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damianslaw

Favourite and notable christmas 24-26 Dec weather

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Seeing all the threads popping up about christmas weather of past, and reminiscing about previous spells ahead of yet again another rather underwhelming prospect this year. Please use this thread to record both your favourite christmas weather of the past, and also notable events.

I go only remember back to about the mid 80s.. (just).

Favourite Top 3:

Dec 2009 - Though we never achieved an official white christmas, we had the deepest cover of snowfall on the ground of any christmas I can remember after the heavy falls on the 20/21st, followed by a top up on 23rd. Roughly about 6-7 inches, nothing special and goes to show how little snow generally we have seen at christmas. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were ice days.

Dec 1995 - would be first, but the fact we only had a bit of snow on the ground. Three ice days, some snow showers on christmas eve. A lovely clear frost period then ensued with marked low minima by the 28th, down to about -14 degrees.

Dec 2010 - coldest in my living memory, lakes frozen over, but little snow on the ground, however, it was a white christmas, a perfectly timed 1 and half hour fall in late morning. Boxing Day was overcast with some further snow in the air.

 

Honoury mention to 1993, a cold christmas and an official white one, 2004 also - a white christmas, also 1996 - cold and frosty

 

Notable events:

Christmas 97 - most memorable christmas, we had a storm late christmas eve, and there was a power cut on christmas Day, so no turkey!

Christmas 98 - Boxing Day storm

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My top 3 would probably 1. 2009, 2. 1995, 3. 2010

2009 was a beautiful day and as you say the most snow lying on actual Christmas Day. On Xmas day in 2010 the thaw started in the west of Cumbria. Those snow showers you’ve mentioned must’ve been drizzle very early in the morning as by sun rise some of the snow had gone and temps had nudged up to 1 degree or so. Obviously everything was still frozen though. It was very localised as driving back from my parents to Lancashire where I lived at the time on Boxing Day there had been no thaw at all and it was -6 at midday.  In 1995 I can remember it being very cold on Christmas Eve but there only being a dusting of snow. Then overnight there had been a decent fall of 3-4 inches of powdery snow. The week following was sunny and clear and the coldest spell of weather I have known. It was always a thing growing up for my parents to take us sale shopping in Carlisle between Xmas and new year. I can vividly recall all the rivers we drove past, including the Derwent at Cockermouth, being completely frozen and my Dad commenting that he’d never seen that before. 
I doubt we’ll see anything like any of those years this winter. 

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For actual official white Christmas' in my lifetime 2000 was the only one I remember snow falling on the day so that would go top in that category anyway.

However for snow on the ground 2009, 2010 and 1993 are the ones for me. 1995 and 1996 were just cold and frosty. Every other Christmas I remember has either been cloudy, dull and mild, Rainy and mild or sunny and mild.

There have been several frustrating near misses as well.

1 - 1995 saw the snow come after the day for me

2 - 1996 was like 1995 with the covering of snow greeting me on the morning of the 27th December

3 - 1997 was frustrating as that beast from the east came over a week too early. A nice frontal snow event that could have come for Christmas otherwise.

4 - 1998 and 1999 both had snow the week before Christmas then turned milder for the day itself.

5 - 2001 and 2004 were a white Christmas for some but not me

6 - 2005 was another of those frustrating ones where the snow arrived just after the big day AGAIN

7 - 2007 saw the snow arrive just into new year 2008, how annoying

8 - 2012. If only that winter had got going a month earlier.

9 - 2017 had a few snow events but rather frustrating that the mildest period of the winter happen to be around Christmas.

I wonder if 2019 will be equally frustrating with snow arriving within a week or so after the big day, we shall see ...

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12 hours ago, trickydicky said:

My top 3 would probably 1. 2009, 2. 1995, 3. 2010

2009 was a beautiful day and as you say the most snow lying on actual Christmas Day. On Xmas day in 2010 the thaw started in the west of Cumbria. Those snow showers you’ve mentioned must’ve been drizzle very early in the morning as by sun rise some of the snow had gone and temps had nudged up to 1 degree or so. Obviously everything was still frozen though. It was very localised as driving back from my parents to Lancashire where I lived at the time on Boxing Day there had been no thaw at all and it was -6 at midday.  In 1995 I can remember it being very cold on Christmas Eve but there only being a dusting of snow. Then overnight there had been a decent fall of 3-4 inches of powdery snow. The week following was sunny and clear and the coldest spell of weather I have known. It was always a thing growing up for my parents to take us sale shopping in Carlisle between Xmas and new year. I can vividly recall all the rivers we drove past, including the Derwent at Cockermouth, being completely frozen and my Dad commenting that he’d never seen that before. 
I doubt we’ll see anything like any of those years this winter. 

Pleased to note you agree with me - shared Cumbrian experience!

The snow on 2010 came about 10am and lasted an hour and half, out of the blue, it gave about an inch. 

The 24-31 Dec 1995 period was very similiar to the 18-26 Dec 2010 temp wise, a run of ice days, though minima in 1995 was notably colder, we got down to -14 degrees early hours of 29th and maxima were also colder on the 28-30th, around -5 degrees. 

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These are the times I recall seeing snow of any amount on the 24th to 26th December.

2001: A few flakes fell briefly on the afternoon of the 25th, so a technical white Christmas here. Wasn't enough for a covering, even a dusting but those few flakes stuck around. (was made up for on the evening of the 27th though)

2004: There were a few flakes blowing around during the day on the 25th and then more substantial snowfall on the evening, giving a modest but complete covering. The best white Christmas I'd ever witnessed to this point. It stuck around for Boxing Day too.

2009: There was a covering of snow on the 24th which had fell on the 23rd. Unfortunately it was slowly thawing throughout the day from some misty mild gunk that had moved in. Come the big day there was nothing left save for the odd residual patch that were few and far between. So I sometimes like to think this one was a sort of white Christmas as there were a couple of tiny bits of snow in my back garden still plus there was a lot more snow around on Christmas Eve, but it's a push to call it so really.

2010: Easily the finest example I've yet witnessed. No snow falling, but a deep snow cover mostly dropped on the 22nd but with snow still there from the 18th before it, which left a nice deep lush blanket to see through the 24th, 25th and 26th. It was like something we in this country only see in the likes of Hollywood Christmas movies set in Chicago and such. What a magical Christmas for the UK that was.

2014: There was some wet snow on the evening of the 26th giving a thin slushy covering. So too late for an actual white Christmas, but still pretty close.

Whats amazing though is none of these events were more than than 5 years apart. That's actually pretty good going from a UK perspective for getting snow on or very close to Christmas Day. As a side note 2017 came very close for snow on Boxing Day here. We had a mixture of rain and sleet, but not too far on the other side of Birmingham there was snow on the 26th which gave a covering there. Don't think there's much hope of seeing any amount of snow on those dates this year though, but never say never I guess.

 

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Best:

2010- as others have said, no snow fell but a deep covering from earlier calls

2004- a few flakes through the day on 25th then a sustained period of snow about 8pm that left a covering

1995- no snow but very cold and frosty

1992- less remembered but similarly frosty with freezing fog. 

Near misses 1993 (snow falling but not lying) 2009 (the only snow cover that December fell overnight 23-4th, as said above it had almost all gone by the 25th), 1999 (sleety showers but no covering), 2001, 2014  (snow on 26th both times).

Worst:

2002: hideously mild

2011: as above but also damp and windy. So different from the previous year

2015: mild muck all month

1987 and 1988: a pair of mild stinkers as I recall

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1981 was a white Xmas and a long cold winter 

 

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Only two worthy of note.

xmas 1993 . Walked back from a late night lock-in at the village pub on Xmas eve and it started snowing gently. Still snowing Xmas morning. Just enough to make it Christmassy without hindering travel. Only genuine snow falling on the day white Xmas I have known. Very magical.

xmas 2010. Minus 10c  max temp -4c on Christmas Day. over deep snow cover from the 20cms that fell on Dec 20th and part of by far an away the winterised spell since 78/79 in these here parts. Record making nov/Dec. Minus 13c Boxing Day morning before thaw arrived on 28th

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I spent the Christmasses from 1993 to 2011 in Cleadon in Tyne and Wear, and in North Yorkshire from 2012 onwards.  The list goes as follows:

1. 1995 - 2-3cm of lying snow from a polar low on Christmas Eve, with sunshine early and late in the day.  Christmas Day saw frequent east-coast snow showers as the polar low moved out into the North Sea bringing in northerly winds.  Snow depth got to at least 5cm by the end of the day.  Not the deepest snow depth, but most memorable because snow showers fell frequently on Christmas Day itself.  There were a few snow showers also on Boxing Day and exceptionally low temperatures followed during the 27th-29th.

2. 2010 - A sunny day with 11cm of powdery snow on the ground, the deepest that I have recorded on Christmas Day.  Much of it had been deposited from a North Sea trough late on 19 December, and topped up by snow showers from a north-easterly on the 22nd/23rd.  There was also a flurry late on Christmas Eve.  Strangely early on Christmas Day there was a bit of freezing rain with a temperature around -5C, but there was no significant thawing until the 27th.  

3. 1993 - Started off cold and sunny, snow showers came in off the North Sea from about 11am, giving about 2cm on the ground by around 5pm, although local reports suggest that the snow probably melted the following night as the north-easterly picked up off the North Sea - I only remember as far as the lying snow that evening.

4. 2009 - sunny with a snow cover but it was rather icy after freeze-thaw cycles on the 23rd and 24th.

There was nearly a white Christmas in 2000 with a snow shower giving a covering early on Boxing Day, which stuck around until the 31st, aided by further heavy snow showers and even a clap of thunder early on 29 December.  There was a snow shower early on Christmas Day 2001 but it only gave a sprinkling on the ground which immediately melted.  Wintry showers also fell on the Christmas Days of 1996 and 1999 but did not settle.  Christmas Day 2004 was frustrating because I had a dry sunny day in Tyneside while Lancaster University - where I was studying at the time - had a proper white Christmas, similar to the one that Tyne & Wear had in 1993, with snow showers moving in off the Irish Sea after a cold bright start.

I remember Christmas Day 2002 being a fairly pleasant surprise because it had some rare sunshine in an otherwise very dull month.  On the other hand 1994, 2003 and 2006 had very grey Christmas Days despite having marked spells of bright frosty weather before and/or after the big day.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers

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1970 - in the south east of England. Christmas Eve - we went into Midnight Mass with no snow falling and came out 90 minutes later with thick snow on the ground. I spent the next hour or so trying to help the good folk of the parish to get home in their cars. Weather forecasts were basic in those days and there was certainly no indication on Christmas Eve on what was to follow. A true White Christmas and the snow lasted for a few days afterwards.

1981 - the harshest December in living memory. Thick snow on the ground at Christmas but no snow fell on Christmas Day, so apparently it didn't qualify as a 'White Christmas' which was absurd. The harsh conditions lasted until mid-January in London after which the winter reverted to type.

2009 or 2010 ( I can't remember which) - thick snow in the evening in Cheshire.

The harsh winters of 1962/3 and 1978/9 did not include White Christmases and snow only starting falling (in South London) in the period leading up to the New Year.

 

 

 

  

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Christmas 2005 was exciting but mainly because most of here at the time we’re obsessing over the coming easterly. I think Norwich did manage a few stray showers late in the afternoon.

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Has to be December 1995 for me. The only actual Christmas day blizzard I have witnessed. Was up in Aberfeldy in Highland Perthshire for a family reunion. Arrived on Christmas Eve to find around an inch of powdery snow on the ground from showers earlier in that day and the day before. It was clear and cold at around -4C.
In the evening we went  out to the pub for a couple of drinks. Noticed a regular come a bit later shaking snow out of his hair. (As an aside this guy, a retired forestry worker came to that pub every Saturday and dressed the same for his night out, Summer or Winter, rain or shine. A white shirt with a string vest underneath and no jacket. That night was no exception). Anyway we left shortly after to find a strong wind  blowing the lying snow around and light snow falling. Got up Christmas morning and you could hardly see across the road for blowing snow. Level depths hard to measure but approximately 6 inches in the garden. The snow was so light and powdery that it was impossible to make a snowball and the road outside was clear as it just blew off. This continued all morning until around noon blue sky appeared to the North, the wind suddenly stopped and the sun came out.

We went out for a pre-Christmas lunch walk in a winter wonderland with large drifts in any hollows or in the lee side of walls, buildings etc. My nephew and niece had great fun on their sledge until the cold got to them as when the wind dropped  the temperature did likewise reaching -9C by nightfall.  This set the tone for the week. We all went to Aviemore for New Year returning on the 2nd January just after the sudden temperature rise to find like so many others a burst pipe in the loft leading to a flooded room. Just shows that there is sometimes a down side even to such wonderful weather.

Edited by Norrance

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I agree with Model Forum Host about the gale on Christmas Eve 1997. I went in the car on the M6 from Lancaster to Blackpool in the early evening and have never felt so frightened as vehicles (including my own) swayed around the lanes with the drivers fighting to keep control. On the return journey, I came via the A6 and came on a car which had crashed into a fallen tree, with an ambulance on hand to help the casualties. Numerous overnight power cuts around Lancaster and I was glad to be heading south on Christmas morning, leaving neighbours surveying broken fences and wondering how the turkey was going to be cooked. A memorable Christmas but not a happy one for many in the North West of England.   

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I'm not sure of the year of this one but some time around 6 years ago the south east essex coast got snow on boxing day which is the only time in recent years I can remember snow around Christmas time

Best and both worst at the same time are 2013 here - I think it was the night before Christmas Eve, Cyclone Dirk arrived and gave essex one hell of a wind storm, which at some point during the late evening directly aligned with my road facing north east, the howl of the wind is something I won't forget, gusting up to 75mph. But also very bad for local counties as when the low moved away, it dragged up one hell of a storm surge, creating flooding, loss of power, and then people nicking council provided generators which were given out so people could cook Christmas dinner

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