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 Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please stand? 
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:01 pm
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Location: Maryland, USA
Post Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please stand?
I was looking at the wikipedia article for London. I saw this astonishing weather statistic:
Snowfall cm (inches) [year] 46.7 (18.39)

and instantly thought "bullocks". That is a lot of snow. It's more snow than Seattle. It's even more snow than Washington, DC, which is much colder in winter! (average Jan. low of -2.6C vs. 2.3C for London) Media reports of the past couple years have indicated that London is unused to even small amounts of snow (by US standards) and has had its roads paralyzed because there aren't enough snowplows or gritters. A city with 18 inches of snow a year on average, would certainly be expected to be prepared for it!

The wiki cites this source: ftp://dossier.ogp.noaa.gov/GCOS/WMO-Nor ... /03776.TXT
So, this is curious right from the start, that a US source is having to be cited at all. Yet in my 20-30 minutes of google searches, I could find no 'official' UK snowfall averages. In terms of cm or inches. It's almost as though the figure isn't kept. Days of snow falling? Yes. Days of "Snow on ground" - yes. Actual amounts? No. "Who would want to have to dash outside and stick a ruler in the ghastly stuff" I guess? That being said I'm surprised London even sees 4 days of snow in Jan. & Feb (each). I almost wonder if someone at the "World Meteorological Organization" - the actual source of the data NOAA collated, decided to use a standardized index relating days of snow to snowfall amounts...how else could they have generated such an implausible figure?


Last edited by davidmdzn7 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:23 am
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Location: Islington, London UK
Post Re: Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please sta
I don't know any figures for average anowfall, but a typical Winter in London might have one or two falls of snow of an inch to 5 inches. It's common for a Winter to pass with no snow at all, or at least none that sticks. Anything more than a few inches at a time is considered most unusual and more than one or two significant falls in a Winter is also exceptional. So I'd conclude that the average you read is nonsense.

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Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:41 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:01 pm
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Post Re: Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please sta
Thanks for your corroboration. These sporadic inaccuracies in Wikipedia are very annoying. The general overview of London's climate is reasonably correct, but if the figures for snowfall had been given even a modicum of scrutiny by anybody who had both 1) a familiarity w/London's climate from living there (or in my case, merely being over informed!) and 2) a scintilla of common sense...it would have been quickly realized that they were wrong.
I also hate when people edit the article to pursue foolish agendas, like the climate subsections for certain zone 7 American cities that had been edited to point out that Trachycarpus can be grown there. The anomalous hardiness of a certain Chinese palm is really not a useful contribution for general readers to what is supposed to a one or two paragraph summary of a climate. Besides in some cases it was only partially true, as such plants would be wiped out by a once every 20-30 year winter. It looks like the Wikipedia ur-editors have cleared some of that up, though. I remember the article about Baltimore used to be infected with that, but no longer is.


Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:14 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:25 pm
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Location: BROUGH UK
Post Re: Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please sta
Yes, those figures are much much too high! :roll: :D


Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:34 pm
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:49 am
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Location: Whitstable, Kent, UK
Post Re: Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please sta
Although not showing exactly the same thing - this may help

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/ ... l#sengland

It shows the average number of days of snow lying for 1971-2000, and clearly in winter, London enjoys an average of 0-5 days of snow lying.

So not a lot

The areas in SE England with more snow lying (darker blue) are generally higher ground such as the Chilterns and the South Downs


Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:05 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:56 am
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Location: South East coast, Vancouver Island - British Columbia
Post Re: Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please sta
Martin G wrote:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/regmapavge.html#sengland

It shows the average number of days of snow lying for 1971-2000, and clearly in winter, London enjoys an average of 0-5 days of snow lying.


All I'm getting from that link is average January temps. Nothing regarding snow amount averages.

Cheers, Barrie.

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Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:28 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:49 am
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Location: Whitstable, Kent, UK
Post Re: Will the real avg. annual snowfall for London please sta
Just click on the appropriate choice on the menu to the left of the map


Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:50 pm
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