How many times do the weather presenters on TV use this old chestnut. I call it either the count-down, if it’s used in the winter for frost, or the count-up, if it’s used in summer for maximum temperatures. I believe there’s a whole chapter on this particular presentation technique in the “The Gamesmanship guide to Weather forecasting” which I’m still waiting to purloin a copy of. In summer there’s the classic “temperatures could reach 22°C or 23°C today, and in one or two places 24°C or 25°C, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 26°C from somewhere in the southeast”. Of course this five level count-up can only be used by the more adept presenter, but as you know it does happen. Anyway I digress, back to the overnight minima!
Certainly a moderate frost inland last night across most of England and Wales away from the coast, but not quite just the “minus 6, minus 7, maybe even a -8 degrees” from this morning’s 06-18 minimum temperatures in the SYNOP reports, even though Leeming did dip to -6.2°C. Another curate’s egg of a forecast from the Met Office, excellent over the north and northwest of the country but the -7°C over East Anglia was out (-4.1) as was the -8°C in the south Midlands (-4.6), but the -5°C was never on in the southwest (-2.7) just too much wind as David Braine picked up on, and the -2°C just never happened in Northern Ireland (+3.3) and they remained frost-free. Out of the twelve ‘countryside’ minimum temperatures in the frame below, I reckon that at least four out of the twelve are just too low.
I prefer the old school definitions of frost by the way as you may have already noticed, and the definition for a moderate frost when wind speeds are less than 10 knots, are temperatures in a range between -3.6°C and -6.5°C. So in my opinion it’s not a hard frost, or a harsh frost (as I heard it called more than once yesterday on the BBC) but a moderate frost. BBC, please bring back Bill Giles and Michael Fish, it would be great to see them back on our TV screens with the latest graphics even if it’s only as guest presenters!