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boywonder

Did the Scottish Highlands Ever record -30 C ?

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I came across many websites a month ago(couldnt find the links now) where people and the locals have said on many occasions the temperature dropped to -30 C in highlands but Met office Couldnt Record them or they went unnoticed. Its odd 3 of britains coldest temperatures are exact -27.2 C.

 

Also read somewhere that there are spots colder than altnaharra,Braemar,Kinbrace but there are no weather stations over there. Like the locals I believe the coldest temperature might have gone unnoticed or was in a place where there was no weather station.

 

what do you guys think?

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I would say that's a distinct possiability especially in some of the more remote Glens.

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I came across many websites a month ago(couldnt find the links now) where people and the locals have said on many occasions the temperature dropped to -30 C in highlands but Met office Couldnt Record them or they went unnoticed. Its odd 3 of britains coldest temperatures are exact -27.2 C. Also read somewhere that there are spots colder than altnaharra,Braemar,Kinbrace but there are no weather stations over there. Like the locals I believe the coldest temperature might have gone unnoticed or was in a place where there was no weather station. what do you guys think?

For some years, it was thought that Blackadder in Berwickshire had got down to -23F or -30.6C on the 4th December 1879. This is not accepted now.

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Im pretty sure it would dropped to -30c at some point in the past in the highlands, I've withstood -38c wind chill on Ben Nevis, that was pretty cool...

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It seems plausible. But "locals" all over the world will always claim that their spot is somehow significantly warmer or significantly colder, or significantly different in any other way, to the "official" records. These claims are often exaggerated but sometimes contain grains of truth.

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i would of thought during the last ice age it would of been well below -30Posted Image Posted Image

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As a local, am I allowed to comment on whether the locals are correct or not? Posted Image

 

I think it's probably quite likely that -30'C has been breached in the Highlands. There are hundreds of glens, most of which don't have a weather station. 

Edited by NorthernRab
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Must have done. Especially during the Little Ice Age, I bet it happened numerous times.

Weren't locals claiming the record went in December 2010?

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Oh and I suppose this thread should be entitled "Did the Highlands ever drop to -30'C?" since we've established that it certainly hasn't been recorded! 

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Did I read somewhere that the reason that -27.2 has been recorded 3 times is that it  is the limit of the equipment that is measuring it,ie at braemar and altnaharra!Surely that is not the case can anyone verify that?

I guess there are places colder than altnaharra and braemar but maybe only very slightly but if the 3 readings are correct I would guess that -30 will not have been achieved anywhere or not since the little ice age anyway!

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As a local, am I allowed to comment on whether the locals are correct or not? Posted Image

 

I think it's probably quite likely that -30'C has been breached in the Highlands. There are hundreds of glens, most of which don't have a weather station. 

 

 

Did I read somewhere that the reason that -27.2 has been recorded 3 times is that it  is the limit of the equipment that is measuring it,ie at braemar and altnaharra!Surely that is not the case can anyone verify that?

I guess there are places colder than altnaharra and braemar but maybe only very slightly but if the 3 readings are correct I would guess that -30 will not have been achieved anywhere or not since the little ice age anyway!

Earlier records tended to use Fahrenheit to the nearest degree, rather than Celsius to the nearest tenth of a degree, which may be a factor.

 

I agree with the first quote- chances are -30C will have been reached somewhere in the Highlands- if not in the 20th century then most likely in the 17th, 18th or 19th when temperatures were generally a bit lower- but not at any official weather observing site.

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Did I read somewhere that the reason that -27.2 has been recorded 3 times is that it  is the limit of the equipment that is measuring it,ie at braemar and altnaharra!Surely that is not the case can anyone verify that?

I guess there are places colder than altnaharra and braemar but maybe only very slightly but if the 3 readings are correct I would guess that -30 will not have been achieved anywhere or not since the little ice age anyway!

Met Office standard  minimum thermometers are filled with alcohol, or a derivative of it, which has a freezing point of about -114c so no chance of the thermometers freezing up and failing to record something exceptionally low.

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This seems an appropriate time to repost the link to this article in the journal Weather from 1997 which puts the record in some context - The Altnaharra minimum temperature of -27.2C on 30 December 1995

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1997.tb06294.x/pdf

 

There is also some follow-up discussion regarding the accuracy of the recording, in letters to the editor-

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1997.tb06254.x/pdf

Edited by Interitus
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For some years, it was thought that Blackadder in Berwickshire had got down to -23F or -30.6C on the 4th December 1879. This is not accepted now.

 

That does seem a bit extreme, especially for the time of year and location. However, I think the Scottish borders/Southern uplands are somewhat "underrated" in terms of cold potential; there have been some very low temperatures recorded in places like Kelso over the years. Am I right in thinking there aren't many "official" weather stations in the region anymore? A new one in Kelso, for example, (presuming there isn't one there anymore?) may throw up some interesting results.

 

Naturally, you can't have a weather station in every valley and on every hill. The readings we have recorded are only really applicable to the immediate area, especially in the Highlands with it's topography. In my opinion, many locations in the Highlands will have seen temperatures as low as -30C, it's probably more likely than not.

 

Even England may have scraped a -30C at some point, the Welsh Marches and Teesdale can get a bit parky... Posted Image

Edited by March Blizzard

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Not officially recorded no but I reckon somewhere in Scotland will have experienced -30c, probably somewhere like a glen/valley would be a likely place.

 

You could probably say the same for England too with -26.1c the official low for England, not much behind Scotland's -27.2c

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I'm very confident we would have seen -30C at some point had we weather stations covering every field in the Scottish glens. But of course we don't.

 

The thing is, some countries have weather stations in ridiculous uninhabitable spots and these report temperatures which aren't really indicative of inhabited areas. In Italy for instance, a new record low of -49.6C was recorded in February this year in a hollow 2600m above sea level in the Alps. Now the Alpine valleys of northern Italy can get pretty cold in Italy but nowhere near that cold. I just wonder if any of our highest mountains have natural sink areas near their summits (say above 1000m) which are sheltered from wind. If they do, I would imagine -30C or lower would easily be recorded in such places.

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This seems an appropriate time to repost the link to this article in the journal Weather from 1997 which puts the record in some context - The Altnaharra minimum temperature of -27.2C on 30 December 1995

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1997.tb06294.x/pdf

 

There is also some follow-up discussion regarding the accuracy of the recording, in letters to the editor-

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1997.tb06254.x/pdf

 

Interesting to see that altnaharra did not have a weather station before 93.I have the feeling during the cold winters of 60s and 80s It would have dipped below -27.2 at some point.

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