Friday saw the continuation of the snow that started at 20.34 on Thursday evening and eventually stopped just after 18.30 Friday evening.
With strong winds from the northeast and continuous snow falling is not surprising to find that the thermometer struggled to reach a maximum of just 0.5C, which was 6.6C below average.
The snow depth varied between 15cm where it was windswept and 26cm on the flat vegetable garden. Three samples of snow at varying depths have been taken, as described in yesterday’s report, and slowly melted so that he equivalent rainfall will become evident later today.
The minimum temperature overnight was -3.4C at 07.17 this morning that had risen slightly to -2.8C at 08.00.
Saturday arrived with mostly clear skies and the sun shine brightly.
January 2019 Review
With just 47% of the 35-year average, rainfall in January was in short supply. There were 20 dry days when the average stood at 12. Precipitation totalled just 43.3mm, which was 48.5mm below average. It was the driest January since 2006.
Set against the limited rainfall was the fact that the equivalent rainfall of 11.4mm was lost to evaporation from ground sources and any plant life at this time of year.
There were three days when snow fell, the 31st being the notable occurrence as the snow started at 20.33 and continued throughout the night, not ceasing until 18.30 on Friday 1st. This snowfall produced the equivalent of 9.4mm of rainfall, the wettest day in January. The snow depth varied from 15cm, where the land was windswept, to a more representative 26cm on my large vegetable garden.
With modest amounts of snow, the contents of the rain gauge can easily be emptied into a container and slowly melted to discover the equivalent rainfall. However, the heavy snow at the end of the month, combined with drifting in the strong north-easterly winds, meant the depth of snow varied considerably. At such times the standard Meteorological 5 inch rain gauge is inverted, or similar 5inch cylindrical container, and pushed over three different areas to sample the snow at various depths. A flat surface is then placed at ground level and slid under the container to trap a column of snow. The contents are then slowly melted and averaged to get an approximate rainfall equivalent.
It was a cold month with the mean temperature 1.1C below the 35-year average being the coldest January since 2010. There were 17 days when a frost occurred the most severe saw the thermometer dropping to -7.2C in the early hours of the 31st. At the opposite end of the month we had four consecutive very cold days with the thermometer resolutely refusing to get above a maximum of 1.3C on the 4th being almost 6C below average. Contrasting those cold days was a maximum of 10.8C, which was measured on the 25th.
There were only eight days with n sunshine, which totalled 87.6 hours, with the sunniest day occurring on the 28th with 7.5 hours.
Morning fog was noted on two days.
Update on Saturday at 15.05: thermometer slowly rose to a maximum of 2.9C at 14.32 with the UV level of 1.1 the highest for over two months.
Update at 19.50: thermometer now showing (-0.1C) air frost has set in again.