>The Stark Contrast from Maritime to Continental, new dangers for summer!

Written by on March 7, 2010 in Rest of Europe with 0 Comments

> Frozen Lake of Menteith (Mark Vogan)

Iced up Clyde in Glasgow under a cold winter sunset! (Flickr)

Loch Lomond partially frozen for first time in 50 years! (Flickr)

Many areas from the high reaches of the English Peninnes to the frigid Highland villages, this winter has brought many truely old fashioned returns such as permanent snowcover lasting 3 months, 30 to 50 year ice-ups of lochs, rivers and even our surrounding seas, 15 year extreme cold and winter-long average temps not seen since at least 1979 or even 1963, considered Britain’s coldest winter on record…
What has amazed me is the continental style to this winter after over a decade of paltry wet, windy and balmy winters which have been boring for the winter weather lover and worrying to those who fear global warming.
Yes global warming DID occur and I use the past tense term for that as I believe global warming and it’s natural cycle is ending or has more likely ended and we are now returning to a global “average” and may achieve this in the next two 3 years and within the next 5 to 10 flip to a pattern globally reminicent to those brutal winters of the 70s.
This winter was a prelude to greater things to come and could not be more different to the warm winter of 2007-2008…
Here are some highlights of note courtesy of BBC Weather.
Mean temperatures ranging from 1 deg C above average across parts of northern Scotland to over 3 deg C above average across the Midlands and East Anglia. Provisionally it was the 4th warmest January for England in the areal series dating back to 1914.
Rainfall generally well above the average with parts of northern England and southern Scotland having over 250 per cent of their average rainfall. Provisionally it was the wettest January for Northern Ireland and the Scotland E climate area in the areal series back to 1914.
Sunshine generally below average across western areas of the UK, but close to or above average across most eastern areas.
Preston Wynne (Herefordshire) recorded a maximum temperature of 15.2 °C on 20th. Braemar (Aberdeenshire) recorded a minimum temperature of -11.3 °C on 12th.
Key Highlights for December 2007…
-On the 4th Kinlochewe on the far northwest coast of Scotland an unusually warm 15.3C was reported whilst another balmy readings of 14.9C was recorded at Ballykelly, Co Londonderry (Northern Ireland).
-On the 6th Longtown, Herefordshire (England) topped a balmy 16.5C, whilst Prestatyn Denbighshire (Wales) warmed to 16.2C on the same day.
key highlights for January 2008…
Persistent stormy, mild weather roared across Britain with the core of storms striking Scotland.
– Machrihanish, Kintyre (Scotland) saw a gust to 81 mph on the 5th and another gust topping 84 mph on the 8th.
– On the 23rd Jan, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire (Scotland) toppped 13C, likely with strong southwest flow of warm air out of the sub-tropical Atlantic which downsloped the Cairngorms and warmed as they decended into Aboyne..
-The 25-26th saw severe gales rattle Shetland with 86 mph gusts-30-31st saw yet again more gusts above 80 mph at Machrihanish.
-18-19th saw some places across the south see new January records for warmth.
– On the 20th Preston Wynne, Herefordshire (England) warmed to a balmy 15C. There was heavy rain and Peninne snowfall with resulted in 10cm snow depths. and lowlying areas recieved flooding.
Key February Highlights…
Though there were marked periods of snow and cold with lows as cold as -10C at Copley (England) and Topecliffe, North Yorkshire (England) reporting -9.3C.
-On the 9th, many London sites reported highs of 16C.
-On the 12th very warm conditions prevailed with Woodford (Greater Manchester, England) 16.3C and a 16.8C reported at Preston Moor Park, Lancashre (England.
-On the 29th severe gales rolled through north of England where gusts topped 74 mph at Spadeadam, Cumbria.
In Wales, a 23rd of Feb record high for February of 18.6C recorded atVelindre (Powys) came close to becoming beaten with a high of 18.2C which was recorded on the 12th at Trawsgoed (Ceredigion).
The winter of 2007-08 did bring periods of heavy snow and indeed some cold days and nights but most of this winter was dominated by persistent gales, rain and abnormal warmth.
Why the warm, stormy winter?
A warm AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) is likely to blame and this is a mere continuation to a cycle of 20 years of mild, wetter winters…. Very much in line with global warming as Europe, North America also saw warm winters…
A long and cold winter poses danger this summer on British Lochs, Lakes, Rivers and even sea and ocean
As I drive across the Scottish countryside and snow remains on the ground at higher levels, bodies of water also remain icy with ice floes on lochs and canals still and we’re now at March 8th.
Waters are evidently very cold right now, unusually so, simply because of the persistent low temps this winter, so I want to issue a warning to those wanting to persue in a little dipping your your favorite body of water this summer, even when it’s gloriously sunny and in the 25C range, REMEMBER waters will remain COLD all summer and this posses real and potentially deadly consequences for cramp development and ultimately drowning, even hypothermia is another very really danger.
Why can I tell waters are very cold, well, even with days warming nicely and you can feel the heat of the increasing sun angle, even the slightest below freezing reading is reforming surface ice on lochs and canals etc and during the day under blazing sunshine, ice remains on these frigid loch surfaces, this indicates water temps right aroundf the freezing mark and all that’s needed is the air to fall down to or even just slightly below freezing for the surface to refreeze…
This is a more unusual hazard for us Brits this upcoming summer but it’s only because we haven’t seen a truely cold winter throughout the 3-winter months but just brief periods of mild weather, even at that, more nights have been below freezing than not and this shows across not only Scotland but across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Snows are also likely to remain on the ground through the rest of March with oatches of snow lying through at least the first half of April in sreas sheltered from the sun for most of the day.
Thanks for reading.
-Mark

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