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The "eurydice" Squall Of March 1878


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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

On the 24th of March 1878, HMS Eurydice sank off the Isle of Wight during a heavy snowstorm with only 2 survivors out of a total crew of 378


The disaster has given the name of the squall line that swept southwards across England and Wales and that caused the tragedy as can be seen from the original map shown below


Reports of the squall

The snow squall lasted longest in the east with Grimbsy reporting the event lasting 4 hours, whilst in Hereford it lasted about 20 minutes. At Malvern, it was described as a "white wall"

Highfield House Observatory

12.45pm: Slight snow

12.50pm: Heavy snow storm,

3.00pm: Snow ceased leaving an inch.

Temperature during storm was 28.3F

6.00pm: Much ice and ground white with snow.

8.00-10.30pm: Much lightning in the south and southwest

E.J. Lowe

Bishop's Castle, Shropshire

"At 11.45am, I noticed it growing gradually darker, the sky became overcast and a few flakes of snow falling. At 11.55am, a terrific squall seemed to strike the building, accompanied by blinding snowand a sudden darkness which lasted several minutes. For 15 minutes, the wind howled in a fearful manner. after which it gradually subsided leaving 2 inches. Much snow fell afterwards from 4 to 8pm."

E. Griffiths

Littlehampton: Violent squalls of snow at 4pm

Magdalen College: High wind, snow

Northampton: Heavy snowstorm, 2 to 3pm

Cheltenham: Terrific snowstorm for short time in afternoon and heavy snow in evening.

Leaton Vicarage: Violent snowstorm with heavy wind at noon , darkness so great that reading was difficult.

Thorpe Arnold: Heavy gale and blinding snowstorm came very suddenly, at 1.30pm

Walton-on-the-Hill: Severe storm with heavy thunder and brilliant lightning.


Further troughs came down in the flow after the main trough

A thunderstorm with snow passed over Liverpool at 5pm, lightning was seen at West Riding and Stonyhurst at about 8pm

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