Ferocious Cold Front brings a Blizzard – 28th Jan 2004

The cold front eventually arrived, revealing the true power of the Arctic airstream we’d been promised. The temperature fell from +1.5 degC at noon to -2.0 degC at 1pm, with a ferocious blizzard of fine powder snow. This is probably the most impressive cold front passage since the mid 80’s, with additions to the lying snow of last night. I was at work in Aycliffe at the time and we all got stuck in the Canteen.  Not a bad thing, but it was quite unbelievable in ferocity and the drop in temp was something i’ve not experienced for a long …

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2003 Yearly Summary

For the year as a whole, 2003 was: 1) The warmest year in Durham since records began in 1850, with a rounded-up figure of 9.9°C, 1.3°C above the long-term mean (I continue to use the 1961-90 mean; the overall mean for 1850-2003 is 8.5°C). The 2-decimal figure for 2003 of 9.88°C beats 2002 (9.80°C) and 1949 (9.83°C). Remarkably, the monthly running mean never edged above 10°C, but stayed pretty close all through the year! It is worth noting that the mean for the 1960s (a relatively ‘cold’ decade) was only 8.3°C; 2003 was more than 1.5°C above that level therefore, …

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2002 Yearly Summary

Overall, 2002 was a very warm year in Durham, the 2nd warmest on record (9.80°C) since 1850 and beaten only by 1949 (9.83°C). Only October fell below the long-term monthly mean. As noted above, in June and September, the 12-month running mean exceeded 10°C for the first time in Durham’s history. Of the 14 highest annual means, 8 have occurred since 1990. 2002 was also a wet year (734.2mm), well above the long-term mean (649mm). However, unlike temperature, the annual rainfall total was not record-breaking, ranking only 112nd highest in 151 years. http://community.dur.ac.uk/durham.weather/weather-data-2001-2005/the-weather-at-durham-in-2002/ Professor Tim Burt Department of Geography Durham …

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2001 Yearly Summary

Given problems with our rain gauge, the annual rainfall total of 566.3mm is only an estimate. However, if correct, this shows a dry year, the driest since 1996, 83mm below average and the 32nd driest year since 1852. If we measure to two decimal places, 2001 was the 13th warmest year on record since 1850, or equal 10th if we round to 9.3­°C! Of the 12 warmer years, 6 have occurred since 1990. Most remarkably, the 10-year average for the 10 years up to and including 2001 is the warmest 10-year period on record at Durham since records began. For …

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December 1981 – The River Wear freezes up

December 1981 was a phenomenally cold snowy month in Durham (along with the first half of January 1982). Snow lay for most of the month as a result of several heavy falls. There were some brutally low temperatures, double figure negative temperatures. In January 1982 the British Record of -27.2 degC was equalled at Braemar on 10th. The English Record was set at Newport, Shropshire the same day (-26.1 degC). The frozen River Wear at Durham was iced up enough to walk across above the weir, as can be seen here. Photos by Robert Lynn. Trevor Harley’s writeup of December …

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February 1991 – Cold and snowy first half

February 1991. A very cold first half in the south, but mild second half. Overall temperature: CET average of 1.5. There was a notable ten day cold spell at the beginning, as NE winds brought in some very cold air from north Russia, leading to snow across most of Britain and some very low temperatures, making this the most severe spell of weather since 1987 (and still not bettered, if that’s the right word). The cold air arived from Siberia on the 4th, with temperatures falling on the 5th and 6th, with the 7-9th as the coldest days. Barbourne (Hereford …

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Electrical Storms in Northern England – 11th September 2000

Amazing Storms Cause Havoc Here is what I wrote in my weather diary on the night: There have been quite severe electrical storms in the North East of England tonight with torrential rain at times. In Ferryhill, the storms started at about 2030 GMT after the weather became very muggy and humid at the end of the afternoon. Late afternoon Dew Point was 19 degC with RH at 92 %. Between 2100 GMT and 2315 GMT lightning flickered almost constantly in all quadrants of the sky, mainly cloud-cloud at first but then some hefty cloud-ground discharges later. I rang a friend of mine on his mobile …

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Bob Johnson visits Houghall Frost Hollow

Bob visits Houghall College (now East Durham College’s Houghall Campus in Durham) and chats to horticulture lecturer Trevor Green, to discuss the Houghall Frost Hollow.