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November cold snaps / snowfalls of the past


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Posted
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire

    Well after a failed Greenland HP block around the 10th of this month and another attempt at a Greenland HP block this weekend that at least looks likely to fail for a sufficiently full blown northerly blast to give a significant late November cold spell, I am starting a thread of November cold snaps / snowfalls of the past.

    The Novembers so far this decade (the 2000s) have had relatively few significant cold spells and snowfalls, only the second half of Nov 2005 stands out as providing a significant cold spell with frosts and a decent northerly with snow in places on the 25th and 28th of that month, and also Nov 2004, although a mild month overall produced a short lived cold northerly with slight snowfalls across the north Midlands on the 18th.

    Correct me if I am wrong but the Novembers from 1997-2003 were all snowless I believe.

    In the 1990s Novs 1993 and 1996 were pretty good for cold spells and snow, but the rest of the 90s Novembers were poor. Nov 1993 gave a notably cold easterly for the time of year from the 20th onwards with some snow in many areas on the 21st, 22nd and 24th. Nov 1996 featured a cold second half with a week's spell of cold northerlies from the 18th - 23rd and a polar low that gave heavy snow across the NW Midlands and Staffs, and the Yorkshire Pennines on the 19th, and a transistional snow event on the 24th before it turned to rain.

    Is it true that the Novembers from 1989-1992 were snowless, even though they were not exactly mild. Nov 1989 was cold, frosty and anticyclonic late on, Nov 1990 was rather cold from the 20th and unsettled at times, and I do not know if that Nov produced any snow at all, does anyone know if it did?

    The 1980s, apart from 1985 were not brilliant for cold November spells despite having much colder winters overall. Nov 1985 was notably cold with northerlies / easterlies and frosts and snow at times. Late Nov 1980 also gave a cold northerly with snow in places.

    The 1970s, although most Novs that decade were not especially mild gave relatively little cold and snow in November. Although Nov 1978 was very mild until the 24th the last week was very chilly with severe frosts and fog. Nov 1977 also gave some cold northerly spells and a little snow after mid-month, and the final few days of Nov 1973 were cold with severe frosts.

    We really have to go back to the 1960s to find a run of cold Novembers. Five Novs that decade were greater than 1*C below average. Nov 1965 was notably cold with snowy spells. Nov 1962 was cold from around mid-month onwards with frosts and a fairly widespread snowfall around the 18th. Nov 1969 was also cold and a pretty snowy month with the last week particularly cold with snow as far south as the Midlands on the 16th/17th and more snow on the 25th and 28th/29th.

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

    Generally a good summary, but some points to add:

    1990s/2000s:

    There were northerlies and localised snowfalls on 3-4 and 15-16 November 1998, mainly in the north. There was another northerly blast on 16-18 November 1999, with snow mainly in NE Scotland on the 17th, and East Anglia on the 18th. 8-9 November 2001 delivered widespread sleet and snow showers on low ground even as far south as Sussex and Cornwall. However, the other Novembers were indeed snowless for most.

    I remember a similar transient northerly on 16-18 November 1995, with heavy snow showers and thunder for eastern Scotland, north-east England and East Anglia with accumulations from NE England northwards.

    1989-1992:

    Yes, those Novembers produced only very localised snowfalls, for although there were northerly or north-westerly outbreaks in all four Novembers, they weren't generally cold enough to produce widespread snow.

    1980s: Surprisingly given that it was a very mild month, there were some significant snowfalls in places in November 1982, mainly high ground on the 14th and Glasgow on the 23rd.

    1970s: Yes, the 1970s were relatively snow free compared to the 1960s and 1980s, but as well as 1973 and 1977, there were three other Novembers that delivered snowfalls: 1971, 1972 and more locally 1979.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire

    The Nov 2001 event that you mention was a similar pattern to Nov 2004, where a generally mild month produced a short lived northerly.

    Going back to Nov 1990 the final ten days were also quite chilly and the charts around the 23rd / 24th Nov 1990 also look rather similar to this last Sunday's Nov 18th 2007, and a number of places saw falling snow and a negligible cover in a few places. Thundery wintry showers; was there any snow anywhere from a similar setup in November 1990?

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

    re this

    a mild month overall produced a short lived cold northerly with slight snowfalls across the north Midlands on the 18th.

    quite large areas saw considerable more than 'slight' falls; most of the Peak District above about 600ft saw 5-8cm of snow which lay for about 3 days, the first two more like the Alps than Derbyshire.

    Also parts of N Wales also saw similar.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    The Nov 2001 event that you mention was a similar pattern to Nov 2004, where a generally mild month produced a short lived northerly.

    Going back to Nov 1990 the final ten days were also quite chilly and the charts around the 23rd / 24th Nov 1990 also look rather similar to this last Sunday's Nov 18th 2007, and a number of places saw falling snow and a negligible cover in a few places. Thundery wintry showers; was there any snow anywhere from a similar setup in November 1990?

    I got access to the Weather Log of November 1990 at UEA; it seems that snowfalls were only very localised (look at the 850's, generally above -5C, not cold enough).

    I forgot to mention the frontal snow event/northerly outbreak around 20 November 1988.

    Incidentally the notion of Novembers 2001 and 2004 providing short lived northerlies, it doesn't seem that unusual, for a similar thing could be said of 1980, 1995 and 1999; in particular 1999, 2001 and 2004 were somewhat synoptically similar.

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    Posted
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire
    The Nov 2001 event that you mention was a similar pattern to Nov 2004, where a generally mild month produced a short lived northerly.

    Going back to Nov 1990 the final ten days were also quite chilly and the charts around the 23rd / 24th Nov 1990 also look rather similar to this last Sunday's Nov 18th 2007, and a number of places saw falling snow and a negligible cover in a few places. Thundery wintry showers; was there any snow anywhere from a similar setup in November 1990?

    Yes, I remember the last 10 days of November 1990 being cold after a mild first half. It seemed quite similar to 2005 to a certain degree and I remember South Wales having quite a bit of snow around the 24th.

    :whistling:

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    Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset

    The whole second half of November 2005 was cold! There were overnight frosts, fog and very low maximas for the time of year. Even the southwest got snow on the 25th, almost the best of the whole winter, except for Mar 1st 06 and Dec 29 05.

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    Posted
  • Location: The Weather Surgery Nr Langsett S.Yorks 340m asl
  • Location: The Weather Surgery Nr Langsett S.Yorks 340m asl

    I remember not being too happy about walking to work in the snow in Nov 1988.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire

    Many thanks for your comments and information to this thread, thundery wintry showers. It is rather odd how snowless Novembers 1989-1992 were, despite them not being exactly mild and featuring NW'ly cyclonic spells at times.

    Thundery wintry showers or anyone else correct me if I am wrong.

    In the 1980s, Novembers 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987 were all snowless I believe.

    The 1970s did not see much in the way of notable cold spells and snow in November, despite only two of them (1970, 1978) being above average CETwise. Nov 1978 after a very mild first three weeks was very chilly in the final week with frosts and fog but no snow. I do not know of any Novembers in the 1970s that saw noteworthy snowfall. From the charts I can see that Nov 1977 featured many cold N / NW'ly spells after mid-month, and did this month actually see any snow? I do not know myself what snowfall was like this month.

    The final week of Nov 1973 was very chilly and frosty but no snow. The main question I am asking, is what 1970s Novembers did, and when, see snowfall?

    Many Novembers of the 1960s were certainly on the cold side. As mentioned above the Novembers of 1962, 1965 and 1969 were all cold Novembers and all produced significant snow events. There was also a northerly in the final three days of Nov 1964 that gave some snowfall to places. Novs 1966 and 1967 were also pretty cold (1*C+ below average CET) but I am not sure what snowfall was like in either of those two.

    Going back to the 1950s those Novembers, apart from the notably cold one in 1952, were not brilliant for cold spells and snow either. There were however, a few cold foggy spells in those Novs such as in 1958.

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

    November 1971: two snowy northerlies:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119711119.gif

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119711122.gif

    4 days of lying snow at Durham.

    November 1972: snow showers off a NW'ly, then a frontal snow event for central areas, though short-lived in most areas, 1 day lying snow at Durham:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119721117.gif

    November 1973: some transitional NW'lys, but then a very cold northerly in the last week, with widespread frontal snow event on the 29th, 4 days' lying snow at Durham:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119731129.gif

    November 1977: northerlies around midmonth and again on the 20th, but recurring issues with pools of anomalously warm air moving down from the Arctic, making the snow events decidedly marginal. From the stats I've seen, most places had some snow, but accumulations were mainly restricted to high ground with 0 days of lying snow at Durham:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119771117.gif

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119771120.gif

    November 1978: snow showers in N & W on the 25th/26th and later in the N & E, 1 day lying snow at Durham:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119781128.gif

    November 1979: snow around Glasgow:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119791114.gif

    Can't find any significant snow events from Novembers 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986 or 1987. 1981 had a brief NW'ly following an exceptional outbreak of (I think) 105 tornadoes in one day, but not generally cold enough, a returning WNW'ly on 17-18 November 1986 with wintry showers for NW (similar to 17-18 November 2006 perhaps?) and a wrong-side-of-marginal northerly commencing 22 November 1987. Cold incursions perhaps, but little or no snow.

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    Posted
  • Location: G.Manchester
  • Location: G.Manchester

    For a spell of cold Novembers look no further then 1909-1927

    1909 4.8c

    1910 3.2c

    1911 6.1c

    1912 6.3c

    1913 8.4c

    1914 6.8c

    1915 2.8c

    1916 6.8c

    1917 7.8c

    1918 5.5c

    1919 3.3c

    1920 6.8c

    1921 4.6c

    1922 5.9c

    1923 3.3c

    1924 7.1c

    1925 3.6c

    1926 5.9c

    1927 6.2c

    Average 5.5c

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    Posted
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire

    Optimus Prime;

    It is true to say that many of the unsually cold Novembers of the 1910s/ 1920s were colder than many of the three following standard winter months of December, January and February that followed. Not the ideal setup is it. It is still a real kick in the teeth if the winter is not a decent one after a cold November, and many of the 1910s/1920s winters were not brilliant for cold spells. Thinking back to 1988 I actually thought that the 88-89 winter would likely be a cold one after the cold weather in November, but it turned out totally the opposite and one of the warmest on record, and a big let down after a pretty cold November. Still it is nice to have some cold spells at some time in November to get us in the mood for winter.

    Nov 1985 was excellent for cold weather fans and the following winter was cold too. Nov 1993 was very cold after mid-month and that winter, although a little milder than average, was OK by 90s standards. Nov 1996 was also pretty good and the Dec / Jan that followed were dominated by cold / easterly weather but February was a flat zonal jet / Bartlett stinker.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire

    Looking at the November 1977 synoptics, to me it looks as though it was a month's synoptics that have occurred quite often at times in recent years (Feb 2005, Aug 2006, Aug 2007, Sep 2007), where the synoptics should have produced a cooler month than they actually did.

    November 1977 featured frequent northerly / north-westerly synoptics even from around the 11th onwards and those examples from the 17th and 20th of that month show even a Greenland High in place and the northerlies from a long way north, and yet they still produced daily CET means that were only just below average, and the daily CETs at that point in Nov 1977 should have been far colder than they actually were given the synoptics.

    Given November 1977s synoptics featuring long draw northerlies for a good part of the month and very few SW'lys after the 10th it still managed a CET close to average, when the synoptics should have produced a colder month, at least a CET below 6*C, and possibly as low as 5.5*C, but they didn't. So symptoms of GW UK were present during November 1977.

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