>7 December, 2010

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

>Today’s Top Weather Stories
On Weather & Climate Through the Eyes of Mark Vogan

HELL ON EARTH AFTER SCOTTISH DRIVERS FACED DAY AND NIGHT TRAPPED IN THEIR CARS AND TRUCKS, NOW ONE OF THE COLDEST NIGHT’S IN LIVING MEMORY SETS IN TONIGHT

Gridlock: Drivers stuck on the M8 at Junction 2 near Livingston in West Lothian last night.
Image Courtesy of The Daily Mail
Icicle city: Residents of the aptly named Frosterley on the Durham moors are beginning to think they have entered a new ice age.
Image Courtesy of The Daily Mail

LIVE NEWS FEED:

**As of 8.15pm the temperature at my house has dropped to 7.5 degrees, though fog lingers and comes and goes, as long as it doesn’t close in, temps by dawn tomorrow morning may push zero degrees or lower, extremely rare territory!
**As of 5pm, it’s now down to 9.7 degrees (-12.4C) and falling here at my house!

From Earlier
After snow cripples Scotland’s road, rail and air network, overnight temperatures plummeted to between -10 and -15C in the heart of the Central Belt.
People spend the night trapped in cars and lorries on a snow and icebound M8, M80 and other major arteries for upwards of 18 hours and counting!

Mark Vogan reports on this morning’s chaos in a frigid, frozen, yet beautiful Lennoxtown. The temperature during this report was sitting at -13C (8F)
The Daily Telegraph

Big Freeze: Why did this happen?
STV Scotland

BBC

Sunday Sun

Today’s Weather across America
From AccuWeather

Will Weekend Snowstorm Lead to a White Christmas?
AccuWeather

Rounds of Rain, Mountain Snow to Strike the Northwest
AccuWeather

Extreme Cold Threatens Florida Strawberries
AccuWeather

Weather Talk
By Mark Vogan

This photo of the Benvue Rd in Lennoxtown overlooks the snowcapped Campsie Fells, taken this morning around 9am with a temperature reading -12.5C or 9 degrees F. (Photo by Mark Vogan) 

Some of the lowest readings on record may be challenged tonight across Central Scotland, Atlantic warming is coming!


The stage is set with what started off as a bone-chilling morning across pretty much all of the country with plenty of -12s, -13s and likely even some -15s in spots. Why all this cold? Deep snowcovered ground, clear skies, light winds and most importantly, there is a very cold air mass sitting over us. All these elements work together in providing temperatures more comparable to Moscow and the usually frigid interior of continents.


What will likely make tonight even colder than last was the very cold air throughout today and thus instead of the thermometer have to drop all the way from 33 degrees (1C) like I saw yesterday, it will be 13 degrees lower where my high only rose to 20 degrees (-6C) this afternoon.


As stated in my winter forecast back on October 31st, I mention the worry I had about the pattern shaping up eerily similar to that of the later days of December 1995 in which Glasgow fell to -20C, which was the city’s lowest reading on record. Though I don’t think a -20C (-4F) will be recorded tonight, it may get rather close with potential all pointing to lows in Glasgow and Edinburgh of around -14 to -16C and outlying areas may see -18C to -20C (0 to -4F). Areas tucked away in the southern Highlands of Perthshire & Stirlingshire as well as the Southern Upland districts of South Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway may also take that run at bone-numbing numbers of -20C. Bare in mind folks, this is remarkbly low readings for Scotland and for this part of the country, outwith the typical cold spots such as Dalwhinnie, Tulloch Bridge, Loch Glascarnoch, Aviemore, Altnaharra & Kinbrace which are high in elevation and tucked away and sheltered deep within the Highland Glens, these numbers are approaching records.


Of course the stage is set, a colder daytime will allow rapid cooling back into the 10s before sunset and perhaps single digits by between 10pm and midnight but only if skies remain clear, calm and fog-free will these numbers be reached and it can be tough to get so cold, without fog forming which would lid the cooling process. This is very rare cold and thus by morning, it may not only be tough stepping outside, but scrapping that savage, deeply penetrating frost off your frozen vehicle will also be a challenge. Once thawed out, you may also find it tough to get that cold engine started. Like I say, this is rare cold, we’re not accustomed to this variety of cold…. Countries that see this type of cold, more often than not have plugs which are attached to the engine eityher during the night or simply when the engine isn’t running. This heat keeps fluids flowing and prevents the engine from freezing up and fuel from freezing.

Greenland ridge that’s our enemy now, will be our friend by Friday and Saturday

Though this morning, today and tonight we’re in the thick of undoubtedly the coldest spell of weather so far across much of Central Scotland, this high that has been parked over Greenland the past 10-days and actually been responsible is forcing Arctic air south down across the UK will in fact become our friend by the end of this week as it finally begins to move our way and is doing so as we shiver right now. As this ridge progresses eastwards from Greenland and Iceland, it will start to push winds in from the Atlantic and as well as doing so, those temperatures are going to markedly rise. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 45 degrees or even upper 40s in both Glasgow and Edinburgh by Friday and Saturday along with both cloud and rain. Hopefully any rain that does fall be help erase a large proportion of the 8 inches or more of snow covering much of the country right now. In roder to see a trye thaw, we really need plenty of widespread mild air and nights which remain comfortably above freezing but rain is usually one of the biggest helps in eroding that snowpack which is growing colder within as these temperatures become increasingly colder. Lowering the temperature of the snowpack itself as well as hardening the ice, it means colder ground and pavement temperatures and thus icing issues are also of real concern despite air temperatures perhaps floating in what will feel sub-tropical.


Please take real care whilst walking, or even driving this weekend as like I say, ground temperatures will be cold even when the air warms.

What’s Reaching Today’s Blogs?

Record Cold Stats for the Southeast
Jesse Ferrell, AccuWeather

JMA Model Perfect Illustration of My Points
Henry Margusity, AccuWeather

A Big Storm, but Where and When?
Elliot Abrams, AccuWeather

The Extremes of the Day

Today’s US Extremes
Courtesy of AccuWeather

High: 83 degrees at Indio, CA
Low: -19 degrees at International Falls, MN

Today’s UK Extremes
Courtesy of the Met Office

High: 43 degrees (6.1C) at Isles of Scilly
Cold High: 16 degrees (-8.9C) at Strathallan (Perthshire)
Low: 0 degrees (-17.8C) at Strathallan (Perthshire)

Today’s Extremes here at my house

High: 21 degrees
Low: 8 degrees

TODAY’S CONDITIONS
Snowcover: 8 inches
A VERY COLD DAY WITH THE COLDEST START NOT ONLY OF WINTER BUT THIS MORNING’S 8-DEGREE LOW BEATS LAST YEAR’S LOWEST READING BY A CLEAR 4 DEGREES. EVEN AT 11AM, IT REMAINED AT A FRIGID 14 DEGREES AND ONLY BEGAN RISING BY MID-AFTERNOON BRIEFLY BEFORE A RAPID PLUNGE FROM 18 TO 12 DEGREES WITHIN 1.5 HOURS. IT REMAINED SUNNY BUT VERY COLD, TONIGHT WILL BE COLDER AND MAY PUSH ZERO BY DAWN TOMORROW!

Thanks for reading.
-Mark

ECMWF Upper-air pattern for Friday, note the warmer heights moving into the UK from the Atlantic!

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