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Historical September cold/snowfall events...we begin in 1816.


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September 1st-September 2nd, 1816. 

An unusual early wintry cold snap was reported across many regions of the country in September 1816. Luke Howard at his thermometer based at Tottenham, London records a night minimum on the 2nd September of -1C with the description of “thick ice” and “hoar frost”, although doesn’t report snowfall. However...

“The Morning Post“ reported that on the morning of the 2nd September, 1816 (3am) that heavy snowfall was recorded 2 miles up the road from Barnet. Similarly the “London Courier” on the 7th September, 1816 reports “hail and some snow reported in a neighbouring county” and also thick heavy ice. Up north in the “Caledonian Mercury” from Scotland we also have acknowledgement of snow falling in parts of England and the Grampians looking like winter. All of this of course, if the reports are accurate, would mean this could be potentially the earliest snowfall recorded over England. 

There were similar reports of snowfall along the southern coast at Brighton and Lewes. Also an American paper discussed the Summer of 1816 mentions snowfall in London on August 30th although I think this maybe an error as temperatures were above 15C in the capital on this day with lows of 12C. Maybe a hail event. 

September 1816 was a bit of a balmy month as over a week later highs of 23C were recorded in London. Incidentally Luke Howard records a high of only 9C at Tottenham on the 1st September which had it occurred 24 hours earlier surely would’ve been the lowest London summer temperature ever recorded. 

(See the Newspaper Articles below)


25th September, 1885 

First official snowfall event of the season in London but I think it didn’t stay on the ground. 
 

19th September, 1910 

Snow flurries reported at Epsom but I can’t find any sources to back this claim. No reports in local newspapers either. Perhaps a mistaken hail event or sleet. 
 

19th-20th September, 1919. 

The first major snowfall event on record across Scotland, Northern England and the southwest. Remarkable that it occurred a week after a heatwave. More here...https://www.netweather.tv/forum/topic/32640-heatwave-then-snow-september-1919/?ct=1600014765

 

It pretty much ends there...Higher grounds i.e Pennines, Grampians, Cairngorns typically can see snowfall in September each year although some heavy snow accumulations reported in 2003 across the Cairngorns. 
 

Orlando Whistlecraft also mentions snowfall in September 1799 but doesn’t mention locations. Even according to Whistlecraft September cold snaps/snowfall were rare and this was him writing in 1840. September 1807 was very cold across most of England (Coldest September CET) and Luke Howard at Plaistow, London records a minimum of -3C in the early morning of 13th September. 


The newspaper articles from 1816...

London. J Tuesda Vt September   Morning Post  Tuesday 03 September 1816  British Newspaper Archive.png

The Esquimaux.  Caledonian Mercury  Saturday 07 September 1816  British Newspaper Archive.png

Bp » The (Courier.  London Courier and Evening Gazette  Friday 06 September 1816  British Newspaper Archive.png

The Year without a Summer A Historical View on JSTOR.png

Edited by Isle of Harry
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Snowfall on the south coast as early as 1 September seems highly unlikely to me, even if the reports are from 1816. More likely to be heavy hail I imagine.. I'd be very surprised. A max of London of 9 degrees seems plausible though.

Wasn't 1816 the year without a summer, may have that one wrong.

Only synoptic I can think of that could produce lowland snowfall in southern england 1 Sept, is a very long drawn northerly flow followed by a deep depression from the SW approaches engaging the cold air, but even so, heating from the ground and air unlikely to produce temps conducive for snowfall, less so places with height, say above 500 metres.

 

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13 hours ago, damianslaw said:

Snowfall on the south coast as early as 1 September seems highly unlikely to me, even if the reports are from 1816. More likely to be heavy hail I imagine.. I'd be very surprised. A max of London of 9 degrees seems plausible though.

Wasn't 1816 the year without a summer, may have that one wrong.

Only synoptic I can think of that could produce lowland snowfall in southern england 1 Sept, is a very long drawn northerly flow followed by a deep depression from the SW approaches engaging the cold air, but even so, heating from the ground and air unlikely to produce temps conducive for snowfall, less so places with height, say above 500 metres.

 

Indeed, the summer of 1816 was overall the 3rd coldest according to CET with only 1695 and 1725 being cooler. Eastern Europe and parts of Scandinavia had a fairly hot summer though. Annually 1816 was cold across the UK but not as cold as it was two years earlier in 1814. 

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