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5 Years To The Day...weds 28th Jan 2004


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Posted
  • Location: Harborne, Bham 187m asl
  • Location: Harborne, Bham 187m asl

    Okay....5 years ago, we had a very special snow event and coincidentally, it was on the same day as today (Weds). In terms of rate of snowfall and in terms of thundersnow, it was the best event for a long time and which hasn't been matched since in terms of the above. We had a larger accumulation in Feb 2007 but 28th Jan 2004 brought some things that I haven't witnessed before.

    Seeing the weather forecast in the morning, no mention was made of snow in the afternoon. Therefore when it initially started at about 2.30pm it was rain for a few mins so I thought...oh well. BUT then all of a sudden, there was a crack of lightning and the sky turned extremely dark and I have never seen anything like it......such heavy snow and blizzard conditions. Rate of accumulation was very fast. Within about a half hour, there was like 2 inches of snow. I remember getting very excited about it. In the end we had about 4 inches of snow but just in time of rush hour. It took 4 hours to get home which was a 5 mile journey. We had the next day off school and the snow did not melt until the Friday.

    An extremely speciall event!!!

    This thread is for:

    1. Personal experiences about the event

    2. Synoptics and how it was caused and what its track was? does anyone have any charts or rainfall radar images??

    3. Accumulations

    4. Any photos??

    Regards, hgb

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    Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

    Cool thread!

    Five years :doh: can't believe it's that long ago!

    It wasn't as spectacular as that here, but I can remember...

    1. There being heavy rain at about 17.00 .

    2. Seeing 2 flashes of lightning to the NE but didn't hear any thunder.

    3. Sitting down to eat and thinking 'oh it's gone quiet outside'.

    4. Intrigue leading me to look outside at about 17.30 and everything being white.

    5. Going upstairs for a better look and seeing a nearer flash of lightning while snow fell heavily.

    6. We had about an inch of snow.

    I don't have them saved, but I did print out the Met Office radar image from 17.00 and 17.30 along with the Wetterzentrale lightning for that day - have just been to look at them :lol: !

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    I remember it being a mildish sort of day, with rain forecast as a possibility in the evening. So, there I was watching tv in my room (can't remember what I was watching), when it began to rain. It was about 6pm so dark by this point. Temperature was hovering at about 5C. Imagine my surprise when I heard a deafening roar which shook the window pains, followed by the next reading on the weatherstation registering at 2C, literally fell 3C in a few minutes! Then thunder boomed but it seemed distant due to the wind noise. Then the temperature was 0C just minutes later so I poked my head out the back door and got my face blasted my horizontal snow. The wind was incredibly fierce (it felled several trees) and the snow was settling quickly despite the ground being wet. Several bright pink forks of lightning filled the sky and the wind and snow continued for about another 5 mins. Then, as quickly as it started the wind just fell absoutely still, like someone had switched it off. The temp then fell to -7C and the snow covered the ground for most of the next day.

    Never experienced anything like that in my life and is the only instance of thundersnow I've ever witnessed. Although only brief, that weather event still amazes me to this day. The wind and snow was so fierce, had it lasted an hour we may have seen over a foot judging on how intense the snow was. Would love to see something like it again. Amazing.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.
  • Weather Preferences: Love Weather, Hate the Spin and Lies to do with our Planets Climate.
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.

    Yep ,remember it well and indeed it did come out of the blue! Ive got all the action on my old video camera, I shall have to look at it again, probably one of the best snowstorms ive ever seen in the Vale! :doh:

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    Posted
  • Location: Ware, Herts
  • Location: Ware, Herts

    Yes I remember this! I remember there was snow showers all day but they never settled, then after about 5pm it began. Started off as rain, then it started to snow and there was some lightning too, not something you'd forget! We got a snow day the next day at school! I think accumulations were fairly modest, about 2 inches, but the wet snow/rain all day washed the roads clear of grit so it actually set on the roads. No photos unfortunately - every year since I've got photos of snow events.

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    Posted
  • Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms and snow
  • Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

    I remember this well. I was about 12 at the time, and keen on the weather as well. I remember tracking the potential for snow, and recall that the morning forecast predicted heavy frontal snow coming down from the north. The time came and I was disappointed at first, because it was just rain. Unfortunately I had a choir rehearsal (I used to be a chorister at Gloucester), so I didn't see the snow falling - sod's law! However it lasted an hour or so, and by the end there was a lot of ice over all surfaces along with two inches of snow. At home my parents told me how heavy the snow was and that there was also lightning.

    Edited by 03jtrickey
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    Posted
  • Location: West Bromwich (West Mids) 170m ASL
  • Location: West Bromwich (West Mids) 170m ASL

    Ah yes, i remember the day vividly. I was at school at the time, in double maths last thing on a wednesday! At roughly 2.30pm it started raining, which became heavy (must have rainied about a centimetre). Because i was on the second floor in maths i had an excellent view of the huge school fields, and being as the school was situated very high relative to surrounding areas, i could see for about 3 miles in the distance with no trees/buildings blocking the view.

    Anyway, becuase the rain was so heavy and the the wind so strong, i kept glancing out of the window. And then on a particular glance that took my attention, after about 20 mins of rain, in the distance buildings started going very hazy and dissapearing against the grey sky-almost as though someone was slowly pulling a blanket over the landscape and it was being pulled towards me. I knew it was turning to snow. I was absolutely overjoyed at this becuase nothing was forecast!

    Bearing in mind these buildings were 2 miles away, i watched this sheet of snow gradually creep towards the school, Buildings in the landscape were slowly disspearing and when the snow hit the green background of the school fields, it confirmed what i knew-it was snow. It took about 4 minutes from when i noticed the snow 2 miles away until when it was nearly on top of me.

    Then the snow engulfed the school. It was weird becuase 1 minute the rain was hammering against the window, and then the noise slowly died down until it was replaced totally by the silence of snow. Of course by then the whole class was screaming "its snowing " and everyone rushed up to look out of the window. The teacher was a supply teacher who usually taught spanish so he wasnt bothered that we stopped working! We was only working out of textbooks anyway- He was sitting at his desk marking spanish books!

    I was itching to get outside to see and at the end of the day at 3.15pm i did. Even though the ground was sodden and full of puddles the snow stuck to everything as soon as it turned from rain. 1 thing that hit me was the sheer size of the snow flakes-some were almost 2 inches across and they were that big you could almost here them landing on the ground.

    When i got home it was still snowing heavily and i wondered what would happen next. Would it turn to rain?Would it stop right now? But it carried on until about 5pm and then stopped. So just under 2 hours of snow and i think i got around 3 inches. So with the light fading and the snow becoming more powdery by the minute becuase of the extreme cold temps, i built a snowman under starry skies.

    It was bitterly cold and i just managed to build the snowman before the snow become too powdery to do anything with. I didnt have a weather station back then but i estimate the overnight low to have been around -5C

    School was surprisingly still on the next day and all i can say is, there were some fantastic snowball fights the next day!

    Things i will always remember are:

    -The way the snow crept up like a blanket over the landscape

    -The size of the snowflakes

    -How easily it stuck to saturated ground

    -The rate at which it accumulated

    No pics but memories are better. Thanks for making this thread-its made me all nostalgic!

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    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet

    Great thread, very interesting accounts.

    The January 28th 2004 Thunder snow event was probably the most intense snowstorm I have ever witnessed.

    I remember the day starting slightly snowy with just a sprinkling. Towards midmorning however the snow tuned to rain here as the temperatures unexpectedly started to rise, and hit around 5c for a short time, when the maximum forecast for that day should have only been around 2c at best. The rain continued until mid afternoon and it was truly miserable and disappointing.

    What happened next I won’t forget, I was at work at the time and was looking out the office window, as I did all my school life lol.

    It was around 2:30pm and I noticed how dark it had suddenly become, heavy rain had began and I thought this looks like a potent cold front passing through, but this was no ordinary front, it darkened still further and the rain started to turn to sleet and quickly in to heavy snow, and it just got heavier and heavier.

    By 3pm a full blown blizzard was underway, the snow was horizontal and it had turned in to total white-out, I could hardly believe my eyes. I said out loud, 'it looks as though there may be a problem getting home tonight' (that was to be the understatement of the year) Then there was an almighty crack of thunder, which shook the building, meanwhile the snow got even heavier, visibility was reduced to zero in the heaviest snow I have ever seen.

    The snow finally stopped around 5pm, and by then the sky had cleared and the temperature had plummeted to –3c. The cold front had passed through.

    Walking to the car that night was incredible, 3 inches of snow over a thick layer of sheet ice.

    Every car in the works car park had a thick layer of solid ice with about 3 inches of soft snow over the top; most people abandoned their cars for the evening, including me, no one could get in them anyway, some stayed at work.

    The Burton town centre was grid locked, what cars were moving were sliding around all over the shop. I walked and it was bliss.

    What a day :)

    Below is a sat image taken 29th Jan, clearly showing the snow cover over the UK.

    post-1046-1233166038_thumb.jpg

    post-1046-1233165769_thumb.png

    Regards

    Paul

    Edited by Polar Continental
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    Posted
  • Location: Harborne, Bham 187m asl
  • Location: Harborne, Bham 187m asl
    Great thread, very interesting accounts.

    The January 28th 2004 Thunder snow event was probably the most intense snowstorm I have ever witnessed.

    I remember the day starting slightly snowy with just a sprinkling. Towards midmorning however the snow tuned to rain here as the temperatures unexpectedly started to rise, and hit around 5c for a short time, when the maximum forecast for that day should have only been around 2c at best. The rain continued until mid afternoon and it was truly miserable and disappointing.

    What happened next I won’t forget, I was at work at the time and was looking out the office window, as I did all my school life lol.

    It was around 2:30pm and I noticed how dark it had suddenly become, heavy rain had began and I thought this looks like a potent cold front passing through, but this was no ordinary front, it darkened still further and the rain started to turn to sleet and quickly in to heavy snow, and it just got heavier and heavier.

    By 3pm a full blown blizzard was underway, the snow was horizontal and it had turned in to total white-out, I could hardly believe my eyes. I said out loud, 'it looks as though there may be a problem getting home tonight' (that was to be the understatement of the year) Then there was an almighty crack of thunder, which shook the building, meanwhile the snow got even heavier, visibility was reduced to zero in the heaviest snow I have ever seen.

    The snow finally stopped around 5pm, and by then the sky had cleared and the temperature had plummeted to –3c. The cold front had passed through.

    Walking to the car that night was incredible, 3 inches of snow over a thick layer of sheet ice.

    Every car in the works car park had a thick layer of solid ice with about 3 inches of soft snow over the top; most people abandoned their cars for the evening, including me, no one could get in them anyway, some stayed at work.

    The Burton town centre was grid locked, what cars were moving were sliding around all over the shop. I walked and it was bliss.

    What a day :lol:

    Below is a sat image taken 29th Jan, clearly showing the snow cover over the UK.

    post-1046-1233166038_thumb.jpg

    post-1046-1233165769_thumb.png

    Regards

    Paul

    Brilliant account....Thanks so much for sharing. Indeed an incredible event and Birmingham was particularly gridlocked with abandoned cars littered everywhere. Residents were offering tea and coffee to motorists who were simply stuck....was simply an amazing day.

    Great satellite image too...most of the UK covered in snow

    Regards, hgb

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

    28th January 2004 gave the deepest snow here since February 1991. It snowed all night heavily, depositing a level 15-20cm of snow in places. I remember driving to university the next day and it taking 2½ hours to get around 5 miles.

    Unfortunately the temperature reached 4.0C though, so even with the huge amount of snow it rapidly melted. We did record a cover by Metoffice standards for 3 days in total during the event however.

    The winter as a whole was one of the better ones around here. We had lying snow on 23rd December (5cm), New year (covering), January 28th (18cm) plus appreciable falls in late-February (5cm) and early March (7cm) aswell. It was mild overall temperature-wise, but the snowiest winter for quite some time.

    We've not had a cover of more than 4cm since that winter. Hopefully this will change in a few days!

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

    In Lancaster the event was a disappointment. The Met Office had predicted snow for much of the day with a max of 2C, but it was one of those occasions where the GFS outperformed the UKMO model at handling the pool of warmer air that headed down from Iceland in association with SSTs some 4C above the long-term average.

    Thus, we had rain and sleet late on the 27th (it was 1C before it arrived but rose to 3C in the rainband- the warmest it had been all day!), and after a cold frosty night, it went back up to 2-3C when the next lot of systems came down from the north.

    After a dull sleety first half of the day, a huge wall of snow descended from the north, and the temperature fell abruptly from 3C to -1C in the space of about half an hour. It was dramatic while it lasted, but despite temperatures dropping below freezing and staying there afterwards, the snow struggled to settle near the west coast and about half of it melted immediately afterwards.

    At Cleadon, going by my parents' reports, my weather records and other reports from the area, it was a notable snow event but not as big as the one on 30 January 2003, or the subsequent one on 28 February 2004, both of which saw 4-5 inches, the deepest snow since February 1991 (and I was away on both of those occasions as well damnit!). Snow fell late on the 27th (from the same system that gave rain at Lancaster) depositing modest accumulations, then the squall line on the 28th took accumulations up to around three inches.

    2003/04 was a largely snowless winter at Lancaster, but at Cleadon it was the only winter since 2000/01 to produce 10 mornings with more than half-cover of snow. A good illustration of the fact that even if a winter is largely mild, if its occasional cold snaps are productive snow-wise, it can still end up as a reasonably snowy winter.

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    Posted
  • Location: Stroud, Gloucestershire
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Thunderstorms, Heat, Ice, Freezing Fog. Etc
  • Location: Stroud, Gloucestershire

    I remember this one very well also! Weather had been, well, average all day. Came home from work at 5pm and decided to take the dogs for a walk round the park next to where I live. I'm near the centre of Stroud, in the valley so to speak, so can't see any great distance from the park. Half way round I thought I could see very dense fog appearing over the houses in the distance, but then realised the fog was moving extremely fast towards me. Thats when a simultaneous pink flash of lightening and deafening thunderclap happened. Straight away the snow arrived, and it was certainly the heaviest snow I'd ever seen.

    It took perhaps 2 or 3 minutes to get home, by which time both my dogs had 2 inches of snow on their backs! Rush hour was 'interesting' from my window - all the roads here are steep, and a lot of people just got out of the car and left it! Not sure where they went mind....

    One thing that amazes me is how similar people's stories are from such a wide area of the country, right down to the lightening. Lets hope we've some to come..

    Oh, trying to find out more about this event at the time allowed me to discover Netweather and the fact that other people over 30 watch the lamppost if snow is forecast - feel better for that.

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

    I remember this event because of the blue lightening :D

    Also because of the extremely heavy snow followed by me slipping out of school unnoticed in the afternoon to go home and play in it :D

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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)

    i dont even remember jan 2004..let alone this event..obviously wasnt special enough for me to remember it

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    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury

    I was up in Newcastle at the time, and this is what I remember:

    Tuesday evening there were snow showers which left about 2cm on the ground Wednesday morning; this started to melt until at about 11.30 another band of snow suddenly swept in, very heavy but short lived depositing about 5cm in half an hour. However two things differ from most other accounts I'm reading- there was NO thunder or lightning, and it did NOT start as rain, despite the temp being slightly above freezing when it arrived. As I remember it stayed on the ground till Friday afternoon. As TWS says it was not as deep as 30-31 Jan 2003 (about 8cm), neither did it match the end of February 2004 (10cm lying over the weekend 28-9th).

    In Shrewsbury I was told there were also snow showers on Tuesday night which left a couple of cm Wednesday morning, this melted by the afternoon and although the main event certainly did eventually leave lying snow there (I've seen a photo)- it only seemed to be 2cm or so and it looked like it had struggled to stick at first, being deepest on cars (typical Shrewsbury) and being gone by late Thursday. I'm not sure either if it thundered???

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    Posted
  • Location: Wiltshire
  • Location: Wiltshire

    I remember this day, me and my mate had mopeds and we went into town on them about half an hour before it got dark and it started to snow on the way down and we thought nothing of it because it usually is nothing around here and doesen't even settle so we went to the multistory car park that we used to hand out in and it was still snowing but getting very heavy. We just chatted with our mates and eventually it got dark and was still snowing very heavily. We realized that we were stuffed and it stopped snowing at about half 8 leaving 6-8 or so inches on the ground. We decided to try and go home and rode about 5 mph through town and i fell off and had a hard time getting back up again because of the ice/snow. The dual carriage way was going about 10mph and i got to the bottom of my hill and got stuck. Had to get my mate (who had gone to his house a different way) to phone my dad to come and help me get home. Dad came down and went mad at me for going out in the snow. It wasn't my fault i hadn't seen snow like that since 94/95 so how was i supposed to know? The bike suffered a gert big crack in the floor panel from the fall but i just about survived frostbite. lol fun times

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

    Eastern areas probably had the most snow out of it as the pools of warmer air mainly affected the west (see Summer of 95's comments about the snow never turning to rain in the Newcastle area for instance). Cheeky_monkey probably won't remember it because down in Exeter it was a non-event, I remember reports from Exeter around that time of some wet snow, and significant accumulations over Dartmoor but nothing near sea level- clearly the warm pools of air had their greatest effect over south-west England.

    I recall reports from Leeds of the precipitation staying as snow for much of the time- indeed all of it on the high ground surrounding Leeds.

    Ironically, part of the reason for the thundersnow in the south was the contrast between very cold Arctic air, and milder air associated with one of the aforementioned warm pools- hence places like Newcastle didn't get thundersnow because the temperature gradient was shallower.

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