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January 2003 and the forgotten cold spell


conor123
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Posted
  • Location: Madrid, Spain (Formerly Telford)
  • Location: Madrid, Spain (Formerly Telford)

    Whilst overall being a mild month with a CET 0.8c above average there was some cold

    spells during the month.

    On Friday 3rd as colder air swept down northern areas were hit by snow.

    Some snow fell across the Midlands to despite being forecast rain, then

    when forecast snow it turned back to rain here :D before turning to

    snow again later :lol:

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    Meanwhile the SE saw flooding

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    The major cold arrived by the 6th and a day late the SE was hit by blizzards.

    A rare sight it was to see London in blizzards

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    ''The extreme SE saw 2 to 5cms of snow early on the 7th which brought chaos during rush hour. More snow on the 8th affected Greater London south to the M25, NW Kent, Essex and parts of Surrey. Between 4 and 8cms fell in most places, with up to 12cms in Essex. In central London it was the heaviest since February 1991. Occasional wintry showers later.'' Met Office

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    The snow wasnt as heavy further west, there was only a dusting - 1 inch of snow here

    but further east the chaos went on.

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    As the thaw set in as a HP cell arrived cold air continued to reign especially by night

    with -9c reported in parts of Surrey and Kent. -15c was the low in parts of Scotland.

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    ''Snow has fallen on London - a very rare sight in the city - and people in Kent, Essex and the West Country have woken up to a white countryside.

    This week has seen temperatures as low as minus 15C in the Scottish Highlands and a couple of degrees below freezing in most of England and Wales. ''

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    However milder air soon swept in Rtavn00220030114.png

    There was also another cold spell at the end of the month,

    and for the first week of feb.

    As for a detailed summary - thanks to British Isles Weather Diary

    Skies cleared across W Scotland and much of Ireland into the 3rd, resulting in very low temperatures in NW Scotland. Rain, sleet and snow from NW England to the Midlands extended across into N England and moved slowly south, breaking up during the morning. Wintry showers fell over Ireland and showers were also wintry over N Scotland and NE England. During the afternoon and evening the clearance spread S, with cloud restricted to E coast areas and SE England by midnight with wintry showers to the N. Flood levels were thought to have peaked in the afternoon - but more than 100 flood warnings remained in place, mainly in East Anglia. Severe flood warnings - meaning an imminent risk to life or property - remained in place around the Surrey towns of Chertsey and Weybridge. About 100 houses had already been flooded there by what is normally a minor tributary of the Thames. (Guernsey 13C, Spadeadam -1C maximum, Altnaharra -10C, Prestatyn 25mm, Eskdalemuir 6.0h.)

    During the 4th a N airflow kept cloud to mostly E coast areas of Britain with mainly sunny conditions futher W. It was another widespread cold morning, especially in Scotland. There were showers in the E and over north Wales during the night, and a small area of snow pushed SW over SE England early in the day leaving 6cm of lying snow near Dover. There were also showers arounf some Irish Sea coasts and in SW England for a while. Further snow showers fell in NE England during the morning, before pushing S later in the day. (Falmouth 7C, Aviemore -2C maximum, Carnwath -10C minimum, Baltasound 11mm, Tenby 7.2h.)

    Conditons on the 5th were similar to the preceding day, with cloud most confined to E Britain and sopme Sw areas, and mostly clear skies to the W. There were snow showers in the E and over N Scotland overnight, with some over NE England during the day. Snow showers also occurred over high ground in SW England during the day, with mist and fog patches forming in Cent S England by midnight. (St. Mary's 8C, Biggar -1C maximum, Biggar -11C minimum, Margate 5mm, Saunton Sands 7.2h.)

    The 6th dawned with some cloud in NE and E England, and in S Ireland, but mostly clear conditions elsewhere. Mist and fog patches were widespread around Cent S England, and there was a widespread air frost over much of Britain away from the coasts. There were wintry showers in NE England overnight, and more hail and snow showers fell over East Anglia and Kent later in the morning and at times in the afternoon and evening. Cloud persisted over East Anglia and NE England throughout the day, with patchy cloud over Scotland and S Ireland; eleswhere it was a cold but sunny day. No trains were running from Oxford to Didcot, Reading or Paddington because the tracks are under 30cm of water. Motorists in Oxford were also being warned to expect major disruption as many of the city's roads are badly flooded. (St Marys 8C, Altnaharra -7C maximum, Altnaharra -13C minimum, Folkestone 3mm, Newquay 7.4h.)

    There was a cold start to the 7th over inland parts of N Scotland, with minima including Glenlivet -14.1C, Altnaharra -16.1°C and Aviemore -18.3C. Cloud was initially restricted to E England and S Ireland and SW England with rain falling in these latter two areas along wityh some snow over high ground in SW England. Snow also fell in E England before dawn, with an area of snow giving a light covering to SE England before dawn. Cloud developed over Ireland during the morning and persisted across S and E England until the evening. By midnight clear skies and a widespread air frost prevailed over most W parts of Britain and Ireland, although rain showers continued in SW Ireland. As flooding continued around Oxford a spokesman from the Environment Agency said the River Thames in Oxford reached its highest level since 1947 over the last few days. (Torquay 6C, Aviemore -9C maximum, Aviemore -18C minimum, Exmouth 4mm, Prestatyn 6.2h.)

    By dawn on the 8th cloud was widespread over NE England and East Anglia, with lesser amounts in E Scotland and SW parts of the British Isles. Elsewhere clear skies again led to a widespread frost, with minima including Loch Glascarnoch -11.1C, Altnaharra -15.6C and Aviemore -16.3C. Snow across East Anglia and around Lincolnshire gradually pushed into the East Midlands, and during the morning into much of SE England, as cloud spread across much of Cent England. Snow showers also affected E Scotland, with rain in the Northern Isles. Wintry showers also fell across parts of SW England and S Wales, with falls pushing W to Manchester and SW Scotland before midnight. There were 120 flights cancelled from Heathrow Airport to Europe due to snowfall. 5cm of snow fell in central London - the most for 9 years - throughout the morning, with up to 10cm reported lying in S Essex. Snow caused the railway line between Hexham and Newcastle in the North East to be closed, leading to cancellations and delays on Arriva Trains Northern services. On the roads, the AA dealt with almost 2,000 breakdowns an hour as cars refused to start in freezing conditions. (Sella Ness 6C, Kenley -1C maximum, Aviemore -16C minimum, Edinburgh 7mm, Jersey 7.1h.)

    Rain and snow over the Midlands early on the 9th had become confined to East Anglia by 0600GMT, where falls were mostly of snow showers. Elsewhere, there was some rain in the warmer air over exterme N parts of Scotland, and patchy cloudy elsewhere. Shwoers continued along the NE coast of England during the day, accompanied by gusts to 40kn despite NSL pressure around 1025mb there. By the evening most parts of the British Isles were cloudy, with snow shwoers in East Anglia and Cent S England, and further rain showers in the Northern Isles. (Isle of Man 7C, Altnaharra -6C, Eskdalemuir 7mm, Bognor Regis 7.6h.)

    High pressure continued to build over the British Isles on the 10th, with 1037mb reported over Cent Ireland by 2400GMT. There were a few showers across N Scotland and in parts of S England before dawn, but most areas had a dry day. A notable exception continued to be E England, with showers of sleet and hail in NE England and snow in East Anglia during the day. Most areas had sunny spells during the day, and by midnight there was a widespread across Scotland under the clear skies. (Barra 9C, Strathallan -5C, Hunstanton 5mm, Isle of Man 6.3h.)

    The high pressure centred slipped S during the 11th, with a central value of 1039mb over S Wales and SW England later in the day. Cloud was mostly patchy and most parts of the British Isles had a sunny day, although there were rain and showers over the Northern Isles overnight and into the morning, and freezing fog around dawn across cent England that lingered all day in a few places. The afternoon brought more widespread cloud moving W across Scotland and W Ireland, accompanied by rain and rain showers in W Scotland and W ireland as the temperature rose here, to 7C in the Western Isles and Belmullet at 2400GMT. The continuing cold spell meant that frozen ground led to the cancellation of many sporting fixtures during the day, however. (Ronaldsway 9C, Church Lawford -1C maximum, Moyola -5C minimum, Scarborough 5mm, Saunton Sands 7.8h.)

    Although clear skies in the S led to a sharp frost in S England on the 12th, accompanied by mist and fog patches in places, by mid-morning cloud had spread to most areas N of a line Norwich - Valentia with rain then falling across Ireland and S and W Scotland. The cloud continued to move further S and by the evening rain and drizzle was widespread across the Midlands, N England and N Wales, with falls also across much of Scotland. At 2400GMT MSL pressure was 1037mb in the Channel Islands, with 11C being the temperature in Belmullet as the warmer air progresses S and E. (Tulloch Bridge 10C, Lowestoft 1C maximum, Redhill -10C minimum, Lusa 17mm, Folkestone 7.8h.)

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    I haven't seen a "blizzard" since the early '80's.

    The word "blizzard", I think is one of the most misused weather words. A lot of people who claim "blizzard" in describing current conditions more than likely are being OTT.

    Edited by Mr_Data
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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Snow , thunderstorms and wind
  • Location: Dublin, ireland

    As far as I am aware a blizzard is when winds reach 30mph when it is snowing. I stand open to correction though.

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    Posted
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl
  • Weather Preferences: warm and sunny, thunderstorms, frost, fog, snow, windstorms
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl

    Ye i think your right John the metoffice says: Moderate or heavy snow accompanied by winds of 30 m.p.h. or more, with visibility reduced to 200 m or less; or drifting snow giving rise to similar conditions.

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    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
    As far as I am aware a blizzard is when winds reach 30mph when it is snowing. I stand open to correction though.

    really? I always thought it would be much more severe than that. In that case i've seen quite a few since the '80's!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Norton, Stockton-on-Tees
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and cold in winter, warm and sunny in summer
  • Location: Norton, Stockton-on-Tees

    The last blizzard I witnessed was January 11th 1993 back home in Perth. Lots of snow :lol: !

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    Posted
  • Location: Madrid, Spain (Formerly Telford)
  • Location: Madrid, Spain (Formerly Telford)
    I haven't seen a "blizzard" since the early '80's.

    I suppose it wasnt a blizzard as winds were 10-20mph.

    2nd March this year came close to a proper blizzard, the only thing missing was the lack of wind.

    28th Jan 2004 was maybe the last time there was a blizzard with 35mph winds and the heaviest snow

    ive ever seen.

    12th March though almost gave blizzards for a time as there was heavy snow with 20-25mph winds.

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    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
    I suppose it wasnt a blizzard as winds were 10-20mph.

    2nd March this year came close to a proper blizzard, the only thing missing was the lack of wind.

    28th Jan 2004 was maybe the last time there was a blizzard with 35mph winds and the heaviest snow

    ive ever seen.

    12th March though almost gave blizzards for a time as there was heavy snow with 20-25mph winds.

    January 2004 also had thunder snow-most impressive!

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    Bear in mind to qualify as a blizzard it's the mean wind speed which must reach 32mph ( or 42 mph for a severe blizzard), not just the gusts.

    A mean wind speed of 32 mph on low ground is not a common occurrence at the best of times, let alone accompanied by heavy snow and a temperature below 0c

    I doubt that there's been a widespread true blizzard on low ground in central England since 1979.

    T.M

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    Posted
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
    Bear in mind to qualify as a blizzard it's the mean wind speed which must reach 32mph ( or 42 mph for a severe blizzard), not just the gusts.

    A mean wind speed of 32 mph on low ground is not a common occurrence at the best of times, let alone accompanied by heavy snow and a temperature below 0c

    I doubt that there's been a widespread true blizzard on low ground in central England since 1979.

    T.M

    Interesting. I sometimes wonder how forecasteres can predict 'Blizzard Conditions' or 'Drifting Snow'. How are they distinguished when both occur when it's snowing in strong winds? :blush:

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
    Interesting. I sometimes wonder how forecasteres can predict 'Blizzard Conditions' or 'Drifting Snow'. How are they distinguished when both occur when it's snowing in strong winds? :blush:

    A good point, Z.L. The term blizzard ( although not officially recognised by the Met' Office ) implies falling and drifting snow simultaneously with the mean wind speed above the stated minimum.

    Drifting or blowing snow can occur when strong winds blow an existing cover of lying snow without any snow falling from above, strictly speaking this would not be a blizzard.

    Drifting snow is defined as an aggregate of snow particles raised by the wind to low low levels so as to obscure small obstacles but not diminish visibility at eye level; eye level is taken to be about 1.8m above the ground and the motion of the snow is broadly parallel with the ground.

    Blowing snow is an aggregate of snow particles raised to moderate or great height and may be sufficient to obscure the sky or even the sun. Vertical and horizontal visibility are greatly diminished and if the phenomenon is severe it is sometimes difficult to tell if snow is falling at the same time although, generally, the blowing particles will be smaller than falling snowflakes.

    The term 'blizzard' is used very loosely, even by professional forecasters who often mention 'blizzard conditions on high ground' when they really should be talking about severe blowing snow.

    I suppose the term' blizzard' means more to the general public than 'blowing snow' and therefore gets the message across that conditions will be severe.

    T.M

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    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
    Bear in mind to qualify as a blizzard it's the mean wind speed which must reach 32mph ( or 42 mph for a severe blizzard), not just the gusts.

    A mean wind speed of 32 mph on low ground is not a common occurrence at the best of times, let alone accompanied by heavy snow and a temperature below 0c

    I doubt that there's been a widespread true blizzard on low ground in central England since 1979.

    T.M

    arrhh-that sounds more like it,thanks.

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Looking at the conditions posted by TM, there was a blizzard here on Jan 28th 2004, albeit a brief one.

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