 N 4

    14 Cloudy but dry all day. Cold at first but temperature rising to give a very mild night. Strong wind during the night. 29.50 W'SW 6 to 7

    15 Variable cloud amounts during the day but mostly dry. Mild. Very strong wind. 28.90 W 8 to 9

    16 Mostly sunny all day. Cool. 29.46 NW 5

    17 Varying cloud amounts all day but cloudy by evening with some rain. Wind change and clearing sky by 10pm. Cool. 29.49 SW then W 3

    18 Some sunshine but cumulo nimbus clouds with some showers. Cool. 29.50 W 3

    19 Mostly sunny all day with small amounts of cloud. Cool. 29.81 NW 3

    20 Rain, heavy at times all morning. Some rain during the afternoon and evening. Dry night. Mild. 29.51 S to SW 5

    21 Sunny all day. Cool. Very little cloud. 30.42 NW 3

    22 Cold all day. Misty with white frost most of the day. Cloudy and very cold night with strengthening wind.30.31 SE 0 to 4

    23 Very cold all day with a maximum temperature of 31F. Severe frost during the night. Quite a lot of cloud during the day with a strange cumulus low down in the east in the afternoon.(Power station plume) 30.82 E 3

    24 Continuous frost all day with a maximum of 31F. Severe frost early and late. Quite a lot of sunshine.30.85 E 2 to 3

    25 Continuous frost all day with a maximum of 29F. Temperature of 14F recorded in the early morning. Rather misty.30.74 Var 1

    26 Cold and freezing early with snow and mostly light covering. Thaw all day with rain at times. Maximum temperature of 36F. Freezing during the evening. 29.79 N,W,E 0 to 3

    27 Frosty all day with a maximum of 34F. Some sunshine but a lot of rather thin cloud. 29.81 N 3

    28 Dull and misty or foggy all day. Maximum 27F.29.81 Var 0 to 1

    29 Variable cloud all day with a maximum of 30F. High cloud in the evening. ( thought - snow tomorrow)29.78 E 2

    30 Cloudy all day. Snow during the afternoon and evening forming a complete covering of 1 to 2 ins.by 8Pm. Very cold. 29.56 E 5

    31 Drizzling snow for much of the day. Dull. Maximum temperature around freezing. Biting wind. 29.92 E 6 to 7

    1963

    January

    1 A lot of weak sunshine but much cloud all day. Maximum around freezing point. Snow lying. 29.91 E'NE 6 to 7

    2 Dull all day with a lot of drizzling snow. Very short burst of heavier snow around 3:30pm. Drizzle during the night freezing to ice on everything it touches. Maximum below freezing point. 29.78 NE 5 to 6

    3 Heavy snow all day amounting to 4 ins. Some drifting in the fresh winds. Very cold with maximum 32F. Some snow during the night with slight thaw. 29.48 NE 5

    4 Snow most of the day but with a slight thaw. Maximum a little below 33F. Some mist patches during the night. Very dull and damp. 29.31 NE 1

    5 Cloudy or dull all day but dry. Slight snow around 9 to 10am. Thaw continuing. 29.48 NE 1

    6 Dry all day but with frost early. 3 to 4 ins of snow becoming crisp. Very cold. Snow flurries during the night. 29.88 E 3

    7 Variable amounts of cloud all day but a lot of high cloud covered sunshine. Quite warm in the sunshine but with the lying snow shade temperature around 32F. Frost early and late. 29.89 E'NE 3

    8 Very cold all day but mostly sunny. Some high type cloud. Clear night with severe frost. Lying snow now very hard with much ice. 30.25 NE 2

    9 Cloudy all day with slight snow showers at times. Very cold with maximum around freezing point. Clear periods during the night with frost. 30.19 E'NE 2

    10 Frosty all day. Mostly sunny apart from some light snow showers. Snow lying now very crisp. Garden pond looks to be almost frozen solid.30.26 NE 2

    11 Cloudy or dull and foggy at times all day. Heavy snow shower of large flakes for about half an hour. Freezing all day. Clear night with severe frost. 30.42 NE 1

    12 Continuous frost severe night and morning. Slight snow shower around 4pm. Snow very crisp. 30.50 NE 1 to 2

    13 Cloudy early but sunny from mid morning. Maximum below freezing point. 30.48 N1

    14 Rather cloudy day with a few snow flurries. Temperature rising to highest since Boxing Day but still cold.

    30.42 N'NW 4

    15 Cold, cloudy or dull and misty all day but dry, Maximum around 35F. 30.36 N1

    16 Cloudy morning with a heavy snow shower, Some sunshine during the afternoon but with occasional heavy snow showers. Freezing all day. Severe night frost. 30.46 E 5

    17 Variable cloud all morning. Snow showers during the afternoon becoming heavier and more frequent with very few clear periods during the night. 2 to 3 ins. of new snow. Maximum temperature well below freezing. 30.61 NE 1 to 4

    18 Only a few light snow showers and quite a lot of sunshine. Maximum around freezing point. Very cold night with strong wind and cloud. 30.51 NE 5

    19 Few snow showers but a lot of sunshine. Cloudy night with heavy snow to 4 ins with drifts. Maximum below freezing point. 29.98 E 5

    20 Intermittent snow all morning. Dry for the rest of the day. Clear night. Maximum 31F. 29.96 E 5

    21 Sunny all day. Maximum about 30 F. Severe frost. 30.48 SE 3

    22 Sunny all day. Maximum temperature of 25F. Severe frost.30.89 SE 1

    23 Sunny but with cirrus cloud. Maximum 27F. Severe frost. 30.89 SW 1

    24 Sunny but rather misty all day. Continuous frost. 30.70 SW 1

    25 Frost until mid afternoon, then slight thaw but frost in the evening. 30.62 SW 1

    26 Frost soon clearing. Thaw with temperature above 40F. No frost in the evening. 30.71 Var 1

    27 Thaw all day. Some slight rain or drizzle, clearing during the afternoon. Maximum 39F. 30.78 N1

    28 Dull and misty all day. Temperature around 36F. Very damp. 30.74 Var 1

    29 Dry all day with variable cloud. Cold. Snow still lying in places. 30.48 SW 1

    30 Dull until mid morning with snow at times. Becoming colder during the day but most of the newly fallen snow melted. 30.46 NE 4

    31 A few snow showers, heavy. Slight rain shower around noon. 30.21 N'NE 3

    February

    1 Heavy snow showers all morning. Continuous heavy snow all afternoon to 2 ins. Becoming colder with temperature falling to 25 F during the afternoon. Severe night frost. 30.20 NE 2

    2 Mostly dry but rather cloudy all day. Some slight snow. Continuous frost. 29.89 NE 3

    3 Quite a lot of cloud but dry. Continuous frost. 29.56 NE 3 to 5

    4 Fog developing during the morning and persisting all day and well in to the night. Continuous frost. 29.44 Var 1

    5 Variable cloud but persistent veil of high cloud. Very cold with persistent frost. Strong to gale wind during the night. 29.48 SE 4 then 8

    6 Cloudy with some slight snow. Strong wind. Continuous frost. Snowy night. 29.50 SE 7

    7 Rain most of the morning. Snow, continuous or almost, all afternoon and into the night. Slight thaw, especially during the morning. 29.50 Var 1

    8 Cloudy until mid morning. Hazy sunshine for the rest of the day. Cold but with thaw. 29.90 S 1

    9 Cloudy or dull all day but dry. Rather misty. Maximum temperature 31F. 29.89 SE 4

    10 Some drizzling snow all day. Continuous frost. 29.71 E 4 to 5

    11 Outbreaks of heavy drizzly snow all day. Very dull, damp and hazy. Maximum temperature around freezing.

    29.59 NE 1

    12 Occasional snow during the first part of the morning. Becoming less cloudy and damp later in the morning with some feeble sunshine. Mostly dry for the rest of the day but slight sleety showers during the evening. Icy ground early but maximum temperature near 40F. 29.78 N 2

    13 Very slight snow shower during the previous night. Variable cloud all day, some high cloud. Snow cover shrinking. Maximum near 40F. 29.89 S 1

    14 Cloudy all day. Snow most of the day but with pieces of ice at times. Temperature rising above freezing. 29.41 SE 6

    15 1-2 ins of new snow. Dry all day with continuous but variable layer of high cloud. Very cold. Temperature only a little above freezing. 29.29 E or SE 5

    16 Snow shower early. Variable high cloud all day but dry. Maximum only a little above freezing.29.40 E 3

    17 A few snow showers but mostly dry. Very cold. 29.59 N 3

    18 Snow shower early. Rather weak sunshine all day but variable cloud. Maximum not much above freezing. 29.64 NE 3

    19 Some cumulus type cloud but mostly dry. Not much snow cover but a great deal of ice. Maximum only a little above freezing. 29.58 E 4

    20 Keen frost in the morning. Slight thaw during the day but with a heavy and rather prolonged snow shower during the afternoon. 29.81 NE 4

    21 Frosty early. Maximum temperature of 40F. Most of the snow cover melting during the day. 30.10 NW 2

    22 Showers at times all day, of snow in the morning and rain during the afternoon. Rather cold. Continuing thaw of lying snow. 30.28 N 3

    23 Snow until around 11am. Little or no further covering. Brighter afternoon. Maximum about 34F. 30.31 E 2

    24 Heavy frost in the morning. Little thaw during the day and frost returning quickly during the afternoon. 30.41 SE 3

    25 Severe frost early, 18F at 8am. Hazy sunshine all day but almost continuous frost. 30.40 SE 4

    26 Foggy early. Sunshine all day with much running water from thawing snow. Severe frost early and late. 30.50 SE 0 to 5

    27 Frost and cloud early. Sunshine for the rest of the day. Snow only in shade. 30.55 SE 2

    28 Sunny all day after early frost and mist. Warm sunshine with little snow cover, but frost in evening. 30.52 SE 3

    March

    1 Sunny all day after early frost and mist. Continuing thaw of remaining snow and ice. Warm sunshine. Frost again in the evening. 30.50 SE 3

    2 Frosty start. Continued thaw of little remaining snow. Warm sunshine. Frost again in the evening. 30.48 SE 3

    3 Frost start. Sunny all day with continued thaw. 30.48 SE 2

    4 Hazy sunshine early. Cloudy for the rest of the day with sporadic rain. Very little snow but some ice left. Average temperature. 30.21 S 2

    5 Mostly cloudy but dry all day. Maximum temperature near 50F. 30.03 SW 5

    6 Cloudy but dry all day, Maximum 55F. All snow melted. 30.03 SW 5

    7 Variable cloud all morning. Cirrus type veil of cloud spreading from the west during the afternoon but not thickening up. Rather mild. 29.90 W or SW 4 to 6

    8 Clouding over during the morning. Moderate rain between 12:30 and 1pm. Then veer of wind and clearing weather. Dry rest of the day. 29.31 SW or S 6

    9 Rain, heavy at times most of the day. Some rain during the night. Cool.28.94 S'SE 7

    10 Some sunshine all day but with a lot of cumulus cloud. 29.09 SW or W 6

    11 Cloudy all day with rain during the evening. Cool. 29.19 E 4

    12 Rather cloudy but dry all day. Rather cold. 29.78 SW 3

    13 High cloud thickening up. Rain, continuous and rather heavy from 4pm in to the night. Rather muggy. 29.76 S 5

    14 Variable but mainly continuous layer of high cloud. Dry all day but rain from late evening continuing all night.Rather warm, maximum temperature 60F. 29.57 S'SE 5 to 6

    15 Some bursts of heavy rain early. Sunshine during the day but with cumulus cloud and some showers. Rather warm.29.61 S'SW 4

    16 A lot of rather small anvil cirrus, with showers from mid morning. Around average temperature. 29.41 SW 5

    17 Mostly cloudy all morning. Cloudy or dull afternoon with continuous and often heavy rain from 3pm to 10:30pm. Average temperature. 29.64 S 4 to 6

    18 Mostly cloudy morning with rain from 10:30am until mid day. Then dry until 1:30pm when very dark cloud with heavy rain and again at 2:30pm. Then much clearer. Average temperature. 29.61 S then NW 3 to 5

    19 Hazy sky all day but with some sunshine. Dry. Cool. 29.78 Var 1 to 3

    20 Variable types of broken cloud but dry. Rather foggy early. Cold at first but average temperature later.29.89 N1

    21 Cloudy all day but dry. Cold. 30.11 NE 2

    22 Variable cloud all day but dry. Rather cold. 30.46 NE 2

    23 Quite a lot of sunshine but rather hazy. Rather cold. 30.54 NE 2

    24 Sunny morning. High frontal cloud thickening during the afternoon. Rain at times during the night. Warm sunshine with maximum 53F. 30.01 SW 4 then 7

    25 Sunshine at times all day but with cumulus type cloud. Gusty wind. Cool. Clouding over during the evening. 29.71 W 7

    26 Cumulus type cloud all day after early occasional rain. Average temperature. 29.64 NE 1

    27 High cloud with variable low cloud most of the day. Some rain around noon. Becoming dark during the afternoon with rain, clearing by 3:30pm. Becoming rather cold. Rather heavy shower in the evening. 29.52 SW 4

    28 Cumulus type cloud all day but with cirrus also.. Cool. No showers but no flattening of cumulus until dusk. 29.72 SW 3

    29 Heavy rain early, then mostly dry until late morning. Continuous and rather heavy rain then continuing for the rest

    of the day and all night. Cool. 29.11 SE then N 1

    30 Dull all day with periods of rain, heavy at times. Cold. Sleet for a short period in the morning. 29.22 N 1 to 3

    31 Dry all day with sunshine at times. Warmer. 30.15 N 2

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    Posted
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada

    These are some winter highlights that I recall from memory since I turned 15 in 1964 and my parents had set me up with a weather station that previous Christmas (fatal mistake) ...

    Of course these memories are for various parts of Canada, mostly Ontario. I won't go into huge detail, just some snapshots of what I recall right away for each winter ...

    These first ten or so in the Toronto area, a little to the west of the city in a place called Georgetown.

    1963-64 ... after a cold December, a mild winter with brown dead grass much of the time. Very sunny in February.

    1964-65 ... a winter of many storms of all kinds. On the 10th of February, heavy ice in the morning, school cancelled, I spent all morning chipping it off the "sidewalk" and then by afternoon it melted anyway in 50 F sunshine. :drinks:

    1965-66 ... the great blizzard of January 23, laid down 17 inches of snow across the region.

    1966-67 ... no global warming yet, but it was 60 degrees at lunchtime on the 25th of January.

    1967-68 ... a massive ice storm after 10 inches of snow, the weight of the ice brought down many tree branches in Toronto and closed down the University for a week as a result. That was about the middle of January.

    1968-69 ... an odd winter of blocking as I later realized, lots of mild NE winds from Labrador and odd stationary storms with mixed sleety precipitation. This went on well into the spring too but by then it wasn't mild.

    1969-70 ... a really cold winter, rather dry though. I have some old photographs of weird ice formations in Georgian Bay in late February.

    1970-71 ... an exceptionally cold winter with prolific snow squalls, although I wasn't living in the "snow belt" when they happened ... areas cut off for weeks by metres-high drifts in late January and several times through February.

    1971-72 ... a sort of normal winter overall, but a very mild December in 1971.

    1972-73 ... the first really mild winter I had experienced since getting interested in the weather. Living in Toronto, almost no snow at any time. Then a vicious rain-snow mix on March 18th caused a huge traffic accident that killed ten people north of Toronto. About here I had graduated as a climatologist but was getting interested in severe weather.

    1973-74 ... my first winter "up north" (at 45 degrees, LOL) in the snow belt. It wasn't a big snowfall winter but I hadn't seen snow on this scale before. The great tornado outbreak of 3-4 April is a specific memory I have because I remember how sultry and ominous it was on the 3rd where I was living. We didn't get a tornado anywhere near there however.

    1974-75 ... I call this the Medieval Warm Spell winter because it seemed like it didn't belong in the 20th century which was supposed to be getting colder (ice age coming, they said :) ) ... every winter month well above normal and even in the snow belt region, more or less snow-free. Then March cold and snowy, and an epic blizzard on 2-3 April that left behind four metre snow drifts that quickly froze through daytime melting and overnight freezing, into concrete-like moguls. Trapped in my country home for a week, had to get what little food was left in the tiny local shop to survive, roads were totally impassable. The rest of April very cold and dry, then May scorching hot and dry.

    1975-76 ... more of an epic snowsquall winter and I was there for all of it. Shovelling out the driveway every day for weeks on end as five, ten even fifteen inches of snow would come in from Georgian Bay on relentless W to NW winds. One very cold spell though, my thermometer bottomed out at -41 (that's C and F), and while outside at midnight to observe, I could hear trees cracking in the extreme cold. That was, I think, the morning of the 23rd of January.

    1976-77 ... another very cold winter, this time I was travelling between various locations. This was the winter Buffalo NY got buried by a week's worth of heavy snow from Lake Erie, and the Ohio River froze for the first time in decades, some of you may remember those news events.

    1977-78 ... nothing too memorable until a deep low arrived on 26th of January, 100 mph wind gusts in some parts of Ontario and when I arrived for work (at a forecast office) the air conditioning unit from the roof was sitting in my parking space.

    1978-79 ... a rather drab snizzly sort of winter until February turned very cold, I remember getting mild frostbite at a winter carnival in London Ontario. That was while you were also having a cold winter, it would seem.

    1979-80 ... the winter I spent at Accu-weather in PA ... a mild snow-free winter with great concern that the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid NY would be ruined, but it turned a bit colder and they made some snow for that ... it snowed big-time in Norfolk VA on leap year day as I recall.

    1980-81 ... back in Canada again, a rather cold January and a very mild February. Can't remember many details of it.

    1981-82 ... travelled with my wife out to BC and back by road for Christmas and New Years. Not such a good idea, the return journey in particular was nearly lethal, we cut through the jet and saw the whole spectrum of wild winter weather. This was a cold winter, some may remember when that plane went down in the Potomac River in Washington DC because of heavy ice on the wings.

    1982-83 ... a very mild winter. This is when global warming was born, North American weather people were freaked out when December records fell by huge margins. It was 20 C on the 3rd of December and 18 C on the 28th, or thereabouts, in Toronto. No snow on the ground anywhere some weekend in January 1983 when we drove far north of the city looking for any to try out cross-country skis. This kept up throughout the winter and there was only one miserable snowfall in late March. For Ontario, very unusual.

    1983-84 ... now living 150 km northeast of Toronto in Peterborough (for the next 12 years also) ... this was a strange winter indeed. December and January were quite cold, but not very stormy. Then February was exceptionally mild, March was quite cold with more snow than the rest of the winter.

    1984-85 ... a rather bland winter with near-normal temperatures much of the time and no big storms, just a prolonged rain event in late February.

    1985-86 ... a cold December, a normal January and February, and some record warmth in March ... overall there was not much snow and it was easy to get about for that part of the world.

    1986-87 ... winter started early in November, but didn't last very long. December was dull and a bit on the mild side, January was quite mild and February a clear, often rather cold month but nothing exceptional. Can't recall any really dramatic events, but March brought more record warmth at times.

    1987-88 ... this was a mild winter in general, without much snow.

    1988-89 ... this started out the same way then turned quite cold in February and stayed that way in March. Can recall spending hours looking at intense northern lights in March. Quebec's electricity grid was knocked out by the magnetic storm.

    1989-90 ... a fairly mild winter after bone-chilling cold in December. Then some ridiculous warmth in March, raising the global warming talk to a fever pitch. We used to watch the Rochester NY television stations quite a bit, and they had highs in the mid-80s for days during mid-March while we were seeing more like 70 to 75, but the first of that melted all the snow and gave me a day's work pumping out our basement (it was unfurnished but still ...)

    1990-91 ... this was a mild winter again, we were getting used to them at this point. March had the most active weather once again, I remember one day when it was like 18 C in the morning and -10 C in the evening with blowing snow.

    1991-92 ... a dull winter with little active weather, followed by a rather cool year in general -- it was blamed on dust from Pinatubo although that seemed a bit of a stretch.

    1992-93 ... very heavy snow at the full moon on 9th and 10th December 1992, I measured 22 inches level (no wind) at the end of this storm. About a week later, that had all melted, but gradually. January of 1993 was very mild and February exceptionally cold. I had a very severe illness that may have been caused by contaminated drinking water at an office I was visiting (such are my friends), and spent most of this cold spell in a delirium. Had to walk a mile down to the doctor's one day in -30 C cold and strong winds, that did not help me recover but the doctor did, so y'all still have me to kick about.

    1993-94 ... just when "the experts" had warned that winter was a thing of the past, came this freakishly cold winter with days that never got above -20 C and a steady parade of strong arctic highs. It didn't start until Christmas Eve, the first part of December was rather Californian as I recall golfing a few days before Christmas. But all of JFM were very cold, dry though.

    1994-95 ... our last winter in Ontario (hurray) ... it was rather brutal, a lot of ice storms and nothing very pleasant, colder as it went along as usual.

    1995-96 ... we moved to BC that previous summer, and spent much of this winter in Arizona and California. It was dry and rather cool for those regions, but we drove back to BC in a huge rainstorm. That was the year the Pebble Beach Golf Tournament was cancelled.

    1996-97 ... here in BC now, we had a massive snowstorm on 28-29 December, it piled up to about 15 inches, then promptly melted on New Years Eve. The rest of that winter was rather cold too, with occsaional snow events, more than we've seen here any time since.

    1997-98 ... the famous El Nino winter, at the golf course where I play, we had regular golf all winter and that's well inland from the coast, so quite unusual, even played in shorts on the first of February. This was the winter when Ontario and Quebec had the terrible ice storm, glad we had moved away from that. I hate ice storms, you are stuck inside until they stop and it's not exciting like a snow or wind storm, you're likely to lose your electric power and have your freezer food ruined, etc.

    1998-99 ... I don't remember anything about that winter here, such is the Vancouver climate, there is little that you remember past a week or two ... but Toronto had another huge snowstorm on the 2nd and 3rd of January, they had to call in the army to help clear the streets, and ever since, Toronto has been mocked in the rest of Canada where we clear our own snow.

    1999-2000 ... This was a winter of heavy mountain snows around here, not that I saw much of it down near sea level.

    2000-01 ... I believe this was the autumn (2000) when it turned very cold in eastern N America and this lasted much of the early winter. But I don't recall much about it, concentrating at that time on severe weather forecasting in the southern US.

    2001-02 ... Anyone got a clue? I don't.

    2002-03 ... Now that we're getting closer to real time, I can't remember anything. There's something going on with our weather alright, it's forgettable.

    2003-04 ... Three in a row.

    2004-05 ... Pretty sure this was the year Toronto had their 19 C in January, might be wrong.

    2005-06 ... By now I had my head into UK weather so that's what I remember ... the winter of near misses.

    2006-07 ... Vancouver had a very stormy winter, Stanley Park was decimated by tornadic wind gusts in mid-December and there were several other big windstorms. But more memorable, it snowed very hard at the end of November and piled up to about 18 inches for just a few days. That was basically the only snow for the winter.

    2007-08 ... So far, we've already had a big snowfall, a huge rainstorm, and clear, cold days. A bit of everything.

    Well, sorry to intrude, but I thought this might make interesting reading on a dull, drizzly day, supposing you ever get one of those in the UK or Ireland ////

    :drinks:

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    Posted
  • Location: biggin hill kent 205m
  • Location: biggin hill kent 205m

    Great Post Roger and your postings are always of great interest as you view in great detail our weather from across the pond . Having lived through 63' and all the cold winters up to 1987(Jan 87' The Kent North Downs received 30 inches of snow with drifting which meant the main Road to London was blocked for four days with

    several double decker buried .- mild thereafter apart from 1991 when even the heat Island called London had nine inches of level snow for a few days I fear that my kids and younger members on the forum may never witness a real cold winter

    Regards Charlton North Downs-a very amateur weather observer

    Edited by charlton north-downs
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  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    First time post for me so I hope this works ok.

    I spent much of my childhood living in the North Notts area during the 1950s. During this time I became interested in the weather, particularly the more dramatic aspects, thunderstorms, snow etc. I recall many events, but cannot attribute dates until I believe 1 Feb 1956 when I clearly remember the bitter cold and new snowfall. The small bottles of milk provided for children in those days had been left outside the school building in the early morning and most had frozen by the time the chidren arrived, trudging in the snow. I remember snowstorms in 1958 January & in particular February, probably 24th-25th. By 1960 I had aquired a second hand aneroid barometer, together with various weather books etc. In March 1962 age 13 I decided to start keeping a daily descriptive account of the weather, to include a barometer reading and wind direction/force. I had attempted to adjust the barometer, probably using a TV weather chart for reference. Wind direction was taken from a wind vane on a nearby building. A thermometer was fixed to a tree trunk in the garden.

    As it turned out the first winter I recorded was 1962/3. For anyone who may be interested I have copied the months of Nov 1962 to March 1963 and they are seen below( I hope). Best to recall my comments above re pressure, wind and temperature as the entries are unlikely to stand close scrutinity!. Hope anyone interested enjoys.

    Chartplotter

    1962

    November

    1 Cloudy all day. Rain commencing about 9:45am. Mostly fine after 2pm but rain in the evening, clearing by dark.

    Much of the rain heavy. Cold early but mild evening. Misty late evening. 29.25 S 1 to 5

    2 Cloudy or dull morning with some rain. Quite sunny during the afternoon but with rather prolonged heavy shower.

    Average temperature. Sheet lightning visible until midnight. 29.20 S 1 to 4

    3 Clear sky at first. Cirrus cloud later, with some cumulus and congestus during the afternoon, clearing during the evening. Quite clear night. Rather warm. 29.38 S to SW 3

    4 Diffuse cirrus all day with some cumulus also. Short rain shower in early evening with strengthening wind. Cloudy by 10:30pm.29.28 S then SE 3

    5 Rather cloudy all day with short burst of heavy rain about 9 - 10am. Then mostly dry but rain at times during the night. Warm. 29.11 SE 3 to 5

    6 Foggy early. Dull or cloudy all day but mostly dry. Less warm. 29.33 E 0 to 3

    7 Dull and rather foggy all morning with rain for about 2 hours. Brighter afternoon. Clear periods during the night. Cool.29.58 SE 0 to 2

    8 Dull and rather foggy morning. Dull, damp and wet with drizzle for rest of the day into the night. Strengthening wind.29.64 NE 0 to 5

    9 Rather wet all day with a lot of drizzle. Cool.29.79 NE 4

    10 Dull all day with rain and drizzle all morning. Cloud thinning and air becoming drier by early night.30.16 N'NE 5 to 6

    11 Cloudy and cold with showers during the afternoon.30.22 NE 4

    12 Cumulus and congestus developing but clearing during the evening. Some clear periods during the night. Cold.30.21 Mainly N 3

    13 Showers about early but mostly cloudless for the rest of the day. Frosty by late evening. Cold.30.30 N 2

    14 Mostly cloudy all day with some slight rain during the afternoon and evening. Less cold but becoming cold again during the night.

    29.90 NW 4

    15 Cloud in very small amounts only all day. Cold with a keen wind and frost early and late. 30.16 N 3 to 4

    16 Frosty but cloudy early. Snow starting about 7am and continuing until around mid day. Cloudy but dry for rest of the day. Cold. 29.62 SE 4

    17 Cloudy but dry all day. Rain, sleet or snow most of the night. Cold. 29.28 E then N 4 to 5

    18 Rain or sleet all morning. Dry afternoon but cloudy. Frost during the night. Cold. 29.58 N 7

    19 Some sunshine during the morning but also rather frequent snow showers. A veritable blizzard for about 20 minutes with snow cover changing to ice in shade. Very cold. Frost by evening.30.00 N 4

    20 Heavy frost early. Cloudy all day with sleet or snow during the night. Cold. 29.68 SE 3

    21 Snow early but only a light covering. Most of the snow thawing later in the rather weak sun. Frost by evening. Cold. Misty later. 29.60 N 0 to 2

    22 White frost early but thawing in sun. Rather misty. Mackerel sky in evening but frost returning. 30.26 N 0 to 1

    23 Frosty and cold early. Cloudy all day and dull most of the afternoon with rain, heavy at times, continuing well in to the night. Cold. 30.10 S 0 to 4

    24 Some sunshine all morning but with much streaky and patchy cirrus. Mostly cloudy or dull afternoon but dry. Dense fog by 10pm. Mild but becoming colder by evening. 30.01 SW 2

    25 Fog and cloud early. Weak sunshine all day. Fog patches at night. 30.60 Var 0 to 1

    26 Cloudy morning with thick mist or fog patches. Brighter afternoon. Fog patches during the night. Cool. 30.79 Var 0 to 1

    27 Dull all day with much mist. Cold. 30.76 Var 0 to 1

    28 Dull all day and misty. Rather cold. 30.60 Var 0 to 1

    29 Thin stratus cloud all morning. Mostly sunny afternoon and clear periods during the night. Much less misty than previous days. Cool or rather cold. 30.46 W 2 to 3

    30 Drizzle towards the end of previous night. Cloud morning but sunny afternoon. Clear night with fog and frost. Cold.30.71 Var 0 to 1

    December

    1 Rather foggy and damp early. Quite a lot of rather hazy sunshine all day. Clear night with frost.30.80 SE 2

    2 White frost early. Temperature barely reaching 32F and severe frost during the night. Dense fog all night.30.71 SE 2

    3 Severe frost continuing all morning. Persistent fog all day with rime on trees. Cloudy night with freezing temperatures

    but stronger wind. Very cold. 30.60 SE 0 to 3

    4 Dull and foggy all morning. Clear afternoon but with fog quickly returning in the evening. Temperature failing to reach 32F. 30.57 SE 0 to 2

    5 Severe frost all morning with everything covered in thick rime. Frost returning around 3pm. 30.58 S 1

    6 Frosty most of the morning. Sunny all day but with frost returning in the evening. Cold.30.45 S 1

    7 Frosty and foggy morning, clearing during the afternoon with a veil of high cloud and freshening wind. Mild by late evening. 30.24 S 0 to 4

    8 Cloudy morning with rain and a heavy downpour around 12 noon. Dry afternoon with clear evening. Heavy rain around 5am next morning. Mild. 29.71 SW 5 to 6

    9 Dry all day with quite a lot of sunshine. Cool. 29.74 NW 5 to 6

    10 Mostly sunny all day but with some small patches of cloud. Cold early. High cloud thickening during the evening. 29.91 NW 3

    11 Mostly cloudy or dull until evening with rain at times. 29.12 W'SW then NW 4

    12 Mostly cloudy all day with some rain or sleet during the morning and snow during the afternoon. Cold. 29.21 N 6

    13 Frosty early. Snow showers all morning and some sleet showers in the afternoon. 29.88 N 4

    14 Cloudy but dry all day. Cold at first but temperature rising to give a very mild night. Strong wind during the night. 29.50 W'SW 6 to 7

    15 Variable cloud amounts during the day but mostly dry. Mild. Very strong wind. 28.90 W 8 to 9

    16 Mostly sunny all day. Cool. 29.46 NW 5

    17 Varying cloud amounts all day but cloudy by evening with some rain. Wind change and clearing sky by 10pm. Cool. 29.49 SW then W 3

    18 Some sunshine but cumulo nimbus clouds with some showers. Cool. 29.50 W 3

    19 Mostly sunny all day with small amounts of cloud. Cool. 29.81 NW 3

    20 Rain, heavy at times all morning. Some rain during the afternoon and evening. Dry night. Mild. 29.51 S to SW 5

    21 Sunny all day. Cool. Very little cloud. 30.42 NW 3

    22 Cold all day. Misty with white frost most of the day. Cloudy and very cold night with strengthening wind.30.31 SE 0 to 4

    23 Very cold all day with a maximum temperature of 31F. Severe frost during the night. Quite a lot of cloud during the day with a strange cumulus low down in the east in the afternoon.(Power station plume) 30.82 E 3

    24 Continuous frost all day with a maximum of 31F. Severe frost early and late. Quite a lot of sunshine.30.85 E 2 to 3

    25 Continuous frost all day with a maximum of 29F. Temperature of 14F recorded in the early morning. Rather misty.30.74 Var 1

    26 Cold and freezing early with snow and mostly light covering. Thaw all day with rain at times. Maximum temperature of 36F. Freezing during the evening. 29.79 N,W,E 0 to 3

    27 Frosty all day with a maximum of 34F. Some sunshine but a lot of rather thin cloud. 29.81 N 3

    28 Dull and misty or foggy all day. Maximum 27F.29.81 Var 0 to 1

    29 Variable cloud all day with a maximum of 30F. High cloud in the evening. ( thought - snow tomorrow)29.78 E 2

    30 Cloudy all day. Snow during the afternoon and evening forming a complete covering of 1 to 2 ins.by 8Pm. Very cold. 29.56 E 5

    31 Drizzling snow for much of the day. Dull. Maximum temperature around freezing. Biting wind. 29.92 E 6 to 7

    1963

    January

    1 A lot of weak sunshine but much cloud all day. Maximum around freezing point. Snow lying. 29.91 E'NE 6 to 7

    2 Dull all day with a lot of drizzling snow. Very short burst of heavier snow around 3:30pm. Drizzle during the night freezing to ice on everything it touches. Maximum below freezing point. 29.78 NE 5 to 6

    3 Heavy snow all day amounting to 4 ins. Some drifting in the fresh winds. Very cold with maximum 32F. Some snow during the night with slight thaw. 29.48 NE 5

    4 Snow most of the day but with a slight thaw. Maximum a little below 33F. Some mist patches during the night. Very dull and damp. 29.31 NE 1

    5 Cloudy or dull all day but dry. Slight snow around 9 to 10am. Thaw continuing. 29.48 NE 1

    6 Dry all day but with frost early. 3 to 4 ins of snow becoming crisp. Very cold. Snow flurries during the night. 29.88 E 3

    7 Variable amounts of cloud all day but a lot of high cloud covered sunshine. Quite warm in the sunshine but with the lying snow shade temperature around 32F. Frost early and late. 29.89 E'NE 3

    8 Very cold all day but mostly sunny. Some high type cloud. Clear night with severe frost. Lying snow now very hard with much ice. 30.25 NE 2

    9 Cloudy all day with slight snow showers at times. Very cold with maximum around freezing point. Clear periods during the night with frost. 30.19 E'NE 2

    10 Frosty all day. Mostly sunny apart from some light snow showers. Snow lying now very crisp. Garden pond looks to be almost frozen solid.30.26 NE 2

    11 Cloudy or dull and foggy at times all day. Heavy snow shower of large flakes for about half an hour. Freezing all day. Clear night with severe frost. 30.42 NE 1

    12 Continuous frost severe night and morning. Slight snow shower around 4pm. Snow very crisp. 30.50 NE 1 to 2

    13 Cloudy early but sunny from mid morning. Maximum below freezing point. 30.48 N1

    14 Rather cloudy day with a few snow flurries. Temperature rising to highest since Boxing Day but still cold.

    30.42 N'NW 4

    15 Cold, cloudy or dull and misty all day but dry, Maximum around 35F. 30.36 N1

    16 Cloudy morning with a heavy snow shower, Some sunshine during the afternoon but with occasional heavy snow showers. Freezing all day. Severe night frost. 30.46 E 5

    17 Variable cloud all morning. Snow showers during the afternoon becoming heavier and more frequent with very few clear periods during the night. 2 to 3 ins. of new snow. Maximum temperature well below freezing. 30.61 NE 1 to 4

    18 Only a few light snow showers and quite a lot of sunshine. Maximum around freezing point. Very cold night with strong wind and cloud. 30.51 NE 5

    19 Few snow showers but a lot of sunshine. Cloudy night with heavy snow to 4 ins with drifts. Maximum below freezing point. 29.98 E 5

    20 Intermittent snow all morning. Dry for the rest of the day. Clear night. Maximum 31F. 29.96 E 5

    21 Sunny all day. Maximum about 30 F. Severe frost. 30.48 SE 3

    22 Sunny all day. Maximum temperature of 25F. Severe frost.30.89 SE 1

    23 Sunny but with cirrus cloud. Maximum 27F. Severe frost. 30.89 SW 1

    24 Sunny but rather misty all day. Continuous frost. 30.70 SW 1

    25 Frost until mid afternoon, then slight thaw but frost in the evening. 30.62 SW 1

    26 Frost soon clearing. Thaw with temperature above 40F. No frost in the evening. 30.71 Var 1

    27 Thaw all day. Some slight rain or drizzle, clearing during the afternoon. Maximum 39F. 30.78 N1

    28 Dull and misty all day. Temperature around 36F. Very damp. 30.74 Var 1

    29 Dry all day with variable cloud. Cold. Snow still lying in places. 30.48 SW 1

    30 Dull until mid morning with snow at times. Becoming colder during the day but most of the newly fallen snow melted. 30.46 NE 4

    31 A few snow showers, heavy. Slight rain shower around noon. 30.21 N'NE 3

    February

    1 Heavy snow showers all morning. Continuous heavy snow all afternoon to 2 ins. Becoming colder with temperature falling to 25 F during the afternoon. Severe night frost. 30.20 NE 2

    2 Mostly dry but rather cloudy all day. Some slight snow. Continuous frost. 29.89 NE 3

    3 Quite a lot of cloud but dry. Continuous frost. 29.56 NE 3 to 5

    4 Fog developing during the morning and persisting all day and well in to the night. Continuous frost. 29.44 Var 1

    5 Variable cloud but persistent veil of high cloud. Very cold with persistent frost. Strong to gale wind during the night. 29.48 SE 4 then 8

    6 Cloudy with some slight snow. Strong wind. Continuous frost. Snowy night. 29.50 SE 7

    7 Rain most of the morning. Snow, continuous or almost, all afternoon and into the night. Slight thaw, especially during the morning. 29.50 Var 1

    8 Cloudy until mid morning. Hazy sunshine for the rest of the day. Cold but with thaw. 29.90 S 1

    9 Cloudy or dull all day but dry. Rather misty. Maximum temperature 31F. 29.89 SE 4

    10 Some drizzling snow all day. Continuous frost. 29.71 E 4 to 5

    11 Outbreaks of heavy drizzly snow all day. Very dull, damp and hazy. Maximum temperature around freezing.

    29.59 NE 1

    12 Occasional snow during the first part of the morning. Becoming less cloudy and damp later in the morning with some feeble sunshine. Mostly dry for the rest of the day but slight sleety showers during the evening. Icy ground early but maximum temperature near 40F. 29.78 N 2

    13 Very slight snow shower during the previous night. Variable cloud all day, some high cloud. Snow cover shrinking. Maximum near 40F. 29.89 S 1

    14 Cloudy all day. Snow most of the day but with pieces of ice at times. Temperature rising above freezing. 29.41 SE 6

    15 1-2 ins of new snow. Dry all day with continuous but variable layer of high cloud. Very cold. Temperature only a little above freezing. 29.29 E or SE 5

    16 Snow shower early. Variable high cloud all day but dry. Maximum only a little above freezing.29.40 E 3

    17 A few snow showers but mostly dry. Very cold. 29.59 N 3

    18 Snow shower early. Rather weak sunshine all day but variable cloud. Maximum not much above freezing. 29.64 NE 3

    19 Some cumulus type cloud but mostly dry. Not much snow cover but a great deal of ice. Maximum only a little above freezing. 29.58 E 4

    20 Keen frost in the morning. Slight thaw during the day but with a heavy and rather prolonged snow shower during the afternoon. 29.81 NE 4

    21 Frosty early. Maximum temperature of 40F. Most of the snow cover melting during the day. 30.10 NW 2

    22 Showers at times all day, of snow in the morning and rain during the afternoon. Rather cold. Continuing thaw of lying snow. 30.28 N 3

    23 Snow until around 11am. Little or no further covering. Brighter afternoon. Maximum about 34F. 30.31 E 2

    24 Heavy frost in the morning. Little thaw during the day and frost returning quickly during the afternoon. 30.41 SE 3

    25 Severe frost early, 18F at 8am. Hazy sunshine all day but almost continuous frost. 30.40 SE 4

    26 Foggy early. Sunshine all day with much running water from thawing snow. Severe frost early and late. 30.50 SE 0 to 5

    27 Frost and cloud early. Sunshine for the rest of the day. Snow only in shade. 30.55 SE 2

    28 Sunny all day after early frost and mist. Warm sunshine with little snow cover, but frost in evening. 30.52 SE 3

    March

    1 Sunny all day after early frost and mist. Continuing thaw of remaining snow and ice. Warm sunshine. Frost again in the evening. 30.50 SE 3

    2 Frosty start. Continued thaw of little remaining snow. Warm sunshine. Frost again in the evening. 30.48 SE 3

    3 Frost start. Sunny all day with continued thaw. 30.48 SE 2

    4 Hazy sunshine early. Cloudy for the rest of the day with sporadic rain. Very little snow but some ice left. Average temperature. 30.21 S 2

    5 Mostly cloudy but dry all day. Maximum temperature near 50F. 30.03 SW 5

    6 Cloudy but dry all day, Maximum 55F. All snow melted. 30.03 SW 5

    7 Variable cloud all morning. Cirrus type veil of cloud spreading from the west during the afternoon but not thickening up. Rather mild. 29.90 W or SW 4 to 6

    8 Clouding over during the morning. Moderate rain between 12:30 and 1pm. Then veer of wind and clearing weather. Dry rest of the day. 29.31 SW or S 6

    9 Rain, heavy at times most of the day. Some rain during the night. Cool.28.94 S'SE 7

    10 Some sunshine all day but with a lot of cumulus cloud. 29.09 SW or W 6

    11 Cloudy all day with rain during the evening. Cool. 29.19 E 4

    12 Rather cloudy but dry all day. Rather cold. 29.78 SW 3

    13 High cloud thickening up. Rain, continuous and rather heavy from 4pm in to the night. Rather muggy. 29.76 S 5

    14 Variable but mainly continuous layer of high cloud. Dry all day but rain from late evening continuing all night.Rather warm, maximum temperature 60F. 29.57 S'SE 5 to 6

    15 Some bursts of heavy rain early. Sunshine during the day but with cumulus cloud and some showers. Rather warm.29.61 S'SW 4

    16 A lot of rather small anvil cirrus, with showers from mid morning. Around average temperature. 29.41 SW 5

    17 Mostly cloudy all morning. Cloudy or dull afternoon with continuous and often heavy rain from 3pm to 10:30pm. Average temperature. 29.64 S 4 to 6

    18 Mostly cloudy morning with rain from 10:30am until mid day. Then dry until 1:30pm when very dark cloud with heavy rain and again at 2:30pm. Then much clearer. Average temperature. 29.61 S then NW 3 to 5

    19 Hazy sky all day but with some sunshine. Dry. Cool. 29.78 Var 1 to 3

    20 Variable types of broken cloud but dry. Rather foggy early. Cold at first but average temperature later.29.89 N1

    21 Cloudy all day but dry. Cold. 30.11 NE 2

    22 Variable cloud all day but dry. Rather cold. 30.46 NE 2

    23 Quite a lot of sunshine but rather hazy. Rather cold. 30.54 NE 2

    24 Sunny morning. High frontal cloud thickening during the afternoon. Rain at times during the night. Warm sunshine with maximum 53F. 30.01 SW 4 then 7

    25 Sunshine at times all day but with cumulus type cloud. Gusty wind. Cool. Clouding over during the evening. 29.71 W 7

    26 Cumulus type cloud all day after early occasional rain. Average temperature. 29.64 NE 1

    27 High cloud with variable low cloud most of the day. Some rain around noon. Becoming dark during the afternoon with rain, clearing by 3:30pm. Becoming rather cold. Rather heavy shower in the evening. 29.52 SW 4

    28 Cumulus type cloud all day but with cirrus also.. Cool. No showers but no flattening of cumulus until dusk. 29.72 SW 3

    29 Heavy rain early, then mostly dry until late morning. Continuous and rather heavy rain then continuing for the rest

    of the day and all night. Cool. 29.11 SE then N 1

    30 Dull all day with periods of rain, heavy at times. Cold. Sleet for a short period in the morning. 29.22 N 1 to 3

    31 Dry all day with sunshine at times. Warmer. 30.15 N 2

    Really interesting read, what stands out is that their were temporary thaws even during the very cold spell of mid to late january, it shows how the below freezing cet masks the fact that it was not a persistantly freezing month.
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  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    hi CP

    many thanks for that from your diary, lots of info there and welcome to N Weather.

    to Damianslaw?

    Interesting though the post by CP is PLEASE don't post whole copies of others posts, you have just done the same in another thread.

    many thanks

    John

    Edited by johnholmes
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    Posted
  • Location: Norfolk
  • Location: Norfolk

    I'll add my recollections of Feb 1991 firstly I think, may come back with some 78/79, mid-eighties, 87 and 95-96.

    Feb 1991 - the 7th iirc, might have been the 8th? I was due to travel from the South Coast where I was at the time to Surrey to visit a friend. The morning was bitterly cold and there were flurries of snow around but I really didn't anticipate much more than the standard 'chilly day' fayre.

    By the time I had got ready and ordered a taxi to the train station the snow was starting to pile in fairly heavily, by the time I reached the station it was at about 3 cms and the windchill was intense.

    I waited around 2 hours for a train to London to arrive watching snow fall and trying to keep warm along with several other people, we had formed something of a mutual support group in the attempt to suspend disbelief in just how bitter and snowy it was for the South Coast of England.

    The journey to London took approximately 3 hours (with mobile phones not being an option really back then I had no idea if my friend was still expecting me!) and I was standing most of the way. Caught a connection in London and arrived in Egham perhaps another 3 hours later. The weather there was something else - still the raw Easterly with frequent and heavy snow - I was on foot by now, it was dark and I was frankly terrified - however a call from the first phone box I found (I had called when I arrived in London with an 'en route' to be told I shouldn't have bothered turning out, lol) brought out the troops to find me - there is something terribly comforting about being found. However the abiding memory is of the final trek up a back lane to my friend's - the snow was thick and very deep, there was a field behind as well and after I had warmed up (took a long time!) several of us went out for a midnight snow fight. The next day was spent messing around in the snow too and it was I would say a good level 6 inch covering throughout with drifts of over a foot - not bad for the outskirts of London.

    Its a favoured memory not only because it sums up what a fool I am when I get an idea in my head and refuse to give up but because its probably the last 'true' snow cover I recall - 95-96 never seemed as deep in the East to me and these one day wonders we have do not compare. That, and it was genuinely bitter - that deep and abiding cold that you know the moment you feel it, totally different to any 'chilly' day we may have, a sort of cold that is like a treasured 'feeling' - unforgettable and something you miss until you have it again, or rather you realise how much you miss when it seems totally out of reach.

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    Posted
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada

    I remember quite vividly the winter of 1972 in England, odd thing was, it came in June that year. :p

    Got off the plane on 25th of May and was coping with both driving on the left and a vicious 45 mph NW wind that was blowing small branches off the copper beech trees that were so dramatic to my eyes, that being the one sort of tree we don't have in southern Ontario as well. Later on spent several weeks visiting relatives in the Midlands, never been so cold "in the loo" except the one time I went winter camping.

    If anyone ever suggests the latter, pass. If you can make it past midnight without the absolute need to get out of your semi-warm sleeping bag(s) for a whiz, then you have been on a liquid-free diet for months.

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    Posted
  • Location: stourport
  • Location: stourport
    My dairy for February 1956,

    temps in F and only read about 0800 and 1600(or as soon as I got back from school)

    Laid out each day in the same way, 0800 temp then 1600 temp with general weather description to follow

    1st=18.5, 22.1; very cold with severe frost at first, frost all day, no thaw, snow in early morning, up to 0830, 4 inches with slight drifting. Sunny for a time then further snow showers, about 1 inch. wind between n and e.

    2nd=12.2, 22.1; very cold with very severe frost at first. some mist at first otherwise sunny all day. cloudy after dark with frost; wind between n and e.

    3rd=23.9, 26.5; keen frost in morning, some cloud in early hours, then sunny by day, some thaw in the sun, wind between n and w.

    4th=28.4, 33.8, keen frost in early morning, but less cold than of late. snow at times in morning, just settled then thawed with rain at times, fresh winds between s and w.

    5th=42.8, 46.4, mild, snow practically all gone. dull much of day, fresh or strong winds much of time between n and w.

    6th=43.7, 46.4, mild, damp and dull, some rain/drizzle later, wind between n and w.

    7th=41.9, 45.5, mild and dull much of day, quite misty in morning, sun tried to get through at lunch time, some rain at times, winds between n and w

    8th= 41.5, 43.7, mild and dull with slight rain or drizzle at times. very dark for a time in afternoon, slight rain or sleet late at night, wind between n and e.

    9th=32, 26.6, much colder with frost at first. slight snow in morning with some bright periods, mostly dull in afternoon with some snow but not settling much, snow showers overnight, wind between s and e.

    10th =18.5, 28.3, very cold with severe frost at first. only thawed in sun, sunny periods with slight snow showers. snow from 6.30pm-11pm, about 2 inches with very slight drifting, wind between n and e.

    11th=24.8, 28.4, keen frost all day, not much thaw. snow at times all day, heavy at times but not settling much, very little sun, light snow at night, wind between n and e.

    12th=34.7, 35.6, less cold with some bright periods, but mostly dull in afternoon. slight snow shower in the morning with occasional flakes after then slight drizzle, by late afternoon snow all gone, winds between n and e

    13th=32.9, 28.4, colder, been slight snow in early hours, frost in parts, light snow until 11am, snow heavy at times later with total of 3.5 inches, slight snow shower at night, wind between s and e.

    14th=25.7, 27.5, very cold with hard frost at first, only thawed a bit in sun, heavy snow 12am to 4am, 5 inches, then sunny all day, wind between n and e.

    15th=26.6, 34.7; keen frost at first, sunny all day with slow thaw in sun; wind between n and e

    16th=26.5, 33.8; cold with frost at first, dull all day with slight snow all morning, not settling, very slight thaw; wind variable

    17th=25.7, 30.2; cold with keen frost at first, only slight thaw in sun, dull at first then mostly sunny, clouding over later with snow flurries; wind between n and e

    18th=25.7, 30.2; same temps, keen frost early with very slight snow in early hours, just covered floor, mostly sunny in morning, snow showers becoming frequent in afternoon, dull after dark with some snow; winds between n and e.

    19th=27.5, 28.4; cold with frost in morning, snow much of morning=3 inches and very slight drifting, some bright spells, clear spells with fog and frost after dark; wind between n and e

    20th=26.1, 28.4; cold with keen frost at first, only very slight thaw in sun. heavy snow shower08-09 and slight drifting, then sunny until late afternoon with heavy snow at times later=3 inches; wind between n and e

    21st=26.6, 28.3; cold with keen frost in morning, dull until late afternoon, no thaw, snow heavy at times 0730-1430=2.5 inches; wind variable

    22nd=26.5,26.5; cold with keen frost in morning, dull with slight rain which froze, then snow 0730-1130 about ½ inch, fresh winds at times and mostly dull with some snow at times, a few short bright intervals; wind between n and e

    23rd=25.7, 31.1; cold with keen frost in morning, some snow to 0830(1/2 inch), sunny rest of morning, sunny periods in afternoon and slow thaw in sun; wind between n and e

    24th=26.5, 29.3; cold with somewhat less keen frost than of late, slight snow at first but sunny later, more cloud in afternoon, slight slow thaw; wind between n and e

    25th=24.7, 32.9; cold with hard frost at first, sunny all day with slow thaw in sun; wind between n and e

    26th=33.5, 38.3; rather cold with ground frost only, not as cold with thaw all day; wind between n and e

    27th=24.7, 38.3; cold with hard frost at first, sunny all day with steady thaw, winds fresh at night; winds between s and w

    28th=38.3, 48.2; rather cold becoming mild with slight rain or drizzle at times; fresh to strong winds at night between s and w

    29th=46.4,41; mild and dull with some bright periods also slight rain., fresh to strong winds becoming gale force with heavy and squally rain and hail, and less mild; winds between w and n

    monthly summary

    Max temp at 8am=46.4(27th)

    Min temp at 8am=12.2(2nd)

    Max temp at 4pm=48.2(28th)

    min temp at 4pm=22.1(1st)

    days with winds between n and e=17

    between s and e=2

    between s and w=3

    between n and w=5

    days with rain=8

    days with snow=16

    days with fog=1

    days with frost=24

    mostly cold or very cold, 1-4, 9-25th

    continuous frost 1st, 3rd, 9-11th and 17th

    heavy snowfalls=5

    maximum in total=25 inches

    Additional notes from memory. My school was about 6-7 miles away and the school provided transport, the bus company had their garage another 3 miles west in another village about 1,000ft up. We had to walk to school; I think on 2 possibly 3 mornings but never on the way back. Would that happen today?

    hope you enjoy reading it.

    I've already made comments somewhere about the 1947 winter and the 1962-63 winter with data for where I worked, mostly actual temperatures throughout the period 28/12 to 28/02, I think.

    I'll try and find some data for the 1986 February for both Manchester and RAF Valley (Anglesey), sorry no piccs of any of it.

    thanks too i keep log books too.

    TEZZ

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  • Location: Back in Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Location: Back in Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
    I'll add my recollections of Feb 1991 firstly I think, may come back with some 78/79, mid-eighties, 87 and 95-96.

    Feb 1991 - the 7th iirc, might have been the 8th? I was due to travel from the South Coast where I was at the time to Surrey to visit a friend. The morning was bitterly cold and there were flurries of snow around but I really didn't anticipate much more than the standard 'chilly day' fayre.

    By the time I had got ready and ordered a taxi to the train station the snow was starting to pile in fairly heavily, by the time I reached the station it was at about 3 cms and the windchill was intense.

    I waited around 2 hours for a train to London to arrive watching snow fall and trying to keep warm along with several other people, we had formed something of a mutual support group in the attempt to suspend disbelief in just how bitter and snowy it was for the South Coast of England.

    The journey to London took approximately 3 hours (with mobile phones not being an option really back then I had no idea if my friend was still expecting me!) and I was standing most of the way. Caught a connection in London and arrived in Egham perhaps another 3 hours later. The weather there was something else - still the raw Easterly with frequent and heavy snow - I was on foot by now, it was dark and I was frankly terrified - however a call from the first phone box I found (I had called when I arrived in London with an 'en route' to be told I shouldn't have bothered turning out, lol) brought out the troops to find me - there is something terribly comforting about being found. However the abiding memory is of the final trek up a back lane to my friend's - the snow was thick and very deep, there was a field behind as well and after I had warmed up (took a long time!) several of us went out for a midnight snow fight. The next day was spent messing around in the snow too and it was I would say a good level 6 inch covering throughout with drifts of over a foot - not bad for the outskirts of London.

    Its a favoured memory not only because it sums up what a fool I am when I get an idea in my head and refuse to give up but because its probably the last 'true' snow cover I recall - 95-96 never seemed as deep in the East to me and these one day wonders we have do not compare. That, and it was genuinely bitter - that deep and abiding cold that you know the moment you feel it, totally different to any 'chilly' day we may have, a sort of cold that is like a treasured 'feeling' - unforgettable and something you miss until you have it again, or rather you realise how much you miss when it seems totally out of reach.

    i remember playing football in the universites league in chelmsford on 6th february 1991 blowing a blizzard...the game was abandoned after 35 mins...howver both teams were decked out in uderrclothes beneath their kits...ive always prided my self on being quite hardy..but even i was wearing gloves..2 shirts and tracksuit bottoms under my shorts...the game it self was tremendously diificulty, not becuase of the snow..but the pitch was frozen solid underneath..it was almost wat i would describe as palying litterally on an ice rink..it was impossible to run or control the ball or do anything...but the worst was normally when your playing sport inthe cold you warm up quickly and forget the weather, but this day no matter what you did there was such a huge windchill with low sub zero temperatures it was all you could do just to try and keep warm. I think the ref realised it was so brutally cold tht he abandoned the game..when we got on the bus and listen to the radio..they gave a current temp in norwich of -7c..plus gale force winds and snow!..ill never forget tht day..or the spell of feb 91...been nothing like it since!

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London

    My memories go back to February 1978. I was at Primary school and the second half of February I recall was pretty cold and snowy. I remember waiting at the end of an alleyway waiting for my mum to pick me up in her old Ford Anglia, she had problems starting the car and was late I remember waiting for 15 minutes or so, I was wrapped up very well but was still cold but remember vividly looking up at the leaden sky and observing thick large flakes falling down. By the end of the afternoon about 3 inches has accumulated. I remember this month well as my friends pond was frozen thick, so much that we walked on it for a week or so. Also Ipswich played Bristol Rovers away in the FA Cup which we later went on to win, that game just went ahead on a frozen pitch with an orange ball, Ipswich scraped a draw and won the replay and the rest is history.

    By New Years Eve later in that year was my first experience of a huge snowfall with eye opening drifts, my friends and I went sledging down the local golf course (which had great hills). I remember that night had produced a snowfall of around 6-7 inches and coupled with the wind caused drifts up to 7-8 feet!

    We walked for about 1/2 mile down a lane which had hardly been passable by traffic, we pulled 2 sledges and I remember walking through a cutting with drifts either side enveloping us. Sledging was great fun but by the end of the afternoon just before dusk we got back home thankfully as I was suffering from mild frost bite. Great days...

    I have other great memories of winter...December 1981/82, January 1985 and the blizzard that never showed, February 1986, The great January 1987 and February 1991 and to the mid-nineties but unfortunately those days are becoming fewer. I could go on all day about my memories, shame there disappearing. :(

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    Posted
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and heatwave
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft
    Having read this comment by Mr Data,

    'to think, John, there has only been 8 sub zero February CETs and you have lived through half of them! I though it might be 'fun' to see what that data showed.'

    Ignoring the ones prior to 1947and listing them in order of severity.

    1947 -1.9

    1986 -1.1

    1963 -0.7

    1956 -0.2

    Im going to assume Jan 87 falls just outside this ? Didnt that Jan warm up a bit ? Parents house move with no heating . I was at Ports Poly windows frozen on inside of house even with heating on in my small room !

    Dec 81 as well although again that was early /mid month. Bus skidded on the 10th Dec 1981 in heavy snow on way to college , funny what you remember (mums birthday)

    when was the last time we had a cold snap that lasted more then 2 weeks ??

    Feb 86 for middle England ?

    Jan 79 (clearly my grans frozen house as a young teenager)

    April 89 a billizard in woking ?

    Very heavy snow new years eve cira 75 or 76 ??

    Edited by stewfox
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    Posted
  • Location: East Exeter, Devon
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: East Exeter, Devon

    January 1987 had a CET of 0.8C, the same as January 1985.

    The two months were quite different in their setup- January 1985 had repeated easterly incursions separated by brief milder interludes, followed by cold NW'lys around the 23rd, and a mild last week. January 1987 was quite mild early and late, but of course had that phenomenal freeze-up peaking around the 11th-14th.

    The severe sub-zero months mentioned (1947, 1956, 1963, 1986) had sub-zero CETs due to the extreme persistence of easterly winds, and complete absence of westerlies.

    Not all the severe months had a complete dominance of easterly winds. Januarys 1940 and 1979 both had severe cold from the north and east at times, with January 1979 in particular having a large variety of cold/snow setups, from NW, N, NE and E. The January 1979 instance was a bit like January 1985 in the sense that repeated cold snowy spells were separated by brief milder interludes, but with the difference that this pattern lasted all month, rather than ending abruptly in the last week like in 1985. December 1981 appeared to be a case of a very cold northerly outbreak followed by a persistent southerly tracking jet giving both north and east winds on its northern flank, so that was another different setup for extreme cold.

    It seems that for a sub-zero CET you've always needed persistent cold with only very transient milder interludes throughout the course of the month.

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    Posted
  • Location: Norfolk
  • Location: Norfolk

    December 1981

    Whilst December 1981 is some little way back in the recesses of my childhood memory, there are certain features I remember very clearly right to this day.

    I remember the snowfall on the school field - it was deep in a way we haven't see in the South in recent times - I'd estimate 6 inches level cover and drifted to well over a foot - it didn't disappear when you walked on it, it compacted, you didn't get to see what was underneath! Talking of walking on it, we were of course all wearing wellingtons, and a particularly delicate parade of penguins we were as we hunted for spots that were not in the target range for the boys so we could make snow people. It was after one particularly brutal assault on our snow townsfolk and selves by the puppy dog tail brigade that the school decided it was time for orgainsed mayhem so two very long lines were drawn in the snow (I say that, the two events were probably in no way related, but I am retelling this from somewhat disjointed childhood memory!) - that WAS fun actually, a seemingly endless supply of snow, defecting from one side to the other if you saw a friend or my favourite - a treachorous sneak attack (I can't throw for toffee) - wonderful stuff.

    There was also a competition for biggest snowball - people were rolling them round and round making them bigger and bigger - some of those snowballs were still on the school field as we walked past over the Christmas holidays, and yet even with all the snow being gathered on the giant snowballs, still the entire outlook was white. no ground on show.

    I remember the cold vividly - cold enough that you couldn't get comfortable cold enough that you hurt if you were outside for too long, cold enough it happens that our pipes burst in the house that winter.

    I remember the frost and ice on the inside of my bedroom window.

    I remember all of it, and yet the further away from it I get, the more it seems unreal somehow and the more convinced I am that if anything would return me, instantly, to the delights of childhood, it would be a month like December 1981, in so many ways a watershed for me.

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    Posted
  • Location: A cottage in the woods, Northants
  • Weather Preferences: Snow & Ice
  • Location: A cottage in the woods, Northants

    I'll stick with December 1981 to follow on from Snowmaiden.

    I was a little older than Snowmaiden and had returned home, a small market town in Leicestershire for Christmas after being away climbing for most of the year.

    After a hour or so of getting a proper job banter from parents I retired to local hostelry and met up with old friends. After a while with snow steadily getting deeper a policeman friend came into the pub and told of atocious conditions on the A6. I rushed home and got my gear and spent the rest of the night helping out in removing terrified drivers and their passengers.

    Got back to pub at about 2am which had stayed open to help out and from there to some local hills for fertilizer bag sledging untill it was getting light.

    The magical part of the story was 150 - 200 relative strangers out in the snow enjoying themselves not a cross word or temper raised even though copious amounts of alcohol had been sunk that evening, what struck me then was how a wild act of nature had bought some many people together and incredibly made them smile and enjoy life......and people ask me why I have this obsession with the mountains and snow....I guess that story part answers it

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL

    Thus prompted by some excellent contributions to date I shall start with my own records from 1978-9 when I was living NW of Leeds. The comments in green are straight lifts from my own weather diary.

    December

    December, at first sight, appears to have taken off where November left. However, certain facets appeared which were to signal the start of a winter which was not challenged until late March, and which did not finally depart until May 5th.

    The first half of December was essentially mild, though the 1st was a freezing day and the second nearly, a continental block only slowly receding east. The encroaching front on the 2nd gave light snow, which later turned to rain. Through to the run-in to Christmas things remained fairly zonal, but on the 20th a small depression ran into Biscay, with pressure rising over Greenland, and the 19th-23rd were cool; the 19th was another freezing day and throughout my temps didn't get above 2.5C. On the 20th a warm front from the east brought rain turning to sleet and snow in the evening, and on the 21st there was further snow with settling to around 3". Snow fell again overnight into Christmas Eve, but this was a breakdown feature from the west. This was the first of several frontal systems crossing the country over Christmas, and I still recall the forecasters pointing to cold air to the N dragging its heels, but insisting that the milder Atlantic air would win. In fact, the far north of Scotland never was overcome by the mild air, and by the 27th the fronts were pusing back south. My contemporry chart shows three fronts on it; an occlusion lying across Tayside and the Highlands; a warm front across the Borders, and an occlusion pushing NE across S Wales and the SW. My diary fron the 28th notes:

    Yet another (4th) front (occlusion) entering Britain. Tm airstream still predominant though Pc over Scotland.

    And from the data record...

    The 25th-27th saw 4 occlusions and a warm front push north over Britaihn, but never clearing North Scotland due to astrengthening area of high pressure moving west. The 28th saw the low lose its battle and the high pushed the 5 fronts, now compresed into two, southwards. To the north heavy snow and only 1 or 2C. To the south heavy rain and 11C in tropical air. By the 30th all this rain had turned to snow as the last front was pushed into the English Channel and Britain had her last whitewash of 1978, and the first of a very long, often bitter, winter.

    Friday 29th: Overnight rain turned to snow between 2-3am, lying by morning when snow became heavyt and continued all day. Bitter.

    Saturday 30th: Continuous light snow through night into morning. Returning again at 6pm to become very heavy later on.

    Sunday 31st: Snow showers punctuated by sunny spells until 15:30 when skies clears. Freezing and arctic like.

    By the 31st the snow was lying about 8" deep.

    My average for that month, though using an unscreened max-min, was 2.8C.

    January 1-16

    1-6th: Cold, continental air predominated though a breakdown eventually came from the NW. Only the 3rd and 6th got above freezing, with the max min figures for the first six days being:

    -3,-9; 0,-6; 2,-9; -1.5,-9; -2,-7; 1.5,-6;

    There was snowcover throughout, with snowfall on the 1st, 2nd and 4th.

    The 7th was the warmest day of the month, temperatures climbing as high as 8C, a warm front crossing fron the NW and introducing warm sector air; this was the only day in the month when temperatures did not fall below freezing, and lying snow partly melted. On the 8th the passage of a cold front at the back of the same system intorudced mP® air and my diary reports that a shower at 23:12 was of sleet. By this time the LP to the north was migrating eastwards towards the northern N Sea, introducing an increasingly polar feed. The 9th started with snow showers, and overnight there was a further light cover from a cold front pushing south. The low continued to migrate SE, across the Baltic by the 13th, and a new system approached from the SW of Iceland. Pressure remained high N of Iceland, but the Atlantic was continuing to dominate. Even so, three cold nights occurred from the 12th-14th, with minima of -7, -9 and -8C under slow air, clear skies, and with snow covered ground. On the 15th another frontal system pushed in from the WSW, temperatures climbing as high as 4C on the 15th and 6C on the 16th. My diary for the 15th reports very dull and cloudy with generally moderate to thick fog throughout (warm moist air, cold surface), clearing only slowly in the evening.

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    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
    It seems that for a sub-zero CET you've always needed persistent cold with only very transient milder interludes throughout the course of the month.

    Indeed. The most recent example was February 1986. That wasnt a particularly snowy month, but it had persistent cold coming from the north, north-east, east and south-east, along with settled periods of anticyclonic weather with strong inversions, meaning that even when 850hPa temperatures were above -5C, it was well below freezing on the ground. Looking at the temperature records for this location, 29 out of the 38 days from the 25th January to 3rd March had an air frost and it failed to reach higher than 4.3C during that time. The thing was, whereas these days getting one severe cold spell is tough enough, the winter of 1985/86 had one almost every month from November to April. A few notes from my records:

    November 1985: An average temperature of 3.7C. To put it into perspective, we havent had a month as cold as that here since January 1997! The month only reached 10C on four occasions and had a cold and snowy end. The 28th and 29th had maximas of -0.3C and -2.6C and dropped as low as -7.8C.

    December 1985: A mild month. Despite the first 21 days averaging 7.9C, the last 6 days saw a potent cold spell with a maximum of -0.5C on the 29th, followed by a minima of -7.5C the following morning. The average was 5.9C, so despite a mild month overall, it was still more productive than many colder months recently.

    January 1986: The cold end to December continued. From boxing day to the 9th the temperature didnt top 4.4C. The real cold however started on the 24th. From then on, the next 38 days would fail to surpass 4.3C and 29 of those would record an air frost.

    February 1986: Persistent cold which these days seems hard to imagine. The highest temperature of the month was 3.8C. Only 6 days surpassed 2.0C and there were a total of 22 air frosts. The 10th fell as low as -12.1C and there were 4 ice days. The winds were consistently anywhere from northerly to south-easterly. Not particularly snowy, but under the cloudover (the month was very dull) what did lay remained for many days.

    March 1986: On the face of it, a rather boring westerly month. However it still managed to average only 5.2C here, making it colder than all but 1987, 1995 and 1996 since. It seems remarkable that synoptics that look so poor on the face of it, could have delivered such a cold March by recent standards, yet it managed it.

    April 1986: Very cold, an average of 5.5C making it 2.5C below average. It didnt get above 9.0C until the 20th, with the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th recording maximas below 5C. The first 19 days averaged only 4.1C, colder than the 1971-2000 mean for January (4.2C). Very snowy, with winds like February again persistent northerly and easterly.

    A remarkable winter half-year. To put things into perspective: Only 35 days out of the 6 months from the start of November 1985 to the end of April 1986 surpassed 10C, 50 days had air frosts. There were also 7 ice days in the winter half, the last 15 winters have only managed 6 combined.

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    Posted
  • Location: North Kenton (Tyne-and-Wear)6miles east from newcastle airport
  • Location: North Kenton (Tyne-and-Wear)6miles east from newcastle airport

    Morning everyone

    I apologise if this is in the wrong Thread , but i couldnt find anywhere else to put it {which seemed appropriate}.{ if this is in the WRONG thread, can someone please move it to the appropriate Thread}

    ===================================================================

    Just spent the last few hours looking back at my average mean temps for winter and im flabbergasted in what i have found

    Since 1996 the North East Winter season has had just ONE yes just one aabove the average mean temp for 1971- 2000 and that was way back in the 97/ 98 winter season where my average temp was +0. 87 above average , since then we have had negatives across the card

    My average Winter mean temp Dec/ Jan/ Feb/ should be 4.88c

    Dec= 5.3c

    Jan= 4.75c

    Feb= 4.6c

    Here is a list of average mean temps since 1996 for The Winter Season

    96/ 97 season 3.25c= -1.63c

    97/ 98 season 5.75c= +0.87c ******************

    98/ 99 season 4.25c= -0.63c

    99/ 2000 season 3.41c= -1.47c

    2000/2001 season 2.25c = - 2.63c ************

    2001/ 2002 season 4.5c= -0.38c

    2002/ 2003 season 3.91c= -0.96c

    2003/ 2004 season 3.83c= -1.04c

    2004/ 2005 season 3.91c= -0.96c

    2005/2006 season 2.66c= -2.21c*************

    2006/ 2007 season 3.83c= -1.04c

    2007/ 2008 season so far

    DEC 4.0c = -1.04c

    Jan so far 4.0c -0.75c

    Also out of 35mths the North East has had just 5 above average mths the rest has been below ,

    here are the months where the mean average temp was above average

    February 2004 + 0.65c

    last one recorded back in Feb 2002 + 0.4c

    then feb 98 +2.65c

    then Jan 98 +1.0c

    then Feb 97 + 0.65c

    Then like i say the rest of the months have been Minus

    THESE FIGURES ARE FOR THE WINTER SEASON ONLY

    NIGEL

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  • Location: East Exeter, Devon
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: East Exeter, Devon

    I'm surprised at that, especially as your previous readings have looked very accurate. On my weather records I've consistently been getting mean temps about 2C higher than those values, with 2006/07 in particular recording a mean of 6.4C!

    And yes, the season 1985/86 does look like it was notable- I think the cold of November 1985, the coldest since (I think) 1919, was almost as exceptional as February 1986.

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