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The January snow when it started snowing and didn't stop for 36 hours

There were queues in the streets for bread and milk when serious and widespread snow fell in Wales

The heavy snow started to fall on January 7, 1982. Before too long, there were lengthy queues on city streets for bread and milk, soldiers were drafted in to dig families out of their homes and helicopters scrambled to transport food to remote farms.

For those of us who have been following the wildly varying weather forecasts in the first fortnight of 2024, there have been times when it sounded like Wales could be looking at something similar this January, 42 years later. Despite the technology and detail available to weather forecasters these days, predicting snowfall is notoriously difficult. And while it seems very likely parts of Wales will see snow this week (you can see where here), it won't be anything like the January snow of 1982.

These pictures show how much snow fell on Wales early that month, when it snowed solidly for 36 hours, leaving entire front doors submerged, cars buried and livestock decimated. The snow was 60cm deep, though drifts reportedly reached up to six metres high thanks to the dry, fine snow which was easily blown about.

Pedestrians walked among jack-knifed lorries and traffic jams on the M4, waterfalls were frozen solid and the Australian rugby union team was snowed into their hotel in Porthcawl , accessible only by boat. One enterprising father even moved his entire family out of their home and into an igloo he built in his back garden.