October Snow in London

The BBC is forecasting a sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy day for Oct 29 in London, UK.  Guess that’ll make it very difficult for such a forecast to be wrong.

But how often has it snowed in October in relatively mild England? From the Hollinsclough website:

1762, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1825, 1829, 1836, 1838, 1880, 1885, 1888.

Those values are confirmed at Netweather.tv.

Another website indicates snow in London on Oct 29 in 1922, and other episodes in England in 1925, 1926, 1934 (as snow showers), 1950, 1964, 1974, 1992, 2000.

Taking all the above as “true”, the average wait is 12.5 years (stdev: 13.1). A snowfall in two days’ time would therefore be not exceptional, really.

Also, there is no much sign of a warming either. The ongoing average has been between 10.8 and 15.75 years since 1825.

OCT 29 UPDATE: It actually did snow in London, but not where I live so I will proceed to shrug it off as a non-event 😎 . No, really: the BBC and the Evening Standard reported it as the first London snow in October since 1934: I suspect the actual date depends on the definition of “London”.

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  1. 2008/10/30 at 17:32

    I’m in West London and didn’t see any snow, but someone I know who lives in North London did. As you say, it depends on the definition of “London”. Incidentally, we’re definitely in (on?) an urban heat island here. There’s often a one or two degree difference in temperature between the capital and the surrounding countryside. Frosts are harder once you’re outside the city and summer temps can be higher here – I remember the Heathrow area (with all its asphalt and tarmac) had some of the highest temps during the 2003 heatwave.

    There’s an irony in the fact that just as snow falls on the capital, our politicians (with the exception of a few Conservative back-benchers) are busy rubber-stamping the Climate Change Bill, which will commit the country to unfeasible, expensive and futile CO2 emissions targets.

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