A Notable December Cold Spell But No December 2010

The current wintry spell has certainly been notable with frequent snow showers carpeting much of Northern Scotland followed by some cold nights and a system which blanketed much of Wales and central England. But it’s nowhere near unusual.

Weekend snowstorm did drop over a foot in parts of Wales and a 2-4 inch covering across a broad swath of the Midlands into East Anglia and even London.

Credit: BBC Weather

BBC Weather

Chaos on the M40

Credit: Oliver Holt‏ @OllieHolt22

For some, it’s probably the coldest spell in 7 years but the infamous December of 2010… well it was MUCH colder.

December 2017 minimums


Simon Cardy

Credit: Met Office

Simon Cardy

December 2010 in snow cover was UK-wide to reflect the exceptional chill.

as well as widespread it was DEEP

Credit: Met Office

December 2010 minimums

Credit: Met Office

Credit: Met Office

Recent nights have been cold, particularly over the snow cover of Scotland, northern, central and even southern England where it dipped to -12.2C at Chillingham Barns, Northumberland yesterday morning and -13C at Shawbury this morning but even over the bare ground of the Central Lowlands, hard penerating frost and subfreezing days have laid to cold nights here.

Sunday’s maximums

Credit: Meteoceil

Braemar observed a maximum of -6.2C Sunday.

The heavy hoar frosted landscape has likely aided the overnight cooling process similar to snow.

Both Glasgow and Edinburgh dipped to -8C.

Credit: Sean Batty

According to Sean Batty this morning was coldest since December 2010 for both cities but I believe Glasgow hit -8C last November.


The coldest air was initially observed over snow cover of the Highlands, temperatures dipped to -12.4C at Dalwhinnie Saturday morning and after a day no warmer than -5 to -7, Tulloch Bridge observed a temperature of -12C before 5pm Sunday night but warmed quickly as cloud rolled in from the north. The increase in cloud helped rise widespread temps of -8 to -10C early evening to only a few degrees above freezing by dawn yesterday morning, shifting the core of cold south.

Much of Wales was snow covered as seen in false colour imagery from yesterday.


Yesterday’s coldest daytime maximums were found over the Midlands.


The cold of Sunday and Monday is NO comparison to the coldest maximums of 2010. 0 to -1C yesterday over the Midlands vs -6C in 2010.

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