>Cloudy skies have kept much of mainland Britain milder the past two nights, but not under the clear skies over N. Ireland

Written by on March 9, 2010 in Rest of Europe with 0 Comments

>These birds enjoying a rest and view of the Campsies in the cooling down air after a mild, sunny spring day!

Mid-March Clear skies provide mild days and cold, frosty nights…

Whilst Scotland over recent days have seen the milder of these late season winter nights, England endured of cold air settling, particularly valley areas where the air can drain down hillsides and to valley bottom, allowing readings to hit -7C in Farnborough.

Interestingly, Northern Ireland is enduring the worst of the severe frosty nights as we push into mid-March now and whilst an impressive for anytime of year, -9C is recorded yesterday morning at Katesbridge, Co Down, N. Ireland (a known cold valley) days at this time of year can swing from cold of night to beyond 10C during the day. The sun is strong enough and all but only valley areas can see still very cold nights at this time of year. With us here in Lennoxtown, East Dumbartonshire, and not really within a valley, we aren’t really seeing truely cold nights now, even very clear starry night skies and light to calm winds, we aren’t dropping much below the mid-20s simply because our geography is conducive in seeing low readings compared to valleys or high elevation basins, it’s the shorter nights now and warm days that are against us as, it takes a lot morning cooling this time of year to drop from a high of 10C and with daylight not absent until as late as 6.45-7pm and the re-emergence of daylight by as early as 5am (on clear nights), the nighttime cooling is short, too short for non valley or basin locales.

What I find interesting about the Katesbridge reading is not only is it possibly the coldest night or pushing the coldest readings endured this winter there and indeed throughout Northern Ireland, but there is also so snow on the ground. So the for late time of year and shorter hours of darkness as well as no snowcovering the ground to further radiate the solar energy by day back to space, this is a very impressive nighttime low for N. Ireland for this time of year!

Incidentally, overnight cloud cover stopped us from falling below freezing last night and the low here was 35 degrees. After mostly cloudy skies throughout today, skies have cleared out and we’re falling down to around freezing as I type thismjust now. We may fall off to around 25-27 tonight if skies remain clear throughout the overnight…
Under very clear skies tonight, Katesbridge, Co Down may take a run at -10C tonight whereas clearer skies tonight along with a still plentiful snowpack may push a few Highland locations down below -10 to -12C tonight.
Thanks for reading.
-Mark

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