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Current long range forecast

On The Weather FrontThe "not to be taken too seriously" long range forecast issued 6th March 2018, next update May 2018.“There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction between rain and weekends" - Arnot Sheppard.“If Candlemas Day (2nd February) be fair and bright, winter will have another flight.” Well, it was and it did! The old saying certainly came true this time and as I write (6th March) it remains cold with snow on the ground. The jetstream is still well south of us and winter is not over yet. Atlantic depressions are being steered south along the jet, increasing our chances of easterly winds in Lynesack. Winter in our region never really finishes until April and even then we are not surprised to see snow. Snow storms (Lambing storms) in April are all too common as is frost damage to crops that have been sown too early. Wise gardeners and farmers are not tempted by the increasing warmth of the sun as the next day could be back to cold again. Spring in Lynesack is the most changeable of all the seasons. The cold air supply is still there to our north and the North Sea is as cold as it gets. This year, after the cold snap in early March, the ground will need longer to warm up to that critical 6C (43F). Currently at 30cm(1 foot) depth we are at 2C(35F), a couple of degrees below normal and the lowest of the whole winter. The land will take a long time to warm up this spring, but it will. March came in like a lion with a very cold easterly blast. I will not bore you with the science behind it – you know where I am if you really want to know! The air came from a long way east and temperatures were down to -7C(19F) with cloud and snow falling. Unusually low temperatures for those conditions, but hopefully it put paid to the idea that it can be too cold to snow. Often the weather warms up a little when snow falls, but it is never too cold to snow. At the top end of Teesdale on Dun Fell the readings were -10C(14F) and 110mph gusts, windchill -30C(-22F). The snow was powdery and drifted easily and that is what caused the problems.Enough of the past, what do April and May hold in store? March should now go out like a lamb, leading us into a better start for April. However, it could well remain on the cold side with more snow showers and frost than normal. Our daffodils might be flattened by snow yet again, even though they are among the latest to flower in England. There will be northerly and north easterly winds at times and these will last well into May – another characteristic of the Lynesack spring. However, it should be quite sunny in April and May. The convective cloud associated with summer is slow to develop during our springs because the air is dry and the ground cool. Normally, around 20th May we say goodbye to the cool weather and summer suddenly hits us as growth increases noticeably almost overnight.Contrary to popular folklore, cold winters are often followed by poor summers, but this went horribly wrong in 1947 when the snowiest winter on record in Teesdale was followed by the hottest August. Then in 1940 the sunniest June followed a very severe January. Nobody said this was easy! If none of these forecasts work, then have a look at the old country sayings below:-Blame nature, not me, if these are wrong! :-Over to folklore now (;0)"A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay" "Expect the weather to be fair when crows fly in a pair""When ladybirds swarm the day will be warm" "If sparrows make a lot of noise, rain will follow""When pigs carry sticks the clouds will play tricks, when they lie in the mud there's no fear of a flood""Plant your beans when the moon is light, you will find that this is right,Plant potatoes when the moon is dark, and to this line you'll always hark,But if you vary from this rule you will find you are the fool.Follow this rule to the end and you'll have lots of money to spend"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.