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Surrey enjoys first October snowfall in 121 years

By This is Surrey  |  Posted: October 29, 2008

  • Treacherous: Icy conditions on the A217 at Burgh Heath in the area's first October snowfall in 121 years. This picture was taken at midnight on Tuesday at the height of the wintry conditions

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UP to an inch of snow greeted East Surrey residents today (Wednesday, October 29) following the earliest October snowfall in the county for 121 years.

The snow blanketed parts of Surrey after Arctic winds turned Tuesday night's rain into a mini-blizzard.

As temperatures plunged from 9C during the afternoon to freezing point by 11pm, the rain turned to snow.

The first flakes began falling at about 10pm and by midnight, roads had become treacherous in the hilly villages of both Tandridge district and the borough of Reigate and Banstead.

Particularly snowy were Chaldon, Woldingham, Banstead, Tadworth, Burgh Heath and Kingswood.

In Redhill, Reigate and Horley, there was only a little slush to concern motorists but the snow settled thickly in Brighton Road, from Reigate Hill to Banstead.

By the morning, many roads were like skidpans and some drivers found their vehicles turned into frozen igloos.

Buses in Caterham inched their way along icy streets while on the railways, trains from London to Surrey were delayed by frozen points and equipment.

Mirror weatherman Ian Currie, who has studied the climate for more than 40 years, said it was the first October snowfall in Surrey since 1887.

"This is as rare a weather event as the Great Storm of 1987," said Mr Currie, 57.

"There has been snow observed in 1974 and 1981 but such a covering has not occurred since 1887.

"In Victorian times it was more common to see snow in October. With all the global warming and seas being much warmer than they used to be, it is even more remarkable and I shall be studying this event in great detail."

He said winds coming directly from the Arctic led to the snow.

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    Amiel Jeanne, Mérignac France  |  November 11 2008, 5:33PM

    Is it true or not that the weather is more and more hot ?!

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    mary overholt., London Canada.  |  October 29 2008, 5:10PM

    Welcome to the club, we had our first snow of the season.