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Everything posted by firefly

  1. Keen observers on here will have noticed how little snow fell over the winter months on the hills of the UK. Though there remains a reasonable level of cover on hills above 3000 ft (914m), the general consensus is that there's far less than usual. The probability level that all snow will vanish in the Highlands this autumn (summer?) is higher than it's been for quite a few years. Polar Maritime is doing a fine job in keeping everyone updated!
  2. I was on the One Show last night talking about long-lying snow on the Cairngorms. You can find it here (if you're interested): http://bbc.in/2aOzBjV
  3. I agree with some of what the last two posters have written. Warm conditions in the latter half of the year do play a large part in determining how many patches of snow will persist, but this is not the only - or main - reason. In that regard I disagree with iapennel that 2003 and 2006's summers 'led to' the disappearance of all snow. The biggest factor, in my view, is how much snow falls in winter. For example, 2014's summer was warm and long, with frequent long spells of sunny weather. And, yet, 2014 saw an unusual amount of patches surviving (twenty one). This was because the volume of
  4. It looks to be reasonably average, with perhaps a bit more than 'usual' on some aspects. If we have a typical summer then I'd expect patches of snow to survive once again, but there's obviously still a long way to go. I'd be astonished if we eclipsed 2015!
  5. It is my view that the current level of snow being held on the hills of the Highlands is slightly better than average, though not massively. The very cool April has meant that many places (Cairngorms etc) are seeing their deepest snow accumulations of the winter. I have read comments that 30m+ drifts are to be found on Ben Nevis, but there is no evidence of this. I'm reasonably confident that Observatory Gully of Ben Nevis holds the deepest snow in the UK at present, though I'd be surprised if this exceeded 20 metres.
  6. It’s a question I’ve often pondered. The mid-way point between the solstice and the equinox is the 6th August (based on 92 days between the 21st June and 21st September). It seems to me that it would be sensible to have a date where the 'old' season ends and the 'new' one starts. On the hills of Scotland, since 1944 we have seen fresh snow in 12 Julys and 11 Augusts. The total number of days when we have seen no snow in July is 12, and 19 in August. The longest run of dates in either of these months without snow ever being known is 7-13th August and 21-27th August. It seems to me, there
  7. ...is (as of 17th April) on the Yorkshire Dales, at Great Whernside. here: http://streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=400712&Y=473990&A=Y&Z=120 Photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13908837984/ It is likely that Helvellyn will be the last to go this year in England. I'll try and update this thread as the snow melts and retreats north!
  8. I don't mind at all, PM! Yes, the recent heavy snow has buried all the old snow at Nevis and Garbh Choire Mòr. I did a trip on Sunday to see if the Ben Nevis patches were visible. They weren't, so we were obliged to dig down to find them! An idea of the conditions can be seen in this video: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10653340576/in/set-72157637273642103 The full set is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157637273642103/ I hope this thread has been of interest to you all this year, and sorry I didn't post as often as the previous year. Here's to 2014!
  9. The last snow was Eldon Hole, which persisted well into July AT LEAST. The latest above ground snow was on The Cheviot, which melted around the 2nd July. Quite late by English standards.
  10. Yup. Now 7, down from 81. That's not unusual for late September/early October. We're down to the snow-patch season proper now! It's so hard to say. Minimum of 3 I'd say. Maximum probably of 5. 2006 all snow melted in Scotland. If memory serves me correctly the final snow melted that year on 1st October.
  11. Polar Maritime, where did you get that photo?! That was taken by Al Todd and features... me! I was up there with Al on Sunday and am looking forward to seeing his pictures! Anyway... Over the course of the weekend I visited most of the extant snow patches in Scotland. As mentioned by PM above, Blair Fyffe visited Ben Nevis and found a few patches. All told there were (at the time of the visits) 7 patches in Scotland. The biggest of which is the one linked to above, on Aonach Beag (situated, amazingly, at around 3000ft, here). A good picture of the depth of this snow can be found in my pict
  12. This is utter rubbish from the Daily Record and all the other media sources that copied each other. There has been no snow on the hills of Scotland, let alone in the quantities that the misleading picture shows. It's just another badly reported non-event. Rest assured, the only place to get up-to-date news on snow falling in Scotland is my Twitter feed! @theiaincameron
  13. Prior to the heat-wave I'd have said pretty good. The Carn Ban Mor patch would almost certainly have survived (it may still, though looking unlikely), as would one or two others that don't normally. The hot weather decimated the snow somewhat. I'd say it looks pretty average to be honest. It's likely that a few will survive, though nothing's certain. If I were a betting man I'd say 5 patches. We shall see!
  14. Helen's pictures of Carn Ban Mor are among the best snow-patch photos you're likely to see. If you look beyond the very impressive depth there are various interesting points that may not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye. First of all, in this photograph you can see the area around the big snow-patch on the left devoid of heather. Notice how it's green rather than brown? Long-lying snow discourages heather growth. If you look in the west-facing water courses, where snow tends to gather at Carn Ban Mor when it's been snowing from the east, you can see the same thing. Moving in a b
  15. Yes, there is still an awful lot of snow left on the mountains of Scotland. I can only assume that people who struggle to believe it can last any longer are not familiar with the vagaries of the British climate, or the hills of this country. Many mountains still retain a decent level of cover. For sure the recent weather has decimated some of the snow, but there was enough there in the first place to make sure it could endure even a prolonged heat wave. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmason84/9347514896/sizes/l/in/photostream/ The photograph linked to shows the imposing north east face of Ben
  16. Glad to see this thread back off the ground... As spindrift has intimated, the coming season looks promising. As I write there is more snow in general on the hills than at any time in late June since 2008. There are several reasons for this. First of all, the early season of December and Januray was characterised by heavy falls from the south west and west. This fills the NE facing hollows. Frequent freeze/thaw cycles help consolidate the pack, giving it a flak jacket for summer. Secondly, the spring was very cool. One can normally expect to see snow disappear fairly quickly in April if the r
  17. I would agree with that. Between 1996-2006 we saw some very lean years of snow, and very warm summers. Snow disappeared completely 3 times from Scotland between these dates, where it had only done so twice in the few hundred years before this. Since then, though, there's been a return to more unpredictable and generally cooler winters.The big question is, of course, is this itself a blip on an otherwise warming picture?
  18. Thanks. I'm a walker. Amazing that one of the biggest snow geeks around has never skied or snowboarded!
  19. Well ladies and gentlemen, that concludes 2012's snow-patch season for the Highlands of Scotland. Heavy snow a few days ago has buried the final patch (this one on Aonach Beag, taken 24 October). This year we've a total of six patches surviving to new winter's snow. They are as follows: Garbh Choire Mor, Braeriach - 4 patches Observatory Gully, Ben Nevis - 1 patch Aonach Beag - 1 patch Dates of lasting snow to these locations are: Garbh Choire Mor, Braeriach - 2nd October Observatory Gully, Ben Nevis - 14th October Aonach Beag - 31st October
  20. With an impending cold snap coming up, we're hopeful that the existing old snow still to be found on the three Scottish mountains (Braeriach, Aonach Beag, Ben Nevis) will be well covered by this time next week. To that end I made a special trip up onto Ben Nevis and Aonach Beag on Sunday to photograph and measure the snow remaining from last winter. Thankfully both patches are in good nick. First of all I visited Ben Nevis's Observatory Gully. I found a 26 metre long patch that still had over a metre of depth. The snow was pretty solid, but was melting from the bottom slightly. It had a n
  21. No, that's incorrect. The most permanent patch is on Braeriach. It's called Sphinx, and is linked to in my earlier post. Your source is mistaken I'm afraid. I'd be interested to know where he/she came by this info.
  22. Well summarised, spindrift. Your reasons for persistence of the snow are all accurate, and they are all very important. I'm visiting the snow at Aonach Beag (not Aonach Mor) this weekend, and will report back. For those who are interested I did an interview that appeared on the Grand Tours of Scotland programme on Friday. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01n8v0c My section is at 6:40. Ignore the awful 'climate expert' comment (I am most certainly not)!
  23. The snow to which you refer, PM, actually lasted for a total of 14 days. The four days you refer to (28-31 August 2011) were only part of the story. Such was the extent of the drifting from the NW that the snow persisted into the second week of September on Ben Macdui. Astonishing for snow falling in August. Normally it is ephemeral. A very good example of the continued cool weather is demonstrated in Stuart Gordon's picture from yesterday, showing fresh snow on Braeriach. http://www.winterhighland.info/forum/file.php?2,file=8379 The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot the old snow in the pictu
  24. Yes, and the Cairngorms too. The trend has been cool weather for the last 4 weeks or so, and I would imagine little in the way of significant melting of the remaining snow. Couple this with the additional snow that has fallen and it's a promising picture.
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