What is ‘The Beast from The East’?

Deep snow in Durham, December 2010

The upcoming cold weather is expected to hit us hard next week. It will come from the continent and traditionally, this is where our coldest weather comes from. Over here on the East Coast, we have no protection from any Easterly or North Easterly, so we tend to bear the brunt of this weather type. The phenomenon occurs every few years and the tabloid newspapers have christened it as ‘The Beast from The East’. So, what exactly is ‘The Beast From The East’? It sounds like some kind of Oriental horror movie, or the title of a Heavy Metal album, …

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December 2020 – Wet, with a White Christmas

December 2020 started wet and cold. The 4th December very wet, with snow on high ground as a quite deep area of low pressure rushed by. There was more than 30mm of rain on 3rd/4th. This became typical of the month, with regular downpours giving significant amounts. Some areas of the UK had snow with the rain in this period, with ‘Thundersnow’ in Scotland, but it quickly disappeared at low levels as temperatures rose. At higher levels however, conditions were marginal and the freezing level was low enough to retain a snow cover on the very tops of the hills. …

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The 10 Snowiest Places in the UK

Liam Dutton’s 10 snowiest places in the UK. Where are the 10 snowiest places in the UK? Each winter, there is often much speculation as to how much snow will fall in the UK. The prospect of snow in the forecast generates a lot of talk and excitement about the weather. Social media becomes a frenzy of snow pictures with extensive use of the hashtag #uksnow. Our very own County Durham features in at No. 5 with Ken Cook’s site at Copley, which averages 53 days per year of snow on average. Widdybank Fell up near Cow Green Reservoir is also …

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The First Snows Arrive!

The First Snows Arrive February 2020 (2)

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 Time Traveller : January 25th 1947

The harsh realities of the brutal winter of 1946-47 are chronicled here in a writeup of The Time Traveller clipped from the Northern Echo some time in the 1980s The churches worry about war-devastated Germany, but most people say that Britain has enough to do in feeding herself. Rationing is worse than in the war – dwindling allowances of basic foods, “points” for others, coupons for clothes and since last July even bread, which has not been rationed before. We are exhorted to export more, or expect still lower living standards and industry is short of coal. Mr. Atlee’s Labour …

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February 1991 – A very snowy episode!

I was rooting about in the loft the other day and came across an old logbook of mine from when I lived in Ferryhill. It covered the period of late 1990 and early 1991. Immediately I took interest because there was a memorable period of heavy snowfall in February 1991. What is striking was that snow was 15” deep on 9th and 10th. I know I took some photos at the time, but can’t find them now unfortunately. Here’s the page from the log. As you can see, there was an air frost every night for the first 19 days. …

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Some great photos of the severe weather December 2010

Deep snow in Durham, December 2010

Some nine years ago, we were in the grip of one of the most severe spells of weather to occur in the month of December for over 100 years. Around Durham, the snowfall in December 2010 was very deep. Here’s a selection of local photos taken by Gary Tidbury of the conditions around Framwellgate Moor in Durham.  

Snowfall from Dipton, near Consett 27th October 2018

picture of Lying snow on the fields, Dipton nr. Consett 27th Oct 2018

Some snow fell on the highest parts of our region yesterday as snow showers peppered the Northern half of the country from the unstable Arctic flow. Dipton, nr Consett saw about 3” of snow. Dipton is about 800ft above sea level. Here’s a couple of photos from GeordieKev, posted to NetWeather Forums. The Consett area is one of the snowiest urban communities in Britain, according to Professor Gordon Manley. My own site in Gilesgate got nothing more than sleety rain. GeordieKev’s Weather Station is at http://www.wunderground.com/q/locid:UKXX5585  

Heavy snow in Durham – “The Beast from The East” March 2018

An Easterly outbreak, dubbed “The Beast from The East” by the media, dumped a substantial amount of snow on us at the end of February and early March 2018. When such a weather synoptic occurs, we tend to get plastered in snow here on the North East Coast. Temperatures hover around zero and potent snow showers are readily blown inland, reaching Durham without too much trouble. Here’s a view across The River Wear from the path just as we emerged from Pelaw Wood. Snow was 8-12” deep in most places, squeaking under our boots as we walked down the track …

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