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Ice Storm-1940

autumn sun

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  • Location: southgate, north london
  • Location: southgate, north london

    I read Paul Simons in The Times today about the ice storm of 1940 and wondered if there was any more info about it..I am sure there is but cant find it on netweather . Like all of his articles I always want more so if there is a link much appreciated! thanks

    The link to the Times is here:


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  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    One or two nuggets here trawled from the web:

    January 1940. The coldest month of any kind since 1895 (-1.4C CET), and eventually he second coldest January of the century (after 1963). On the 17th, the Thames was frozen over for the first time since 1880. The morning of the 21st gave the lowest temperature of the month: -23C was recorded at Rhayader (Wales), with many places continuously well beneath freezing (e.g. only -4C maximum at Boscombe Down, Wilts.). There were heavy snowfalls in Scotland, with many places cut off. Most remarkably, there was a great snow and Ice Storm during the 27-30th, peaking on the 28th, but continuing in parts into February. Mild air approaching behind warm fronts from the SW met the cold easterly all the way from Russia. There was heavy snow over the north; four feet of snow in Sheffield on the 26th, and 10' drifts reported in Bolton on the 29th. Further south the lower air was warming up and was too warm for snow, but the rain froze as it fell, coating everything with a thick layer of glaze. The effects of the freezing rain was one of the most extreme weather events of the century. The south was particularly badly affected. Everything was coated in a thick layer of ice: phone wires 1.5 mm thick were coated with a 300mm diameter sheath of ice - up to 15 times their weight. Many large tree trunks and power lines were brought down. The area affected by the glaze reached from Kent to Exmoor and the Cotswolds, and from Sussex to Cambridgeshire and the north Midlands. It was a week before all the ice thawed; some places had snow on top of the glaze, with both remaining until the 4th February. Heavy snow and a violent gale swept the southwest

    Source: http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/britweather.htm

    Photograph of Rochester Pier and Esplanade looking west from The Terrace, Rochester Castle Gardens, towards Temple Marsh, Strood, showing in foreground Esplanade carriageway, pavement on north side of carriageway and balustrade, woman onlooker (possibly Mrs. Glanvill Mason), in left middle ground Rochester Pier with pedestrians on pier and pontoons, in middle-ground River Medway (Tower Reach) frozen-over and in distance Strood Extra and Temple Marsh with hills and fields beyond. Mason Collection. 21 January 1940

    Here: http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/query/results...13_12Lright.jpg (linked, not shown, for copyright reasons)

    Photograph of the River Medway between Rochester Bridge and Cuxton, looking south-west from the Rochester foot of Rochester Bridge towards Temple Marsh, Strood, showing the river frozen and in distance from left to right, Wickham Cement Works (Strood Extra), Temple Marsh, Tower Reach foreshore at Strood, entrance to Janes’ Creek, Strood and river wall in Strood Intra. Mason Collection. 21 January 1940

    Here: http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/query/results...E402_13_12U.jpg (linked, not shown, for copyright reasons)

    January 1940 was the coldest since 1838 and the paralysis of life in this country was virtually complete by the development of an exceptional ice storm on January 28. Previously, the country had been overrun by a Siberian current of air battling against the North Atlantic – the combative mood of the weather in keeping with Hitler’s European advances. January 20 to 21 had been the coldest night of the 20th century up till that time, with temperatures widely down to 0 F (-18 C) with deep snow cover the length and breadth of Britain.

    The ice storm arrived with an Atlantic warm front. Not all warm fronts are kindly – this one proved to be lethal.

    Characteristically, the incoming tongue of warm, moisture laden air slides over the top of the retreating cold air beneath it as, the front advances. However, in this particular instance, the upper tongue of warm air at around 3,000 feet was unusually warm and sub-tropical, while the cold air beneath was exceptionally cold, heavy, and stubborn to shift. Consequently, rain began to fall from the warmer layer, through the cold layer near the surface, at a temperature of 28 F (minus 2 C) and froze instantly upon hitting the surface.

    Unfortunately, neither airmass would give way and the front became stationary, yielding exceptional amounts of freezing rain across the south-western parts of the British Isles. Between two telegraph poles, the weight of ice on the wires was stated to be eleven tons, and on Sunday morning, the 28th, one vicar was known to have crawled on his hands and knees from the Rectory to the church to take morning service, rather than risk the impossible walking conditions

    Source: http://www.harrogateadvertiser.net/ripon-n...p?articlepage=2

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