Monday, 30 November 2015

Another Unwelcome November Record

Sunday afternoon must be one of the worst afternoons we've had for some time. It was very wet and very windy.  
Temperature, Rainfall & Hi Wind Speed Records for 29 November 2015
In the worst of the gale, my weather station record was broken with a wind gust speed of 43 mph at 14:35 breaking the previous record set on 05 December 2013 with 42 mph. As you can see from the chart below it’s been unusually windy this month.
I seem to be continually blogging about how this month is breaking one record or another. So here's a recap of the monthly records to date.
  • The highest wind speed in six years of 43mph
  • It's the windiest November over the last six years.
  • It's the wettest November over the last six years.
  • The mildest November day over the last six years with a temperature of 17.9°C or 64.2°F.
  • It may well turn out to be the mildest November of the last six years.
I don’t think I've forgotten any but it's definitely been a month to forget weather wise. Mild certainly isn't everything when it comes to autumn weather.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Wet and Windy

Couldn’t complain about the forecast for Saturday as after a reasonably dry early morning it became wet and windy for the remainder of the day as predicted. By the end of the day we’d had 12.4mm (0.49”)of rainfall giving us a monthly total of 90.0mm (3.54”) making it the wettest November of the last six years. Another record to add to it being the windiest over the same period. 
It’s also become the fifth wettest month of the last six years. Overnight into Sunday has brought the total up to 98.8mm or 3.89”.
2010- 2015 Wettest Months
There’s a chance it could become the mildest November too but that won’t be decided before the end of the month.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Lucky Banana, I've Chickened Out

Friday was another decent day. There were some dark threatening clouds about first thing in the morning but they didn't bring any rain with them. Rain was forecast for the middle of the afternoon but it arrived rather later than expected more towards tea time as it was getting dark.

I had planned to leave our banana tree outside to fend for itself over winter. It looked worse for wear after a couple of light frosts. It's saucer was full of water and I was guessing that it was already a bit waterlogged.
There was a little bit more space left in the greenhouse so I decided to do the decent thing and move it inside. The main stems were cut back as these were already damaged by the frost. The banana was waterlogged as I thought making the pot heavy and it was moved to the greenhouse using a combination of lifting and rolling the pot.
It's now alongside other pot plants moved into the greenhouse for some winter protection. If some really cold nights are forecast I'll cover them with a few layers of fleece. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Winter Salad Bar Update

Thursday wasn't too bad a day again. Dry and reasonably mild for the end of November. A little bit of sunshine brightened up the day.

I thought it was about time I updated how our indoor (greenhouse) winter salad bar was doing. Unfortunately the answer is not very well. It certainly is not a success story at the minute and I can’t see things improving much as we head into winter.
From top to bottom - Spring Onions, Spicy Mixed, Mesculan, Mizuna and Radish
All sown on 01 October 2015

From left to right - Spinach, Mustard and Wild Rocket
All sown on 21 October 2015

We've sown three large salad bags only one of those looks like producing any worthwhile leaves at the moment. Our Winter Density lettuce plants seem to be growing better than the mixed varieties of salad leaves, radishes and spring onions.
Our row of spinach is looking the best of the rest and so far is growing better than the other salad leaves. I will leave them until early spring and if they're not looking any better replace them with some fresh sowings.

Copyright: Original post from A Gardener's Weather Diary author M Garrett

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Apples and Honeysuckle

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday haven't been that bad for the end of November. The wind has been much calmer, we've had a few sunny spells mixed in with a smattering of showers. We've had no more frosts since the weekend.

Although we haven't been down to the plot to do any harvesting I did manage to collect a nice bowl of apples from the summerhouse. They were a mixture of Egremont Russet and Fiesta. I noticed a few were starting to rot and these will need to be thrown away.
I couldn't help noticing that one of our honeysuckles is in flower. It hasn't got lots of flowers just one or two.
It set me thinking that before I began writing a blog I probably wouldn't have taken too much notice of this. Now I'm blogging and digital photography has come along l don't think twice about taking a photo and adding a photo and comment to a blog post. Our poor plants don't have any chance of doing something a little bit out of the ordinary without being photographed and blogged about.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Nothing to Get Excited about

After a below freezing start to the day Sunday didn't warm up that much. We didn't have any rain and only a little bit of sunshine. For once it wasn't windy either. In the last 6 years we haven’t managed to get through November without the temperature falling below 0°C or 32°F.

At lunchtime I had a little walk up the garden to see whether the frost had left us any salad leaves to pick for our lunchtime sandwiches. Surprisingly they looked in remarkable good condition considering the frosty weather and I managed to pick a few leaves for lunch.
I'd like to be able to say that our banana tree was in the same sort of condition but unfortunately a frosty night has taken its toll.
I normally move the tree into the greenhouse for winter. Whilst this manages to keep the tree through winter it does have one major drawback in that the plant starts to grow too early in the spring in the warmth of the greenhouse. The new leaves soon hit the greenhouse roof but the problem is it's far too cold to move the plant outside. By the time the conditions are satisfactory to move it outside the new leaves are already badly damaged. So I'm contemplating leaving the plant where it is and seeing if it survives winter. I’ll move the tray from underneath the pot to avoid the banana tree from standing in water. I might try to lift one of the small shoots from the base and put this in a pot for winter to see if it survives better. A sort of insurance policy.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Turned Out Frosty

As well forecast Saturday turned out to be the coldest day of autumn so far. It was a cold sunny day with a high temperature of 4.6°C (40.3°F) and low of -1.0C or 30.2°F. We had Met Office warnings in place for ice, gales and snow none of which turned out to be appropriate in our particular location.
Temperature Records 16 November to 22 November 2015
The temperature has been on a downward trend since Wednesday reaching its lowest point just after midnight on Saturday at -1.1°C or 30.0°F. By mid morning on Sunday ice on the bird bath was melting quickly.
The forecast seems to be for milder weather next week but with more normal November temperatures than we’ve perhaps become accustomed to. 
I wonder how long our rose can go on flowering. There’s another bud waiting to do its bit once this flower is finished.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

November Arrives at Last

The windy weather continued through Thursday and Friday. We had showers rather than persistent rain. Friday saw the temperature fall as the weekend’s cold spell began to replace the milder conditions.
Temperature, Rainfall & Wind Gust Speed Records 18 November to 20 November 2015
Friday became the coldest autumn day of the year but I suspect it will be replaced immediately by Saturday. For the record Friday’s average was 5.2°C (41.4°F) with a low of 2.8°C or 37.0°F.

Saturday morning has started sunny with a bitterly cold wind and the temperature hovering around the 3°C (37.4°F) mark.
Looks like it could be summer doesn’t it as one of our wood pigeons waits patiently to see what goodies will be going onto the bird table on Saturday morning. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

More Gales and Rain

Tuesday and Wednesday were wet and windy nothing too unusual about that at the moment.
Temperature, Rainfall & Wind Gust Speed Records 17 November to 19 November 2015
We’re about two thirds of the way through November and it’s clear there’s the possibility of November 2015 becoming the mildest on record and as far as my Ossett weather station is concerned the windiest as well.

As there’s some time to go to see if the temperature record is broken I’ll confirm that November 2015 is the windiest November of my six years of record keeping.
As you can see from the graph above this November's block is easily bigger than any previous Novembers and still has time to grow a little bit more.

Comparing six years of wind speed records for January then 2015 is the windiest January I’ve recorded. That is also the case for March, May, June, July and now November.
It sort of goes without saying that 2015 will be the windiest year I’ve recorded.

I much preferred that settle spell of calm weather in October even if we had some misty mornings, and if we were lucky some afternoon sunshine, to the continuous battering from wind and rain that we’re getting now. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Another November Record

As you might be aware this November saw the mildest day I've recorded over the past six years. It's now managed a rather more unwanted record as the early hours of Monday my weather station recorded a wind speed of 29mph the highest I've recorded in November.
I couldn't help but notice this morning when I spotted Woody finishing up some fallen bird seed that he looked like he'd been in a scrap. He looked a bit more like a vulture with his featherless neck.
As Monday was a nice day I'd decided to move our dahlias and lavender into the greenhouse for winter when I spotted something on the lawn.
Perhaps this is where Woody had his scrap. It looks like some feathers either from a small bird or maybe from around Woody’s neck as they appear to be the right colour.

Whatever the problem it doesn't seem to have stopped him or her eating.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Rain & Gales

It's been a very wet weekend. We had plenty of rain on both Saturday and Sunday with slightly more on Saturday. It was also pretty windy on both days too. Saturday saw 10.4mm (0.41”) of rainfall whilst we had 9.6mm (0.38”) on Sunday.
Temperature, Rainfall & High Wind Speed Records for Friday 13 to Sunday 15 November 2015
We've managed 29.4mm (+1.16”) now since we've had a spell of 24 hours without any rain.

Sunday saw the wind gusting to 28mph which equals my highest recorded value for November. The last time I recorded a similar value in November was on 11 November 2010.
Our tub of dahlias has taken a bit of a battering in the strong winds. I’ll cut them back and move the tub into the greenhouse to give the tubers some winter protection.

The forecast for next week is for the wet and windy conditions to continue into the latter part of the week before we get a cold snap beginning on Friday and lasting into the early part of the following week. The wind direction changes to a northerly and there's the possibility of snow on higher ground in Scotland and northern England. Temperatures through the day are expected to be only just above freezing.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

More Like November

Trust me to write a blog about the mild weather then look what happens. At the end of Thursday November's average temperature was 11.9°C or 53.4°F. We've become accustomed to temperatures in the mid teens but Friday only managed a high of 10.3°C (50.5°F). We had some sunny spells but it even managed to rain in the sunshine. With a blustery breeze it really did feel like November had arrived.
Down on the allotment the plum trees have already lost their leaves in the recent wet and blustery conditions and taken on a winter appearance on our last visit.
However our Meeches Prolific quince tree, which flowers and fruits later than our plums, still had plenty of leaves on the tree when we visited. It puts on a much better autumn display than the apples, pears and plums.
There’s been more wet and windy weather since our last visit so it will be interesting to see how many leaves remain when we make our next trip to the plot.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Balmy November

The weather has continued mild over the last three days with some pleasant sunny spells although we’ve had a bit of a blustery wind at times but nothing to complain about considering it’s almost the middle of November.

A bit bizarrely the average temperature for November is actually higher then October’s. In fact it’s not much different to September’s. 
I took this photo of one of our hellebore’s which is just coming into flower. I can’t decide whether it’s flowering very very late or extremely early!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

November Records and Uncosmetic Veg!

Tuesday 10 November 2015 turned out to be a record breaker for my Ossett weather station. The overnight low temperature only fell to 15.9°C (60.6°F) making it the warmest November night I've recorded. It breaks the previous record set on 01 November 2014 which was 12.6°C or 54.7°F. Not only that but the daytime temperature went on to reach 17.9°C (64.2°F) breaking the previous highest November temperature also set on 01 November 2014 of 17.6°C (63.7°F). 
Whilst I'm on the subject of temperature records it seems there's been lots of speculation about our autumn this year being very mild. Certainly last week on Autumn Watch they seemed to mention how mild this autumn has been on numerous occasions. From my records it seems that we've missed out in Ossett. Our autumn started off fairly cool but has since improved and is now around average for end of October beginning of November.
As November has started off very mild there is every possibility that autumn in Ossett will turn out to be above average in the end. Of course it might have been very different where you live.

At this time of year warm can often mean wet and windy too but Tuesday afternoon was sunny with a blustery wind. We were out of fresh vegetables so a visit to the allotment was needed. We had a good harvesting session but as I washed the soil from our newly dug carrots and parsnips I couldn't help thinking about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War on Waste,which we'd watched on TV. He is trying to cut back on the amount of food thrown way for no good reason. Certainly none of our carrots or parsnips would pass the supermarkets cosmetic tests and would be consigned to being dug back into the ground.
I can assure you that won't be the case with our veggies. They may take a little bit more time to prepare than the perfectly formed carrots and parsnips on the supermarket shelves but they'll taste infinitely better. 

If you want to read more on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall War on Waste then click here.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Fall Has Arrived

We spent most of last week decorating. As far as things go it wasn’t a bad week to choose as we wouldn’t have got much done outside. From a misty, damp and cloudy start to the week the only change was that became a windy and wet end to the week.

On Sunday 01 November we had a lovely mild day with some afternoon sunshine. In the garden our acer was putting on a spectacular autumn display. 
What a difference a week makes at this time of year especially if the weather isn’t that good.
I’m surprised the strong gusty wind hasn’t blown the leaves about a bit more than it has. Still it makes for a lovely carpet under the acer for a few days.

The wet and windy weather is forecast to continue for a few days yet.

Friday, 6 November 2015

More Mist Then Rain

The damp, murky and misty weather continued on Thursday morning. By the middle of the afternoon we got some heavier rain.
We had an unexpected day off decorating today as yesterday’s paintwork was still a little bit tacky so we decided to leave it for another day before starting to wallpaper.

I decided I’d check out the quinces stored in the summerhouse.
I don’t think the damp weather of the last week has proved ideal storage conditions and a couple of fruits had started to turn mouldy. These were removed and half the remaining quinces were converted into quince compote. I also decided on the same course of action for  some of our stored Bramley apples.
For comparison purposes Bramley apple compote is on the left and Meeches Prolific quince compote is on the right. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Persistent Mist

Since the mist and fog descended late Sunday afternoon it's not really cleared away completely. Monday was the worst day for fog but since then it’s remained dull, damp and misty.
Temperature & Sunshine Records 31 October to 05 November 2015
The poor weather hasn’t bothered us too much as we’re in full decorating mode at the minute.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Almost a Heatwave

A mild spell for Halloween and the first day of November seems to be becoming a bit of a trend. Mornings and evenings have been misty and murky but if the fog lifts and the sun breaks through it’s been very mild in the sunshine. 
Temperature & Sunshine Records 31 October to 02 November 2015
The plan for the weekend was a little bit of steam train photography mixed in with some autumn scenery. It didn’t quite work out as planned due to the weather.

On Saturday we left home in some lovely sunshine heading towards York but we hadn’t got too far before we ran into some mist and low cloud making steam train or any other photography for that matter a bit tricky.
Sunday morning dawned foggy and we decided against a planned trip into the Peak District but by lunchtime the sun was out and it had turned into a lovely day. We set off for Stocksmoor in the afternoon for a spot of steam train photography. Lots of other people had the same idea!
When you’re busy photographing trains you have to have eyes in the back of your head to notice if anything interesting is going on behind you.
By the time we arrived home on Sunday it was just starting to get dark and the mist had descended again. 
It hasn’t lifted all day on Monday so perhaps we’ve had the final fling of good weather as we head towards winter.