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The Winter Of 1947


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#1 Timmytour

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 19:51

The winter of 1947 is often overshadowed by the winter of 1962/3 but in many ways it was just as spectacular if not more so.

The striking thing about it was that, as a winter of note, it really didn't start registering until quite late on in the month, and following a period of quite mild weather which had replaced a cold spell.

That mild spell was very mild at times, milder than what is imminently forecast, but almost bang on the same kind of dates we are expecting for this milder spell (ok, the end of the one forthcoming is somewhat in doubt at present!)

It was a winter where easterlies were trying to assert themselves and eventually did. I rather think that's a similar story of the winter upto now. It's also worth noting that the previous summer was a damp squib, and that there were cool spells in October.

Finally, as a note of desperation creeps in, it was also a time of austerity as Britain tried to get back on its feet after the war!

So there you have it...could 2009 be the new 1947... the winter referred to as a single year!

I hope so! B) I'd be really grateful if anyone could put up charts of how it was all looking around the 18th January 1947 to enable perhaps a more scientific comparison with what lies ahead. :)

DISCLAIMER: Please note that my hope has absolutely no bearing on what the reality will be and I would take this opportunity to state therefore that while I can take no responsibility for how some people would suffer in such a winter, my heart would indeed go out to them.
The winter of 1981-82..If I hadn't seen such riches I could live with it being warm

#2 The Enforcer

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 20:07

Highdentity parade (n) A comparison of models from yesteryear which, bizarrely, are often of cold synoptics, with models from the here and now, currently projected to lead to mild conditions, accompanied by comments like "look how the same situation evolved in 1947/63/79..."



#3 snowingtequila

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 20:09

The charts are available on this site and others.

THe main thing was a high pressure moved to the North of Scandinavia and low pressures spent their time moving up the English channel.

It won't and cannot happen this year!
According to my father, the whole of february had a level depth of snow of 2 feet or more with severe drifting, around here (Cheshire, on the edge of the pennines villages were cut off for long periods).My father's main memory is not seeing the sunshine for a heck of a long time. A thaw did move up through the country on an number of occasions but never got further north than Stoke I am told.

http://homepage.ntlw...es/SitePlan.htm

This shows all the atlantic charts as they were shown at the time with the forecast and current conditions at the time from the met office. Does make fascninating reading but don't try and compare it with any charts from today!

Edited by snowingtequila, 09 January 2009 - 20:16 .


#4 Timmytour

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 20:33

The charts are available on this site and others.

THe main thing was a high pressure moved to the North of Scandinavia and low pressures spent their time moving up the English channel.

It won't and cannot happen this year!
According to my father, the whole of february had a level depth of snow of 2 feet or more with severe drifting, around here (Cheshire, on the edge of the pennines villages were cut off for long periods).My father's main memory is not seeing the sunshine for a heck of a long time. A thaw did move up through the country on an number of occasions but never got further north than Stoke I am told.

http://homepage.ntlw...es/SitePlan.htm

This shows all the atlantic charts as they were shown at the time with the forecast and current conditions at the time from the met office. Does make fascninating reading but don't try and compare it with any charts from today!


Thanks snowingtequila...much appreciated. I confess to being a dreamer more than having any kind of expertise on the issue, but I looked at the chart for the 18th January that year and I didn't see a whole lot of differences to where the models are taking us in the short term.
The winter of 1981-82..If I hadn't seen such riches I could live with it being warm

#5 snowingtequila

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 20:36

I dream of reading this forecast as seen for 20th. February 1947

"Pressure continuing high from Greenland to central Russia, and a depression will move east northeast across Biscay. Over England and Wales it will be cloudy with occasional snow.

#6 cheeky_monkey

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 22:10

every year its the same..in the run up to chrimbo..ppl go on about how things are looking like 62-63 and could this winter be the same...then when thats goes by..in the run up to new year its...look at this its shapeing up just like 78-79..and now as we head into mid january comes the posts about 1947..happening from mid to late january.

remind me whats comes after january has gone by?
AIM HIGH YOU CAN REACH THE SKY...AIM LOW YOU HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO

#7 snowingtequila

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 22:42

every year its the same..in the run up to chrimbo..ppl go on about how things are looking like 62-63 and could this winter be the same...then when thats goes by..in the run up to new year its...look at this its shapeing up just like 78-79..and now as we head into mid january comes the posts about 1947..happening from mid to late january.

remind me whats comes after january has gone by?


I find weather fascinating and past synoptics fascinating, whether they are from a big freeze, a dull high pressure or whatever. I realised a long time ago that however similar a chart looks to one fron the past it on't go the same way because we are not seeing the hole picture. However, I am sad and think everyone else could easily be as sad as me, once you start reading the daily weather reports and forecast from 1947 or 1963 it is very hard to stop reading as they give an interesting view of weather forecasts with much simpler technology.

#8 iand61

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 22:57

In the middle of reading Frozen In Time
Don't think we will ever get another winter like 1947 or 1963 for that matter.
Too young to remember either but left school in 1978 and still remember the 1979 winter vividly.

Another like this one is not impossible, not even unlikely.
However it would bring todays society to its knees within days of the first flake of snow.
We had GMTV in our town in early December after hearing tales of where to find a few inches of snow.
They found several inches and took film of it!
In 1979 it was measured in feet.


Along with many thousands of other Rossendale folk, we had no gas for two days before Christmas - a relatively mild spell.
It was very uncomfortable.
Can't imagine what it would have been like without heating or lighting in 1947 or 1963.

Yes some of us can dream but in reality,
Severe winters - we're not used to and would suffer with.

Ian

#9 Timmytour

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 23:02

every year its the same..in the run up to chrimbo..ppl go on about how things are looking like 62-63 and could this winter be the same...then when thats goes by..in the run up to new year its...look at this its shapeing up just like 78-79..and now as we head into mid january comes the posts about 1947..happening from mid to late january.

remind me whats comes after january has gone by?


I agree there's lot of dreamers like me out there and wishful thinking plays a huge part in it.... but usually I'd say 1947 is invoked as a reason to hope when the first part of winter has provided precious little to go on....ie winters can happen relatively late on.

In this instance I'm thinking that, thus far, there have been certain similarities in the weather we've been experiencing upto now, - whether or not that arises from a similar pattern of systems I confess to not knowing.

But as we stand on the edge of a pretty cold spell, especially compared to recent years, and the models tell us we are coming into some milder weather, I just wonder whether, in the similar position that was experienced in 1947, the experts of the day had any inkling what was coming? I suspect not, and though today we have the models giving us precious little hint of a repeat being in order, it must be said that their reliability for the time period involved - 20 Jan onwards - is questionable at least.

So hope springs eternal. The chances are your pessimism (from my angle) will win the day... but I'd rather live with hopes that may be continually dashed but can soon be rebuilt than to strut the earth feeling down all the time :lol:
The winter of 1981-82..If I hadn't seen such riches I could live with it being warm

#10 Tobor

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 02:17

hi. dug this thread out and dusted it down as i would like to ask something about september/october 1946, i was talking to man in his 80s about winter weather patterns! he told me about this very severe winter, he said about the massive floods of jan/feb/march 1947, after the snows melted from the blizzards, but something he said about september before the big freeze was that it was hot like it is now, can anyone tell me about this? thanks.
I have seen in books about the 1946/47 big freeze and huge floods and seen many photos in the books.

Found some info, pdf file
Attached File  Winter of 1946-1947.pdf   56.23KB   127 downloads

File is from this site - http://www.seaclimate.com/
PDF file downloads to read with lots of other interesting stuff!

Edited by ElectricSnowStorm, 01 October 2011 - 02:06 .

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#11 Weather-history

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:39

hi. dug this thread out and dusted it down as i would like to ask something about september/october 1946, i was talking to man in his 80s about winter weather patterns! he told me about this very severe winter, he said about the massive floods of jan/feb/march 1947, after the snows melted from the blizzards, but something he said about september before the big freeze was that it was hot like it is now, can anyone tell me about this? thanks.
I have seen in books about the 1946/47 big freeze and huge floods and seen many photos in the books.

Found some info, pdf file
Attached File  Winter of 1946-1947.pdf   56.23KB   127 downloads

File is from this site - http://www.seaclimate.com/
PDF file downloads to read with lots of other interesting stuff!


There was a very warm spell at the end of September 1946 but as far as pattern matching, there's little truth behind it.

Edited by Mr_Data, 01 October 2011 - 07:41 .

Manchester Winter Index 2013-14: 7

#12 Tobor

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:41

Thanks Mr D.
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#13 Rollo

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 17:47

I have just noticed this thread,I was 9 years old at the time of the winter of 1947 and still have clear memories of that winter,some years later in the 50's I visited the Met Office in London and the then first TV forecasters were kind enough to show me the old Daily Weather Reports of that severe spell, I recall being told that earlier in the winter they said that there hat been a couple of fruitless attempts by high pressure over Scandinavia to affect our weather but it was repulsed quite easily and it was on January the 18th that the winter really began in earnest and went on in my area until mid-March,theseverity of the cold and snow was exacerbated by the fact that it was still only a couple of years after world war 2 had ended and there were still many shortages to be overcome. 1963 by comparison was a longer severe spell but the North East was not as badly affected as other areas as far as snow was concerned.



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#14 johnholmes

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 18:11

http://www.winter1947.co.uk/
this link should keep you happy for a while, there are others simply google 1947 winter for them to come up

I posted something perhaps in this thread about my memories as an 8 year old along with those of 1962-63. Lots in google as well as what I've quoted for the cold and snow lovers to enjoy.

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#15 IrememberAtlantic252

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 19:32

looking at archive charts on wetterzentrale, looks legendary, especially 01-16 march in the northern half of the UK, seems to have ended around 10th for southern areas

2000-2001, It was all about the 'New' Atlantic 252! 12 in a row non stop rhythm and dance!

 

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#16 johnholmes

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 19:37

looking at archive charts on wetterzentrale, looks legendary, especially 01-16 march in the northern half of the UK, seems to have ended around 10th for southern areas


the link I quoted above will give you charts, plotted type, for every day through that long harsh winter with a full Met O weather summary for each month in there-well worth clicking on it; the charts are a bit like the older ones amongst us remember in the Times, Telegraph etc.

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#17 Terminal Moraine

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:14


There was a very warm spell at the end of September 1946 but as far as pattern matching, there's little truth behind it.


There was also a very warm spell early in November 1946. Buxton recorded 16.7c on the 4th, the second highest November temp' on record there and not exceeded since.

Edited by Terminal Moraine, 29 October 2011 - 06:14 .

Patiently awaiting the return of the Younger Dryas.

#18 osmposm

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 05:55

.......I recall being told that earlier in the winter they said that there had been a couple of fruitless attempts by high pressure over Scandinavia to affect our weather but it was repulsed quite easily.....

Not entirely fruitless, and not that easily. There were eight consecutive days, 15-22 December, with the CET mean <1C, four of them at zero or below. My parents were married in central London on 20th December '46, and there was significant snow lying on the ground.

But yes, of course, it was nothing compared to what they faced a few weeks after returning from their honeymoon in Torquay. The CET mean dropped below 1C on the 23rd Jan, and stayed there for 45 consecutive days (until 9th March), all but 5 of them below zero (mean), and 19 of them below -2C. Extreme night-time cold was not generally prevalent, though, because it was so cloudy (and snowy). In fact December 2010 provided as many days (4) with the mean in CET-land below -5C, and the four last year were also colder.

Mum and Dad started their married life shivering in a tiny flat above a London garage with just a couple of oil heaters for company - they did get away for a while to my grandparents in near-coastal North Wales....and were promptly cut off for a week by a blizzard! I've got a couple of photos of that somewhere - they may have been posted somewhere else on Netweather before, but I might dig 'em out and stick 'em on here, too.

Edited by osmposm, 05 November 2011 - 15:30 .

(Avatar image) Feb 2009, SW London....Snow, glorious snow