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A Question About The Winters Of 85-86 & 86-87 In The West Midlands?


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Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Hi there, this is my first ever post after browsing this forum for years.

    I was just wondering if anyone who lives nearish the Walsall area can remember how much snow we had if any, in Feb 86 or/and Jan 87? I ask this question because as i was born in the spring of 85, these were the first two real winter months i lived through (and the last for another 4 years), yet because of my very young age at the time I carry no memories of them. So i'd be interested if anyone round these parts, or the broader west midlands area can?

    I've asked my mum about them and she can't recollect these classic winter months at all. She remembers Feb 91 well however, as her brother died the night it first started to snow and she remembers having to walk through drifting snow in order to get to the main roads in order to get a lift to the hospital. I do remember this event but only very vaguely. For example i remember being in the back garden throwing snowballs at my kitchen window (which i'm sure i got a telling off for), sitting in the back of my dads car one sunny but snow covered afternoon while he was struggling to get the car off the drive and going round my grandads after the thaw began and remembering this dift still lying there in the corner of the yard (I haven't seen a snow drift in my life since, as the recent good winters just haven't delivered high snow depths round these parts, though like most what we have had has stuck around for long periods of time. Heres hopeing that winter 11-12 changes that). Sorry for length of post guys but if anybody has got any answers just let me know, thanks in advance.

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    I'm sure others who have the records will confirm how snowy it was during those winters in Walsall. Looking at the synoptics, most of the snow in Feb 86 hit eastern parts much harder than central and western parts - whilst it was a sub-zero month it was devoid of any major nationwide heavy snowfalls.

    Jan 87 again eastern parts were hit harder than central and especially western parts - I suspect the west midlands will have caught few inches though from the easterly winds.

    I think Jan and Feb 85 proved snowier in the west midlands than feb 86 and jan 87.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level

    I remember going to school (middle school) in Nuneaton, and having to wade through snow at least 20" deep, and having to lift up my leg so as to get the next step forward, this was in 1986.

    I Can't seem to remember much about 1987 though for some reason??

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    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Thanks for the replies so far guys. Yes i thought Jan-Feb (particulary Jan) 85 were particularly snowy months whereas Feb 86 was much colder than either but not as snowy, indeed it was the first sub zero CET month for over 7 years (Jan 79) and the last for nearly 25 years (Dec 2010). Might sound strange but I wish I could have been born 3 months earlier in say late Dec 84 instead of late March 85 because even though I wouldn't remember it anyway, I feel like i just missed out on a right classic winter for snow in my region. Still I suppose I did actually exist in my mothers womb, lol.

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    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    I'd also like to add that I almost forgot about that classic snowstorm here in the midlands region in Dec 90. In fact the memories I do associate with Feb 91 could actualy be a mish mash of the two. I do have one memory that would have defiantly been Dec 90, as I remember decorating the Christmas tree when it fell on me, lol, I was alright though but what I do remember from the same time was snow blowing past the window. I was 5 going on 6 during this winter yet I seem to remember little about it. Strange when I remember other things that were earlier in my life but much more clearly. I just hope that we can get a good blizzard round here (and the rest of the country too of course) next winter so I can remember at least one well (won't say no to many more though lol).

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset

    I used to live in south-west Birmingham until 2009...

    Late November 1985 had a cold snap with some light snow covering and sharp overnight frosts. Another cold snap occurred in late December 1985, and lasted into early January 1986, with some snowfall. February 1986 was largely bitterly cold with severe frosts and long-lasting snow cover which was not especially deep, and the cold lasted into March 1986.

    I remember November and December 1986 as being fairly mild and unsettled, but January 1987 turned much colder with bitter easterly winds towards mid-month and powder snow. I have a photo of our road taken on 14th January 1987; the snow drifted so deep that only the tops of some cars were visible. Another heavy snowfall occurred on 7th March 1987, with several inches of snow accumulating later on that day.

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    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Thanks for the info Portland Paul. I imagine things weren't too different here north of Walsall.

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    • 5 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Norwich
  • Location: Norwich

    I remember the snow of 86, I was four and the snow was up to my waist here in norwich. Ive got a picture somewhere of the snow above my waiste. My parents had to put binbags on my legs because the snow came over my wellies. I also remember 1 meter long icicles and thick as your arm hanging off the roof of the local shop. What a snow event that was, never seen any thing like it since. Can anyone link a chart to this snow event in the east that year?

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    I do live the synoptic above - almost perfect deep cold scenario, just look at where those easterlies originate deep within siberia.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Looking through charts and accounts from February 1986, snow showers were indeed pretty widespread around the 6th. The synoptics also point to a snowy interlude around the 20th-23rd, though it may well have mainly affected the north-east:

    http://www.wetterzen...00119860222.gif

    I recall accounts elsewhere of a major snowstorm that affected parts of the south at the very end of the month as fronts collided with the continental air:

    http://www.wetterzen...00119860228.gif

    However, I remember that Mushymanrob (who I think lives around the Midlands) recalled a mostly dry cloudy month for February 1986 as a whole, with not much snow. Statistics suggest that the month was snowiest towards the north-east (where the longer track over the North Sea resulted in more frequent sunshine-and-snow-showers days than further south) and also the south-west, where Atlantic systems periodically collided with the continental air. Early January 1986 looks like it featured a rather more favourable setup for snow in the Midlands, with a couple of frontal events.

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted
  • Location: Wimbledon
  • Location: Wimbledon

    I lived in Walsall in the 80s and have posted about Feb 1985 before here elsewhere- the month you must be thinking of is indeed Feb 85- there was intense cold but not much snow in 1986. In Feb 85 i clearly remember wet snow and rain turning to blizzard snow during double french and then by the time we left school at 4pm the drifts were incredible- main roads by the arboretum about a foot deep and traffic standstill. I attempted the bus home but after 2 hours travelled about 400 yards- walked the remaning 5 miles!! Next day I think was a saturday (although Im not sure about that). Remember being out with friends and amazed by the huge drifts many feet deep. I have seen nothing like them since, although Dec 1990 and Feb 1991 gave their best shot. Still my favorite winter snow event by miles and one that seems to have been largely forgotten.

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    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Hi Slaphead, do you remember how much snow there was roughly in 1986? Even if not much. What about January 1987, do you remember any snow then? Thanks in advance.

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    Posted
  • Location: Wimbledon
  • Location: Wimbledon

    Hey Walsall- the Feb 85 event is the one that sticks in my mind- I have never seen drifting approaching this at any other time in my life. I think there was decent snow in Jan 85 as well. I don't remember any significant snow in 86- a few powdery dustings, but I do remember the cold going on and on and Chasewater and all the canals being frozen for weeks (I actually saw an ice skater on them that year!). I also remember the school playing fields being hard as concrete but snow free. Jan 1987 was another good event- heavy snow yes, but without the drifting that made 1985 so memorable. Stangely I don't remember exceptional cold during this event although records suggest that it was. In my mind the snow of March 1987 was probably nearly as deep and it certainly seemed very cold, although that may be the result of a cross-country match in Rugely in blizzard conditions- not much fun.

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    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Thanks for that Slaphead your info has been very enlightening, as I now know what these events were like round these parts. Cheers.

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