Weather Report with Phil Thomas

A taste of winter finally blows in

Posted on February 19 2012 at 11:16:55 0 comments

Snow finally arrives

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

Following the trend of the four previous months, January was quite mild with no snow reported locally, possibly only a few snow pellets on the 31st. The mild trend continued until the 14th, but then we had only near-normal temperatures to the end of the month.

There was a very windy spell of weather from the 3rd to the 5th. There was a 53mph gust and mean 24-hour wind speed of 15.2mph on the 3rd.

The 5th had a gust of 63mph and 24hour mean speed of 17.7mph. (The local mean speed is between 4 to 5 mph throughout the year). The gust of 63mph was the second highest gust recorded on this site over the last 11 years.

January 2012
Mean Max 8.6C   1.9 above average
Mean Min 2.1C   0.9 above average
Mean 5.3C   1.3 above average
Rainfall 49.2mm 72% of average
Sunshine 67.4hours 134% of average

February 2012 (to 19th)
Mean Max   4.7C   2.6 below average
Mean Min   -1.8C 2.7 below average
Mean       1.8C   2.7 below average
Rainfall     21.6mm only 41% of average
Sunshine   38.0hours 63% of average

February has been very much colder, in contrast to the previous winter months. So far to the 19th, there have been 18 ground frosts recorded, the only completely frost-free day being the 15th.

We even recorded an ”Ice Day” on the 8th. That’s when the maximum daytime temperature doesn’t rise above zero degrees centigrade; some years we never get any at all.

The cold spell was caused partly by a large area of high pressure which was slow moving up towards the north east of Russia. This then drove bitterly cold north or north-easterly winds across Europe and, especially this time, the UK.

The snow and freezing rain was produced as the very cold air came up against the usual Atlantic south-westerly air stream. This then caused the wintry mixture along the centre line of the country, with some parts being worse than others (February 4th and 5th).

The month ahead
The Atlantic systems seem now to have the upper hand with a more mobile weather pattern, thus the more normal unsettled and usual UK weather.

There may still be the occasional colder spell developing as the weather patterns are diverted further south allowing a cooler north-westerly, and hence some night frost and possible wintry showers.

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