Frigid air

The Met Office in the UK reports:

As December draws to a close, early provisional figures from the Met Office suggest that this December is very likely to be the coldest across the UK since the national series began in 1910.

This December the average temperature for the UK has been -1.5 deg C, 5.7 deg C below the long-term average of 4.2 deg C.

The current coldest December was in 1981, with a mean temperature of 0.1 deg C.

That 1981 figure wouldn’t get you into the top (bottom?) five in Oklahoma City. And even -1.5° C is shruggable; the monthly record here (going back to 1891) is 25.8° F, which is -3.4° C. Which is pretty cold for a place at almost the same latitude as Crete, fercrissake.

But start heading north from here — Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Manitoba — and those Oklahoma City numbers, cold as they are, look increasingly laughable. So I suspect the Brits aren’t going to get a whole lot of commiseration from these parts, although I’m rude enough to suggest that they might consider looking into increasing their carbon footprints.

(Found at Steven Goddard’s Real Science.)


  1. KingShamus »

    2 January 2011 · 10:40 am

    The Brits are wussies.

    There. I said it.

  2. Jeffro »

    2 January 2011 · 11:25 am

    Has Al Gore been visiting the UK?

  3. Tatyana »

    2 January 2011 · 12:10 pm

    Only two weeks ago I had a similar (and predictable) conversations at a monthly gathering of Todd Seavey’s Manhattan Project . One of the visitors, a naturalized-American ethnic German, was worried about getting to North-East of Germany at time for Christmas family reunion; he was talking about the cold weather spell that enveloped Europe at the moment. “Of course, – he said, – all this fuss must sound ridiculous to you, being born in Russia.” I also dete3cted vague notion that Americans will be immobilized by 5sm of snow just as badly as Western Europeans.
    I had to [habitually, alas] remind him that Russia is a big, and I mean BIG country; that half of my life there I have lived in the western-southern parts of it, with the climate similar to that of Washington, DC, and that it would make more sense to compare the European chaotic and helpless reaction to that of North Dakota’s and Main’s.
    I stopped short of asking him if he ever crossed the Buffalo’ line going North – if he had, there would be no difficulty for him mentally imagining snowy dunes of 3 yards high and associating them with US.

  4. CGHill »

    2 January 2011 · 12:24 pm

    Here in Soonerland, we don’t take kindly to two inches (5 cm) of snow, but we muddle through it; heck, we got through 14 inches (35 cm) on Christmas Eve 2009, and it took nearly a week to go away. (The annual average is around 8.5 inches.)

    Much greater is my concern for freezing rain, which is a lot more common here than it is in Siberia.

  5. Mel »

    2 January 2011 · 1:21 pm

    Yeah, I had a conversation with a cousin currently working at a small hospital in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands (think “Deadliest Catch”).

    When I mentioned that we were having nights in the low 20’s / upper teens, her response was “Ah. A Heat Wave!”

  6. Lynn »

    2 January 2011 · 9:02 pm

    It was 9 degrees F at about 6:30 this morning.

  7. CGHill »

    2 January 2011 · 9:09 pm

    Got down to about 15 here; I think we bottomed out at 11 during December.

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