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Sunny76

Winter 1979/80

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Following the severe winter of 78/79, can anyone remember if the following winter had any cold spells?

Looking at weather archives, it looks like an average to mild winter, with a mild February. 

Edited by Sunny76

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I think January was preety cold with quite a bit of frost and some snow at times, this lingered into February, otherwise a rather non-descript sort of winter. I think December was quite wet and stormy. March and April 1980 were cold months though, especially March with quite a bit of snow and frost.

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4 minutes ago, Snowyowl9 said:

A very cold easterly in December.

Rrea00119791222.gifRrea00219791222.gif

 

December 1979 started off incredibly mild, infact I think the first half could be one of the mildest on record for December. First half of December had a CET of 8.7C

Manchester Airport maxima

December
1st: 13C
2nd: 14C
3rd: 11C
4th: 13C
5th: 12C
6th: 12C
7th: 13C
8th: 11C
9th: 12C

January 1980 was on the cold side but February overall was pretty mild.

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I don’t remember any heavy snow here between the end of winter 1979 and the freak blizzard of late April 1981.

we must have had something as every winter in them days delivered to a certain extent but nothing sticks in my mind.

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I posted this on the memorable weather thread , below. But it is relevant.

79/80 was bad though. I remember the Friday before Christmas 1979 (fell on Dec 21st). I am a West Brom supporter, and was 7, almost 8, at the time. I was even let out of school 2 hours or so early, so me and my father could go to see Albion play at Crystal Palace. We left the West Midlands (Tipton) around 1 in the afternoon. In the Midlands it had been cold and frosty for a few days, I recall, but little else. However we had some sleet that morning and it was light snow as we left.We drove via M6 & M1 in those days. By the time we got to the Northampton area or thereabouts, we hit heavier snow and a few miles further on a blizzard ensued all the way into London. No M25 then either, so we drove from M1 at Staples Corner via Kilburn, Cricklewood across Westminster Bridge (I remember seeing Big Ben) and onto Selhurst Park. We got there just after 6.30 (7.30 KO then) and the game had been called off! There was a lot of snow everywhere on the journey home.

That Christmas was a white one. I recall snow on the ground over Christmas. I had a Kodak Instamatic camera for Christmas and have photos on the Thursday after Christmas in Coventry and West Brom with snow and slush on them.

Met Office report Dec 1979 : https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/mohippo/pdf/n/3/dec1979.pdf

Edited by MarkW
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Dartboard low and a Greenland high northern blocking the lot, what happened next....

Rrea00119800122.gifRrea00119800124.gif

A failed easterly never mind,it happened them days aswell.

Rrea00119800126.gif

Edited by Snowyowl9

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It was one of the milder winters of the generally snowy period 1978-87, but nonetheless much snowier than any winter from 1972 to 1976 inclusive.  I recall the first half of December 2000 being, according to Philip Eden, the warmest first half of December since 1979, so that period must have been one of the mildest on record (albeit easily surpassed in December 2015).  From mid-December to the first week of February it was generally quite cold, with some snow at times for some, but not generally in large amounts.  The rest of February was mild and dull, then we had some more cold and snow around mid-March from an easterly and then a northerly, and for some this was the snowiest spell of the season.

Christmas 1979 wasn't a widespread white Christmas so those who had one must have got pretty lucky, but looking over the archive charts it's not difficult to see that parts of the Midlands may still have had some slushy snow cover left over from the easterly a few days earlier and possibly some frontal snow after the easterly.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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It is interesting how the charts, reports and my recollection match up for 21st December. I probably have morphed one or two winters overall, together, thinking that winter was very bad. I realise it wasn't quite 78/79 or 81/82. 

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10 minutes ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

It was one of the milder winters of the generally snowy period 1978-87, but nonetheless much snowier than any winter from 1972 to 1976 inclusive.  I recall the first half of December 2000 being, according to Philip Eden, the warmest first half of December since 1979, so that period must have been one of the mildest on record (albeit easily surpassed in December 2015).  From mid-December to the first week of February it was generally quite cold, with some snow at times for some, but not generally in large amounts.  The rest of February was mild and dull, then we had some more cold and snow around mid-March from an easterly and then a northerly, and for some this was the snowiest spell of the season.

Christmas 1979 wasn't a widespread white Christmas so those who had one must have got pretty lucky, but looking over the archive charts it's not difficult to see that parts of the Midlands may still have had some slushy snow cover left over from the easterly a few days earlier and possibly some frontal snow after the easterly.

I can just about remember it snowing on my last day at work, Ian; almost horizontal stuff as I motorcycled my way down the A5...The snow that was forecast for Christmas Eve duly failed to materialise or failed to settle?

New Year's Day dawned with a brilliantly white hoarfrost, even though thing were not all that cold...

Another thing I remember most fondly, is this:

 

 

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The first 7" single I ever bought. Around that time as well. Basically because I loved the video (I used to see it on Top of the Pops.

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21 hours ago, Ed Stone said:

I can just about remember it snowing on my last day at work, Ian; almost horizontal stuff as I motorcycled my way down the A5...The snow that was forecast for Christmas Eve duly failed to materialise or failed to settle?

New Year's Day dawned with a brilliantly white hoarfrost, even though thing were not all that cold...

Another thing I remember most fondly, is this:

 

 

It was indeed. The last number 1 of 1979, and the first of January 1980. The weather looks dull and grey, but mild, in the music video. 

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20 hours ago, MarkW said:

The first 7" single I ever bought. Around that time as well. Basically because I loved the video (I used to see it on Top of the Pops.

I think that was one of the better years of the early to mid 1980s period, in terms of music. Still has a 1970s feel to it, while the gradual transition was happening with the New Wave bands coming through.

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It's funny how a lot of the most severe Winters are often followed by ones which are a lot less inspiring. A bit like how Winters 1947/48 and 1963/64 don't seem to be very memorable either. A more recent example I suppose would be Winter 2011/12 (although this followed a rare example of 2 quite severe Winters in succession) which although had a good attempt at a cold spell in early Feb was quite a big let down after the previous Winters epic December. It's as if they come and provide balance after the previous years extreme weather.

 

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82/83 was much milder than 81/82. And wasn’t 83/84 even milder, with a very mild December?

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Dec 83 had a CET of 5.6, with the coldest month of that Winter been Feb 84 at 3.3. Jan 84 had a CET of 3.8 but was a very snowy month in Scotland and northern England (I've also been told there was some here in the Midlands) due to very cold zonality from a NW direction, so I believe it was quite a good Winter for many.

The best Winter though in the south after 1981/82 would have been 1984/85 with lots of snow in January and February CETs 0.8 and 2.1 respectively so very cold. For some reason though this one doesn't seem to be mentioned as much as some others but it seems to me that it would have been quite an epic Winter and should probably be classed as at least the second best Winter during that decade after 1981/82 if not its equal.

Edited by Walsall Wood Snow

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1 hour ago, Walsall Wood Snow said:

It's funny how a lot of the most severe Winters are often followed by ones which are a lot less inspiring. A bit like how Winters 1947/48 and 1963/64 don't seem to be very memorable either. A more recent example I suppose would be Winter 2011/12 (although this followed a rare example of 2 quite severe Winters in succession) which although had a good attempt at a cold spell in early Feb was quite a big let down after the previous Winters epic December. It's as if they come and provide balance after the previous years extreme weather.

 

Isn't that because severe winters are no the norm? 

Winter 1979-80 was better than a number of the winters of the 1990s ( goes against I remember Atlantic's dewy eyed look at them) at least for the Manchester Index. Better than 1989-90, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98, 1998-99

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7 hours ago, Walsall Wood Snow said:

It's funny how a lot of the most severe Winters are often followed by ones which are a lot less inspiring. A bit like how Winters 1947/48 and 1963/64 don't seem to be very memorable either. A more recent example I suppose would be Winter 2011/12 (although this followed a rare example of 2 quite severe Winters in succession) which although had a good attempt at a cold spell in early Feb was quite a big let down after the previous Winters epic December. It's as if they come and provide balance after the previous years extreme weather.

 

Yes there is a pattern it seems. Winter 87/88 another one, although overall winter 86/87 was preety average it did bring some of the coldest weather of the 20th century.

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7 hours ago, Walsall Wood Snow said:

It's funny how a lot of the most severe Winters are often followed by ones which are a lot less inspiring. A bit like how Winters 1947/48 and 1963/64 don't seem to be very memorable either. A more recent example I suppose would be Winter 2011/12 (although this followed a rare example of 2 quite severe Winters in succession) which although had a good attempt at a cold spell in early Feb was quite a big let down after the previous Winters epic December. It's as if they come and provide balance after the previous years extreme weather.

 

The February 2012 cold spell was one of my favourites. I actually enjoyed Winter 2011/12 quite a lot; there was a really nice anticyclonic spell in the middle of an otherwise mild January and then (at least, in my location at the time) early February was superb. December was stormy and mild but very little damage done in my then location, so also an enjoyable month for me.

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 16:08, Ed Stone said:

I can just about remember it snowing on my last day at work, Ian; almost horizontal stuff as I motorcycled my way down the A5...The snow that was forecast for Christmas Eve duly failed to materialise or failed to settle?

New Year's Day dawned with a brilliantly white hoarfrost, even though thing were not all that cold...

Another thing I remember most fondly, is this:

 

 

I remember that song then much more that the whole winter combined which was about zilch.

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On 1/15/2018 at 07:53, Walsall Wood Snow said:

 

The best Winter though in the south after 1981/82 would have been 1984/85 with lots of snow in January and February CETs 0.8 and 2.1 respectively so very cold. For some reason though this one doesn't seem to be mentioned as much as some others but it seems to me that it would have been quite an epic Winter and should probably be classed as at least the second best Winter during that decade after 1981/82 if not its equal.

that's probably because Feb 1986 was exceptionally cold if not overly snowy away from the east coast and of course the short lived bitter spell of Jan 1987..both followed on pretty quickly in terms of years...so 1985 tends to get lost in with the memories of 1986 and 1987..much like Jan Feb 1978 are often muddled in with 1979.

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