February 2021 Weather Report for Durham – Huge Contrasts

The racecourse fields, covered in frost

February 2021 was a month of great contrasts. The second half of January 2021 was cold and had frequent frosts. This set the underlying theme for early Feb. The first week of the month was very wet, with more than 10mm rainfall on 2nd, 3rd and 6th. We then experienced an intense cold period between 7th and 14th. I kept thinking back to February 1991 for a comparison. February 2021 didn’t have as much snow, but was just as cold. Freezing Days and Ice Days have been rare in Durham over the last decade, but this period produced a few …

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Some Incredible Ice Formations on Potters Bank, Durham Feb 2021

Close up of Ice on grass at the side of Potters Bank, Durham Feb 11th 2021

I spotted these photos on Facebook and contacted the owner Zanna Clay, who kindly gave me permission to use them. The photos show fantastic ice formations on the grass and hedges by the side of the road on Potters Bank in Durham. It was caused by passing cars spraying water from the road onto the grass, then freezing, making incredible ice formations.  

Some record low temps from around the region

The North East region still holds a few daily low temperature records. Most are held by Scottish stations, but these are the UK records for the dates below set in North East England. January 5th (1941) Houghall -21.1 degC February 26th (1963) Kielder -18.3 degC March 4th (1947) Houghall -21.1 degC December 25th (1878) Gainford -18.3 degC   Does anyone know of any more? What is the lowest temperature you’ve ever experienced locally?    

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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Early snowfall in Durham on February 2nd 2021

I awoke to the following snowfall on the morning of 2nd February 2021. There are big hints of a potential ‘Beast From The East’ scheduled after the weekend and next week. I will of course keep you posted and separate the fact from fiction. Enjoy this little slow-motion video.

January 2021 Weather Report for Durham – Wet and Cold

January 2021 – A cold, wet month at Durham With Storm Christoph a noteable feature Temperature After the warmth of January 2020, this month proved to be the exact opposite. The month proved to be both wet and wintry, with an exceptional snowfall in the North East area on or around the 6th-8th of the month. Some photos can be seen here. The month averaged only 2.3 degC, which is the coldest January in Durham since 2010. Not unusually for a cold month, it had 13 air frosts recorded, with the lowest temperature of -4.2 degC on the 9th January. …

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How Heavy is ‘Heavy’? Rain, sleet and snow

Raining Cats and Dogs

Alright my weather mateys. Who’s sick of wet weather? If you didn’t put your hand up there you must be some kind of weirdo. It seems like it’s been raining for years non-stop now. The dry soils of last spring are now a distant memory. We often hear it said that it’s ‘raining cats and dogs’ and even ‘stair rods’, but is there an official way of telling just how ‘heavy’ heavy rain really is? Well, those that spend their day defining all things meteorological do indeed have the official definitions all scribbled on the back of an envelope and …

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Some photographs from snowy weather January 6th-8th 2021

Snow on the roof of Durham Cathedral

The North East of England was taken a little by surprise on Friday morning, the 8th January 2021. An area of rain had approached from the North West and turned to snow after midnight. Some places received 8-10 hours of continuous snow. Depth increased dramatically with altitude. In Durham City we had only 2-3 inches of snow, but in some of the hillier parts of County Durham snow depths of 6-10 inches were common, especially high ground to the south of the region. Here are some photographs of my own and taken by friends on social media today. Enjoy!   …

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Two photos of the frozen River Wear 1981/82 and 1895.

Two amazing photos of the frozen River Wear in Durham. The first, credited to Matthew Avery and Helen Avery is of the Cathedral across the frozen river. Although Helen originally thought it was from 1983, it’s almost certainly from a year earlier in the winter of 1981/82. December 1981 and the first half of January 1982 were very severe, particularly 8th-27th December 1981 and 6th-16th January 1982, so this picture was most likely taken in one of these periods (probably December 1981). The blue tint on the photograph makes it look very cold indeed. Here’s a comment from James Clark …

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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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