Weather images

Figure 1.

This impressive infrared image of deep (cold) cloud (

courtesy University of Dundee

) is for 1016utc on 6December. Following a widespread moderate to severe frost, an area of rain and snow moved southeast across the country. Most of the snow fell on the Scottish hills, and the rain melted much of the residual snow cover from the previous day's fall in eastern England. There was, though, a little more snow here next morning on the back edge of this system.

Figure 2.

On an otherwise sunny, very cold day, the visible image (

courtesy University of Dundee

) for 1238utc on 11December shows an area of persistent freezing fog stretching from east Wales across the southern half of the Midlands to East Anglia; the fog eventually cleared from most places next morning. Even under the sunny skies, the temperature stayed below freezing all day in places, especially over Scotland, where the image picks out a patchy snow cover.

Figure 3.

The last Saturday of Christmas shopping soaked quite a few. The radar image for 1100utc on 22December (


) shows just how widespread the rain was – perhaps the wettest day, countrywide, of a very wet last few days of the month, to round off a very wet year. It was quite windy too, but Exeter Airport recorded the month's highest temperature (14.1°C) as the rain cleared. Nowhere, though, had more than ten minutes of sunshine on this day.

Figure 4.

Instead of betting on a ‘White Christmas’ you might have enriched yourself by forecasting thunder, an even rarer Christmas visitor than snow. A marked trough drifting eastwards across southern Britain early in the day was accompanied by major convective activity across southern regions, with thunder especially over Surrey, London and south Essex around daybreak – as depicted in this sferics image (

courtesy of the Icelandic Met Office, from the UK’s lightning detection network