Saturday, 30 January 2016

Ready For the Off?

Friday was another blustery day with gale force winds and some intermittent showers. It continued mild for late January. 
We had a nice mid morning rainbow but I couldn't find a spot in the garden where the full rainbow was visible. Then we had our final delivery from Kings seeds. This time it was a couple of sacks of seed potatoes.
They're not all for us I hasten to add a few are for other plot holders as we have ordered through the Kings Allotment Holders Scheme. I’m guessing I’ll have to get them set out in trays to chit in the greenhouse over the next few days. It’s a matter of keeping them cool so that they don’t start growing too quickly producing long thin straggly shoots. They won’t be planted for a couple of months. We don’t normally start planting our potatoes until the beginning of April.

We had a quick visit to a garden centre on Wednesday afternoon and apparently I bought another hellebore, Spring Promise, to add to our ever growing collection.   
Whoever decided on the purchase I think it was a pretty good choice.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Mixed Up

The last four days (Monday to Thursday) have been a bit mixed. In general it's been very mild for late January but with a few cooler spells thrown in for good measure. We've avoided any further frosts but had to put up with some windy weather instead. It's rained at times but not to any great extent and not enough to cause any more localised flooding problems.
The rainfall on my chart looks a bit more dramatic then it’s been in reality due to scaling issues. Wednesday's rain amounted to 2.0mm (0.08”) so less than that on other days with a total amount of 6.2mm (0.24”) by mid morning on Friday. 

Monday, 25 January 2016

An All Time Record for 2016 Already

Sunday wasn't a sunny day but it was very mild in fact the mildest January day since records began, well since my records began in 2010. The high temperature managed 14.7°C (58.5°F) and with a low for the day of only 9.2°C (48.6°F) giving a daily average of 12.9°C (55.2°F) also a record for January.
It looks like mild and wet weather is due to last through the week and into next weekend. It might just tempt our snowdrops to flower.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Turned Mild Again!

The milder weather arrived as forecast along with a drop of rain. Saturday morning was very pleasant and we set off for Cumbria to do a little bit of steam train chasing.
The day’s plan was a mid morning coffee stop in Bedale moving on for lunch in Hawes at Calvert’s Restaurant at the Wensleydale Creamery.
It was pleasantly mild for late January as we arrived in Hawes. Lunch over, we headed to our chosen  location for some pictures and video of the first Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express of the year. Initially it had been planned that the world famous locomotive, The Flying Scotsman, would be hauling this train but a braking issue had meant that this wasn't possible and two other steam locomotives took over.

The afternoon didn't go as planned. Remember the floods in Cumbria not many weeks ago? Well some of the roads and bridges are still closed due to damage caused by the floods.
We didn’t fancy risking this old masonry arch bridge which was damaged in the floods and it meant access to our chosen spot was impossible before the train arrived. We did try and made our way along a few rather narrow roads before giving up and settling for a rather less than choice spot.
This particular road seemed to be a single track without passing places. Fortunately we didn't meet anyone coming in the opposite direction. 
I’ll have to keep a lookout to see when Flying Scotsman is next due to be out on the main line.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Still a Mild Winter

The cold spell to start off the year came to an end on Friday morning with rain spreading from the west and the temperature lifting. However after that record breaking mild December the last couple of weeks of colder weather haven’t completely managed to offset that mild December.
From the chart above it looks as though fairly average late January and February temperature would still give us a very mild winter.

If you haven't visited your allotment plot recently then I've finished editing the video of our visit on 18 January. If we hadn't anything to harvest I don't think we would have bothered but as it turned out we managed a decent harvest. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Saving the Coldest to Last

The last few days have continued cold and rather murky with only a few short sunny spells. 
Overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning the temperature fell to -3.1°C (26.4°F) the coldest since 22 December 2014 with -3.3°C (26.1°F).
Temperature Records 19 January to 21 January  2016
Hopefully the cold snap will have killed off a few garden pest. It’s due to be much milder tomorrow - Friday -and continue that way through the weekend.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Harvesting Parsnips

It was cold and dull on Monday but we decided it was time to harvest a few fresh vegetables from the allotment. Harvesting a few parsnips which must have now been frosted and sweetened was first on the agenda.

Best watched in YouTube in full HD.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Winter’s Coldest Day

Sunday turned out to be our coldest day of winter so far with an average temperature of 0.8°C (33.4°F).
Strangely it warmed up as darkness fell with the highest temperature of the day recorded just before midnight at 2.2°C (36.0°F) and the lowest was -0.4°C (31.3°F). It was a dull, calm day but mild enough for all the snow that fell on Saturday night to thaw. 

Sunday, 17 January 2016


Saturday wasn't too bad a day through the daylight hours. It was mostly cloudy and cold with a few isolated sunny spells. Light snow started falling in the early evening and continued into the early hours of the morning.
Whilst we didn't have a great deal of snow it was a very calm night with virtually no breeze at all which has left the snow covering trees and shrubs.
Amazingly our last remaining apple is still hanging on in the tree. It’s probably ready frozen by now. 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

A Taste of Winter

Well the forecasters were right and sure enough the temperatures have gradually fallen as the week has progressed. Winter has arrived at last.
Certainly we haven’t had anything unusually cold for January. Although overnight temperatures were just about down to freezing point the greenhouse roof was frosted on Friday morning despite the early morning sunshine.
I took pity on the sparrows who were busy pecking at the iced up water in the bird bath in an attempt to get a drink. A kettle full of hot water quickly thawed out the ice.

In the whole of December we only had 7 days when the temperature didn't reach 10°C (50°F). So far in 2016 we've to reach the dizzy heights of 10°C. Still not yet had any snow in Ossett though!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Tumbling Temperatures

As forecast the temperatures have been gradually falling over the last few days. So far its nothing out of the ordinary for mid January. It’s not unusual for us to have some frosty weather at this time of year.
Temperature & Wind Chill Records 12 January to 14 January 2016
To date we've missed any snowfall but the forecast is for some colder, frostier and sunnier weather over the weekend.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Year’s First Dry Day

Monday was the first dry day this year and also the coldest with the temperature only making it up to 4.4°C.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Investigating the Garden

It’s not been the best of weeks for getting out into the garden. We've had a drop of rain most days last week. 
I thought it was about time I had a look around the garden to see what I could find to take a few photos of and a bit of video. It was certainly wet and soggy on the lawn.
I've spent some time over the last few weeks researching how I might make better use of my camera. It’s amazing the amount of information out there on the Internet. Although my camera will record in 4K resolution I've mostly struggled to see much use for it as my computer isn't up to editing in 4k so unless the video only wants a bit clipping off the beginning and end I've continued to record in normal HD. (High Definition).

However I've found on the Internet a work around this which allows me to edit 4k video. Although this is output in normal HD the consensus of expert opinion seems to be that more detail is captured in 4k improving the quality of the HD output.

Well the proof is in the output I suppose so here’s my first attempt at editing some 4k footage. 

The photos in this post have been taken as still images directly off the 4k footage on the camera.

Next trial will be some video taken down on the allotment. 

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

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Great Survivors

January is off to a pretty wet start as we had another wet day on Thursday with 9.8mm (0.39”) of rainfall bringing our monthly total up to 32.0mm (1.26”) already. Friday was much brighter with a few short sunny spells. Neither day was particularly cold for early January.

Over the last couple of winters I've posted about our next door neighbour’s geranium. It’s growing outside but with some shelter as it’s planted under a bay window. This gives it protection from the worst of the wet weather and no doubt protects it from the worst of any cold weather as well. I can’t remember it not being in flower over the last couple of winters and with our mild weather this year it’s in flower now.
The other great survivor is a lonely apple on one of our garden apple trees. Despite the winter’s storms it’s hanging on and has seen in the new year.
It’s attached to a fairly substantial branch so I’m surprised the blackbirds haven’t pecked at it.

Wonder if the geranium and apple will survive the cold spell forecast to arrive over the next few days.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Rotting Away!

Tuesday was another dull and dreary day. Wednesday wasn't much different although at one time in the early afternoon I thought it was actually going to clear up. The roads and paths were starting to dry up and the sun almost broke through the clouds but no sooner had it happened it began to pour down with rain and that was an end to the sunshine. Still my weather station recorded 18 minutes of sunshine the first of the year.

It seems to have been wet and damp for months now. I went into the garage for some onions and even the cardboard boxes the onions are stored in had gone soft in the dampness. Rain hadn't got through the roof it's just weeks of damp and dreary weather has taken its toll on the boxes and onions.
As I sorted out the best of the onions it was clear that many of them had rotted and were only good for the compost heap. We've a couple more boxes stored in the shed on the plot but I'm not expecting them to be in any better condition.

I've noticed that there are suggestions that winter may begin by the middle of next week with cooler temperatures and the possibility of snow showers almost anywhere across the country.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Flowering Early

Four days into the new year we're still waiting for our first sign of sunshine. It rained most of Sunday and Monday was damp and drizzly all day. 

I posted a photo of an iris coming into flower in our front garden and mentioned that I couldn't see any signs of iris Katherine Hodgkin. Well now I can as Katherine Hodgkin’s first leaves and flowers have suddenly made an appearance.
If lots of spring bulbs flower early in January or at least earlier than usual then it's going to make for a rather understated spring. Spring bulbs are only going to flower once this year. I must check to see when our irises came into flower last year. Spring without daffodils won't be spring. 

If I've learnt anything resulting from early flowering bulbs is that they don't seem to need sunshine to produce flowers as that's one thing that's been in very short supply over the last month or so.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

A Look Back

It was a shock to the system when winter finally made an appearance. The temperature fell to -1.1°C (30.0°F) by dawn on New Year’s Day. It was the first time this winter that I'd to pour hot water into the birdbath to thaw out the water. It didn't get very warm all day, failing to make it much above 4°C (39°F)in the hours of daylight. It began to rain in the early evening and got a little bit milder too. Since it started to rain it’s continued cloudy and wet and we’re still awaiting our first glimpse of sunshine for 2016. 
Temperature & Rainfall from 01 January - 03 January 2016 (09:00)
It's time to look back at last year's weather statistics. The stand-out factor for me over the last year has been the very windy conditions we've experienced almost throughout the whole year. We did have a bit of a respite through the summer. The graphic below compares the wind speeds of the last few years and shows how this year is easily the windiest.
Obviously it's impossible to leave out this December’s exceptionally mild weather. The average temperature for December finished fractionally higher than November’s average. Generally temperatures for the remainder of last year were around average. The annual average temperature has finished in third spot out of five years of my temperature records. I've added tables below for rainfall and average temperatures for the last five years. 
I don't suppose there can be many people living in the UK who are unaware of the recent flooding. Leeds and York situated only a few miles from where we live have been badly affected. Therefore it seems a little surprising that December’s rainfall record for Ossett wasn't particularly high. Our annual rainfall was a little above average.
2015 did see a couple of all time records set. Although we didn't have a long spell of hot weather through summer 01 June this year was the highest daytime temperature I've recorded reaching 33.1° C (91.6°F). The second record is much more unwanted with a high wind gust speed of 43 mph on 29 November.

For the first time since five had my weather station I've put together the annual average temperatures since 2010. It would seem from this chart that the winter months are the ones with the greatest deviations from the average. December seems to be worst culprit. 2010 was very cold with an average temperature of 0.3° C (32.5°F) for the month compared to December 2015 with 9.6° C (49.3°F). January and February in 2010 together with March in 2013 have also been coolish months. The summer months seem to have been far more consistent.
I wonder what lies in store for 2016.