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Winter 1974-75


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    The winter of 1974-75 was the mildest winter since 1868-69 with a CET of 6.4C Here's a summary for that winter.

    DECEMBER

    The weather for the start of December was unsettled and mild but the south missed most of the rain as it was closest to the high to the south of the UK. This was the theme for the month with high pressure to the south of UK and low pressure to the north. On the 8th, the high pressure moved further west to allow NWly winds to come across the UK to bring cooler temperatures with systems coming with the flow. On the 11th, came the coldest weather for the month with winds swinging to the north briefly in the south and this brought snow showers to the north and east and even as far south as the south coast. Maxima were close to freezing in the north but this brief cold interlude would not last as Atlantic systems moved in from the NW cutting off the northerly. In the approach to Xmas, the high moved into Europe and this allowed a mild SWly flow to flood the UK. There were interruptions to the flow in the north with some snow over the hills but the mild weather prevailed in the south. It was a very mild Xmas with temperatures of 12-16C in many parts and this very mild weather continued into the New Year.

    Rrea00119741228.gif

    Rrea00219741228.gif

    JANUARY

    As with December, high pressure was to the south and low pressure to the north. It was a very mild unsettled month but there were colder interludes especially in the north. One such interlude occurred on the 7th, when a cold NWly brought snow showers to the north of Scotland, Aberdeen recording a maximum of 1C but the next day the milder weather was back. It was very wet in the south on the 18th as a low moved through southern counties but further north under a ridge there were clearer skies and fog patches. The unsettled weather was back everywhere on the 19th with rain and gales at times. On the 27th, a low moved across northern England and much cooler NWly winds followed, there was a frost in some parts that night. The next day as a front moved into the west again, the air was sufficently cold enough to produce snowfalls to central and northern parts to produce the first general snow cover of the winter. However by evening, it was milder again and this carried on to the end of the month. There were very few frosts and daffodils were already in bloom in the south.

    Rrea00119750105.gif

    Rrea00219750105.gif

    FEBRUARY

    The first 10 days of February was dominated by high pressure moving up from the south across the UK and then into Europe. The weather was dry and at times cloudy but in areas sheltered from the wind, there was sufficent breaks in the cloud to produce local frost and fog patches at night. Atlantic systems tried to advance into the SW with some rain but the high Europe prevented much progress until the 16th, when a system gave rain to many parts. It wasn't to last as the high over Europe began to ridge back towards the UK. This was to continue until the end of the month with high pressure to the east drawing up SEly winds. Fronts plagued the far west at first but these were pushed away by the SEly wind. There was some frost in sheltered spots but it was mild by day with temperatures into double figures. It was a fairly mild and dry month and it was the coolest out of the three winter months

    Rrea00119750216.gif

    Rrea00219750216.gif

    The winter of 1974-75 had very few frosts especially in the south and it was virtually snow free over England and Wales. Plymouth recorded no air frosts during the 3 months, Kew 14 air frosts, Birmingham 7 air frosts, Glasgow 13 air frosts and Aberdeen 33 air frosts.

    Data for winter 1974-75

    December 1974: 8.1 (+3.7)

    January 1975: 6.8 (+3.5)

    February 1975: 4.4 (+0. B)

    December 1974 is joint mildest December on record with 1934

    December mean CET max: 10.5

    January 1975 is the 6th mildest January ever recorded.

    January mean CET max: 9.5

    December 1974 and January 1975 are the warmest such combination on record.

    Mildest spells in the winter

    Period 16th December-15th January: 8.2

    21st-29th December: 9.6

    Mildest CET maximum: 14.3 28th December

    Coldest CET maximum: 4.5 4th and 9th February

    Coldest CET minimum: -3.0 28th February

    Mildest CET minimum: 10.0 8th December

    Winter 1974-75 is the 4th mildest winter on record

    The first 4 days of winter 1974-75 was 1.7C milder than the first 4 days of summer 1975, one of the great quirks of the British weather

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    • 14 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Herne Bay, Kent (14 m)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms & Snow
  • Location: Herne Bay, Kent (14 m)

    Was just sorting out through Margate stats in terms of 'first air frost' from 1900 and stumbled upon 1974/75 as flagging up as so indifferent to the others in terms of how late the air frost was. Overall average is early December.

    29th March 1975 was the 'first air frost' in terms of 1974/75 which was the latest air frost out of the bunch. Data only goes to 2008 but don't think even 2019/20 was that late in terms of air frost and that was a very mild winter. Latest before this was 14th Feb 1944.

    I know there's some loosely available climatological returns for nearby available on the archives for 1868/69 but would have to look into that further. 

    A showcase of 'first air frosts' at Margate is below. The date can be for the year after due to no frosts being recorded from November/December. 

    image.thumb.png.9fdba896d7d96e2ce329a694af4f64c7.pngimage.thumb.png.383f732c1bac353f519f8097f78ac416.pngimage.thumb.png.5658c8676fc265d41375cffd3deabd29.pngimage.thumb.png.afc80e9f2864aff6d6998bfdf1b7345d.png

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire

    Wasn't spring 1975 rather cold?

    If so it must have presumably been a very long spring flowering season. The extreme mild of Dec/Jan would have brought flowers out early in Feb (and given that month appeared to be both mild and dry, it would have felt spring-like) but then a cooldown in March-April-May would have prevented the spring flowers going over too early.

    Perhaps the season would have been rather like 2016, which also had a cold March and April, which saved the spring flowering from ending too early. May 2016 was warm and sunny though.

    Then there was that famous snow event at the start of June and a famously warm summer.

     

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: North York Moors
  • Location: North York Moors

    It was a mainly mild (but not frost free) and almost snowless winter even here until around that colder spell late March, there must have been a quite potent northerly.
    At school we had a favourite NZ supply teacher who was from North island so had never seen proper snow she literally squealed with delight looking from our upstairs classroom window as a subzero swirling full on white out developed one afternoon probably at start of April.

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m
    3 hours ago, 4wd said:

    It was a mainly mild (but not frost free) and almost snowless winter even here until around that colder spell late March, there must have been a quite potent northerly.
    At school we had a favourite NZ supply teacher who was from North island so had never seen proper snow she literally squealed with delight looking from our upstairs classroom window as a subzero swirling full on white out developed one afternoon probably at start of April.

    I worked on a farm for 15 years at 365m in the West Yorkshire Pennines.The Farmer had moved away when he was younger and married a woman who came from Northern Ireland when he was in London.He told me the story that when he got married and decided to come home to farm his dads land he told his new wife how bad the winters were on the hilltops.He couldnt believe it when he came back after warning his wife being greeted by 5 generally mild Winters with very little snow in the early 1970s,i guess her shock would have been the late 70s and much of the 80s!

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    Posted
  • Location: Dundee
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunderstorms, gales. All extremes except humidity.
  • Location: Dundee

    1975 was a very mild Winter but a very cold Spring. March ended very cold with persistent strong Northerly  winds that lasted well into April. At valley level in the Highlands there was 45cms  of snow in the second week of April and on high ground much more. They had to dig out the higher ski tows in the Cairngorms and I can recall skiing the Coire Cas in the late May bank holiday. There was a milder spell in late April but May was generally cold followed by the famous widespread low ground snowfall on the 1st/2nd June. From then on the Summer was generally warm to hot.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire
    9 hours ago, Norrance said:

    1975 was a very mild Winter but a very cold Spring. March ended very cold with persistent strong Northerly  winds that lasted well into April. At valley level in the Highlands there was 45cms  of snow in the second week of April and on high ground much more. They had to dig out the higher ski tows in the Cairngorms and I can recall skiing the Coire Cas in the late May bank holiday. There was a milder spell in late April but May was generally cold followed by the famous widespread low ground snowfall on the 1st/2nd June. From then on the Summer was generally warm to hot.

    I spent Easter 1975 in bed with man-flu! Easter Sunday was on 30th March and the snow that day (London & SE) was the culmination of what was (in my experience) the coldest and snowiest Easter of the 20th century (2nd half, 1950-2000), Only 2008 in the North has come close. I was glad I was out of it, despite the aches and pains! 

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    1 hour ago, A Face like Thunder said:

    I spent Easter 1975 in bed with man-flu! Easter Sunday was on 30th March and the snow that day (London & SE) was the culmination of what was (in my experience) the coldest and snowiest Easter of the 20th century (2nd half, 1950-2000), Only 2008 in the North has come close. I was glad I was out of it, despite the aches and pains! 

    I walked through deep snow (on Good Friday) to my then girlfriend's house and had bright blue feet for a few days as the dye came out of my brothel creepers!

    Once a ted, always a ted!

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire

    1975 does sound like a very interesting year, though I think I'll ditch the January.

    Strangely my very earliest (vague) memory was in 1975, but I remember nothing of the weather. Sadly I don't remember summer 1976 either, and equally sadly I do remember (parts of) summer 1978.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    1 hour ago, A Face like Thunder said:

    I spent Easter 1975 in bed with man-flu! Easter Sunday was on 30th March and the snow that day (London & SE) was the culmination of what was (in my experience) the coldest and snowiest Easter of the 20th century (2nd half, 1950-2000), Only 2008 in the North has come close. I was glad I was out of it, despite the aches and pains! 

    1998 in the north-west too, perhaps - remember a pretty major snow event on, I think, the Tuesday (so not Easter weekend but very close).

    Strangely I did experience snow in 2008 too, thanks to being in the Highlands! Mostly snow showers rather than anything organised. It was an extremely early Easter though, the only Easter I can remember which was on the penultimate Sunday of March, and consequently the whole weekend was on Winter Time still. Thankfully it was dark relatively late anyway as Fort William area is so far west.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    2 minutes ago, Summer8906 said:

    1975 does sound like a very interesting year, though I think I'll ditch the January.

    Strangely my very earliest (vague) memory was in 1975, but I remember nothing of the weather. Sadly I don't remember summer 1976 either, and equally sadly I do remember (parts of) summer 1978.

    1974-'75 was indeed a weird winter:

    Despite the media-driven hyperbole about a severe winter to come, October's cold gave way to a very mild November-December. It was so mild that some trees were growing new leaves before Christmas and, by March, it appeared that Spring had already sprung. So much for that idea! 

    The nearest thing to a White Christmas was when my brother and I sprayed fake-snow at the streetlights. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

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    Posted
  • Location: Herne Bay, Kent (14 m)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms & Snow
  • Location: Herne Bay, Kent (14 m)

    image.thumb.png.14cf3d6548ae8d697e082ebb43b735c6.png

    Margate Mean Tmax & Mins for each month from Dec '74 - April '75 with Manston 1981 - 2010 averages used for mean tmax and mean tmin & 1941-70 averages used for mean temperatures:

    Lowest min all winter was 0.1c on 16/02/1975

    December 1974 = 10.71c (+2.81c) & 6.54c (+3.64c)

    Mean = 8.62c (+2.92c)

    January 1975 = 9.75c (+2.42c)  & 5.13c (+2.97c)

    Mean = 7.44c (+3.14c) 

    February 1975 = 7.98c (+0.62c) & 3.44c (+1.51c)

    Mean = 5.71c (+1.21c) 

    March 1975 = 7.37c (-2.69c) & 3.6c (-0.01c)

    Mean = 5.49c (-0.81c) 

    April 1975 = 10.59c (-1.97c) & 5.1c (-0.24c)

    Mean = 7.84c (-1.16c) 

    Very mild December which was milder than April in terms of mean Tmax & mean overall temperature.

    March was also colder than all the winter months in terms of mean temperature with that being 5.49c.

    The month was 2nd mildest in the local area but of course December 2015 took champion with 12.4c at Manston for mean tmax & a 10.4c mean temperature.

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