This photo was posted to Facebook recently, taken (we think) in December 1895. It shows people sweeping the ice on the river, perhaps preparing it for skating or maybe a curling competition. The location is just below Prebends Bridge. December 1895 was one of the coldest Decembers ever recorded in Durham. Noticeable is how little … Read moreSkating on the River Wear in December 1895
February started very cold, with the first 3 days averaging below freezing. Rain was plentiful until the 9th, but then the dry weather of February returned, accompanied by increasingly warm unseasonal temperatures. The airstream was coming from the Canary Islands. The all-time February record was smashed in England and Wales on 26th and 27th, topping … Read moreFebruary 2019 – Historically warm after a freezing start
The New Year opened much the same as the old one ended, with dry benign weather and extraordinarily persistent High Pressure for the first half of the month. The high was a cloudy one, so temperatures stayed above freezing, with no fog or frost. It’s very unusual for a January to have such a high … Read moreMonthly Report – January 2019
The first half of January 2019 was very mild and incredibly dry, leaving us with pleasant conditions by the River Wear. We even spotted 3 otters out for a swim.
December started quite wet, then mostly dry later. The second half of the month was quieter with a lot of High Pressure influence. Rainfall total was 41mm, which is only 72% of normal for December. In late afternoon/evening of 15th December there was a fall of snow/sleet/freezing rain. A right hogs breakfast with strong south … Read moreMonthly Report – December 2018
Another stunning sunset in Durham on 30th December. And then another on New Year’s Eve.
January 1947. Cold (2.2C CET), but not excessively so overall. The month is most memorable for the start of a severe, prolonged, and exceptionally snowy cold spell. Although there had been some significant snowfalls in December, and again on the 4-5th, the harsh winter did not really get going until the third week, after quite … Read moreA summary of Winter 1946-47
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 … Read moreHeavy snow in Durham – “The Beast from The East” March 2018
A fantastic display of nacreous (mother of pearl) clouds occured across NE England in February 2016. These photos were taken above Durham Cathedral and Castle at about 7:15am. Nacreous Clouds are quite rare. They can glow very brightly due to iridescence and are much higher than other tropospheric clouds, a height of 15-30km above the … Read moreNacreous Clouds over Durham, Feb 2016
December 2015 was easily the mildest December on record. It was also the wettest calendar month on record. Storms propelled by the jet stream were mainly to blame, it says, with contributions from the El Nino weather phenomenon and man-made climate change. Numerous species of plants flowered months early, believing it to already be Spring. … Read moreDecember 2015 – Freakishly mild, but wild and wet.
December 1962. Cold (1.8C CET), and generally quite sunny, although smog early in the month (starting on the 4th) probably killed several hundred people in London. This was the last of the great London smogs before the Clean Air Acts took effect. There was persistent freezing fog elsewhere in the country, around the 10th, followed … Read moreA Summary of Winter 1962-63
November 1978. Very warm until a northerly outbreak on the 24th. Although it was mild and dry in the south, it was wet and often stormy in the north. There was a gust of 115 mph at Fair Isle on the 14th. 1978 was the last time we saw a November providing less than 50 … Read moreWinter 1978-79 – The coldest since 1962-63