Friday 8 January 2010, 15:10
We've had some exceptionally cold nights recently. Last night another record was broken in Wales with -15°C, (5°F) recorded at the Met Office automatic weather station at Tirabad near Sennybridge in the Brecon Beacons which is very remote, 307 metres or 1007 feet above sea level.
The previous record here was -14°C on 20 December 1999. This is an official temperature reading using a Stevenson Screen.
A few of you have recorded even lower temperatures, such as Richard Manning from Llanwrda in Carmarthenshire who recorded -16.8°C.
Neville Danby recorded -14.9°C in Talybont on Usk. His garden is in the bottom of the valley which is in a frost pocket collecting all the cold, dense air as it drains off the hills.
Helen of Bylchau in Conwy measured -16.9°C on her thermometer
In Caersws, Powys. Howard Wright saw the mercury sink to -18°C
While Rosemary Wilson from Crossgates near Llandrindod has recorded - 20°C. She also has no water because her well is frozen - I'm not surprised!
The coldest nights happen when there is little wind, clear skies and a covering of snow on the ground.
Since snow is a poor conductor of heat, especially when freshly fallen and dry, temperatures fall sharply.
In Wales, the lowest temperatures tend to occur in mid and east Wales furthest away from the warming influence of the sea.
The lowest temperatures ever recorded is an amazing -23.3°C (-10°F) at Rhayader in Radnorshire on 21 January 1940.
In England, the record minimum temperature is -26.1°C (-15 °F) at Newport in Shropshire on 10 January 1982.
In bonnie Scotland the lowest temperature ever recorded was -27.2°C (-17 °F) at Braemar in the Grampian Mountains on January 10, at Altnaharra, Sutherland on 30 December 1995.
Vostok in Antarctica holds the world's record for the coldest temperature: -89.4 °C (-128°F) on 21 July 1983.
Some coastal areas of Wales have escaped the worst of the cold recently. Last night the lowest temperature at Mumbles Head coastguard station was a 'tropical' -2°C. This is because the sea acts like a storage heater and keeps things a little warmer.
Over the coming few days temperatures won't fall so at low night because more cloud is expected and the wind is going to pick-up as well but the stronger wind means a significant wind-chill.
In the wind it will feel more like -5 to -10°C over the weekend. It's the sort of wind that goes right through you, instead of around you!
Temperatures may not be quite so low at night but a stronger wind means the frost will be more penetrating and so there is a greater risk of freezing pipes.
You may have noticed recently that you are getting lots of mini-electric shocks when touching things. This is because the air at the moment is very dry and the humidity is low which means more static electricity in the air.
The low humidity also means dry skin and chapped lips.
The odd snow flurry has been reported today and there is more snow on the way on Sunday, mainly in Mid and South Wales. Most of it light but it will be fairly persistent and slowly build-up.
Typically 2 to 5cm of fresh snow are expected, 1 to 2 inches, possibly more, especially on the high ground in the south and east. And the snow, which will be dry and powdery, will blow around in the wind with bigger drifts.
Longer term it looks like the big freeze will continue next week and there's a bit more snow to come too.
Have a good weekend despite the icy conditions and watch out for those biting winds from Russia!
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