Coldest 18th March since 1853

Yesterday, the 18th of March 2018 was the coldest for that particular day  in March since 1853. That’s according to the latest provisional Central England mean temperatures released from the Met Office (fig 1). The maximum for Sunday was 0.6°C and the minimum -2.2°C, and the mean of -0.8°C, was almost 6.6°C lower than the 1961-1990 long-term average of 5.8°C. Only four other years have reported negative mean temperatures for the 18th of March (fig 2 & 3) in the daily mean CET series that started in 1772, they were 1900, 1853, 1814 and 1812. Don’t forget that you can keep an eye on the latest daily CET values here […]

Coldest March day since 1878

After reporting yesterday that we’ve just experienced the coldest 28th of February since 1785 in Central England, it now transpires that the first of March provisionally has the lowest mean temperature for that day since 1785 (fig 1), and additionally was the coldest day (lowest maximum of -0.8°C) for any March day since 1878. The last seven days have been cold, but they still only rank 6th in the all time coldest weeks (23rd February – 1st March) since 1772 (fig 2). So if you think the mean of -0.5°C for the last seven days has been cold, the -2.56°C of 1947 was a magnitude colder. It’s very rare […]

Cold last week of February and first week of March in central England

I’ve just noticed that there seems to be a disproportionate number of cold last weeks of February and first week in March in the daily CET records (fig 1). Only someone as crazy as me would be writing code on a lovely sunny Sunday with Mediterranean blue skies outside to discover this trivial and useless nugget of information regarding temperatures in central England since the millennium. Statistically six out of the last 245 years in the top 30 is probably no more or less than what you would expect, but in recent years there have been so few examples of any month that was colder than average (apart from […]

February made me shiver with every blog that I delivered…

Very cold night across much of Europe with an anticyclone of over 1050 hPa across Norway. I notice that overnight temperatures fell to a minimum of -32.5°C (-26.5°F) at Drevsjo in central Norway (WMO 01393) (fig 2). Unsurprisingly, it was also where the highest MSLP pressure was to be found (fig 3). It would be interesting to see the adjustment tables they use to calculate a QNH pressure from the station QFE for a station that’s already 674 M above sea level. Meanwhile back in good old blighty, Dunkeswell in Devon did rather well to get down to -5.0°C overnight (fig 3), to make it the fourth coldest low-level station in […]

The coldest night of the year

St Valentines day, the 13/14th of February is the coldest night of the year in Central England, this is based on the lowest mean daily minimum temperature record that started in 1878, the mean for that day is just 0.67°C, with a 40% chance of an air frost, and a 4.3% of an ice day. The lowest mean daily maximum on the other hand occurs around four weeks earlier on the 17th of January with a temperature of 6.1°C (fig 1).

The mystery of the Dalwhinnie AWS solved!

Thanks to some old colleagues I’ve now solved the mystery of exactly where the AWS is at Dalwhinnie. Believe it or not, it’s in the grounds of the distillery, which must be a first for the location of any weather station I would have thought (fig 1). Perhaps the Met Office could approach the likes of Glenlivet, Tomatin and other distilleries across Scotland to host a network of AWS? Then again it might end up with a disproportionate number of them being located in Morayshire, and we already have Kinloss and Lossiemouth (fig 2). Looking at an aerial view of precisely where the AWS is located at Dalwhinnie, I don’t think it […]

The mystery of the weather station at Dalwhinnie

Last night according to the Met Office, the air temperature fell to -13.5°C at Dalwhinnie in the Highland region of Scotland (figs 1 & 2). I’m not disputing the fact that is was the coldest place, what I would like to know is where exactly is the AWS located. Dalwhinnie is a special climatological station (#99005) and not a SYNOP so does not appear in this list of coldest SYNOP stations (fig 3), this is because the Met Office is an agency and charges people like you and me pay to access their our own climate data, which is a flaming liberty, but this is an aside to the […]

Scotland under snow

Classic picture of the snow over Scotland earlier today thanks to this NASA visible satellite image from earlier today (fig 1). Most of the country is under snow, and over higher ground that’s now a very deep cover, it’s not that often that the Isle of Lewis gets a complete cover of at least 8 cm like it has, but rather strangely most of Aberdeenshire is snow free. There are Cumulonimbus clouds and associated snow showers pushing south across the northern Isles, and some broken frontal cloud across the southwest. Temperatures at many places across the north have stayed sub-zero today, and at Altnaharra at 15 UTC it’s -5.6°C. […]

Coldest places in British Isles during last year

Four of the top six coldest places are clustered across the north of Scotland, and the fact that Aboyne comes out on top is not much of a surprise, after all it’s just down the road from Braemar. I’ve filtered all mountain stations above 500 metres AMSL out of the results so that Cairngorm didn’t come up with a day count in the three hundreds. All the cold spots in England are there Benson, Exeter, Hurn and Topcliffe. Rather surprisingly there was just a single entry for Shawbury, and that was for the -13.0°C that occurred in the recent cold spell on the 12th of December, which turned out […]

Lowest temperature anomalies in the UK

I wrote an article the other day that included a temperature anomaly chart for 12 UTC on Sunday for parts of the UK. But I thought I would look at back at what was the coldest spell of weather in my lifetime, and luckily for me I can include the winter of 1962-63 in that lifetime (even if I was just playing at being a snow plough!) and that was on Monday the 12th of January 1987. Don’t forget that the plotted values in the chart above (fig 1) are anomalies and not actual values for 12 UTC. As you can see North Hessary Tor, sadly no longer with […]