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Memories of 1986


Sunny76
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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London

    My memories of this year are, the constant cold and gloomy weather during January-March. A hot sunny spell in June, which coincided with my day trip to France.

    Was a hot sunny clear day from 5am, as we had to get up early that day. Clear blue skies all day and into the evening. Think that was the best spell of sunny weather in 1986, from what I remember.

    Overnight thunderstorms on a Sunday night/Monday morning in mid August. August being mostly cloudy dull and cold. A horrible summer.

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

    1986 was notable for it's cold. Feb 86 sub freezing month. March and April much colder than normal. Also August and September much colder than normal. 

    Don't have very strong memories, remember snow early in January and the cold in Feb which gave little snow here. The summer was a poor one we had 4 on the trot 1985-88 not good for a 7-10 year old child as I was then.

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    1 hour ago, damianslaw said:

    1986 was notable for it's cold. Feb 86 sub freezing month. March and April much colder than normal. Also August and September much colder than normal. 

    Don't have very strong memories, remember snow early in January and the cold in Feb which gave little snow here. The summer was a poor one we had 4 on the trot 1985-88 not good for a 7-10 year old child as I was then.

    I remember it being cold a lot of the time, and very grey. 

    I'm glad we will probably never experience a summer like 1986 again, although 2012 came close in more recent times. 

    1986 was probably the worst summer of that 85-88 era.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire
    46 minutes ago, Sunny76 said:

    I remember it being cold a lot of the time, and very grey. 

    I'm glad we will probably never experience a summer like 1986 again, although 2012 came close in more recent times. 

    1986 was probably the worst summer of that 85-88 era.

    Possibly, but I always thought 1985 was worse and, in my view, was the worst summer since the 1970s. 

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

    An incredible year.

    The coldest February since 1963

    The coldest April since 1917

    The coldest August since 1956

    The coldest September since 1952

    Snowy spells in January,March and April as well as the amazing severe February.

    A poor summer and cool but not as wet as 1985,lots of dull drizzly weather,a very dull August.

    September was dry and sunny with many days with a frosty start,something unheard of in recent times,in fact i cannot remember when we last had frost in September,the fine weather continuing until mid October before changable weather arrived.

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    Posted
  • Location: Shoreham-by-sea, West Sussex
  • Weather Preferences: T storms, severe gales, heat and sun, cold and snow
  • Location: Shoreham-by-sea, West Sussex
    59 minutes ago, hillbilly said:

     

    The coldest February since 1963

     

    Was it not the coldest February since 1947? 

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m
    50 minutes ago, Freeze said:

    Was it not the coldest February since 1947? 

    Sorry,yes you are right,i got  that mixed up with January,it was indeed the coldest February since 1947.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham
  • Location: Cheltenham

     I have really strong memories of the month as I was living in the Midlands doing a lot of commuting. The weather was such a disappointment if you like snow.

    Lots of frost in the ground which lasted through the day. This caused the postponement of a lot of horse racing and football.

    Hardly any snow. If you look at the record books you would think " wow what a winter that would have been". Unfortunately it was pretty drab really despite the endless frost in my back yard!!

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    4 minutes ago, Stevew said:

     I have really strong memories of the month as I was living in the Midlands doing a lot of commuting. The weather was such a disappointment if you like snow.

    Lots of frost in the ground which lasted through the day. This caused the postponement of a lot of horse racing and football.

    Hardly any snow. If you look at the record books you would think " wow what a winter that would have been". Unfortunately it was pretty drab really despite the endless frost in my back yard!!

    1986 feels like a year of cold nothingness. I just remember it being depressing for the most part. Definitely the worst year for weather in London, if you are a fan of sunshine and warmth. 

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m
    Just now, Stevew said:

     I have really strong memories of the month as I was living in the Midlands doing a lot of commuting. The weather was such a disappointment if you like snow.

    Lots of frost in the ground which lasted through the day. This caused the postponement of a lot of horse racing and football.

    Hardly any snow. If you look at the record books you would think " wow what a winter that would have been". Unfortunately it was pretty drab really despite the endless frost in my back yard!!

    That may be unfortunate for you but fortunately for me i lived at 340 Metres in the Pennines.In the valley bottoms there was little snow like yourself but a good cover at 200M and at our altitude it was another world.We had possibly only 6 to 8 inch of snow which was blown about for most of the month with a stiff East wind which caused it to drift where it didnt at all 100M lower.It constantly drifted most of the month and we had to use our snowblower on the tractor twice a day to keep the farm lane open,it was subzero for almost all of that 5 and a half week from Late January to early March,not even 1979 or 2010 could match that severity and longgevity of cold,incredible.The drifts froze hard in the cold and i could ride my motorbike on top of the drifts over walls without making a mark,local resevoirs were frozen over 12inch thickTo add to that we had frequent falls in January,March and even early April,snow laid under the walls until May.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines
  • Weather Preferences: Summer heat and winter cold, and a bit of snow when on offer
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines
    12 hours ago, hillbilly said:

    That may be unfortunate for you but fortunately for me i lived at 340 Metres in the Pennines.In the valley bottoms there was little snow like yourself but a good cover at 200M and at our altitude it was another world.We had possibly only 6 to 8 inch of snow which was blown about for most of the month with a stiff East wind which caused it to drift where it didnt at all 100M lower.It constantly drifted most of the month and we had to use our snowblower on the tractor twice a day to keep the farm lane open,it was subzero for almost all of that 5 and a half week from Late January to early March,not even 1979 or 2010 could match that severity and longgevity of cold,incredible.The drifts froze hard in the cold and i could ride my motorbike on top of the drifts over walls without making a mark,local resevoirs were frozen over 12inch thickTo add to that we had frequent falls in January,March and even early April,snow laid under the walls until May.

    Same over in Pennine Lancashire as well.

    the snow seemed to blow about constantly and any roads bordering fields were being ploughed on a daily basis.

    A couple of months of proper wintry weather.

    I don’t remember a lot about the summer that followed although I got married in June and although the actual day was dry and bright; the weather was nothing special in the period either side of it.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dundee
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunderstorms, gales. All extremes except humidity.
  • Location: Dundee

    Feb was a very dry but cold month though there was a fair amount of snow in NE England and Eastern Scotland. My main memory was that my car got stolen at the end of January and one day before  the insurance was due to pay out it was found stripped at an abandoned farm steading. A neighbouring farmer had spotted multiple tyre tracks in the snow and decided to look in the buildings and found around a dozen stripped vehicles including mine. As the police took me up the farm track to confirm that it was my vehicle a dodgy looking pick up drove down so I said stop them as it could be the thieves but they pulled aside saying that they had no reason to stop it. There was nothing else up that track but the abandoned buildings full of stolen cars! 

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    Posted
  • Location: Eden Valley, Cumbria
  • Location: Eden Valley, Cumbria

    I have no memories of 1986 given that I turned 2 that July. My mam does have photos of us sledging on Cold Fell, Ennerdale that February on what could at best be called a thin covering of snow. The fact that we’d gone up Cold Fell perhaps suggests there wasn’t any lower down, though it’s only 300 metres and we lived at 200. Either way, there wasn’t enough snow to be sledging and seen as the ground was probably frozen solid we probably got a fair few bruises.

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m
    15 minutes ago, trickydicky said:

    I have no memories of 1986 given that I turned 2 that July. My mam does have photos of us sledging on Cold Fell, Ennerdale that February on what could at best be called a thin covering of snow. The fact that we’d gone up Cold Fell perhaps suggests there wasn’t any lower down, though it’s only 300 metres and we lived at 200. Either way, there wasn’t enough snow to be sledging and seen as the ground was probably frozen solid we probably got a fair few bruises.

    Am surprised at your location you didnt get any snow.A lovely place the Eden valley just had a few days there at the side of the Eden near Lazonby last month.I remember in cold winters when there was no snow whilst a kid we used to carry buckets of water down the field and throw on the grass,the sledges used to be great on the ice 

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    1 hour ago, hillbilly said:

    Am surprised at your location you didnt get any snow.A lovely place the Eden valley just had a few days there at the side of the Eden near Lazonby last month.I remember in cold winters when there was no snow whilst a kid we used to carry buckets of water down the field and throw on the grass,the sledges used to be great on the ice 

    I think many places west of the Pennines were very dry given winds were from the east or north east all month. There was no frontal systems and convection minimal. I don't remember much snow and I was 7. I do remember more in 1985.

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    Posted
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire
    On 09/02/2022 at 17:06, Stevew said:

     I have really strong memories of the month as I was living in the Midlands doing a lot of commuting. The weather was such a disappointment if you like snow.

    It would seem that the south east did pretty well for snow in February 1986.  Not on a par with January/February 1985 or January 1987, but there was a decent snowfall around the 5th, followed by some lighter falls and then another fairly decent fall on March 1st.

    I remember at some point during that month (I think around half term week?), lots of snow was forecast, but didn't come off.  Does anyone recall this?

    Edited by Don
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    Posted
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn Mornings, Thunderstorms and snow
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth

    1986 was a cracking year. 
     

    Freezing cold easterly February with tons of snow, Dartmoor was hit hard as was Plymouth unusually. I was at secondary school and we had to turn a corner to walk E and boy I remember it taking my breathe away day after day. Snow came mid month from memory? 
     

    The summer holiday was a right off, a cold August, ex Hurricane Charley crowned off a miserable month. Then September was cold as well. That led into winter and January 87 which if anything here was even worse and much better than 2010! 

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    On 09/02/2022 at 13:23, A Face like Thunder said:

    Possibly, but I always thought 1985 was worse and, in my view, was the worst summer since the 1970s. 

    I would agree there, as 'summer' 1985 was basically the first two weeks of July (ending on Live Aid Saturday, I remember the weather turned rubbish on the Sunday) and about three more days in the week of the 22nd. June and August were very poor, July average. The best spell of summer 1985 was actually in autumn!

    1986 had a poor August but on the other hand June was warm to hot and sunny, and the first half of July was generally fine also. I remember the weather had turned poor by the 23rd but was still quite pleasant around the 16th-17th. The summer of 2017 was somewhat reminiscent of 1986, in the sense that in both cases, the weather got worse mid-July.

    1987 had a poor June but good first 10 days of July and a lengthy spell of warm to hot weather in mid August,

    1988 had two unsettled months (July and August) but in August pressure was not so low in the south so was semi-pleasant at times.

    So of the four, I'd say 1985 was the worst with not too much to choose from between the other three.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire

    A mixed year with the highlights undoubtedly February, June and September.

    Despite being in my early teens I barely remember January 1986, but apparently there was a cold start, a lengthy zonal spell lasting almost until the end of the month, before the easterly arrived just before the month was out. Memories are restricted to a trip to Southsea seafront, and another to Bognor seafront, on two successive Sunday afternoons, both of which were rather windy and disturbed. I also remember cold cloudy weather at the end of the month. But that's about it!

    Feb 1986 was of course one of those famous snowy months of the 80s. Particular highlights include Feb 6th with a good snowfall with covering in the morning  (Surrey/Sussex area). The rest of the month was then so cold, IIRC, that the snow persisted all month; this was probably the coldest month of any name in my lifetime. Also remember the snow hardening into hard ice, walking around after dark and noticing how clear the stars were, and a lot of very cold but very sunny days. Then, on March 1st the snow was topped up by another heavy fall.

    I can't remember the breakdown of the cold spell though apparently it was a very gradual thaw. Into March and I remember Thursday 13th being warm, sunny and spring like, but this was rather an exception and the month generally was rather cloudy and, late in the month, unseasonably windy with hail showers and winds gradually veering from westerly to northerly. Apparently March was cold overall though I don't remember noticing it other than the start of the month.

    April I remember a cold and showery but bright NE-ly to start the month, as the low pressure that produced March's windy spell migrated eastwards. Some of the showers were potent with snow and also, on one or two occasions, thunder. I think this was the first time I had encountered thunder on a NE-ly and it surprised me somewhat! Then the 2nd week was mostly cloudy and nondescript, then school started again and I remember very little until a warm Saturday at the end of the month (26th) when temps reached 16C or so. (Apparently the gap in my memory was dull and wet). Given how cool the spring had been, this felt very warm! The wind was still E-ly, it was very hazy, and after a sunny morning some local showers developed in the warmth. I believe this easterly spell was responsible for blowing contamination from Chernobyl this way.

    May holds remarkably few memories for me, less than any other May of the 80s, suggesting it was a very boring month weatherwise. Apparently it was unusually westerly for May, which might explain it - see for example the Mays of 2011 and 2015, synoptically similar IIRC and also rather boring for May. All I remember from May 1986 was a Saturday around midmonth (17th?) with a wet morning but brighter afternoon, and a lengthy dry, cloudy, nondescript spell during the half-term.

    June was another of the highlights: I believe the dry but cloudy and nondescript weather rolled on into June before it got a lot warmer around the 12th, and the remainder of the month was warm, or hot, and sunny. I do however remember a minor breakdown on the evening of the 21st when a small Biscay low brought in some thundery rain (isolated rumbles of thunder) before retreating again.

    July started hot and sunny (school sports day was early in July, and that was hot) but turned cooler by the first weekend, and Monday 7th was decidedly cool with the wind now northerly or NWly, IIRC. However the weather stayed relatively settled for some time afterwards, only breaking down around the 20th or so. I remember the royal wedding day on the 23rd being rather disturbed with heavy showers, and the closing days of the month rather cool and damp.

    I remember August being cool and wet, at least the part of the month I was in the UK for (spent the first 10 days or so in Germany). However, aside from the lead-up to the Bank Holiday weekend (damp but a little muggy in warm sector air), the Bank Holiday weekend itself (Charley, an atrociously wet weekend even for mid-80s summer standards) and the final week (somewhat showery but bright NW-lies in the wake of Charley, becoming brighter with time) I remember little in the way of day-to-day specifics.

    September was by contrast a nice month. I remember prolonged spells of sunshine and very dry weather most of the time, the only exception being a Biscay low which produced some cold wet weather from the 13th to the 15th. Became foggier towards the month's end.

    October was a month of two halves, first half settled and dry (though rather cloudy) and the second half unsettled, but not appallingly so (the half-term week of the 20th being usable, for instance). Weather turned more seriously disturbed on the 27th following a sunny frosty Sunday on the 26th

    November and December were both rather tedious zonal months, broken only by the occasional frosty day and a somewhat lengthier foggy spell in mid-late November. Of course things would get much more interesting in January.

    So a mixed year, with poor spells (August, November, December, April I believe though I've completely forgotten two weeks of the month) but also with lengthy spells of interest (late Jan-early Mar; June-early July; and Sep-first half of Oct).

     

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    'May holds remarkably few memories for me, less than any other May of the 80s, suggesting it was a very boring month weatherwise. Apparently it was unusually westerly for May, which might explain it - see for example the Mays of 2011 and 2015, synoptically similar IIRC and also rather boring for May. All I remember from May 1986 was a Saturday around midmonth (17th?) with a wet morning but brighter afternoon, and a lengthy dry, cloudy, nondescript spell during the half-term'.

    Yes, you're right, summer 8906. I recall camping in Hants throughout the spring bank holiday half term week at the end of May and not seeing the sun at all, just grey clouds and none too warm. It was indeed very boring!

     

    Edited by A Face like Thunder
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