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Uk Snowfall Averages


Yeti

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

    I was browsing through the climate data today for various places around the UK (71-90) and I was surprised at how high the snowfall averages are.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/ne/

    Leeming, just a few miles from here and 150m lower down, apparently has 29-30 days of snow falling per year (which I think is quite a lot). Aviemore 68; Waddington 26; Heathrow 15; Keele 29...

    It also says 5 days extra per 100m on average. Does this mean I could have over 30 days of snow falling per year as an average?

    Does anyone know what the criteria are for a day of snow falling? I would have thought 1mm of snow/sleet... but it could be flakes.

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    Posted
  • Location: Stoke Gifford, Bristol
  • Location: Stoke Gifford, Bristol
    I was browsing through the climate data today for various places around the UK (71-90) and I was surprised at how high the snowfall averages are.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/ne/

    Leeming, just a few miles from here and 150m lower down, apparently has 29-30 days of snow falling per year (which I think is quite a lot). Aviemore 68; Waddington 26; Heathrow 15; Keele 29...

    It also says 5 days extra per 100m on average. Does this mean I could have over 30 days of snow falling per year as an average?

    Does anyone know what the criteria are for a day of snow falling? I would have thought 1mm of snow/sleet... but it could be flakes.

    Doesn't surprise me at all Yeti for the 71-90 period. In Bristol 78-87 were fantastic years for snow.

    the early 70s were v.poor though. and what about this statement from the met office link you posted

    "In most places, January is the month with most days of both snow lying and snow falling."

    Now that will surprise most NW members! I think it was Fri eve that i said on another NW thread that for BTL, late Dec/January were our best months for snow in my younger days and this met office link seems to back it up. Some members poo-pooed that on Fri!!

    Even in the 'poor' years of my younger days BTL could expect 3 to 4 days of falling or lying snow. you couldn't say that of the last 15 years!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Renfrewshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snow/Blizzards, Storms, Sun, Lightening
  • Location: Renfrewshire

    I'm actually surprused that Aviemore doesn't have more than that!

    I think the criteria for snow falling is for anything from a single flake of snow upwards. I may be wrong though! :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire

    Average number of days per winter of lying snow here: 7

    Last 8 winters:

    2001/02: 5

    2002/03: 3

    2003/04: 6

    2004/05: 2

    2005/06: 5

    2006/07: 1

    2007/08: 1

    2008/09: 0

    None of them have made the average and whats more, the trend seems to be less days snow lying as the falls become lighter and more marginal.

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

    Sorry I meant 71-2000 period :doh:

    Average number of days per winter of lying snow here: 7

    Last 8 winters:

    2001/02: 5

    2002/03: 3

    2003/04: 6

    2004/05: 2

    2005/06: 5

    2006/07: 1

    2007/08: 1

    2008/09: 0

    None of them have made the average and whats more, the trend seems to be less days snow lying as the falls become lighter and more marginal.

    To be fair though, Hull is a terrible place for snow. Not at the same risk from N'lies as places like Whitby; too low down to help in marginal events (and by the coast). I doubt the average is that high anyway, even though the past winters have been poor. I'm on 16 days I think so far - shows the difference inland+altitude makes.

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    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
    Sorry I meant 71-2000 period :doh:

    The 1961-1990 average will probably be even higher, as it includes both the snowy 60s and 80s. The 1971-2000 average has the 70s and 90s which had quite a few mild winters.

    It just shows how poor our winters have become. I remember a while ago Terminal Moraine posted a chart of snowfall at his location during the last 40 years or so. Even at his height at 300m+ there was a massive decline in the number of days with lying snow.

    As I mentioned above, its mainly due to less cold air being around and cold spells which do deliver snow being more transitionary. Not to mention the decline of Greenland highs, easterlies and general prolonged, snowy spells.

    To be fair though, Hull is a terrible place for snow. Not at the same risk from N'lies as places like Whitby; too low down to help in marginal events (and by the coast). I doubt the average is that high anyway, even though the past winters have been poor. I'm on 16 days I think so far - shows the difference inland+altitude makes.

    Its not just about location. Indeed, I wouldnt ever have expected 16 days even in the 80s. Its the general trend. Whether the average is 7 days, 20 days or even 100 days, the frequency of snow events has declined everywhere, not to mention snow amounts.

    We havent had a fall of over an inch since 2004. Even in the 'mild' 90s we usually got this every year. Theres an undeniable trend towards less productive cold spells bringing less snow over less days.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
    Its not just about location. Indeed, I wouldnt ever have expected 16 days even in the 80s. Its the general trend. Whether the average is 7 days, 20 days or even 100 days, the frequency of snow events has declined everywhere, not to mention snow amounts.

    We havent had a fall of over an inch since 2004. Even in the 'mild' 90s we usually got this every year. Theres an undeniable trend towards less productive cold spells bringing less snow over less days.

    Yes that is undoubtedly true; however, your location has been hit worse than most (probably because marginal events are now rain). I cannot remember a single winter without 2-3 inches of snow, and whilst they have got worse, the last 5 years haven't seen a huge decline.

    Inevitably some places are harder hit than others.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    Average number of days per winter of lying snow here: 7

    Last 8 winters:

    2001/02: 5

    2002/03: 3

    2003/04: 6

    2004/05: 2

    2005/06: 5

    2006/07: 1

    2007/08: 1

    2008/09: 0

    None of them have made the average and whats more, the trend seems to be less days snow lying as the falls become lighter and more marginal.

    Yep, the frequency of snowfall has, if not quite fallen of a cliff edge, certainly dipped markedly in recent years. The thirty year mean has a huge skew in it due to the relatively snowy period from 1977-1986. One of the problems with long running means is that they give a false perception in a changing climate. Using a thirty year running window Liverpool are, by some distance, the second most succesful team in English football's top division: not something that anyone under the age of about twenty would appreciate.

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

    The 1961-90 average for days of lying snow at Cleadon was about 13 days per year judging by the Met Office maps, while over 1971-2000 this average had declined to around 11 days. According to my weather records the average since 1998 has been only 6 days, however.

    Since I started recording in 1993, only the 1993/94 and 1995/96 seasons produced greater than average snow using the 1971-2000 baseline, while 2000/01 and 2003/04 were close to the average. 2003/04 was interesting in that it was quite a mild winter even by recent standards, yet it produced the heaviest snowfalls since February 1991.

    Strangely, the snow cover frequency has actually declined a lot more abruptly further inland than on the Tyne & Wear coast. At Durham, until recently the mean annual frequency tended to be about 4 days higher than at Cleadon, but since 1998 the frequency has declined to about 6 days as well. This is probably due to the disproportionate number of northerlies in recent winters which had snow showers hugging the east coast and very few, if any, getting significantly inland.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
    Yep, the frequency of snowfall has, if not quite fallen of a cliff edge, certainly dipped markedly in recent years. The thirty year mean has a huge skew in it due to the relatively snowy period from 1977-1986. One of the problems with long running means is that they give a false perception in a changing climate. Using a thirty year running window Liverpool are, by some distance, the second most succesful team in English football's top division: not something that anyone under the age of about twenty would appreciate.

    Yes take the skew 77-86 out of the long term mean in 10 or so years and suddenly the snowfall/lie days will not have dipped as markedly....!

    Quite unsure of the point you are making there, I've noticed you like to compare to the 30 year average when it suits, and disregard the 30 year mean when you think there are some anomolous years that in your opinion skew the average! And besides, it is in fact that skew that makes the diminishment of recent years snowfall look so great.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
    Yep, the frequency of snowfall has, if not quite fallen of a cliff edge, certainly dipped markedly in recent years. The thirty year mean has a huge skew in it due to the relatively snowy period from 1977-1986. One of the problems with long running means is that they give a false perception in a changing climate. Using a thirty year running window Liverpool are, by some distance, the second most succesful team in English football's top division: not something that anyone under the age of about twenty would appreciate.

    I'm surprised someone of your intellectual caliber takes so much of an interest in football. Anyway, I neither am entirely sure of your point. Do you mean to say that winters appear to have become a lot less snowy than they actually have done, because of the 77-87 skew?

    Anyway, snowfall is such a variable thing each year (usually sets of winters are snowy rather than one-off years) that we cannot really call it an unhelpful skew. If you take any 30 year period, there is always a period of colder winters (e.g. 50s/60s). By taking a 30 year average, we can balance this with less snowy winters, such as the 90s. In a sense, this is our "negative skew", as they are below the average whilst the 70s/80s are above. Hence taking an average of the lot irons out most of this problem. That's the point of taking an average.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
    Does anyone know what the criteria are for a day of snow falling? I would have thought 1mm of snow/sleet... but it could be flakes.

    The criteria for a day with snow falling or, more correctly, sleet or snow falling, includes any day when even one flake of snow falls or a few blobs of sleet are noticed in, what to a casual observer, would just be cold rain.

    For this reason some caution is required when comparing the averages between different sites as the statistics are highly dependent on the assiduity of the observer.

    For places such as major airports, or meteorological stations which are manned 24 hours a day, the incidence of days with sleet or snow falling is likely to be higher than a place where the observer is not present all the time or who doesn't take the trouble to actually look for sleet if it's not immediately obvious.

    It's for this reason the Met' Office grades stations from A through to D. An 'A' site would be somewhere like Heathrow or Eskdalemuir and 'D' would be a climate station where the instruments are read once a day at 0900 and an observer may or may not be present at any other time.

    Irrespective of the pitfalls of comparing one set of data for sleet or snow falling with another, it's an irrefutable fact that the number of such days has fallen in recent years. The mean here for the last 30 years is 49.6 days, for the last 15 years it's 42.8 and for the last 10 years only 39.1. For the period 1978-1992 it was 56.9 days.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire +19M
  • Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire +19M

    In terms of lying snow days, here in Newark we must be down with some of the lowest in the UK.

    04/05 - 1 day(s)

    05/06 - 3 days

    06/07 - 2 days

    07/08 - 2 days

    08/09 - 1 day(s)

    Falling snow hasn't been much better than that, either. We have also not seen a fall exceeding 7cm's since 1991.

    I'm surprised someone of your intellectual caliber takes so much of an interest in football.

    Sorry, what? :winky:

    There is so much wrong with that sentence I don't know where to start. Your comments are not just offensive to many, they are also completely misguided and it makes you look comical. Suggesting someone with a higher intelluctual caliber should not be interested in football is a ridiculous idea, I think you need to step out of your bubble and realise that football is not all about hooligans, loud chanting and violence.

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    Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
    Irrespective of the pitfalls of comparing one set of data for sleet or snow falling with another, it's an irrefutable fact that the number of such days has fallen in recent years. The mean here for the last 30 years is 49.6 days, for the last 15 years it's 42.8 and for the last 10 years only 39.1. For the period 1978-1992 it was 56.9 days.

    In the context of the last ten years, that figure is almost fantastical. If you take winter to be December to February, then that means falling snow more frequently than once every two days !!! Even if March is included, it would still mean falling snow at least once every three days. Even accepting modification for altitude, synoptic patterns that allow snowfall so regularly anywhere in England seems almost inconceivable nowadays.

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    Posted
  • Location: Teesdale,Co Durham. 360m asl
  • Location: Teesdale,Co Durham. 360m asl
    In the context of the last ten years, that figure is almost fantastical. If you take winter to be December to February, then that means falling snow more frequently than once every two days !!! Even if March is included, it would still mean falling snow at least once every three days. Even accepting modification for altitude, synoptic patterns that allow snowfall so regularly anywhere in England seems almost inconceivable nowadays.

    Copley, Co Durham 253m average days snow fallling is 51 days. In year 2008 snow fell on 77 days. Obivious higher up in the N Pennines these figures will be higher, never mind the totals for the Scottish Highlands.

    Mark

    Teesdale,Co Durham

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

    There is so much wrong with that sentence I don't know where to start. Your comments are not just offensive to many, they are also completely misguided and it makes you look comical. Suggesting someone with a higher intelluctual caliber should not be interested in football is a ridiculous idea, I think you need to step out of your bubble and realise that football is not all about hooligans, loud chanting and violence.

    Lol. I'm actually a football fan. I was just surprised that SF might be (ironic comment)!

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
    In the context of the last ten years, that figure is almost fantastical. If you take winter to be December to February, then that means falling snow more frequently than once every two days !!! Even if March is included, it would still mean falling snow at least once every three days. Even accepting modification for altitude, synoptic patterns that allow snowfall so regularly anywhere in England seems almost inconceivable nowadays.

    The figures I quoted were the annual averages as I think that's what Yeti was referring to in his initial post.

    The average number of days with sleet/snow falling for the winter months ( Dec'-Feb' ) are 29.4 days over the last 30 years, 27.0 days over the last 15 years and 23.0 days over the last 10 years. The average for 1978-92 was 32.5 days.

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    Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
    The figures I quoted were the annual averages as I think that's what Yeti was referring to in his initial post.

    The average number of days with sleet/snow falling for the winter months ( Dec'-Feb' ) are 29.4 days over the last 30 years, 27.0 days over the last 15 years and 23.0 days over the last 10 years. The average for 1978-92 was 32.5 days.

    Ah OK , I think I understand now. Does that also mean therefore that there are almost as many days of falling snow outside the Dec'-Feb' period as there are during, (i.e. 56.9 against 32.5 for 1978-92, so 24.4 outside Dec'-Feb'), which is also a pretty surprising statistic, (or have I got the wrong end of the stick again !)

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
    Ah OK , I think I understand now. Does that also mean therefore that there are almost as many days of falling snow outside the Dec'-Feb' period as there are during, (i.e. 56.9 against 32.5 for 1978-92, so 24.4 outside Dec'-Feb'), which is also a pretty surprising statistic, (or have I got the wrong end of the stick again !)

    That's about right, PTFD. The actual monthly averages outside the Dec'-Feb' period for 1978-92 are;

    March, 10.7

    April, 6.9

    May, 1.2

    October, 0.8

    November, 4.7

    This adds up to 24.3, the discrepancy of 0.1 is due to the fact that December of one year falls into the winter of the next, if you see what I mean. So, for instance, the total for December 1978 would be included in the total for the year of 1978 but would also be included in the winter of 1979.

    Out of interest the averages for the same months over the last 10 years are;

    March, 8.1

    April, 4.6

    May, 0.3

    October, 0.8

    November, 2.1

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    Posted
  • Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire +19M
  • Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire +19M
    Lol. I'm actually a football fan. I was just surprised that SF might be (ironic comment)!

    Fair do's mate, my reaction was a little to fiery. Just got the feeling you were one of the stereotypical types which thought football could only be enjoyed by the "common folk". Now I've learnt your actually a fan yourself I apologise.. I jumped the gun. :lol:

    Now.. back to weather. LoL

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    Yes take the skew 77-86 out of the long term mean in 10 or so years and suddenly the snowfall/lie days will not have dipped as markedly....!

    Quite unsure of the point you are making there, I've noticed you like to compare to the 30 year average when it suits, and disregard the 30 year mean when you think there are some anomolous years that in your opinion skew the average! And besides, it is in fact that skew that makes the diminishment of recent years snowfall look so great.

    Paul, I'm sorry but that's one of the most silly posts I've seen on here in ages. Your opening sentence is daft beyond reason: you might as well say that if house prices hadn't risen so much upto 2007 the current falls wouldn't look so great - yes, take those early years out and things will have levelled out but, to be honest, they haven't got that far to go in many places in the UK now because in lowland areas we're probably below 10 days falling per annum; less a case of levelling out and more a matter of flat lining. The whole point were discussing here IS the trend, so to remove the pattern and say "look, there's no pattern" is actually to commit precisely the statistical error of which you fallaciously accuse me. A mean is a forced smoothing and betrays any rapid movements in trend that MIGHT be occurring. And the criticism re my use of the thirty year mean (how else to form a view of change whene there is so much inter-annual variation) is particularly ill-considered. I take it that the UKMO are being equally selective then? Before you answer recheck the UKMO charts Yeti originally referenced and note the period that THEY use to determine an average.

    The simple fact is we get far less snow nowadays than we used to. It doesn't matter how slavishly you desire snowfall, 'facts is facts'.

    I attach the figures for Bingley for lying snow that I first produced about eight years ago. Alas, the data for Bingley are no longer on line so I can't update readily, but you'd have to be fairly churlish to try to claim that there has been a remotely snowy winter in the last seven. The jury is still out on this year, but it could possibly reach as high as 10-15 days by the end of the year: notable by recent standards, but not significant when you look back twenty years or so.

    post-364-1233189197_thumb.png

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
    Paul, I'm sorry but that's one of the most silly posts I've seen on here in ages. Your opening sentence is daft beyond reason: you might as well say that if house prices hadn't risen so much upto 2007 the current falls wouldn't look so great. The whole point were discussing here IS the trend, so to remove the pattern and say "look, there's no pattern" is actually to commit precisely the statistical error of which you fallaciously accuse me. A mean is a forced smoothing and betrays any rapid movements in trend that MIGHT be occurring. And the criticism re my use of the thirty year mean (how else to form a view of change whene there is so much inter-annual variation) is particularly ill-considered. I take it that the UKMO are being equally selective then? Before you answer recheck the UKMO charts Yeti originally referenced and note the period that THEY use to determine an average.

    The simple fact is we get far less snow nowadays than we used to. It doesn't matter how slavishly you desire snowfall, 'facts is facts'.

    I attach the figures for Bingley for lying snow that I first produced about eight years ago. Alas, the data for Bingley are no longer on line so I can't update readily, but you'd have to be fairly churlish to try to claim that there has been a remotely snowy winter in the last seven. The jury is still out on this year, but it could possibly reach as high as 10-15 days by the end of the year: notable by recent standards, but not significant when you look back twenty years or so.

    post-364-1233189197_thumb.png

    My point was that the only reliable way of gauging how the weather is changing is to compare to the 30 year mean. To point out that the mean is skewed because of 10 relatively cold or snowy winters within the 30 year time period is my bugbear - a mean is a mean. And if we are seeing markedly less snowfall days in the last for example 8 years than the 71-00 average then so be it, that is that.

    I just don't understand why you needed to point out that the 30 year mean was skewed in your opinion or what purpose that was supposed to serve.

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    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
    I attach the figures for Bingley for lying snow that I first produced about eight years ago. Alas, the data for Bingley are no longer on line so I can't update readily, but you'd have to be fairly churlish to try to claim that there has been a remotely snowy winter in the last seven. The jury is still out on this year, but it could possibly reach as high as 10-15 days by the end of the year: notable by recent standards, but not significant when you look back twenty years or so.

    post-364-1233189197_thumb.png

    I suspect if the data for 2002-2008 were available you'd find the running average line dropping even further, especially if my figures are anything to go by.

    The trend is undeniable, not only are snowfall events less potent, but they happen less often than they used to. Also, gone are the days where snowfall would lay on the ground for more than a few days. Even recent 'colder' winters such as 1995/96, 1996/97 and 2000/01 (and to some extent 1990/91) were relatively poor for that. Indeed, some more average winters previous managed better.

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