The UK has a pretty temperate climate, with the effect of the Gulf Stream and the steadying influence of the surrounding shallow waters keeping temperatures relatively warm in the winter compared to other countries at similar latitudes. In addition, the weather is remarkably changeable, we don’t often get similar weather conditions for a couple of days at a time, let alone a week or longer. I remember my Meteorology teacher at school quoting ‘The only thing predictable about British weather is its unpredictability!’
So this last month or so of very cold and snowy weather is somewhat remarkable – I certainly cannot remember anything like it in my 37 years, especially in the South of England. A steady area of high pressure sat over Scotland and further north is holding back the warmer air from the West and pulling in very cold air from Scandinavia and further East. We had temperatures of -8 Celsius last night, and there are cases of -20 degrees in Scotland. I know for a lot of folks around the world this is nothing special, but for us Brits, this is stuff of legend!
Why the ‘Never seen this before’ title? This image, from NASA via the BBC News site:
A complete white-out of England, Scotland and Wales. As far as I’m aware, the first time such an image has ever been captured. Very beautiful!