Nostalgia: A look back at snow scenes in Cork through the decades 

Nostalgia: A look back at snow scenes in Cork through the decades 

Snow scene on Patrick Street on Jan 21, 1963.

The cold snap which hit the country in December has lingered into January and may be set to continue for the weeks ahead. 

Met Éireann has already issued a number of low temperature and snow and ice warnings since the start of the year and the national forecaster has also warned of a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) for this month.

New Year's Day at Patrick's Quay, 1956.
New Year's Day at Patrick's Quay, 1956.

Met Éireann has said it is not yet clear as to what effect this SSW will have on the country’s weather for the coming weeks as "every SSW is different".

In February 2018 the SSW led to the 'Beast from the East' and storm Emma, whereas the SSW in January 2019 "had no significant impact here, due to the easterly winds not propagating down into the troposphere from the stratosphere".

Met Éireann said Ireland is already in a “very blocked pressure set up” which is contributing to the uncertainty.

Snow scene at Dillons Cross, St Lukes, in 1962.
Snow scene at Dillons Cross, St Lukes, in 1962.

"It [the SSW] could kick-start the westerly momentum in our region, at least temporarily, as the SPV is pushed over Scandinavia, leading to a strengthening of the North Atlantic jetstream, resulting in a more typical winter weather pattern for Ireland.

"It could also prolong and intensify the high latitude blocked setup leading to cold polar air masses flooding south into northern Europe or elsewhere in the mid-latitudes," a report on their website states.

Snowfall at Fitzgerald's Park, 1937.
Snowfall at Fitzgerald's Park, 1937.

It's been almost three years since Cork was hit with the Siberian cold snap, known as the Beast from the East, but the memories of that major weather event linger on.

Over the decades, Cork has been no stranger to snowfall and bitterly cold winters.

The winter of 1947 remains the harshest ever in Ireland when from January 19 to March 15, an arctic cold snap led to five major blizzards and caused many deaths.

New Year's Day snow scene at the old railway station near Blarney Castle, 1956.
New Year's Day snow scene at the old railway station near Blarney Castle, 1956.

As the temperatures rarely rose above freezing, the snows that had fallen across the country in January remained until mid-March.

The winter of 1977/78, was a particularly bleak one too, with significant snowfalls in the south and southeast of the country.

In February 1978, 26cm of snow was recorded at Cork Airport, the greatest depth recorded at this station.

Snow in Blackrock Village, February 1941.
Snow in Blackrock Village, February 1941.

The 1980s likewise heralded some bitter winters, most notably in 1987 when The Lough froze over in February and some brave Cork residents took the opportunity to skate over the popular southside amenity.

So far, this winter has already marked itself as an exceptionally cold one too.

Met Éireann's most recent climate report, revealed that Sherkin Island experienced its coldest December in ten years in 2020. 

More in this section

Sponsored Content