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Our younger days - Winter memories......


SMU

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Evening all- Thought Id pop a little message on here to evoke memories of what we used to do as children when we thought it was going to snow-

Heres my memories-

I was always fanatical about snow,my parents used to stand bemused at this scruffy 8 year old standing looking out of the window on the landing waiting for it to snow......

It was an obsession- every day at 12pm I would have the European weather forecast recorded onto video for me ( Usually forecast by Bill giles) so I could view the impending pressure charts.

I had all sorts of second hand temperature guages in the garden giving me that vital information-

Then sometimes the news that id been waiting for- " A blast from the East was coming"

The excitement was amazing.-

Finally the day came where the showers would come....

If it was dark I used to look to the east over shooters hill to see if the ' BLUR' level was getting worse- The blur level being the more shooters hill was blurred from sight the heavier the snow was!!!!!!

1987 was the best- Sent home from school and the heavy snow continued to fall- it lay 1ft deep on the dustbin outside- and the temp that day peaked at -5C- all in all some great memories.....

Has anyone else got any funny memories of what they used to

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Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet

I can remember doing very similar things too. Every day without fail I would listen to the forecast on the Home Service (now radio 4) at 5:55, followed by the BBC TV Weather Forecast, usually by Jack Scot. Preceding a famous cold spell, I am sure it was 1962, he explained that the temperature in Finland was –30c and he was watching the situation very carefully, because there was a high chance our weather may soon be coming from there. I told my mum and dad it was going to freeze soon, they said don’t worry it will never get this far. When it happened I was hooked, I am just as fanatical today 42 years later.

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

During nights when there were frequent snow showers, I would lie awake for most of the night watching the snow...

I would remain glued to the window watching the horizon disappearing into the 'fog' of snowflakes, by day or night. I also used to monitor temperatures regularly to improve my knowledge of how cold it had to be for snow.

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Posted
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley

Same as Stu. 79 was great being 7 and living on highish ground in Chelmsford, the snow depths looked deeper when we were ickle. 1981/2 was great for drifts and 1987 was probably the best with 10 foot drifts in places in the country, the only other winter of note was i think 1990 or 91' when i started work and left the smoke at 5pm to dig my car out at about 630pm at the station car park :shock: 8)

Paul Sherman

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I believe that what got me interested was winter 1993-94, a winter which featured a lot of north-easterly winds bringing a mix of sunny spells and snow showers to South Tyneside (particularly 20-22 November 1993, Christmas Day 1993, and at intervals during February 1994).

I was fascinated by the way the snow showers seemed to cast 'fogs' over the affected areas, in particular.

The big "interest" year for me, meteorologically speaking, though, was 1995. I remember that until March 1995, I believed that only north and east winds could bring snow, and being amazed when during the first week of the month, westerly and south-westerly winds prevailed, yet the showers they brought were mostly of snow. Then there was the early snows on the 17th November, and the white Christmas.

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Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

Hi

I'm embarrassed by all those who obviously were only tiny tots when I had been working for years, so best I not reveal my best winters!

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Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

My earliest winter memory must be 1987 by the way everyone is talking, had about a foot of snow in 6 hours and were sent home from school an hour early 8)

Next day back at school was a snow building comp 8)

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

I think I must have been interested in the weather from the moment I left the womb.

My earliest snow memory is February 1956 when, after a severe blizzard, I was amazed to see my cousin walking over the top of our garden hedge on drifts 6 to 9 feet deep. The entire road through our village was filled with snow, I was almost 3 at the time and drifts that deep looked immense.

The winter of 1962/63 was a dream come true and I began my own weather station as a result (at the end of the winter unfortunately) and have continued to do so until the present day.

My fanaticism has not decreased with increasing age. Every weather forecast must be watched/listened to and every word analysed, every nuance interpreted for potential interesting weather.

One entire room of the house is filled with meteorological books, maps, magazines, records, data etc etc. I wallow in data like a Hippo' in a tropical river ( poor analogy, I'm not really as fat as a Hippo')

If computers and boards like this had been around when I was in my teens I would have been the archetypal geek.

T.M

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What a great post TM- Im glad I started this thread now as obviously I wasnt the only one looking out of the window on those winter nights when everyone else was asleep.....

The more I think about the more I miss those wintry nights.......

regards

Steve

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

According to my mum, I would tell her when it was going to rain whilst I was still in my pram. In fact, until I read TM's post, I'd thought I was the original "weatherfoetus"; now, I'm not so sure? 8):)

I do, like TWS, have memories of sitting window-side of the bedroom curtains all-night watching [even the most miniscule 8) ] falls of snow.

The thing that really made my mind up, however, was the 1963 winter: weeks and weeks and weeks of the white stuff!!! 8)8):)

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

It's not just snow with me; gales are a close second. Living where I do, it's not quite as good as the west coast but we do get our fair share.

How many times have I crawled out of bed in the small hours and trecked 800 yds to the top of the moor behind our house in a howling gale with my trusty hand held anemometer to see what the highest gusts were reaching.

The incredulous and long suffering Mrs Terminal giving me looks which obviously indicated she feared for my mental health.

How much strain does it place on a marriage made in heaven when one half keeps getting out of bed and going to the window to see if it's still snowing or if the wind is strong enough to warrant the treck up the moor mentioned above?

She's still with me after 34 years though and of course my infallible forecasts on washing day are an immense plus.

T.M

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

I know what you're saying - crawling out of bed when it's -10, just for a "snobs" [snow observation] does let a lot of cold air into the bed??? 8):)8)8)

I suppose it's something to do with all those times when, after Bert Foord's snow forecast, I flew out of bed early the next morning to see NOTHING!!! :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

There's nothing quite so devastatingly disappointing as that when you're a child ( or a bit older ). Santa not arriving was a mere inconvenience by comparison.

T.M

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I remember the disappointment of Christmas Day 2001, when I 'expected' a White Christmas. Sure enough, the day started with a flurry of light snowflakes, and I got excited.

The rest of the day was dry and cloudy. No snow.

On another day, I might have been really disappointed on Christmas Day 1996, when inland parts of my region had snow, but being on the east coast I just got rain. However, I recall not minding too much because at least I got my favourite mix of sun and showers (albeit of the wrong precipitation type) and having had a proper white Christmas the previous year.

Disappointment came as recently as 28 January 2004, when every forecast model except the GFS was predicting heavy snow for Lancaster, but the GFS model had seen the plume of milder air coming from south-west of Iceland a few days in advance. Even the BBC forecast late on the 27th failed to spot it. In the event, the GFS was spot on, and there was a good deal of sleety rain instead.

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

I used to lose my temper after I'd shot to the window to find it raining instead...My mum would put her head round the door and say "It hasn't snowed then..." 8)

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The first major snow event I remember was in 1982, where there was snow on the ground for nearly a fortnight.

But I also remember a time around January 1987,where an Atlantic front brought heavy snow to much of Southern Britain, however due to us being in a coastal location we missed out, that was very annoying.

Snow has continued to please and dismay, unfortunately not in equal measure.

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Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham

First memory was the famous winter of 1979 when I was seven years old. I remember standing on the garden path in level snow and it was above my knees. Also many hedges and fences completely buried by snow drifts, the school gates completely buried by snow drifts. I remember a long peroid, I believe 81/82 where we had extreme cold and snow either side of christmas. I got a bike and couldn't go out on it. The snow thawed a little for a few days and I was able to ride on the roads where tyre tracks had ground the ice away. Then it snowed again and remained frozen for weeks on end. There is a hill that kids sledge down called "the green hill" and after a few days the snow was so compacted and frozen solid that we were able to sledge down the hill on our feet!!

Growing up in the 80's I remember a fair few cold snaps and heavy snows, getting sent home from school etc. But we didn't really appreciate it then, it was just "normal"....and great fun. Ah the exitement...every time it snowed I'd be out there trying to get a good measurement. I regularly got a good eight or nine inches......and often the snow was that deep too, fnarr, fnarr.

Last real good dumping was 1991, with a level 14 inches, thats 35cm for you kids out there. Also in Birmingham in 1996, I recorded 12 inches. Although there wasn't as much in the North East on that occasion.

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Guest Phil_Uk

Good thread this, had made me reminisce.

January 1982 :

As an 11 year old back in January 1982 when cold, bleak and what seemed like a continuous blizzard with a foot or so of lying snow, and walking to school. I even beat the bus getting there.

Strange how every other school was closed yet ours remained open. Our local radio used to announce which schools were closed and those that remained open. I distinctly remember my first lesson being home economics that morning, and the tutor, Mrs Campbell said to us "Why are you late?"

It was at that time when I wished that I suffered a real bout of verbal Tourette's Syndrome. Could have done with the suspension too just to get home and thaw out! :mrgreen:

February 1987 :

At work and Mr Muggins here (yes, me! :evil: ) was asked to work outside all day in temperatures of -4c and constant falling snow which levelled out at about 10in on the ground. You try moving pallets on a forklift truck faster than the snow was settling underneath the wheels!

Suffice to say that I took the following week off from work with flu!

(Confession time! I only had flu for two days, but thought I'd make my bosses feel guilty. Jumped up little Hitlers they were. Got paid for the week though. Mr Hamilton Evans, if you're reading this, then :fist: )

December 1991 :

Went to bed on the Friday night after coming home drenched with rain from seeing the girlfriend at the time, woke up on the Saturday morning at about 9.00am and saw a foot of lying snow. Throughout the entire day, there was almost impossible visibility due to powder snow falling so heavy, and the overhead power lines about a mile away from me, you could see flashing as it began to grow dark, but at about 8Pm that night, the blizzard subsided and froze over.

That I think beat the 1982 blizzard. Not sure if I'll ever see anything like that again, especially at the intensity that the snow came down. Was due to a cold front coming down from the North with colder air behind which undercut the front as it passed over mainland Britain, then stalled over the Midlands, Wales and Norfolk/Suffolk regions.

Wished I could find a radar pic for that day. The colours were extremely bright from East Wales, all the way along to Norfolk! 8)

Phil.

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I do have a vague recollection of February 1991, being amazed at the deepness of the snow cover and measuring it (must have been at least 5-6 inches deep). Unfortunately I wasn't old enough to appreciate it then.

The only time that depth has been remotely approached in South Tyneside since was on 30 January 2003 (while I was in Lancaster), and 28 February 2004 (also when I was in Lancaster).

Lancaster has reached similar snow depths in March 1995 (when I was in South Tyneside) and February 1996 (likewise).

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Posted
  • Location: Gateshead, Tyne and Wear - 320ft ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Cold snowy weather in winter. Dry and warm in summer.
  • Location: Gateshead, Tyne and Wear - 320ft ASL

I have lots of memories of snow both here and abroad. I regularly go skiing and see depths of level snow up to 1 metre yearly. Last year for example I witnessed a snowfall of 2ft in the Alps and in 2003 saw 3-4ft fall in 36hrs in Colorado. But snowfall in Britain always seems that bit more special.

I used to travel to Scotland skiing in 90's and saw some remarkable depths of snow there. I can remember travelling through walls of snow 12ft deep on the way up to Cairngorm mountain. A lot of people in the south don't appreciate just how much snow Scotland gets some winters - the last probably being 2001.

Here in the north east we don't seem to have been affected as much as most areas in terms of snow. Last year there was probably 9-10 days snowcover here, in february it snowed to around 1ft and in January there was around 4-5 inches. I don't have to go too far back to remember a decent fall.

Feb 1991 was probably my earliest memory of snow. I can recall the backyard being full of snow and my Dad having to clear it. I can also recall the snow sliding of the roofs like in the Alps when the thaw set in.

I am hoping to have some better memories after this winter.

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Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)

My earliest recolections of winter were back in the mid 80s when I was around 10 years old. I grew up in south Kent, and there were severe cold spells from the east in '85, '86 and Jan '87, which brought fond memories of upto a week of school and sledging down the escarpment of the North Downs. There are many natural ponds around where I was living, and a particular severe spell in Feb 1986 was so cold that the ice was thick enough to walk across and jump up amd down on. I have memories of there been large icicles which formed from snow melt freezing at night hanging off the eves of roofs where I lived and stories of people being seriously hurt by them falling. Burst water pipes were also a frequent problem in the winters back then.

Jan 1987 probably sticks in the mind the most. I was about 11 years old, and vividly recall the onset of that particular spell. I was travelling home from London by train on the Sunday and remembered how the grey streets and buildings of London transformed into almost white out conditions as we travelled through the Kent countryside, and the snow didn't stop for two days, as a result the school was shut for a week. It was my first experience of snowdrifts aswell which cut-off many roads around during that spell.

Feb 1991 was the last severe spell we've had in the SE, with a minor 3 day cold snowy spell at the end of Dec 1996 since. So I feel lucky to have been old enough to remember the winters pre 1991, because there hasn't been much since.

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Posted
  • Location: Eye, Suffolk
  • Location: Eye, Suffolk

I cant remember exact years but the first major major snow event was around one valentines day in the late seventies (probably 78-79). My school shut early in the morning because the main teacher could not get in beacuse of the snow. Strange I thought at the time because no snow had yet fallen and she lived only about 20 miles away near the Suffolk coast. Shortly after the snow started and the winds picked up and it continued overnight and possibly all the next day (I think!!). Anyway when it stopped, we had at least a foot of lying snow in the sheltered parts and 6 foot drifts cut off our village on every road in and out. Took a whole day for the JCB's to remove the snow from the roads. I always remember the newspapers headlines saying "More to Come". Unfortunately it never did. However it did take a good week for most of teh snow to melt.

Second major event was the proper blizzard we had in the early eighties (I think it was early eighties). This was causes by a low pressure system moving across the South and East (not sure where it went from there). I know it happened on a Sunday and began at dusk. Again the village was completely cut off. This was the most snow I have seen fall in such a short time. I have seen blizzard conditions since but I'm sure, never a proper blizzard like this.

Other memories I recall was the December when we had lying snow for at least two weeks before and 1 week or more after Xmas. The roads were in the area were just like sheets of ice. I remember that water in buckets never actually melted during the day.

There have been many more snow events in the eighties and early nineties including drifting and blizzard conditions. In fact too many for me to remember correctly.

Here's hoping to see another major event before long.

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Posted
  • Location: W Kent/E Sussex border (T Wells) 139m ASL
  • Location: W Kent/E Sussex border (T Wells) 139m ASL

Having been brought up in North London in the 1950s/early 1960s I cannot remember any real serious snow event until 1962/3. Boxing Day 1962 was really cold and the snow arrived as it was getting dark, blowing around and not immediately settling. However, by the end of the night there must have been 5 to 6 inches. Since then I have been a snow fanatic. After Boxing Day my memory of that winter is of very cold clear days with a good top up of snow whenever it was needed taking us through until March.

After that the highlights for me were New Years Eve 1969, Jan 1979 and the December of 1981, which was quite fantastic as the BBC forecast rain which turned out to be heavy snow which then lasted for 3 weeks!

We did not have the 1970 "White Christmas" - I've never seen one.

In 1985 I moved to Tunbridge Wells and to start off with I was spoilt - 1986, 1987 and 1991 all producing really snowy cold spells. I thought it would be like this all the time here - three heavy snowfalls in 6 years - 1987 being the greatest ever! Looking back this seems to have been a golden period.

Since then we have had sthe odd good snowfalls in, I think, 1996 (very localised) and 1997, but after that just little bits that have gone quite quickly, more often in Feb/Mar unless my memory is playing tricks.

All we really need here is a really cold ENE wind over a warmish north sea (not cold!). It can (and will) happen again (I hope!). It just needs patience. Perhaps this year?

I look forward to waking up at 3 am (having been promised snow by the "forecasters") looking out of the window and actually seeing it snowing - instead of the usual rain or.....just nothing!

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