1st December - Today's News

It's winter! For a day, anyway. Dropped to -2.3c in my garden overnight, which is the coldest it's been since 3rd February. The first air frost since 11th March - so as well as being the latest in the season that I've recorded my first air frost, 2009 has also produced the longest frost free period. Though my records do only go back to 2003.

Last Friday the Met Office have issued their winter long range forecast:
For northern Europe, including the UK, there is a 20% chance of a colder winter, a 30% chance of an average winter and a 50% chance of a milder winter

For northern Europe, including the UK, signals for precipitation are weak, with near equal chances for each of the three categories. There is a 30% chance of a drier winter, a 35% chance of an average winter and a 35% chance of a wetter winter.
Which seems to me to suggest we could see a good bit of snow this winter - with a 50% chance it will not be milder than average and a 70% chance it will not be drier. Most recent winters have been milder than the long term average. And even above average temps do not preclude widespread snow. Of course, we all recall last winter when the Met Office went for a mild winter .... Personally my gut instinct is that the likes of Net-Wx may prove close to the mark. I think we may see a cold (snowy) January but milder, stormier, December and February. And I have a feeling it will turn cold and perhaps snowy just after Christmas too. But not a White Christmas this year.

Frost free for much of Britain, and in Canada, it was a snow-free November for Toronto - for the first time on record

Meanwhile, in Australia, hot summer tipped after record November

Huge ice age river carved the English Channel - which I think we all already knoew, but it's still nice to see such news get coverage in the popular press.

I missed this yesterday: in Caversham on Saturday roofs and walls hit by 'tornado' - at present there seems no evidence that it actually was a tornado though. Unfortunately, as the public become better informed with regards the possiblity of tornadoes in the UK, so they tend to attribute any wind damage to them.

Waters continue to rise in Ireland meaning that Dublin, Kildare are latest flood victims. The Severe is well up over its floodplain here in the Midlands too - though no higher than might normally be expected in any given winter.

Antarctica may heat up dramatically as ozone hole repairs, warn scientists - perhaps we should start pumping out CFCs again?

Workington gets news rail station after Cumbria flood - not only are scheduled trains stopping there, but they've put on an additional hourly service between Maryport and the main station in Workington free of charge. Maybe there's hope for us yet!

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