Blizzard of January 1881

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The Blizzard of January 1881 (17–18 January 1881) was one of the most severe blizzards ever to hit the southern parts of the United Kingdom.

On 18 January 1881,[clarification needed] a low pressure system rapidly developed in the English Channel. The snowfalls began on the 17th in the southwest and as the system deepened as it moved through the Channel, a gale force easterly developed over southern parts with heavy blizzards and drifting snow. The blizzard paralysed all transport, communication, trade and industries. Hundreds of miles of rail track were blocked by drifting snow, tens of feet high in places. Even in central London, there were 3 foot drifts in places. Around 100 people are believed to have died as a result of the blizzard. The storm was accompanied by extreme cold.[citation needed] Comparisons are drawn[by whom?] to the Great Blizzard of 1899 which affected the United States.


Symons's Meteorological Magazine of 1881