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Introduction, Nov/dec 2004



Hello everyone- I have decided to do my own Weather Almanac, which consists of my own personal summaries of the weather I experienced in those months, plus brief bits at the end on the weather that the country as a whole experienced.I will be starting with the latest months and working backwards (also updating subsequent months as they happen).If anyone wants to know what I remember of a month earlier back within the period 1993-2004, then by all means give a request and I'll do one for the month(s) requested. I wouldn't recommend asking about any months prior to January 1993, because that was when I first started taking weather records, and my memories of prior months are very sketchy- constant sunshine during summer 1989, wind and rain during winter 1989-90, and 4-6 inches of snow in February 1991 and that's it! I do know things about earlier months through analysis of past synoptic charts and collection of data from other sources, but that isn't what this section of my blog is for (people like Philip Eden, Kevin Bradshaw and Trevor Harley already have historic statistical almanacs like that in various locations anyway) it's more a personal summary of what I remember having actually experienced in the months since I started recording the weather.So, that's enough waffle for now, on to the months.November 2004November 2004 in Lancaster was an extremely dull month, dominated by anticyclonic gloom. There was also a good deal of drizzle, although it generally didn't amount to much. I remember a bright showery day on the 4th, and a couple of sunny days around the 12th/13th mixed in with all the dull weather. My main memory of the month was the snow event on the 18th, when rain turned to snow as it stalled against cold Arctic air, and I was wandering around the campus scanning lamp-posts everywhere! I was hoping that some snow showers would follow on behind and produce a covering, but as usual they stayed out in the Irish Sea. I remember a very sunny frosty day on the 19th.My rating for the month was 36%, the lowest in November since 1997 and the lowest of any month since December 2002. To sum it up in one word- boring.Except for eastern Scotland, it appears that much of the rest of the country experienced a similar month.December 2004I remember a very sunny start to the month in Lancaster, but most of the first fortnight followed on from November's non-descriptnes: anticyclonic gloom reigned, and for someone very interested in the weather, this didn't go down particularly well! I left Lancaster for South Tyneside midmonth, and this coincided with a change to somewhat more changeable but somewhat sunnier weather. The 18th had some heavy hail and sleet showers in the evening which produced a temporary dusting of hail in Newcastle while I was going out to a meeting, and it snowed (albeit failing to settle) on the 20th.There was a lot of hype about a white Christmas, and in Lancaster it did not disappoint: after a green start, snow showers came in from 10am onwards and produced a covering, with a couple of centimetres on the ground by evening, this covering lasted through to the 27th. It was Lancaster's first white Christmas since 1995, and their deepest/longest lasting snow since New Year 2001/02. Unfortunately, being in Tyneside at the time, I got nothing except for a couple of sleety rain showers on Boxing Day. D'OH!My rating for this month was 54%- the first half (43%) was disappointing, but the second half (65%) made up for it, in spite of missing the white Christmas. This made it a pretty average December percentage-wise.For much of the country the weather was similar; dull dry first half, changeable but sunny second half, with a NW'ly bringing snowfall to central, western and northern districts on Christmas Day, the most noteworthy snow event from such a setup since 3 February 2003.


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