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Predicting The Weather Is Previous Cold Winters

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With the interest that many of the weather enthusiasts have on here have in following the models and other associated output (ensembles, Met Office Updates, etc.), especially during a winter like last or this current one, I am just wondering what the maximum amount of resources avaliable to an amateur weather enthusiast would be before the Internet era, for example if we were living though winters like 1962/63, 1978/79 and 1981/82 what sort of information could we get to give some indication that a cold blast is on its way back then with the technology around those times. Obviously for 1962/63 I would imagine television and radio forecasts would give the first indication that something severe is on its way but back then I don't think the resources available to professional forecasters where anywhere near as much what is around today - take for example this video - it is from the US and it mentions the major blizzard that hits the New York area in 1966. It also compares how that event was forcast comparing it with how similar events could be forecast today:

Note the weatherman at 2m40s explaining that today he could give a good idea that snow was on its way 3-4 days out, but back in 1966 it was a day maximum. He also explains that they had no models at all back then and the main information going into forecasts came from observers on the ground, people reporting and I presume information gathered from weather balloons etc.

I would also think that the same would also apply to 1962-63 in the UK as it was around the same time period and I would not have imagined the UK Met Office to have any more resources at thier disposal than thier US equivalents (NWS/NOAA) so would it be the case that in 1963 we would only have known it was coming at most 2 days out and snow events could only be forecast with even the slightest degree of accuracy a day out or so?

Moving on to my next example, 1981/82, I would have thought that some models would have been available at least to professional forecasters back then as computer technology was better by the early 1980s (but still in its infancy by todays standards). Did NOAA/NWS have the GFS model back then? And did the UK Met Office have thier own model to? In the absence of the Internet was thier any way for the general public to gain access to model output or would you have to have contacts within the Met Office etc? Another thing that I read that could have been useful if your where a weather enthusiast back then was access to TV/radio forecasts from Contiential Europe (especially Germany or Holland/Benelux) as because the are to the east of us they would normally get the cold weather before we do so would that give a good indication that it was about to turn cold. Does anyone have any experience of being an amateur weather enthsiast back then.

And finally to the 90s lets say 1995/96 did Netweather exist on the Net back then and was any model output available online?


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