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damianslaw

20 years ago - late Dec 1995 freeze

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After weeks of exceptionally mild weather with very limited frost, I am reminiscing about the events of late December 1995. Not sure of the exact date might have been the early hours of 29 Dec 95 or 30 Dec 95, the UK recorded its equal lowest min on record, temp of -27.2 degrees in Altnaharra, equalled only in Jan 1982 in Braemar, and possibly Feb 1929. Please correct me if I have the wrong figures and dates and places..

The end of December 1995 delivered severe cold over Scotland and much of N Ireland and N England with sub zero maxes and mins of -20 degrees even in Glasgow. The south of England furthest away from the arctic continental plunge saw only modest lows in the region of -5 to -10 degrees, still very cold but nothing noteworthy.

Quite an unusual set up occurred, a nose of high pressure ridged down from the pole over Iceland and far SW into the NE atlantic, thus apart from the Blizzards on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day over NE quadrant of the UK, and some western coastal areas notably N Wales, it was a largely dry spell. It ended with a freezing rain event as a slow moving warm front moved across the whole of the UK just in time for New Years Day.

It was an enjoyable spell for me, could have been made much better had we seen a decent snow cover, but the temps were want made it, we hit -18 degrees overnight 28 Dec into 29 December.

The cold wasn't sustained enough to produce the frozen scenes we saw in Dec 2010 mind, though a cold month Dec 1995 ended up around 2 degrees, with only the period between 25-31 Dec producing ice days.

Would be good to hear other people's views on this spell - experiences etc.

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Certainly the coldest spell of weather I can recall - was 15 years old at the time and too young to properly remember the colder winters in the first half of the 80s.  It took until 2009/10 before there was any remotely comparable level of cold in Lanarkshire. 

There was a modest snow covering here, but there were freezing fogs which coated everything in rime.  Despite the relatively short duration of the spell, there were some deep frozen scenes around here with the river and the local waterfalls frozen solid just after Christmas and people skating on the river.  It's a pity there were no camera phones (indeed very few mobile phones at all!) around then and people didn't take as many photos, and the internet was still in a pretty basic form then, or there might be a better record of it online.

The coldest days were in the period just after Christmas, with a local amateur weather site recording a low of -23.1C in the early hours of the 29th.  I seem to remember the thaw coming suddenly at the turn of the year with pouring rain, and being surprised at how quickly a world which had seemed frozen solid like iron yielded so easily to the thaw conditions. There were the usual problems with burst pipes, and I think I got an extra day or two off school after the Christmas break as they sorted out the plumbing.

 

 

 

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The end of Dec 1995 was certainly cold here, I recorded a max of -7C on the 27th and a min of -15C on the 28th...just a shame it was only a short but sharp freeze. Non the less I had to wait until January 2010 to see temps as cold. The cold in Dec 1995 was very much a Scotland/Northern England event.

Edited by Medlock Vale
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