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Current long range forecast

On The Weather FrontThe "not to be taken too seriously" long range forecast issued 5th January 2019, next update March 2019. “Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get" - Mark Twain.I cannot remember an autumn and early winter that has been so kind to us weatherwise as this one has been. There has been just one day with snow on the ground and that was back in late October, very unusual for us. Winds have been reasonably light - we have had just a couple of gales and the old saying “No weather be ill if the wind be still” comes to mind. It has been pleasantly dry as well with some reasonably sunny spells thrown in. This is a benign end to an eventful year when a very cold and snowy late winter was followed by a warm, dry and sunny summer. By the end of the year, temperatures had evened out to just above normal (yet again), and 2018 was a dry and sunny year overall.I imagine Lynesack people back in 1947 could have been thinking the same as we are now – could this be the winter with no snow? Look what followed in 1947, the snowiest winter known! Actually a snowless winter has never happened in my records, but with the current warming trend and rapidly melting Arctic ice, might it be a possibility one day – even in our snowy region? I think not – not just yet anyway. Remember only last year when the snow left it until February and March to attack! We are never out of the woods here until late April when the Lambing Storms can cause such chaos.As I write in early January, the cold air is being kept well to our north and north east by a big loop in the jetstream trapping a huge settled-weather anticyclone across us, but this cannot last much longer. By mid-month I expect the cold air that has been stored up will be looking for a way out, as will the dense cold air across northern Europe. When this happens towards the end of January and into February, the North Sea will be at its coldest and winter will arrive at last. This colder spell could last into early spring and delay farmers and growers as it did last year. “As the day lengthens, so the cold strengthens”No White Christmas this year then and apart from one horrible day on 15th December when freezing rain caused chaos, nothing much to trouble us. However, White Easters are a lot more common in our region and the general slowing down that is happening with our weather as the poles warm suggests that the current lag in seasons is strengthening. We are famous for late winters and late summers and I am expecting the same this year.What can nature tell us in late winter?"As the light grows longer, so the cold grows stronger.If Candlemas (2nd February) be fair and bright, winter will have another flightIf Candlemas be cloud and rain winter will be gone and not come again.A farmer should on Candlemas Day have half his corn and half his hay.On Candlemas Day if thorns hang a drop you can be sure of a good pea crop.""When the cat lies in the sun in February, she will creep behind the stove in March""Of all the months of the year, curse a fair February""If February gives much snow, a fair summer it doth foreshow" (happened last year!)"A wet March makes a sad harvest""Bad weather always looks worse from indoors"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.