Exactly ten years ago, almost 1ft of snow landed in areas of Tayside and Fife overnight. It was the first sign of things to come, with locals enduring more than a month of freezing Arctic conditions.
The winter of 2010-11 has gone down as one of the toughest and most chaotic in living memory for people across Tayside and Fife.
While schools were closed, roads shut and events cancelled; many still have fond memories of 2010’s White Christmas, of snowball fights, sledging and trudging through fresh morning snow on daily dog walks.
With the Covid-19 pandemic sure to bring another tough winter for us all, we’ve looked out some of our old photographs from the 2010 winter.
It all started exactly ten years ago…with thunder snow
A phenomenon known as “thunder snow” battered Tayside on November 28 2010; bringing storms and between 8in and 10in of the white stuff to the likes of Dundee and Perth.
Roads were blocked by trapped cars and jack-knifed lorries with electricity also cut off to homes.
By November 30 residents across Tayside and Fife were being told to “stay home, stay safe and stay warm” as 3,600 properties were left without power.
NHS Tayside quickly moved to an emergency service, cancelling all non-urgent surgeries and outpatient clinics; forcing the health board to reschedule 8,000 appointments in total.
Many were left unable to travel to work due to snow and ice, with local authorities including Perth and Kinross Council even calling off bin collections as staff focused on clearing and gritting efforts.
Before December had even arrived, the AA said it had been called to some 20,000 breakdowns across the UK.
The road conditions were so bad that on December 1, a man in his 60s had to be airlifted to Ninewells Hospital in a Royal Navy helicopter for treatment after slipping and injuring his hip in Crieff.
Snow persisted into December
As December neared, the snow persisted and travel chaos became a daily occurrence with trains and buses regularly called off due to the Arctic conditions. The weather also affected flights across the UK, including those to and from Dundee Airport.
Mail was affected, football matches called off, burials were made impossible and deliveries of fuel caused anxiety and panic buying. Some local brides even had to delay their weddings.
Elsewhere farmers suffered as agricultural buildings collapsed under the weight of snowfall. Wildlife also suffered as animals fought for survival in the freezing conditions.
As the winter weather dragged on through December, some schools were closed for as long as a week at a time and the Tay Road Bridge was closed to traffic on more than one occasion.
Community spirit shone through
Much like we have seen throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as locals faced unprecedented struggles, acts of kindness and tales of community spirit emerged almost daily across Tayside and Fife.
People in Perth and Dundee offered shelter to travellers left stranded due to chaos on the roads, and Good Samaritans came to the aid of the elderly and vulnerable by going on shopping trips for neighbours and clearing paths.
Social media pages were also set up as locals pulled together.
Low of -21.3C recorded in Scotland
It was the coldest December the UK had experienced since records began. Problems with snow and ice endured until late January.
The lowest temperature of the winter season was recorded at -21.3C at Altnaharra in the Highlands on January 8, 2011.