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    Eden Valley, Cumbria

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  1. A few more winters like this and surely they are going to have to give up and be just club run tows like in the Lakes and Pennines?! That Lecht picture is pretty depressing!
  2. I grew up in the western Lake District and went to university in Preston. I can remember it being revelatory to me how much warmer and dryer it was there! It can be incredibly crap in the North West weatherwise but it is occasionally compensated for by being easily the most beautiful part of the country (maybe not Oldham). I could never live in the south east, its just too busy and too flat! What has become marked over the last few winters is the absence of sun. Even the milder winters of the 90s would throw out a week of sun and frost. We live in a time when compared to our parents' time (60s) the seas are warmer and the jet is more powerful. Northerlies and easterlies don't stand much of a chance and when they do they aren't blowing off a frozen Arctic or Baltic Sea, or a cold continent so have less punch. Its a bit ironic that when back in the day they didn't have central heating or double glazing it was much colder, now we can deal with it much better we don't get it! I'm sure we'll get another cold spell at some point and we probably wont see it coming as we'll all have given up by then.
  3. I agree with that but I can’t ‘read’ the models so I suppose I can’t knock people who try.
  4. The best way I can put it, as someone who lives in Cumbria, is it was wet and windy yesterday, it’s wet and windy today, it’ll probably be wet and windy tomorrow, and next week, and the week after that. Probably in March and April too. There’s nothing to get excited about. Just like if you had spaghetti bolognese every night for tea you wouldn’t get excited about having it for tea tonight. You’re talking about waves forming on fronts, just like a chef might get excited about how the bolognese sauce is made, but that’s over most peoples heads and they don’t know what it means or how you’d even see it. Snow is beautiful and rare and doesn’t happen every week all year round, so people get excited about it. They are interested in that excitement, about experiencing something rare that they enjoy, not about what happened a mile above their heads to make it happen. It might seem childish to a retired meteorologist, but that’s how it is.
  5. The problem, I find, with the weather in this country is summer can be cloudy, damp and miserable so you end up thinking ‘I’m looking forward to winter, this is crap’. Then you get to mid January and winter has been cloudy, damp and miserable so you end up thinking ‘I’m looking forward to summer, this is crap’. And you get stuck on this pointless merry go round. I’d agree that the notable thing over the last few years has been the almost total absence of winter sunshine. The one genuine cold spell of the last few years was even a cloudy affair. A week or so of sun and frost is just a pipe dream right now. I watch a lot of cycling and skiing. Both are generally carried out in Europe in beautiful weather while I’m sat on the sofa looking out at grey and damp wondering why I’m not there.
  6. A while ago I found somewhere, probably on here, a list of the coldest minima recorded each year in the UK. I can’t remember when it started, late 19th or early 20th century. But it was interesting and obvious to note that for every year up until the late 80s or so, bar the odd one, the minimum temperature in the UK was in the -20s. Usually somewhere in the Scottish Highlands in the Speyside/Deeside areas but England and Wales featured as well. A -20 or lower is a very rare occurrence now and only in the Highlands, I don’t believe there has been one since December 2010.
  7. Read through the historic weather part of the forum. ‘Mr Data/Weather History’ did a little piece about all the severe winters from about 1800 on when the site was new. Pre 47 in the 20th century there was one each in the teens and twenties (Possibly 1917 and 1928/29), the 30’s I think were largely green and January 1940 was very cold. 1890 and 1894/95 were very severe by modern standards also.
  8. Same here. There’s obviously a bit of a North/Midlands south divide due to the track of all those lows that brought the flooding to South Yorkshire southwards. It’s only been since the week before Christmas that it’s been mild here, and even since Christmas we’ve had a couple of frosts. A 3 week mild spell isn’t unusual really. Prior to that, from about mid October, we’d had a lot of frost and one day of snow in most of Cumbria (though not here). The grass is starting to look maybe a little fresher but that might just be because farmers are hammering it with slurry! I don’t think there’ll be any early blossom or anything here even if it continues mild through to the end of January as we probably won’t get any sun, and it’ll be generally dark and miserable if not particularly cold.
  9. I have to agree with those likening this winter to those of 06/07 and 07/08 in terms of its relentless hopelessness. If anything those winters were worse because we hadn't had the 09-13 'mini ice age' and winter as a concept seemed like it had gone forever. At least we know now we can still get cold weather though I think this winter is a lost cause in terms of anything memorable. By that I mean a week or two of genuinely cold weather with ice days and lying snow. To be honest I'd settle just for a return of the odd snippet of polar maritime and some snow on the fells, maybe even some transient low level overnight slush to wipe off the windscreen. Any winter day when there isn't even any snow on the fells, and there isn't even any snow in the Scottish Highlands over 4000ft at the moment, feels fundamentally wrong to me!
  10. To add my two penny worth in the thing that seems to be missing since the early 00’s (I seem to recall one in either 2001 or 2) here in Cumbria are blizzards. Proper all day blizzards when an Atlantic system hits cold air in situ and the wind whips it up into big drifts. This seemed to happen a fair bit in my golden youth, even if they didn’t always last and turned to rain and washed themselves away. In the last 15-20 years breakdowns have seemed to always be limp affairs and any decent snow convective showers. Maybe it’s because those sorts of events were always marginal and now they are just rain, but anything like that nowadays seems to go through Wales and the midlands while I’m sat looking at frosty fields.
  11. My top 3 would probably 1. 2009, 2. 1995, 3. 2010 2009 was a beautiful day and as you say the most snow lying on actual Christmas Day. On Xmas day in 2010 the thaw started in the west of Cumbria. Those snow showers you’ve mentioned must’ve been drizzle very early in the morning as by sun rise some of the snow had gone and temps had nudged up to 1 degree or so. Obviously everything was still frozen though. It was very localised as driving back from my parents to Lancashire where I lived at the time on Boxing Day there had been no thaw at all and it was -6 at midday. In 1995 I can remember it being very cold on Christmas Eve but there only being a dusting of snow. Then overnight there had been a decent fall of 3-4 inches of powdery snow. The week following was sunny and clear and the coldest spell of weather I have known. It was always a thing growing up for my parents to take us sale shopping in Carlisle between Xmas and new year. I can vividly recall all the rivers we drove past, including the Derwent at Cockermouth, being completely frozen and my Dad commenting that he’d never seen that before. I doubt we’ll see anything like any of those years this winter.
  12. It’s a close call between October and November. Generally dark, often wet, usually cloudy, usually windy, mild most of the time, no chance of heat, very little chance of genuine cold and snow. I’d say overall October is worse because as with this year you can get lovely frosty days, and as with 2010 it can be very cold in November. Overall the absolute worst month of all time, probably and certainly hopefully never to be beaten in my lifetime was December 2015. Living in the western Lake District at the time I don’t think I saw a single ray of sunshine from mid November onwards. And it rained, every single day it rained practically none stop heavy rain. I became an expert in judging the depth of streams across roads. On top of that it was by a distance I think the mildest winter month of all time in terms of temperature and amount above the average. It was 16 degrees, day and night, regardless of the time. Horrendous.
  13. This winter I saw snow falling twice and laying temporarily twice. Both times it was so light and thin that it melted as soon as the sun came up in the morning, even with temperatures around 0. There were a couple of Wednesdays around the end of January and beginning of February where we had close to ice days, if not outright ice days, and there was a nice spell of about of a week at the start of February when it was sunny and there was a lot of snow on the fells. It soon went though when the record heat arrived. I would give this winter probably 2 out of 10. It wasn't as incredibly depressing as November-December 2015 and maybe not quite as unwintry as the winters around 2006/7/8. But not far off. Goes down as an absolute shocker in my book. As an aside there seems to have been a shift in that snowfall from low pressure systems bumping into colder air now affect further south than they used to. I used to think that Cumbria/the north of England wasn't great for sustained cold or snow but at least we got a heavy fall every year, even if just for a few hours, from low pressure bumping into cold air, or breakdown events. You used to be able to hang your hat on it snowing at least for an hour or two after a frosty spell. Now we don't even seem to get those! They seem to be the exclusive property of an area between about Staffordshire and the M40. Any frosty spell we get nowadays just seems to fizzle into nothing.
  14. I agree entirely. I’d be bang up for this set up in late March or early April. A clear mild sunny day in February should feel pleasant in the sun but in reality be topping out at 7 or 8 degrees and then drop well below freezing at night. On the other hand you can still get ice days from clear days at this time of year. This whole winter has been completely bizarre. I’ve spent all but a few out of the last 34 years in Cumbria. I’ve never known such a benign, uneventful winter. December 2015 was freakishly warm but it came with the wind and rain you’d expect. This winter has been high pressure dominated without ever being cold. I think the lowest temperature I’ve seen is a very standard -5 or -6. It hasn’t been wet, it hasn’t been windy, there’s been hardly any frost and of course it hasn’t snowed (I’ve seen a couple of very light falls). It just hasn’t happened. It seems like every day has been between fair and overcast, calm and about 8 degrees, with the exception of the past week when it’s skipped 2 months straight into April. I expect at some point between now and next winter we’ll have another spell of unusual warmth. It seems to be the cycle we are in at the moment.
  15. Now that its March?! On Monday it will be April. Considering that November was cold and March has been cold we have now had 5 months of winter. I have absolutely no enthusiasm for a 6th. As someone with an outdoor hobby (cycling) that involves spending hours outside in the weather I literally cannot wait for it to warm up, at least to the point where I wont be uncomfortable.
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