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    Eden Valley, Cumbria

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I don't keep stats but my impression is that it has been a good and enjoyable winter of fairly varied weather. I think the Netweather forecast of 'a winter on a knife edge' sums it up pretty well as we have constantly been on the edge of the cold air, the further north you are the longer you have spent on the cold side. Here I would say I have had more nights with frost than not, with a good cold dry spell at the start of December, a coldish spell after Christmas into early January and a generally cold February with a lot of falling snow which until this last week never hung around very long. Lowest day time max was in the -3/-4 range on Wednesday and Thursday last week and the lowest minima have been a couple of -10's, one at the beginning of December and one in early February which in the grand scheme of things for a valley in-land in the north of England are not very impressive.
  5. Cumbria probably has the widest range in terms of potential snowiness of all counties depending on where you are. The coastal strip from Barrow up to Silloth is probably as snowless as anywhere in the country in terms of decent settling snow, whereas Alston and Nenthead are the snowiest places in the UK outside of the Scottish highlands. The boundary between pretty bad and pretty good is around Keswick from my experience.
  6. I don’t think you can compare a week long cold spell to an entire month of cold like January and December 2010. I’d say this spell has been most notable for the wind and suppressed daytime maximums. Other cold spells even this year have given lower night time temperatures here. We needed it to hold on long enough for the winds to drop and the skies clear. I think it compares best to January 87 as that was also notable for low uppers, low daytime maximums, drifting snow and not exceptionally cold night time minimums. And it didn’t last that long.
  7. Prior to this recent cold spell the record low maximums for March were -4.6 (UK/Scotland) and -3.3 (England). Were either of these broken? As for here ive had 5 days of falling snow, 6 days lying, 3 ice days, around 8-9 inches total snow and incredibly strong winds. My overall impression of the cold spell is that it wasn’t that extreme in terms of temperatures (low of around -9 on Wednesday morning), indeed there’s already been 2 spells this winter when night time minimums were lower. But the strength of the wind and windchill made it feel much more extreme than a normal cold frosty morning, and stripped a lot of the snow off the ground. Also there has been pretty much no sun here since Tuesday afternoon. I would say it’s been an interesting spell of pretty hostile weather, but it loses out to Dec/Jan 09/10 and December 10 in terms of duration and night time temperature extremes, December 95 in terms of generally extreme low temperatures and February 96 in terms of snow amounts.
  8. Ever so slight light snow falling. Still just below freezing. It would be nice if the end of this cold spell came with high pressure and increasingly warm sunny days, rather than the damp greyness forecast. Still, it’s been a good week.
  9. Despite temps and dew points below freezing there seems to be a very slight thaw at the edges of the snow. Why would this be so?!
  10. The odd thing here was the wind would seem to stop for as long as 5 minutes at times but then you’d hear it coming like a train approaching and there’d be a huge gust. I wish I got a video when I went out to thwart my bins bid for freedom.
  11. What a wild night. Incredibly windy here at the foot of the western lee slope of the Pennines. My 8-9 inches of level snow is now probably less than an inch generally, but huge drifts that I haven’t had the chance to go and inspect! There’s bound to be structural damage in places, and the drifts on the Pennines and lakes fells must be truely monumental.
  12. I’ve always lived too far west to be properly affected by easterlies and have always viewed them as something for southerners to get excited about and a poor relation to a northerly. But after this I’m going to be a fully signed up member of the easterly fan club. It’s snowed for 3 consecutive nights, on and off for the last 36 hours, in very low temperatures giving 7 or 8 inches of powder snow. Moving east was a good move!
  13. Snowed on and off all night here in a very strong wind, looks like the arctic outside! Isolated farms in the Pennines must be pretty close to cut off now.
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