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Worst Winters Of All Time

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Some of my NW colleagues might like to contribute to this thread. For me this winter is on par with any of the mild and snowless winters of years gone by, the cold spell this week just about sums up this winter in this part of the woods. Altogether this winter I've recorded six frosts, and one days snow, that was in December prior to Xmas and resulted in a 1cm covering which lasted four hours.

Even the winters prior to the last two were significantly better then this, and before some remind me that it's early February, halt right there. The coming week brings much the same as previous months, rain, grey skies, and maybe a frost if we get lucky. That then takes us into the middle of the month, with more promises of jam tomorrow with that elusive Northern blocking .But by the time this takes hold we'll be into the latter stages of February, and by then any so called wintry weather is really not worthwhile, as the sun is far too strong for any snow that does fall and manage to accumulate. So all in all I'll put this winter in my top two worst of all time, and I'm 48.

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Some of my NW colleagues might like to contribute to this thread. For me this winter is on par with any of the mild and snowless winters of years gone by, the cold spell this week just about sums up this winter in this part of the woods. Altogether this winter I've recorded six frosts, and one days snow, that was in December prior to Xmas and resulted in a 1cm covering which lasted four hours.

Even the winters prior to the last two were significantly better then this, and before some remind me that it's early February, halt right there. The coming week brings much the same as previous months, rain, grey skies, and maybe a frost if we get lucky. That then takes us into the middle of the month, with more promises of jam tomorrow with that elusive Northern blocking .But by the time this takes hold we'll be into the latter stages of February, and by then any so called wintry weather is really not worthwhile, as the sun is far too strong for any snow that does fall and manage to accumulate. So all in all I'll put this winter in my top two worst of all time, and I'm 48.

All comes down to location but for Glasgow it has been a good winter and I've seen many more poorer winters than this.

2006/2007, 2007/2008 were all far poorer than this one for Glagsow. However in Edinburgh, you could easily say that it's one of the poorest but for Glasgow there is no comparison between this one and the two winter listed above.

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For me this has been one the best winters I can remember.

It's been sunny for vast parts of it - even during the milder spells.

Now we've got a sunny easterly (rare around here) and currently it is snowing after some proper cold weather - with more to come.

A total lack of low cloud, rain and general murkiness or grey 3-6c dullness. The mild first half has kept bills down (and made life just easier in general) and now it switched to proper deep cold with snow.

It's been as near to perfect as I can think of to be honest.

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"Best" and "worst" are subjective terms, although of course they are regularly used by the media grading weather in terms of the amount of inconvenience and disruption caused. When I look over my personal ratings of months in the Tyne and Wear area dating back to 1993, the most common feature of my least favourite winter months has actually been dry cloudy south-easterlies with temps around 4C by day and night, with December 2002 taking the wooden spoon award and January 1996 close behind.

Taking the country as a whole the most snowless winter in the last 70 years was probably 1991/92, though it did contain a fair number of frosts particularly towards the south. The winter quarter of 1988/89 was completely snowless at low levels between the 3rd December and mid-February, and many places saw out December 1988 and January 1989 without an air frost, so if we're talking a combination of lack of snow and frost within the conventional winter quarter then 1988/89 is a very strong candidate. However, many parts of central and eastern England had much above sunshine during January and more especially February 1989.

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1988/89 is thee worst one IMBY, only just though.

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This one is ranking as one of the worst in terms of cold and snow here in BTL - maybe the next few weeks will turn that around.

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I agree with Bottesford, one of the best winters I can remember with a bit of everything thrown in. Admittedly I don't do too well in cold conditions so I'm not really enjoying this current spell but it's nice to have some variation, with some snow and hard frosts. It just hasn't seemed as depressing as the average winter light-wise with so much sunshine and up until last week, mild temperatures. In early January some days felt remarkably spring-like which I haven't really experienced before.

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I feel this thread is too premature - better to wait until the end of the month before we all start summarising how this winter has gone.

Granted so far it has been poor on the snow front - though today (we have been very lucky mind compared to much of the NW), has brought a depth of snow equal to what we saw during last winter.. and there have been many winters when we never managed 4 inches of snow.

Winters 88/89, 91/92, 97/98, 06/07 and 07/08 were worse up to this point, and winter 89/90, 92/93, 94/95, 98/99, 04/05 preety much similiar to what we have seen so far.

I do believe Feb will help push this winter much further up the rankings than it currently appears.

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What an INSANE thread to make, who is to say this month won't go on rival December 2010 or Jan 2010...or perhaps even more severe months?

We just don't know, but right now a decent percentage of the country has seen settling snow today. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this winter ends up coming in at least average now in terms of the CET...

We require a month around the 1.8C mark (don't know exactly) and with the models trending colder again and a sub zero first 4 days I think we are trending in the right direction for that sort of figure.

There have been plenty of winters that are already worse then this one...but people clearly can't think of things objectivly...its always IMBY syndrome it seems and over-reacting.

Reminds me of the 2010 hurricane season, such a slow first half with alot of rubbish, people doubted the forecasts and started talking about the season being a bust and not doing anything...2nd half was one of the most active ever...could end up the same with this winter.

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Yes i agree with Damien and Kold-too early for this.

In view of the expected cold February the OP may feel differently in 4 weeks time.

Some Winters of the early 70`s and 1988/89 have to be the mildest i can recall.

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Disagree otherwise you can never make a thread about discussing winters and how severe they were.

Worst ever in my memory was end of november early dec 2010 for snow.

Some very notable winters towards the end of seventies and I just remember 68 mainly due to snow falling of the roof and my father having to carry me to school over the drifts. Yup they stayed open those days and teachers got there. Probably becuase thye were more local.

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What an INSANE thread to make, who is to say this month won't go on rival December 2010 or Jan 2010...or perhaps even more severe months?

We just don't know, but right now a decent percentage of the country has seen settling snow today. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this winter ends up coming in at least average now in terms of the CET...

We require a month around the 1.8C mark (don't know exactly) and with the models trending colder again and a sub zero first 4 days I think we are trending in the right direction for that sort of figure.

There have been plenty of winters that are already worse then this one...but people clearly can't think of things objectivly...its always IMBY syndrome it seems and over-reacting.

Reminds me of the 2010 hurricane season, such a slow first half with alot of rubbish, people doubted the forecasts and started talking about the season being a bust and not doing anything...2nd half was one of the most active ever...could end up the same with this winter.

But most people judge winter by what happens IMBY. True February may deliver, but as my opening statement stated, IMBY it's too late for anything long lasting.

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In terms of wintriness I'd say that 2007/2008 was quite dire. I think one of my least favourite winter months would've been February 1986, even though it's almost considered 'legendary'. I see no appeal in a cold but dry easterly (I assume this also means cloud?) with almost the same weather day after day in my region. If it meant freezing fog and rime then it'd be far better, if that was the case? I wasn't alive for it,

This winter has been really good, I think. There've been plenty of snowfalls above 250-350m, with 17 days of sleet or snow falling, even if most of them have been light. If I lived just a few miles to the north I'd be on my 8 consecutive day of snow cover, with 1 (?) more snow lying day earlier in January and at least 5 or so in December. I don't keep statistics on these mind!

And of course, February looks set to be better than December (rather good) and January (admittedly poor) put together.

I'd rank the last 5, the only ones I've paid proper attention to, as follows:

2009/2010

2010/2011

2011/2012

2008/2009

2007/2008

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I feel this thread is too premature - better to wait until the end of the month before we all start summarising how this winter has gone.

Granted so far it has been poor on the snow front - though today (we have been very lucky mind compared to much of the NW), has brought a depth of snow equal to what we saw during last winter.. and there have been many winters when we never managed 4 inches of snow.

Winters 88/89, 91/92, 97/98, 06/07 and 07/08 were worse up to this point, and winter 89/90, 92/93, 94/95, 98/99, 04/05 preety much similiar to what we have seen so far.

I do believe Feb will help push this winter much further up the rankings than it currently appears.

agreed,i think it is a bit dumb also [conceptually].no offence .

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agreed,i think it is a bit dumb also [conceptually].no offence .

You'll be posting otherwise in the next few weeks, trust me.

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2006/2007 was the worst winter i can remember, mild, damp and boring! Don't think I had a single day with snow on that winter, making it the first winter i can remember with no snowfall!

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2006/2007 was the worst winter i can remember, mild, damp and boring! Don't think I had a single day with snow on that winter, making it the first winter i can remember with no snowfall!

There was 1 day in Feb 2007 which brought very heavy snowfall, 2007/08 here was lousy though.

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In terms of wintriness I'd say that 2007/2008 was quite dire. I think one of my least favourite winter months would've been February 1986, even though it's almost considered 'legendary'. I see no appeal in a cold but dry easterly (I assume this also means cloud?) with almost the same weather day after day in my region. If it meant freezing fog and rime then it'd be far better, if that was the case? I wasn't alive for it,

Yes, I remember Mushymanrob (from a similar area of the country to you) commenting on how February 1986 had long runs of dull dry days and not much snow- which, if you removed any lying snow, probably represents my least favourite setup in winter.

Stats point to a different story further north though, with Durham having near average precipitation and only a slight shortage of sunshine, while much of W Scotland and NW England were exceptionally sunny- probably a combination of greater instability over the North Sea further north (promoting sunny intervals as well as snow showers) and ridges of high pressure, although this is only relatively speaking- I'm sure north-eastern districts had a fair amount of dull dry weather thrown in too.

For this kind of reason I don't think of December 2010 as "the best December since 1890"- I think of it as a thousand times better. December 1890 was packed full of anticyclonic gloom and dry cloudy south-easterlies, Durham had just over 10 hours of sunshine and parts of London had no sunshine at all. December 2010 was a sunny month away from the SE and even in the cloudy SE it was nothing like as dull as December 1890.

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But most people judge winter by what happens IMBY. True February may deliver, but as my opening statement stated, IMBY it's too late for anything long lasting.

So the Ribble Valley has never seen a sustained cold spell in mid-late February or into March? What about 2006, 2005, 1986, 1947 etc.? February is statistically as cold as January, I believe actually slightly colder overall, with March colder than December in general. Perhaps people's view of when we can get wintry weather has been skewed by the exceptional early winter cold of the last 2 winters.

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74/75 was really bad. Most of the winters of the 1990's. and 2000's

There was one December the temperatures got into the low 60's (F) and another Februay were the same thing happened (2002 ?)

Winters in general have been rubbish since 1988.

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So the Ribble Valley has never seen a sustained cold spell in mid-late February or into March? What about 2006, 2005, 1986, 1947 etc.? February is statistically as cold as January, I believe actually slightly colder overall, with March colder than December in general. Perhaps people's view of when we can get wintry weather has been skewed by the exceptional early winter cold of the last 2 winters.

I already stated in another thread that 86 was an exception, as for 47, well before my time but that's still only two.

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In terms of wintriness I'd say that 2007/2008 was quite dire. I think one of my least favourite winter months would've been February 1986, even though it's almost considered 'legendary'. I see no appeal in a cold but dry easterly (I assume this also means cloud?) with almost the same weather day after day in my region. If it meant freezing fog and rime then it'd be far better, if that was the case? I wasn't alive for it,

This winter has been really good, I think. There've been plenty of snowfalls above 250-350m, with 17 days of sleet or snow falling, even if most of them have been light. If I lived just a few miles to the north I'd be on my 8 consecutive day of snow cover, with 1 (?) more snow lying day earlier in January and at least 5 or so in December. I don't keep statistics on these mind!

And of course, February looks set to be better than December (rather good) and January (admittedly poor) put together.

I'd rank the last 5, the only ones I've paid proper attention to, as follows:

2009/2010

2010/2011

2011/2012

2008/2009

2007/2008

I'd have to disagree about February 1986. There was 30cm of snow at the beginning of the month followed by a spectacular glaze and rime event which lasted for several days before daytime sunshine eventually caused it to fall from the trees despite temperatures remaining below freezing. The glaze was accompanied by a NE gale gusting to 71 mph and became so thick that in some places it was possible to walk over the snow surface without breaking through it.

Snow cover was more than 25cm deep throughout the month, there were 26 'ice days' and one other which reached only 0.0c.

Admittedly there no other major snowfalls after the early one but there were a number of days with smaller snowfalls which kept topping up the general layer as it slowly compacted and evaporated.

The constant slow thaw on roofs in any sunshine followed by a re-freeze every night resulted in some enormous icicles. I remember some around 4 feet long on the west facing roof of my house and others over 6 feet long on the local village hall, which had a corrugated iron roof.

It was, however, a very different picture on low ground where the initial snowfall of just a few cm soon thawed to leave a brown, frozen and very dry looking landscape for the remainder of the month.

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There was 1 day in Feb 2007 which brought very heavy snowfall, 2007/08 here was lousy though.

Must have been 2007/2008 winter i am thinking of then! It was one of them that didn't give any snow here anyway - hope never to have a winter like that again!

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1988 pretty dire from what I remember, think 1997 was pretty forgettable. February 1986 was very good I have some photos of the snow somewhere although I think the snowline may have been above Macclesfield somewhere towards Tegg's Nose

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As far as I'm concerned the worst winter in my lifetime was without doubt 62/63.

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