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December 1878, Severer Even Than December 1981


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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    December 1878 was a truely exceptional December even surpassing the severity of December 1981. The CET for December 1878 was -0.3 (cf. 0.3 for December 1981) and it was exceptionally snow, even more so than 1981. The one edge that December 1981 has over December 1878, is the low minima. Although, the minima were very low for December in 1878, they were not on the scale as 1981.

    Here are some daily reports on this remarkable December.

    Llandovery: The hardest frost set in that we have had for 18 years, the snow fell to a depth of 3ft. (7th)

    Sunderland: 17" of snow (9th)

    Littlehampton: Sharp frost and rime (10th)

    Diss: Skating on ponds and low meadows. (10th)

    Camborne: Heavy thunderstorm with snow (12th)

    Cosgarne: Snow, thunder and lightning. (12th)

    Castle Lough: Snow 6" deep by 11am (12th)

    Exeter: Snow 6" deep.

    Camborne: Heavy gale, wind SE; snow and lightning (13th)

    Coston Rectory: Hoar frost; trees with an inch of rime on branches. (13th)

    Fettercairn: Coldest day for 22 years ; ranging from 6 to 18F (13th)

    St Lawrence: Heavy snow; 3" deep (14th)

    Littlehampton: Men skated on the high road from the beach to the village (16th)

    Exeter: The Exe frozen over near the bridge. (22nd)

    Monthly reports

    Camden Square: 19 consecutive days of frost (8th to 26th)

    Margate: Frost on 22 days.

    Bromley: The mean temp. of the month was below freezing point.

    Littlehampton: Unusually cold.

    Addington: Beautiful hoar frost lasting for many days at a time.

    Holt: Bitterly cold, mean temp: 32.8F

    Altarnum: Cold and snowy.

    Cheltenham: Skating commenced on the 9th and continued until the 25th.

    Manchester: Terribly severe

    Boston: Ponds and drains were frozen sufficently to bear skaters on the 10th. On the 25th, the river Witham was frozen from Boston to Lincoln.

    North Shields: Snow very frequent.

    Castle Malgwyn: Very wintry; the river Teifi frozen over and people skating.

    Tybritle: More snow and greater cold than has been for many years.

    Hawick: The snowfall has been the severest and longest in duration experienced here for many years.

    Quinish: Snow heavier than for several years past.

    Portree: Unprecedented snowfall, with severe frost from 7th to 28th inclusive. So much snow has not since 1812 and according to tradition not for 200 years previously.

    Gordon Castle: Snow 16" deep.

    Grantown: Snow 2ft deep.

    Nairn: One of the most severe months for many years; heavy snowfalls and very low temp.

    Gairloch: Heaviest fall of snow for 30 years.

    Lochbroom: Within the memory of man no such month has been known; for 24 days no abatement of the frost and snow.

    Glenville: The severest December I ever knew or heard of in this locality.

    Darrynane Abbey: The first three weeks, the severest frost known for many years, certainly since 1855.

    Killaloe: Mean temp 31.3F, ground covered with snow from 13th to 28th.

    Fitzwilliam Square: Frequent snowstorms, mean temp 32.5F

    Drumcashel: Snow remained on the ground for 22 consecutive days.

    Stewartstown: Severest weather for many years; snow never disappeared from 7th to 29th.

    Monkstown: Much snow on 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 22nd. Skating continued from 5th to 26th.

    Temperatures at Bingfield, Corbridge-upon-Tyne.

    10th: 21f, 14f

    11th: 20f, 10f

    12th: 14f, 2f

    13th: 12f, -4f

    14th: 15f, -2F

    15th: 20f, 6f

    16th: 24f, 10f

    17th: 15f, 7f

    18th: 19f, 14f

    19th: 31f, 21f

    20th: 36f, 24f

    21st: 24f, 14f

    22nd: 21f, 11f

    23rd: 19f, 15f

    24th: 20f, 14f

    25th: 10f, -2f

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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    CET trackometers comparing December 1878 on the left with December 1981 on the right

    1. 2.4 3.1

    2. 2.5 3.6

    3. 2.3 4.6

    4. 2.0 5.4

    5. 2.1 5.4

    6. 2.0 5.4

    7. 1.8 5.2

    8. 1.6 4.5

    9. 1.3 3.9

    10. 0.8 3.1

    11. 0.4 2.5

    12. 0.1 1.6

    13. -0.2 1.0

    14. -0.6 0.9

    15. -0.8 0.9

    16. -0.8 0.7

    17. -1.0 0.5

    18. -0.9 0.3

    19. -0.8 0.1

    20. -0.9 0.0

    21. -1.0 0.0

    22. -1.0 0.0

    23. -1.1 -0.1

    24. -1.3 -0.2

    25. -1.5 -0.2

    26. -1.4 -0.2

    27. -1.3 -0.2

    28. -1.1 -0.1

    29. -0.9 0.0

    30. -0.6 0.2

    31. -0.3 0.3

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  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Thanks for that, Mr D...Will it happen again this year? Probably not!

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