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A Very Special Day
Sunday, April 6, 2008

This day in Steyning was not an historic day. In some parts of the world it would seem like a miracle and in others all too ordinary. Living near the Sussex coast, we thought it was very special and children literally screamed with joy. How long might it be before we see this again?

The Star 1977

Amazing! On an April day near the south coast, it was an event to remember. Ten centimeters of snow fell over Steyning like a feather duvet: that's four inches. Older local people were used to more frequent snow before global warming. Nonetheless, they might agree that April snowmen were always quite rare. What a surprise to see them in 2008.

For most Steyning children, this was the first time ever that snow was deep enough to build a snowman in the garden or throw snowballs in the park. Good Friday fell on March 21 this year, which was so early that the full end-of-term break was delayed for schools until Monday, April 7. It was a great start to the holiday. Even Christmas was never this good.

Blizzard conditions and more gentle snowfall continued for much of Sunday, but by Monday it had nearly all melted away. Then we had a hail storm and Steyning briefly turned icy white again, with a clap of thunder or two before the Spring sunshine returned. Soon it was as though nothing had happened.

Was it all a beautiful dream?

Here are the pictures to prove it was real.

The Starr Inn Tankard

snow4

snow15

Snow 8

Snow 9

Snow 7

Snow 6

Snow1

Snow 11

Snow 20

And finally - on April 7, cowslips and primroses
battered by hailstones.

Hail



Some Facts About
Local Weather

River Adur Frozen
A photo taken in February 1954 shows the River Adur clogged with ice at Beeding Bridge. This black and white photo is in the Steyning Museum archives. Evidence of weather in the past has become increasingly valuable as a measure of climate change.

Chanctonbury Ring
The hurricane of October 1987 devastated the beech trees on top of a much-loved local landmark. They were planted in 1760 on Chanctonbury Ring, an ancient enclosure. Soon the trees and not the enclosure were known as 'The Ring'. At least the hurricane allowed archaeologists to excavate the area before the trees were replaced by public demand.

The Steyning Climate
The warmest and sunniest month in Steyning is July. February is the coldest and the driest month. October is the wettest. The average temperature in July is 23.5ºC and in February 8ºC.

Links

Chanctonbury Ring
See our web page about Chanctonbury Ring, with photos of before and after the hurricane of 1987.

Greening Steyning
Many people in Steyning are concerned about climate change and have organised projects to help improve the furure.

West Sussex Past Pictures
The junction of Mouse Lane with Steyning High Street flooded in 1939. This West Sussex County Council website of historic pictures shows the scene outside the Star Inn pub.

Today's Weather in Steyning
See today's weather or plan ahead with a seven day weather forecast from the BBC.

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