Tornados, floods and the ‘Big Freeze’: 9 of Yorkshire’s craziest weather phenomena

Yorkshire has been subject to a variety of crazy weather phenomenons in the past
Yorkshire has been subject to a variety of crazy weather phenomenons in the past
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The weather in the UK is not of a predictable nature, shown by the recent ‘Beast from the East’, which brought extreme cold weather at the beginning of March.

Yorkshire is a region which has always been subject to tumultuous weather, bearing the brunt of extreme snow, rain and even tornadoes, but what are Yorkshire’s craziest weather events?

Extreme weather in Yorkshire has caused sea storms in the past

Extreme weather in Yorkshire has caused sea storms in the past


The Big Freeze, 1962-63, UK wide, including Yorkshire

Beginning in November of 1962, the Big Freeze was the coldest winter since 1740 and lasted until March 1963. Snowdrifts were up to 20ft deep and troops were used in many areas in order to open roads and rescue the stranded.

Extreme rainfall, 1965, Cullingworth, West Yorkshire

In June there was a record breaking amount of rain, with the rainfall being 155mm in just two hours. This was recorded at Hewenden Reservoir, near Cullingworth in West Yorkshire.


Torrential downpour, lighting and hail, East Yorkshire, 2000

In August 2000, the village of Hedon, near Hull, was hit by torrential downpours, lightning and hailstones, turning fields and streets white.

There had been nothing like this June 1975 and the storm battered an area between York and Hull. York Station was hit by lightning four times within just a few minutes, which knocked out signalling systems and stopped all trains for half an hour.

A tornado was also spotted just off of the Humber estuary, which created a fantastic water spout.



An early widespread winter snowfall, North Yorkshire, 2010

In 2010, Yorkshire saw the earliest widespread winter snowfall since 1993, with snow falling as early as November 24 across North Yorkshire. A record-breaking snow depth of 30 inches was recorded on December 1 in both the Peak District and Sheffield.

Floods in Leeds, 2015

Yorkshire saw torrential downpour in December 2015, saw the city of Leeds flood as the Aire burst its banks and blocked one of the main routes into the city centre.

Kirkstall Road was closed due to traffic and people were even seen sailing down the city centre street in dinghies.

Extreme flooding causes historic bridge to collapse, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, 2015

The village of Tadcaster was also hit as part of the same torrential rain in December 2015, causing its historic bridge to collapse and cutting the two sides of the same village off from each other.

Tornado in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2016

In September 2016 a Tornado was seen touching down in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, as part of raging storms.

Witnesses could see a huge, twisted black cloud formation which seemed to get bigger and bigger as time progressed.

Wild storms and flooding, Whitby, 2017

In January 2017 North Sea storm surge hit Whitby causing a high tide of 5.8 metres and waves reaching the unbelievable record of 22ft, just off the coast of the town.

The waves began to spill onto the slipway on pier road and sea foam started to fill the air, this being one of the worst floods in Whitby and the worst that locals had ever seen the sea.

The Beast from the East, UK wide, including Yorkshire, 2018

The renowned ‘Beast from the East’ hit the UK towards the very end of February into the beginning of March this year. The country saw some of the worst snow it has had for many years and some parts of Yorkshire were so badly affected they were brought to a standstill.

This extreme weather event caused chaos throughout the country and at one point, it even caused the sea to freeze.