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Weather Watch: It’s official – our winter was one of the wettest and mildest on record

Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover

Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover

  • by Daniel Adamson, head of meteorological research and development at MetDesk in Wendover
 

With the ‘meteorological winter’ season (December 1 to February 28) now over, we can officially state that winter 2013-14 was the wettest on record in Bucks and the UK as a whole.

It was also windy and very mild, with mean temperatures around 1.5C above the 1981-2010 average, making it the 12th warmest in 355 years of records across England and Wales.

Frosts were at a premium with only around 12-15 nights when the air temperature fell below zero in town centres across Bucks and just over 20 nights in frost hollows out in the countryside.

Perhaps one of the most striking features of the winter was the virtual absence of snow from lowland parts of the UK.

Indeed, many parts of southern Britain didn’t see a single snowflake during the three winter months.

Such winters are fairly rare, although not unprecedented, with 1989-90, 1994-95 and 2002-03 being three of the most notable recent ‘snowless’ ones.

Of course, although the ‘meteorological winter’ is over for another nine months, there is still plenty of time for us to see a few snowflakes, before summer (hopefully) arrives.

In fact, climatologically speaking, snow is more likely at Easter than Christmas in Bucks, although of course the late Easter this year reduces the chances of a ‘White Easter’ quite considerably.

So why was there so little snow this winter?

Well beyond stating the obvious that ‘it just wasn’t cold enough’, the main reason is the direction from which our weather came from.

A very active Atlantic polar jet stream meant westerly winds prevailed. Easterly winds, blowing colder air in from the continent and which typically bring Bucks much of its snowfall, were virtually non-existent.

Northerly winds, feeding cold air down from the Arctic, were also conspicuous in their absence.

And the forecast for the next few days?

Well, still no snow.

Instead, the settled spell will continue through the rest of the week with some warm afternoon sunshine.

A mainly dry, bright weekend too. 

>@metdesk

>www.metdesk.com

>MetDesk’s brilliant new weather app, Home and Dry, great for tracking UK storms and heavy rainful, is now available to download from the Apple store

 

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