>19 December, 2010

Written by on December 19, 2010 in Rest of Europe with 2 Comments

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

Castlederg as of the 11pm Met Office observation has beaten Northern Ireland’s all-time low of -17.5C recorded on January 1st, 1979. Currently it’s -17.7C and still falling, the question now is how low will it go?

As of 10pm: Castlederg (Co Tyrone), near the Donegal border is on the cusp of tying and likely to surpass the Northern Ireland all-time record for cold. It’s currently -16.6C (2 degrees F), The old record is -17.5C recorded at Magherally (Co Down) back on January 1, 1979

As of 9pm, Castlederg (Co Tyrone) is at -15.9C (3 degrees), Pershore -17.4C (1 degree), Benson (Oxfordshire) -17.2C (1 degree)Heathrow Airport -4C (25 degrees)

England hits new low of -19C, on the heels of the coldest day in Northern Ireland since records began

M25 which circles Greater London
Image Courtesy of Sky News

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any colder eh. Indeed two locales in Shropshire, England made it all the way to -19C this morning and this indeed not only beats the lowest readings seen in England this winter but indeed last winter and for many previous winters. This may be the lowest readings since the 1980s. The perfect conditions are in place with nationwide snowcover, the departure of a snowstorm and the injection of extremely cold air in which often gets sucked in on the backside of storm systems. Once in and settled over the snowpack, winds lighten, then you see a rapid drop in temperature, particularly over the usual lowlying valley locales which tend to see cold air drain down surrounding hillsides and into valley bottoms. The fresh snowcover adds as the perfect reflective surface for daytime heat loss as incoming solar energy simply gets bounced back to space on instant contact with the snow. Bare ground allows solar energy to be absorbed. As mentioned earlier, this air mass is in fact colder than the air we saw over Britain last week and tonight and the coming nights will see lows approach or surpass -20C. It’s not outwith the realm of possibility that we see a run at both England’s -26C record or even Scotland’s -27C record in the coming nights under the perfect setup we’re seeing now as winds are lossening, the snow is fresh on the ground and indeed the core of coldest air is all but stationed over top of Britain, thus making way for about as good a condition for severe cold as you’ll ever see in a “small island” which usually sees temperature moderation due to surrounding mild waters. This weather is close to unique for Britain, a nation which rarely sees extremes and this weather is by far extreme and very, very continental in both severity and duration.

Of course, this weather when looking back at perhaps 200 to 500 years of history, severe winters have been common in the past, worse than what we’re seeing now, but when looking at recent history, say the past 25 to 30 years, this is by far unusual, given the fact Britain has been warming ever since the previous cold era which stretch from the 40s through 70s. The 80s, 90s and early to mid-2000s have been warm, so this and indeed last year.. even 08-09 could be considered unusual or even extreme.

Though the severity of cold we’re seeing is impressive but for me, it’s more the length of time this weather has held. Here at my house in Lennoxtown, in the western Central Belt, each and every night is seeing clear, stary skies, generally light winds and temperatures dropping into the teens or at least -6C and more often than not -7 to -10C. The longer this holds, the more impressive it’s becoming. Remember, all but the Highlands, Pennines and perhaps Snowdonia see average night lows below freezing. Much of Britain average  +2 or 3C above freezing for the low, yes that’s the average “low” for late December and early January, the typically coldest period of the year, yet night after night after night, is seeing clear, calm skies, light winds and with both Arctic air in place and snow on the ground, temperatures are dropping with ease into the -6 to -8C range and that’s here in the Central Belt. Other areas are seeing night after night of -8 to -15C. Many areas of Britain are running at a remarkable 10 degrees or lower BELOW NORMAL so far for the month, pretty remarkable and with more penetrative cold to remain through much of the upcoming week, some locales may end December at 12F or lower below normal. Often a cold period will last perhaps 10 days, then warmer Atlantic air will return and over recent years, with a vengence bringing a strong push of warm, maritime air across all of Britain, erasing the first 10 days of pergaps 8 to 10F below normal. Often, the month will average near normal or at a push 2-4 degrees F below normal. Before 2008, 2-4F below normal for a locale in Britain would be considered cold. Last December, most locations averaged between 4-6F below normal. This year, it’s double that and this I believe makes this period quite amazing when you look at it that way…

By Mark Vogan

Ealing, London yesterday (Image from Daily Mail)


Helen Willets brings this afternoon’s BBC National Forecast


Yesterday saw Northern Ireland endure it’s coldest day on record where Castlederg, Co Tyrone only “warmed” to -11C after a low of -14C the previous night, this brutal cold follows the greatest snowstorm for Northern Ireland in 25 years.

As for England, after a day which saw a brutal snowstorm wreck havoc over the south, including central London, all but halting air travel in one of the busiest air spaces on earth, at the busiest time of year, a lethal injection of Arctic air, like Northern Ireland saw, drew fresh Arctic air across the snowfields of central England, bringing lows down to -15C at Shap, Cumbria, -16C at Crosby, Cumbria and -19C at Shawbury, Shropshire.

Latest from the Press

Temperatures set to hit record low of -26C in England as forecasters predict freezing countdown to Christmas

The Daily Mail

Thousands of Christmas holidays face ruin as Heathrow buckles under the weather (even though it hasn’t snowed since yesterday morning)

The Daily Mail

Today’s Weather across America
From AccuWeather

Snowstorm to Hit Minneapolis, Chicago to Washington DC
By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist

Colorado Tour Bus Crashes on Icy Colorado Highway
By Vickie Frantz, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer

California Mountains Face Crushing Snowfall
By Katie Storbeck, Meteorologist

Holiday Airline Passengers Face Weather Delays
By Vickie Frantz, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer

Weather Talk
By Mark Vogan




Christmas Day

Vagaries of the Weather
India & Sub-Continental Asia Weather
By Rajesh Kapadia

On moving away, the recent W.D. has sent a mild cold wave into NW and parts of Western India. (Refer Vagaries Cold Wave Forecast Map). It seems the cold wave has eveded Kutch !

Some of the lows from the region, with Vagaries 19/20th. forecasted fig. in bracket, as on 19th. Sunday were:

Chusul (Ladahk): -28c
Kargil: -11c
Leh: -7.2c
Srinagar: -6c
Keylong: -6c and Kalpa :-4.5c
Adampur (Punjab): 0.9c ( 1c)

Amritsar: 3.3c (2c)
Bikaner: 7.5c (5c)
New Delhi: Lodhi Gardens: 6.7c , S’Jung: 8.5c, ( 7c)
Wardha: 5c
Nasik: 5.9c (5c)
Pune: 7.3c (7c)
Nagpur: 7.7c (10c)
M’Shwar: 10c (10c)
Rajkot: 10.3c (8c)
Ahamdabad; 10.9c (9c)
Bhuj: 12c (5c) – Surprisingly not cold here.
Mumbai: Colaba 19c (18c), S’Cruz: 14c (15c).

Cold Wave should be around for 1 more day in these regions.Expected to abate from Tuesday.

Another mild W.D. could be expected to cover the J.K./Himachal regions from Tuesday.

Minimums from the South:

Bijapur: 6c, Kodaikanal: 9c.

The Easterlty Wave is expected to bring some rains from Monday to the T.N. coastal areas.

A mild cold wave is also in force in the NE regions.

Kohima: 5c, below normal by 5c, Imphal: 6c and Cherrapunji : 7c

Checkout our Partner’s blog IN-FULL and see it’s great features, extensive information on Indian, sub-continental and international weather by Rajesh Kapadia by clicking here.

What’s Reaching Today’s Blogs?

Could California Snow Reach 20 Feet?
Jesse Ferrell, AccuWeather

Thoughts on the Christmas Day Storm
Henry Margusity, AccuWeather

The Extremes of the Day

Today’s US Extremes
Courtesy of AccuWeather

High: 86 degrees at Edinburg, TX
Low: -22 degrees at Cando, ND

Today’s UK Extremes
Courtesy of the Met Office

High: 42 degrees (5.7C) at Isles of Scilly
Cold High: 17 degrees (-8.2C) at Pershore (Worchestershire)
Low: -3 degrees (-19.6C) at Shawbury (Shropshire)

Today’s Extremes here at my house

High: 31 degrees
Low: 14 degrees

Snowcover: 1 inch (patchy old snow)
After a cold, clear overnight, the morning saw clouds roll in and winds freshen with snow flurries off and on. By noon, winds became blustery and a more persistent band of snow arrived and brought a fresh 1 inch covering, stopping around 5pm, some slight drifting occured with the 10-20 mph wind which made it feel more like 15-20 degrees all day.

Thanks for reading.

Follow us

Connect with Mark Vogan on social media to get notified about new posts and for the latest weather updates.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

2 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Regarding your comparison of this winter to that of 62/63, I agree 100 % that this winter so far is cold, a wee bit snowy but we haven't seen anything as long and severe as back then.

    I do remember walking over hedges (6 feet hedges) during the late 90s/early 2000s in lowland Fife. The deepest local snow drifts were about 14 foot deep. JCBs were required to clear roads. This severe snowfall was brought on a North-east wind which was continuous for a duration of at least 48 hours. It was the one and only time that our house was encased in rime-like covering on the exposed faces. The thaw was rapid in typical fashion on the arrival of the SW winds. The duration was insignificant, but the severity was immense.

    I have seen duration of snowfall for about 5 to 6 weeks (last year) and localised severe disruption. However, I haven't witnessed these two characteristics in one period here in lowland Fife.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Despite some of the heaviest snow one could imagine, I drove about 22 miles today on roads (motorways included) which were white-out. I reside on the east coast of Scotland in Fife. I made it into the heart of Glenrothes having come from the safety of Kirkcaldy harbour.
    What we saw here today was awesome. I've seen worse during the 90s but what has been experienced over the duration of three weeks is overall more impressive. For the third year running, inland water bodies have suffered from surface freeze. Temperatures, during the day have risen to – 13 degrees C. Snow depth reached about 4 feet in areas of West Lothian. Snow cover has failed to give way to grass in Fife. Beach snow has been a feature. In villages all over the region, shops had no stock at all. In built up areas, petrol run out and deliveries aren't getting through to shops/homes. Welcome to the ice age.

Leave a Reply