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Lying snow at Southport...in the middle of May?!


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Lying snow at Southport during the depths of winter is difficult at the best of times but in the middle of May is extraordinary but it happened in 1935.

    During the middle of May 1935, the UK was under an Arctic flow at this was at its most potent around the 17th/18th of May. Severe frosts for the time of the year were recorded with -8.3C on the 17th being the lowest. More remarkably were the heavy snowfalls that fell widely over many western areas as a system sank southwards across these areas. Snow was even recorded in some coastal resorts of Cornwall. Racing at Haydock was abandoned because of lying snow and play at a major golfing tournament at Royal Birkdale, Southport was suspended when the course became covered in snow.

    May 1935 CET: 9.9

    13th-19th CET: 5.5

    Here is from the Times of 18th May 1935 on those remarkable snowfalls

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    • 11 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Inverness recorded a maximum of just 5C on the 16th of May

    5.6C was recorded at Nairn and Manchester on the 16th of May

    8.3C was recorded at Kew on the 16th of May.

    A report by the Reverend Eric Robson of West Kirkby Cheshire

    "The snowstorm on May 17th 1935 at West Kirkby Cheshire was quite without precedent; in the life of the oldest inhabitant aged 106 there is no recollection of such an outstanding snowstorm in May. After rain and sleet which fell from 8h to 8h 5m GMT the wind veered from NW to N and snow began to fall at first lightly and then increasing in thickness until a full snowstorm was being experienced. This continued without a break until 14h 30m GMT at which time the snow lay 2 to 2.5 inches in depth on the low ground and 4 to 5 inches on the high ground. And this at seaside station on the west coast in mid-May! The temperature was also remarkable falling from 39F at 8h GMT to 35F at 9h; 33F at 10h and 31F from noon to 14h after which it rose again to 32F at 14h 3m; 36F at 16h and 37F at 19h."

    Synoptic chart

    M1935i163.jpg

    From the Guardian of 18th May 1935

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    Posted
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)

    it says there, Harrogate had a temp of 1-2c at 2pm with 5 inches of snow! that'd be very decent in January here, never mind May!

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    • 1 year later...
    • 11 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    Philip Eden comments, "12th -19th May 1935 was the most severe late spring frost of the century, causing extensive damage to vegetables, fruit, blossom, gardens and woodlands. Up to 15cm of snow fell in several areas too. Air temperature dropped to between -3 and -6C widely, and to -8.3C at Rickmansworth".

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Sheffield

    I remember seeing snow in Sheffield as a child in May cant remember what year it was exactly but i am sure it was early 90s.

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    43 minutes ago, Derbyshire_snow said:

    I remember seeing snow in Sheffield as a child in May cant remember what year it was exactly but i am sure it was early 90s.

    Quite possibly 1993 which brought some chill at times, snow only on higher ground though I think. 1995 brought sleety snow here briefly mid month. 1996 notably cold but no snow here at least.

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    Posted
  • Location: Rotherham
  • Weather Preferences: Snow Frost Sun
  • Location: Rotherham
    13 hours ago, Derbyshire_snow said:

    I remember seeing snow in Sheffield as a child in May cant remember what year it was exactly but i am sure it was early 90s.

    We had Snow on a few occasions in May here in South Yorkshire in 1970s, mostly settling on hills around Sheffield, I remember Concord Park having a few cms one afternoon. 

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

    Since 1970 the snowiest May generally was that of 1979, when many parts of the country had sleet/snow falling on all of the first five or six days of the month, and some sites reported lying snow at 0900 on one or two mornings also.  Sleet and snow fell more locally near the beginning of May in 1981, 1982 and 1987, and perhaps surprisingly, also around 12 May 1989, during what was otherwise a warm and exceptionally sunny month for most of the country.

    In the 1990s the most widespread instance of snow in May was on 6-7 May 1997.  It snowed over much of lowland Scotland on 13-15 May 1993, and on higher ground in the north of England.  11-13 May 1995 had sleet/snow showers in some areas from the Midlands northwards, though not quite as widespread as in 1997, and there was lying snow around Glasgow early on 12 May 1995.  Later on, rain turned to snow in some places on a cold wet day on 17 May 1995.  Sleet and snow were somewhat more localised on low ground in May 1996, which was more remarkable for persistence of cold than intense individual cold spells.

    Interestingly another May ending in "5" - 1955 - had pretty widespread snow on the 17th/18th.  The 1935 example was arguably the most remarkable instance of snow in May in the 20th century, though.  As others have noted, it's generally a struggle to get lying snow at Southport even in mid-winter, let alone mid-May.

     

    Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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    Posted
  • Location: Delph, Greater Manchester. 225m asl
  • Weather Preferences: All 4 seasons and a good mixture of everything and anything!
  • Location: Delph, Greater Manchester. 225m asl

    I personally thought snowfall (of note, away from the highest hills in Scotland and maybe England) was an extremely rare occurrence but judging by some of the replies here, I am off the mark.

    1981, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1997 - the latter of which I have heard about previously and I have seen the archived BBC forecast. That's 7 out of 15 years there...

    That brings me to ask the question, have we barely seen anything in the way of May snowfall of note since the 1990s? or maybe I just don't pay attention to it!

    Latest snowfall of note (on the ground, sticking) here was April 29th 2016. 

     

    As others have echoed, when we talk about snowfall in May I didn't expect Southport and Ormskirk to be two towns in the firing line considering their locations on the NW coast, where any snowfall of note has become something of a rare thing in these parts in recent times..

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    Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

    The Ten tors event was abandoned in May 1996 due to heavy snow over dartmoor

     

    "A cold northerly wind on the Saturday of the 1996 event turned to rain and snow overnight. This continued through Sunday, accompanied by fog and driving wind. Requests from Tor party commanders, two of which had their tents destroyed, added to pressure to abandon the event and a mass evacuation of the moor went ahead on the Sunday afternoon, the first time the event had been terminated early. Fifty one teams completed their routes, but no record remains of their success. Ten Tors, A History"

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    Posted
  • Location: Medlock Valley, Oldham, 103 metres/337 feet ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snow, thunderstorms, warm summers not too hot.
  • Location: Medlock Valley, Oldham, 103 metres/337 feet ASL
    57 minutes ago, StretfordEnd1996 said:

    I personally thought snowfall (of note, away from the highest hills in Scotland and maybe England) was an extremely rare occurrence but judging by some of the replies here, I am off the mark.

    1981, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1997 - the latter of which I have heard about previously and I have seen the archived BBC forecast. That's 7 out of 15 years there...

    That brings me to ask the question, have we barely seen anything in the way of May snowfall of note since the 1990s? or maybe I just don't pay attention to it!

    Latest snowfall of note (on the ground, sticking) here was April 29th 2016. 

     

    As others have echoed, when we talk about snowfall in May I didn't expect Southport and Ormskirk to be two towns in the firing line considering their locations on the NW coast, where any snowfall of note has become something of a rare thing in these parts in recent times..

    Early May 1997 we had a light covering of snow here, woke up to it actually, think it was around the 5th. Drove to Gorton and I remember standing on Gorton market (when they had an outdoor market which is no longer there) where it was still snowing, properly coming down but no accumulation down there. Other than that I don't think we've had snow cover in May since then. It was rare back then but clearly even rarer now as we've gone 25 years without any May snow cover.

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    5 hours ago, Frost HoIIow said:

    Early May 1997 we had a light covering of snow here, woke up to it actually, think it was around the 5th. Drove to Gorton and I remember standing on Gorton market (when they had an outdoor market which is no longer there) where it was still snowing, properly coming down but no accumulation down there. Other than that I don't think we've had snow cover in May since then. It was rare back then but clearly even rarer now as we've gone 25 years without any May snow cover.

    Yes May snowfall is rare, and in recent times become rarer. The fells had widespread snow fall last May, but the last time I recall lying snow on low ground in May here was 1997. 

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