Coldest Winters In the UK


Winter is the coldest season of the year. While the landscape fills with sleet and snow, a freezing cold wind blows. It can be fun to watch the snow through the window, but when the temperature drops, it is tough to go out for daily activities. These days, the weather reports are predicting one of the coldest weeks for Britain this winter. But, did you know that there were many severe winters in the past? Let’s take a look at some of the coldest winters that Britain has ever known.



Going back to the year 1739-40, an Easterly wind blew, heralding a severe winter. A very cold air started blowing all over the UK, causing ice to form once again on River Thames which remained frozen for about 8 weeks! People had to be very careful in the streets since they were blocked with ice and snow. So, Britain was going through the most severe winter, with a minimum temperature falling to -24 degrees!


As Britain was ready to welcome the year 1940, the month of January brought one of the coldest winters ever. Imagine experiencing an extreme minimum temperature of -21 degrees on the 21st of January 1940! The River Thames, the Grand Union Canal and even the sea turned to ice on that day. A snowstorm also hit the North of the country, with more than 2 feet of snow in some areas. Among the winters in Britain, this one definitely remains in people’s memory.


The year 1947 knew one of the most serious snowfalls, which led to people being cut off for days. You could see snow falling for 55 consecutive days. Thames River was so frozen that you could even walk on it! But when thaw finally came, the melting water poured into the rivers and caused flooding in some areas.


Some of you will remember the Big Freeze of 1963. It all started in the month of December in 1962 and pretty much lasted until March 1963! Villages cut off, roads, rails and phone lines all damaged, Britain was experiencing the coldest weather after 200 years. January 1963 was thus the coldest month for southern Britain since the temperature dropped to -2.1 degrees.



After the Big Freeze of 1962-63, 1964 also brought a winter which was equally freezing. However, it was rather a dry one. Afterwards in 1965, there were remarkable snowfalls too, but it was not as exceptional as in 1962 and 1963.



In 1978, winter during the month of December was severe too, bringing with it lots of snow and blizzards. It all lasted until the beginning of 1979. It was rather dry until 1978, but as the winds changed, a cold wind blew, which brought snow showers and blizzards.

So, are you ready to wear your jumpers, scarfs, warm coats and gloves? You are lucky if you stay in this winter, but if you go out, don’t forget your raincoats and umbrellas. Not to worry though, despite being severe, winter does bring some goodies, like enjoying a warm delicious dinner at home with family and friends or having some spicy food and a nice broth.

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Meredith is a recent Media graduate, who loves Candy Crush, Baileys cheesecake, Stephen King books and her pet hamster, Joey.