Thursday, 25 November 2010

The media snow circus has begun

The cold weather has arrived and journalists are posted in every corner of the land for the big chill. In reality, it may be the start of something big but in this area no records (yet!). A few flurries of snow around London are not unusual in November. Two years ago there was 1cm of lying snow on the morning of the 23rd. The last time we had a November day colder than today was 17 years ago, on the 22nd to be precise, when the maximum temperature was only 1.2 C. November 1993 was very different to November this year with plenty of cold weather and several very frosty nights with minima below minus 4 C. By the way, December 1993 was mild with only 4 slight frosts, and the lowest temperature only minus 1.2 C!
For snow and cold weather lovers late November 1890 was interesting. After an unremarkable early part to the month, the temperature at Kew exceeded 14 C on the 23rd. However, 5 days later the maximum was only
minus 3.6 C. The following December was the coldest on record. Although it was a relatively dry month, it was very dull with less than 1 hour of bright sunshine all month. Despite the extensive cloud cover, there were only 4 frost-free nights, and after a maximum temperature of minus 6 on the 14th, the minimum on the following night was minus 12 C, a value we haven't seen in this area since 1981!