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I'm very bored this evening, and thoughts turning to December - probably because I just want November to end (No Sun No Fun November - especially so this year!). Always looking ahead and thinking positively...

Please use this thread to share your views on favourite Decembers weatherwise. Could be because of a memorable snow or cold event, perhaps you like them mild, or wet or windy, or just dry and sunny or frosty and foggy.

Expecting quite a few mentions for 2010.. and though tempted to go with it, 1995 just edges it out in my opinion.

After a mild November and a very mild start to December, things changed markedly on the 5th, a sign that this may not be a 'normal' December, or indeed winter to come and that was the case, but perhaps the signs had been there since March, given the very dry year we'd had, and the hot summer... high pressure built over Scandi and we had a cold snowy easterly. The next couple of weeks were generally cold, lots of fog and frost, sunny in some places less so others, some snow showers in places.

The period from the 18th - 21st was very interesting, battlelines were drawn, cold arctic air to the north doing battle with tropical maritime air, snow from the south, it turned briefly milder 22nd, cold air then came flooding back 23rd, and we had a 7 day ice period, temps below 0 degrees. Not much snow, but the cold was exceptional, got down to about -16 degrees on night of 28th/29th.

It made much more impact on me probably because December 2010 came on the back of the very cold second half to Dec 2009. We'd not had a very cold December since 1981 up until 1995, a long 14 year wait...

2nd place - 2010

3rd place - 2009

Honourable mentions to 1993, 2001 and 2008, too young to remember 1981, which may even have beaten 1995 had I had any memories, most snowy.

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I would say;

1st place - 1981 

2nd place - 2010

3rd place - 2009

Believe it or not 1995 was rather pants IMBY for snow!

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10 minutes ago, Don said:

I would say;

1st place - 1981 

2nd place - 2010

3rd place - 2009

Believe it or not 1995 was rather pants IMBY for snow!

I should have added 1995 was only a cold affair for the northern half of the UK, southern half never saw much action, there was the early easterly and it was generally cold first half, but the potent cold late on in the month was mostly reserved for the north. We were just on the right side of the cold boundary.

In terms of snowfall, 1981 hands down, followed by 2009. We didn't do particularly well in 2010, southern parts faired much better.

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17 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

I should have added 1995 was only a cold affair for the northern half of the UK, southern half never saw much action, there was the early easterly and it was generally cold first half, but the potent cold late on in the month was mostly reserved for the north. We were just on the right side of the cold boundary.

In terms of snowfall, 1981 hands down, followed by 2009. We didn't do particularly well in 2010, southern parts faired much better.

Yes, although parts of the south east did see a fair bit of snow on the 5th December 1995 (not me mind!).  The best chance of snow for the south that month was on the 30th as the cold spell broke down.  However, it turned out to be a freezing rain event! 

 

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Looking at whole months for me Dec 2010 by some way wins for both cold and snow depths. Snow was on the ground here for the whole month and didn't melt until 15th January. My coldest ever temperature here in Dundee was recorded on the 3rd.
1981 had snow from the 8/9th and where I lived in the Highlands it lasted well into the following year.   
2009 was cold from the 10th and had snow from the 17th. Deep in my parents area in Highland Perthshire.
1995 had a cool start(colder in SE where I happened to be working in Kent at the beginning if the month) then it was milder until the 23rd. The last 10 days were freezing up here and I was lucky enough to be in the Highlands for the blizzard overnight from Christmas Eve into Christmas morning. Best Christmas day snow in my lifetime.
These four years are my best memories of December snow.
 


 

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Forgot to mention 1996 in honourable list, if I had a fourth place it would've 96. A rather episodic month for cold, but there was alot of it, nothing exceptional. Liked the see-saw of the month, started cold bit of snow on 3rd, became milder for a time lots of fog, then cold again, back to milder, then a cold final part, cold set in just in time for Christmas. A snowy end as well. 

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57 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

Forgot to mention 1996 in honourable list, if I had a fourth place it would've 96. A rather episodic month for cold, but there was alot of it, nothing exceptional. Liked the see-saw of the month, started cold bit of snow on 3rd, became milder for a time lots of fog, then cold again, back to milder, then a cold final part, cold set in just in time for Christmas. A snowy end as well. 

Another disappointing December for my back yard.  The mid 90's winters were very frustrating to say the least!

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 I never saw December 1981 

1. December 2010 wins hands down because of its historic standing. Have to remember that 27th November-26th December 2010 had a CET of -1.5C, colder than even February 1986

2. December 2009 is next mainly because of the snowy last week to Christmas Day, I think the snowiest such period for many years, even snowier than in December 1981 in terms of falling snow.

3. December 1995, never forget Peter Cockcroft's forecast of an easterly at the start of that December. It wasn't a particuarly snowy December overall here but it was cold. That lastw eek of the month was very cold. Christmas Day was stunning. Brilliant blue skies, gloriously sunny and a thin layer of snow enough to give a white covering  

 

4. December 1993, an interesting month, the winter months of 1991-92 and 1992-93 were very poor for snow. Saw more snow in that December than those winter months combined. 

Decembers 1996, 2001, 2008 

Other than that any other Decembers going to be mentioned are for short period such as 2000 for that last week.

 

 

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Best Decembers here in the Pennines

1.  A clear winner1981,huge amounts of snow,blizzard like conditions,enormous drifts,bitterly cold roads completely blocked . Nearest Met office lists here as -1 deg for the month and 25 air frosts but at 340m it would have been much colder than that.

2.  2010 Yes bitterly cold but let down by a lack of wind,level snow of 1ft.Met office lists here as -0.7 and 22 AF

3. 1995  a cold month but all the action was saved until xmas ,we had a huge blizzard here  bitterly cold in strong winds.it froze the water in the house!

4. 2009  Bitterly cold from midmonth,very little snow but a covering nontheless with ice,subzero here from midmonth on

5. 1992 Little snow but remembered for a cold end and being very dull and foggy ,the dullest month in the whole 120 year records here with just 7 hours of sunlight.

A mention also to 1978,didnt really know where to list this as i dont remember the month too much but i do remember the last couple of days,the mother of all blizzards,the benchmark for all comparisons,when we finally were allowed out on the 1st January i thought i was at the south pole.

Edited by hillbilly
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December 2010 by a distance, it was such a magical time before Christmas with everything white over and the sun shining.

December 2009 as it brought another white Christmas. I enjoyed 2017 as well, had a good variety of weather and we had snow on the morning of the 27th and during the day on the 8th.

December 2008 was decent for cold and snow also.

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10 minutes ago, I remember Atlantic 252 said:

2010, favourite

1990, although just about remember it very young bairn

1995

1996

1997

WH, Dec '81, no never remember that

Surprised to see 1997 mentioned. There was an easterly mid month but I dont recall it delivering much snow. It was very brief as well. Rest of the month was very mild and wet after a cold couple of days at the start. I remember Dec 97 for the Christmas Eve storm, we had a power cut on Christmas Day.

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10 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

Surprised to see 1997 mentioned. There was an easterly mid month but I dont recall it delivering much snow. It was very brief as well. Rest of the month was very mild and wet after a cold couple of days at the start. I remember Dec 97 for the Christmas Eve storm, we had a power cut on Christmas Day.

Aye, just one I remember, the 17th was very snowy, don't remember say 2001, must have missed everything, 2000 was class, 27th into 28th

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2001, cold and sunny. 2005, also cold and sunny. Both Christmas periods were cold and crisp. My favourite, even more so than a snowy Christmas.

1990, was quite cold at times. Remember many cold and cloudy days.

2008, 09 and 10. A great run of chilly Decembers.

 

December 1986, some colder days towards the end of the month.

1987, because it was different, with that very sunny and almost warm Christmas Day. 

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Most of the 90s winters brought some cold weather at least, either the snowy variety 90, 93, 95 and 96, or the frosty foggy type, 91, 92.. or the brief northerly/north westerly such as 94- last day, 98, 99, or brief easterly in 97.

The 2000s were uncannily similar.. 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2009 either continental or arctic cold. 2002 brought a less cold continental easterly. 2003, 2004 polar shots. 2006 and 2007 cold highs for a time.

The 10s were much like the 80s the cold 81 and 10, shots of brief cold such as in 12, 17 like say 82 and 85, but otherwise preety Atlantic dominated mild. Let's see what the 20s do... 

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Mine would have to be:

1st 2010

2nd 2009

3rd 2017

4th 2008

5th 2005

6th 2001

2010 and 2009 are joint favourites. 2009 wins over 2010 from Christmas onwards as there was oncoming cold to look forward to, whereas winter ended after Boxing Day in 2010. 2017 brought two good snowfalls and felt like what one would expect from December. I mentioned in the winter runup thread that I enjoyed the cold frosty weather in December 2008 that continued even more so in January. 2005 and 2001 were similar in terms of number of frosty days and snow at the end, 2001 from northerlies and 2005 from a battleground.

Moments from other Decembers also stand out but the months as a whole were not reason to be favourites e.g. 2004, 2000 and 1999. I was a bit young to clearly remember 1996 and 1995.

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As 2010 is an obvious one and something I speak all the time about, here are some others I found good or ok with.

2009 - The only other competitor to 2010 but even it doesn't come close. A fair number of days with snow falling but never accumulating or sticking for long. Least it was nice and seasonable. Easterly gales and heavy rain on the 30th (the failed frontal snow event) also gave some high waves that don't happen often here as compared to west facing coasts.

2008 - Like 2009, nice and seasonable a lot of the time except mid-month and the run up to Christmas. 

2001 - Was only a year old but would have loved it due to it being the sunniest Dec on record and a good bit of frost later on.

All the others I've seen were just rubbish or boring. 

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2010 i would agree is a clear choice for many including myself, even down here in the south.

2009 was just as snowy as 2010 here, although of course it had a mild first half 

1995 was good, but as others have said much better further north.  Feb 96 was much snowier overall.

1999 was not bad here with snowfall being heavy on 18th.

2017 was interesting and varied.

As a fan of wind storms I will add 1989, 1990 and 2013.  We didnt experience the xmas storms in 97 or 98 like people in the north did.

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At my location December 2010  by a country mile for aggregate snow depth and record breaking minima. Locally here in Dorset it was colder than 1890 and 1981.  CET wise the period 17th to 27th December 2010 is the 17th coldest cold spell ever in the daily cet record.

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On 15/11/2020 at 07:11, Weather-history said:

 

1. December 2010 wins hands down because of its historic standing. Have to remember that 27th November-26th December 2010 had a CET of -1.5C, colder than even February 1986

 

My breath was taken away by how beautiful nature could be that morning but I couldn't believe it when it surpassed itself here when the sun appeared over the horizon and  the dawn sunlight produced an orange tone to the rime coated trees. 

 

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Good to read your reports and thoughts. As I expected December 2010 features strongly in many people's recollections, to be expected not least because it wasn't that long ago.  Whilst it was exceptionally cold, there was an annoying milder spell mid month, a thaw took place on the 9th here,, after a very cold night, I remember  travelling to Penrith though and the thaw hadn't quite made it there, it was exceptionally cold with hoar frost and rime coating everything, the thaw I think set in that evening, milder air from the SW. The weekend of the 11th/12th brought temps up to about 6 or 7 degrees, might have been higher than that, and most low level ground was cleared of snow and ice.  The cold gradually returned the following week, becoming excessively cold on the 16th.  There was a thaw again on the 27/28th after a frontal system moved in from the west, the last part of the month brought average temps. 

Highlights of the month as a whole:

Snowfall on the 3rd Dec, we received about 4/5 inches, most all month

Snowfall on Christmas Day

Cold wise, there were a few stunning days between 17th-25th December, the 20th/21st coincided with a very large moon seem to remember that glowed bright orange - it felt like the arctic with maxima around -3 degree and mins below -10 degrees, superb stuff.

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2009 - Even though there was less snow/cold than 2010.

2010 - Probably should be No1, but a lot of the local roads were not gritted (supposedly the salt was sold by the council) , even some of the major roads were still covered in snow up to a week after the Friday night snowfall.

1981 - Snow in early/mid December, and moved house on Monday 21st and there was still snow on the ground on Christmas Day.

1995 - Not massive amounts of snow, but plenty of cold, frosty weather throughout the month; meaning seasonal/festive weather.

Also, shout outs to 2000/01?? Boxing Day night, the return to work coincided with a few inches of snow, 2004 with a late afternoon Christmas Day snowfall, 2014 a brief flurry on Boxing Day which was basically a dusting.

 

 

 

 

 

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not because of the weather but Dec 1995 was magical esp Xmas and New Year ..the seasonal weather certainly helped that year to make it special.

For cold and snow nothing beats Dec 81 and Dec 78..i wasn't in the UK in Dec 2010

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