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Easterly's Your Experiences


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Posted
  • Location: Surrey
  • Location: Surrey

Just want to compare your thoughts in regards to past easterly's both failed and nailed maybe you experienced the January 1987 Easterly or the Feb 1991 Easterly and lived to tell the tale or maybe you wish to speak about the famous failed easterly of 2005 ( I think ). Whatever you thoughts good and bad cold and snowy please tell all here.

Edited by winter watcher
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Posted
  • Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms and heat, North Sea snow
  • Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Just want to compare your thoughts in regards to past easterly's both failed and nailed maybe you experienced the January 1987 Easterly or the Feb 1991 Easterly and lived to tell the tale or maybe you wish to speak about the famous failed easterly of 2005 ( I think ). Whatever you thoughts good and bad cold and snowy please tell all here.

Feb 2005 was nothing like what is forecast this week as the 850s were mainly around -5, briefly -10, whereas this week they could be as low as -15. That was still a good spell here though, we had several 10cm falls and one 15cm fall, but the snow melted between snowfalls.

I'm too young to remember 87 or 91 I'm afraid.

Edited by alza
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Posted
  • Location: Surrey
  • Location: Surrey

Feb 2005 was nothing like what is forecast this week as the 850s were mainly around -5, briefly -10, whereas this week they could be as low as -15. That was still a good spell here though, we had several 10cm falls and one 15cm fall, but the snow melted between snowfalls.

I'm too young to remember 87 or 91 I'm afraid.

Who knows maybe this easterly can eclipse those past events although everything needs to be perfect & prolonged in order to do so. I just have a feeling in me water ( Maybe the fosters ) that after the dreaded winter we have experienced so far ( Cold & Snow lovers ) that we will see a great end to winter 2011-2012 something along the lines of 2009-2010 but this time bringing a beast of a friend.

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Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

North Easterlies are better for here.. 1987, no snow here, south east.. got battered

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Posted
  • Location: Surrey
  • Location: Surrey

I must admit the thing that makes myself come back on the net weather forum each winter is that i was just old enough to remember the 87 & 91 events. I remember waking up in the morning and seeing fresh snow and lots of it and what i enjoyed most is the clear weather in between the snow would not melt it was that cold and at night you would look out the window and see everything is like a ice cube. I especially remember this forecast....

Still brings a smile to my face and i hope we see this repeated over the next few weeks i hope :drinks:
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Posted
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn days and foggy nights
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire

I was in the States during the 1991 Easterly, but I do remember the January 87 easterly very well. We lived in the south eastern edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, and after the fourth day of it, we had over a foot of snow and drifts over 4 feet high - I had just started my A-levels and was working nights in a video shop. I slept there one evening, because the two mile bike home would have been lethal - it's still the only time I've ever seen genuine blizzard conditions in lowland eastern England, with visibility down to less than 100 metres on the Wednesday night - that was the night we were finally cut off, and it took until the following Tuesday for the roads to open again. It calmed down on the Thursday or Friday that but did lead to some absolutely perishing night-time minimas.

The thing that struck me most though, aside from the dreadful conditions that Wednesday Night, was just how quickly the snow built up, it was really just 48 hours or so of heavy showers, but it really did lay down the white stuff. '79 was pretty bad too, though I don't recall if the worst of that winter was easterly focussed.

Edited by Just Before Dawn
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Posted
  • Location: Ashbourne,County Meath,about 6 miles northwest of dublin airport. 74m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Cold weather - frost or snow
  • Location: Ashbourne,County Meath,about 6 miles northwest of dublin airport. 74m ASL

Jan 87 is the best easterly i remember which gave plenty of snow here. Feb 91 was good but i dont think the real proper cold reached ireland on that occasion. For example one morning during that spell i woke and the temp was 3c and the snow was thawing much to my disappiontment, the max temp that day was forecast to be -2c lol ,although it turned colder again the next day and we did get more snow but never big amount. The lowest max i recorded during feb 91 was -1c,jan 87 would have been a few degrees colder.

Edited by sundog
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Posted
  • Location: Surrey
  • Location: Surrey

I remember over 4 years ago ( Cannot believe it has been that long lool ) when we had a very marginal situation in the home counties where a few miles could make a difference between snow and rain. I just moved about three miles east from where i used to live that winter and i remember myself getting plastered with snow about near a foot and remember me posting pics on net weather and everyone doubting the depth until steve murr had a net weather radar and showing my area getting plastered. Unfortunately the next day all was melted but was a great experience to witness.

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Posted
  • Location: West London
  • Location: West London

I hear a lot about the Jan 87 event, but would have been too young to remember it. How would it have compared with the Feb 2009 Easterly for those in the SE?

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

The last sustained winter easterly blast was Feb 2005 - but the uppers were quite warm and it didn't produce any deep cold. I was living in Newcastle and I remember many days with wet snow/snow showers but these only gave temporary coverings from time to time with the snow quickly thawing during the day but freezing at night. It was a decent spell thanks to how sustained it was, but it came a little too late off a warmer than normal continent.

Prior to Feb 2005, there was a decent easterly feed in late Dec 96/early Jan 97 but it was quite shortlived though it did bring some decent heavy snow showers here. Temps were much colder than in Feb 2005 with very sharp frosts mins regularly between -5 and -8 degrees and a number of ice days.

We saw an easterly at times in late jan 96 and March 96 but not the deep cold.

So the last truly proper easterly with deep cold uppers was Feb 91. I was 12 at the time and do remember it very well, being very frustrated seeing all the news reports about blizzards and more than a foot of snow in eastern and central parts, but we had barely a couple of inches. Still it stuck around for a number of days and with very cold nights it was a good spell, it also coincided with half term. I remember relatives visiting us on the 10th having travelled by train from Kent and they said how cold the train had been- I think the heating had packed in.

I was a little too young to remember Jan 87 - however, I do remember a notably snowy cold period at some point around that time, so it must have been Jan 87, as the next three winters were dire for cold, it could have been Feb 86 but I don't think we saw much snow that month though it stayed sub-zero for much of the time. Feb 86 hasn't been rivalled since for its persistant easterly airstream, it was a similiar month to Dec 2010 in many respects in terms of sustained cold but unlike Dec 2010 it wasn't as snowy for many places but it also never saw any break in the cold - unlike dec 2010 which saw a temporary break between the 10th and 15th and it ended on the 27th, whereas feb 86 saw the cold only breaking in the first week of March.

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The best I recall was Jan circa 1955 but see my blog for this one. I lived in Lincolnshire from about 1953 until about 1961 and during that time we had a few good falls of snow and some bitter cold temperatures but the snow never got as deep as the '55 episode, normally about 5 to 10cms.

I recall one day - it was cold and the first thing was that the wind started to increase - the snow actually started falling late evening and lasted a little during he night, blowing and drifting a bit - I got out of bed, put on my slippers and dressing gown and went outside to get a closer look - strangely enough I did not feel cold - but it petered out after that but good whilst it lasted.

After that I moved to Hounslow when I was working in the Met Office at Heathrow dufring the winter of '62/63 but winter has been so well documented. Thereafter there have been some nice snowfalls but none reaching the same proportions as then and there were times when a good promising situation with an easterly diappointed when the snow eventually turned to rain as a warm front came through.

One of my most enjoyable times was when I was working a night duty at Hemel Hempstead nick and it was snowing steadily, so I took a car out up into the Chilterns in the area of Little Gaddesden along a road which was well exposed to the easterly wind - by the time drifts were forming across the road about 20 to 30 cms deep and it was lovely powdery stuff - I kept the car at about 40 mph and the snow was lifting up over the bonnet of the car just the seas breaking over the bows of a destroyer ploughing through heavy seas. It is surprising the grip your tyres have on fresh powdery snow - in fact the type of snow can make a lot of difference.

It is fun to try out the skidding, sometimes handbrake turns on a snow covered car park.

On another occasion we were making a search in St Albans searching for someone we believed was stranded in a snow storm and I had occasion to try and get up one of the side roads in Sandridge which was quite steep. At the time I had this chap's mate on board. I got up- some speed so that I could get a good run, the surface being compacted polished snow - I thought I could make it to the top but alas I was about 15 metres short when I lost traction. Not only did I lose traction but the car started to slide back down the hill. I looked behind to see which parked car I was likely to hit and without thinking pulled down right on the wheel, so I started to turn - the thought suddenly struck me that I could do a three point turn here and get myself pointing in the right direction, thereby regaining control of the car, which I did. 'Bloody hell' was my passenger's cry of amazement, 'they don't half teach you blokes to drive well' Needless to say I didn't enlighten him.

The problem I have is that I was spoilt by the winter of 1962/63 and I'm afraid nothing has really lived up to that since. Any promising spells have petered out - I suppose December 2010 was the nearest in cold and length of time of lying snow. Though we have had some good ice days of about -5C from time to time.

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

I'm guessing that most people are thinking more specifically of easterlies delivered via a Scandinavian high, as we had one via an eastward-ridging Greenland High between the 29th November (27th or 28th in Scotland) and 2nd December 2010. If we have 850hPa temperatures of -10C or below and a pronounced easterly flow, it doesn't matter if the cold airmass came from north-west Russia via a Greenland high or from eastern Russia via a Scandinavian high, the end result is much the same. It is worth noting that the setup of a Greenland high frequently ridging towards Scandinavia also dominated the winter of 1962/63, and may well be the main reason why that winter was sunnier than average in most regions (as the emphasis on a Greenland high reduces the chances of recurrent dry cloudy south-easterlies of the sort that dominated the middle third of February 1947).

There was a brief one from the 27th-29th December 2005 which gave significant snowfalls to most of eastern Scotland, north-east England and Norfolk, though snow showers struggled to get very far inland across SE England.

January 1996 had mainly dry cloudy south-easterlies, but the wind briefly backed to an east to north-easterly direction on the 26th/27th, bringing in a substantial upper cold pool and giving one day of sunshine and snow showers and then a day of more prolonged snow for many, then dry cloudy south-easterlies returned. In March 1996 we had mostly dry cloudy south-easterlies throughout- the main snowfall was frontal, from an Atlantic system on the 11th/12th.

One often-forgotten easterly spell occurred during the second half of February 1994. A large pool of cold air accumulated over southern Europe and came our way from the south-east, giving some light snow flurries in eastern areas initially and then a significant frontal snowfall. After a milder interlude the continental air returned and an east to north-easterly flow brought heavy snow showers to NE England on the 21st with thunder at Newcastle. Earlier that winter, the 20th-22nd November 1993 delivered heavy snowfalls to much of eastern Scotland, NE England and East Anglia (it was quite similar to the more recent one in December 2005).

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Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

I love easterlies as they tend to be much more reliable than northerlies here.

In terms of Feb 05 (the first i recall) it was only a failure near the coasts because at my parents house we had snow showers for 16 days although melting was an issue and that maximum depth was i think 12cm on the 23rd.

Feb 09 was pretty good here with a maximum depth of 14cm although that was largely the initial push.

Dec 10 produced a productive easterly on the 18th but Nov 10 was probably the best easterly spell with 23cm, Dec 09/Jan 10 did beat that however they had frontal snowfall.

Any flow between E and NE is good, northerlies do not get the showers inland and ESE or worse tends just to give sunshine.

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

One of Manchester's biggest snowfalls of the 1990s came on an easterly, the late January 1996 easterly. Snow showers came across the Pennines on that Friday, underestimated again by the forecasters, and during Friday night we had heavy snow showers and by next morning it was continuous snow.

Edited by Mr_Data
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Posted
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Weather Preferences: Ample sunshine; Hot weather; Mixed winters with cold and mild spells
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

Easterlies for me mean cold but not freezing, no sun, no stars, little precip and almost constant temperatures day and night.

There is always a constant bone chilling wind that is extremely effective at stripping my house of warmth. Today is classic easterly weather - featureless low cloud and the house is freezing cold very soon after the heating goes off.

The exception was weather like Dec 2010 where it was proper deep cold so got the sun out and some decent low temperatures (plus snow of course).

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District

Where I live easterlies are the holy grail. At 1100 ft, facing east, with no higher ground between here and the Urals it's a rare easterly in winter which delivers nothing.

In fact anything between north east and south east is good enough but a straight easterly is best of all. February 1979 gave almost 60cm of level snow with massive drifts, January 1987 gave 38cm of snow so powdery it was like white snuff and December 2010 gave us 50 cm of snow with very little wind, an unusual occurrence here.

There are numerous other easterlies I can think of which have really delivered; Feb' 1956, Feb' 1991, late December 1979 all spring to mind so I'm looking forward to this one if it materialises.

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Posted
  • Location: Royston, Herts 76m asl
  • Location: Royston, Herts 76m asl

Re. Jan 1987.

I took the folllowing childhood readings from where I lived on the Beds/Bucks border (never took snow depth readings though):

Date Max Min Description

7/1 3 -4 Sunny, frosty.

8/1 1 -5 Sunny, frostly, occasional mist

9/1 2 -6 Cloudy; sharp drop in pressure

10/1 1 -2 Lt snow showers

11/1 -2 -7 Sunny intervals and frequent snow showers

12/1 -5 -12 Heavy snow showers, esp overnight. Bright pm

13/1 -3 -11 Windy, light snow

14/1 -3 -6 Blizzard conditions mostly am. Drifting

15/1 0 -5 Light snow

16/1 1 -1 Persistent light snow

17/1 1 -6 Persistent v. light snow

18/1 0 -3 Light snow flurries

19/1 0 -2 Light snow showers

20/1 3 -1 Drizzle, mist, sleet rain.

Temps then returned to normal for the rest of the month, although never especially mild.

My Grandmother lived in Leigh-on-sea and they had a Thames streamer delivering feet of snow so that her lean-to collapsed under the weight and the schools were shut for two weeks.

It will be interesting to see if there is any comparison with what is coming up. Yesterday's models said maybe, today's models say you'll be lucky to see much away from the coasts!

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