>23 December, 2010

Written by on December 23, 2010 in Rest of Europe with 0 Comments

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

As the salty waters of Loch Ryan near Stranraer ices up and Glasgow dips to a remarkable 14.1 degrees below normal for month, the Arctic weather is becoming more straining

I captured this video at around 12 noon today just at the bottom of Loch Ryan in extreme southwest Scotland. Bare in mind that this loch is a sea loch (sea water), tidal and of course has movement, yet a rare icing has formed on the southern edge near to where the Stenaline operate ferries to and from Larne and Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Images captured of the rare Loch Ryan ice!
By Mark Vogan

Belfast Telegraph

Today’s Weather across America
From AccuWeather

California Monster could end as New England Blizzard

More Rain for Flood-Ravaged California on Christmas

Possible Delays as Holiday Travellers return Home

Weather Talk
By Mark Vogan


NOT JUST ONCE, BUT TWICE this week has Castlederg been the centre of cold over a frozen Northern Ireland. Yes, widely temperature have plunged to -10C and colder with even Belfast International Airport (Aldergrove) reporting high’s of -8C and lows which have plunged to a bone-chilling -15C (5 degrees). Reports of car thermometers reading -15C this morning, though impressive for sure, wasn’t quite as cold as what has become clearly the icebox of Ulster, Castlederg, Co Tyrone, close to the Co Donegal border which impressively recorded a brand new Northern Ireland record low with -18C on Sunday night.

The stepdown to a national all-time record began with a low of -14C, then a “high” of only -11C, this became Northern Ireland’s coldest day on record. Then, that night, Catslederg dropped to -15C, falling short of the record. However, after yet another day which berely rose above -10C, the thermometer on Sunday plummeted under crystal clear skies, very light winds and therefore maximum cooling was achieved. It was perfect conditions for a record-breaking night. Castlederg, located not only well inland away from moderating influences of either the North Channel or Atlantic and surrouned by gently slopped hills, allow Castlederg, as well as other “typically cold spots” such as Katesbridge to the southeast in Co Down to cool more deeply than surrounding towns. Surpassing the old national low of -17.5C back on January 1, 1979 at Magerally, Co Down, Castlederg fell to -18C.

Last night, saw another brutal night of cold across Northern Ireland. In recent nights since Sunday night’s record breaker, Katesbridge, the other national icebox came closest to the values witnessed at the border town of Castlederg with a -17C low, high’s barely rose, only topping -9C, but both high and low witnessed at Katesbridge fell short of the face-freezing temps of Co Tyrone’s icebox.

This morning on BBC Radio Ulster, it was said that reading of -11 or -12C were reached just inland from the North Coast, these are likely close to or are record breaking temperatures for the inland North Coast of Ulster. Interior N. Ireland saw -13 to -15C but again, the prize, yet again went to Co Tyrone and boy oh boy, was it not remarkable when readings we’re actually looked at for Castlederg, not, surely not….. yep, a new national record once again reached.. -18.6C, beating Sunday night’s -18C.

Tonight, clear skies, light winds and with widespread snowfields, the low may once again approach -15C inland with Castlederg, quite possibly taking a run at the “new norm” for December 2010 of -18C!!


As day transitions to night and there’s little warmth off the low angled winter sun, the ground is lifeless, frozen solid. The only sounds of life out there are cars that struggle to start and groan as they pass by with thick beltches of exhaust vapor as the heat blasts out into the still, lifeless air, high pitch crunching can be heard, that’s folks venturing along the concrete hard, frozen pavements. 

Night after night experiences those punishing ingredients of clear skies, light winds and stagnent Arctic air that’s more typical of an interior continental town such as Moscow or Edmonton. The snow lying on the ground has become a tiring sight for those, not use to it, I must admit, I love it, I love winter though! I’ve always wanted to experience a truely continental-style winter and never thought I would, especially with winter’s of the recent past and there’s horribly warm, windy, wet characteristics. We’ll, like last winter, I’ve got my continental-style winter right here!, Temperatures are dropping below -10C not just one or two nights or on the odd occation, but literally every night. A penetrating frost continues to advance deeper both on the surface and below ground (this will likely have negative effects long after the thaw has come) is showing a strain as buildings struggle to stay warm, heating bills are skyrocketing, pipes are freezing, fuel pumps are becoming useless, vehicles are literally breaking down on the move and when stopped, they form a severe, penetrative layer of frost that scrappers are useless in dealing with.

Here at my house, my thermometer is beginning to almost appear broken, surely, 14, 13, 12 degrees everytime I look at it before bedtime isn’t right?? Well, certainly when looking at the thick hoar frost that has lay on trees, the washing line, fences makes it look almost Siberia-like. The cars that haven’t moved in a few days have a severe coating of frost that has been added to by the cold air each and every night and there’s no chance of melting as the day only warms to a lofty -4C and not even a drip of melting from the daytime sun can shift the Arctic-like scene surrounding my house. 

What’s Reaching Today’s Blogs?

The Good News Epic Rain Brings/Next Storm Coming
Ken Clark, West Expert, AccuWeather

Weekend Storm, A Tale of Two Features
Joe Lundburg, AccuWeather

Today’s Extremes here at my house

High: 24 degrees
Low: 9 degrees

Snowcover: 1 inch
Another day which started in single-digits and another day which failed to even top 25 degrees… These persistently low readings continue to drive the “average for the month down making for an ever more impressive month for cold.

Thanks for reading.


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