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A white Christmas in a very mild winter: 1956


Weather-history
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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Christmas Day 1956 was a white Christmas in a number of places. Pressure was high over Scandinavia and this allowed a cold airmass to flow across the UK. Further west, a frontal system engaged the colder air and the preciptation fell as sleet and snow. The heaviest falls were around the Midlands and Northern Ireland, the further east you went, the less snow that fell.

    Rrea00119561225.gif

    Rrea00219561225.gif

    There were very few cold spells during the winter of 1956-57 and it was a very mild winter with a CET of 5.5, milder than any winter since 1997-98.

    The cold Christmas spell was short-lived and it became milder into the New Year. The 4th and 5th of January 1957 were especially mild days.

    December 1956: 5.7 (+1.2)

    January 1957: 5.5 (+1.6)

    February 1957: 5.3 (+1.1)

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    Posted
  • Location: Yorkshire Puddin' aka Kirkham, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
  • Weather Preferences: cold winters, cold springs, cold summers and cold autumns
  • Location: Yorkshire Puddin' aka Kirkham, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom

    There are two other examples of a "White Christmas in a mild winter". These are Christmas 1993 and Christmas 2004.

    See the website listed below for more information on those Christmases:-

    http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley...in_december.htm :nonono:

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    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury
    There are two other examples of a "White Christmas in a mild winter". These are Christmas 1993 and Christmas 2004.

    See the website listed below for more information on those Christmases:-

    http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley...in_december.htm :nonono:

    1993-4 wasn't a mild winter here by 90s standards; 1999 was the best example of this phenomenon with a few flakes mixed in the rain on Christmas morning, then no snow at all until April (which didn't settle either).

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    I remember it well, final Xmas at school, and doing the post, very snowy in the Chesterfield area with one morning posting cards through a letter box their roof decided to dump the 5 inches of snow that had fallen, off the roof and on to me. At least I got a hot cup of coffee and a mince pie with a seat in front of their fire for 20 mins or so!

    John

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    1993-4 wasn't a mild winter here by 90s standards; 1999 was the best example of this phenomenon with a few flakes mixed in the rain on Christmas morning, then no snow at all until April (which didn't settle either).

    It was mild, but like you said it wasn't especially mild, indeed over Scotland, it was the coldest winter since 1986-87.

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    • 15 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Islington
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing cold snowy winters & unsettled summers.
  • Location: Islington

    It would be interesting to see the opposite, notably mild Christmasses in cold winters.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    2 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

    It would be interesting to see the opposite, notably mild Christmasses in cold winters.

     

    Would Christmas 1985, 1986 and 1990 qualify? I seem to remember all of these being mild (though not sure how mild though), dry in the former case, wet in the latter two. In the case of 1985 I think there was some colder weather a little later, but not actually on Christmas Day.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    14 minutes ago, Summer8906 said:
    On 18/12/2006 at 13:34, Weather-history said:

    It was mild, but like you said it wasn't especially mild, indeed over Scotland, it was the coldest winter since 1986-87.

     

    1993-94 was a somewhat notable winter in the sense that while being predominantly moderately mild and extremely wet, it did have regular short cold spells and two of these produced temporary snow in the south. The evening of Jan 6 had a notable sudden heavy snow event (probably worthy of another thread) but the snow cover only lasted a day or two - while around Feb 14 an easterly produced lying, if not especially heavy snow, followed by a battleground scenario for the rest of the month with the south close to average much of the time but the Midlands northwards, more definitely cold. So aside from 1995/96, it was probably the snowiest winter for many, from 1991/92 to 2007/08 inclusive.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Islington
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing cold snowy winters & unsettled summers.
  • Location: Islington
    13 minutes ago, Summer8906 said:

     

    1993-94 was a somewhat notable winter in the sense that while being predominantly moderately mild and extremely wet, it did have regular short cold spells and two of these produced temporary snow in the south. The evening of Jan 6 had a notable sudden heavy snow event (probably worthy of another thread) but the snow cover only lasted a day or two - while around Feb 14 an easterly produced lying, if not especially heavy snow, followed by a battleground scenario for the rest of the month with the south close to average much of the time but the Midlands northwards, more definitely cold. So aside from 1995/96, it was probably the snowiest winter for many, from 1991/92 to 2007/08 inclusive.

    IIRC December 1993 was colder than average across Scotland (the sixth consecutive one in a row). January 1994 looks like one of those zonal but not raging mild zonal months that often brings seasonably chilly weather in the north and mild conditions in the south. February 1994 was chilly everywhere with the easterly blast later. I could be wrong but the winter of 1993/1994 probably was quite a seasonable one across Scotland whereas the south probably wondered what the fuss was about. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    16 minutes ago, LetItSnow! said:

    IIRC December 1993 was colder than average across Scotland (the sixth consecutive one in a row). January 1994 looks like one of those zonal but not raging mild zonal months that often brings seasonably chilly weather in the north and mild conditions in the south. February 1994 was chilly everywhere with the easterly blast later. I could be wrong but the winter of 1993/1994 probably was quite a seasonable one across Scotland whereas the south probably wondered what the fuss was about. 

    Given that 1990/91 and even 1986/87 were still relatively recent history, it overall did seem a mild and wet winter with only a couple of transient events to get excited about - but in the context of what all but one of the next 14 winters would bring, it could be considered snowy even in the south!

    Jan 1994 was indeed persistently mild in the south, except the transient heavy snow event on the 6th, and a further short northerly outbreak which produced a cold and wet day (borderline for wet snow) on the 15th and a cold and sunny day on the 16th. The last 10 days were very mild and somewhat drier (compared to the rather mild and very wet conditions before that).

    Even in the Midlands I think Feb 1994 was notably snowy. I do remember travelling to the Midlands on the evening of Friday 25th Feb and still seeing lying snow about, suggesting it might have lasted around 10 days. In the south it was very transient, falling on the 14th and then thawing a day or two later as slightly less cold SE-lies (maybe a degree or so below normal) replaced the really cold easterly feed. A further transient intensely cold spell also affected the south around the 20th/21st but that one had little or no snow. The following week, 22nd-25th, was very wet in the south but I'd guess the Midlands northwards the snow was topped up by the same systems. The mild air extended northwards by Sat 26th and persisted through March, though strong winds and frequent frontal systems meant that, aside from the odd day, it was not at all spring-like.

    It's funny how often the line between snow and rain lies somewhere between the south and the Midlands. It rarely seems to lie between southern England and northern France, by contrast. There seems to be something about that latitude that favours low tracks, while tracks up the Channel are very rare.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    2 hours ago, A Face like Thunder said:

    Christmas 1956 - "...the further east you went, the less snow that fell".

    Philip Eden suggests that Essex had 20-25cm of snow, which is about as far east as you can go.

     

    That report mentions that snow was still falling for parts of Essex,  which I think is a bit of an odd way putting it unless it was a localised snowfall. 

    Edited by Weather-history
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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    3 hours ago, Weather-history said:

    Christmas 1978 was mild for the south.

    Christmases 1935, 1954  were mild 

    Hadn't heard of 1935-36 as a cold winter, but will check the Monthly Weather report to find more...

    I was living in the north-west at Christmas 1978, I do remember it being wet (something common to a lot of even-year Christmases up to 1990) but don't recall the temperature.

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
    4 minutes ago, Summer8906 said:

    Hadn't heard of 1935-36 as a cold winter, but will check the Monthly Weather report to find more...

    I was living in the north-west at Christmas 1978, I do remember it being wet (something common to a lot of even-year Christmases up to 1990) but don't recall the temperature.

    CET of 3.0C same as 1990-91 and 1995-96

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    18 minutes ago, Weather-history said:

    CET of 3.0C same as 1990-91 and 1995-96

    Have just had a look in MWR. it (1935-36) does look (to my eyes) like a winter that would have been very frustrating if you had lived in the south. Looks like the Midlands northwards got a lot of cold weather and snow but the southeast generally missed the snow, and it was very wet at times, particularly January - but all three months were wetter than average in the south and southeast. February looked the most generally interesting in the SE but even that had little snow.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    12 hours ago, Summer8906 said:

     

    Would Christmas 1985, 1986 and 1990 qualify? I seem to remember all of these being mild (though not sure how mild though), dry in the former case, wet in the latter two. In the case of 1985 I think there was some colder weather a little later, but not actually on Christmas Day.

    Christmas 85 came on the back of a very mild December. Cold weather moved in on Boxing Day and it stayed cold into early Jan. 85-86 was a winter that began mild and became progressively colder. Christmas 86 likewise came on the back of a mild December. Christmas 90 came in the back of a cold snowy spell 8-13 Dec but as a whole the December wasnt especially cold. Some similarities with 85-86 as it too became progressively colder in Feb though the cold relented mid month.

    Struggling to think of any cases. 2012 to an extent possibly though the mild weather set in mid Dec rather than Christmas after a cold first half to the month.. another winter that became progressively colder but unusually the coldest conditions were in March.

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