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Summary of weather in Newcastle-upon-tyne 1979


Rollo
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Posted
  • Location: Ponteland
  • Location: Ponteland

    Here are the reports issued by the Geography department 0f Newcastle for Feb and March 1979 just so those unlucky tob remember good old fashioned memories of snowy winters enjoy a taste of same until such times as a severe month comes along. The report for Feb goes as follows------- During the first 3 days an anticyclone over the atlantic moved southwards and the easterly winds backed westerly as a consequence. As the anticyclone faded,the wind fell light and variable until the 8th,when(with pressure building over Scotland and low to the South) an easterly flow began which was to dominate our weather foir the next two weeks. Associated with the low pressure area, near-stationary fronts lay across the British Isles . Rain along these fronts turned to snow on the 13th,as temperatures fell below 0c and the easterly winds rose to gale force in the tightening pressure gradient. The Arctic airstream was leaving the Scandinavian coast at even lower temperatures(around -10c). Being thus relatively warmed from below, as well as humidified,as it crossed the North sea it reached us in a highly unstable state, causing heavy snow showers and blizzards with severe drifting in the strong east wind. Near the coast,these were most frequent on the 14th, decreasing somewhat the following day. By the 17th the high was starting to collapse, and frontal systems with milder Atlantic air began to edge slowly in from the west. The high was however reluctant to give way,it was not until the 22nd that the cold easterlies were replaced by the warmer North-westerlies. At the same time,the cloud laden skies gave way to 4 sunny days,as a high developed over England. As this high slipped towards Europe the winds freshened from the South-West and cloudier conditions returned,with cloud along the fronts associated with depressions passing to the northward. The long run of easterly winds in the middle of the month made this a notably cold February---the coldest since 1969 and, before that,1963. I will add the March report later as grandchildren beckon.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ponteland
  • Location: Ponteland

    To continue------March 79'. For the first 12 days 0f the month pressure was generally low to the North of the British Isles and high to the South West, maintaining a mild westerly flow. By the 13th however, a depression was moving up the English Channel, to settle over Northern France before slowly transferring to southern England. In the circulation of this low intensely cold polar continental air was drawn across the North Sea and over Britain. Relatively warmed from below during its passage over the sea the air became unstable and this (together with several near stationary fronts) gave heavy snowfall over eastern districts. High winds resulted in severe drifting and dislocation of communications, especially on the 18th. As the winds became westerly, temperatures began to recover slowly-- though there was further snow along a trough on the 21st. A brief sunny anticyclonic interlude on the 22nd/23rd gave way to to duller wetter weather(though with still rising temperatures) as a deep depression approached and crossed the British isles from the west. By the 26th the low pressure centre lay over the North Sea, and temperatures fell again sharply in the northerly airstream behind it. As pressure over the Atlantic began to build, steepening the gradient, these Northerly winds rose to gale during the night of the 28th/29th, accompanied by exceptionally heavy rain. The rain, together with the melting of snow from higher ground as temperatures climbed towards normal values, caused widespread flooding. Taken as a whole in the context of the 27-year period of continuous weather observations at this station, this March has set several new records. It was the wettest March (previously 1964, 92.4 mm) and included the wettest March day(previously March 29th 1958, 29.2 mm); had the strongest March gust of wind (previously 120km/hr. on March 4th 1977); and had the greatest number of days of "snow lying" at 9 hrs. G.M.T. (previously 10 in 1958) and 11 in the year we are dealing with.

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