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The Big Freeze of ten years ago...


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Posted
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn Mornings, Thunderstorms and snow
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth

    December 2010- well where to start?

    November was cold here- I was living at sea level in a village outside Plymouth, and wasnt expecting much cold, but it just built and built. At the time, I was working out on street enforcing and driving home at 2245hrs was interesting at times. Because the village was at the top of the cliff and we lived on the beach road, we got into a pattern that 1 car would be left at the top of the hill, and one at the bottom so I could go to work.

    Early December we had a weeks holiday booked and drove to Manchester and Glossop to see old neighbours and family- and I remember seeing -10 on the car one morning on the roads near to the Woodhead Pass. It was so cold for soft Southerners trust me! Driving home it a winter wonderland on the M6- no water would come through to melt the windscreen! 

    Then we had the mini thaw, which seems to be forgotten- but then from 16th to 17th it turned truly bitter and we got our only snow of that winter- and like an idiot I had driven the spare car down the hill- not a chance of getting out the village. I spent a lovely morning literally walking from Heybrook Bay into Plymouth- never seen weather or cold like it. After that, at work no work as normal, but just digging out the car parks entrances so they were open for the couple of cars!

    The roads turned to sheets of ice, again making driving interesting and we managed to get a car back up the hill (an old Ford Escort 1.6 on it's last legs anyway!) Then remember my Ex husband panically  worried about getting a new sofa delivered before Christmas (it was coming from Basingstoke!). It did finally come on 23rd December. 

    Christmas was just bitter and icy- and going to my ex sister in law on Dartmoor on Xmas Day and struggling to get out of her driveway to come home.

    Then it broke Boxing Day into normal winter fayre for Devon- wet, mild and foggy.

    Amazing to think it was 10 years ago- and how much has changed in that time, both personally and weather wise. I hope to live through another month like it but I'd like some better memories with friends next time!

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    I lived in Grampian at the time. The snow and the cold were amazing.  Had no place to go...

    Maxima and upper-air temperatures  in March 2018 were astonishingly cold for the time of year. A little-known fact, but 1st March 2018 broke the CET record for the lowest daily maximum in March (-1.2C

    Some memories of 2010 from the gallery.   

    Posted Images

    Posted
  • Location: Yorkshire
  • Location: Yorkshire

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/whitby-harbour-frozen/

    https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-bridlington-harbour-frozen-over-in-east-yorkshire-52647199.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/york/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_9267000/9267013.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/york/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_9262000/9262697.stm

    https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the-river-entering-lake-windermere-totally-frozen-over-during-the-33723713.html

    http://www.ayrshirehistory.com/ayr_river_ayr_ice_december_2010.html

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
  • Weather Preferences: Heavy disruptive snowfall.
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
    On 23/11/2020 at 14:16, mushymanrob said:

    Itll soon be ten years since we experienced the coldest December on record. I was wondering, what caused it? Because it apparently wasnt via a SSW. We seem to look for SSWs as the holy grail for cold spells, but Big Freezes can apparently be driven by other factors.
    So what drove the freeze od 2010?  Any ideas?

    Second.

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    The River Kent in centre of Kendal froze from bank to bank in the second cold spell, around the 20th, it partially froze on the 9 December. Not sure last time that happened, but rare, for what is one of if not the fastest flowing main river in the UK.

    Its a shame I didn't take a proper drive around the Lakes to see the extent of lake ice. I suspect Derwent Water will have been frozen completely as it froze in early January 2020. Suspect the banks of parts of Lake Windermere and Ullswater also. The last time Lake Windermere froze substantially was the winter of 62/63, partly in 81/82 I think. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and warm, sunny summers
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
    2 hours ago, feb1991blizzard said:

    Second.

    Maybe second for the CET but in my opinion, 2010 was far more remarkable for many reasons. 1 being that 2010 occurred in an era of warming and another being how cloudy/benign 1890 was. It also well predated the Clean Air Act which gives me the feeling that a lot of the "cold" was down to constant cloud/bad air quality with high pressure over Scandinavia consistently bringing in gloomy easterlies rather than anything snowy. London did apparently have zero hours of sunshine all month.

    If 2010 didn't have that thaw and milder period after Boxing Day, it would have easily bet 1890. 

    1890-91 as a winter overall though was interesting, a cold end to Nov that had similar timing to 2010, the coldest Dec on CET record, a cold Jan, an exceptionally dry Feb with a record mild spell and a March that contained an infamous blizzard. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
  • Weather Preferences: Heavy disruptive snowfall.
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
    27 minutes ago, BruenSryan said:

    Maybe second for the CET but in my opinion, 2010 was far more remarkable for many reasons. 1 being that 2010 occurred in an era of warming and another being how cloudy/benign 1890 was. It also well predated the Clean Air Act which gives me the feeling that a lot of the "cold" was down to constant cloud/bad air quality with high pressure over Scandinavia consistently bringing in gloomy easterlies rather than anything snowy. London did apparently have zero hours of sunshine all month.

    If 2010 didn't have that thaw and milder period after Boxing Day, it would have easily bet 1890. 

    1890-91 as a winter overall though was interesting, a cold end to Nov that had similar timing to 2010, the coldest Dec on CET record, a cold Jan, an exceptionally dry Feb with a record mild spell and a March that contained an infamous blizzard. 

    That must have been an almighty blizzard though.

    image.thumb.png.c86427235119341233ff8299cb60f156.png

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    Posted
  • Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

    My favourite month of weather bar none. Brutal cold, and we probably won't see its like again, sadly.

    My overriding memory of that month was Christmas, when I was back home in Staffordshire. We usually kept drinks outside to keep cold over Christmas to save on fridge space, but that was a bit tricky when it didn't get above -6C despite gloriously sunny skies! 

    Edited by Nick L
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    Posted
  • Location: Peterborough
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and frost in the winter. Hot and sunny, thunderstorms in the summer.
  • Location: Peterborough

    I was in Southampton that winter. On the evening of the 1st December I went to a pub close to the university with a couple of friends. It had been dry and cloudy all day but not long after the snow began to fall. We sat near the log fire and watched it build up. Getting home after several pints was interesting to say the least.

    Just over half a foot of snow fell that night (The most the city had seen in a long time). Enough that we were actually sent home from the undergraduate labs the following day. The snow was still there when I left to go home for Christmas nearly three weeks later.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    I only just managed to get home from Bromley (to Penge) on November 30; one blizzard after t'other... But nae a patch on Glenurquhart, back at Christmas 1995. Nowt beats frost on the inside walls!:santa-emoji:

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    11 hours ago, feb1991blizzard said:

    That must have been an almighty blizzard though.

    image.thumb.png.c86427235119341233ff8299cb60f156.png

    Snow reports for the 18th, 19th and 20th December. These are the amounts of snow that fell on those dates

    Finchley: 4"
    Birchanger: 2"
    Yeovil: 8"
    Bath: 5"
    Cheltenham: 3"
    Pembridge: 6.5"
    Llanfrechta Grange: 8.5"
    Monmouth: 7"
    Pontypridd Castle: 10"
    Rochester: 5"
    Bishops Cannings: 8.5"
    Emsworth: 4"
    Berkhamsted: 4.5"
    Welwyn: 6"
    Ipswich: 3"
    Ross-on-Wye: 7"
    Redditch: 6"
    Alcester: 6"
    Coventry: 4"
    Southport Birkdale: 2"
    Lambourne: 5"
    Teignmouth: 6"
    Bridgwater: 12"
    Clifton: 8"

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Leeds Bradford Airport
  • Weather Preferences: Warm & Sunny in Summer, Cold & Frosty in Winter, Thunderstorms
  • Location: Near Leeds Bradford Airport

    As other have said my all time favourite weather month. I was on holiday so missed the start of the November cold spell, the first half of December was really cold with lots of snow, similar to January 2010. The part that sticks with me though is the second cold spell, we didn’t have as much snow but the temperatures were unbelievably cold.

    I remember Thursday 16th starting wet with rain, by midday the cold air followed on from this and it turned to snow. I remember walking home from sixth form with everything started to freeze on the ground. The following days were the coldest temperatures I’ve ever experienced. It made a fantastic run up to Christmas. I remember the night of the 23rd into Christmas Eve getting down to -14 here with all the trees white over and total silence. Christmas Eve and Day were freezing but sunny with snow on the ground. Perfect timing for a such an amazing spell of weather.

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    Posted
  • Location: chellaston, derby
  • Weather Preferences: The Actual Weather ..... not fantasy.
  • Location: chellaston, derby
    15 hours ago, feb1991blizzard said:

    Second.

    Last month was the coldest December documented for the UK since nationwide records began 100 years ago, the Met Office has confirmed.

    For central England, it was the second coldest December since 1659.

    source - met office jan 2011.

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    Posted
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
  • Weather Preferences: Heavy disruptive snowfall.
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
    1 hour ago, Weather-history said:

    Here's the December 2010 CET thread 

     

    What an earth were people doing???   -    Still going for 3's and 4's on the 30th November! - surprised even GP went for 3.1 - the first seven days were always likely to be significantly sub zero followed by a brief spell of 2 or 3 days average, the plummet afterwards was advertised at that stage from what i remember, both in the modelling and the Met office 30 dayer.

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    22 minutes ago, feb1991blizzard said:

    What an earth were people doing???   -    Still going for 3's and 4's on the 30th November! - surprised even GP went for 3.1 - the first seven days were always likely to be significantly sub zero followed by a brief spell of 2 or 3 days average, the plummet afterwards was advertised at that stage from what i remember, both in the modelling and the Met office 30 dayer.

    Don't know if what happened in recent previous winter months at the time had an affect on decisions? January 2009, 2010 and February 2009 all had cold first third/halves to the months, so did December 2008 and they all had a milder spell at some point in the second half of their months to push the CET up.

     

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
  • Weather Preferences: Heavy disruptive snowfall.
  • Location: Manchester Deansgate.
    7 minutes ago, Weather-history said:

    Don't know if what happened in recent previous winter months at the time had an affect on decisions? January 2009, 2010 and February 2009 all had cold first third/halves to the months, so did December 2008 and they all had a milder spell at some point in the second half of their months to push the CET up.

     

     

    First thought would be that people even of a fairly moderate age were thinking even the coldest winters of their life and particularly the younger people all had Decembers that were average and above but you would think that the previous winter would have tought them that you can still get a severe xmas period.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bethnal Green
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and Cold
  • Location: Bethnal Green
    2 hours ago, Weather-history said:

    Here's the December 2010 CET thread 

     

    I went with 4C! 🤣🤣

    Though to be fair my guess was early and I probably forgot to revise it.

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    Posted
  • Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
    5 hours ago, mushymanrob said:

    Last month was the coldest December documented for the UK since nationwide records began 100 years ago, the Met Office has confirmed.

    For central England, it was the second coldest December since 1659.

    source - met office jan 2011.

    What was your opinion of the month, mushy? I ask as you're one of the few mildies on the forum!

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    Posted
  • Location: Home: Chingford, London (NE). Work: London (Central)
  • Location: Home: Chingford, London (NE). Work: London (Central)

    Even here in London town this was a great spell. 

    It started in late November with several days of cold and snow up until about the 2nd of December. 

    We then had a very heavy, intense snowfall on the 18th. The temperature that night at Kew dropped to -10c I believe which is pretty exceptional in London in this day and age. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Cottingham
  • Weather Preferences: Cold Snowy Winters, Hot Thundery Summers
  • Location: Cottingham

    I loved this month. The snow in Hull was immense and I haven't seen anything like it since. Here are some pics I took 10 years ago:

    image.thumb.png.584f6582b19659b8ee3d1069f5705199.pngimage.thumb.png.acaef8e7a55af258345b1037570ff30e.pngimage.thumb.png.2f28030d3b7f3292d7ece23676a91c0d.pngimage.thumb.png.648c9accad5e231852b1a47b713992c8.pngimage.thumb.png.6f079b23abc5241dc6ce85b14841dfd5.pngimage.thumb.png.332cb053e36415e3fd1ffef24ec92c8d.pngimage.thumb.png.4da1cbbe66d33c52f84d0b8e40788c89.pngimage.thumb.png.fdb2ff9b42dcf8b09ebb610bf030c640.png

    These were taken in late November and there was further dumpings of snow at the start of December courtesy of a chilly easterly. The first week was exceptionally cold. It then calmed down in the second week with high pressure nearby but it was still pretty cold. Then after mid-month we got a really cold, blustery northerly. Hull stayed mostly dry for the rest of the month. Christmas was the coldest period of all with minus double digit minimums in the run up.

    I remember a GFS run around the 17th / 18th which was the most audacious for cold that I have ever seen. It had a proper white Christmas and the cold lasting all the way to the end. In the end, the immediate run up to Christmas saw high pressure falling over us, then a southerly near New Years day which scuppered our chances of a record breaking CET.

     

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    Posted
  • Location: chellaston, derby
  • Weather Preferences: The Actual Weather ..... not fantasy.
  • Location: chellaston, derby
    1 hour ago, Nick L said:

    What was your opinion of the month, mushy? I ask as you're one of the few mildies on the forum!

    I enjoyed it, because it was proper cold, i liked december 81 too for the same reasons.. i dont like half hearted farty cold.. proper snowfall or f all, lol

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    Posted
  • Location: Edinburgh (previously Chelmsford and Birmingham)
  • Weather Preferences: Unseasonably cold weather (at all times of year), wind, and thunderstorms.
  • Location: Edinburgh (previously Chelmsford and Birmingham)
    19 hours ago, Nick L said:

    My favourite month of weather bar none. Brutal cold, and we probably won't see its like again, sadly.

    What do you think is still possible?

    I'm not ruling out future occurrences of sub-zero monthly CETs.

    Edited by Relativistic
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    On 23/11/2020 at 20:34, Timmytour said:

    A little bit more seriously than the above post (only a little!) put forward in a near-complete absence of knowledge let alone expertise......

    I wonder if there was a connection to the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland?   The seismic activity that pre-empted the eruptions had begin at the end of 2009.  After a warm October and November in 2009 we then saw a cool December and then 2010...the only year since 1973 in the UK where not one single month registered in its top 10% warmest list.  I can only imagine the eruptions had some impact upon the upper atmosphere that last for some time. 

    Incidentally, in 2010 it was feared the volcano's near-neighbour, the larger Katia, would be set off at the time.  although it hasn't registered anything other than small sub glacial eruptions since 1918, the last time it registered a VEI of 3 or above,  Between 1580 and 1918 it registered 9 eruptions between VEI3 and VEI5 ,  so that would indicate  one is certainly overdue.   Personally I imagine such eruptions would be a bit like an SSW.....it would give us a shot of getting in some really cold weather, but would depend on us falling on the right side of things.

     

    I've often had this in mind as the no.1 top suspect for that incredible December. Major eruptions happen all the time (well not really but hisotrically common) and they don't often lead to dramatic effects for Europe, but Eyjafjallajokull was special in that it's located right in the area we want normal weather patterns to be disturbed. I have absolutely zero scientific evidence to back my gut hunch up with but I just have a strong feeling that eruption played a huge part. 

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m
    On 25/11/2020 at 06:09, Nick L said:

    My favourite month of weather bar none. Brutal cold, and we probably won't see its like again, sadly.

    My overriding memory of that month was Christmas, when I was back home in Staffordshire. We usually kept drinks outside to keep cold over Christmas to save on fridge space, but that was a bit tricky when it didn't get above -6C despite gloriously sunny skies! 

    Not really sure where you get your pessimism from? Surely you know the data on subzero months and half months that could have easily stayed cold with slightly different set ups.Does 2010,2013 and 2018 not give you any hope?As for me 'Brutal cold' is not -15deg,calm and sunny days it is March 2018,March 2013,end of December 1995,January 1987,January 1979 and the coldest of the lot February 1986.When it is -9 at night and -3 during the day unrelenting for 6 weeks with a stiff easterly wind, at 340meteres in the pennines,that is Cold!

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