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Walsall Wood Snow

The forgotten Winters of the 1980s

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Hi everyone new topic here.

As we all know the 1980s contained some pretty remarkable winters, mostly famous for deep cold and snow. As well as a couple at the end which are famous for their mildness. These are the winters of 1981-82, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1988-89 and 1989-90.

What I'd like to know though is what the forgotten or at least little mentioned other winters of the 80s were like. I.e

1979-80

1980-81

1982-83

1983-84

and 1987-88

The last one on this list is the one I'd like to know something about particularly. You see I was born in the spring of 1985 and although I don't really remember the 80s through netweather I have learned what the general weather during the winter months was like during the winters of the first list but very little to nothing for the second list. You can also include the extended winter period to enlighten me I.e late Autumn and early spring. But as I say 1987-88 is the one I'm most interested in being a winter I was around for. I've heard it was generally a mild winter but get the impression it wasn't as mild as the two winters that followed it. Was there any snow during this winter? Any information for the West Midlands that winter would be most appreciated, although I think I was visiting my grandparents in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Christmas to New Year period that Christmas so any information anyone has for the weather there during then would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Hi everyone new topic here.

As we all know the 1980s contained some pretty remarkable winters, mostly famous for deep cold and snow. As well as a couple at the end which are famous for their mildness. These are the winters of 1981-82, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1988-89 and 1989-90.

What I'd like to know though is what the forgotten or at least little mentioned other winters of the 80s were like. I.e

1979-80

1980-81

1982-83

1983-84

and 1987-88

The last one on this list is the one I'd like to know something about particularly. You see I was born in the spring of 1985 and although I don't really remember the 80s through netweather I have learned what the general weather during the winter months was like during the winters of the first list but very little to nothing for the second list. You can also include the extended winter period to enlighten me I.e late Autumn and early spring. But as I say 1987-88 is the one I'm most interested in being a winter I was around for. I've heard it was generally a mild winter but get the impression it wasn't as mild as the two winters that followed it. Was there any snow during this winter? Any information for the West Midlands that winter would be most appreciated, although I think I was visiting my grandparents in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Christmas to New Year period that Christmas so any information anyone has for the weather there during then would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

 

Hi I don't have the stats to back it up, but winter 87/88 overall was a mild one, though it started on a rather cold note, under anticylonic conditions. It was colder than 88/89 and 89/90 though and there was some snow in late January and I think in early March, but nothing particularly noteworthy. The Christmas period from memory was rather average with no snow.

 

The other winters you mentioned were more interesting with some cold snowy periods. Jan 80 was preety cold overall, likewise Feb 80 with a bit of snow. Dec 80 I think was average, overall winter 80/81 was fairly average.

 

Winter 82/83 was an unusual one, a rather average Dec with some snow mid month, a very mild Jan one of the mildest on record, followed by a notably snowy and cold February under persistant northerlies.

 

Winter 83/84 was equally topsy turvy, a very mild Dec, followed by a cold and in the north exceptionally snowy Jan under a polar maritime airmass, followed by an average Feb with some snow.

 

Of the spring periods, Spring 80 and 81 saw some cold conditions especially March 80 which was snowy as well, and the infamous late snowfalls in late April 81 - exceptional amounts for the time of year. Equally April 83 produced a snowy easter. April 88 saw rather cold conditions as well.

Autumn 80 produced early snowfall on Bonfire Night, Autumn 88 produced a cold November.

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Manchester Winter Indices for those winters

1979-80: 66

1980-81: 90

1982-83: 85

1983-84: 82

1987-88: 37

I remember Christmas 1987, it was very mild

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I don't remember anything of January 1984 when I was living in south Wales, and I'm glad of that because looking at the stats it would have been a maddening month. It was very snowy indeed in Scotland and the higher parts of N England, but only briefly did the snow reach the Midlands around the 23rd and it didn't reach the south at all. I thought 2014/15 was ridiculous for favouring the same places over and over again, January 1984 took it to another level. It must have had a load of 3C and rain in many places while others got piles of snow.

I do remember a decent snowfall in January 1988 (up here by then), but nothing in the Dec or Feb. Too young to remember 80-81.

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From memory 87-88 was the turning point from winters of 60-80s to the so called even larger teapot phase so much touted on here in the 2000s..there was a predicted very cold easterly outbreak forecast in the early part of Dec 87..which never quite materialised and from there on in the winter developed into a mild relatively snowless one and set the scene for the next 3/4 years weather..mild/very mild winters followed by relatively hot summers.(summer 88 excluded).

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Thanks guys and thanks Weather History for the YouTube clip. Looks so dated now it makes me feel old, but I am 30 now which isn't that young. We did have better weather presenters back then though, wish Ian McCaskill was still presenting the weather and Michael Fish.

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Not able to access my notes at moment so will have to rely on memory.What I do remember is none of these winters failed to show up as with many modern ones even though some were tame affairs concidering what was around them.80/81 is one I remember well as it was a winter of little snow but just how it made up for that in the last week of april is something I can only dream will happen in my lifetime again.82/83 had a couple of decent dumpings but 83/84 had a heavy fall in these parts leaving lanes wall to wall level and a very memorable storm early on Friday 13th jan causing lots of damage.87/88 also had snow as I remember getting stuck in a drift with my second ever car and I ended up  buying some chains for it !!

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the 80;s ,I seem to remember,  is when we had text book seasons,  generally cold in the winter with guaranteed  snow at some point, cool/mild showery springs, warm  summers with good thundery chances, wet and windy autumns ,  and the music was better too

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the 80;s ,I seem to remember,  is when we had text book seasons,  generally cold in the winter with guaranteed  snow at some point, cool/mild showery springs, warm  summers with good thundery chances, wet and windy autumns ,  and the music was better too

The summers of the mid 1980s were awful..the last 3 winters of the decade were very mild indeed...closest to text book seasons would be 1983.

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The summers of the mid 1980s were awful..the last 3 winters of the decade were very mild indeed...closest to text book seasons would be 1983.

Yes the summers of 85,86 87 and 88 were all poor here but we were blessed with having 3 amazing ones in 1983,1984 and 1989,i think the other 80,81 and 82 were mediocre,with 80 being the less good and 82 being better than average.The winters all tended to have good amounts of snow with 86 being the coldest  and 82,84,85 and 87 similar.1988 and 1989 were mild with little snow with 80,81 less snow than average.Most of the 80s had cool or cold springs with 1986 the standout with the coldest February,april,august and September unbeaten since.

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At the age of ten this was the year that my interest in weather started :)

It was the 12th/13th December 1981 and 2 feet of snow cover meant the temperature in parts of the Midlands fell to minus 25°C.

But snow was widespread in the south of England and even the Queen became stranded for several hours in a Cotswold pub.

Edited by Dancerwithwings
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The summers of the mid 1980s were awful..the last 3 winters of the decade were very mild indeed...closest to text book seasons would be 1983.

From what I can gather the closest to a text book seasonal year that decade would be Spring 1984-Winter 1984-85. Though I've heard spring 1984 started pretty cold with a below average March at least so maybe not completely. Not sure about the rest of spring though. But it seems Summer 1984 was a good one and I get the impression Autumn 1984 was fairly seasonal and Winter 1984-85 from what I've heard started off fairly average to maybe slightly below in December then after the turn of the year in 1985 became very cold and very snowy in January and February and was still cold in March with apparently snow in Scotland on the 29th, the day before I was born.

Although not in the 80s I feel Spring 1990-Winter 1990-91 was a pretty text book seasonal year aswell. I only remember back then vaguely though being 5 at the time, but I know Summer 1990 was a warm and sunny one and Winter 1990-91 was a classic having the great Midlands blizzard of December 1990 and the famously cold and very snowy February of 1991.

Edited by WALSALL SNOW

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From memory 87-88 was the turning point from winters of 60-80s to the so called large teapot phase so much touted on here in the 2000s..

 

That's exactly how I remember that Winter.  After the long succession of generally cold/snowy Winters, some neighbours decided to splash out on some decent sledges, only for them not to be able to use them for some time!

Edited by Don

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From what I can gather the closest to a text book seasonal year that decade would be Spring 1984-Winter 1984-85. Though I've heard spring 1984 started pretty cold with a below average March at least so maybe not completely. Not sure about the rest of spring though. But it seems Summer 1984 was a good one and I get the impression Autumn 1984 was fairly seasonal and Winter 1984-85 from what I've heard started off fairly average to maybe slightly below in December then after the turn of the year in 1985 became very cold and very snowy in January and February and was still cold in March with apparently snow in Scotland on the 29th, the day before I was born.

Although not in the 80s I feel Spring 1990-Winter 1990-91 was a pretty text book seasonal year aswell. I only remember back then vaguely though being 5 at the time, but I know Summer 1990 was a warm and sunny one and Winter 1990-91 was a classic having the great Midlands blizzard of December 1990 and the famously cold and very snowy February of 1991.

 

Spring 1984

 

March. Cold and cloudy. Wet in the east, dry in the west. Dull, with wintry spells, and very dull in the east.

 

April. April is often the driest month of the year, and 1984 was particularly dry. There was no measurable rainfall across large areas of southern England. In many places (e.g. Glasgow and Cardiff) it was the driest of the century. Onich (Highland) reached 26.5C on the 25th and Londonderry 24.5 on the 26th (the April records for Scotland and Northern Ireland), although Fort William may have made 28.3C on the 24th. This was the last hot and sunny Easter (Easter Day falling quite late, on April 22), until 2011. Warm southerlies arrived on Maundy Thursday, and the next three days saw temperatures passing 21C, reaching 26.1 on Jersey on Easter Sunday. Easter Monday was very sunny across the whole country. A very sunny month in the south. There was however a wet spell midmonth, with westerly winds.

 

May. Cool overall. There was a marked contrast between a fine, sunny, dry May in western Scotland, and a wet, cloudy one in south-eastern England. 131 mm of rain at Romsey (Hants.). It rained all over the Bank Holiday weekend (25-28th) in the southeast, with no sunshine over all three days, and temperatures beneath 10C, and rainfall on 66 out of 72 possible hours in the north London area.

 

Winter

 

November. Mild and wet. It was very wet in Aberdeen. There were frequent southerly winds during the month. It reached 19C in London on the 1st and 2nd. There was notable dusty rain on the 9-10th even reached Scotland. Notable damaging storm in Westport region of Ireland on the night of the 21st led to structural damage and power cuts.

 

December. Average temperatures overall. After a mild, wet start, it became colder and drier in the south in the second week. There was some persistent fog around on the 11th. The temperature reached 17.4C at Cape Wrath on the 13th. There was a maximum of only -4C at Abbotsinch on the 27th.

 

http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/1984_weather.htm

Edited by knocker
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Found out that the URL of the page has changed as Dundee Uni have decommissioned personal web pages.

 

Trevor's weather pages can now be found at

 

http://www.trevorharley.com/trevorharley/weather_web_pages/britweather.htm 

 

sorry the link does not work for me=error404 not found?

Edited by johnholmes

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An interesting video from Winter 1982, Looks like a typical winter round my location.. 

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What a great video!

 

Winter of '81/ '82 is still the bench mark of a brilliant winter for me, certainly never been topped. I was still at home in the cotswolds then, we had snow for weeks on end, it drifted way up over the stone walls, blocked the roads then froze solid.

 

The only traffic around were tractors and they had to have a primus stove put beneath them before they would start - it was so cold the diesel went sticky and thick. Although technically it wasn't a white christmas as no snow fell on the day, it was the whitest christmas I've ever seen, deep, deep snow everywhere. Getting to the pub 3 miles away was a cross country ski-ing expedition; coming out of church on christmas eve was like walking into an alpine scene, rows of ski's propped up against the wall.

 

It was a magical, heavenly winter.

 

If memory serves me correctly, both '83/'84 and '84/'85 were snowy too, living in Northamptonshire then we had lots of snow and it was cold but no where near as impressive as '81/'82.

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Hi,

 

I remember Jan 1982 well, The most snowfall in my location in my lifetime (2010 came close but no drifting) 

 

A few pics from that event

 

post-2611-0-97873300-1442308721_thumb.jppost-2611-0-48019700-1442308728_thumb.jppost-2611-0-09582700-1442308742_thumb.jp

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Couple of news reports from this winter have been uploaded on YouTube recently.

This from 12th December 1981 begins 4.32

13th December 1981: begins at 18.41

This from 10th January 1982 begins 58s

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