9th-16th December 2017

9th December

9:10 It was -1°C according to the car. By my reckoning, last night should have been the first SWEP night of the year. Having failed to put on gloves before clearing the thick frost from the car, my fingers were aching with cold. By 11:00 the cold had gone. It was milder in the evening and although I got slightly cold waiting what seemed like an interminable time for a bus at about 9:15, it really wasn’t that bad.

10th December

First heavy snow (10 Dec)

Woke up to thick, heavy snow – there was already a good inch on the ground. The first thing you do when there’s snow is to look outside and make decisions about how it’s going to affect your day – snow demands a response in a way that pretty much no other kind of weather does – except, possibly, extreme cold or extreme heat (extreme wet is different, because, unless your going to be outside for more than a few minutes, you can avoid it.  Dark Sky said that it was raining and was forecasting above zero temperatures towards the afternoon and on subsequent days. Took and early decision to stay put. The snow was still falling, but thinning by 9:45.

At 10:00 the BBC was forecasting snow and 0°C all day- no snow tomorrow, but  zero all day, falling to -7°C on Monday night/ Tuesday morning; still cod on Tuesday, but rising above zero by mid afternoon. At 10:00 Dark Sky thinks that it’s 2°C (Past Weather says 0°C, but feels like -4°C), with light rain – I send a correction – it’s still snowing. Dark Sky  is also forecasting above zero temperatures for the whole of today and a minimum of -1°C tomorrow and -2°C on Tuesday – thereafter, it’s much closer to the BBC (Met Office forecast). We shall see who’s right.

10:30 Snow falling more lightly – two young men playing snowballs in the street – someone has bravely driven their car out of the road. I clear the path in front of the house and treat it with eco-friendly “shake ‘n’ vac” ice treatment, clear snow from the car roof and the area around the wheels.

First heavy snow of 201712:00 Still snowing, but the snow on the ground is wet. No need for gloves. Drive out of the road very gingerly, with some grinding, especially when touching the foot brake – the main roads are drivable, although the traffic is moving at about 20mph – again the word “gingerly” sums it up.

First heavy snow of 2017

Pock marks from melting snow falling from the trees

14:30 Still snowing slightly, but it is melting and dripping from the trees, pock marking the snow on the ground.

First heavy snow of 2017The gullies by the side of the main roads are deep in water, providing a challenge to people trying to cross, as they have to wade through large puddles which are near to the top of normal shoes. The problem is on the pavements – compacted snow which is melting on the surface and which is likely to become ice when the temperature drops again. Pedestrians are proceeding gingerly. Motorists are proceeding at normal speed and, in the case of the van in front, with complete disregard for cyclists.

15:00 Stopped snowing

11th December

18:25 Cold, but not too cold. Oddly enough I felt the need to wear a hat (which I only do in the most extreme circumstances), but not gloves. The snow underfoot was very crunchy and it was necessary to walk in the road or on such grass verge as there is before reaching the main road, although, even them the pavements weren’t clear – more gingerly treading.

12th December

10:00 Depending on where you look, it’s:

-6°C (feels like -9°C, Past Weather);

 -2°C (feels like 0°C NotVeryAccuWeather);

-2°C and rising (Dark Sky); -4 (feels like -7, Met Office, Botanic Garden).

Forecast to rise to:

4°C (Past Weather);

4°C (NotVeryAccuWeather);

6°C (Dark Sky);

4°C (feels like -1°C , Met Office, Botanic Garden).

(Actuals  -2°C, +4°C , Benson, but they have +2°C at 12:00 , when it was  0°C  here).

Why the usually reliable Dark Sky has been so phenomenonly adrift over these past few cold days is anybody’s guess.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful sunny day and I am staying put.

12:00 0°C according to the car, which is standing in full sun. The remaining snow is frozen and crunchy under foot. It doesn’t feel too cold. There is a lot of ice about and although most of the road is clear, I wouldn’t risk driving.

12:00 0°C  in the back garden according to the data logger. So that’s official.

The snow underfoot became harder, increasingly frozen and impossible to shift with a snow shovel. Didn’t go further than the end of the path all day

13th December

9:00 Today the various sources agree that the current temperature is around 7-8°C (feeling like 2°C), with Dark Sky putting it at 5°C. The now and ice is almost gone from the lower part of the road, with some still lingering higher up (there’s obviously more traffic further down). If there’s another snow fall, I think that I will make the effort to clear and treat the road in front of my house.