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Autumn 1993: cold


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Posted
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sunshine and thunderstorms. Mild in winter.
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m

The autumn of 1993 was a very cold autumn with some notable wintry blasts. There was a very postent northerly during mid-October that brought heavy snow to Scotand and Northern England and an easterly in late November, which also brought snow.

 

My historic video for it:

 

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

Remember the autumn very well, it came on the back of a very disappointing summer temperature, sunshine and dryness wise. We had quite a few wintry type showers in the mid October northerly with some notably harsh frosts. The second half of November was very wintry with hard frosts, and freezing fog though not much snow here as we were sheltered from the easterly winds. I think we may even have recorded an ice day at some stage, certainly remember the frost covering most ground throughout the day.

 

The following winter was a topsy turvy with some good wintry spells at times, but often shortlived, mid Dec brough some snow, Christmas was snowy, Jan was rather mild though, Feb was very good for snowfall, with a very heavy fall on the 22nd. Overall the June 93 - May 94 period was a cold one. The following 12 month period conversely was exceptionally mild.

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

In many parts of eastern Scotland and north-eastern England, snow stuck around for 7 or 8 days starting around 21-22 November 1993.  I don't think that had been achieved on a similar scale in November since 1965, and it has only been achieved since in 2010.  

 

Christmas Day 1993 was an interesting one, the day started off dry and sunny in South Tyneside but snow showers came in off the North Sea, and the showers turned to rain and sleet near the sea front that night but stayed as snow upwards of a couple of miles inland, resulting in a few days of snow cover.  But the snowiest spell was the second half of February.  Tyne and Wear had many heavy snow showers on the 21st, with thunder at Newcastle, prior to the frontal snowfalls that affected most of the UK between the 22nd and 24th. 

 

December 1993, January 1994, March 1994 and early April 1994 were all very westerly-dominated, but near average to rather cold in Scotland, with much heavy snowfall in the Highlands, and this probably explains why Scottish snow patch survivals were so high during 1994.  January and March were warmer than average for England and Wales, but even here, there were frequent wet snowfalls on low ground from westerlies during mid to late December 1993 and early April 1994.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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  • 5 years later...
Posted
  • Location: Islington, C. London.
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and mixed summers.
  • Location: Islington, C. London.

28 years since this very cold autumn… one I would love to experience one like. Thought I’d give this old post a boost. 

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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
2 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

28 years since this very cold autumn… one I would love to experience one like. Thought I’d give this old post a boost. 

Last notably cold Autumn. Sept and Oct 92 were cold but the November was mild. The July to Nov period of 93 was notably cold..  think the last coldest 5 month period may have been Feb to June 13.

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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm-by-day sunny thundery summers , short cold snowy winters.
  • Location: Hampshire

A very interesting season, certainly, though with some spells of decidedly unpleasant weather.  Main thing I remember about this season was the sudden swings from settled to unsettled and back again. The first half of autumn was very wet indeed, but the second much drier. I actually don't recall perceiving the season as a whole as cold, but I do recall a notable cold frosty spell in mid-October and then the second half of November being persistently cold. But I was in the south (Hampshire and Bath, at various times) which was doubtless milder than other parts as per usual.

Particular memories include the fine sunny start to September. The first two days were warm, then following a well-defined but brief cold front, it became cooler but still sunny from the 3rd-6th with northerly winds. Then followed a very sudden switch to very unsettled weather, something not so uncommon in September. A very large and unusually southerly low arrived from Biscay, initially drawing up warm humid weather on the 7th followed by thundery rain (I recall seeing distant lightning, but nothing overhead). Then a few days of cyclonic showery weather with the low overhead, though by the 10th and 11th the low filled and there were decent conditions with large Cu but plenty of sunshine.

Weather deteriorated further on the 12th (Sunday) which was a notably wet day with a southerly tracking low. Rain set in perhaps mid-morning and hadn't cleared even by midnight. A further active low passed through on the 15th but the weekend of the 18th/19th produced a settled interlude with pleasantly warm conditions and sunshine - the 19th in particular (the Sunday) being decidedly warm.

The following week I think remained fairly settled: I do recall a funnel cloud from the Dorset coast (not far from Lulworth) on the 24th but conditions were pretty benign. But following a failed attempt of a potent northerly that weekend (delivering some extremely cold conditions to the north if I remember right, perhaps even single figures) the most unsettled and cyclonic spell of the whole season began. Memories of the last week of September are of more or less continuous rain and dull conditions with little break, though my memory is perhaps a little vague. The first week of October was cyclonic with relatively limited frontal activity but some potent showers at times, mixed with dull damp rPm conditions with embedded downpours.

However a notable interesting event occured on Fri 8th. For a few days I was in the north (Cheshire, adjacent to Manchester). Up there, perhaps as is typical for rPm air due to being in the rain-shadow of Wales, the weather was brighter than down in Bath, with decent sunshine and large Cu clouds. However the 8th was different, despite no apparent airmass change, hazy and cloudy for much of the day, becoming bright around late afternoon. However a mass of black cloud arrived from the south around sunset and there followed quite a potent thunderstorm during the evening.

The following week (10th-16th) was very wet as cold air tried to dig south but was struggling to shift the cyclonic conditions, consequently a lot of rain fell (Bath) on the boundary between the airmasses. Eventually by the 15th the cold air won out and the 15th and 16th were cold and dry with excellent visibility and much sunshine.

The sunny weather persisted well into the following week with frosts, but it became progressively hazy. At some point, and certainly by the following weekend, this transitioned to dry and cloudy and the final week of the month was dry and progressively dull. I can't actually remember much about the temperature though which might imply it was around average.

November started similarly dry and dull, the second week was wet and windy (notably Saturday 13th) then cold dry air from the NW dug down on Sunday 14th. The cold conditions then persisted for two weeks, peaking perhaps the weekend of the 20th/21st on which I recall the Sunday being notably cold. I also remember an episode of light snow one evening during the week, which settled briefly. The month ended with a battleground but the mild air took longer than expected to break through, arriving on the 29th (Monday).

This then led into a very wet and cyclonic winter, albeit one with two brief but potent snow events (so more interesting than some other 90s winters). Spring was also dull and wet, so autumn-winter-spring 1993/4 was a notable prolonged season of frequent wet conditions. I think we were all ready for the relief that June/July 1994 provided by then!

Finally, in one of those curious coincidences, the next three Septembers which began on a Wednesday (1999, 2004 and 2010) also all started fine and sunny before becoming more unsettled before mid-month, to varying degrees (ranging from 2004's weak westerlies to 1999's potent cyclonic downpours).

Edited by Summer8906
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Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset

I was only 2 at the time, but my grandfather’s diaries suggest that the worst gales of that prolonged winter season came in March, and even early April, by which time you wouldn’t expect severe gales.

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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm-by-day sunny thundery summers , short cold snowy winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
3 minutes ago, MP-R said:

I was only 2 at the time, but my grandfather’s diaries suggest that the worst gales of that prolonged winter season came in March, and even early April, by which time you wouldn’t expect severe gales.

I recall March as being unusually zonal, with persistent strong westerlies - synoptically being more like December or January. These persisted almost without a break with the dullest and wettest weather actually being at the very end of the month, after the switch to BST. The conditions persisted into the Easter weekend (first weekend of April) followed by showery northerlies. It was a late spring!

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Posted
  • Location: North York Moors
  • Location: North York Moors

Here we had committed to a complete rebuild of slurry/manure handling system - a dairy farm at the time.
It was expected to take six weeks from start to finish.
Last two weeks of September revolved around removing what was there and at start of October excavating new pit started.
The team doing it were travelling quite some way from near Harrogate daily and often could not believe how different it was here with three significant snow events causing delays.
The final part was finished in November when we had a good foot of snow.
In those days the RAC rally went through forest stages in North Yorkshire late November, what little footage was captured for TV looked like northern Scandinavia

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

Yes, the second half of October 1993 started off dry and sunny with an exceptional run of cold frosty nights, then anticyclonic gloom set in from around the 24th.  My weather records from October/November 1993 point towards a remarkable lack of sunshine in South Tyneside between 24 October and around 9 November, before the cold and, in some eastern parts of the country, snowy weather of late November.

September 1993 in South Tyneside was the standout example of a depressing September from my childhood when, after a reasonably sunny and warm end to August and first day of September, cool grey weather set in just in time for the return to school, and then persisted for a large part of the month, with some wet and windy weather at times too, particularly the 13th-15th and in the last week.  The northerlies that set in on the 2nd/3rd brought extensive stratocumulus near the north-east coast, so the transition set in earlier than in Hampshire.

I wouldn't call 1994 a late spring necessarily, as there was an abrupt switch from cold to warm at the end of February, and most parts of the UK were predominantly warm in March 1994, though very windy as noted in previous posts.  But then the progression was rather backward, with predominantly cool weather in April and May with the exception of a very warm spell at the end of April which raised April's mean temperature close to the long-term normal.

 

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m
7 hours ago, MP-R said:

I was only 2 at the time, but my grandfather’s diaries suggest that the worst gales of that prolonged winter season came in March, and even early April, by which time you wouldn’t expect severe gales.

The all time UK highest windspeed was recorded on 20th March 1986 ,173mph on Cairngorm summit!

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Posted
  • Location: Islington, C. London.
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and mixed summers.
  • Location: Islington, C. London.
7 hours ago, Summer8906 said:

A very interesting season, certainly, though with some spells of decidedly unpleasant weather.  Main thing I remember about this season was the sudden swings from settled to unsettled and back again. The first half of autumn was very wet indeed, but the second much drier. I actually don't recall perceiving the season as a whole as cold, but I do recall a notable cold frosty spell in mid-October and then the second half of November being persistently cold. But I was in the south (Hampshire and Bath, at various times) which was doubtless milder than other parts as per usual.

Particular memories include the fine sunny start to September. The first two days were warm, then following a well-defined but brief cold front, it became cooler but still sunny from the 3rd-6th with northerly winds. Then followed a very sudden switch to very unsettled weather, something not so uncommon in September. A very large and unusually southerly low arrived from Biscay, initially drawing up warm humid weather on the 7th followed by thundery rain (I recall seeing distant lightning, but nothing overhead). Then a few days of cyclonic showery weather with the low overhead, though by the 10th and 11th the low filled and there were decent conditions with large Cu but plenty of sunshine.

Weather deteriorated further on the 12th (Sunday) which was a notably wet day with a southerly tracking low. Rain set in perhaps mid-morning and hadn't cleared even by midnight. A further active low passed through on the 15th but the weekend of the 18th/19th produced a settled interlude with pleasantly warm conditions and sunshine - the 19th in particular (the Sunday) being decidedly warm.

The following week I think remained fairly settled: I do recall a funnel cloud from the Dorset coast (not far from Lulworth) on the 24th but conditions were pretty benign. But following a failed attempt of a potent northerly that weekend (delivering some extremely cold conditions to the north if I remember right, perhaps even single figures) the most unsettled and cyclonic spell of the whole season began. Memories of the last week of September are of more or less continuous rain and dull conditions with little break, though my memory is perhaps a little vague. The first week of October was cyclonic with relatively limited frontal activity but some potent showers at times, mixed with dull damp rPm conditions with embedded downpours.

However a notable interesting event occured on Fri 8th. For a few days I was in the north (Cheshire, adjacent to Manchester). Up there, perhaps as is typical for rPm air due to being in the rain-shadow of Wales, the weather was brighter than down in Bath, with decent sunshine and large Cu clouds. However the 8th was different, despite no apparent airmass change, hazy and cloudy for much of the day, becoming bright around late afternoon. However a mass of black cloud arrived from the south around sunset and there followed quite a potent thunderstorm during the evening.

The following week (10th-16th) was very wet as cold air tried to dig south but was struggling to shift the cyclonic conditions, consequently a lot of rain fell (Bath) on the boundary between the airmasses. Eventually by the 15th the cold air won out and the 15th and 16th were cold and dry with excellent visibility and much sunshine.

The sunny weather persisted well into the following week with frosts, but it became progressively hazy. At some point, and certainly by the following weekend, this transitioned to dry and cloudy and the final week of the month was dry and progressively dull. I can't actually remember much about the temperature though which might imply it was around average.

November started similarly dry and dull, the second week was wet and windy (notably Saturday 13th) then cold dry air from the NW dug down on Sunday 14th. The cold conditions then persisted for two weeks, peaking perhaps the weekend of the 20th/21st on which I recall the Sunday being notably cold. I also remember an episode of light snow one evening during the week, which settled briefly. The month ended with a battleground but the mild air took longer than expected to break through, arriving on the 29th (Monday).

This then led into a very wet and cyclonic winter, albeit one with two brief but potent snow events (so more interesting than some other 90s winters). Spring was also dull and wet, so autumn-winter-spring 1993/4 was a notable prolonged season of frequent wet conditions. I think we were all ready for the relief that June/July 1994 provided by then!

Finally, in one of those curious coincidences, the next three Septembers which began on a Wednesday (1999, 2004 and 2010) also all started fine and sunny before becoming more unsettled before mid-month, to varying degrees (ranging from 2004's weak westerlies to 1999's potent cyclonic downpours).

Incredible memory which is absolutely fascinating to read , especially as I was not to be born for another 7.5 years! It’s a real portal to the past. 

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Posted
  • Location: Islington, C. London.
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and mixed summers.
  • Location: Islington, C. London.
2 hours ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

Yes, the second half of October 1993 started off dry and sunny with an exceptional run of cold frosty nights, then anticyclonic gloom set in from around the 24th.  My weather records from October/November 1993 point towards a remarkable lack of sunshine in South Tyneside between 24 October and around 9 November, before the cold and, in some eastern parts of the country, snowy weather of late November.

September 1993 in South Tyneside was the standout example of a depressing September from my childhood when, after a reasonably sunny and warm end to August and first day of September, cool grey weather set in just in time for the return to school, and then persisted for a large part of the month, with some wet and windy weather at times too, particularly the 13th-15th and in the last week.  The northerlies that set in on the 2nd/3rd brought extensive stratocumulus near the north-east coast, so the transition set in earlier than in Hampshire.

I wouldn't call 1994 a late spring necessarily, as there was an abrupt switch from cold to warm at the end of February, and most parts of the UK were predominantly warm in March 1994, though very windy as noted in previous posts.  But then the progression was rather backward, with predominantly cool weather in April and May with the exception of a very warm spell at the end of April which raised April's mean temperature close to the long-term normal.

 

IIRC, I read that early Apr. 1994 saw gusts of up to 100mph so it must have been a real unusual spell of stormy weather. The only thing like that I can remember at that time of year is a ferocious windstorm that occurred on the 28th of March, 2016. Goes to show you can still get gales, even in springtime. 

 

Bit off topic from the Autumn, 1993. My apologies.

 

Edit- quoted the wrong person! 

Edited by LetItSnow!
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Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
On 03/10/2021 at 18:38, hillbilly said:

The all time UK highest windspeed was recorded on 20th March 1986 ,173mph on Cairngorm summit!

Doesn’t surprise me. I often associate March with a resurgent Atlantic at some point after the lull from mid January through February. Many a year had brought gales in March eg the last three years, early and late 2016, early and late 2015, 2008, 2007, the equinox gales of 2004, 2002... the list goes on. April on the other hand, much quieter. Late April 2019 and 2002 come to mind.

But I expect Atlantic weather and associated gales in between the autumn equinox and winter solstice more than any other time of year so autumns like 1993 are interesting given the overall lack of them.

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Posted
  • Location: Poole, Dorset
  • Location: Poole, Dorset

This was a good one, I had just started art college in Bournemouth. I remember the cut off low towards the biscay in the second week of September sending lots of rain and warm air our way.

The first 8 or 9 days of October were very dramatic with lots of heavy shower, thunderstorms, high rainfall totals and 5 days of thunder. Then there was some very sunny and cold weather around mid October.

Then the cold that arrived around 21st November and peaked on the 23rd was extremely impressive to me, I recored a maximum of minus 1.5 that day. I remember it being very still and grey but it had that charged feeling. That was the day it started to snow in the afternoon whilst we were outside on a fag break, every flake of snow was settling on all surfaces. We were disscussing how good it would look if it was at night and we had a strobe...

It doesn't really count but there was a good gale around the 8th December, It was all good stuff to go in my weather log anyway that I had just started in May that year.

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

The cold in mid October was notable. A run of air frosts and on the 15-16th I think Shap went down close to -10 degrees.

The latter part of November brought very low maxima, remember there was alot of freezing fog, something we don't seem to see any more.

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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Warm-by-day sunny thundery summers , short cold snowy winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
18 hours ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

Yes, the second half of October 1993 started off dry and sunny with an exceptional run of cold frosty nights, then anticyclonic gloom set in from around the 24th.  My weather records from October/November 1993 point towards a remarkable lack of sunshine in South Tyneside between 24 October and around 9 November, before the cold and, in some eastern parts of the country, snowy weather of late November.

September 1993 in South Tyneside was the standout example of a depressing September from my childhood when, after a reasonably sunny and warm end to August and first day of September, cool grey weather set in just in time for the return to school, and then persisted for a large part of the month, with some wet and windy weather at times too, particularly the 13th-15th and in the last week.  The northerlies that set in on the 2nd/3rd brought extensive stratocumulus near the north-east coast, so the transition set in earlier than in Hampshire.

Interesting to see the regional variation; I wouldn't call September 1993 depressing overall as, despite two spells of very wet weather, there were periods of pleasant weather in between. I do remember the late Oct/early Nov gloom as being quite depressing though, and by early Oct I was getting a bit fed up of the rain!

18 hours ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

I wouldn't call 1994 a late spring necessarily, as there was an abrupt switch from cold to warm at the end of February, and most parts of the UK were predominantly warm in March 1994, though very windy as noted in previous posts.  But then the progression was rather backward, with predominantly cool weather in April and May with the exception of a very warm spell at the end of April which raised April's mean temperature close to the long-term normal.

 

I was referring more to the lack of settled, classically spring-like weather early on (as well as the frequent cold in April and May): cold and often damp weather in late Feb was then followed by unsettled westerly weather in March. March was milder than normal IIRC (but without any real warm days, more like consistent 12 and 13s) but calm, bright, spring days were rare until (as you say) a warmer spell arrived towards the end of April. Saturday 26th March, the last day of Winter Time, was notably sunny and dry though - I recall climbing Cleeve Hill outside Cheltenham and it was an ideal day.

Edited by Summer8906
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Posted
  • Location: Home: Chingford, London (NE). Work: London (C)
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: cold and snowy. Summer: hot and sunny
  • Location: Home: Chingford, London (NE). Work: London (C)

It's not often you get some heavy snowfall and very low maximas in London during November. 1993 was one of those years. The only other that I remember is 2010. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted
  • Location: Manchester
  • Location: Manchester

We're due a proper cold November, Nov 2016 and 2010 were quite cold but nothing compared to the 1993 CET of 4.6c. Long gone the times where a CET in the 3s was achievable. Now, anything below 6C is distinctly chilly. 

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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)

all i really remember about Autumn 1993 that it was cold and wet with intermittent falls of snows from Mid November until just after Xmas..rest of winter was pretty meh apart from a cold spell Mid Feb 1994

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Posted
  • Location: Wyke regis overlooking Chesil beach.
  • Weather Preferences: Snowfall
  • Location: Wyke regis overlooking Chesil beach.

Can't remember that much about the autumn of 93 being cold overall but I do remember November 93 being quite wintry even down here in Dorset. I can distinctly remember walking around Dorchester with frequent frequent snow showers coming down and taking a break in tea shop to warm up as the snow flakes continued to flutter down outside.

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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
On 23/10/2021 at 14:14, Broadmayne blizzard said:

Can't remember that much about the autumn of 93 being cold overall but I do remember November 93 being quite wintry even down here in Dorset. I can distinctly remember walking around Dorchester with frequent frequent snow showers coming down and taking a break in tea shop to warm up as the snow flakes continued to flutter down outside.

Autumn 93 not bettered since in terms of cold. Mid October was notably cold and latter part of No ember. September was chilly as well. Indeed there was little in the way of above average temperatures all season. Seems difficult to achieve consistently below average temps in Autumn nowadays.

 

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Posted
  • Location: Merseyside/ West Lancs Border; North West England
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cool & dry, with regular cold, snowy periods.
  • Location: Merseyside/ West Lancs Border; North West England
On 03/10/2021 at 15:00, 4wd said:


In those days the RAC rally went through forest stages in North Yorkshire late November, what little footage was captured for TV looked like northern Scandinavia

I was going to mention this; started in Birmingham on Sunday 21st November, and took in the stately park/ homes/ race tracks of the midlands. The live Top Gear stage was in Clumber Park. The following 3 days visited mid/north Wales, Grizedale/Borders/Kielder, and North Yorkshire on the final day. 

Conditions in Wales were mixed; from cold & frosty early morning, to dry & dusty and then snow & ice later in the day in north Wales. Grizedale was dry & dusty, but from then on snow was the main factor, from the Borders to North Yorkshire. There is a decent amount of coverage still available on You Tube.

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