The First Snows Arrive!

Snowfall, Winter 2019-20 Better late than never Well, after a winter composed almost entirely of wind, rain and relatively mild temperatures, the first snow arrived in Durham five days before the end of February. Amounts aren’t huge (2-3”), but at least it stopped the winter from being thrown on the ‘No snow’ pile. It’s melted rapidly though after turning to rain. By mid-afternoon, the snow had completely gone and air temperatures were up to about 6 degC.

The Weather at Durham UK versus Durham, North Carolina USA

If you search for ‘Durham Weather’ in Google, you’ll likely get a mixture of results from the UK location and the one in the USA. In fact, it’s quite annoying and doubly so because optimising a website for traffic is difficult enough in the very competitive weather niche, but when there’s a competing site on the other side of the Atlantic with the same name it’s a complete pain! However, I decided that trying to fight against it was futile, so I thought it would be fun to compare the weather (and other things) in Durham UK with that of … [Read more]

New Met Office Supercomputer Announced for 2022

Ever wondered why your village was suddenly flooded by a thunderstorm the weather forecasters hadn’t mentioned? Or why they failed to warn you about the dense fog shrouding your home in the morning? The fact is that predicting the “big picture” of future conditions has got a lot better – Storm Dennis was spotted six days before it arrived. But getting local forecasts right – street by street and hour by hour – is still a massive challenge. And that might now change as the Met Office secures the help of a supercomputer project costing £1.2bn. Better forecasting means handling … [Read more]

Occasional Weather Equipment Feature – The Sunshine Recorder

Occasional Weather Equipment Feature – The Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder. This is the Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder. It’s essentially a big glass ball that focuses the sun’s rays onto a curved calibrated card and burns a trace when the sun is out. The length of the burn mark is then measured against the scale on the card, revealing the length of bright sunshine hours per day. The card is changed every day in manned observing stations. The CSSR has been replaced by electronic sensors on modern weather stations and allows them to be unmanned.

Storm Ciara causes flooding in Durham

Storm Ciara batters the UK After spending a fair bit of time concentrating on the wind speeds, we sort of forgot about the rain that Storm Ciara was going to deliver. Thankfully we missed some of the squall lines that hit further south. My total for rainfall was only 22.9mm, but obviously far more fell on the catchment areas on the Pennines. A walk to the riverside was needed and as I was coming down from Gilesgate I decided the best way was the pathway that goes directly to the river down past Hild and Bede College. When I got … [Read more]

January 2020 weather – Mild and Dry

The recent trend has been that winter months have been on the dry side. January 2020 was very much in that vein. It was also very mild for first week. On the 8th/9th there was overnight snow in the High Pennines, although only rain fell elsewhere. This was heavy in places. This was actually the wettest day in Gilesgate, Durham, with 13.6mm of rain recorded, the wettest day since 19th November last year. It was very mild and wild on the 11th, and the strong winds continued until the 13th/14th as a depression passed through, with some snowfall in Scotland … [Read more]