Snow flake close up. Photo Aaron Burden

Snow Survey of Great Britain

In 1953 the work of the Survey terminated, and the collection of the records was then undertaken by the Meteorological Office. The Meteorological Office published snow surveys for the period from 1953/1954 to 1991/1992.

The material from which these reports were compiled was obtained largely from daily records provided by a special network of observers. Most of the observers in the special Snow Survey network were also associated with stations which submitted rainfall or other weather information to the Meteorological Office. In the majority of cases these snow data was observed at the same sites. These special reports were sent each month throughout the season from October to the following May, the main period of likely snowfall. A few observers, mainly in Scotland, provided special reports throughout the year.

Observers reported days on which snow or sleet is known to have occurred at the station, days with snow lying and the total depth of undrifted snow at the station, normally at about 09 GMT. Observers also sent, where possible, notes on snow cover in the surrounding hills or mountains at various heights (at intervals of about 150 metres) even if snow cover did not extend down to station level. Snow lying at the station and snow cover in the hills or mountains implies that the ground is at least half covered with snow.

The reports from the Snow Survey network were supplemented by snow information given by stations sending monthly climatological returns to the Meteorological Office. Use was also made of the Monthly Weather Reports, and returns from stations appearing in it.

Snow Surveys published by the Meteorological Office from 1953/1954 to 1991/1992 are available from our Digital Library and Archive.

All information originating from the Met Office is subject to Crown Copyright and is available under the terms of the Open Government Licence