Aviemore’s worst winter ever?

During the winter of 1988/89 the persistence of the Bartlett / Azores / Eurotrash high was painful to watch for anyone desperate to see some snow.

Week after week of high pressure brought a lot of mild, damp weather driven by Atlantic south-westerlies.

‘Balmy Britain’ the tabloids screamed but the savings on home energy costs were little noticed as the age of extortionate gas bills were still a generation away.

I didn’t think the winter would ever be surpassed in terms of its sheer mildness. And, as I write this on February 11th, it hasn’t. And there’s still time for cold weather in the last few days of the month to stop this season being in the same league as 1988 / 89 or the one the year after.

The stats to date reveal that this winter, according to statistics from Aviemore, is 1.8C colder than 33 years ago.

It has also been much drier though more snow days have been recorded.

MeanMaxMinPressure (mb)Precip (mm)Average snow depth (cm)Snow days
1988/895.07.72.01010.5435.77.210
2021/223.26.10.21011.7238.83.815
Above stats refer to December 1st to February 10th

There have been numerous images on various social media of bare mountainsides. One of the most stark images I’ve seen were on Glenshee.

Were the hills this bare during the winter of 1988 / 89?

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