Jump to content
Holidays
Local
Radar
Pollen
Sign in to follow this  
Jackfrost

Blizzard Of January 1982

Recommended Posts

I'm fortunate to live in one of the snowier parts of southern Britain. Being close to coast but relatively high above sea level and baring the brunt of any system moving in from the southwest can ensure some phenomenal blizzards when conditions are right. For example, the nearby town of Tredegar holds the record for maximum level snow depth recorded in an urban area in the UK; a massive five and a half feet in February 1963.

But it's the blizzard of January 1982 which all snowfalls now get compared to in this area. February 1978 had seen a blizzard which dumped 34cm on Cardiff, a low lying coastal city, but in 1982 it snowed solidly for 40 hours, and it was a dry, fine snow which helped to create huge drifts which buried cars and almost entire houses. Level depths seem to have been 40-60cm generally, but a clipping from a newspaper which my grandparents kept shows a depth of 77cm being recorded. Schools were closed for two weeks, four foot icicles grew in the record-breaking cold that followed and many towns and villages were literally cut off, to the point where food shortages were becoming a serious issue (which was when the weather changed). There's a picture hanging in a cafe here in Nelson, of a long line of people queuing outside the cafe for bread with a drift towering over them and nothing but mounds of snow where the cars were buried. It always fascinated me as a child.

I've dug out several pictures from the local area if anybody is interested. The first is taken in a village called Bedlinog, and my mum and her parents lived in a house just to the right, out of shot. The old man was their neighbour, "Uncle Henry", who had to dig a tunnel from his front door, as did everybody else on the street.

http://momedia.kyte....55f3466763212fd

http://www.tredegar....res- Jan-82.jpg

http://www.tredegar....town-Jan 82.jpg

http://www.tredegar....k_tce_jan82.jpg

http://treharrisdist...w_1882_high.jpg

This slideshow contains the first picture, plus a few others of '82 and other major snowfalls in South Wales.

http://www.walesonli...91466-30091663/

I wasn't even conceived for another eight years and I've obviously seen nothing comparable. The deepest snowfall I've seen was 33cm on December 17th, 2010 and I'd absolutely kill to see a blizzard like that of thirty years ago! Knowing that it's still possible keeps me going each winter, ha.

I know that South Wales wasn't the only area affected by the blizzard; the entire south and especially southwest of the UK seemed to shut down. Does anybody have any pictures or memories of the event to share? Posted Image

Edited by Jackfrost
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1982 was a bit before my time, would love to experience a proper full-on low level blizzard. Usually get on at least once each winter in the mountains but thats just not the same as in the valleys. To sit in the warmth watching the drifts build up, then wake up to find you have to dig your way out the front door!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 7 in 82 but Mum has pictures taken on me and my friend being totally drawfed by Drifts, It seem to last to march in my youthful mind....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very familiar with this event. I was 3 at the time so I'm not sure what I actually remember or what I've learnt from photos and stories.

My mother tells me that it started in the evening very fine sparkly snow. It got heavier and continued for almost 2 days.

we have photos of our car completely covered by a huge 15ft drift, can only make it out by a bit of the bumper sticking out.

Apparently I was carried home for over a mile when my mother was sent home from work and collected me from the baby sitter. It was blizzard conditions and lying snow was already over 30cm deep. She had to get up a rather large hill where we lived at the time. I've heard that story hundreds of time. It continued for at least another 12 hours to give huge drifts and the deepest lying snow in my life time.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/mid/sites/rememberwales/pages/snow_1982_photos.shtml?2

http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/philip-eden/Record-cold-and-snow.htm

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/01/13/so-you-think-the-snow-s-bad-this-year-91466-25586805/

http://forum.netweather.tv/topic/52333-short-film-of-deep-snow-wales-1982/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/nature/mediaexplorer/?theme_group=tv_radio&theme=green_wales&set=green_wales_snow



http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/mid/sites/rememberwales/pages/snow_1982_photos.shtml?2

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some excellent news footage of the conditions in Wales. It must have been a severe event if the Llyn peninsula was affected normally one of the most snow free parts of the country thanks to the influence of the warming effect of the sea. I don't think anywhere at least in England and Wales has experienced such equivalent conditions since. Many recent heavy snowfalls have been short sharp affairs - not blizzards lasting 2 days. The heavy snows in late Nov and Dec 2010 came in short sharp bursts thanks to heavy clusters of showers or very small localised trough features - e.g. events in east/south yorkshire and lincolnshire on 1st Dec 2010. It seems an age since the country has seen a nationwide blizzard.

I suspect parts of Scotland have experienced similiar conditions though since esp NE Scotland.

I haven't experienced depths of 2 feet of level snow, but did manage a feet and half on 6 Feb 96 which paralysed these parts but just for a couple of days, however, even a few inches can cut off the countryside in these parts if your not near a main road as we saw in the run up to christmas 09 when many such parts were cut off for around a week, under only about 6/7 inches.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't realise the blizzard had spread as far north as Llyn or that it was that severe up there until I saw the video. How far north and east did the system get? If I'm not mistaken, it definitely reached London.

Some final pics from nearby:

http://mw2.google.co...um/74065545.jpg

http://archive.rhond...042&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...053&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...062&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...061&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...051&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://www.flickr.co...nes/2805775385/

Edited by Jackfrost
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't realise the blizzard had spread as far north as Llyn or that it was that severe up there until I saw the video. How far north and east did the system get? If I'm not mistaken, it definitely reached London.

Some final pics from nearby:

http://mw2.google.co...um/74065545.jpg

http://archive.rhond...042&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...053&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...062&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...061&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://archive.rhond...051&r=1&t=4&x=1

http://www.flickr.co...nes/2805775385/

I remember seeing between 10/12 inches of snow in hertfordshire ( just north of greater london)

from the bizzard.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least that amount in MK, CC...

If I remember correctly It snowed for some 36 hours or so. The most lying snow I have

seen in this neck of the woods to date. 91 came close, 87 bitter cold but little snow (4")

and Jan 10 (8"). The pictures in the posts above are awesome and would love to see

something similar around here.We have had forcasts of such conditions at times ( 87

especially) but never materialized.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. What a wonderful thread. We used to spend 3 weeks a year in the early 80's on holiday in Aberdaron at the tip of the Lleyn Peninsular. What a trip down memory lane.

Thanks for the pics.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember correctly It snowed for some 36 hours or so. The most lying snow I have

seen in this neck of the woods to date. 91 came close, 87 bitter cold but little snow (4")

and Jan 10 (8"). The pictures in the posts above are awesome and would love to see

something similar around here.We have had forcasts of such conditions at times ( 87

especially) but never materialized.

Maybe this'll be our year, CC? Then again...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, all the violent envy I'd feel if the East gets battered by a similar blizzard. I'm sure I wouldn't feel so bitter if I'd lived through the first one!

Edited by Jackfrost
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll see if I can scan some of my parents photos. Some crackers. The old Vauxhall Chevette competely hidden by a huge drift.

I'm sure this was a year my father & a few other men in our street walked 3-4 miles to the local dairy (Ty-Coch) and dragged crates of milk back on sledges.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

man i would love to c something like that in this neck of the woods. Lets hope this is our year.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The heavy snows in late Nov and Dec 2010 came in short sharp bursts thanks to heavy clusters of showers or very small localised trough features - e.g. events in east/south yorkshire and lincolnshire on 1st Dec 2010. It seems an age since the country has seen a nationwide blizzard.

not strictly true for Doncaster

It started to snow just before 1700 on 30 November and did not stop until around 0800 1 December, in which time 35cm fell, so an overall rate of 2cm per hour for 15 hours or so. Almost no wind though.

Edited by johnholmes
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course there will be a lot of IMBY and faded memories re actual stats, I was nearly 17 in Jan 82 so remember it well but the snow I saw fall in Dec 2012 was better although I did live in Surrey in Jan 82. Remember being on a crowded bus that skided across the road but think that was Dec 81 ? Wasn't it two cold snaps split by a mild interlude?

Edited by stewfox
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

not strictly true for Doncaster

It started to snow just before 1700 on 30 November and did not stop until around 0800 1 December, in which time 35cm fell, so an overall rate of 2cm per hour for 15 hours or so. Almost no wind though.

Here too there was continuous snow with very little wind. It began around 1500 on November 30th, after snow showers throughout the morning, and ended around 0800 on Dec' 1st by which time there was 49 cm. We tend to do very well here with air flows from between NE and SE as there's no higher ground between here and the Urals in an easterly direction.

The January 1982 event produced only 11.5cm here, on the 8th, as were on the edge of the heavy snow to the south and south west.

Edited by Terminal Moraine
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was the last true blizzard we've had at this location. Drifts reached about 24", if I remember correctly there was a mini ground blizzard a few days later that added a few more inches to the the drifts. The first 4 years I lived here(1961-65) there were 3 major blizzards, just 2 since then, the last of which is now over 30 years ago.

Pete

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much belated reply to this message that I found just recently. I was in the U.S. Air Force, living/stationed in the UK at the time this blizzard took place. It is one snow I will never forget. I was at RAF Croughton, which is about 30 miles north of Oxford. If I remember correctly, the stated average snowfall for our area was 18 inches.I remember many people not being able to make it in to work for a couple of days. Us who lived on or near the base had to cover all 24/7 shifts until the roads could be cleared. I remember a joint effort between local government and some help from RAF Croughton and RAF Upper Heyford in plowing/clearing the roads in the area. I vividly remember snow banks sometimes as much as 6 feet high, if not more, on both sides of the road. It felt like driving through a tunnel.I remember walking to work and going through snow as high as waist-deep in some areas. It was like nothing I had ever seen.We had also had a pretty sizeable snow in December of 1981, only a few weeks before the big one of January 8/9 (I think) of 1982. I think the December snow may have been 6" or maybe 8" deep. I saw one post where someone mentioned that snow as well.I have some photos from both the December 1981 and January 1982 snows. But I don't have anything as profound as are some of these others I've seen posted here.Thanks for sharing these photos and memories.These are from December 1981 and/or January 1982. I'm not 100% sure of which:

 

post-21135-0-17488100-1383953125_thumb.j

post-21135-0-46865000-1383953133_thumb.j

post-21135-0-52809000-1383953189_thumb.j

post-21135-0-54501600-1383953340_thumb.j

post-21135-0-39903800-1383953353_thumb.j

post-21135-0-52912800-1383953362_thumb.j

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×