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Decembers of the 1980s


Summer of 95

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Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury

The 1980s may bring back memories of snow and ice for a lot of us, but one thing that strikes me is how devoid of winter weather December often was during that decade. After the cold December of 1981 had passed there began a run of mild, mostly snowfree Decembers in England and Wales:

1982 4.4

1983 5.6

1984 5.2

1985 6.3

1986 6.2

1987 5.6

1988 7.5

1989 4.9

And then 1990 despite having a major snowstorm for some of us was not particularly cold at 4.3.

Being too young to recall Dec 1981 (but old enough to remember January 1985 and 1987) that 1990 snowstorm is actually I think my first memory of lying snow in December, although I remember a decent fall in November 1988.

As the 1990 snowstorm chiefly affected central parts- many areas to the north and south missed out- I would imagine that large areas of lowland England and Wales went 14 years (1981-1995) without seeing any lying snow in December, or at least very little. (And the Decembers 1991-94 were also mostly snowfree, save for 1993 locally). Of course since then December has become much snowier and more wintry, with widespread falls in 1995, 1996, 2000 and many places seeing some in 2001, 2004 and 2005.

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

I think December 1982 had some significant snowfalls from returning W'ly and NW'ly airstreams, chiefly for much of Scotland, Ireland, north-west England and upland parts of Wales, though the eastern half of England probably largely missed out.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119821217.gif

December 1983 was largely snowless except for a transitional northerly around the 11th, with wintry showers for north-facing coasts and then some frontal snow as mild air returned on the 12th/13th.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119831210.gif

I don't think many lowland areas saw lying snow in December 1984, although a cold snap arose when this chilly westerly ran out of steam on Boxing Day.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119841226.gif

December 1985 ended with a rather cold northerly, with troughs around the 29th. I don't know how widespread lying snow from that blast was, though.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119851229.gif

As for 1986-88, I think there was some localised snow from a cold NW'ly just before Christmas 1986 (though it turned mild in time for Christmas Day), but I can't find any evidence of wintry weather in 1987 and 1988; indeed 1988 was probably the last December during which most of lowland Britain didn't see even a single flake of snow.

The point about the Decembers of 1982-94 being relatively snowless is a good one; I think the Decembers of the 1980s were quite similar in many ways to the Januarys of the 1990s.

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

The northerly of the last week of December 1985 was a pretty cold one, maxima were close to or below freezing even in the south, probably the coldest spell of weather in December between the Decembers of 1981 and 1995.

The first half of December 1987 was actually quite chilly and there was some wintry showers about although not a lot. It became milder in the second half of the month.

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Posted
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.

As for Devember 1988 I always remember this as the heaviest wettest snow I`ve seen.

1 foot of snow our neighbour couldn`t get over how wet it was underneath, as he`d not that long moved in.

And another feature I remember was there was no wind and the snow was that heavy that the small trees/bushes were breaking off that much,I`ve not seen nothing like that since /and all the trees were covered with snow which is unusual uphere.

There was no snow halfway down the hill.

It`s something I`ll never forget. :lol:

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119881202.gif

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00219881202.gif

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119881203.gif

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00219881203.gif

As the rest of the month was very mild.

Edited by Snowyowl9
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