In pictures: Snow in Scotland through the years

Snow is piled high as a car heads for Longformacus in January 1963. Picture: TSPL
Snow is piled high as a car heads for Longformacus in January 1963. Picture: TSPL
Share this article
0
Have your say

WITH snow forecast for parts of Scotland, we take a look back at the country’s white winters.

There are plenty of jokes made about Scotland and snow, given the country’s reputation as a cold place. But there are also some quite astonishing facts.

Hearts player-manager Alex Macdonald clears snow from the pitch at Tynecastle in January 1984. Picture: TSPL

Hearts player-manager Alex Macdonald clears snow from the pitch at Tynecastle in January 1984. Picture: TSPL

In 1620, snow fell for 13 continuous days in Scotland and on Eskdale Moor in Dumfries and Galloway, just 35 sheep from a flock of 20,000 survived the weather.

And academics have identified more than 400 words in the Scots language for ‘snow’ including feefle, spitters and flindrikin.

In the Cairngorms, there are snow drifts on Braeriach - the third highest mountain in the United Kingdom - which are said to have completely melted just five times since the 1700s.

Scotland has been entirely free of snow for short periods of time in 1933, 1959, 1996, 2003 and 2006.

A tram makes its way up a snowy Mound in May 1955. Picture: TSPL

A tram makes its way up a snowy Mound in May 1955. Picture: TSPL

It is believed that snow in Garbh Choire Mor can ‘easily’ reach depths of 50ft, or 75ft in exceptional years, while a letter was written to The Times calling for a commemoration when the snow vanished for the first time in 1933, such was the rarity of the event.

Garbh Choire Mor is even rumoured to have contained a glacier as recently as the 1800s.

In the late 1870s, almost nine feet of snow fell in parts of Scotland, with the Borders experiencing snow as late as July.

Newspaper reports from the 1920s recall between two and three feet of snow in Braemar while ten years later, up to 18 inches was recorded in Orkney in early March.

A Mr F Walker of Silverburn using skis near Edinburgh in 1962. Picture: TSPL

A Mr F Walker of Silverburn using skis near Edinburgh in 1962. Picture: TSPL

The winter of 1946/47 saw Scotland battered by snow and blizzards almost continuously between January 22 and March 17.

In 1963/64 and again in 1977/78, Scotland experienced severe winters, with snow lasting into April 1964.

Both Braemar in January 1982 and Altnaharra in the early 1990s recorded temperatures of -27.2C.

Motorists stuck in the snow in Glen Shee in Perthshire, in December 1965. Picture: TSPL

Motorists stuck in the snow in Glen Shee in Perthshire, in December 1965. Picture: TSPL

Penguins enjoying the snow at Edinburgh Zoo in the winter of 1950. Picture: TSPL

Penguins enjoying the snow at Edinburgh Zoo in the winter of 1950. Picture: TSPL