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METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS EASTBOURNE DECEMBER 1967

A dramatic snowfall event occurred in Eastbourne on Friday 8 December 1967.

In December 1967 I was living in Dudley Road, Eastbourne and working for the Eastbourne Water Company. On 8 December 1967 the Star Brewery Borehole in Star Lane, Eastbourne was being test pumped. I visited the site and remember being in the pump shed for an hour with the operator who was dipping the water level on an hourly basis.  Upon arrival the snow had just started - we both had a shock when trying to open the shed door one hour later! I managed to return to the office in Upperton Road, Eastbourne and took my car home during my lunch break. I walked back to the office, which was just as well, as the roads soon became impassable.  No attempt was made to clear any of the roads which soon were blocked by cars in all directions. Staff working in the Bexhill area were withdrawn early before the snow reached them and the Eastbourne Water landrover was utilised to take staff, who lived at Friston, home. The Eastbourne Water control room set up a roll call by radio for all its vehicles to determine each  driver's location. One driver in King's Drive reported making about 100 metres progress in an hour! - such were the conditions.

However after about four days it was all over. An extract from my weather diary is given below. Unfortunately no photographs are available. Two slides give the temperature and snow depth (cm)/rainfall (mm) data for the Eastbourne Wilmington Square (Eastbourne Borough Council) site. The very short duration of this 'snow' event is clearly seen. The thermograph record for Dudley Road, Eastbourne is given below the weather diary. Charts run Monday to Monday, are in °F and with times set to UTC.

 

 

 

8 December 1967

Moderate to heavy snow fell from 0930 to 1400 UTC giving 300 mm by 1400 UTC with light to moderate snow from 1400 to 1900 UTC. Snow depths were generally 300 mm but up to 600 mm in places.

The raingauge at Dudley Road, Eastbourne was read at 1925 UTC and the melted contents yielded 14.5 mm (with a snow depth of 300 mm on the flat shed roof).

The village of East Dean was cut-off and East Dean Hill closed. King's Drive, Eastbourne was blocked with snow and cars.  In the afternoon journey times from Polegate to Eastbourne were reported as 2 - 3 hours.

The wind was generally N - NE Force 2 - 3 with a little drifting snow in places.  There were many road accidents in the town as all roads were snow covered. Conditions could only be described as 'utter chaos'.

 

9 December 1967

After some settlement overnight the snow depth in the morning (at 1014 UTC) at Dudley Road, Eastbourne was 254 mm. Minimum over night 8/9th temperature 18°F (-7.8°C).

During the evening from 1830 - 1900 UTC another snow shower added a further 12 mm to the snow cover.  All Eastbourne roads were still snow bound - no attempt had been made to clear any snow away!

 

10 December 1967 

Morning snow depth at Dudley Road, Eastbourne 203 mm.  E - NE light wind.

 

11 December 1967 

Morning snow depth at Dudley Road, Eastbourne around 150 mm. A thaw set in following the onset of light rain from 2300 UTC.

 

12 December 1967

Snow very patchy - thawing and very wet. At 1240 UTC snow depths 12- 25 mm in places.

 

13-14 December 1967

Snow melting fast - only isolated patches left on 13 December, all snow clear by 14 December 1967.

 

THERMOGRAPH RECORD AT DUDLEY ROAD, EASTBOURNE 04-12-1967 TO 18-12-1967

 

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