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damianslaw

Late Jan 96 - early Feb 96

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Talk of battleground snow event in recent days has made me think back to the cold snowy period of late Jan 96 - Feb 96. An excellent spell of snowy wintry weather in my book with most of the country seeing at least some snow cover, some places very large totals.

 

I remember the period very well. After a mild often damp first 20 days of January (a disappointment after the freeze of late December), things changed on the 21st Jan as we began to pull in continental air from the east with pressure rising rapidly over west Russia and Scandinavia, with a weak ineffectual atlantic, the high was able to nose further west and the next few days saw increasingly colder uppers from the east invade the country brought on by a bitter east wind. By the 24th many eastern parts had seen numerous snow showers albeit light, however, on the 25th a frontal system developed over Germany and by the 26th invaded east/se parts with heavy snow and sub freezing temps. I remember the day well being very bitter here with a strong east wind.

 

The 27th saw heavy snowfall here and over much of northern England thanks brought on by a strong east wind. It was the ideal day for it - a Saturday. Temps sub freezing.

 

The rest of January remained cold but with little snow, mostly dry cloudy conditions feeling raw with a very slow thaw. The start of Feb saw much of the same, before we saw a classic battleground event on the 5th as a front occluded and stalled in situ over western Britain, we ended up with 18 inches of snow - not bettered since and were cut off for 2 days.

 

The cold wintry spell ended on the weekend of the 10th/11th with rain and atlantic systems. However, there were further wintry episodes most notably 19/20 Feb thanks to deep seated north easterlies and further heavy snow on the 12th March with another battleground snow event.

 

Anyone else share memories of this spell.

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Hi Damian

 

Yes I do remember this spell very well although I was only 14 at the time.

following on from a very cold December 1995, I was in Gran Canaria for 2 weeks beginning of Jan 96 and remember when I got home a few days later think it was a Saturday in mid Jan 96 I woke up to snow cover with snow falling and gusty winds blowing snow about, looked like a blizzard, don't think that lasted long maybe a day if that.

Anyway that started my interest in snow and remember looking at the Blackpool gazette one Saturday in late Jan because it had the weather for the week ahead and it mentioned snow for the Monday I think which would be around the 6th Feb? and it said snow, well that's when it got interesting because, I thought ok, nice 1, snow next week, little did I know how long it would snow for and how deep it would be, it was ridiculous, school was shut and honestly there was no cars on the road, everyone was on foot, just wondering if GFS etc was around then, how would have the models have handled it??

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Hi Damian

 

Yes I do remember this spell very well although I was only 14 at the time.

following on from a very cold December 1995, I was in Gran Canaria for 2 weeks beginning of Jan 96 and remember when I got home a few days later think it was a Saturday in mid Jan 96 I woke up to snow cover with snow falling and gusty winds blowing snow about, looked like a blizzard, don't think that lasted long maybe a day if that.

Anyway that started my interest in snow and remember looking at the Blackpool gazette one Saturday in late Jan because it had the weather for the week ahead and it mentioned snow for the Monday I think which would be around the 6th Feb? and it said snow, well that's when it got interesting because, I thought ok, nice 1, snow next week, little did I know how long it would snow for and how deep it would be, it was ridiculous, school was shut and honestly there was no cars on the road, everyone was on foot, just wondering if GFS etc was around then, how would have the models have handled it??

 

 

Yes your nearly right with your dates, though the Saturday you mention in January will have been the 27th, as I mention. The 5th was a Monday, the snow started here around 11am and didn't relent until 15:30 on the 6th, 28 hours of continuous snowfall leaving 18 inches. Coastal parts of Cumbria were also badly affected, likewise coastal Lancashire including Blackpool, though the snow didn't fall for quite as long or to such depth as it did here. Highest snowfall totals reserved for Galloway, Eskdalemuir I think saw 2 feet. Our school was forced to close for the rest of the week, after everyone went home on Monday afternoon, only time it did it (I was 17 in the sixth form).

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It was really powder kind of snow that wouldn't compact to build like snowmen, or make snow ball, but the next day seemed to be softer and abled us to do that

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5th/6th February 1996 was the best snow event here bar none. Only time I can recall struggling to get out the front door.

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Thanks for putting up these BBC forecasts. There are a couple more on you tube one from I think morning of 6th Feb - bbc breakfast and a poor quality one from John Kettley on evening of 5th Feb.

 

Would love to see another 5/6 Feb 96 event and would be very happy with a Sat 27 Jan event as well, best time for a major snowfall either Friday night or Saturday. Monday morning a good time as well!....

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Thanks for putting up these BBC forecasts. There are a couple more on you tube one from I think morning of 6th Feb - bbc breakfast and a poor quality one from John Kettley on evening of 5th Feb.

Yes that one by John Kettley is my recording.

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Hi,

 

I remember the 5th February 1996 snow in Liverpool - just wondering how much snow we got did we get over 20cm? I am curious about other snow events in Liverpool that winter - Aderyn - did we get snow in on the ground in Liverpool in December 1995 in particular just before NYE 1995 I think we might have done on the 30th how much did we get in that event - and did we get any earlier on in 1995.  Any more snow events in Liverpool you remember.

 

Another question would be how much snow did my location get in February 1991 as I have difficulty remembering it in Liverpool - I know we did not get as much as the east but I think we certainly got some snow here I think someone said 15cm or so is that right - just if you remember that event in Liverpool Adeyn?

 

Luke 

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I'm not sure what the level amounts of snow were but there was a lot of drifting which made the snow pile up even more (one thing missing from the snowy spells of 09/10 and 10/11). I remember 26th January being a very snowy day as well (it was a Friday).

 

I'm not sure about December 1995, but I do remember being out and about on the 27th and there being whiteness on the nearby playing field. It may have been snow but it could also have been ice/frost, because it was a frigid day.

 

I can't put my finger on much weatherwise before 1995 but I have memories of going to the park with my family getiing up to all the usual winter hijinks when I was very young (snowmen, snowball fights, sleighing). I can only assume that was February 1991 because there was wasn't much snow in the years immediately preceding and coming after it. I was 5 at the time.

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Hi,

 

Interesting about 1996 I do remember those snowfalls - also do you remember if we got any snow in March 1995 which was a NWly airflow I am sure we must have got something

 

Luke

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Hi,

 

Interesting about 1996 I do remember those snowfalls - also do you remember if we got any snow in March 1995 which was a NWly airflow I am sure we must have got something

 

Luke

 

 

The first 8 days of March 1995 were very snowy here, we had numerous snowfalls as trough features moved into the region from the NW under a very unstable cold polar maritime airflow, many snowfalls occurred in the evening and overnight, with temporary thaws during the day. It was quite a notable snowy spell on the back of a preety snowless winter.

 

There was another snowfall in late March 95 and we had some wet snow in middle of April and again middle of May - a real sea saw of a spring with notable cold spells and notable warm spells.

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In Cleadon in Tyne and Wear there was a mix of sun and snow showers on the 26th January 1996 (it was probably one of the sunniest days of the month, which only managed 5 hours of sun at nearby Tynemouth) with a snow cover right out to the sea front.  The 27th had prolonged snow but it turned to sleet late in the day leading to a complete thaw within a few miles of the coast.  Further inland (e.g. at Durham) it lasted for another few days.  The Pennines killed off most of the frontal snow on 5-7 February, but there was a fairly deep snow cover early on the 8th.  I went to Lancaster University for my undergraduate degree and was soon informed that Lancaster was very heavily hit by that event- 13cm level snow with 2 ft drifts at the nearby weather station at Hazelrigg.

 

As for 1995, Christmas Eve produced a few centimetres of snow from a polar low and there were some quite heavy snow showers associated with stiff northerly winds on Christmas Day 1995, the most memorable white Christmas (although Christmas Day 2010 had a deeper snow cover).  

 

The troughs that produced overnight snowfalls in the west in early March 1995 tended to be gobbled up by the Pennines before they got to South Tyneside, but many of the daytime snow and hail showers did make it across, so in Tyneside the spell was impressive from a convection point of view but accumulations of snow were short-lived, and it was a similar story with the northerly blast on the 27th-29th.  I remember being astonished that we were getting snow showers off a westerly and occasionally even a south-westerly.  We also had wintry showers around 18-20 April and 11-12 May and some particularly memorable hailstorms on 20 April which gave an inch of hail cover in about 10 minutes at one point.  March 1995 was also an unusually snowy month at Hazelrigg with snow cover on 6 mornings.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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