Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sunny morning clouding over

Saturday produced the coldest overnight temperature (-3.9°C) and lowest average daily temperature (0.1°C) of the year but by just a whisker. 

It was late afternoon when the clouds started to arrive but this probably prevented another frosty night.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Cold again!

Friday was sunny and cold. The temperature hovered just above freezing all day and then fell sharply as evening fell to record our lowest temperature of the year -3.5°C.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Friday, 28 January 2011

Brrrr - It's cold again

A chill returned on Thursday as the temperature struggled just above freezing all day. We had some afternoon sun but it didn't seem able to lift the temperature.

I took the opportunity to sort out my video from our visit to Fairburn Ings the other day. By mistake I must have left the video on record as I switched shots and completely by accident got this scene of the sun setting.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Fruit and Nut

Wednesday was a little cooler and cloudier than of late but dry. It looks like this January might be more on the dry rather than cold side.

The reminders are thick and fast now that the growing season is just around the corner. Hot on the heels of our seed potatoes which arrived last week we now have our seed orders from Kings Seeds and Plants of Distinction.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Our new fruit and nut trees have arrived today from Victoriana Nurseries and these have been carefully unpacked and are in the greenhouse waiting for planting conditions to improve.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sorting potatoes

Tuesday wasn't a bad day, some sunny spells and mild. I decided to take advantage of the mild weather and sort through my remaining potatoes stored in the garage from last years harvest.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Generally they were in pretty good condition, the only real problem was finding the soft ones damaged from December's severe frosts.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A walk in the park

Monday morning was dull and cloudy but at lunch time the sun came out and we decided to go for a walk around Fairburn Ings our local RSPB reserve. Temperatures for time of the year were about average and it felt mild enough in the winter sunshine.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
It's a pleasant walk along the banks of the river Aire and by the lake through the tree lined path. The path was pretty muddy in places up to ankle deep making for an interesting walk.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Most of the bird life had decided to remain around the feeding station for some easy pickings from the reserves visitors. It's a great location for some close up shots of the birds. It can be difficult to spot which neck belongs to which swan as they squabble over tit-bits.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Sunday's weather was dull and dreary fit only for browsing seed catalogues and planning next year's crops.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

New for Old

The weather changed for Saturday as we swapped the bright sunny crisp weather of the last few days for cloudy, milder weather.

Our new seed potatoes arrived from Alan Romans and after a quick inspection to check their condition they have been placed next to our stored potatoes from last year in the garage. As soon as I dare risk it I'll place them in the greenhouse to chit but they might have to wait until March before coming out of the garage.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
As these seed potatoes went into the garage I took out a bucket full of our stored potatoes Red Duke of York to use in the kitchen. These seem to have stored very well over the winter. Some of these tubers are starting to sprout no doubt a result of the milder January weather. It reminds me that I will need to keep an eye on the seed potatoes to make sure they don't get the chance to produce any long spindly shoots being stored in the dark.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Saturday, 22 January 2011

On their way

Friday was another day with long sunny spells. It was our coldest day of the year with a minimum temperature of -2.2°C giving an average temperature for the day of just 0.2°C.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
In the garden the snowdrops are starting to show the first signs of their white flowers a sure sign that spring is on its way.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sunny by day, frosty by night

Thursday was a superb January day with plenty of sunshine through the day but frosty early morning and by early evening.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
In the morning (08:45) at this time of year the sun is low in the sky and is just beginning to get to work on the frosted glass to my greenhouse roof. When the sun is at its highest around midday it still doesn't manage to reach much of the garden as our house puts much of the garden into shade.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
This was the state of our lawn at midday still in the grip of the frosty weather.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Sunny and smelly

Wednesday was sunny all day and very pleasant in the sunshine. The morning had started very frosty although the temperature remained just above 0°C. We had a light breeze at times.

The fine weather also gave us a beautiful sunset, perhaps suggesting the fine weather might continue for a few more days. The forecast is for the dry weather to continue but there may well be more cloud cover.

The bad news for the day was that our red cabbage, which was going to provide vegetables for our evening meal hadn't survived the cold as we had originally thought. Once cut in half it was soft and extremely smelly inside and only fit for the compost heap. So it was back to the freezer.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Sunny again

Tuesday turned out to be another sunny, rather breezy day with near normal temperatures. The near normal temperatures feel quite mild after the bitter days of December.

Temperatures are now around similar values to mid November just before we began the cold spell of late November and early December. It's already seemed like a rather long winter and we are only half way through the 3 winter months!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Carrots survive December cold

Monday morning was dull and cool but in the afternoon the sun came out and gave us a very pleasant afternoon.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
It was an opportunity to visit the plot and see if any overwintering vegetables had survived the severe cold of December. I just had to investigate our carrots, could a covering of straw protect them from temperatures down to below -10°C. As  I lifted the bricks holding the environmesh in place they started to break apart. The frost had certainly taken its toll on the bricks so I didn't think much of the carrots chances.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
When the straw was moved aside the carrots didn't look too bad. Certainly some of the tops had been nibbled away by unknown creatures - perhaps slugs on milder days - but the carrots looked reasonable. Now to lift some - the final test.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Much to my surprise the carrots looked in good condition. Some were certainly badly damaged and only fit for the compost heap but I was amazed to have any carrots worth harvesting.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
And the ones only fit for the compost heap are shown below. Most of the damage resulted from the carrots splitting or the exposed tops being eaten away rather than damage obviously due to the severe cold.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
We had some carrots cooked for dinner and they were fine. So I think its true to say that some of our winter vegetables are hardier than we perhaps think and that a little investment in straw for protection has proved its worth. The carrots lifted were Autumn King and Flakee.

Monday, 17 January 2011

More rain but continuing mild

Sunday was a wet, mild and windy day. The rain fell from lunchtime until late afternoon, heavy in short spells but no great amount today. We are heading for a wet January but it's more a steady accumulation through the month rather than any great deluges.

The cold winter will be a test for our young banana tree overwintering in the cold greenhouse. This is a cutting taken from a plant which survived outside in a pot last winter so I'm hopeful our youngster will survive.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Mild and damp

Saturday saw a continuation of the mild weather. It was a dull and breezy day and despite the fact that we only had 0.8mm of rain it somehow seemed wet all day. The forecast is for more normal temperatures with overnight frosts returning next week.

Our pansies only needed one or two mild days to produce some new flowers and brighten up some dull winter days.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Saturday, 15 January 2011

First gardening job of the year accomplished

Friday was another pleasant mild day so rather than just thinking and blogging about pruning our grape vine I decided to actually get out into the greenhouse and get the job done. I had done some rather shoddy cutting back in the autumn but this clearly needed tidying up.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
There were still one or two grapes left on the vine looking in remarkable condition considering they'd endured several nights of well below freezing temperatures. I resisted the temptation to try one. I pulled off the last few remaining dead leaves and grapes before cutting last year's stems back as close as I could to the main stems of the vine. It was pleasant in the greenhouse and good to be out and getting the new gardening year off to a start.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Most of last years stems are now cut back. The three green stems are last years stems and the other darker brown stubs are the remains from previous years . Typically I can see that I missed the odd leaf and little stem but at least the vine is pruned  satisfactorily for new shoots in spring to emerge from the main stems.

Friday, 14 January 2011

A mini heatwave for January

Thursday was our warmest day since November 5th with the temperature reaching 13.1°C.

At the moment after our record breaking cold of December, January is turning our to be mild and wet.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Mild weather arrives

Wednesday was much milder with the temperature reaching 10.4°C by mid-afternoon, the warmest day of the new year. The milder weather has brought with it more wet weather but the rain fell mostly during the early hours of the morning leaving the day-time dry.

Unfortunately the milder weather hasn't done much to improve the condition of Mrs GL's cyclamen. It looks a bit like I might have to come up with some replacements.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Jobs to do

Tuesday was a day of brief sunny spells and plenty of cloud. The small amount of rain we had fell early in the morning. The daytime temperature for the last 3 days has been just a little bit below normal but milder weather is forecast for the rest of the week, with no night-time frosts.

One of the jobs I didn't get round to in the greenhouse was cutting back our grapevine Himrod.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

I must get this done soon before the sap starts to rise. Spring can come early to the greenhouse bringing the vine back into life.

We can then start to look forward to another sweet crop of grapes like these produced last summer.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Potato problems

Monday was dull wet and relatively mild with temperatures around average for the first time in a month.

I'd to collect a new bucket full of potatoes out of their winter store in the garage. It's now easy to see that some of the potatoes are showing the signs of frost damage.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Not only are some potatoes soft, a few are starting to ooze a a blank gunk, so I guess all the potatoes will need a regular check up until they are used up.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
There's not many showing these symptoms at the moment so fingers crossed by removing the bad ones as soon as possible our potatoes will last us through winter.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Out for a walk

Sunday's weather was a sunny blustery morning with the wind falling much lighter in the afternoon. It tempted us out for a walk down to the nearby Pugneys Lake. It was fairly fresh even in the light breeze. The weather had tempted plenty of other folks out for some fresh air. Mrs GL took along the camera to test it out so all the photos are courtesy of Mrs GL.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Despite the milder weather of recent days the centre of the lake is still covered in ice forcing most of the bird life to the edge of the lake.   It's a reminder of just how low the temperatures fell in December that conditions for our wild life have still not returned to normal.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
These Canada geese are making the most of a small patch of thawed out lake.

It was late afternoon as we made our way round the far side of the lake and back towards our car. After  a very pleasant sunny afternoon the sun was setting behind cloud rather than the horizon. It made for some excellent sunset scenes for Mrs GL to try out some photographic skills with her new camera. I don't think they're too bad for a first effort.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
By the time we arrived back to our car it wasn't difficult to image why large expanses of water remain frozen!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

All sorts

Saturday was a mixed day weather wise. Overnight rain gave way to a sunny blustery morning. It clouded over in the afternoon threatening heavy rain but in the end it remained almost dry.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1
Although we now seem to be through the really Arctic blast of December temperatures still haven't recovered to the seasonal average for early January. There is a suggestion around in some forecasts that we might reach 10°C or more next week. That ought to feel spring like!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

A little more snow

Friday morning saw some more light snow which continued to fall into the afternoon before turning to rain. Fortunately the snow didn't amount to a great deal just a covering and it was wet and slushy by mid afternoon.
As it was a bit unpleasant outside spent some time trying to video birds on our feeders. Just feeling a need to compete with Mrs GL and her new camera really. I managed to get our cheeky robin on the seed feeder.

Friday, 7 January 2011


Thursday was a let down as it started off rather sunny but quickly clouded over to give another very dull day. Just after lunch it was almost dark and the view from our web cam was much like this for most of the afternoon. Despite the heavy clouds we had virtually no rain just a little drizzle during the afternoon and early evening with temperatures just a little below average.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Unusual - some rain!

Wednesday was wet with light rain or drizzle for most of the day. As December turned out to be a relatively dry month I'm sure the Water Authorities will be glad of some rain. The garden seems wet enough without any rain. I suppose the cold days with no sunshine or wind do not really dry the ground much. Wonder what the conditions will be like in March when it's time to start planting.

Under our bird bath this fern looks well, surrounded by last years magnolia leaves and there's just some signs of bulbs pushing through the soil.
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Other signs of life

Tuesday was a better day with a bit more sunshine. It was unusual as it became warmer as we headed towards midnight.

After the pond was almost completely frozen over last month there are good signs that the fish have survived now that the ice and pond sculpture have melted and temperatures have returned to more normal levels.

Paul Hudson has added more details to his blog regarding the freezing temperatures in December and it's turned out to be the second coldest in the last 351 years. What seems even more amazing is that globally 2010 was the second warmest year on record beaten only by 1998! I think that's based on records going back to the late 1970's but don't hold me to that.

Click on the image of the article to read Paul's blog.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Just a little brightness

Monday showed a little sign of improvement over the drabness of the last few days. There was just a hint of sunshine at times but it remained just a hint. The signs are there though that spring is on its way as more bulbs begin to push through the soil. Another couple of months and I’ll think about sowing some seeds.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Monday, 3 January 2011

Cooler again

The general pattern of dull weather continued but the milder temperatures fell away during the day. The garden seems to have a drab look to match the weather. One lone flower attempted to brighten up another dull day.

From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Mild start

The New Year’s weather got of to a drab start following the same pattern of the last few days, dull, damp a little drizzle with temperatures around average for early January.

At least the mild weather of the last few days has allowed the snow and ice to clear to give us a fresh start for the year and the usually colder months of January and February.

Our pond ice sculpture has now all but disappeared. Will it return in the next couple of months?
From 2011 Weather Pictures 1

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Another damp miserable but rather mild day brought 2010 to a close. Even if the weather was mild the demand on the power stations of Ferrybridge, Drax and Eggborough looked to be high from this photo taken during the afternoon.

Figures are now showing that December was the second coldest December based on the Central England Temperature Record which dates back to 1772. Provisionally the table of coldest December’s looks like this.

My weather station average for December is 0.3 a placing of equal 7th in the table but as we live in an urban area I would anticipate a slightly higher temperature.

This article in the Daily Telegraph summarizes the month well. Here’s hoping that January and February are more average, temperature wise, and don’t follow December into the record books.

{Click on the image to read the full article}