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The Decembers of the 1980s


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

The 1980s and late 1970s may bring back memories of cold weather and snow for many, but looking at the picture overall, one noticeable fact is how devoid of cold weather and snow December often was that decade. Apart from 1981 and 1976, most Decembers were mild and were then followed by much colder Januarys and Februarys.

Look at these CET figures

Dec 1977 6.1

1978 3.9

1979 5.8

1980 5.6

1981 0.3

1982 4.4

1983 5.6

1984 5.2

1985 6.3

1986 6.2

1987 5.6

1988 7.5

1989 4.9

I believe that large areas of England went 14 years from 1981 to 1995 without seeing any significant snow in December. I know the Dec 1990 Midlands December snowstorm was a localised event and many areas still missed out.

Is it true that all Decembers from 1982-1989 were all snowless? Decembers 1977, 1979 and 1980 were all snowless I believe. I believe that also even Decembers 1991-94 were all largely snowless apart from 1993 locally.

Also from another point the 1970s often saw mild Decembers too, apart from 1976 and 1978. We have to go back to the 1960s to find a period where December generally delivered cold weather and snow.

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Posted
  • Location: Tamworth
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, frost, fog and ice!
  • Location: Tamworth

Interesting stuff. I remember that snowstorm in 1990. That was the most snow I have ever seen fall in Tamworth, and in such a small space of time as well. To be fair most Decemeber's I remember have been snowless. However we usually get cold weather the week after Christmas!

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Posted
  • Location: Ashbourne,County Meath,about 6 miles northwest of dublin airport. 74m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Cold weather - frost or snow
  • Location: Ashbourne,County Meath,about 6 miles northwest of dublin airport. 74m ASL

One thing i remember as a kid growing up in the 70,s and 80,s was that the Decembers were usually mild with little in the way of snow at all. I never had any hope of having snow in Dec as i always thought there was not much hope of it till after xmas. The first time i saw snow on xmas day was in 1984 when we had a few wet snow showers and we were staying in the west of Ireland for that xmas. I dont even remember having snow in Dec 81,although i do remember how cold that month was. Its strange that with our milder winters snow in Dec has become a bit more common then the Decembers of the 70,s and 80,s

Edited by sundog
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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
I believe that large areas of England went 14 years from 1981 to 1995 without seeing any significant snow in December. I know the Dec 1990 Midlands December snowstorm was a localised event and many areas still missed out.

Is it true that all Decembers from 1982-1989 were all snowless? Decembers 1977, 1979 and 1980 were all snowless I believe. I believe that also even Decembers 1991-94 were all largely snowless apart from 1993 locally.

Also from another point the 1970s often saw mild Decembers too, apart from 1976 and 1978. We have to go back to the 1960s to find a period where December generally delivered cold weather and snow.

Snow events in the Decembers of the 1970s:

1970- snow in the SE around Christmas

1973- snow left over from late November in some parts, some snow midmonth in the north

1976- cold with some snow at times especially N & E

1978- very snowy 31st

1979- some snow in the N & W in the last three days, from NW winds

1980- transitional snow event for some around the 6th

1981- very snowy almost everywhere

1982- chilly NW'lys around midmonth and again around 20th-23rd, snow for north and west

1983- brief northerly 11th-13th, a bit of snow for some

1985- northerly after Christmas with snow for the northeast

1986- snow in some northern parts, 20th-24th, from NW winds swinging to N

1990- 8th December snowstorm esp. Midlands

1991- NW'ly on 20 December with snow for N and W

1993- marginal frontal snow events recurred from the Midlands northwards, more generally snowy in the NE around Christmas

1994- snow in the NE on New Year's Eve

Decembers not on that list were largely snowless I think, apart from the odd flurry here and there across very limited areas of the country. The Decembers of the 1980s were not generally as mild or snowless as the 1970s, though the exceptional December 1981 skewed things somewhat.

December 1984 was largely snowless, but it is true that there was a fairly cold polar WNW'ly in occupation on Christmas Day, which is consistent with the suggestion of wet snow showers in Ireland.

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Posted
  • Location: Ashbourne,County Meath,about 6 miles northwest of dublin airport. 74m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Cold weather - frost or snow
  • Location: Ashbourne,County Meath,about 6 miles northwest of dublin airport. 74m ASL

I remember the cold snap in Dec 1990. I think a cold front came down from the north on the night of the 7th and turned to wet snow on its back edge,and we had snow showers the next day although the snow didnt settle at my location only in the hills

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