We are actually more likely to get snow in many parts of the country at Easter than at Christmas. Easter moves date and so snow is more likely at early Easter (as early as 22nd March) but Easter Sunday can be as late as 25th April.Snowfall was significant at times during Easter 1983, sufficient to disrupt transport in some places. Snow and hail showers, mostly in the north of the UK, while in the early hours of the 3rd (Easter Day) a polar disturbance brought snow to some eastern parts of England too.
Snow in April
It is not usual to get significant snowfall in April but it is known. The last time there was significant fresh snow in April was back in 2008, but this was more for the southern half of the UK.
It’s also a point to note that the sun is stronger at this time of year than in the winter. Therefore the snow is more likely to melt in the daytime sunshine. There is also a reserve of heat in the ground which helps snow to thaw - which is definitely the case at the moment with the exceptionally warm and prolonged settled spell we had last week.
Back in the 80s
We really have to look back to April 1981 for the last widespread snow event. It was a 4 day period lasting from 24th to 27th, where 10-30 cms of heavy, drifting snow were widely reported and up to 60cm in parts of South Yorkshire & Derbyshire. Snow totals for our region during this time included:
- 6cm on the 24th
- 26cm of fresh snow on the 25th (melting in sunshine to 14cm by just 0900)
- More fresh snow on the 26th of 12cm (but just 9cm left by 0900)
- On the 25th 50cm fell in The Peak District