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Ice Day

2018 Beast from the East - Post Mortem

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Now that this spell is coming to an end and the beast is returning to Siberia, I thought it would be useful for members to log their stats for this event for us to refer back to in future years.  When there is cold on the cards for late Feb / early March, there are often exclamations that the sun is too strong/the days are too long etc, for any meaningful winter event.  However, this spell has certainly proved that early March can produce as severe winter weather as December or January. So before the last few days are lost to memory,  I thought it would be useful to log your headline stats in one place, here are mine.

  • Total Ice Days: 4 (Tuesday 27 Feb - Friday 2 March)
  • Lowest daytime Max Temp: -2.7 Wednesday 28 February
  • Lowest nighttime Min Temp: -8.1 Tuesday 27  February
  • Days of falling snow: 5, Monday 26 February - Friday 2 March
  • Total snow depth: Difficult one as the wind and sublimation has taken some depth away, estimate around 7 inches of falling snow.  2-3 foot snow drifts around the fields
  • Days of lying snow: 6 (and counting), Monday 26 February - Saturday 3 March

Interested to hear the thoughts of other members.

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1 hour ago, Ice Day said:

Now that this spell is coming to an end and the beast is returning to Siberia, I thought it would be useful for members to log their stats for this event for us to refer back to in future years.  When there is cold on the cards for late Feb / early March, there are often exclamations that the sun is too strong/the days are too long etc, for any meaningful winter event.  However, this spell has certainly proved that early March can produce as severe winter weather as December or January. So before the last few days are lost to memory,  I thought it would be useful to log your headline stats in one place, here are mine.

  • Total Ice Days: 4 (Tuesday 27 Feb - Friday 2 March)
  • Lowest daytime Max Temp: -2.7 Wednesday 28 February
  • Lowest nighttime Min Temp: -8.1 Tuesday 27  February
  • Days of falling snow: 5, Monday 26 February - Friday 2 March
  • Total snow depth: Difficult one as the wind and sublimation has taken some depth away, estimate around 7 inches of falling snow.  2-3 foot snow drifts around the fields
  • Days of lying snow: 6 (and counting), Monday 26 February - Saturday 3 March

Interested to hear the thoughts of other members.

 

Good idea. Nice to hear the reports from around Chelmsford as I'm originally from there. I can't give you exact reports from around here (Selly Oak, Birmingham), but here's a rough idea.

  • Total ice days: probably only two (1st and 2nd), although the 27th and 28th would have been close, as well as today (the snow isn't melting yet, but it's forecast to hit 1C later).
  • Lowest daytime maximum: somewhere between -3C and -4C on the 1st.
  • Lowest nighttime minimum: around -7C on the evening of the 28th (cloudcover prevented it from falling further on the morning of the 1st).
  • Days of falling snow: at present five (26th, 27th, 28th, 1st, 2nd) but quite possibly seven by the end of tomorrow (occasional light flurries still being forecast).
  • Total snow depth: as will be the case in many places, difficult to tell; anywhere between three and six inches of level snow seems likely, with the majority of drifts between eight inches and two feet (the largest I have seen is around five foot).
  • Days where snow was lying at some point: currently on six (26th, 27th, 28th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd), but the snow isn't likely to melt entirely for a few days yet.

May update this post in a few days' time.

Onto the bit I've bolded in your post. It amazes me that people think this. There have been so many examples in the past of severe wintry spells in March. Do people just forget that March 2013 even happened?

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March 2013 was longer and didn't have the severe cold that this has produced. It will be interesting too see how this month progresses. So far this March has produced more snow colder temperatures then the last two winters.

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How has this phrase beast from the east made it to TV news,thought it originated on here,who spread it to there own up.

 

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1 hour ago, Snowyowl9 said:

How has this phrase beast from the east made it to TV news,thought it originated on here,who spread it to there own up.

 

Yes,I'm sure it was a phrase created on the weather forums years past,either here or perhaps on the old BBC forums?

Media certainly loved it this year!

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Posted (edited)

Uk wise

Lowest uppers  -17c

lowest thickness  504 dam 

please correct these if you saw lower (needs to have been on high res output within T12)

Edited by bluearmy
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3 hours ago, Snowyowl9 said:

How has this phrase beast from the east made it to TV news,thought it originated on here,who spread it to there own up.

 

Originated on Britweather??????  It was a common phrase as long as I can remember in the very early 70s referring to eastern blasts I remember my gran us I g the term and am sure that would have been passed down from her parents .I think you will find the term is far older than you think in fact the old Amateur Bill Foggit used the term f my memory serves me well.

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2 hours ago, bluearmy said:

Uk wise

Lowest uppers  -17c

lowest thickness  504 dam 

please correct these if you saw lower (needs to have been on high res output within T12)

I think the Met Office said 502 dam in their internal short range guidance for Weds/Thurs will try to confirm

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Posted (edited)

I don’t have stats, however in terms of the cold spell overall I’d say this has been very memorable. The depth of cold was rare and in London I don’t think there has been a cold spell this extreme in terms of temperatures since 1991. Daytime temperatures of -2/-3/-4 and lying snow in the centre of London is very rare.

I’ve lived in London my entire life (born 1986) and in nearly all snowy spells there will be snow lying in the suburbs but as soon as you get into central London any lying snow would have melted. So to get out of the tube station in Covent Garden and see the pavements, roads and cars covered for more than a few hours is quite incredible. 

Not everywhere in this spell saw deep snow. We had probably 4/5 inches or so here’s in London, however it was dry and powdery - not something we see very often at all. 

I had two frozen pipes this week, one that blocked our kitchen sink and the other affected our boiler in the attic! 

The only downsides I can point out from this cold spell is that it has only lasted 5 days, at least in the south. We’ve seen a rapid thaw today. The only other downside to some extent is that the wind flow meant snow showers didn’t always penetrate as far in land as they would have done if we had a longer period of ENE/E winds. 

Overall for London this has been the coldest spell of weather since Feb 1991. It’s not been the longest cold spell since then, and other events have seen greater snow depths (December 2010, Feb 09, possibly Feb 2012), however this will rank in the top 5 cold spells of the last 30 years. 

Edited by danm
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Evening all :)

As @danm lives not too far from my part of the world, his figures and mine are going to be fairly similar.

Wednesday February 28th was the coldest day with the maximum recorded -2.7c, the lowest figure I've recorded since 2010 in this location. Yesterday, Friday 2nd March, was also an ice day and both Tuesday and Thursday were very close so that's four days of temperatures close to or below freezing, extraordinary for the location and time of year (when day time maxima should be 9c).

I'll remember this spell for the ferocity and bitterness of the wind. Wednesday was frigid and bitter but we endured days of a strong and increasingly cold E'ly wind which drove down air and ground temperatures and acted as a prelude to the snowfall. Last Saturday my maximum temperature was 4c but as the uppers declined and the wind continued, the temperature steadily fell to its nadir on Wednesday. Very low night minima were masked by the absence of frost and ice as the air was so dry.

In terms of snowfall, I measured 3.5 inches of lying snow. This came through showers starting on Monday and extending through Tuesday and a second frontal-based snowfall yesterday. There was notable sublimation as a result of the strong dry wind as distinct from actual snow melt (which began overnight and has continued all day with a steady thaw). That's less than January 2013, December 2010 and February 2009 in terms of quantity but it proved more durable than the last-named with snow remaining lying for nearly five days which is remarkable in the urban heat island at this time of year. 

To be fair, it wasn't a wholly gloomy spell by any stretch with considerable sunshine on both Tuesday and Wednesday (between the showers).

I'd consider this to have been a well-forecast spell - the showers took their time to arrive but delivered when they did and the breakdown has been well called since midweek.

In terms of "ranking", it's not 2010 but I'd put it second to that spell in this decade and in front of March 2013 which had longevity but not really severity. On a wider scale, it's the latest in a series of European "cold waves" but this time we weren't on the fringes but right in the middle.

 

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A very potent cold spell, I've never experienced an East wind that strong before, plenty of branches around and I've spotted three trees down. Venturing out on foot on Thursday was quite extreme with the wind and spindrift whist climbing over waist deep drifts. The wind definitely the notable feature of this spell.

Snow depth-  6in, 3-5ft drifts.

Falling snow-     4 days

Snow lying-     5 days and counting

Lowest temp-      -6.3C

Lowest max-       -1.2C

Lowest dew point-   -14.2C

Ice days-     3 consecutive. 

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10/10 -  Blizzard was very intense 1 ft -3ft  of snow depending on which part of the East Coast of Ireland you lived

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Stats for here:

  • Total Ice Days: 1 (28th Feb)
  • Lowest daytime Max Temp: -0.4 (28th Feb)
  • Lowest nighttime Min Temp: -4.3 (28th Feb)
  • Days of falling snow: 6 (25th, 26th, 27th, 28th Feb, 1st, 3rd Mar)
  • Total snow depth: 1cm
  • Days of lying snow: 5 (27th, 28th Feb, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Mar)

Impressive for cold no doubt, but the most disappointing spell I can ever remember for snowfall. A 24hr radar accumulation image from during the peak of the cold spell shows how ridiculous it was.

5a9b126f0c5c4_24hrAccum28-02-18.thumb.png.1159360493a76dece918838d4422f01b.png

I have no idea what caused this, hopefully just bad luck which wont be repeated! Definitely one to forget for me.

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7 hours ago, Katrine Basso said:

Last night I looked at the snowy scene last night in my back garden and how the snow had a fluorescent glow making the night seem a lot brighter than it really was. The last time saw a wintery night like this was over 6 years ago.  I think this will be a taste to future winters. Right now I am looking forward to the start of Spring.

 

Snowy back garden at night last.jpg

I agree. 

I've maintained for a few years that we'll likely hit the winter jackpot at some point between now and the end of the 2020's. I'll be quite shocked if we don't get a 3 month (D-J-F) period significantly below the LTA.

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2 hours ago, reef said:

Stats for here:

  • Total Ice Days: 1 (28th Feb)
  • Lowest daytime Max Temp: -0.4 (28th Feb)
  • Lowest nighttime Min Temp: -4.3 (28th Feb)
  • Days of falling snow: 6 (25th, 26th, 27th, 28th Feb, 1st, 3rd Mar)
  • Total snow depth: 1cm
  • Days of lying snow: 5 (27th, 28th Feb, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Mar)

Impressive for cold no doubt, but the most disappointing spell I can ever remember for snowfall. A 24hr radar accumulation image from during the peak of the cold spell shows how ridiculous it was.

5a9b126f0c5c4_24hrAccum28-02-18.thumb.png.1159360493a76dece918838d4422f01b.png

I have no idea what caused this, hopefully just bad luck which wont be repeated! Definitely one to forget for me.

That is incredibly unlucky!

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21 minutes ago, CreweCold said:

I agree. 

I've maintained for a few years that we'll likely hit the winter jackpot at some point between now and the end of the 2020's. I'll be quite shocked if we don't get a 3 month (D-J-F) period significantly below the LTA.

Could you explain why you think that? Genuinely interested 

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5 minutes ago, danm said:

Could you explain why you think that? Genuinely interested 

Quite simply, it is all to do with the extended solar minimum.

I know that the earth has warmed since we last saw such a prolonged solar minimum, however, I believe that each comparable period has featured at least one severe winter 3 month period...and many more than just the one in some instances!

2007-2012 was really a precursor to the main event IMO.

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51 minutes ago, CreweCold said:

Quite simply, it is all to do with the extended solar minimum.

I know that the earth has warmed since we last saw such a prolonged solar minimum, however, I believe that each comparable period has featured at least one severe winter 3 month period...and many more than just the one in some instances!

2007-2012 was really a precursor to the main event IMO.

That's a bullish statement Crewe!  However, for what it's worth, I am in total agreement with you.  Not just the solar minimum, I think the recent massive SSW could also have ramifications for the PV next winter (certainly the early part anyway).  9 months until it gets interesting again!

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Can we keep on stats and data from this event, so it's an easy thread to come back to and see figures/facts for Feb/March 2018. PLenty of space elsewhere for discussion of future

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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. 

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Saltdean ( Near Brighton)

Monday 26th February:  Maximum temperature 2c: Minimum -3c 

Snow started falling in showers from 8pm.

Tuesday 27th February: Maximum temperature 0c: Minimum -6c

Further morning snow showers.2 inches remained out of the sun.

Wednesday 28th February: Maximum temperature -2c: Minimum temperature -7c

Sunny day,snow flurries evening.

Thursday 1st February: Maximum temperature -2c: Minimum temperature -3c

Cutting wind,snow flurries all day (chill factor) -10c

Friday 2nd March: Maximum temperature +2c ( achieved after 0c until 7pm) Minimum temperature 0c

Persistent settling snow from Midday until 3pm.

Saturday 3rd March: Maximum temperature +7c:Minimum Temperature +3c

Rapid thaw.

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Four miles from the North Sea in NE Norfolk  I recorded three consecutive ice days from 28/2 to 2/3. 

Lowest minimum was -6c on the 27th and lowest maximum -2.5c on the 28th.

Snow was lying in the morning on 7 days. Depth approx 3” level with 2 foot drifts. Now gone.

Windchill and freezing of exposed soil in fields which was blown as a brown stain onto the snow after it had eased was notable.

Most interesting feature to me, who has only lived here a few years, was the influence of upper air temperatures on convective precipitation. Around here -8c with wind off the sea produces every form of iced precipitation except snow. At -12/13 each shower was preceded by a brief fall of ice pellets before it became all snow. Not before -15/16 was it all powdered snow. Frontal snow I know is possible with much lower uppers, but that has been in short supply these last few years around here.

I remember Bill Giles talking often about snow showers pecking away at the east coast. I don’t think he could have lived this way!

 

 

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11 hours ago, trickydicky said:

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. 

Yes for Cumbria the periods you mention are the most recent benchmarks for cold and snow. Dec 09/Jan 10 for sustained deep snow cover, Jan 10 saw Derwent Water freeze over. Dec 10 for sustained severe cold, even River Kent in Kendal froze over from bank to bank. Dec 95 for exceptional cold, down to -18 degrees. February 1996 for significant snowfall, 18 inches here.

As you say the most notable aspect of the recent cold spell was the bitter wind. Thursday was a especially bleak day, most recent very cold periods have coincided with anticyclonic periods with little in the way of wind - Thursday had a menace to it. 

Snowfall wise north east parts of Cumbria faired best, we unfortunately were not best placed, but good to see an easterly can still produce the snowy goods this far west, we received 4 inches Wed morning, the last time I remember an easterly doing the same was late Jan 96. Pity Storm Emma didn't encroach further north and stall here, been an age since we had a proper blizzard.

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