Tuesday, March 26th 2013, 5:40 PM EDT
Huge snow drifts with continued cold and strong winds have led to scores of homes being cut off this weekend in what’s turned out to be the heaviest March snowfall since 1979.
At Bradford Lister Park, an official Met Office station, 20cms of snow (8 inches) was recorded, with much larger drifts.
Over the Pennines, accurately measuring how much snow has fallen has proved to be very difficult because of the strong easterly wind.
In many places drifts have reached more than 10 feet deep.
We have to go back to March 1979 for a comparable snow event.
In Bradford, this weekend’s snow was the deepest since ’79, when 28cms (11 inches) was recorded; that year in Huddersfield it snowed non-stop for 41 hours, with 15 inches of level snow reported.
The cold air across the UK is so entrenched, with the jet stream so far south, that contrary to what I suggested last week, it now looks very unlikely that the cold air will loosen its grip during the Easter weekend.
Currently using Central England Temperature (CET) data the mean temperature for March is a fraction under 3.3C.
Bearing in mind the cold air will be with us longer, it now looks likely that March will be even colder than 1969 (CET 3.3C), and the coldest since 1962 (CET 2.8C), putting this month in the top 5 coldest March’s in the last 100 years.
It’s all the more remarkable considering March last year on the same measure was the warmest since 1957.
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