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Leo97t

Best and worst winters

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Not sure about other regions but here the extended winter 2012/13 gave the most air frosts since 1979,you have to give that winter some credit !

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My ratings of winters in my lifetime

1985 to 1987 - No direct memories of these winters due to my age but records suggest they may have been quite good for snow.

1988 to 1990 - Not very good winters based on the records.

1990/1991 - Only just remember February 1991 which made this half decent anyway.

1991/1992 and 1992/1993 - Not very memorable and probably not very good either.

1993/1994 - The first winter I can remember clearly. Was mixed with several cold and sometimes snowy spells with milder weather in between. The cold Christmas and Mid February 1994 stand out for me.

1994/1995 - Generally mild, wet and windy boring weather only saved by the snow event in late January 1995.

1995/1996 - My first overall decent winter but not my favourite one. Would have ranked even higher if it were not for those 3 weeks in January that were mild and dull. The easterlies in December and January gave some decent snow, especially the January one. February 19th was the best snow day for me in winter 1995/1996 with heavy snow showers giving whiteout conditions at times during the day.

1996/1997 - Mixed opinions on this winter. The first half was the best part with some snow events starting in November 1996 and getting progressively more extreme with each one with the best one around new year 1997. After this the winter just goes downhill.

1997/1998 - Started out fairly promising with that mid December beast from the east. Delivered very little snow shower activity but produced the best frontal snow of that winter when the mild air pushed northwards. After this apart from one very brief cold northerly in mid January the rest of the winter itself was mild and horrible. The other good snow event happened in the spring in fact in April 1998.

1998/1999 - I rate this one relatively highly for a 1990's winter. Not because of how mild it was overall but because when we did get cold snaps they almost all delivered some snow. The early December one gave a small dusting. The one just before Christmas managed the same but melted more quickly. Mid January frontal snow was the best event of that month. Early February 1999 produced the longest cold snap with some snow showers.

1999/2000 - Overall mild and zonal which made this one of my less favourite winters. Still managed to get some marginal snow showers in mid December and the one and only frontal snow event on the 21st December. After that the rest of the winter produced very little if any snow for me at all.

2000/2001 - One of my favourite winters of the 2000's. Started on Christmas Day with some snow showers and this was the start of a cold week with further snow. After that the cold was really on and off for the rest of the winter with further snow events, particularly late February and into March and again on March 18th and 21st.

2001/2002 - A winter which would have rated more highly with me if the weather of December 2001 had continued on for the rest of the winter. Looked promising to start but went to pieces in the new year. The start of March 2002 was the only other bit of snow I saw after December 2001 that winter.

2002/2003 - Had a few easterlies which delivered less snow than I expected so this winter doesn't rate very highly for me. Only one exceptional snow event for me on 30th January.

2003/2004 - Overall a mixed winter which I rate a little better than the one before it. On and off cold with several northerlies which delivered frontal snow or snow showers at times. Even got a cold easterly in the March but the snow event that month was a bit of a let down.

2004/2005 - Overall quite snow less for me. Missed out on the Christmas snow and when we finally did see our first proper snow in late February 2005 it was all wet and sleety and generally did little to improve my ratings of this winter.

2005/2006 - After hearing reports of the tripole in the North Atlantic and how that meant this winter was going to be a cold one I was somewhat disappointed with how it turned out. Got off to a very good start with that cold easterly just after Christmas but that was about as good as it got until the end of February and into March when the other main periods of cold came. By that time the increasing strength of the sun put paid to any settled snow sticking around.

2006/2007 - One of my worst rated winters. All mild and dominated by long fetch SW winds for most of it. Got a couple of brief cold snaps in January and February but that was as good as it got for snow chances. Missed out on the frontal snow in the February too and in fact the best snow I got in my area came in late March.

2007/2008 - I had hopes for this winter as no way could we have repeated the mild boring winter of the year before surely. Got about as little snow this winter as the one before but at least it was overall less mild and drier than 2006/2007 was. The Easter snow event was the best I'd ever seen but a shame the snow all melted on the day.

2008/2009 - At last a colder winter that actually delivered some snow events. Missed out on the October snow but made up for it in Late November and early December. After that it was often cold and dry but the main snow for me came in the first half of February as we were often placed on the northern side of the fronts in those two weeks so got the snow that camw with them as a result.

2009/2010 - What a shock to the system. After a cold winter in 2008/2009 I never expected an even better one to follow on from it. Took until 17th December to get our first snow but when we did it was cold and the snow was on and off for the next month. 5th January produced some decent frontal snow for me and the cold weather for the next few days after that produced some heavy snow showers too. Once the deep cold of early January went it was just a bit on and off after that. This is a very highly rated winter for me.

2010/2011 - After what happened in 2009/2010 the December to remember was my most favourite weather month in my entire life. Started in late November when I got over a foot of snow in just one night and then this stuck around for really the whole of December. Got two Christmas' in a row where snow was on the ground. Such a shame the December weather couldn't last through the winter and despite the good start the bad end meant this winter gets rated lower for me than the one before it.

2011/2012 - This winter was really a watered down reversed version of 2010/2011 with all the mild weather early on and the cold near the end. Hated the December as I had memories of what it was like the December before 2011. January was a little less bad but not all that good either. February was my favourite month of this winter with the snow events early in the month. If the high pressure later in the month had lined up better it could have stayed cold but it wasn't to be.

2012/2013 - This winter like the previous one was a back loaded winter too but a better version of it so is rated more highly for me. Took until mid January to get going but once it did it was often cold but not especially snowy. Never got more than a couple of cm from any of the snow events but the March was my favourite month with that extreme cold for the time of the year. This winter was like a watered down version of 1947.

2013/2014 - Probably my worst rated winter of all with 2015/2016 more or less tying with this one for bottom spot. Nothing I hate more in winter than mild and zonal with storm force winds on a frequent basis and loads of rain to boot too. Not a lot more can be said about this one.

2014/2015 - After the mild horror show of 2013/2014 at least this one was cooler overall but for snow it was also a disappointing one. Boxing Day snow event left no trace it had ever happened and the only other snow event was the late January one for me. Not an especially highly rated winter for me.

2015/2016 - Another horror show winter but especially focused on the December. Nothing worse than a December which was warmer than many Autumn and Spring months on average and at times with summer like warm nights too. That Super Nino ruined this winter completely. The only thing that dragged this winter back up to tie with 2013/2014 for me was that we managed to get some colder weather in January and February even if it was very brief.

2016/2017 - Overall a boring winter for me. Don't remember getting any snow at all during this winter. All I remember is that it was dry for weeks on end and boring.

2017/2018 - Overall a fairly highly rated winter for me. Gets off to an early start with the snow in November and early December but the let down was that it turned milder for the Christmas period. January and February saw further snow events from showers and frontal snow but the best part was left till the end of the winter with that Beast from the East and the mini Beast from the East too in the March.

2018/2019 - Rated probably equal with 2016/2017 in my eyes. Another of those dull, dry winters where not a lot happened. The marginal snow events in January pulled this one above 2016/2017 but the big model flop for February when promised cold failed to show and instead we get exceptional warmth pulled this winter back down to 2016/2017 levels for me.

December 2019 - So far this winter is rated poorly for me as it has just been a continuation of the autumn washout. Hope January to March can produce the goods or this one will be another winter down in the dumps.

Overall rating with best at the top and worst at the bottom. 1985/1986 to 1992/1993 are not included on my list as I have little or no memories of my own about them.
1 - 2009/2010
2 - 2010/2011
3 - 1995/1996
4 - 1996/1997 tied with 2017/2018
5 - 1993/1994 tied with 2008/2009 and 2012/2013
6 - 2000/2001 tied with 2005/2006 and 1998/1999
7 - 2003/2004 tied with 2011/2012
8 - 2001/2002 tied with 2002/2003 and 2014/2015
9 - 1994/1995 tied with 2007/2008
10 - 1997/1998 tied with 1999/2000
11 - 2004/2005
12 - 2016/2017 tied with 2018/2019
13 - 2006/2007
14 - 2013/2014 tied with 2015/2016

2019/2020 so far for me is on a par with 2004/2005 but there is still time for this winter 2019/2020 to move up the list.

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South London (1949 to 1989) - 1962/3, not a shadow of doubt on this one. The green grass in our garden was not seen from 27th December 1962 to the beginning of March 1963. 1978 /9 was a cold snowy winter noted for its longevity, and we had wet slushy snow on 8th May. December 1981 was a bitterly cold and snowy month, whilst parts of January 1987 was similarly bitterly cold and snowy.

North West and Cheshire (1989 to date) - 2009/2010. I was glad that I had just given up the daily commute. Mention too of the snow storm of 5th/6th February 1996 which caused havoc in a narrow band along the Fylde coast and which followed a very cold but dry January.

 

Edited by A Face like Thunder

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I'll be even more unpopular with this post but:

Best: 2015-2016, 2006-2007

Worst: 2009-2010 and 2010-2011

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This winter so far is an absolute stinker, but we’re only half way through so can’t judge it properly yet. Barely even seen a frost. 
 

2013/14 was also awful, no snow at all down south and it was exceptionally wet and windy. 
 

Best winters would be 09/10, 10/11, 11/12 (specifically for the Feb 2012 snowfall in London/SE), 12/13 (end Jan and Feb had some good snowfalls). 08/09 was also pretty good. A cold and frosty December followed by a huge snowfall down here in early Feb. Other good ones in my lifetime (post 1986) would be 85/86 (freezing cold Feb, although being a few weeks old I obviously have no memory), same for 86/87 (Jan 87 was exceptional but have no memory of it), 90/91 (Feb 1991 snowfall was exceptional and being 5, I do remember it pretty well), 95/96 and 96/97 also had some pretty good cold and snowy weather. 
 

Some more stinkers - 98/99, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Edited by danm

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1962/63 the best winter if i have got the year right(only about 8 at the time) .Living at the edge of the beach near Buckie that winter with 6 foot drifts on the main road outside the door and  a foot  of snow on the beach. My sister and I pictured in local paper on top of that 6 foot drift drift.Experienced my first thundersnow  at night as snow showers rattled in from the north.  Father working late in Keith on New Years Eve got bus home from Keith Every time it stopped in the blizzard  to let someone off  a number of passengers got off to push the bus to get going again and then jumped back on . Every so often there would be a bumping noise from the wheels ,it was the noise of driving aiong the tops of the fence posts in the blinding snowstorm.as with almost no no visibility the driver often left the road. My father said it was the worst journey he had ever had in snow.

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2009/2010 best. Followed by 95/96.

Worst - 2013/2014

 

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If we are talking cold and snow in the UK..Top 3 as follows:

1. 1978-79 lots of cold spells and snow throughout the winter and onto into spring

2. 1977-78 purely for the mammoth SW blizzard of 1978

3. 1985-86 sheer length of the cold in Feb 1986

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I'd go for 78/79 as well (for reasons mentioned above post) but 1981/82 was pretty good as well here (drifting snow in December for a couple of weeks) and then another week of really cold conditions and more snowfall in January. Worse winter certainly of recent times was 2013/14 - utterly dreadful, flooding, windy and very little in the way of sun for 3 months!

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Yes, 78/79, 81/82, 95/96 and 09/10 would all be front runners for me. As for the worst - most are in recent years; 13/14, 15/16 were particularly awful....windy, rain, grey and not really cold. Halfway through this winter, and it could yet make it up there; I think we've had one solitary frost.......

As a cyclist I want cold, dry and still weather......it very rarely happens, yet every Sept/Oct I hope that this autumn/ winter will at last deliver a decent season of riding weather. 

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On 06/10/2018 at 11:00, I remember Atlantic 252 said:

worst day, Dec 8th 2017, smattering here, over foot Telford/Shrews

Christ, I would have been tearing my hair out! Stafford is less than 20  miles from Telford.

If it makes you feel better about that awful day I didn't get a flake, non from the snowfall 2 days later either.

Andy

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Best :

1978/79 Epic blizzard on New Years Eve 1978 and a very snowy January 1979

1981/82 Extremely cold weather in December 1981 and January 1982. Again very snowy.

1984/85 Genuine cold zonality delivering a lot of snow.

2009/10 Bitterly cold, technical white Christmas, clear sunny skies but with deep snow cover.

 

Worst :

2013/14 Hideous non winter with relentless flooding rains and damaging winds. No snow fell at all, no frosts and very little sunshine. An absolute abomination of a season - if there is ever to be a winter which is worse than that one, I genuinely hope I don’t live to see it.

2019/20 : I know it’s only mid January but this ‘winter’ has up to now completely failed to deliver anything, with no real sign of  wintry weather on the horizon. Wet and mild muck has been near relentless. Hateful.

Edited by Carl46Wrexham

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4 hours ago, Carl46Wrexham said:

Best :

1978/79 Epic blizzard on New Years Eve 1978 and a very snowy January 1979

1981/82 Extremely cold weather in December 1981 and January 1982. Again very snowy.

1984/85 Genuine cold zonality delivering a lot of snow.

2009/10 Bitterly cold, technical white Christmas, clear sunny skies but with deep snow cover.

 

Worst :

2013/14 Hideous non winter with relentless flooding rains and damaging winds. No snow fell at all, no frosts and very little sunshine. An absolute abomination of a season - if there is ever to be a winter which is worse than that one, I genuinely hope I don’t live to see it.

2019/20 : I know it’s only mid January but this ‘winter’ has up to now completely failed to deliver anything, with no real sign of  wintry weather on the horizon. Wet and mild muck has been near relentless. Hateful.

Do you mean 1983/84, that delivered alot of cold zonality in January and to a lesser extent February, Dec 83 was mild throughout. Winter 84/85 brought a very cold Jan and Feb, after a rather mild December, indeed there were four winters in a row which saw a turnaround just after christmas, 1983, 1984, 1985 - although the cold didn't properly kick in until end Jan, 1986.

 

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3 hours ago, damianslaw said:

Do you mean 1983/84, that delivered alot of cold zonality in January and to a lesser extent February, Dec 83 was mild throughout. Winter 84/85 brought a very cold Jan and Feb, after a rather mild December, indeed there were four winters in a row which saw a turnaround just after christmas, 1983, 1984, 1985 - although the cold didn't properly kick in until end Jan, 1986.

 

I stand corrected. You’re right. Damn I must be getting old!

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Well this winter has 6 weeks to save itself from being the worst winter in my lifetime. 

So far an absolutely diabolical winter, nothing but wind and rain and heading towards the top 5 in mildest ever January's!

I can't even remember a frost since 1st December! 

Best winters any which include  Dec 81/ jan82  /Jan 85  /Feb 86/ Jan 87 and Dec 2010

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44 minutes ago, SLEETY said:

Well this winter has 6 weeks to save itself from being the worst winter in my lifetime. 

So far an absolutely diabolical winter, nothing but wind and rain and heading towards the top 5 in mildest ever January's!

I can't even remember a frost since 1st December! 

 

A few days of cold & snow won't be enough to save this winter - it would need something epic for that. 

29th Nov - 1st Dec were the best 3 days of weather we've had - and technically, two of those days don't qualify as winter; frosty start, then sunny, cold, crisp = perfect! 

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For a 9 year old boy 1963 was incredible, not so good for the adults who had jobs and responsibilities of course in what were very different times of course.

Worst ones - in respect of lack of cold/snow - too many to mention and nearly all in the last 30 years, as opposed to the first 36 years of my life.

 

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12 hours ago, HafrenLMP1 said:

A few days of cold & snow won't be enough to save this winter - it would need something epic for that. 

29th Nov - 1st Dec were the best 3 days of weather we've had - and technically, two of those days don't qualify as winter; frosty start, then sunny, cold, crisp = perfect! 

Some cold frosty weather is on the way, which will help redeem the winter just a tiny bit. We also have time on our sides, second half of winter traditionally sees a quieter outlook and greater likelihood of colder airstreams from the north and east, as the saying goes ' as the days lengthen the cold strengthens'.. think positively!

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11 hours ago, damianslaw said:

Some cold frosty weather is on the way, which will help redeem the winter just a tiny bit. We also have time on our sides, second half of winter traditionally sees a quieter outlook and greater likelihood of colder airstreams from the north and east, as the saying goes ' as the days lengthen the cold strengthens'.. think positively!

Traditionally yes, over the last 30 years = no not really

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