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Memorable Foggy Spells


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1 hour ago, johnholmes said:

Even I cannot remember that! I do remember in the 50's being able to taste the fog, awful taste, and visibility not unusually in fog would be about 10-12 yards.

In March 1957 I was at the Met Office school for observers somewhere on the outskirts and was staying in digs in soewhere a bus ride away. One Saturday morning, blue skies, misty and I caught the tube to get off at Trafalgar Square taking no notice of anyting outside before the tube went underground. Coming up the escalator I could smell it much as I just commented on at home. People were coughing as they down. It appeared like night and it was impossible to see across the wide pavement it was so dense. 1 pm in the afternoon and as black as the ace of spades, very little traffic with policemen all over with torches and conductors off the buses trying to lead the drivers. Turned round after 10 minutes, back in the digs area blue skies again.

At the end of that year, there was that horrific train disaster in London caused by fog, do you recall that? 

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1 minute ago, johnholmes said:

I do and I think it was the station I used in March of that year

Harrow and Wealdstone?

 

Not sure why I said 1957 for the crash. It was years before but at that station, 1952 perhaps?

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On 08/11/2020 at 13:26, philglossop said:

Do remember the run up to Christmas 1992 as being very bad for fog and traffic being severely affected. Christmas Eve was particularly bad- back then Radio 1 did traffic news at Breakfast and the late Dianne Oxberry was on for nearly 4 minutes with traffic problems it was that grim.

Ah yes, Christmas 1992, I remember that now. I recall waiting for hours in the gloom at Preston bus station for my mum who was coming to spend Christmas with me at Blackpool. Not a good start to the holiday!

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6 hours ago, A Face like Thunder said:

Ah yes, Christmas 1992, I remember that now. I recall waiting for hours in the gloom at Preston bus station for my mum who was coming to spend Christmas with me at Blackpool. Not a good start to the holiday!

I also remember December 1962 prior to Christmas with its persistent fog. I was living in NW Essex and attending primary school at the time. 

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On 09/11/2020 at 18:00, johnholmes said:

Even I cannot remember that! I do remember in the 50's being able to taste the fog, awful taste, and visibility not unusually in fog would be about 10-12 yards.

In March 1957 I was at the Met Office school for observers somewhere on the outskirts and was staying in digs in soewhere a bus ride away. One Saturday morning, blue skies, misty and I caught the tube to get off at Trafalgar Square taking no notice of anyting outside before the tube went underground. Coming up the escalator I could smell it much as I just commented on at home. People were coughing as they down. It appeared like night and it was impossible to see across the wide pavement it was so dense. 1 pm in the afternoon and as black as the ace of spades, very little traffic with policemen all over with torches and conductors off the buses trying to lead the drivers. Turned round after 10 minutes, back in the digs area blue skies again.

John 

I too remember  1957.

 Was at grammar school in Retford.

Sent home from school early on 3 consecutive days. School bus was scheduled to close down, around 5 o'clock, and it was late, coming to collect us. 

I also remember the fogs of Dec 1962. I seem to remember that they were 'cleaner', but the main takeaway was the temperatures. A high pressure developed of NW  Ireland,  moved slowly north, then North East to meet up with the Siberian high. Temperatures minimum overnight started at about -4C, but slowly day by day dropped at least a degree a day, so that -10C to- -12C  were common towards the end, this was BEFORE the flow turned from the continent. Maxima dropped to -2 to -5C as the fog was vey slow to clear during the day.

Moisture was gradually removed from the air as rime. Some very wintry scenes as one travelled around, but unlike more recent occasions there was no real sunshine to make it look as stunning.. 

I also remember a thick fog from the early 1970's (around Xmas) when I was trying to get home to B'ham from Derby. No M42 and the A38 was closed. Had to go back on the A453 (memory). through Swadlincote, etc.  Could not see a thing and the wife had to walk in front of me with a torch to see where the road went, when we ran out of street lights. It took 3.5 hours.

Lots of gravel pits around which made it really nasty as well as foggy.

More recent fogs seem to not be as potent. (Thank god). 

The last I remember was during the early 1990's, and was one of those days when sunshine and fog alternated  from mile to mile, and I was on the M40 going towards London pre rush hour. It was a nightmare with people hurtling into the fog at 80 mph.

Also been on the M1 in Derbyshire under similar conditions, just afterwards, with warning signs/ lights on all the way from B'ham  - but sunshine until north of Nottingham.  Guess what 30 cars in a pile up, I even saw a coach and lorries leave the  motorway and go up the side bank. Scary times. 

Touch wood, we have lost this weather type  for good. 

MIA  

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We had some really thick fog last week in London see skyscrapers poke through blanket. Consecutive foggy days think there was 3 or 4 foggy mornings which is really unusual, it had been a long time seen I had seen anything alike. I was coughing, the air stunk of smoke not nice at all. 

Westminster and 45 minutes later real peasouper it was on 5th and my own.

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I've kept a detailed record of the number of hours with fog since moving here in 1977; it's quite a foggy place, mainly due to low cloud shrouding the hills and predominantly in late autumn and during winter. The stats all relate to the met office definition of fog as visibility of 1000m or less. 

The longest spell of continuous fog in the last 43 years is 108.5 hrs from 2130 on December 30th 1995 to 1000 on January 4th 1996.

Second longest is 102 hrs from 1500 on February 17th to 2100 on the 21st in 1979

Third is 98 hours from 1400 on January 16 to 1600 on the 20th in 1996

Fourth is 96 hours from 0700 on February 11th to 1000 on the 15th in 1993

Fifth is 92 hours from 0400 on November 2nd to 0000 on 5th in 2015

An unusually late spell of continuous fog was 66 hours from 0900 on April 10th to 0300 on the 13th in 2018

With regard to number of hours with fog during a calendar month the foggiest by far was January 1996 with 381.5 hrs and second was November 2002 with 262.5 hrs.

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I remember a very thick fog, i think it was mid september 1966, it was so thick we, as boys, went and raided a conker tree that was situated in a feild close to a farm, the farmer used to set his dog on us if he saw us...lol. That was really thick.

But the thickest, and it was absolutly dense, was in November 78 (maybe late Oct or early Dec) i dont know the date. I was working on a park with a southerly aspect across the trent valley. It had been very misty and murky , but in the early afternoon a pea-souper rolled up from the valley.. It was so thick, schools closed and my then girlfriend came to the park for a lift home (i was 21, she was 18, we later married). Driving home was a nightmare, not only was the fog extremely thick, but it soon became dull too. Traffic was at a crawling pace..

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On 10/11/2020 at 09:11, A Face like Thunder said:

Ah yes, Christmas 1992, I remember that now. I recall waiting for hours in the gloom at Preston bus station for my mum who was coming to spend Christmas with me at Blackpool. Not a good start to the holiday!

Yes I remember just after Christmas very well. Was made redundant. Hey ho.  It has and will happen to many. 

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2nd week of December 1991.  Foggy throughout the week and a gradual build up of rime from 9th to about the 15th.

A shorter event like this in 3rd week december 1994

December 2006 I also remember quite well.

Also unseasonably, at the end of march 2002 there was a very foggy spell I seem to recall

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Middle of December 2012 I think deserves a mention too, not as long lasting as those 90s spells but a few days of thick freezing fog that produced ice days. That was December's contribution to that winter, which otherwise didn't start till the middle of January.

March 2002 is an interesting one, don't remember any fog but I do remember a sunny, quite warm last week which may have been foggy at night in some places. I remember that week for being one of the best spells of sunny warm weather that year, summer though not particularly wet was just a cloud fest from May to August.

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The December 2010 thread has made me remember the last few days of that month. I remember the spell from the 27th to New Year being really foggy as the milder air creeped in. It’s a shame the cold didn’t hold on until the end of the month! 

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 Does UK fog ever get as bad as Tule fog where things shut down when it gets thick enough at the right times?https://www.bakersfield.com/news/whos-calling-the-fog-delays/article_11988c9f-6dd3-56b1-a6c6-edcb1df37363.html

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Here's a snippet:

Weather delays, 2000-01 to present

23 Days of fog delays in greater Bakersfield* area.

102 Delays or closures due to ice, snow or fire in El Tejon School District.

30 Delays or closures for snow and ice in Tehachapi and fog delays in Belridge, both second most after El Tejon.

11 Days of widespread delays in Bakersfield area in 2002-03 alone.

Widespread fog delays by years in greater Bakersfield

3 in 2000-01

2 in 2001-02

11 in 2002-03

2 in 2003-04

2 in 2004-05

2 in 2005-06

0 in 2006-07

1 in 2007-08

(*) Greater Bakersfield includes, in most instances, all Bakersfield-area high schools and elementary school districts; all Shafter, Wasco, Delano and McFarland schools; Lost Hills and Elk Hills schools as well as Richland, Pond, Semitropic and Standard.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember a lot more fog during my school days, i.e. between 1979 and 1993.  I think December 1991 (as has been mentioned above) was especially notable for its freezing fog in Clacton, not that common here on the coast.  I walked to school on several days and was amazed how cold it made my skin feel, and also how the cold, moist air made me cough!

 

A question for the stats keepers - Is there a lower prevalence of winter anticyclones sitting over the UK since the 90s?

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