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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 12:53 UK time, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Last night was the coldest night of the winter so far for some of us. Temperatures at Trawscoed plunged to minus 14 Celsius, at Tirabad near Sennybridge minus 13 Celsius, minus 10 in Hawarden and Monmouth and minus six at Cardiff Airport.

Of course, cold snaps in winter are not unusual but this one is much longer than we're used to. In fact it's the worst in Britain for about 30 years. So what's caused it? Well basically the weather pattern is stuck in a rut. We we've got high pressure to the north of Britain.

It's what we call a blocking high. These can occur at any time of the year and can last for several weeks. They can bring us lovely, warm weather in April and May but in winter high pressure to the north of Britain means bitterly cold north-easterly winds.

The jet stream at the moment is way to the south, so Spain is getting all the rain.

Here in Wales the very cold weather is set to continue with a Met Office severe warning for icy roads in force. Heavy snow in Pembrokeshire this morning is moving away with much of the the country enjoying a fine and crisp winter's day with clear, blue skies and sunshine.

Top temperatures on the coast three Celsius but close to freezing or below inland and on high ground.

Tonight generally fine with clear skies and another widespread hard frost. Lowest temperatures typically minus three to minus 10 Celsius. Lower in a few locations. A little light snow may spread into northeast Wales later in the night.

Tomorrow another very icy start. Light snow showers in north Wales in the morning will move away and then the whole country will be fine with bright skies and sunshine. Temperatures struggling to reach freezing. The highest two Celsius on the coast with a north-easterly breeze picking-up, especially in the south.

Over the weekend, the wind is going to strengthen making it feel bitterly cold with a significant wind chill and more snow is expected on Sunday and Monday although at this stage it should be mostly light.

The signs are the cold snap will continue for another two weeks but it may turn milder later in the month. In the meantime, keep the thermals handy!

Best wishes/Cofion



  • Comment number 1.

    Derek, Here in rural Mid-Wales my thermometer recorded minus 19, as it did on the 4th of January. This probably went even lower during the night but my max min is not working so I couldn't confirm it. This temperature was just by the house, it will have been much colder on the roads and in the fields. I sent in a picture of the thermometer on the 4th but no-one has responded to that yet. Even now the thermometer is reading minus 13 at 1400 hours.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hey Derek, I have been reading some charts which also suggest that the Big Freeze may continue to 23 January and beyond.. its a while off but does look like we could be at a strong battle with Atlantic milder air for a week up to this date and beyond. It seems like the air over France and Germany could be quite widely between -20 -30.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Derek, back in the 1982 cold spell i remember my dad's greenhouse thermometer reading -27C in Llantysilio (llanymynech) powys. obviously the plants weren't too pleased. on our way to work in shrewsbury at the time i saw many many truck drivers stranded all over the place with fires underneath their engines trying to get them to start !! and when we got to shrewsbury the biggest shock of all, my dad's business was next to the river severn which was nothing but a seething mass of huge icebergs grinding against each other. i'll never forget the sight and the sound of that !!


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