Weather statistics

The cold spell of mid-April 1966

The pressure pattern for mid-April 1966 was extraordinary with a string of lows running from Newfoundland to Turkey and a large expanse of high pressure from northern Canada across Greenland into northern Scandinavia and through into the Arctic. Between these pressure systems was a flow with an easterly component that ran from Scandinavia through the UK into central Canada. This resulted in one of the coldest spells of weather for mid-April in recent times.
By the 13th, the easterly flow was becoming colder drawing in unusually cold Arctic air for the time of year from Scandinavia across the UK. Snow was reported falling widely and the intensity of the falls increased on the 15th as the air became increasingly cold and at this stage the snow was dry with maxima of 0C recorded in many areas and there was snow cover, the North Downs recorded several inches. Severe frosts were recorded in parts of Scotland, where minima as low as -10C was recorded.
Although the intensity of the cold lessened after the 16th, it wasn't until the 22nd that it became noticeably milder as a low pushed up to the west of Ireland allowing a SWly flow across the UK.

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