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Favourite unexpected snowfall?

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What was your favourite unexpected snowfall? One where the forecast suggested rain or it was suppose to be dry or it was expected to turn to rain but it didn't?

A couple that have stuck in my mind was one from 24th February 1989. It had been a very mild and virtually devoid of winter until late February when on Friday evening of the 24th February 1989, steady rain turned steadily to sleet then snow. After a while, a covering developed on all surfaces despite how wet the surfaces had been and we had our first snow cover for that winter. Didn't expect it at all and the cover lasted until the afternoon of the next day. About 3 weeks later, another rain to snow event occurred and we had another snow cover.

Another was 20th December 1993, it had been a mild weekend but it turned colder on Monday but it was cloudy. I remember looking out the window and was surprised to see it snowing about 5pm. The ground got whiter and whiter and we had a covering. After the virtual lack of snow with the two previous winters, it was great to see a snow cover for a change and also it was less than a week before Christmas

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My favourite unexpected snowfall was probably the late feb 2004 snow event here in Gateshead. Almost a foot of snow came down during the night to give us the heaviest snowfall of that winter.

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18th November 2004 in Sheffield. It had been quite mild but then that evening the heavy rain suddenly turned to snow and we ended up with about 15cm.

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Funny.. I forgot about the snowfall in November 2004.. it caused a few delays at Leeds Bradford, but nothing major.

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I would have to say 18th December 2010. Friday the day before was forecasting that the weatehr system would affect me but then changed its mind during the evening and i went to bed with it showing not to reach me. As i woke the next morning it started to snow and then snowed for a few hours, we had 19cm so all in all a nice suprise.clapping.gif

Edited by Mark Neal.

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I was up in Aviemore with my young children during the nineties,we arrived about 3 days before christmas to a winter wonderland but by the next day it had all gone and it was very mild,however it turned somewhat colder by Christmas eve with a forecast of a slight frost but a dry and crisp day to follow.

We left the kids and went to the party which if I remember was fabulous,the ice carvings were magnificent. At about 5 minutes before midnight someone looked out of the window and we saw it had started to snow-lightly and of the wet type at first but by the time we left to return to are room the ground was white,it snowed all night and the temperature dropped so that by the morning there was about 12 cms,it snowed off and on all day and the children had a great time sledging outside the Strathspey hotel. It froze hard that night and we started driving home on snow covered roads but after 30 miles or so there was not a sign of any. That is one one of only a few white christmases I have experienced-it was great.

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15/16th February 1978..the previous 7 days had been very cold with snow showers..the weather broke and rain pushed in from the SW as predicted... it rained all day on the 15th..late in the afternoon the rain slowly but surely turned to snow quite unexpectedly... as the snow fell the weather forecast was still for heavy rain with maybe some sleet across the moors..it snowed all night and left about 6-8 inches on the ground..there were a couple more attempts for milder weather to push in which resulted in more snow on the 16th and 17th..and finally culminated in the great west country blizzard from 18-20th February 1978..which produced the most snowfall in one sitting i have ever seen.

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Mine was on my birthday in 2006 (28th Feb) when I took the day off from work and decided to go on a walk right around the outskirts of Westbury (the town I lived in at the time).

The day had dawned chilly and sunny and continued that way until early afternoon with me having a very long, enjoyable walk. Photos from the day show a gradual increase in cloud in the early afternoon and, as I was starting the final 1/4 of my walk, there was a brief soft hail shower which blew in from the NW and soon after a heavier soft hail shower.

I got home as a 3rd shower was beginning and this time it turned to snow which got very heavy and started to settle. The snow fell heavily for about an hour and gave about an inch and a half before clearing to a sunny end to the afternoon.

It was so rare to have snow on my birthday (except the day I was born in 1978 apparantly!) so, although not the largest fall of snow, it was unexpected and enough to make a snowman!

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Just one of my fav's was probably the 4 inches we got on the night of 29-30th December 2001. Early evening on 29th the snow band was sitting over Dumfries & Galloway and was shaped a bit like a boomerang on the radar. The snow band itself was not forecast to move South, it was forecast to be just clear and frosty here but the band moved South and gave us a decent covering by late evening and morning. The snow itself stuck around until 5th Jan here until the mild and wet Jan and Feb started.

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I think for me it has to be December 1981, we'd been forecast a bit of snow but nothing really to worry about. It began about lunchtime, by the time home time came it was already a good 8 inches deep, I got a lift home standing on the back of a tractor which already was about the only vehicle moving. I can't remember when it finally stopped snowing but it certainly wasn't before the end of the next day, we had at least 2ft of level snow and then the winds picked up drifting it everywhere, they were immense and still the biggest I've ever seen. There wasn't really much of a thaw before Christmas so even though there was no falling snow on Christmas day, it was a very white Christmas. I was a member of Young Farmers and annually we'd do carol singing for charity, we'd go around the various villages to pre-booked venues and that year we were also booked in to do a spot at midnight mass on Christmas Eve. There was no way we could all pile on the available tractors nor could we safely hook a trailer up and go in that so many of us skied our way round - it was quicker than trudging and when 'last orders' is looming, seconds count...Looking back on that Christmas Eve and the sight of dozens of pairs of ski's propped up on the walls of the church, knee deep snow everywhere and boughs weighed down to the ground with the weight of the snow, still rates as one of my most surreal moments, it was after all in the Cotswold's not the Alps.

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I would have to say 18th December 2010. Friday the day before was forecasting that the weatehr system would affect me but then changed its mind during the evening and i went to bed with it showing not to reach me. As i woke the next morning it started to snow and then snowed for a few hours, we had 19cm so all in all a nice suprise.clapping.gif

Yeah and for me really, I thought it was going to be south of me, most was but still got a decent 8cms

18th Nov 04 as well, but only around 2cms on wet ground

Edited by ihatetherain

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Hi all,

I have a memory of working on an archaeological dig in Northants in the early 1980's.

I can't say I was aware of the forecast, but woke one January morning to find a level 9" of snow

when there hadn't been any before. It was very exciting !

I made a valiant attempt to dig my car out of the cul de sac, but didn't get far as main roads were

totally blocked.

This from a Northants Met Office site ..

"A notable example was the blizzard of 8/9 January 1982 when 36 hours of snow accompanied by easterly gales gave 30 to 50 cm of level snow and drifts that were locally over 1metre deep."

Also, I'm afraid I haven't dates, but twice while I have lived here in E. Yorks we have sat down to Christmas

lunch and the first flakes of snow have just started to fall. Amazing and magical it seemed.

B. :)

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16th February 2000 was a good example in the Tyne and Wear area.

http://www.wetterzen...00120000216.gif

We had been forecast sunny intervals and scattered showers of rain and sleet, but an area of heavy precipitation moved into the area during early to mid afternoon, which started off as sleet but turned to snow and provided a couple of inches on the ground. It melted the next day, but it was the only significant snow event of the entire 1999/2000 season near the coast (there was lying snow inland on the 14th/15th December 1999 but it was sleety near the coast on that occasion).

Christmas Day 1993, in my first year of weather recording, was another example. The day started bright and frosty with no snow on the ground, but increasingly frequent and heavy snow showers moved in off the North Sea after 11am, and gave a significant covering by the end of the afternoon. I'm told that the showers turned back to sleet/rain near coastal fringes (e.g. at Tynemouth and the shores of South Shields) but Cleadon was just far inland enough for it to remain as snow.

http://www.wetterzen...00119931226.gif

And there was the very recent one on the 26th/27th October 2012- my first sighting of snow in October, after having expected showers to hug the east coast and fall mainly as rain and sleet, they unexpectedly headed well inland over North Yorkshire and gave a dusting on the ground for a time.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers

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Christmas Day 1993 was a good one here. It's the only occasion where I've been able to build a snowman on the day - tried in 1995 but didn't have enough snow, and in 2010 we already had a snowman which my son had built a few weeks before!

My favourite unexpected snowfall was probably either of these which I posted about recently in another thread:

Rrea00120070209.gif

Rrea00120051125.gif

Both fairly localised - the first was forecast as a rain event and gave me the most snow I've experienced in a 24 hour period from very marginal upper air. The second was forecast but I was only expecting a dusting and ended up with a dumping from a fairly continuous train of snow showers.

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Christmas Day 1993, in my first year of weather recording, was another example. The day started bright and frosty with no snow on the ground, but increasingly frequent and heavy snow showers moved in off the North Sea after 11am, and gave a significant covering by the end of the afternoon. I'm told that the showers turned back to sleet/rain near coastal fringes (e.g. at Tynemouth and the shores of South Shields) but Cleadon was just far inland enough for it to remain as snow.

http://www.wetterzen...00119931226.gif

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Can't remember the exact day but it happened during winter 2005/2006 no cold weather was forecast then out of no where heavy snow suddenly arrived and had a few cm's within an hour was a great surprise.

Another great time in the early 2000's I was hanging out with a friend it was cold but dry. They said today's boring nothings happening and I said would be cool if it started snowing, 5 minutes later it did.

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I think my favourite unexpected snowfall was that of 5th April 1989. Although it had been cold with a spell of sleet during the afternoon on the 4th, milder weather was expected to move in the next day. I thought that was it for chances of seeing snow after a horrendous winter. However, I woke up the next morning to heavy settling snow which I hadn't seen since January 1987! The snow continued throughout the morning and there was about 3 inches in total. The snow cover lasted all day and luckily it was during the Easter holidays so I could get out and enjoy it with snow ball fights and snowman building!

The other was 2nd February 2009. Although snow was expected, the vast amount of it wasn't!

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Although it was not renowned for snow. I remember a temporary dusting of snow on the morning of 17th May 1996. This was the only time I have ever seen snow in May and at School in Blackpool of all places.

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For me it has to be the streamer we got up the Mersey Corridor 23rd Dec 2009. Rain was forecast, but it just battered down with snow for hours. M62 and A580 were mullered, but it gave us snow on the ground for xmas day and a couple of weeks after!

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April 14th/15th 1998, we had a very unexpected fall of no less than 37cms.

Pete

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Surely you mean 1999, PeteB? I just about remember that event, being 8 at the time.

I can't remember too many unexpected snowfalls. It snowed heavily on February 7th 2007 but it was expected to melt the following day, but the 8th saw a system move further north than expected which gave us another day of prolonged, very heavy snow. That double event was the only excitement in what was otherwise an incredibly dull winter.

December 21st was a good event too. I don't recall anything being forecast that night, but a streamer set up in the Bristol Channel during the early hours which left us with 5 inches or so, which had barely melted by Christmas Day.

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