Surrey enjoys first October snowfall in 121 years
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.
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
Taste of winter: Cars leave tracks in the snow in High Street, Banstead, opposite the Marks and Spencer store late on Tuesday night (It was Surrey's first October snowfall since 1887)
Flaked out: The unseasonably wintry conditions kept our weatherman Ian Currie busy on Tuesday. He is pictured at a bus stop in High Street, Banstead, late on Tuesday night (It was Surrey's first October snowfall since 1887)
Out and about: Our intrepid reporter Mark Davison braves the weather in Banstead on Tuesday night as settling snow swept across Surrey for the first time in October since 1887
Mobile igloos: Showroom cars on the A217 Brighton Road, at Burgh Heath, were covered in an inch of snow after the freak weather on Tuesday night
Winter in autumn: A horse chestnut tree still bearing its brown and gold coloured leaves above the snow-covered recreation field at Westway, Caterham on the Hill at dawn on Wednesday.
Wintry scene: Icicles hang from railings outside Caterham Methodist Church, Couldson Road, on Wednesday morning. (It was Surrey's first October snowfall since 1887)
Cattle at the appropriately named White Hill, in Chipstead, moved towards visible grass as their pastureland was covered with snow. It was Surrey's first October snowfall since 1887.
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.
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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.