I was just doing some research into severe winters of the past in Central England and produced this intercomparison between this last winter (2017-18) and the snowy winter of 1946-47 (fig 1). The 1946-47 winter didn’t really get going till mid-January of 1947, and the cold of this last winter was only really a match for it either before mid-January or in the last couple of days in February.
An even more interesting intercomparison is between the severe winter of 1962-63 and the snowy winter of 1946-47 (fig 2). The winter of 1962-63 like 1946-47 was also a bit fitful in starting, and only really got into its stride just before Christmas 1962. After that there was no stopping it, and it more or less reigned supreme over 1946-47 until the end of January. The year 1947 produced the coldest February in the entire 359 years of the CET series and 1962-63 didn’t stand much of a chance against in the intercomparison, and 1947 edged out 1963 right through to the end of the meteorological winter.
Below are the two winters in a lot more detail (fig 3 & 4) and you can see that although 1962-63 was very severe from around the 23rd of December 1962 to the 25th of January 1963, 1947 went hyper from around the 22nd of January 1947 right through to the end of the winter. The blue diamonds are daily extreme records that these winters still hold.