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The early signs of a warming climate in 1987?


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As discussed before, winter 87-88 marked a step change in conditions away from the often cold snowy period preceding it, into something much less cold and snowy. Here in the UK it marked the arrival of generally mild fairly snowless winters that ran until winter 08-09, with some exceptions 90-91, 95-96, early winter 96-97 and periods in 93-94 and 00-01. 

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I always think of winter 87- 88 as the beginning of the change. I was 14 at the time. So I think of the old climate as the climate of my childhood. 

Though the winters of the previous 10yrs before 87-88 were a fairly cold period of winters overall, so perhaps my idea of what winter should be like in this part of the world  when I was a kid was skewed.

Edited by sundog
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2 hours ago, damianslaw said:

As discussed before, winter 87-88 marked a step change in conditions away from the often cold snowy period preceding it, into something much less cold and snowy. Here in the UK it marked the arrival of generally mild fairly snowless winters that ran until winter 08-09, with some exceptions 90-91, 95-96, early winter 96-97 and periods in 93-94 and 00-01. 

I tend to find here it's late 90's when winters changed, 98-99 I think, but maybe earlier oop norf

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Reading that article, and seeing those people having a picnic in the Pyrenees, with warm sunshine and wearing t shirts, plus the sunny blue skies and snowless mountains. All that warmth wasn’t just confined to the UK. 
 

Most of Western Europe was very mild, and probably came as a shock.

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As someone old enough to remember the brilliant 62-63 Winter there was also some pretty mild almost snowless winters in the 60s & 70s too. But some good periods like the late 70s and up to 87. Some very good easterlys in there with plenty of snow. We just don't have a continental climate and 40-50 years ago didn't either. So relatively mild Winters have prevailed for a long long time. Not just from 88. But yes from then on snow has for the most part become an even rarer thing unless your half way up a mountain.

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1 hour ago, Sunny76 said:

Our luck will change soon I think. Early 2021 is my prediction. It will stay mild until Christmas 2020. 

I'm with you. I think this is the year the "shift" comes in. I can see this winter being an introduction like 08-09 to a spell of a colder ones.

 

As for the potential change from 1987, there's probably some truth in that. The one thing that does stick out for me is the very cold year of 1986. Was it a final farewell of colder times or were other factors a part of it? I know the very cold February was before Chernobyl, but could that have had an impact on the climate of Europe? 

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13 hours ago, NeilN said:

I'm with you. I think this is the year the "shift" comes in. I can see this winter being an introduction like 08-09 to a spell of a colder ones.

 

As for the potential change from 1987, there's probably some truth in that. The one thing that does stick out for me is the very cold year of 1986. Was it a final farewell of colder times or were other factors a part of it? I know the very cold February was before Chernobyl, but could that have had an impact on the climate of Europe? 

Interesting theory. 
 

Think the Chernobyl incident probably didn’t have much impact on the weather. 
 

Something happened in the atmosphere during summer 1987, which led to the shift from cold to warm.

Greece had a killer heatwave in 1987.

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On 24/10/2020 at 22:00, NeilN said:

I'm with you. I think this is the year the "shift" comes in. I can see this winter being an introduction like 08-09 to a spell of a colder ones.

 

As for the potential change from 1987, there's probably some truth in that. The one thing that does stick out for me is the very cold year of 1986. Was it a final farewell of colder times or were other factors a part of it? I know the very cold February was before Chernobyl, but could that have had an impact on the climate of Europe? 

Yes a very cold year,1986

The coldest February in 73 years and counting

The coldest April in 98 years and counting

The coldest August in 64 years and counting

The coldest September in 68 years and counting

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I had a paper round during the mid/late 80s, and I certainly recall September 1986; towards the end I distinctly remember a couple of frosty mornings. December 86 into Jan 87 was a cold period; I remember using those heat packs you put in your gloves to keep your hands warm during the early morning paper round.

A year later and I had quite a few soakings during the autumn/winter of 1987/88.....which meant looking for a proper waterproof (Gore Tex) jacket.

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I wonder what people were actually thinking in the early 20th century who remembered the winters of the 1880s and 90s. There wasn't another real cold one until 1940, although there were a couple that seem to have been about 1995-96 level (1916/17 I think). Some of the winters in the 20s and early 30s seem to have been very mild. Did people actually comment on it (I've seen a couple of articles from then about shrinking glaciers in the Alps)? That 45-year gap between subzero CET months wasn't close to being beaten when Dec 2010 came around.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, HafrenLMP1 said:

I had a paper round during the mid/late 80s, and I certainly recall September 1986; towards the end I distinctly remember a couple of frosty mornings. December 86 into Jan 87 was a cold period; I remember using those heat packs you put in your gloves to keep your hands warm during the early morning paper round.

A year later and I had quite a few soakings during the autumn/winter of 1987/88.....which meant looking for a proper waterproof (Gore Tex) jacket.

December 86 was warmer than Dec 87 ...in the 1980s it was only really surpassed by Dec 88 for mild..probably the only above average month of 1986

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2 minutes ago, cheeky_monkey said:

December 86 was warmer than Dec 87 ...in the 1980s it was only really surpassed by Dec 88 for mild..probably the only above average month of 1986

Yeah, but the temps in late December 1987 were very mild and much milder than 1986. It felt very springlike on Christmas Day 1987, in London anyway. I’m sure it was close to 15 or 16c.

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Just now, Sunny76 said:

Yeah, but the temps in late December 1987 were very mild and much milder than 1986. It felt very springlike on Christmas Day 1987, in London anyway. I’m sure it was close to 15 or 16c.

Fun fact i could only find two other years in the temp records with the same CET for Dec as 1986..1911 & 1763..none were followed by a mild January 

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24 minutes ago, Summer of 95 said:

I wonder what people were actually thinking in the early 20th century who remembered the winters of the 1880s and 90s. There wasn't another real cold one until 1940, although there were a couple that seem to have been about 1995-96 level (1916/17 I think). Some of the winters in the 20s and early 30s seem to have been very mild. Did people actually comment on it (I've seen a couple of articles from then about shrinking glaciers in the Alps)? That 45-year gap between subzero CET months wasn't close to being beaten when Dec 2010 came around.

 

 

 

I would say winter 1916/17  was a good deal colder and snowier then winter 1995-96 overall. As it was one of the coldest winters of the 20th century. 

Edited by sundog
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17 hours ago, sundog said:

I would say winter 1916/17  was a good deal colder and snowier then winter 1995-96 overall. As it was one of the coldest winters of the 20th century. 

Still one of Ireland's coldest and snowiest winters ever recorded. It was exceptional for this country.

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19 hours ago, Summer of 95 said:

I wonder what people were actually thinking in the early 20th century who remembered the winters of the 1880s and 90s. There wasn't another real cold one until 1940, although there were a couple that seem to have been about 1995-96 level (1916/17 I think). Some of the winters in the 20s and early 30s seem to have been very mild. Did people actually comment on it (I've seen a couple of articles from then about shrinking glaciers in the Alps)? That 45-year gap between subzero CET months wasn't close to being beaten when Dec 2010 came around.

 

 

 

!916/1917 was the third coldest winter on record and certainly the coldest extended winter since the 1800s.All 3 winter months were below 2.0 deg cet.Then followed a very cold March with only two others colder since the 1800s and then the coldest April on record! 

Air frosts in my area for the extended winter

2009/2010...  57

1962/1963 ...84

1946/1947...77

1941/1942...73

1978/1979...86

1916/1917...93  

 

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On 28/10/2020 at 18:57, Summer of 95 said:

I wonder what people were actually thinking in the early 20th century who remembered the winters of the 1880s and 90s. There wasn't another real cold one until 1940, although there were a couple that seem to have been about 1995-96 level (1916/17 I think). Some of the winters in the 20s and early 30s seem to have been very mild. Did people actually comment on it (I've seen a couple of articles from then about shrinking glaciers in the Alps)? That 45-year gap between subzero CET months wasn't close to being beaten when Dec 2010 came around.

 

 

 

As others have said winter 16-17 was one of the coldest in the last 100 yrs, much colder than 95-96, on a par with 09-10 which was very cold in the north.

The period between 1894-95 and 1939-40 winters was as you say generally devoid of many cold winters with exception of 16-17 and Feb 29 which was very severe. 

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On 28/10/2020 at 19:14, cheeky_monkey said:

December 86 was warmer than Dec 87 ...in the 1980s it was only really surpassed by Dec 88 for mild..probably the only above average month of 1986

I vaguely remember seeing on the news around Christmas 1987 reports about the lack of snow in the European ski resorts.

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17 hours ago, Don said:

I vaguely remember seeing on the news around Christmas 1987 reports about the lack of snow in the European ski resorts.

Dec 86 = 6.2c 

Dec 87 = 5.6c 

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19 hours ago, damianslaw said:

As others have said winter 16-17 was one of the coldest in the last 100 yrs, much colder than 95-96, on a par with 09-10 which was very cold in the north.

The period between 1894-95 and 1939-40 winters was as you say generally devoid of many cold winters with exception of 16-17 and Feb 29 which was very severe. 

Just checked that Feb, Aye 2 easterlies, nowadays I feel the Atlantic would blast it away, 1929, typical of the Easterlies to win, 2020 Atlantic win

archives-1929-2-2-0-0.png

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On 28/10/2020 at 18:57, Summer of 95 said:

I wonder what people were actually thinking in the early 20th century who remembered the winters of the 1880s and 90s. There wasn't another real cold one until 1940, although there were a couple that seem to have been about 1995-96 level (1916/17 I think). Some of the winters in the 20s and early 30s seem to have been very mild. Did people actually comment on it (I've seen a couple of articles from then about shrinking glaciers in the Alps)? That 45-year gap between subzero CET months wasn't close to being beaten when Dec 2010 came around.

 

 

 

It was talked about, seen numerous reports and articles talking about how winters had changed  at the time. 

Interesting that Leo Bonacina says he was reluctant to call winter 1928-29 snowy and the south and east didn't do that well for snow. 

"...notwithstanding the freezing of the Thames and Arctic appearance of the Essex tidal creeks, the winter was nothing like so climatically impressive as it might have been..."

 

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