Met Office Clueless On War Time Ice Storm 1940.

  Not interested in recognizing the human contribution?

Post January 14, 2021

Frequently the story about the Ice Storm in January 1940 pops up in newspaper. Three year ago THE GUARDIAN runs the story on 26/01/2018: 1940 Ice Storm added to misery of war. January 1940 was coldest month on record for almost 50 years, freezing the river Thames. This year THE TIMES is earlier and published today (14/01/2021) a story about January 1940, titling it: Wartime ice storm turned UK into a strange frozen world.

When two respected newspapers rise with dramatic wording the attention of its readers, the matter must be a unique  meteorological event. It was definitely, as THE TIMES explains:

January 1940 was dreadfully cold. The Thames was frozen for several miles between Teddington and Sunbury, the sea froze along parts of the south coast, and the ports at Folkestone and Southampton froze solid. Then on January 27 something extraordinary happened in southern areas when it rained — the instant the rain hit anything solid it froze into a thick layer of ice.

But that happened 81 years ago (more information below), and the Met Office in the UK is still clueless, as is the entire climatology. How can that be? The claim every day that they understand what happens with the global climate in the future, but fail completely to reasoning  and explain why Europe in general (HERE), and Great Britain got an extraordinary cold January, and an Ice Storm, that went down as one of the most dramatic weather events in history. During the war data collection was in highest demand. But meteorology seems not able or willing to used them for a thorough investigation, which is particularly enjoying, because all the exceptional weather patterns in winter 1939/40 may have anthropogenic caused. Even if man only contributed a few percent, it would be completely unacceptable. Presumably contribute a lot if not all, to a winter weather that run amok. For an entire picture consult the website , for winter 1939/40 the Chapter c, section C1 to C9.

For a broader picture on January 1940 in the UK, here after the text from other sources are reproduced.

  1. The Guardian, January 26, 2018

January 1940 was the coldest month on record for almost 50 years, and would ultimately become the second coldest January of the 20th century. By the middle of the month, the river Thames in London had frozen over for the first time in six decades, while on the 21st, temperatures in mid-Wales plummeted to a record low of –23C. But the most serious event came towards the end of the month, when a clash of mild air from the south-west and cold air from the north-east produced very heavy snowfalls, including 1.2 metres (4 ft) of snow in Sheffield. In southern Britain, rain fell instead of snow, resulting in an even greater catastrophe, as trees, telegraph and power lines were all coated with a thick layer of ice – up to 0.3 metres in some places. This was too much to bear, and many branches and lines collapsed under the sheer weight of ice. To make matters worse, it then snowed, creating even more misery for people already bearing the burden of war. Known as the 1940 Ice Storm, this goes down as one of the most dramatic weather events in history.

  1. Wikipedia

In the United Kingdom, a snow and ice event occurred during January 26–31, 1940. As a warm front pushed into cold air, it led to an ice storm south of the Midlands, with some areas being covered in up to 300 millimetres (12 in) of glaze by the 31st, with totals still adding up for some areas into early February. Further north an extreme snow event had taken place, crippling cities that already had feet of snow cover. Sheffield had 4 feet (120 cm) of snow on the first day of the storm alone, with Bolton seeing 10 feet (300 cm) by the end of the storm. It is thought to be one of the most severe storms to hit the UK.[11]


January 1940. The coldest month of any kind since 1895 (-1.4C CET), and eventually he second coldest January of the century (after 1963). On the 17th, the Thames was frozen over for the first time since 1880. The morning of the 21st gave the lowest temperature of the month: -23C was recorded at Rhayader (Wales), with many places continuously well beneath freezing (e.g. only -4C maximum at Boscombe Down, Wilts.). There were heavy snowfalls in Scotland, with many places cut off. Most remarkably, there was a great snow and Ice Storm during the 27-30th, peaking on the 28th, but continuing in parts into February. Mild air approaching behind

warm fronts from the SW met the cold easterly all the way from Russia. There was heavy snow over the north; four feet of snow in Sheffield on the 26th, and 10′ drifts reported in Bolton on the 29th. Further south the lower air was warming up and was too warm for snow, but the rain froze as it fell, coating everything with a thick layer of glaze. The effects of the freezing rain was one of the most extreme weather events of the century. The south was particularly badly affected. Everything was coated in a thick layer of ice: phone wires 1.5 mm thick were coated with a 300mm diameter sheath of ice – up to 15 times their weight. Many large tree trunks and power lines were brought down. The area affected by the glaze reached from Kent to Exmoor and the Cotswolds, and from Sussex to Cambridgeshire and the north Midlands. It was a week before all the ice thawed; some places had snow on top of the glaze, with both remaining until the 4th February. Heavy snow and a violent gale swept the southwest.


The UK Ice Storm in January1940 is well documented. It occurred in the fifth months since the Second World War commenced. The probability is high that warfare on land, at sea and in the air contributed significantly to the extreme cold winter condition in Europe. For decades climatology claims being able to tell us how climate is likely to work in the future, which is hardly convincing, if modern meteorology is unwilling or unable to explain an extraordinary event, as the Ice Storm eight decades ago. After all, climate change research is need foremost to understand what humans are causing or may contribute. The winter 1939/40 is an excellent field for research to make progress in this respect.

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