This list has been compiled from CET records after we experienced the coldest December for more than a century in Durham. In a climate that has shown a seemingly inexorable rise in temperature, December 2010 came as a huge shock.
Christmas Day 2010 ranks third in a series going back to 1772, marginally behind 1830.
Coldest Christmas Days
-10.8 degC 1796
-6.6 degC 1830
-5.9 degC 2010
-5.8 degC 1878
-5.1 degC 1779
November 2010 also contained one of the coldest ever days recorded in that calendar month, coming in at -4.0 degC on 28th. It also ranks 3rd in all-time cold November days.
25th Nov Snow cover at 0900hrs. 2″ in Ferryhill, 5-6″ in Newcastle.
26th Nov Snow cover continuing. Brighter, with improvement in road conditions
27th Nov. Snow cover holding. Several further snow showers today
28th Nov. Some more snow overnight. Hard frost. -17.3C in Llandryndodd Wells in Wales overnight
29th Nov. 4″ more snow overnight. Slight thaw. Frequent showers of hail, sleet and snow. Thunder too!
30th Nov. Snow cover persisting. Frequent snow showers. Strong E wind. Cold
1st Dec. More snow overnight. Another 1-2″. -20c at Altnaharra last night
2nd Dec Frequent snow showers from the East. Cold again. Another 3″ of snow falling
There was 55cm of lying snow at Westgate, County Durham on 2 December.
-20.0 °C was recorded at Ravensworth (North Yorkshire) on 2/3 December, the first time -20 °C had been recorded in England since January 1987.
3rd Dec. Very cold morning. New record for December at Ferryhill (-8.6). Snow showers dying out but deep snow cover remains. Ice day.
4th Dec. Still deep snow cover (15″). Shallow freezing fog.
5th Dec. Snow cover persisting. Very cold later.
6th Dec. Very cold morning again (-7.8). 12 days of snow cover now. Ice day
7th Dec. Snow cover becoming icy. Spell of light snow early morning. Cold. Ice day
8th Dec. Sunny, bright day. Ice day.
9th Dec. Temp returns above zero. Thaw is beginning, but still snow lying @ 0900.
10th Dec. Substantial thawing of lying snow, but still >50% lying at 0900.
11th Dec. Thaw continuing. Probably last day with >50% cover. 6.8 degC is highest since 20th Nov.
12th Dec. Milder and drizzly rain. Majority of snow melted, except in sheltered areas.
Time series of hourly snow depths in eastern Scotland and north-east England, Thursday 25 November to Sunday 12 December 2010. Locations are Aviemore (Inverness-shire), Dyce (Aberdeenshire), Edinburgh Gogarbank, Redesdale Camp (Northumberland) and Albemarle (Northumberland).
16th Dec 5am. Cold front sweeps south leaving snow and ice. 7 degC drop from 5 > 8am. Treacherous roads. Cold
17th Dec Snow cover at 0900hrs. Ice on pavements. Very cold.
18th Dec. Very cold. No fresh snow, but very icy.
19th Dec Very cold and sunny. 7th ice day of the month!
20th Dec Very cold, sunny and icy.
21st Dec Very cold again. Slightly ‘warmer’ (around freezing) tonight, with some snow showers
22nd Dec Snow showers overnight and early morning. Not quite as cold. Heavy showers in evening too
23rd Dec Still a couple of inches snow cover. Sunshine and snow showers
24th Dec Some fresh snow from showers. Cold
25th Dec Slight thaw. No fresh snow, but still a covering at 0900
26th Dec Very cold. Snow flurries
27th Dec Very cold. Snow flurries. Snowcover diminishing
28th Dec Substantial thaw. Conditions improving
29th Dec Less than 50% ground covered by snow
December 2010 was the coldest December in Durham for more than a century (Dec 1895). The river completely froze over, a very rare occurence, seen only in the very coldest of conditions.
My weather summary for Ferryhill shows the extent of the cold conditions
Amazon Associate Disclosure: durhamweather.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk