Weather Update – Ongoing cold spell from Met Office Regional Advisor – NW England

Perhaps I should start with a record (not the vinyl variety). Crosby,
just north of Liverpool, by the sea, smashed its previous record low
temperature last night with -17.0C (1.4F). A combination of snow cover,
clear skies, no wind and virtually the longest night possible all
combined to knock several degrees off the previous record. In comparison
with Shap’s -15.8C and Woodford’s -14.7C it just goes to show what can
happen when ideal heat-loss conditions come into play.

As for today, not a lot to say really. Mainly sunny and dry but bitterly
cold although little or no wind so ideal for a snowy winter walk in the
park well wrapped up. Maximum temperatures will, not surprisingly after
such a cold night, struggle to between zero and -3C typically although
the coldest spots may struggle to get above -5C. Any thawing of lying
snow restricted to areas fully exposed to the sun with any standing
meltwater freezing quickly once the sun sets.

As for tonight it’s almost a repeat performance although there is some
doubt whether temperatures will dip as low as last night, if only
because patchy freezing fog may form later in the night, perhaps more
likely over Cheshire and Merseyside. This will arrest the fall of
temperatures but could result in very difficult driving conditions for
tomorrow morning’s rush hour.

Tomorrow another bitterly cold day with temperatures mostly staying
below zero and particularly bitter where any overnight fog patches
linger on. It will be dry with, outside of any fog, further spells of

And on it goes……………..there is a slight doubt as to the
northern extent of some light snow edging up from the south later on
Monday night into Tuesday but even were this to reach the south of the
region amounts look very small. Through Tuesday and Wednesday the very
cold spell will continue with local severe frosts overnight with (<
-10C) possible in places and daytime temperatures strugling to get above
freezing. At this stage it looks like Wednesday will see more cloud than
Tuesday with perhaps a few snow flurries and more of a breeze which
would add a significant wind chill to the equation.

On current information in front of me I can’t see the cold spell ending
before Christmas Day so, if you’ve got a decent cover of snow on the
ground now, there’s a fair chance (some/most of) it will still be around
by Saturday morning.

In terms of severe weather warnings advisories and warnings remain in
force right through until Thursday (day 5). The ongoing ice risk is
obvious to all those with snow lying outside their front door. Further
Flashes may be issued for widespread icy roads but it is unlikely that
we shall need any snow warnings in the next couple of days at least.

The next update will be issued tomorrow morning,

Enjoy the winter landscape if you can,

Kind regards,

Alan Goodman; Met Office Regional Advisor – NW England


Is This What’s Known As Recycling?

I have just received a copy of a comment from a Moreton resident, that was sent to Wirral Council’s website.    It seems despite pleas for patience, and storage of recyclable goods to the public of Wirral by the Council’s Head of Streetscene during these difficult times, that Biffa have not heard the same call and today emptied both Green and Grey whellie bins in the same vehicle!   I have asked the Council for a full explanation?   I have reproduced below, the email sent to me, however I have removed the name and address of the sender.    What do you think?

“Sorry to complain, but I want to comment on the recent bin non collections.   I fully understand why the bin collection services have been disrupted by the bad weather, although I must say that it seems to have taken forever to clear just some of the backlog.     My complaint is that, having waited since 27 December for a Green bin collection and 02 January for a grey bin collection, a vehicle turned up today and emptied both green and grey bins into the same vehicle!    Your website asks us all to be patient and store dry recycleables until after the grey bins have been emptied, which is what I have done.     What a complete waste of time and effort sorting my waste.     I cannot believe that Wirral Council can condone this action, as it flies in the face of all of the efforts to increase the level of recycling in the borough.  I would be interested to hear your comments on this incident, and to have an assurance that this will not happen in the future.     As I state in my E-mail, I understand the disruption, but I am really annoyed that my efforts to recycle are treated with such contempt.    I have obtained an extra grey bin, and regularly fill 2 bins each fortnight, so I hope you can understand my frustration.     Sorry for moaning, and thanks for reading this e-mail.

Snow Risk Wednesday – Met Office Final Update

I have just received the email below from the North West Met Office:

“Just looking at the very latest forecast.    Patchy rain/sleet/snow arriving from west later tonight then continuing tomorrow morning before petering out in the afternoon.     Low risk of a cm or so accumulating on the grass from any heavier interludes but unlikely to settle on roads.    Looks very unlikely to be disruptive to transport and the like.”

Alan Goodman;  Met Office Regional Advisor – NW England

Wirral’s Bin Collection Update!

I have just received this update from the Council:

Bins: Biffa are now working 7 days a week to catch up on bin collections. As the weather improves we hope to be able to collect in more streets.   We are prioritising green residual bins but also advise residents to leave out grey recycling bins as we will do our best to collect them at the beginning of next week.

Potential Hazardous Weather Next 48 hours – Met Office Update

I have received the following email this morning from the North West Met Office.

“The radar at 0700 confirms a band of rain already spreading eastwards across the region with the heavier rain now likely to affect Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, that over Cumbria at present looking lighter and more patchy.   The rain in the next couple of hours will be falling onto surfaces either still affected by old snow/ice or, if not, still close to or just below freezing.   Hence there is a risk of locally very slippery conditions developing through the rush hour.    Once the heavier rain has gone through later this morning it will leave behind a legacy of damp, overcast conditions with further intermittent light rain but with temperatures eventually rising to between +4 and +6C at low levels – hence there should be some acceleration in the rate of thaw of lying snow/ice.   Towards midnight the next band of rain will advance in from the west to reach all areas in the early hours of Saturday.   Some heavy rain is possible anywhere from this system, especially over Cumbria.   As mentioned yesterday there is a chance of the rain turning to sleet/snow for a time on the higher ground during Saturday morning with several centimetres of snow possible over the higher Cumbrian fells and the higher-lying Pennine areas.    Very difficult to put a height on the rain/snow boundary but certainly something to bear in mind.

Probably of greater significance, though, is the likely impact of the rain falling onto land, much of which is still under a substantial snow-cover.   As yesterday’s Flood Guidance Statement suggested (without actually referring to northern England), this is likely to lead to enhanced run off of rainwater, accentuated by thawing snow, which could result in localised problems.     I will try and forward today’s Flood Guidance Statement to you upon receipt (usually between 1000 and 1030).    Potential problems could also arise where snow has been piled up on roadsides/car parks etc. possibly inhibiting drainage.

Although the heavier rain tomorrow will occur prior to midday, further intermittent rain is likely through the remainder of Saturday with a proper clearance not expected until Saturday evening.    With temperatures at low levels again climbing several degrees above freezing and, combined with the rain, we should see a continued faster thaw of snow than during the recent past.

As for Sunday and beyond into next week the good news is that it looks as if we’ll be under a more typical January regime with temperatures for the time being back up towards the average.    This obviously doesn’t preclude overnight frost/fog but at least things should start to feel a little more like ‘normal’ whatever ‘normal’ is………………………”

Alan Goodman; Met Office Regional Advisor – NW England

Latest from the North West Met Office.

I have reproduced below this mornings weather forecast update from the North West Met Office:

“Yesterday’s band of light snow has largely cleared through Cumbria and for the remainder of today it’s another very cold, mainly cloudy but largely dry day.  Yesterday’s snow offset any further  thawing and today’s temperatures will only reach 0-2C which will allow only very limited thawing of snow/ice.  Similar conditions overnight with temperatures hovering close to freezing.

Tomorrow some potentially nasty conditions may develop for a time as a band of rain spreads from the west during the morning (arriving west coast between 0600 and 0900), heaviest across Cumbria and north Lancashire, more patchy towards the south of the region. Problems could arise in one of three ways.     Firstly, at low levels away from the coast this rain will be falling onto surfaces, many of which are still covered with compacted snow/ice.   This in itself will result in some very slippery pavements/sideroads/car parks etc.    Secondly, there is a risk (again mainly for inland locations) that even where surfaces are free of snow/ice, the rain could, for a short time, freeze on contact with the ground giving a very dangerous, thin, temporary coating of ice.    Thirdly, the rain will likely turn to snow for a time above around 200 metres giving a few cm of fresh snow, especially on the higher trans-Pennine and Cumbrian routes before it reverts back to rain later in the morning.    All in all a potentially difficult period tomorrow morning although temperatures will be a notch higher by mid-afternoon with 3-4C typical for low levels. Higher up where fresh snow has fallen and temperatures are closer to freezing any thawing later in the day will likely be slow.

As for developments covering the weekend period, another belt of rain will move east across the region during Friday night and Saturday.   The rain may turn heavy at times and will be accompanied by a strengthening S’ly wind. Although the rain will encourage faster thawing of lying snow the issue of rain falling onto compacted snow/icy surfaces may again surface. Another potential issue for higher levels is the possibility that the rain will turn to snow for a time.   This looks most likely to happen above 300-400m and across Pennine areas and also the Cumbrian Fells.    All precipitation should eventually clear away to the east towards Saturday evening with temperatures at low levels reaching the dizzy heights of 4-6C.    Ice risk continues into Sunday morning after clearer skies and lighter winds on Saturday night.”

Alan Goodman; Met Office Regional Advisor – NW England 

Latest From The North West Met Office

I have just received the following forecast from the North West Met Office:

“A fragmented band of mostly light sleet/snow is currently edging its way slowly NE’wards across the region with Cheshire, Merseyside and west Lancashire the areas affected at the moment.    A flash warning for heavy snow covering a swathe of the country including Cheshire was issued by the Met Office at 0240 this morning but the radar appears to confirm that most of the precipitation is currently light.   This band of sleet/snow will continue to make erratic NE’wards progress across the region today. Amounts of snow are likely to be small (typically less than 1cm, in some places no more than a dusting) although parts of Cheshire and possibly Merseyside may see a little more but not the amounts likely to cause any significant disruption to transport networks etc.    Temperatures today, like the last few days, will reach around +1/+2C at low levels so where little or no new snow falls further slight thawing of existing old snow will take place. Higher up any thawing will be minimal.     This evening and tonight precipitation will gradually die out from the south leaving most parts dry but cloudy.   Temperatures hovering around freezing for many so still an ongoing risk of meltwater re-freezing.

Tomorrow will be another cold, cloudy but largely dry day with continued slow thawing of any lying snow at low levels and similar temperatures to those of today.

Then for Friday and Saturday the weather will turn more generally unsettled with rain and strengthening winds spreading to all areas by Saturday, accompanied by slightly higher temperatures (typically +3 to +5C at low levels). Whilst this should ensure most, if not all the leftover snow/ice thaws away at low levels the picture is not quite as straightforward as it seems.    There is a definite possibility that over the Pennine areas (and possibly the Cumbrian Fells too) Saturday’s rain will turn to sleet/snow as colder air is drawn back in for a time.” 

Alan Goodman; Met Office Regional Advisor – NW England