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BlueSkies_do_I_see

Best Febs for cold and snow after indifferent winter starts

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Very little in the way of snow for the south so far this winter. Was wondering which Febs in past have delivered nationwide snow where preceding winter has not?

I remember Feb 2009 was good. But then late 2008 was also cold i believe?

Someone in the model thread mentioned 1983? Any memories of that one anyone?

Edited by BlueSkies_do_I_see

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Very little in the way of snow for the south so far this winter. Was wondering which Feb's in past have delivered nationwide snow where preceding winter has not?

I remember Feb 2009 was good.

February 2012 saw a bit of snow from the W/NW after afew very cold days beforehand. Then again on that Thursday evening. Edited by Mark N
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The following years were one in which the difference between the sum of the mean CETs for Dec and Jan was 9c or more than the mean CET for Feb

1711

1796 x

1843

1844

1853

1855

1916 x

1956

1975 x

1983

1986

Generally a cold February after a mild December and January was the reason, but 1796, 1916 and 1975 get into the list more because the December and January were particularly warm as opposed to the February being particularly cold

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If we're looking for Februarys that have delivered widespread snow after a Dec/Jan that were generally mild and snowless in the south, 1983 is certainly a good example.  Other decent examples were 1978, 1986 and 1994 and indeed one can make a case for 2009.

 

If we're looking for examples following a preceding winter that was largely snowless, it's a lot harder.  In that case 1994 and 2009 are the ones that stick out, since the winter of 1981/82 could hardly be termed mild or snowless!

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1994 a very underrated potent beast in my opinion, I would love to know exactly what that Tuesday delivered for the Pennines after it delivered 5 inches for Birmingham. The one where a NW to SE frontal alignment moved up from the South West.

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I'm not sure how widespread the snow was across the country but late February 2004 brought a good covering here, the main event being the 26th but another light covering on the morning of the 27th and 28th.

 

February 2005 would have brought a number of good coverings had it not been such a marginal affair. Again, on the 28th, there was a dusting here as the winds veered to colder northerly.

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If you look at the winters where the wintriest weather (most widespread cold, snow, severest frosts) for that winter happened during February. Notable ones.

2012 (not for NW parts)

2009

2005

1994

1991

1986

1983

1978

1969

1968

1956

1955

1948

1947

1942

1933

1932

1930

1929

1902

1901

1900

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The first ten to twelve days of February 2012 were excellent here. Several ice days and about eight to nine hours of very heavy snowfall on the 4-5 February that lasted for over a week.

 

 

Yeah excellent down here too, excellent wintry conditions in south warwickshire/north gloucestershire border.

 

Question open to anyone, February proper cold spells for southern UK are usually continental whilst December's are more Arctic from the north for the midlands like late Dec 1995, can you name any cold spells in February from the north like late Dec 1995 that gave sub zero maxs with snowcover for the midlands?

 

Bet they harder to find than mid December to mid January.

Edited by Eugene
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From a southern perspective, the last cold Februaries that delivered a decent amount of snow were 2012 (when we also had the lowest minimum in more than 10 years in Reading, at -10) and 2009 - you then have to go back to 1991, when we even had 6 inches of snow in Southampton, where I was living at the time.  February 1986 was easily the coldest in the last 30 years - but in Southampton it was cold, rather dull and exceptionally dry with no snow.

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Yeah excellent down here too, excellent wintry conditions in south warwickshire/north gloucestershire border.

 

Question open to anyone, February proper cold spells for southern UK are usually continental whilst December's are more Arctic from the north for the midlands like late Dec 1995, can you name any cold spells in February from the north like late Dec 1995 that gave sub zero maxs with snowcover for the midlands?

 

Bet they harder to find than mid December to mid January.

Strange,3 in a row,1954,1955 and 1956,also 1969,1970[ish] and 1991 [north east]

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1983 lasted about a week - I remember it fairly well with a few long lasting showers around the 6/7th I believe, there wasn't deep snowfall where I lived (Essex) about 2 inches but we had day temps not much about 1 or 2 degrees and harsh frosts. Originally a strong mid-Atlantic high pressure gave way to a more easterly flow as winds went from  northerly to north east and then a slightly less cold east as low pressure moved south east and filled over the continent.

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1994 a very underrated potent beast in my opinion, I would love to know exactly what that Tuesday delivered for the Pennines after it delivered 5 inches for Birmingham. The one where a NW to SE frontal alignment moved up from the South West.

Just over 20cm level here with drifts of 1.5 to 2m on Feb' 22nd/23rd 1994.

January 1994 saw very little snow but December 1993 was a wet and snowy month with an accumulated depth of 50cm from 7 separate falls.

There has been a distinct lack of very snowy Februaries in the last 35 years and I've yet to record one with an accumulated snow depth of more than 40cm falling entirely within the month. There were  greater depths than this on the ground in February 1979 and 1986 but  they were the result of snowfall in February on top of earlier snowfalls in January.

It's an irony that, although every February here has recorded at least one morning with lying snow at 0900, every other month between November and April has recorded a greater accumulated depth of snow than February. I suppose you could argue on that basis that we're long overdue a very snowy February but I've been thinking that for the last 10 years at least and it's yet to happen. 

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 Four Februarys stand out 1947 ( not born then )  record snowfall with a late start winter.  1963 ( record cold for last century )  1969 ( polar low month ) again a late starter. 1979 was hellish cold with bitter winds and blowing snow. Lived through the last 3  all memorable in their own right. Of course Feb 2014 was amazing 300 cm of snow in my back garden  but that was at 1650 m asl and in foreign land.

C

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Last example of a snowy February coming on the back of a largely snowless December and January was probably 1983, Dec 82 didn't deliver much here and Jan 83 was very mild and snowless. Feb 86 was bone dry here and we managed some snow at the end of Dec 85 and early Jan 86.

 

I would have said 1994, but we did see a fair bit of snow in the second half of Dec 93, but not to the same depths of Feb 94 which delivered a foot in one fall.

 

Feb 05 was largely snowless this side of the Pennines. Feb 06 saw snow only at the tail end so can't be described as snowy in the main, likewise Feb 07 which saw a bit of snow early on but didn't last.

 

Feb 2012 a close contender though, we had a decent fall on the 4th about 5 inches which stuck around for a few days, but the second half was very mild with rain, it did come on the back of a preety snowless Dec and Jan mind.

 

I agree we are overdue a notably snowy and cold February. We've had a few decent relatively short lived snowy cold spells since Feb 96, most notably early Feb 09, but nothing particularly sustained. Feb 10 was a good cold month generally but never especially severe and lacked any significant snowfall. Feb 13 was quite similar as well, with had far too many snowless and mild affairs in the last 20 years most notably 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2011, and 2014.

Edited by damianslaw
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I'm certainly no weather expert but I'm a passionate weather novice. I can't tell you the set up which led to it but on February 6 1996, the Fylde Coast in lancashire had the heaviest snowfall since early 1980s. It was easily two feet deep drifting to 4ft in parts. It snowed constantly through the night leading to the snowiest conditions I have seen here. Bearing in mind being so close to the sea, we never see more than a flurry every couple of years. The days that followed in 1996 were cold, the snow was around for five days. I remember it well and I'm still waiting for a repeat 19 years later !

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I'm certainly no weather expert but I'm a passionate weather novice. I can't tell you the set up which led to it but on February 6 1996, the Fylde Coast in lancashire had the heaviest snowfall since early 1980s. It was easily two feet deep drifting to 4ft in parts. It snowed constantly through the night leading to the snowiest conditions I have seen here. Bearing in mind being so close to the sea, we never see more than a flurry every couple of years. The days that followed in 1996 were cold, the snow was around for five days. I remember it well and I'm still waiting for a repeat 19 years later !

 

 

I've started a thread about the cold snowy period of late Jan 96 and early Feb 96 which includes mention of the event you talk about. It was a classic battleground situation with the cold air winning out. It was very much a 'west' event, with Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria, coastal parts of NW Eng, N Wales hit hardest - the snow didn't make much further inroads than the west midlands and Pennines, had it hit a more populous part of the country it would not doubt get much more mention than it does. I've said it many a time, but for here it was easily one of the greatest snowfalls of the 20th century.

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We may not get much but it's fab to think we were, at least, a part of one a big snow event! And it was s big deal for us. Nothing like it ever since! I did once trawl through the archives on here to find the set up and I remember it was very 'blue' and from a NW flow! .I'll check the thread. Thanks!

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2001 was another at least for NE England and Eastern Scotland. Big falls at beginning and end of the monthafter a cool but dry January.

 

I think that this was the year that they were forecasting a Nationwide cold spell but it only really affected the NE so there were a lot of disappointed snow lovers elsewhere.

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2001 was another at least for NE England and Eastern Scotland. Big falls at beginning and end of the monthafter a cool but dry January.

 

I think that this was the year that they were forecasting a Nationwide cold spell but it only really affected the NE so there were a lot of disappointed snow lovers elsewhere.

 

 

Yes February 2001 was a snowy month over NE/E/SE Scotland and NE England with 2 significant snowfalls early and late on as you mention. I remember the BBC suggesting a bitter easterly feed may set in at the start of the month, alas it never quite happened. The snowfall at the end of the month was particularly severe over the Borders and the coast was hit very hard. After a slow start winter 2000/2001 was a preety decent one for much of Scotland and N England at least with a very cold snowy last week to December, a generally cold frosty January with some snow mid month in places, and a generally cold Feb but with snow reserved more for NE parts. March 2001 wasn't too shabby neither with cold easterly winds and further snow mid month.

 

I quite liked 2001 as a year overall, it was a varied affair, with mild and cold spells in Spring, a fairly decent summer, nothing too hot but a lot of dry sunny warm weather interspersed with some heavy downpours and thunder, a mixed Autumn with a wonderful mild October a shortlived northerly in early November and a generally cold quite snowy December. The following year was very different mind!

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Using records for the the following Februaries had lying snow at 9am

 

1998-1999 3

2000-2001 1

2003-2004 2

2005-2006 1

2006-2007 2

2008-2009 8

2009-2010 2

 

Quite often locally heavy snow can fall in showers in February especially overnight and thaw very quickly in the stronger sun. A notable example was 26 Feb 2004

 

10th Feb 2007 saw a heavy daytime snow event in an otherwise mild winter

 

While 2009 saw 8 successive days of snow cover from the 2nd to 9th Feb, the only notable period of sustained snow cover in February in this period.

Edited by J10

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Best example I can think of is February 1969. Exceptionally snowy northerly month following on from an awful December and January.

 

Only other years I can think of since then were 1978, 1991 and 2009. The latter though did have a good northerly in November then December and January were both dire.

 

As for February 1983 it was an atrocious month. Just the type of vile easterly month I detest more than anything. Very cold and dull with only 53 hours sun but produced no more than 2cm of lying snow and that was it for the winter so a really poor season. Not until 2006/07 did we have another winter that failed to exceed 2cm. 

 

February 2001 does not qualify as there had already been a decent amount of snow over Christmas and New Year.

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1994 was definitely the best example here. Not only the first proper snow that winter (bar a dusting one day in Nov) but the first for 3 years.

Feb 2012 was a complete non event, everywhere else seems to have got snow on the 4th but we somehow got hours of rain at 0C. Disgusting. We did get 1cm on the 19th but that was it.

2009 was less snowy than 1994 and had had sone decent frosts beforehand. I agree with 2007 though, it hardly had any wintry weather till those three days in Feb.

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Taking a definition of a "Cold Shot" in February to be one where there are at least seven consecutive days in the month with a mean CET of 2C or less.

Such cold shots average, since 1772, once every three years and that was the case for the 20th century, until 1991. Since then we've only had three in 14 years since....1996, 2003 and 2009

Though we might feel hard done by in recent years after Feb 1907 it was 10 years before a Cold Shot came again...and then another 10 years after 1919. wile Feb 1978 ended a run of 8 years.

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Taking a definition of a "Cold Shot" in February to be one where there are at least seven consecutive days in the month with a mean CET of 2C or less.

Such cold shots average, since 1772, once every three years and that was the case for the 20th century, until 1991. Since then we've only had three in 14 years since....1996, 2003 and 2009

Though we might feel hard done by in recent years after Feb 1907 it was 10 years before a Cold Shot came again...and then another 10 years after 1919. wile Feb 1978 ended a run of 8 years.

Further to that if you look at cet months below 2 deg we have gone 24 years without one ,there was a gap of 13 in the 30's and 15 between 1902 and 1917.There is only one longer gap between 1698 and 1740 of 42 years!!! What a result it would be to end the run with something resembling either 1917 or 1740,dream on !!

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Further to that if you look at cet months below 2 deg we have gone 24 years without one ,there was a gap of 13 in the 30's and 15 between 1902 and 1917.There is only one longer gap between 1698 and 1740 of 42 years!!! What a result it would be to end the run with something resembling either 1917 or 1740,dream on !!

That would be nice :) However both those months came as part of a cold cold winter with a cold December and a cold January as well....I'd feel a bit cheated if we only had the February to make up for the gap :) (but it'll do!!)

Edited by Timmytour
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