Weather Report with Phil Thomas

So, how cold was it?

Posted on January 12 2011 at 1:26:30 0 comments

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas looks back over a spectacular Christmas.

Phil Thomas took this picture looking towards Rowney Green at dawn on Christmas Day

November 2010 started as most Novembers do, with relatively mild wet and windy weather. The first two weeks of the month were slightly above average temperature, with little different from normal.

The first of the days with any change was Wednesday 24th with a much chillier day and an overnight frost. By the time we reached the Saturday, daytime temperatures were just about staying above freezing and there had been a small fall of snow overnight with 1cm remaining for the next three days.

The night of the 28th brought a minimum of –8.1C, the coldest minimum locally for more than 20 years for any month. Snow followed again overnight 29th/30th with a fresh cover of 2-3cms.

Temperatures remained very cold for the first three days of December with two ice days, when maximum temperatures don’t get above freezing point. There were snow flurries over that period and finally a period of wet snow on the night of the 3rd/4th resulting in a thaw.

For most of us that would have been the winter finished with and, in fact, after a few more very cold days, the 6th, 7th, and 8th being ice days, temperatures started to rise on the 10th to nearly 8C – pretty much average for the middle of December.

However, there were a few light snow showers on the 16th and the 17th with 1cm of snow cover. By now daytime temperatures were dropping like a stone – there were five ice days in succession, with the 19th being the coldest at –3.6C.

If that wasn’t enough, snow also started to figure in the situation. Saturday morning (18th) and Sunday 19th brought heavy snow with 20cms of level snow and freezing hard.
Various periods of light snow followed for the next couple of days with another spell of heavy snow from 5am onwards on Wednesday into the afternoon, the final depth being 26cms of level snow, deeper in some places.

There was little change in the snow until late on Boxing Day, with a slight increase in temperatures reaching a daytime high of +2.9C on Monday 27th.  In the Christmas period,  from the 18th to 26th, there were seven ice days –  the longest cold period for many years.

The snow then gradually thawed and was mostly clear by Wednesday 29th December. It was quite a Christmas to remember.

See a selection of wintry pictures taken by Villagers in our Gallery

The coldest winter in nearly 50 years

According to Met Office figures for central England, the period from November 26 to December 27 averaged -1.5C, the coldest 30-day period and longest since the very cold winter of 1963.

The year 2010 was the second coldest year average at +9.0C, which is -0.7C below the average over 40 years. The other coldest was 1986.

Measured locally –13.7C was by far the coldest overnight minimum screen temperature I’ve recorded since February 1986.

And –3.6C was the coldest daytime maximum screen temperature recorded by myself since I started keeping records in 1980.

November 2010 Averages

Mean max +7.8C -1.8C below average
Mean min +2.2C -1.3C below average
Mean       +5.0C -1.5C below average
Lowest overnight min -8.1C
Lowest grass min temp -12.6C

Rainfall 58.1mm   82% average
Sunshine 88.8hrs 139% average
2 days snow falling, 4 days snow lying.

December 2010 Averages

Mean max +2.2C   -4.8c below average
Mean min -3.5C   -5.5c below average
Mean       -0.6C   -5.1c below average
Lowest overnight min -13.7C
Lowest overnight grass min temp -17.8C

Rainfall 30.4mm 39%  average
Sunshine 57.2hrs 117% of average
10 days snow falling, 17 days snow lying

The Year 2010 Averages

Mean Max +12.8C -0.6C below average
Mean Min   + 5.1C   -0.7C below average
Mean       + 9.0C   -0.7C below average

Rainfall 683.0mm   88% of years average
Sunshine   1523.5hrs 106% of years average