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Winter Weather

magic is all around, buddha

I have been fascinated by meteorology for a long time, and was not dissuaded by the subject having the most boring lecturer on the planet while in college. In the last few years, I've properly discovered both online weather services (of which there are many) and the weather discussion boards, of which there may even be more.

The recent cold spell has been very interesting for both. Many - possibly most - meteorologists in the Isles seem to really like the extremes of winter weather, such as they are. Snow is the big one, but frosts and storms get tracked with enthusiasm as well. Across all the boards, I can count maybe half a dozen posters who were not/are not hoping for snow. So there's been a lot of discussion.

It's been cold, properly wintery cold, since about the 18th of December. It's being touted as the coldest spell in Ireland for the last 50 years, and while there haven't been completely record-breaking low temperatures, numbers around the -9°C mark have been recorded. I'll also point out for my North European and North American readers that our humidity hovers around the 90% mark, so it feels colder than those numbers would indicate.

My own electronic thermometer recorded a low of -4.7°C on Christmas Morning, and it has since hit -4.5°C on the morning of the 2nd of January. It was -2.6°C when we were leaving the house this morning. The Royal Canal has had ice on it pretty consistently since the 23rd of December, and nearly all precipitation has been as snow or ice pellets, with some occasional sleet to liven things up. Mostly, it's been dry.

The weather forecasts on some services are reading like science fiction (Kim Stanley Robinson, to be precise). Metcheck is predicting -8°C during the morning of Saturday 8th January, and indeed, -10°C on the following Monday morning. These dates are more than three days out, and as such are unreliable, but it's a fair indicator that it will continue to be cold.

Metcheck also says that there will be snow in Kildare by tomorrow morning, or at least, tomorrow afternoon. Sometime, anyway.

yr.no, a service less given to histrionics than Metcheck, agrees that there will be snow in Kildare by tomorrow morning. It doesn't extend to the early days of next week, but predicts a much more likely -4°C for Saturday. It's hard to remember, somtimes, though, that it's just using a different model or ensemble of models, and isn't inherently more reliable - it underestimated the cold on the morning of January 2nd by quite a long shot, for instance.

Neither of the services is predicting much above 3°C for the foreseeable future, though. For a country where that's the average minimum for January, that's quite notable.

Right now, it's chilly enough in the office that my fingers are numb, and I've agreed with the powers that be that if there's any sign of snow, I am going to head for home, taking a pile of documents with me on a memory stick.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
metalrabbit
Jan. 4th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Well I don't know how accurate the car thermometer is but it was -3/-4 in Carlow/Kilkenny this morning and it's already -1 with snow! And it is definitely snowing in Kildare, it took Greg ages to get home from Newbridge
gothic_fraggle
Jan. 6th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
Has the Gulf Stream stopped working yet?
gothwalk
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
It doesn't SEEM to. If it does, we'll know within days, because Ireland will freeze over completely.
followthebird
Jan. 7th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Mr_wombats father recorded a temperature of -11c outside his home in Cavan one of the mornings before Christmas.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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