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Current long range forecast

On The Weather FrontThe "not to be taken too seriously" long range forecast issued 5th March 2019, next update May 2019. “Dear beautiful spring weather, I miss you. Was it something I said?" - "Skipper" Kim Corbin.The very kind autumn and winter was rounded off by a remarkable February. It started quite normally, in fact colder than average, which was unusual for the past few months. There was 16cm snow lying on 2nd February and ground temperatures fell to -17°C(1°F), the lowest February value in the past 20 years. For a time we were thinking winter had arrived at last, but we were blissfully unaware what was going on high above us in the jet stream. A wave was developing and this gradually developed into the shape of the Greek letter omega – an Omega Block. These blocks are notoriously difficult to shift and if they curve to our north they pull in air from north Africa. This went on for several days and eventually Copley recorded 18°C(65°F) on 26th. This was four degrees above anything ever recorded before in February. The press blamed global warming but it was more down to the unusual upper air set-up. Within two days, as normality returned, temperatures fell by 13C(23F)!As I write, we still have March to get through and it can be a cold and snowy affair. However, there does not seem to be any severe weather in sight, but remember, even in these days of hi-tech computer power, a forecast beyond five days in Teesdale is notoriously unreliable. Mid-March often throws up a cold spell with snow showers. Candlemas Day, 2nd February was fair and bright so winter should be having another flight according to the saying. Unlike autumn, a Lynesack spring is really unpredictable and can change by the hour. As Mark Twain said “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes” and that certainly applies to Old England as well.During April, most of the spring showers will be of rain and many nights frost-free but, inevitably, there will be damaging frosts for tender plants and seedlings, and some snow. The snow is most likely at the end of March and early April, but air frosts will continue into early summer with grass frosts possible any night throughout the year. With rainfall, nature is a great balancer and we have had a dry winter, so a wet spring and summer? Mild winters are followed, more often than not, by good summers. There are exceptions like last year when a good summer followed a cold, snowy winter. Spring could well turn out to be cold and wet this year. We have had very few easterly outbreaks recently and one is certainly due.If an easterly was to happen, it would last a few weeks as they often do in spring. Lynesack would be hit worse than most of the country. It would be cold and wet with wintry showers and fell snow. Early May is also a time for a cold snap, this time with northerly winds, but then suddenly around mid-May the temperature shoots up as does plant growth and we are into early summer. Day length is increasing all the time and May can be a delightful month in Lynesack with lots of sunshine.What can nature tell us in early spring?"The daisy shuts its eye and flowers smell their best before rain"."Frogs will call before the rain but in sun they are quiet again""A single magpie in spring, foul weather will bring""A reddish sun has water in his eye, before long you won't be dry"."A cold April brings us bread and wine""If early April is foggy, rain in June will make the lanes boggy""Mists in May bring heat in June and make harvest come right soon""'til April's dead, cast not a thread and ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out" (Probably blossom, not the month)“If February gives much snow, a fair summer it doth foreshow" (not this year!)The ode to the weatherman:- "And in the dying embers these are my main regrets, when I'm right no one remembers, when I'm wrong no one forgets."Keep up to date with my website and the Teesdale Mercury Enjoy our weather – it’s never dull and behind the clouds the sun is always shining. Ken Cook, (follow the links for real-time goodies

COPLEY CLIMATOLOGICAL STATION altitude 253metres(830feet) Met Office manned observing site.