The winter of 1894-95 was severe for the British Isles with a CET of 1.2°C. The severe winter led to mass unemployment and severe disruptions to shipping on the River Thames.
December 1894 was mild for the most part, and the first three weeks were dominated by Southwesterlies. It was not until the last week of the month, when the winds veered to the northwest, that colder weather arrived, bringing frosts and snow showers to exposed areas. 18cm of snow was reported in Norfolk at the end of the month. The average monthly temperature was 5.1°C
Troughs in the flow gave snow showers to most parts and many places had a snow cover, Oxford had 8cm by the 6th. High pressure to the west moved across the UK and under the clear skies and with a deep snow cover, very low minima were recorded with -11°C in parts of Norfolk and -18°C in parts of the Highland. Freezing fog formed and was slow to clear, a maximum of -5°C was recorded at Ross-on-Wye in freezing fog. Milder air tried to push in with a system from the Atlantic, and a heavy snowfall resulted across the UK with depths of snow of between 8 to 15 cm being widely reported. The Atlantic air finally broke through and there was a thaw resulting in flooding in a number of areas. Temperatures were in double figures in the south - Kew recording 11°C. The northwesterlies returned on the 21st with a low over the near continent and its active cold front moving across southeast England bringing thunderstorms, snow and hail. The northerly flowed for a few days and conditions were severe over northern Scotland with heavy drifting snow and snow fell elsewhere exposed to the north wind. The average monthly temperature was 0.2°C. January 1895 is the 26th coldest ever recorded
A very cold easterly flowed across the UK and most of Europe, and there were severe frosts with minima of -13°C at Loughborough and -15°C being recorded at Chester. Heavy snow showers came with the easterly with Yorkshire and Lincolnshire getting the brunt of the showers. South Shields was severely affected by 15 hours of continuous snowfall, forcing the closure of the shipyard. Small polar lows affected the west with snowfalls, and Douglas on the Isle of Man recorded 20cm of snow. As the high over Scandinavia moved over the UK, it brought with it a phenomenally cold spell with exceptionally low minima. Temperatures of -20°C or less were regularly recorded, -27.2C was recorded at Braemar on the 11th, -24C at Buxton also on the 11th, and -22.2°C at Rutland. -12.7°C was the mean average temperature for Wakefield in Yorkshire between the 5th and the 14th. Canals, rivers, lakes and ponds froze in the severe cold, the Manchester Ship Canal was iced over, there were ice floes in the Thames and the Thames estuary itself was impassable because of ice. Many people died of hypothermia and of respiratory conditions. By the end of February, the weekly death rate from pneumonia and related illnesses was 950 per week - higher than the average for the period. There was mass unemployment as industries were closed by the conditions and coal supplies dwindled as transporting coal by canal or rail became impossible. As the high began to slip westwards, milder Atlantic air slowly encroached and temperatures crept above freezing for the first time in a couple of weeks, and London had its first frost free night on the 21st for three weeks. Maxima temperature were finally returning to close to normal by the end of the month.
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