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noggin

Will 2009/2010 Be An Historic Winter?

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I would say Mr D's winter index is about right.

Some way behind 78/79 but has beat everything since then.

A notably severe winter, particularly in comparison to the winters of recent times

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my own summary for this area using Mr D's indices for comparison with other notable/historic winters.

A Summary of the 2009-2010 winter in the Doncaster area

Cold it certainly has been over most of the 3 months of official meteorological winter, 1 December – 28 February, with a mean temperature of 2.8C. The 13 year average for Cantley is 5.3C. Taking it back to 1943 and including the RAF Finningley figures the average over that whole period is 4.3C (the years prior to about 1988 being generally colder than more recently).

Another way of comparing this winter with those over the past 65 years is to take not only the mean temperature into account but also days of snow falling and lying along with days of air frost. When this is done then this winter ranks 6th in all those winters. Only the extreme winters of 1962-63 and 1946-47 along with other quite notable winters 1981-82, 1978-79, 1955-56 showing colder and snowier winters.

So a pretty remarkable winter all round. February was not that notable apart from the snow of Sunday 21st which gave 7cm along with a slight fall early in the month. January of course was the coldest winter month and notable for the fall of 16cm on the 6th, the 3rd highest ever snowfall in this area. Only January 1987 with 21cm and December 1981 with 19cm beating it. In December after a fairly mild start with the first 10 days averaging 6.6C it turned progressively colder with snow covering half or more of the ground (by Met Office definition) on 9 mornings and patches on a further 4.

One other feature of this winter has been the lack of days with the afternoon temperature exceeding 10C. The last time this occurred was on 9 December with 10.3C. The January maximum was 9.4C on the 18th and in February the highest reached was 8.2C on the 26th.

Our heating bills are going to make unpleasant reading for us all I imagine, regardless of which fuel we have used.

A final note= February is the coldest since 1994.

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Its the most most notable winter I have experienced in Manchester, I did not experience the winters of 1978-79 and 1981-82 but going off the index, this winter lies between those two winters.

The two outstanding general features of this winter was the lack of mild days and the days with lying snow, 23 days under Met Office rules.

Pre-Christmas was unforgettable with the snow showers of Sunday 20th December and the heavy snow of the morning of Tuesday 22nd December will live in the memory as will the white Christmas scenes on the day itself.

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The snow event of the winter was the snowfalls of the early hours of 5th January, that was quite a shock to wake up to that amount of snow. It had snowed the previous evening so was expecting to wake up to a covering but not that much.

DSCF0039.jpg

The mornings of the 7th and 8th January were very cold! -16.5C it dipped on the 8th

DSCF0027.jpg

The second half of winter wasn't as notable as the first half but still had its moments such as the unexpected snowfalls during the early hours of 31st January.

DSCF0007.jpg

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Far from historic in my area although notable compared to recent years.

The highight was the 18th Dec when a stream of snow showers hit my region giving a snow depth of 12cm. Apart from this the rest of the winter has been disappointing with regards to snow events. I have seen many days of snow falling but the depths never exceeded a few cm.

The simple reason is the E,lys were fairly tame compared to those I experienced in the 80s. Again this depends on your location but this winter doesn't come even close to what I experienced in 78/79, 80s, 91. The blizzards of 79, 87 still remain far more severe than this winter.

Some will probably disagree with me but only those who lived in the E during the 78/79 winter and those in the 80's will understand where im coming from. Probably the most severe snow event to hit my area is the link below.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/1979/Rrea00119790215.gif

I will add that as for actual snowfalls then Feb 5th 2009 still remains the best since 87 and even beats Feb 91 for depth of snow.

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RIP the modern winter theory.

Superb winter, although disappointing in respect to the lack of one big snowfall - most of my snow came in small accumulations building up. Got below -10c two nights running in January.

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RIP the even larger teapot theory.

Superb winter, although disappointing in respect to the lack of one big snowfall - most of my snow came in small accumulations building up. Got below -10c two nights running in January.

Yep that indeed what was missing. I suppose I should say this has been a historic winter due to the amount of days with snow falling, lying and the lack of mild days. However when i compare to my experiences in the past I would go as far to say its been disappointing!

A few examples that I remember.

1979 unable to attend to school not because of a few inches but because 8ft drifts were blocking the access into the school!

1980's (can't remember year) when I had to walk backwards to school because the sheer intensity of the heavy horizontal snow made it impossible to breathe!

1987 Max temps of -5C with constant heavy snow which lasted a solid 48hrs!

1980's (again can't remember year) Woke up at 6am to see if it had snowed but went back to bed disappointed as everywhere was green. Woke up at 8am to find around a 1ft of snow. These prolonged heavy snow showers continued throughout the day.

Some people say E,lys are disappointing and N,lys provide more snowfall. Well thats utter crap if you live in my location and have experienced the severe E,lys in 79, 80s.

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Some people say E,lys are disappointing and N,lys provide more snowfall. Well thats utter crap if you live in my location and have experienced the severe E,lys in 79, 80s.

But you have answered your own question there - it's your location. For me living slap bang in the middle of the country, any showery flow is very hit and miss (except a north-westerly at the right angle). I have never seen a "proper" easterly, so I can't comment whether they are good for my area or not. Our best bet is when the Atlantic tries to push in - but of course that is a very risk route to go down for widespread snow.

I have grown up during the "horror winters", so in my eyes this winter has been fantastic. But as you have such incredible memories then this one pales into insignificance.

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But you have answered your own question there - it's your location. For me living slap bang in the middle of the country, any showery flow is very hit and miss (except a north-westerly at the right angle). I have never seen a "proper" easterly, so I can't comment whether they are good for my area or not. Our best bet is when the Atlantic tries to push in - but of course that is a very risk route to go down for widespread snow.

I have grown up during the "horror winters", so in my eyes this winter has been fantastic. But as you have such incredible memories then this one pales into insignificance.

Yes but there are some members who suggest a N,ly is more productive but they aren't taking locations such as mine into account.

My own interest in weather came from my experiences of the 79 winter as I was amazed at the severity. When you read the model output thread you will always notice myself, Tamara, Steve M looking for E,lys. I believe this isn't just due to our locations but they share similiar experiences to mine and I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the same age bracket.

I fully understand where you are coming from though. My niece who is 18 has been amazed at this winter.

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Yes but there are some members who suggest a N,ly is more productive but they aren't taking locations such as mine into account.

My own interest in weather came from my experiences of the 79 winter as I was amazed at the severity. When you read the model output thread you will always notice myself, Tamara, Steve M looking for E,lys. I believe this isn't just due to our locations but they share similiar experiences to mine and I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the same age bracket.

I fully understand where you are coming from though. My niece who is 18 has been amazed at this winter.

Well for the next few years I should (hopefully) be living in Reading or Norwich, so hopefully we will finally get a belting easterly!

On the topic of Reading, I went down to the Uni on Friday and visited the Meteorology department. They had so much snow that the sun blinds outside had collapsed, the damage was incredible, but after they told us they had 27cm of wet snow you could see why!

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It may partly be the era of winters you grew up in. Most of the notable cold snowy weather during the winters of 1977-87 tended to come from easterlies and to a lesser extent "cold zonality" with not very many noteworthy northerlies. But many of the 1960s winters were characterised by similar setups to this one, with winds from north and east but usually originating from the Arctic rather than continental Europe regardless of the wind direction. The snowy winters of 1954/55, 1967/68, 1968/69 and 1969/70 (three in a row!) were characterised by frequent potent northerlies.

I don't think Reading is traditionally a good location for snow, a bit too far west for most easterlies, too far east for "cold zonality" and sheltered from the north, though it picks up a fair amount from frontal events and certainly hit the jackpot this winter. Norwich traditionally is good for snow, being exposed in particular to convective snowfalls from both north and east- I've seen reports that the 2000/01, 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2005/06 seasons all had big falls in the Norwich area- but ironically it had no spectacular individual falls this winter, the most being an aggregate depth of 10-12cm early on the 9th.

I was expecting to feel quite saddened to see the end of such a phenomenal winter by recent standards, but that's because I was envisaging it possibly going out with a bang followed by a switch to much warmer weather, a bit like mid-Feb 2009. Instead it is going out more slowly (nothing has really compared with the period 17 December-9 January IMHO) and so there is more a sense of a gradual transition not a sudden impact.

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Yes but there are some members who suggest a N,ly is more productive but they aren't taking locations such as mine into account.

My own interest in weather came from my experiences of the 79 winter as I was amazed at the severity. When you read the model output thread you will always notice myself, Tamara, Steve M looking for E,lys. I believe this isn't just due to our locations but they share similiar experiences to mine and I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the same age bracket.

I fully understand where you are coming from though. My niece who is 18 has been amazed at this winter.

Before you jump the gun then perhaps you should take the time to read what people actually posted! :girl_devil:

Myself and Mr Data commented that this winter Northerlies have been more productive. It was not a generalisation. As you say the easterlies havent been particularly potent this winter and that is exactly the reason why the majority of snowfall has come from northerlies. For my location potent easterlies are the most productive and I too remember proper events like 1991 where we had a foot of level snow. Snowfalls from northerlies are generally more reliable in more marginal setups but snow amounts are generally low unless you get a proper feature like a front/trough or more especially a polar low.

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"If the North wind doth blow then we shall have snow" -- thats what me old ma used to say, she never had one for easterlies, maybe that says something?!! For where I have lived my whole life (west of the Pennines) easterlies are noteworthy only for the nice bright sunshine they bring. The sprinkling of snow I got on the 16th of December from that easterly was the first time I had seen snow falling for long enough from that wind direction to give a covering (I cant remember anything weatherwize pre 1994).

One of the most noteworthy aspects of this winter on here as been how many times I have seen predictions of massive snow for South and East England, declarations that Thames Streamers are imminent, the statement that "of course, these kind of set ups will always favour the South East, East Anglia, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands" and sugestions that North Westerners will be bathed in nothing but sparkling sunshine. And yet, although the South and East have had more snow than they normally could expect many locations in the North West, including my own, have had over 30 days of snow cover, delivered mainly from a procession of showers trundling in off the Irish Sea on a stiff north westerly.

What has been very interesting about this winter is that we have had a continental type winter. In that it gradually got colder up to a peak around the start of January and has now started to gradually warm up again. I've never experienced that before, normally in this country you would have constant ups and downs from cold to mild and vice versa, with 15C days and 11C nights in the middle of January. There has been nothing "unseasonal" this year, we even had a picture perfect christmas. Its been very enjoyable, if only it could always be like that!

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Yes but there are some members who suggest a N,ly is more productive but they aren't taking locations such as mine into account.

My own interest in weather came from my experiences of the 79 winter as I was amazed at the severity. When you read the model output thread you will always notice myself, Tamara, Steve M looking for E,lys. I believe this isn't just due to our locations but they share similiar experiences to mine and I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the same age bracket.

I fully understand where you are coming from though. My niece who is 18 has been amazed at this winter.

I'm also from the even larger teapot stock if thats how you put it and to me this winter also has been quite amazing, esp with the period from the 17th Dec-15th of Jan, which IMO can compete with anything the 80s threw at us from what I've seen or read for a big chunk of the country.

I can just about remember a few snowfalls from the 95-97 era which had some decently cold months, but nothing in my lifetime that I can remember has compared to that spell...

Being where I am I've been rather lucky that I have seen quite a few fairly decent falls, never usually sticking around long but I'm unlucky if my area doesn't get one decent winter fall, however I do remember a rather a poor period in the latter period of primary school, which would be the late 90s and very early 2000s. I look for easterlies because more often then not they have delivered here in the past, even in a watered down form...I can only imagine what 87 gave though reports of Southend getting 40-50cms were true I'd imagine a heck of a lot given my location does very well in most easterly airflows.

Still I'm gald I've finally lived through a winter that can match the 80s winters, at least now I have something to compare it with!

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I remember '87 very well Kold. 2 foot of snow for 2 weeks - no exaggeration. School closed for a couple of weeks - it was bliss.

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Guest North Sea Snow Convection

Yes but there are some members who suggest a N,ly is more productive but they aren't taking locations such as mine into account.

My own interest in weather came from my experiences of the 79 winter as I was amazed at the severity. When you read the model output thread you will always notice myself, Tamara, Steve M looking for E,lys. I believe this isn't just due to our locations but they share similiar experiences to mine and I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the same age bracket.

I fully understand where you are coming from though. My niece who is 18 has been amazed at this winter.

I agree with what you say Dave. The only missing element from an amazing winter was a truly biting cold easterly. That would have put the season probably colder than 78/79 in my view. Sooner or later down the line that will happen though, I am now even more sure than before.

I must say though that bearing in mind all the doubts and insistencies from some about what was not achievable anymore, then perhaps, even better than the snow and cold temps of this winter, is the fact that some much needed perspective has been put back on things. Nothing to do with being clever or 'I told you so' or anything but some of us have taken some stick over the last few years by trying to suggest, very simply and unassumedly, that such a winter as this was still perfectly possible. Looking through 'Cold tinted glasses' phrases I seem to remember used for suggesting this!laugh.gif

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Here's some food for thought, 1947 is often described as an historic winter. Was it historic for NW Scotland, though? Compared to other areas, there was hardly any snow for that area. What if you were a snow lover living in that region?

The fact is in most winters, some areas are going to do less well than others. Only a 1978-79 type is going to satisfy virtually every snow lover anywhere in the UK. Easterly dominated winters aren't going to satisfy western areas, northerly dominated, sheltered southern parts. Only a mixture of the two and with lows coming in from the west and south stalling is going to satisfy most.

Widespread snow events that affect the whole country at the same time are not that common, January 1881 blizzard only affected parts south of the Mersey to the Humber. Feb 2001 only affect northern parts. Someone is always going to miss out.

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I love how Mr Data throws in stats from the 19th Century etc. every now and again always makes for interesting reading. Are you a walking almanac or did you live through the frost fairs?

Great posts as always.

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Before you jump the gun then perhaps you should take the time to read what people actually posted! :whistling:

Myself and Mr Data commented that this winter Northerlies have been more productive. It was not a generalisation. As you say the easterlies havent been particularly potent this winter and that is exactly the reason why the majority of snowfall has come from northerlies.

Again you aren't taking other locations into account. So maybe before jumping the gun you should read what im also saying.

I have recieved 0cm from N,lys this winter and my main snowfall has come from E,lys. What you find in my location is snow showers from N,lys tend to miss my area. Any fronts or troughs moving from the N tend to weaken by the time they reach here. As for polar LPs well these are extremely rare and the only one that has affected my region was back in Feb 1969.

The only decent snowfall I witnessed this winter was Dec 18th when the flow was from the E. The Jan cold spell was crap and all I experienced was 5min light flurries. The fact is N,lys have always been rubbish for my location and always will be. So please don't comment on my location when you have no idea what your talking about!

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Considering the stand point we are/were in and the much vaunted 'highly unlikelihood' of a cold [let alone very cold] winter following a previous cold winter.....I'd say this winter was historic alright....

BFTP

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19 days of lying snow, 1 fall of 15cm, several ice days, double digit minima...yes for this location it has been an historic winter and certainly a throwback to my childhood winters of the late 70s and 80s.

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Again you aren't taking other locations into account. So maybe before jumping the gun you should read what im also saying.

I have recieved 0cm from N,lys this winter and my main snowfall has come from E,lys. What you find in my location is snow showers from N,lys tend to miss my area. Any fronts or troughs moving from the N tend to weaken by the time they reach here. As for polar LPs well these are extremely rare and the only one that has affected my region was back in Feb 1969.

The only decent snowfall I witnessed this winter was Dec 18th when the flow was from the E. The Jan cold spell was crap and all I experienced was 5min light flurries. The fact is N,lys have always been rubbish for my location and always will be. So please don't comment on my location when you have no idea what your talking about!

I know northerlies are pretty poor for your area but for the country as a whole northerlies have produced more this winter than easterlies. I did not mean your location specifically (which I think you well know) and perhaps should have been clearer in what I said.

Im not sure what the bad attitude is for though because I was actually agreeing with you that potent easterlies do deliver (here aswell as where you are) and that is what has been missing this winter.

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I know northerlies are pretty poor for your area but for the country as a whole northerlies have produced more this winter than easterlies. I did not mean your location specifically (which I think you well know) and perhaps should have been clearer in what I said.

Im not sure what the bad attitude is for though because I was actually agreeing with you that potent easterlies do deliver (here aswell as where you are) and that is what has been missing this winter.

Yes sorry about that and I apologise. Caught me at a bad moment.

I suppose in some respects I feel slightly frustrated with this winter because if some of the E,lys the models suggested come off it could of been so much better. A model run I particularly remember is back in Jan when the ECM pushed the Scandi trough S and then we had blocking extending from Siberia to Canada and synoptically the model run was very similiar to 1947 synoptics. Unfortunately the models were too progressive in pushing the Scandi trough S and because it remained there we missed out!

I joined this forum in 2004 and I still wait for a classic E,ly. This is basically an E,ly with upper temps at or below -15C and the cold pool remains for at least 4/5 days. So a repeat of Jan 87, Feb will do nicely.

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It is worth noting, though, that by that definition of a "classic E'ly" we didn't get one in the winters of 1963 and 1979. 1979 did have a couple of easterlies with sub -15C 850hPa temps (31 Dec/1 Jan, 14/15 February) but the pool of cold air only hung around for a couple of days on each occasion, and I think it was a similar story in 1963 when 850hPa temps were often between -5 and -10C. I doubt that 1947 managed it either, for that prolonged easterly spell was more notable for persistently low maxima rather than any individual spells of outstanding cold.

However if incursions of such cold air lasting a couple of days or so, accompanied by heavy prolonged snowfalls for eastern areas, is the main measure then it would be fair to say that 1979 and 1963 achieved this distinction- and probably 1947 as well- while 2009/10 did not.

Amazing to see that Scotland was probably just a fraction of a degree off having its coldest winter for over 100 years!

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