2nd March - Today's News: Britain's Coldest Winter For Over 30 Years

The Met Office have issued a preliminary report on winter 2009/10 (some figures are likely to change once data is in from all the various weather stations around the country - some of which only report weekly or monthly)
Provisional figures from the Met Office show that the UK winter has been the coldest since 1978/79.

The mean UK temperature was 1.5 °C, the lowest since 1978/79 when it was 1.2 °C.

Since mid-December cold weather has often dominated much of the country, with spells of snow and very low temperatures. From southern England to northern Scotland, heavy snow caused travel disruption at times through the season.

Overnight temperatures fell to -22.3 °C at Altnaharra, Highland – the lowest UK minimum since 1995.

And in Eire, low of -16 degrees recorded in coldest winter for 47 years.

March has come in like a lamb though and despite overnight frosts the month is starting rather fine, dry and sunny. And looks set to stay that way for the most part at least over the next week or so (although some more cloud with a risk of a bit of snow at times).

The near Continent could certainly do with some more settled weather to help recover from the weekend. Sarkozy declares storm a 'national catastrophe' whilst Napoleon-era sea walls blamed for French storm deaths.

The Parliamentary Inquiry into 'Climategate' began yesterday - and climate scientist admits sending 'awful emails' but denies perverting peer review. I'm quite sure Phil Jones will be exonerated. Just wish Steve McIntyre could be subjected to a similar Inquiry into his disingenuous role in the affair - particularly his attempt to pervert the FOI Act with multiple vexatious requests. Meanwhile, the various submissions to the Inquiry can be read here. Some appear to be from persons and organisation that have a better understanding of the events and context of various emails than others. I'd draw attention, for example, to that from the Public Interest Research Centre - who seem to have done a bit more research than just read the tabloid media. The Guardian have provided a transcript of the hearing here - though note this is not an official transcript.

Warm winters distress reindeer herds in Russian Arctic - no scepticism on GW there, despite a rare cold winter this year.

Fish rain on Australian town

El Nino and a pathogen, not global warming, killed Costa Rican toad - lesson: beware of, er, leap-frogging to the conclusions you think are right!

Atmospheric nanoparticles impact health, weather - professor says (note my slight change to the headline!)

Flood fears grow as rain saturates southern Queensland - but for Western Australia, long, hot dry spell to continue. Perth airport hasn't recorded any rain since 20th November!

And it's also now confirmed that February 2010 is the driest month for S'pore since records began in 1869


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