Monday 25 February 2013, 16:13
Winter, from a climatological perspective, ends on Thursday, but with no sign at all of noticeably warmer weather any time soon.
As a reminder (because it’s normally a bone of contention!) for the purposes of being able to make like for like comparisons each year, winter is defined as December, January and February.
But the technically correct definition of the start of spring is the moment at which the sun crosses the equator into the Northern Hemisphere and is called the spring equinox.
Contrary to popular belief, though, spring does not always begin on the 21st of March each year, in fact this year it falls the day before.
Likewise summer, autumn and winter don’t always begin on the 21st of June, September or December either; hence using this definition can mean that the seasons year on year can be of differing lengths, making accurate comparisons invalid.
Today’s static weather, with high pressure to the north of the UK feeding in cloudy and cold conditions from the northeast (although not in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the far north of England where it’s gloriously sunny) is actually quite common at this time of the year.
In fact, February is climatologically one of the driest months of the year, because of such ‘blocking’ weather patterns, and this month is turning out to be no exception.
Looking ahead, this pattern looks set to remain with us into early March, with pressure remaining higher than normal, and a distinct lack of milder air from the Atlantic.
This means that apart from the possibility of a little light rain at times, a lot of dry weather is likely but with temperatures remaining mostly at or below average levels for the foreseeable future.
That said some sunshine is likely, particularly around the middle of this week, and with light winds it will feel like a big improvement compared to today’s gloomy damp and cold conditions.
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