SNOWFALL IN BRITAIN OVER THE PAST 300 YEARS

SNOWFALL IN BRITAIN OVER THE PAST 300 YEARS A great deal of needless romance has long been attached in Britain to the subject of snow. Our forefathers' memories must be discounted, for within four generations much of the population of these islands has moved downhill, southward, or into the larger towns where snow gives less trouble. When about 1929 I began working on the Pennines from Durham, and also skiing, I soon learnt to distrust the exaggerated stories, bad reporting and general lack of knowledge, and I set out to rationalise the available data. These were later discussed and mapped (Manley 1939, 1940, 1944 and 1947). SNOWY WEATHER The general principles that govern the frequency with which snow or sleet, that is, partly melted snow, falls in Britain are logical and well enough known. First, there must be an airstream of Arctic origin, or sufficiently cold continental origin; the surface air must be cold enough for not all the snowflakes falling through it t o melt. Sea temperatures being what they are, snow is not normally observed if the wind has too long a fetch over the Atlantic. Snow from a south-westerly airflow does not occur today, except in the occasional polar-air low, although it was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Weather Wiley

SNOWFALL IN BRITAIN OVER THE PAST 300 YEARS

Weather, Volume 24 (11) – Nov 1, 1969

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
1969 Royal Meteorological Society
ISSN
0043-1656
eISSN
1477-8696
DOI
10.1002/j.1477-8696.1969.tb03117.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A great deal of needless romance has long been attached in Britain to the subject of snow. Our forefathers' memories must be discounted, for within four generations much of the population of these islands has moved downhill, southward, or into the larger towns where snow gives less trouble. When about 1929 I began working on the Pennines from Durham, and also skiing, I soon learnt to distrust the exaggerated stories, bad reporting and general lack of knowledge, and I set out to rationalise the available data. These were later discussed and mapped (Manley 1939, 1940, 1944 and 1947). SNOWY WEATHER The general principles that govern the frequency with which snow or sleet, that is, partly melted snow, falls in Britain are logical and well enough known. First, there must be an airstream of Arctic origin, or sufficiently cold continental origin; the surface air must be cold enough for not all the snowflakes falling through it t o melt. Sea temperatures being what they are, snow is not normally observed if the wind has too long a fetch over the Atlantic. Snow from a south-westerly airflow does not occur today, except in the occasional polar-air low, although it was

Journal

WeatherWiley

Published: Nov 1, 1969

References

  • John Dalton's snowdrift
    Manley, Manley

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