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May 1997 - Last Time There Was Low Level Snow?


damianslaw

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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

Not sure if I'm right in saying this, but I believe May 1997 was the last time the country saw low lying snowcover.

I seem to remember it occuring around the 5th or 6th May. The snow came courtesy of a northerly overnight, many places with a little bit of height in Scotland and northern england awoke some snowcover. I distinctly remember waking up to the stuff in Windermere, though it quickly thawed during the morning in the bright May sun.

Can anyone confirm that this is the case.. I don't recall any low level snowcover since, although parts of Scotland may well have experienced some since then..

If it is the case it goes to show how May has been very poor in delivering any potent arctic northerlies in recent years...

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

The 6th May 1997 is the only time I remember observing falling snow in May, although there was a bit of sleet on 11 May 1995. In Cleadon the morning was dry and sunny but snow showers broke out during the afternoon, including heavy ones at around 3:15pm and 6:30pm, the latter shower even provided a smattering on the ground for a couple of minutes.

Hazelrigg (Lancaster University) reported falling snow on the 6th and 7th, and a dusting survived through to 0900 GMT (1000 BST!) on the 7th- and that's just six miles inland from the west coast, so it's entirely consistent with your recollections from Cumbria.

Snow has been remarkably absent in May since 1997, following a spate of Mays with wintry outbreaks (1993, 1995 and 1996 also had fairly widespread snow events, and snow lay widely across Scotland on 13-15 May 1993 and more locally around 12 May 1995).

Surprisingly, during an otherwise mild month, sleet showers were reported to low levels in northern Scotland around 22 May 1999 but nothing settled at low levels. There were localised snowfalls over high ground from the Midlands northwards in the Mays of 2005 and 2006 but I don't recall there being anything at low levels- not even sleet.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

May 7th 1997 was the last time we had any lying snow during May although it had largely thawed by 0900 g.m.t and did not count as an 'official' day with snow lying. Sleet or snow fell in both 2005 and 2006 but did not settle.

The last time there was lying snow here in May at 0900 g.m.t was in 1979.

Even on relatively high ground where I live it's very difficult for any overnight snow cover to survive 4 hours of morning May sunshine and last until 0900 g.m.t, it really does depend on a very cold air mass and a good deal of early morning cloud unless the snow cover is unusually deep or snow is actually falling close to observation time.

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Posted
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.

Last time there was any sleet falling here was on May 24th 2006,and there was snow falling very high up.

Otherwise there has to go back to May 6th/7th 1997 with a brief soft hail/snow covering on the afternoon of the 7th.

What about when snow falls in the afternoon and settles that must count of as an official day.

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

It doesn't- an official "snow day" is one with more than half-cover of snow at 0900 GMT.

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
What about when snow falls in the afternoon and settles that must count of as an official day.

'Fraid not, Snowy. An official day with lying snow is one when snow covers more than half the ground around the station at 0900 g.m.t.

In theory it could snow and settle at 0910 g.m.t, lie on the ground until 0800 the next morning and then thaw, and it still wouldn't count as a day with lying snow. On the other hand it could snow at 0850 g.m.t, lie until 0905 and then thaw and that would count.

Over a period of time the anomalies of the system balance each other out.

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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)

there was alot of snow particularly over high ground of south west england second weekend of may 1996..ten tors was abandoned that year because of snow.

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Posted
  • Location: Southsea, Portsmouth, HANTS, UK
  • Location: Southsea, Portsmouth, HANTS, UK

I remember 1997 very well as that was the first year I was living in the UK but this cold spell in May really doesn't register with me - perhaps a factor of being down south in the snowless triangle that is Hampshire.

What I do remember more is the 2-day heatwave on the 1st & 2nd over the General Election. I particularly remember the BBC commentary of that making reference to the weather - "more like mid June than early summer". Bear in mind I had no real reference of what to expect of the British summer months and those 2 days certainly gave me a false sense of perspective :lol:

Not sure how much this was felt in the north of the country but it must have been quite a switch around to have gone from near 30C to having snow falling some 4 days later.

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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
I remember 1997 very well as that was the first year I was living in the UK but this cold spell in May really doesn't register with me - perhaps a factor of being down south in the snowless triangle that is Hampshire.

What I do remember more is the 2-day heatwave on the 1st & 2nd over the General Election. I particularly remember the BBC commentary of that making reference to the weather - "more like mid June than early summer". Bear in mind I had no real reference of what to expect of the British summer months and those 2 days certainly gave me a false sense of perspective :lol:

Not sure how much this was felt in the north of the country but it must have been quite a switch around to have gone from near 30C to having snow falling some 4 days later.

Yes it was a switcharound indeed, I remember the general election 1997 being a lovely warm sunny day.

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

At Cleadon the maximum on the 1st was 24C, and on the 6th it was 7.5C!

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