March 2019 was another month of above average temperatures, with the monthly mean coming in at 7.2 degC, which is about 1.3 degrees above the long term average. The Maximum temperature was 17.1 degC on 29th, with the Minimum at 0.1 degC recorded on the morning of the 8th March.
The rainfall total of 51.7mm fell mainly in the first half of the month, but was still about 20% above normal for March. The wettest day was 16th, with just over half an inch (13mm). This moderate total led to a rapid rise in the River Wear, which must have responded to a heavier fall in the hills. The river rose nearly 6ft on the Saturday in less than 12 hours.The river rose nearly 6ft on the Saturday in less than 12 hours.
The first half of the month was dominated by low pressure, whilst the 2nd half was anticyclonic, resulting in this unequal distribution of rainfall.
A gorgeous day in May 2018. View from Prebends Bridge looking towards Framwelgate Bridge. It was the precursor of a fantastic summer. The Durham Cathedral tower work continues, still shrouded in it’s protective covering. The stonemasons are replacing weathered stone blocks at the top of the Main Cathedral Tower, as they have become dangerous.
Prebends Bridge washed away in November 1771
The previous Prebends Bridge was washed away in a catastrophic flood on 17th November 1771. It was a storm that proved fatal to many North East bridges on both the Tyne and Wear, as well as many smaller tributaries.
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 to the river from Silverlink Bridge.
A beautiful day in mid-Spring, 2017. The view is from Pelaw Woods across the River Wear to the cricket and rugby club grounds.
The pathway at the bottom of the photograph is still being repaired after a landslip during wet weather in 2013 caused the hillside to collapse. The repair work has taken several years to complete. More details of the work is detailed below.