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iand61

April 1981 Snow Storm

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Has anyone on here got memories of the very heavy snow of late April 1981.

Not sure of the date although i do remember the event, certainly in our locality quite vividly.

The week before had been mainly spring like with warm and sunny weather over much of the period.

The Thursday night was still very mild with no suggestion, certainly to me who at 19 took little interest in weather forecasts that anything different was on its way.

However Friday morning dawned with steady snow; nothing unusual really as most Aprils produce snow at our altitude but the difference here was that it carried on all day increasing in intensity so that by evening we had around 10 inches of wet, although blowing snow.

I assume that it carried on throughout the night as it was still snowing heavily as i made my way to work on the Saturday morning only to be turned around at the factory as the snow which by this time was around 18 inches deep had brought power lines down.

If my memory is correct it snowed lightly until around lunchtime on the Saturday after which the clouds cleared, a strong sun came out and a very rapid thaw commenced.

Within 3 days we were back to spring like temperatures although our house was looking for a new trough as the weight of snow had brought the old one down.

One of the most amazing aspects of this event was that my sister was due to leave hospital on the Saturday morning after giving birth to her second child down the valley at Bury.

I was going to pick her up at around 11am but rang to tell her that all roads out of town were blocked by snow.

She thought I was extracting the urine as there was a gardener mowing grass outside the window of her ward.

It's amazing what 10 miles and more particularly 500 feet altitude does for snow chances.

What I am unsure of is whether this was purely a Pennine event or was it spread wider.

Any further memories would be appreciated.

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I think it was mostly on the 25th.

I remember oilseed rape in flower being flattened by about a foot of heavy wet snow.

The wind was driving in from the NE and some of the high level roads were blocked by drifting

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I think it was mostly on the 25th.

I remember oilseed rape in flower being flattened by about a foot of heavy wet snow.

The wind was driving in from the NE and some of the high level roads were blocked by drifting

probably right with that date, another strange thing was that it came at the end of what was otherwise quite a snow free winter, certainly by the standards set around the late 70's, early 80's.

Ian

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certainly a wide spread snow event in the south and west even at low levels there were some heavy falls.

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certainly a wide spread snow event in the south and west even at low levels there were some heavy falls.

If it's the same event (I'm afraid my memory isn't what it was) I travelled overnight by train from Glasgow and we hit the snow at Bristol. It really came down but fortunately the trains kept running as far as Truro before giving up the ghost. I can't remember how I got to Falmouth, if in fact I did. It was a very shortlived event down these parts.

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I remember this time very well.

Even before the main blizzard there were some other snowy spells. I remember traveling from Wimborne in Dorset to go to work thatching a cottage in Ashmore near Shaftesbury. Ashmore is the highest village in Dorset. It was raining when we left Wimborne but gradually it became snow as we gained height. The snow came straight down in a very still conditions giving about three inches.

The main blizzard on the weekend of the 25th/26th did not affect me so much as I lived on the outskirts of Poole at the time but a short distance inland and at a slightly higher elevation there were real problems with heavy wet and drifting snow.

Falling power lines due to the clinging snow cut the power to Yeatman hospital at Sherborne and thousands of homes lost power elsehwere in the county. At Abbotsbury a coachload of Dart players beacme stranded when their coach was overwhelmed by snow on Abbotsbury Hill.

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sums it up quite well and ties in with what I remember of the event.

in intensity it still ranks as one of the heaviest falls of snow i've ever witnessed although just as remarkable was the time of year it occured and the speed which it then disappeared with little or nothing left by early the following week.

one thing i didn't mention at the time was that we were due to play cricket on the Saturday afternoon ( yes it was cricket season ) and although the opposition were contacted and told that play would not be possible the umpires wouldn't be told and only decided that we may indeed be looking at a called off match when they got stuck over a mile from the ground.

I think the bowlers run up may have been shortened somewhat that day as would the ability to hit fours.

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The blizzard at the end of April 1981 was undoubtedly one of the major snow events in my lifetime and ranked alongside Feb' 1979 for severity, if not for cold.

The 23rd here was a chilly day with sunny intervals and snow showers, the max' temp' was 3.7c. Continuous snow began to fall overnight on the 23rd/24th and continued without interruption until the early hours of the 27th by which time there was a level depth of 60cm and enormous drifts, up to 13 mts deep at some locations.

The snow was accompanied by thick fog and a f6 NE wind on the 25th, and a NE gale on the 26th with gusts over 60 mph.

The 24th was the latest freezing day on record at this site with a max' of -0.4c and the daytime max' on the 26th reached only -0.4c but this increased to 0.8c by the early hours of the 27th.

The rainfall total for the whole event was 91.2 mm.

On the 27th there were 9.0 hrs of sunshine and the temp' reached 5.2c but it took until the 29th for 50% snow cover to be lost as the max' reached 9.9c. The last drift remnants visible from the site took until May 8th to thaw but the deepest drifts lasted until the end of May.

Edited by Terminal Moraine

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Has anyone on here got memories of the very heavy snow of late April 1981.

Not sure of the date although i do remember the event, certainly in our locality quite vividly.

The week before had been mainly spring like with warm and sunny weather over much of the period.

The Thursday night was still very mild with no suggestion, certainly to me who at 19 took little interest in weather forecasts that anything different was on its way.

However Friday morning dawned with steady snow; nothing unusual really as most Aprils produce snow at our altitude but the difference here was that it carried on all day increasing in intensity so that by evening we had around 10 inches of wet, although blowing snow.

I assume that it carried on throughout the night as it was still snowing heavily as i made my way to work on the Saturday morning only to be turned around at the factory as the snow which by this time was around 18 inches deep had brought power lines down.

If my memory is correct it snowed lightly until around lunchtime on the Saturday after which the clouds cleared, a strong sun came out and a very rapid thaw commenced.

Within 3 days we were back to spring like temperatures although our house was looking for a new trough as the weight of snow had brought the old one down.

One of the most amazing aspects of this event was that my sister was due to leave hospital on the Saturday morning after giving birth to her second child down the valley at Bury.

I was going to pick her up at around 11am but rang to tell her that all roads out of town were blocked by snow.

She thought I was extracting the urine as there was a gardener mowing grass outside the window of her ward.

It's amazing what 10 miles and more particularly 500 feet altitude does for snow chances.

What I am unsure of is whether this was purely a Pennine event or was it spread wider.

Any further memories would be appreciated.

Remember it very well. I moved from Cheltenham to Taunton - and the day I left Cheltenham there was about 8 inches of snow but as we moved South it slowly turned to sleet and then rain by the time reached Taunton. If my memory serves me right it had snowed for a couple of days almost non-stop in Cheltenham and whilst the bottom layer was melting the snow was so heavy that the depth still built up.

They don't make them like that anymore!

dl

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Remember it very well. I moved from Cheltenham to Taunton - and the day I left Cheltenham there was about 8 inches of snow but as we moved South it slowly turned to sleet and then rain by the time reached Taunton. If my memory serves me right it had snowed for a couple of days almost non-stop in Cheltenham and whilst the bottom layer was melting the snow was so heavy that the depth still built up.

They don't make them like that anymore!

dl

No instead I get 10 inches that lays for weeks on January...they certainly do!

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I was in Nympsfield we were hit badly with the snow we lost power for a few days and the water pipes froze.  It started on 23 April - 26 April.  We were off school for at least 3 weeks as the school bus couldnt get up Crawley Hill so it might it couldn't get to us to take us to school.

Since then I have hated snow as it was still on the ground in June.  when it snows now I am housebound as I am in a wheelchair so cant get out of the house.  I will have to try and get stocked up with store cupboard stuff so that i can get something to eat if i cant get out for a while.

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