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Cold Snap

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Thundery wintry showers

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After a couple of what were, by North East standards, feeble cold snaps in January and February, something with rather more substance happened over the last few days.

Monday had sunshine and wintry showers throughout the afternoon, although it did feel more like a potent early to mid-April cold snap, or a half-hearted late March snap. I recorded a max of 7.8C, but it frequently fell to 2-3C during wintry showers, and there were impressive Cb cells around.

Tuesday: I only got up to 3.8C, which is a notably low maximum for a day in the second half of March that brought with it a fair amount of sunshine. I had 3cm lying snow in the morning, and some of it survived the daytime thaw, though by 1pm there was less than half-cover. There were some impressive near-'blizzard' conditions at times, with horizontal blowing snow, it looked almost like puffs of white smoke moving from north to south. Snow cover returned last night but not to the same extent; it's now thawing in the sun.

So possibly a bit warmer by night due to the high SSTs, but overall a fairly potent northerly once those -10s at 850hPa came down on Tuesday.

Looking further ahead, it's quite possible that the cold could be followed by a very warm spell, if those easterly winds subside; the GFS 00Z then has a white Easter in the offing (though the GFS should not be trusted at T+360!) Maybe this year we might end up with a variable spring.

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