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20 years since this Arctic plunge: April 1995

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Good Friday 1995 was absolutely lovely and warm but the forecasters were warning of winter returning next week and it did. I remember snow showers falling Tuesday morning and a snow shower in the evening. Wednesday was largely dry. I notice snow had fallen overnight with some snow on cars Thursday morning.

18th April

19th April

20th April

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It's hard to believe when April can be relatively warm like this year, but wintry spells are common at any stage in the month.
There was one year early 80s (probably 84) which had about a foot of snow quite widely - including on The Wolds - on or around the 25th and there had been a good warm spell shortly before.
Oilseed rape was in full bloom but squashed flat by the weight of it.
Roads over the moors were closed by drifts and need full scale winter clearance tackle like JCB diggers.

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It's hard to believe when April can be relatively warm like this year, but wintry spells are common at any stage in the month.

There was one year early 80s (probably 84) which had about a foot of snow quite widely - including on The Wolds - on or around the 25th and there had been a good warm spell shortly before.

Oilseed rape was in full bloom but squashed flat by the weight of it.

Roads over the moors were closed by drifts and need full scale winter clearance tackle like JCB diggers.

1981 I think that was.

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What a great presentor Rob was, He had such carisma ☺

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Have vague recollections of April 1995 northerly. I also think we saw a similar northerly sometime in April 1996 as well, that one brought snow cover overnight.

 

April is our most fickle month, some years it can be early summer like think 1987, 2007 and 2011, others a definite wintry feel. It is prone to major switcharounds. Some years like this year it cane be very dry (we await to see how the end of the month pans out though...)

 

April 1981 was preety exceptional, late April snowstorms for many.. highly unusual.

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The April 1995 northerly ranks highly among my most fondly-remembered spring northerlies.  I remember going on a trip to Hexham during the warm and sunny Good Friday, but then Saturday and Sunday in Tyneside were cool, cloudy and mostly dry and Monday was dull and wet.  

 

On the Tuesday morning (18th) the northerly started up, and I saw some quite heavy snow showers, although no significant accumulations on the ground.  It was a memorable event mainly because it was my first sighting of April snow since I started taking weather records in 1993 (the Tyneside coast dodged the snow showers in early April 1994).  Showers from midday onwards fell mostly as sleet and hail rather than snow, and there were some impressive cumulonimbus cells about.  The 19th started off dry and sunny but sleet and hail showers arrived after midday, fewer than on the 18th though.  Unlike the 18th, 20th and 21st, I have no specific recollections of what happened on the 19th, other than notes from my old weather diaries.

 

The 20th was the most memorable day of the spell.  I didn't report any sleet or snow that day but after a dry bright morning there were frequent hail showers and one hail shower, around mid-afternoon, deposited a couple of centimetres of hail and I remember that the weather turned somewhat misty for about 15 minutes afterwards.  Surprisingly no thunder though.  I even vaguely recall watching that weather forecast and hearing the "many places escaped with a virtually dry day" comment.  The 21st saw the same pattern as the previous two days, dry and sunny until around 1pm and then frequent showers, but they fell as rain that day.  In the evening the winds switched direction, with the generally north-westerly flow replaced with a south-westerly, giving the first hints of a marked change in the weather.

 

A few other April northerlies were more memorable for their snow (1998, 1999, 2006, 2008) but for good convective skyscapes this one was pretty hard to beat and as you can see above, I still have a lot of vivid memories from that spell.  As far as April convective polar/arctic maritime spells go, I think only the 6-15 April 2008 spell that I experienced in Norwich topped it.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers

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Yes we had snow here in 1995 and 1996 as well as 1999 but a longer wintery spell came in 1986 giving many days but no major disruption unlike the 3rd week of april 1981 which gave enormous amounts that had no right to exist in April.Wall to wall snow with major disruption for 2 days then rain to melt it all within the week giving some of the worst floods in a generation.

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