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1947/1963 Winter


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Posted
  • Location: sheffield
  • Location: sheffield

Im pretty sure this will have come up many times before, however i have always wondered. Has good as this winter has been this year for lots of snow, and cold mostly, in your opinion do you think that these years style winters will ever return to the uk?

Also how do you think if it came about, the uk would cope with such deep snow and freezing temps.?

This is just a curious question, and is just for light hearted fun, cheers:)

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Posted
  • Location: South East Cambridgeshire 57m ASL
  • Location: South East Cambridgeshire 57m ASL

In my opinion, we are going into a period of colder winters, how long these will last I dont know. In the next 10 years, I believe a month similar to Feb 1947 will occur. Personally I dont think the UK could cope, if there is chaos with 15/20cm im sure it would be a lot worse than that!

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Posted
  • Location: G.Manchester
  • Location: G.Manchester

Im pretty sure this will have come up many times before, however i have always wondered.

Lots of times

Has good as this winter has been this year for lots of snow, and cold mostly, in your opinion do you think that these years style winters will ever return to the uk?

Hope not

Also how do you think if it came about, the uk would cope with such deep snow and freezing temps.?

Yes much better then they did in 47'

Personally I dont think the UK could cope,

What and you think they did in 1947? The country went into a complete state of emergency what was after the war at the time. 1947 winter wouldn't cause too many problems these days.

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Posted
  • Location: sheffield
  • Location: sheffield

Couple of interesting views there, and 2 completely different views!.

Imo i would say the uk would struggle, i dont think folk over here are cut out for it, unlike the yanks and canadians imo.

As for 1947 in turmoil. I saw that on the news with the rescue service, however how come grannies tell me that they walked in it waiste deep and 'got on with it'!?. It could be that in them days there was more of a tougher attitude, where as nowadays people dont appear to make the effort. Anyway thats my own personal views, and everyones different so thanks:):D

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Posted
  • Location: Abbeymead ,Glos Member Since: July 16, 2003
  • Weather Preferences: Hot and thundery or Cold and snowy.
  • Location: Abbeymead ,Glos Member Since: July 16, 2003

Couple of interesting views there, and 2 completely different views!.

Imo i would say the uk would struggle, i dont think folk over here are cut out for it, unlike the yanks and canadians imo.

As for 1947 in turmoil. I saw that on the news with the rescue service, however how come grannies tell me that they walked in it waiste deep and 'got on with it'!?. It could be that in them days there was more of a tougher attitude, where as nowadays people dont appear to make the effort. Anyway thats my own personal views, and everyones different so thanks:):drinks:

Im not sure how we would cope.

I would hope it would better, But I fear we may not be able to cope.

A couple of reasons:

1 - We rely on cars MUCH more than back then & public transport.

2 - Our work life has changed, Many of us work outside of walkable distances.

3 - Local shops dont exist like they used to, So many now need to get to a super market rather than a local store ( requireing cars or public transport )

4 - We rely on gas and electric too much now, If we loose either, out lives get shutdown.

Back then, people has log fires etc that would of kept them going even if such services were to fail.

Just a few thoughts.

Ignore my poor grammar and spelling, Its late and ive had a few.

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Posted
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire

I'm sure we will get those types of Winters again.

As far as coping is concerned, things are totally different now in many ways. Whilst I was not around in 1947, I do remember 1963. Some of the differences are;

1) Children back then went to a local school and generally only had a short walk, so that wasn't a problem.

2) Women generally did not go out to work and so there were no "commuting" issues for them.

3) Men usually worked relatively close to home.......there weren't the 50/100 miles daily commutes that there often are now.

4) "Health and Safety" didn't dominate everything to the extent that it does now, so that means that more things were able to be done back then.

However, some things would not be any different, as far as I can see. There will, I imagine, always be difficulties for farmers with livestock to tend and crops to look after. More vulnerable people are living in their own homes now, rather than old folks homes or homes for disabled people and their carers have to get to them whatever the weather. There will still be pressures on the emergency services but they are now handcuffed somewhat by Health and Safety and cannot do all the things that they used to. There are lots more examples.

So, I think that with the social changes that have come about since 1963, it would be fair to say that extreme snow poses more problems now than it used to for many people and that for other people (such as farmers) it always has and always will prove to be very difficult with livestock and crops.

As I was too young to be doing the household shopping back in 1963, I cannot comment on whether that is more difficult or more easy now than it was.

Well, that's how I see it!

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Posted
  • Location: W Kent/E Sussex border (T Wells) 139m ASL
  • Location: W Kent/E Sussex border (T Wells) 139m ASL

Even in 1963 we still had a railway network that broadly covered the country. This was largely kept open enabled remote areas to remain connecte to the real world.

That has now gone, so I suspect that any prolonged spell where heavy snowfall persisted could create chaos outside of the main populated areas.

MM

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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)

now i have moved to Canada..i do believe the UK would cope as well as anywhere else during a sustained long spell..simply because it becomes the norm and people do quickly adapt their behaviour to suit after the initial first week or so.

When heavy snow and wind occurs here they cope no better than we do during periods of snow..road accidents schools closing people struggling to get to work etc...when it stops they have the equipment to quickly clear the roads and get everything moving again...in fact they tend to moan if they dont get enough snow or it is too mild...you be surprised that they moan about conditions on the road etc just like we do..and it is bizaare when they curse it for being too warm.

The whole point is you can get used to anything very quickly and it is easy to forget about the cold and snow..its just there and thats it..life goes on.

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Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire

Even in 1963 we still had a railway network that broadly covered the country. This was largely kept open enabled remote areas to remain connecte to the real world.

That has now gone, so I suspect that any prolonged spell where heavy snowfall persisted could create chaos outside of the main populated areas.

MM

Indeed, and HEAVY steam trains.

1947 winter wouldn't cause too many problems these days.

You think??!! Seeing what trouble a dusting causes these days i couldn't disagree more!

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Posted
  • Location: G.Manchester
  • Location: G.Manchester

You think??!! Seeing what trouble a dusting causes these days i couldn't disagree more!

Here we had 29cm of snow in January that lasted more or less a week. Nothing really stopped or grinded to a halt and we all got to work eventually.

The highest recorded depth in 1947 nearby was 16cm.

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Posted
  • Location: Liverpool
  • Location: Liverpool

I can safely say that things were better in the northest in december, when the snow was deeper, than it did in january when the south got it too. In december it barely go mentioned in the media, but as soon as it drained south it did, how odd. Also in December 90%of services were open, in january that fell to 10%, in less snow, and the roads were in a better state too, shows how much the media can do...

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Posted
  • Location: Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow
  • Weather Preferences: Cold snowy winters, warm dry summers
  • Location: Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow

I'm sure we will get those types of Winters again.

As far as coping is concerned, things are totally different now in many ways. Whilst I was not around in 1947, I do remember 1963. Some of the differences are;

1) Children back then went to a local school and generally only had a short walk, so that wasn't a problem.

2) Women generally did not go out to work and so there were no "commuting" issues for them.

3) Men usually worked relatively close to home.......there weren't the 50/100 miles daily commutes that there often are now.

4) "Health and Safety" didn't dominate everything to the extent that it does now, so that means that more things were able to be done back then.

However, some things would not be any different, as far as I can see. There will, I imagine, always be difficulties for farmers with livestock to tend and crops to look after. More vulnerable people are living in their own homes now, rather than old folks homes or homes for disabled people and their carers have to get to them whatever the weather. There will still be pressures on the emergency services but they are now handcuffed somewhat by Health and Safety and cannot do all the things that they used to. There are lots more examples.

So, I think that with the social changes that have come about since 1963, it would be fair to say that extreme snow poses more problems now than it used to for many people and that for other people (such as farmers) it always has and always will prove to be very difficult with livestock and crops.

As I was too young to be doing the household shopping back in 1963, I cannot comment on whether that is more difficult or more easy now than it was.

Well, that's how I see it!

very good post, I was 12 in 1963 and remember it well, this health and safety issue is a real pain at times, it stops so many things getting done, yes we need a bit of common sense when it comes to health and safety but come on all things in moderation.

I am amazed no-one has stopped the kids sledging down hills during the snowwy weather, and yes we will get another winter like that and it could be next year!

SS2

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Posted
  • Location: Reading/New York/Chicago
  • Location: Reading/New York/Chicago

FWIW, I think that there are a lot of differences between now and back in 1947/63 (to state the obvious!).

Yes, the country would grind to a halt in the immediate aftermath. I see that as being no different compared to the winters mentioned. I do think that people overstate the longer effects though. Given the snow we had in Reading this year, the heaviest for very many years (at least since 1982), the major roads were open pretty quickly. Minor roads were more of a problem, but this would have been the same whenever such weather occurred. Within three days most aspects of life were largely back to normal and people adjusted quickly. I think there is a lot of nonsense talked about people's inability to deal with such conditions (no offence to anyone, and this hasn't been tested so I could be talking nonsense myself). I can't see that the major population centres would ever get snowfall of more than a foot in one day for more than a couple of days in succession. Even if this did happen and somewhere like Birmingham (as an example) did receive 30 inches of snow in two days then within three days, further heavy snowfall notwithstanding, the only major inconvenience would be the lack of parking spaces in supermarkets due to piled up snow and minor roads being impassable.

Some people will always use a bit of snow as an excuse to stay away from work, but the country would not grind to a halt for weeks on end. As stated by a previous poster, when they get heavy snowfall in North America they also grind to a halt until the main roads can be cleared. I remember the 26 inches we recevied in New York in February 2006 and I couldn't walk further than two blocks the day after. Two days later all public transport was running, but many people were unable to get their cars out as the ploughs had pushed the snow onto their cars!

The main difference between the US and the UK is that they plough residential streets over there. Given that New York averages 27 inches per year this makes sense, but in a country where any snow over 6 inches lasting more than a few days in towns and cities is rare it does not make economic sense. The country coped well with the January cold spell despite the scare-mongering in the media and I think we are resilient enough to cope with the worst that the weather can throw at the UK.

Rant over!

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

I don't think we will see another 1947/1963 in our lifetimes, unless either AGW is being seriously overestimated or we get a big decline in solar activity leading to cooling. I think it's highly probable that such winters will recur in the future- probably many thousands of years away though.

However, this winter shows that it can still get very cold and snowy despite the slight warming over the globe in the last century.

The Health and Safety issues stem from the philosophy that health, safety, work & economy is all that matters and everything else is disposable (so it's always deemed inappropriate to compromise health & safety in the name of preserving something pleasurable, even if we're talking negligible amounts of risk) plus various authoritarian lines on how only "hard" blanket proihibition approaches succeed at stopping the minority from abusing things. Fail to conform to those principles, and as soon as someone gets hurt, in with the "no win no fee". If we want to avoid situations like the arguments for banning snowballs/sledging in schools being extended to nationwide, as a nation we need to rethink our priorities.

I think we probably would struggle in a 1947 or 1963 repeat, because we don't have the infrastructure to use snowploughs widely and we were running out of grit for many of the roads, so we would really struggle after a while.

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Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs

I don't think we will see another 1947/1963 in our lifetimes, unless either AGW is being seriously overestimated or we get a big decline in solar activity leading to cooling. I think it's highly probable that such winters will recur in the future- probably many thousands of years away though.

However, this winter shows that it can still get very cold and snowy despite the slight warming over the globe in the last century.

The Health and Safety issues stem from the philosophy that health, safety, work & economy is all that matters and everything else is disposable (so it's always deemed inappropriate to compromise health & safety in the name of preserving something pleasurable, even if we're talking negligible amounts of risk) plus various authoritarian lines on how only "hard" blanket proihibition approaches succeed at stopping the minority from abusing things. Fail to conform to those principles, and as soon as someone gets hurt, in with the "no win no fee". If we want to avoid situations like the arguments for banning snowballs/sledging in schools being extended to nationwide, as a nation we need to rethink our priorities.

I think we probably would struggle in a 1947 or 1963 repeat, because we don't have the infrastructure to use snowploughs widely and we were running out of grit for many of the roads, so we would really struggle after a while.

Well your right on your first point, it is!

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

So let's get this right... you often (quite correctly) point out that there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding AGW, but on the other hand, insist that it is definitely being overestimated? Uncertainty therefore certainty? In two words: "confirmation bias".

I don't think current conditions over the Northern Hemisphere would support anything with quite the same severity as 1963/1947, but there's nothing in the near term to stop something not far short of it from happening.

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Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs

So let's get this right... you often (quite correctly) point out that there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding AGW, but on the other hand, insist that it is definitely being overestimated? Uncertainty therefore certainty? In two words: "confirmation bias".

I don't think current conditions over the Northern Hemisphere would support anything with quite the same severity as 1963/1947, but there's nothing in the near term to stop something not far short of it from happening.

Chill TWS, you really need to read between the lines sometimes. It was a tongue in cheek reply, I have stated many times before, that I feel that AGW is being overestimated. Off course there is no way of proving that, just as there is no way of proving it isn't!

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

Sometimes replies like that are tongue in cheek and sometimes they aren't- so I don't see how I'm supposed to just know from a blunt (and largely OT) reply? I have no issues with the view itself as there is certainly a chance of it being right.

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Posted
  • Location: Laindon,Essex
  • Location: Laindon,Essex

dry.gif Serious snowfall in the winter of 1947

Thousands of people were cut off for days by snowdrifts up to seven metres deep during the winter of 1947, which saw exceptional snowfall. Supplies had to be flown in by helicopter to many villages, and the armed forces were called in to help clear roads and railways.

Between January and March that year, snow fell every day somewhere in the country for 55 days straight. Much of this settled because temperatures stayed very low, just above freezing most days.

No-one expected this winter to be severe, as January started with very mild temperatures at up to 14 °C recorded. This was soon to change, however. An area of high pressure moved over southern Scandinavia, setting up a weather pattern which dominated the UK for the rest of the month. The first snow came on 23 January, falling heavily over southern England. Blizzard conditions occurred across the south-west of England, leaving many villages in Devon isolated.

The cold, snowy weather continued through February and into March. Any breaks in the cold weather were short-lived.

  • In February, the temperature at Kew Observatory did not go over 4.4 °C and the night minimum temperature only went above 0 °C twice.
  • The mean maximum temperature for the month was 0.5 °C (6.9 °C below average) and the mean minimum was -2.7 °C (4.6 °C below average).
  • Mean minimum temperatures were more than 4 °C below average everywhere in southern England, and almost 6 °C below average in some places.
February 1947 was the coldest February on record in many places. One notable feature of this month was the lack of precipitation in parts of western Scotland. Because of the persistent anti-cyclonic conditions, some places that were normally very wet had no rain at all. A completely dry month in western Scotland is unusual. It was unprecedented in February.
Another unusual feature of February 1947 was the lack of sunshine in the Midlands and south of England — a complete contrast to the north-west of Scotland, where the weather was unusually sunny.
  • At Kew, Nottingham and Edgbaston, there was no sun on 22 of the month's 28 days.
  • Most of the Midlands and southern England had sunshine totals about 40% of the average.

When skies did clear, night-time temperatures plunged. Woburn in Bedfordshire registered a low of of -21 °C early on 25 February.

If February hadn't been bad enough, March was even worse. In the first half of the month, there were strong gales and heavy snowstorms, making for blizzard conditions. On 4 and 5 March, heavy snow fell over most of England and Wales, with severe snow drifts forming. On 6 March, drifts were five metres deep in the Pennines and three metres deep in the Chilterns.

On 10 and 11 March Scotland had its heaviest snowfall of the winter, with snow drifts up to seven metres deep reported by 12 March. The snowstorm heading over Scotland was to be the last over the UK for this cold spell, however. As it moved away, temperatures were already rising in the very south west of the UK. Temperatures rapidly got up to about 10 °C, and the leftover snow began to thaw rapidly. This created a serious problem. The ground was still frozen solid due to the weeks of cold weather, leaving the melting snow with nowhere to go.

As the warmer weather moved across the UK, the melt-water poured into rivers and caused many to burst their banks. Flooding problems began to spread across England from the south west, as a new depression came in from the Atlantic, bringing rain and severe gales. During the afternoon of 16 March, winds over southern England averaged about 50 knots, with gusts of 80–90 knots. This caused damage to buildings and caused even more problems as the strong winds created waves which pounded and even broke some flood defences.

River levels continued to rise. The banks of the Trent burst at Nottingham on 18 March and hundreds of homes were flooded, many to first floor level. While floods in the south-west England began to subside, other rivers continued to rise in eastern England. The Wharfe, Derwent, Aire and Ouse all burst their banks and flooded a huge area of southern Yorkshire. The town of Selby was almost completely under water. Only the ancient abbey and a few streets around the market place escaped inundation. Seventy per cent of all houses in the town were flooded. The flooding issues continued into the spring, bringing a nasty end to the cold and snowy winter..

And we thought we had it bad recently!dry.gif

The winter of 1963 — the coldest for more than 200 years

With temperatures so cold the sea froze in places, 1963 is one of the coldest winters on record. Bringing blizzards, snow drifts, blocks of ice, and temperatures lower than -20 °C, it was colder than the winter of 1947, and the coldest since 1740.

It began abruptly just before Christmas in 1962. The weeks before had been changeable and stormy, but then on 22 December a high pressure system moved to the north-east of the British Isles, dragging bitterly cold winds across the country. This situation was to last much of the winter.

A belt of rain over northern Scotland on 24 December turned to snow as it moved south, giving Glasgow its first white Christmas since 1938. The snow-belt reached southern England on Boxing Day and parked over the country, bringing a snowfall of up to 30 cm.

A blizzard followed on 29 and 30 December across Wales and south-west England, causing snowdrifts up to 6 m deep. Roads and railways were blocked, telephone lines brought down, and some villages were left cut off for several days. The snow was so deep farmers couldn't get to their livestock, and many animals starved to death.

This snow set the scene for the next two months, as much of England remained covered every day until early March 1963. While snow fell, and settled there was still plenty of sunshine. The weak winter sun did not warm things up, however, as the lack of cloud cover allowed temperatures to plunge. In Braemar in Scotland, the temperature got down to -22.2 °C on 18 January. Mean maximum temperatures in January were below 0 °C in several places in southern England and Wales, more than 5 °C below average. Mean minimum temperatures were well below freezing. Temperatures weren't much higher for most of February.

The long bitterly cold spell caused lakes and rivers to freeze, even sea water in some of England's harbours turned to ice. Ice patches formed at sea and on beaches. Winter didn't fully relax its grip until 4 March, when a mild south-westerly flow of air reached the British Isles. By 6 March, there was no frost anywhere in the British Isles and the temperature in London reached 17 °C — the highest since October 1962.

Finally, the coldest winter for more than 200 years in England and Wales had ended. With the thaw came flooding, but nothing like the scale of the 1947 floods. Soon after the winter had ended, life returned to normal.

Kind of puts it into perspective doesn't it when we moan about how cold it has been these last few weeks.!rolleyes.gif

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dry.gif Serious snowfall in the winter of 1947

Thousands of people were cut off for days by snowdrifts up to seven metres deep during the winter of 1947, which saw exceptional snowfall. Supplies had to be flown in by helicopter to many villages, and the armed forces were called in to help clear roads and railways.

Between January and March that year, snow fell every day somewhere in the country for 55 days straight. Much of this settled because temperatures stayed very low, just above freezing most days.

No-one expected this winter to be severe, as January started with very mild temperatures at up to 14 °C recorded. This was soon to change, however. An area of high pressure moved over southern Scandinavia, setting up a weather pattern which dominated the UK for the rest of the month. The first snow came on 23 January, falling heavily over southern England. Blizzard conditions occurred across the south-west of England, leaving many villages in Devon isolated.

The cold, snowy weather continued through February and into March. Any breaks in the cold weather were short-lived.

  • In February, the temperature at Kew Observatory did not go over 4.4 °C and the night minimum temperature only went above 0 °C twice.
  • The mean maximum temperature for the month was 0.5 °C (6.9 °C below average) and the mean minimum was -2.7 °C (4.6 °C below average).
  • Mean minimum temperatures were more than 4 °C below average everywhere in southern England, and almost 6 °C below average in some places.
February 1947 was the coldest February on record in many places. One notable feature of this month was the lack of precipitation in parts of western Scotland. Because of the persistent anti-cyclonic conditions, some places that were normally very wet had no rain at all. A completely dry month in western Scotland is unusual. It was unprecedented in February.
Another unusual feature of February 1947 was the lack of sunshine in the Midlands and south of England — a complete contrast to the north-west of Scotland, where the weather was unusually sunny.
  • At Kew, Nottingham and Edgbaston, there was no sun on 22 of the month's 28 days.
  • Most of the Midlands and southern England had sunshine totals about 40% of the average.

When skies did clear, night-time temperatures plunged. Woburn in Bedfordshire registered a low of of -21 °C early on 25 February.

If February hadn't been bad enough, March was even worse. In the first half of the month, there were strong gales and heavy snowstorms, making for blizzard conditions. On 4 and 5 March, heavy snow fell over most of England and Wales, with severe snow drifts forming. On 6 March, drifts were five metres deep in the Pennines and three metres deep in the Chilterns.

On 10 and 11 March Scotland had its heaviest snowfall of the winter, with snow drifts up to seven metres deep reported by 12 March. The snowstorm heading over Scotland was to be the last over the UK for this cold spell, however. As it moved away, temperatures were already rising in the very south west of the UK. Temperatures rapidly got up to about 10 °C, and the leftover snow began to thaw rapidly. This created a serious problem. The ground was still frozen solid due to the weeks of cold weather, leaving the melting snow with nowhere to go.

As the warmer weather moved across the UK, the melt-water poured into rivers and caused many to burst their banks. Flooding problems began to spread across England from the south west, as a new depression came in from the Atlantic, bringing rain and severe gales. During the afternoon of 16 March, winds over southern England averaged about 50 knots, with gusts of 80–90 knots. This caused damage to buildings and caused even more problems as the strong winds created waves which pounded and even broke some flood defences.

River levels continued to rise. The banks of the Trent burst at Nottingham on 18 March and hundreds of homes were flooded, many to first floor level. While floods in the south-west England began to subside, other rivers continued to rise in eastern England. The Wharfe, Derwent, Aire and Ouse all burst their banks and flooded a huge area of southern Yorkshire. The town of Selby was almost completely under water. Only the ancient abbey and a few streets around the market place escaped inundation. Seventy per cent of all houses in the town were flooded. The flooding issues continued into the spring, bringing a nasty end to the cold and snowy winter..

And we thought we had it bad recently!dry.gif

The winter of 1963 — the coldest for more than 200 years

With temperatures so cold the sea froze in places, 1963 is one of the coldest winters on record. Bringing blizzards, snow drifts, blocks of ice, and temperatures lower than -20 °C, it was colder than the winter of 1947, and the coldest since 1740.

It began abruptly just before Christmas in 1962. The weeks before had been changeable and stormy, but then on 22 December a high pressure system moved to the north-east of the British Isles, dragging bitterly cold winds across the country. This situation was to last much of the winter.

A belt of rain over northern Scotland on 24 December turned to snow as it moved south, giving Glasgow its first white Christmas since 1938. The snow-belt reached southern England on Boxing Day and parked over the country, bringing a snowfall of up to 30 cm.

A blizzard followed on 29 and 30 December across Wales and south-west England, causing snowdrifts up to 6 m deep. Roads and railways were blocked, telephone lines brought down, and some villages were left cut off for several days. The snow was so deep farmers couldn't get to their livestock, and many animals starved to death.

This snow set the scene for the next two months, as much of England remained covered every day until early March 1963. While snow fell, and settled there was still plenty of sunshine. The weak winter sun did not warm things up, however, as the lack of cloud cover allowed temperatures to plunge. In Braemar in Scotland, the temperature got down to -22.2 °C on 18 January. Mean maximum temperatures in January were below 0 °C in several places in southern England and Wales, more than 5 °C below average. Mean minimum temperatures were well below freezing. Temperatures weren't much higher for most of February.

The long bitterly cold spell caused lakes and rivers to freeze, even sea water in some of England's harbours turned to ice. Ice patches formed at sea and on beaches. Winter didn't fully relax its grip until 4 March, when a mild south-westerly flow of air reached the British Isles. By 6 March, there was no frost anywhere in the British Isles and the temperature in London reached 17 °C — the highest since October 1962.

Finally, the coldest winter for more than 200 years in England and Wales had ended. With the thaw came flooding, but nothing like the scale of the 1947 floods. Soon after the winter had ended, life returned to normal.

Kind of puts it into perspective doesn't it when we moan about how cold it has been these last few weeks.!rolleyes.gif

indeed. what price to see a winter like that again.

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