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March 1995


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

    I documented the weather of January 1995 earlier. Now March 1995 comes under the microscope.

    March 1995

    The month opened with two bright showery days and westerly winds, but a large amount of cold air was being sent from the Arctic into the eastern Atlantic assisted by relatively high pressure over Greenland. As a result, showers turned increasingly wintry and thundersnows were reported in some western areas.

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119950301.gif

    Overnight 2nd/3rd, a low tracked across southern Britain and troughs affected the north, bringing widespread snowfalls, and 15cm was reported around Birmingham. At Lancaster University campus 10cm accumulated and the residents were seen throwing snowballs through open windows. Much of Wales was also heavily hit. I remember a GMTV forecaster excitedly exclaiming "Tonight, snow will move in, not from the west, but from the south-west!"

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119950303.gif

    The 3rd and 4th were mostly sunny and cold with a thaw and some scattered wintry showers, then it turned milder on the 5th with showers mostly of rain. A renewed burst of cold air flooded the Atlantic on the 6th-8th, originating around Alaska, and causing showers to turn wintry again over Britain; a longer spell of sleet and snow moved south-eastwards on the 7th/8th, producing accumulations over high ground in the south-east, while otherwise the theme of sunshine and hail/snow showers continued. Amounts were often small in southern and eastern areas, but parts of the north and west received one dumping of snow after another.

    On the 9th/10th a much milder southerly airstream took over across the Britsh Isles, bringing temperatures of 13-16C, followed by the building of the Azores High, and plenty of warm sunshine for England & Wales although much of Scotland and Ireland were relatively cloudy.

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119950313.gif

    However, the cold north-westerlies returned on the 14th/15th, with the theme of sunshine and wintry showers continuing through to the 20th. It was slightly milder on the 17th, with gales affecting many parts and heavy blustery showers, then the 18th-20th saw a return of wintry showers, but shower activity declined as high pressure extended over from the Azores.

    High pressure brought warm sunny weather to England & Wales during the 21st-24th, with temperatures hitting 18C in places, and 14-16C was quite widespread. Again, parts of Scotland and Ireland were relatively cloudy.

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119950323.gif

    Cloudier westerlies became established across most parts on the 25th/26th, followed by a cold northerly blast on the 27th, which delivered wintry showers to eastern areas. I remember a good few centimetres accumulating in Tyne & Wear that morning, only for it to thaw in the sun during the afternoon.

    A low brought snowfalls to much of central and northern Britain on the 28th, then after a cold bright day on the 29th, milder cloudier south-westerlies took over on the 30th and 31st.

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119950328.gif

    Overall, it was an exceptionally sunny month over much of England, Wales and eastern Scotland, though northern and western Scotland and Ireland only had near average sunshine. Some places reported their sunniest March since 1907. Rainfall was mostly near normal, and temperatures near or rather below normal. The frequency of snowfall, hail and of "sunshine and showers" occurrence were generally markedly high.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire
  • Location: Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire

    Your first video is great and not only does it prove that you can get REALLY GREAT snow in March, but also Polar Maritime air can REALLY DELIVER!

    I have to say that March perhaps hasn't quite reached the heights of the past since 2006, despite a few snowfalls in almost every March since, it just a wet snow affair but I do have fond memories of an easterly in March not too long ago. But yes, if the synoptics and set ups are right, March can quite often have spectacular snowfalls and even from the east and the NW.

    With all the complaints about cold zonality and Spring having too strong a sun for snow, I think this video proves just how good Polar Maritime air and March is for snow.

    Come Spring, I'd like to find a list of charts or reports that look at good snowfalls in March and how many years have these events.

    Here's a few questions for Mr Data. If you (or someone else) can answer at least one of them, that would be great:

    1) the earliest than an Easterly has delivered (in terms of Snow)

    2) earliest a NWly has delivered

    3) the earliest that there's been a Battleground snowfall

    4) latest than an easterly can deliver

    5) the latest that there's been a battleground snowfall

    6) the latest a NWly has delivered

    Thanks

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

    I think those are very difficult questions to answer, as it depends on how widely we cast the "net" (how widespread and how close to sea level the snow gets), and in the case of spring, whether or not we count accumulations of snow that subsequently thaw quickly in the sun. It also depends on the airmass source, as a "continental" type easterly will rarely bring widespread snow after the end of March, but an easterly sourced well north of the Arctic Circle can bring widespread snowfalls at any point up until early May. The more potent polar maritime incursions are also capable of bringing snow up until early May, but after that we're reliant on northerlies.

    During the autumn, it is very unusual to get widespread snow from anything other than a full-on northerly until the very end of October. There was a spate of Octobers with snow on or around the 11th during the late 19th century, but again mainly from northerlies. That can, however, include "battleground" snowfalls between a direct northerly regime and southerly tracking Atlantic systems attempting to push warmer air up from the south.

    The polar maritime incursions during March 1995 were most notable for dramatic cloud formations and changes of temperature and visibility as sunshine and showers alternated, with a high incidence of hail and thunder, as was correctly predicted on the 2nd March 1995 BBC forecast (e.g. 4 thunder-days at Manchester Airport). In terms of temperature they still weren't quite as potent as what you'd expect from a northerly spell with a Greenland High, or an easterly sourced within the Arctic Circle- maxima reached between 4 and 8C in most regions and the snow tended to thaw quite quickly in the sun except in areas that saw substantial accumulations (where snow thickness and low dew points helped to retain cover). However, I personally don't mind the often short-lived nature of snow cover in that sort of setup given the dramatic nature of the weather associated with the convective cells.

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

    I remember the first 8 days of March 95 very well. I recall receiving many snow showers and longer spells of snow from time to time which fell very quickly and suddenly, howver, the March sun thawed much of it during the day only for it to freeze again at night. The mornings of the 7th and 8th were particularly dicey from memory with heavy snow falling.

    March snowfall is often dramatic - the added heat of the sun aids convection and showers can be particularly beefy. I also remember the snow of the 27th March. It redeemed what had been a preety poor winter in the main for snow, with only late Jan delivering some snow showers andapart from the morning of the 2nd Jan I don't believe we saw a morning of snowcover until the 1st March.

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    I have now start downloading forecasts from this month.

    Firstly, the Countryfile forecast from 26th February 1995 and Ian McCaskill talks about it turning colder as we go into March.

    28th February 1995: Peter Cockcroft talks about the colder weather coming in

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