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The Cold October of 1974


Penrith Snow

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Posted
  • Location: Penrith Cumbria
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and warm sunny summers
  • Location: Penrith Cumbria

This October was remarkable for the widespread low temperatures across the UK particularly early and late in the month. On the 7th wet snow was observed to fall across large areas of South East England to give the earliest reports of falling snow in the area since Victorian times. I remember the lunchtime news reporting the widespread reports of falling snow that morning, I have the DWR for that day and many airport weather stations noted a snow/rain mix for several hours in the morning. Later in the month strong northerly winds brought widespread wintry showers to the north of the UK and on the 30th the A66 Trans Pennine route was closed by snow between Penrith and Scotch Corner. October 1974 was also the month that the BBC broadcast the lengthy documentary 'The Weather Machine and the Threat of Ice' presented by Magnus Magnusson, it was a fantastic documentary that warned the recent drop in global temperatures heralded the approach of the next glaciation, this combined with the recent very cool summer, cold autumn and forecast of a bitter winter made for a sombre outlook. As a 13 year old school boy that loved snow I was as excited as hell! Alas, winter 1974/75 was one of the mildest of the 20th Century and within 10 years the talk was all about Global Warming. However, for a few months in late 1974 it did seem like the world was about to freeze.

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Posted
  • Location: Delph, historic West Riding of Yorkshire, 225m asl
  • Weather Preferences: All 4 seasons and a good mixture of everything and anything!
  • Location: Delph, historic West Riding of Yorkshire, 225m asl

With a CET of 7.6 I make it tied 11 coldest October so just outside the top 10 - a far cry from the coldest on record which was what looks to have been a ridiculously balmy month of October 1740 (CET 5.3 - -5.3'C below 61-90 average).

.0.1 colder than the more recent October 1992  - would be interesting to compare any snow totals for Oct 74 vs Oct 92. 

October 1974 comes out at exactly -3.0'C colder than the 1961-1990 average. Brrrrr. Not seen many like this recently!

Edited by StretfordEnd1996
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