Weather notes

Dry spring weather

Spring of 2011, and the period from February to June especially, has been unusually dry here, as it has for the previous two years.

Over the past 16 years, the average rainfall for the spring months, March, April, May is 264mm; the total for 2009 was 243mm (92% of average); for 2010, 176mm (67%); and for 2011, 129mm (49%).

For the 5 months February to June each year, the average is 438mm. By contrast the totals have been: 2009, 289mm 66% of average); 2010, 263mm (60%); 2011, 288mm (65%).

By contrast, July each year has attempted to compensate. The average rainfall here for July is 95mm; July 2009 had 234mm (246% of average !) ; 2010 had 180mm (190%). July 2011 we'd had 74mm by the 17th so, with the current unsettled weather, it is likely to reach or exceed the average.

Winter 2010-2011

Large ice sheets lodged against a fallen tree

28 December: Milder and river has risen about 40cm, breaking up the ice. This has backed up against a fallen tree, tumbled sheets of ice to 15cm thick, and up to 3m long extending about 100m upstream of the tree.

River Aeron completely frozen over

26 December: -14°C last night, the river is frozen over in most places now; forecast is for slightly warmer weather with heavy rain, sleet or snow, so with the ground being frozen there is a risk of black ice and perhaps flooding.

25 December: Another record low, -16.4°C minimum overnight. And this was the day the central heating boiler decided to die on us. Boiler engineer unable to reach us because the roads are in such a mess. Luckily we still have the ancient Rayburn in the kitchen so are able to keep moderately warm.

24 December: About 15cm snow still lying. Minimum temperature -14°C overnight and only -3.4°C at 1500UTC/ GMT. River Aeron frozen right across in the slower-flowing places.

20 December: -14°C overnight, -8.6 at 0900.

24cm snow and graupel

18 December: Additional 10cm snow overnight, giving 24cm generally. Much of the later precipitation was in the form of graupel, making it dense and heavy to shift [graupel, or soft hail, resembles spherical beads of expanded polystyrene; the rounded shapes in the photograph above result from the inability of graupel grains to adhere, one reason they can be an avalanche hazard]. Road not gritted and impassable to normal traffic.

17 December: Heavy snow in morning, 17cm lying by midday.

13 December: last of snow just about gone.

Thick black ice on driveway

4 December: Following about 5mm rain overnight, thick black ice formed across roads and all surfaces clear of snow. Bad accident in village requiring Air Ambulance as ambulance could not reach the village, and even the fire engine had to proceed down lane at slow walking pace, preceded by fireman scattering gravel from a bucket.

28 November: -15.5°C overnight, lowest I've recorded here in 16 years; -8.8 at 1030 -- most unusual to have such low temperatures and so much snow this early in the winter (in meteorological terms, November is still autumn).

26 November 2010: Heavy snow in morning, 11cm lying by midday.