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Winter 1993/94


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Posted
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl

This winter must surely be regarded as a cold, if not severe one - especially December 1993. There was an article in our local paper tonight contrasting the mild of this October to the blizzards of mid October 1993 which affected much of northern Scotland (i'd appreciate any worthy stats for that cold snap). In addition, it mentioned a cold December which included a white Christmas and heavy snow on Hogmanay causing chaos to New Year celebrations. :)

Much is made of December 1981 but after having a look at the GFS archive, December 1993 must've been just as cold - at least for Scotland. (January also looked a very cold month!)

Again, i'd be grateful to anyone willing to contribute stats/figures relating to this winter. :)

Regards

Clark

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

I remember the winter very well, in fact in Tyne & Wear it would appear to have been marginally snowier than 1995/96, and consequently, the snowiest winter since I started taking weather records in 1993.

In October 1993, there were snow showers in northern Scotland around the 15th-16th (it was probably cold enough for snow in other areas, but shower activity was limited) and Aberdeen had a two-inch deep snow cover on the 16th. At 8.5C CET the month was very cold.

November 1993 contained a notable easterly incursion around the 20th-22nd, with exceptionally cold Russian air moving west over the warm North Sea, and bringing heavy frequent snow showers to much of eastern Britain. In Tyne & Wear the snow stuck around for a week, which is very unusual for November. At 4.6C CET it was one of the coldest Novembers of the 20th century.

December 1993 had a north-south split, with the south being generally mild and unsettled but with a brief cold snap around Christmas, while Scotland, with frequent northerly and north-westerly Arctic incursions, had a cold snowy month.

Christmas Day 1993 had snowfall over large parts of the country although it amounted to little in many places; Tyne & Wear was one of the minority of regions that saw a proper White Christmas that year with falls and accumulations of snow during the afternoon. The CET was 5.5C.

January 1994 was actually generally mild and unsettled with a CET of 5.3 although Scotland was less than a degree milder than normal, and there were some marginal snow events around the 6th-8th and again from a northerly toppler around midmonth.

February 1994 then had a decidedly wintry second half, with frequent easterly winds, some frontal snowfalls as Atlantic fronts stalled against the cold air, and snow showers in the northeast. The cold air held on, largely non-stop, for a fortnight in northeast Scotland. The CET at 3.3C wasn't particularly cold, but temperatures were 1-2 degC below the 1961-90 average in much of Scotland and NE England.

March 1994 was dominated by westerly winds, and was mild in most parts but with some cold wintry spells in Scotland during the third week from north-westerly winds.

April 1994 got off to a wintry start in the north and west.

Overall, the winter featured a fair amount of regional bias, with much of the northeast having a very snowy winter, while much of the south and west had nothing exceptional- although generally snowier than most recent winters.

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Posted
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl

Thanks for that analysis TWS. Obviously whilst checking the archive sypnotics, I generally foccused on the weather Aberdeen experienced and as you say NE Scotland was one of the more colder and snowier areas that winter.

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

Winter 1993-94 may have been a milder than average winter but it was snowier than some winters with a lower CET and it was snowier than the previous two winters put together.

It came off the back of the coldest autumn for since 1952 and one of the coldest Autumns of the 20th Century.

A polar low on the 15th/16th of October gave some of the earliest snowfalls to NE Scotland for a number of years. There was also some record breaking minima for October recorded during that month.

The second half of November was notably cold, the 23rd of November was a very cold day in Manchester in freezing fog and sub-zero maxima(-2C maximum). It was a very cold day in Aberdeen on the 24th, it only got to -6C that day.#

In Scotland, it was the coldest December since 1981 and there were some snowfalls. A low tracked cross central parts on the 20th and this gave snowfall in places. I remember the snow falling that evening and sticking in Manchester. Snow fell in places that Christmas Day and it was the first time snow fell on the day for a number of places since at least 1980.

January was disappointing for snow although there was the disruptive snowfall to the north and west of London on the 6th. There was some serious flooding at Chichester during the first week of 1994.

February was quite wintry at times. I remember John Kettley on Countryfile predicting the end of the cold easterly spell for the 15th. It never really happened and John Kettley predicted again on the following week's Countryfile that he was more confident that the cold spell would end on the 22nd but it wasn't really until the 25th that cold spell ended for most parts but for the very far north, I think it was early March before it finally broke.

# checked the figure it was -6C that day for Aberdeen. Newcastle: a meagre -3C, Glasgow and Leeds -1C

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
.

The second half of November was notably cold, the 23rd of November was a very cold day in Manchester in freezing fog and sub-zero maxima(-2C maximum). It was a very cold day in Aberdeen on the 24th,  it only got to -6C that day.#

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Looking back at that November, there were some exceptionally low minima recorded on the 23rd for the southwest peninsula. Record breaking infact

-9C at Bastreet

-6C at Chivenor

-4C at St Mawgan

:)

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Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury

I started a thread about February 1994 a couple of months ago in this section.

1993 was a superb autumn, with frost/fog in abundance and although not particularly dry was much drier than the recent monsoon autumns, especially October.

October had some hard frosts here, it didn't snow but several nights got well below freezing. Although the first 10 days or so of November were unexciting things soon changed, the frost returning and at least one day remained below freezing. I remember football being cancelled because the pitches were frozen solid at midday. A light overnight snowfall meant Sunday 21st was the first "day of snow lying" in Shrewsbury since February 1991. Only a cm or so, but the temperatures in this spell were impressively low for autumn.

December was very mixed, some heavy rain and flooding (much of town centre underwater at one point) and a snow shower on Christmas Day too. January was mostly mild and boring, apart from the first week when there was some more frost.

February had 2 separate snow events that I covered in the February 1994 thread.

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset

I remember Peter Cockcroft's countryfile forecast on 21st November 1993 - and he underestimated the snow that was (or was'nt) forecast at times for the Midlands.

His forecast for Tuesday 23rd, mentioned 'more sleet and snow in the east, perhaps with hail and thunder' (did thundery activity occur - does anyone hold any records?), as exceptionally cold air triggered convection over the North Sea.

He seemed to miss the Atlantic front, that swept in later on 24th, bringing us a decent snowfall - although it did weaken further north and east.

December 1993 was remarkably mixed here, with some very mild days interspersed with short cold snaps and some snow around mid-month. There were also severe gales on the 15th. Snow also settled well on 27th.

I recall a mild and changeable January 1994, followed by a very cold second half of Feb, with 2 or 3 heavy snowfalls. I remember March 1994 as being very windy, and April as being cold and showery in the first half - with a thunderstorm on the 9th, producing hail and snow!

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

My records for the relevant period of November 1993 in Cleadon, Tyne & Wear:

20th November: Cloudy (most likely the typical 'easterly' stratocumulus dross) with occasional light rain showers.

21st November: Sunshine and snow showers, but no thunder mentioned. The snow was reluctant to settle on the east coast with just the odd temporary dusting (although it settled further inland). The weather type illustrated a strange quirk with easterly winds on the east coast: when you get vigorous convection and snow showers, you are often more likely to see the sun than when convection is limited.

22nd November: Possibly the most likely date for thunder. The records say heavy prolonged snow showers, and significant accumulations occurred even on the east coast itself. I didn't mention any thunder.

23rd November: Cold and dry with hazy sunshine, and no snow showers. There was no thaw at all in the snow cover.

The fact that I didn't mention any thunder doesn't mean there wasn't any; I didn't watch out for 'thundersnow' when I was very young as I didn't even know that it was possible. For the record, I didn't mention any thunder on the 21st February 1994 (a very similar day across the region) while nearby Newcastle reported lightning damage.

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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London

I remember this period quite well, October 1993 was wet and generally cold but as mentioned the arrival of a huge Scandanvian/Siberian High brought some widespread snowfall to Eastern coastal areas particularly between the 21st -23rd. I think in the early hours of the 22nd some 3-4" of wet snow had fallen and at the time I was travelling to Southend College and the journey was hazardous, although there was a part thaw the temps over the next few days hardly got above 2/3 degrees! which was cold for November (particularly if you compare with winters of present). The snow had fully thawed by about 24th to be followed bya December of continous rains and flooding problems.

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