Some photographs from snowy weather in Co Durham January 6th-8th 2021

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!   …

Read moreSome photographs from snowy weather in Co Durham January 6th-8th 2021

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. …

Read moreDecember 2020 – Wet, with a White Christmas

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 …

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

Ice in the River Wear, January 1984

During the winter of 1983-84, there was a very snowy cold spell in the last week of January 1984. Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England were affected. Here’s a nice couple of black and white photos of the Fulling Mill and Cathedral taken by Craig Oliphant, who has very kindly given his permission to publish. Ice is just starting to form in the still water above the weir. The Bonacina/O’Hara snowfall analysis says “Jan, very snowy in Scotland. 13th-23rd Jan., Scotland, N. Ireland and northern England. Considerable drifting on hills. 21-23rd Jan., northern England, C. Highlands, Scotland 2ft …

Read moreIce in the River Wear, January 1984

February 2020 Monthly Report – Wet and Wild

There was a very wild start to February, although it was relatively mild. Storm Ciara over the weekend of 8th/9th brought damaging gusts and flooding. The worst of it passed to the South of us, but there was major flooding in Yorkshire and winds gusted to 93mph in Wales. The River Wear rose dramatically during the morning of Sunday 9th to peak at 3.05m late on the evening, flooding riverside paths. Wintry showers on 10th-12th. Snowfall for the Midlands, Scotland and Pennines 15-20cm on high ground. Severe drifting on high ground. The next storm (Storm Dennis) arrived on 15th/16th and …

Read moreFebruary 2020 Monthly Report – Wet and Wild

The First Snows Arrive!

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.

Storm Ciara causes flooding in Durham

Storm Ciara batters the UK After spending a fair bit of time concentrating on the wind speeds, we sort of forgot about the rain that Storm Ciara was going to deliver. Thankfully we missed some of the squall lines that hit further south. My total for rainfall was only 22.9mm, but obviously far more fell on the catchment areas on the Pennines. A walk to the riverside was needed and as I was coming down from Gilesgate I decided the best way was the pathway that goes directly to the river down past Hild and Bede College. When I got …

Read moreStorm Ciara causes flooding in Durham

January 2020 weather – Mild and Dry

The recent trend has been that winter months have been on the dry side. January 2020 was very much in that vein. It was also very mild for first week. On the 8th/9th there was overnight snow in the High Pennines, although only rain fell elsewhere. This was heavy in places. This was actually the wettest day in Gilesgate, Durham, with 13.6mm of rain recorded, the wettest day since 19th November last year. It was very mild and wild on the 11th, and the strong winds continued until the 13th/14th as a depression passed through, with some snowfall in Scotland …

Read moreJanuary 2020 weather – Mild and Dry

February 1986 – Extremely Cold, One of the Coldest Months on Record

February 1986 (who remembers that one then?) was one of the coldest Februaries ever recorded in modern times. Trevor Harley, in his famous weather summaries pages, describes February 1986 thus: “February 1986. Extremely cold (-1.1C CET), with frequent light snowfalls. The second coldest February of the 20th century (after 1947), and fourth coldest month of the twentieth century overall (and the last time a month had a mean beneath zero before December 2010). The month was similar to January 1963 in being a completely blocked month, with a high centred over north Russia bringing some very cold air east. Winds …

Read moreFebruary 1986 – Extremely Cold, One of the Coldest Months on Record