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November 2010

1st (Mon) 7.3 C to 12.4 C / 1.0 mm / 1.8 hours / NW 2.6 knots
A cloudy start to the day, but by mid morning some sunny spells began to develop as holes opened up in the stratocumulus layer. However after mid-day it would become cloudy again and would remain so through the afternoon, the cloud slowly thickening as the afternoon progressed. A short spell of rain would pass through during the evening, quite heavy for a time, but it would clear by 9 pm. The rest of the night would be dry but it would remain cloudy and breezy still, and as a result it was very mild with a low of just 10 C.

A late flying bat was seen along Shepherd’s Lane this morning, as thanks to the clocks returning to good old GMT I can actually see things again during the morning. I also noticed that the sprout harvest in now under way in the Parklands, a real sign that Christmas is getting ever closer.

2nd (Tue) 10.0 C to 13.6 C / 5.5 mm / 3.2 hours / SW 5.6 knots
A mild and breezy morning and early afternoon with variable amounts of mid level clouds and sunny spells in between. However cloud would increase and thicken after 2 pm, with invading altostratus moving in from the west. Also becoming increasingly breezy. Outbreaks of rain in the evening, very heavy at times (peaking at 20.0 mm/h), and with the gusty wind it was quite stormy. Becoming drier after midnight but it would remain cloudy and therefore it was another mild night with a low above 8 C.

After a largely green autumn thus far, the local trees in the Beverley area have really turned in the last fortnight, with golden and yellow colours to be seen throughout the area. The Field Maple’s and Lime’s along the Leases and Champney Road are now particularly attractive, while the Horse Chestnut’s and Beech’s around Minster school are also looking resplendent in there autumn finery. However the leaves are also falling fast now too, with a carpet of yellow leaves covering many pavements and minor roads, while exposed trees are already almost bare, including the tall Ashes and the other trees atop the hill above the house.

3rd (Wed) 8.8 C to 11.7 C / 1.6 mm / 0.4 hours / W 3.2 knots
A grey and damp morning, with the ground wet after overnight rain, though very mild again. Somewhat brighter for a time in the second half of the morning, but cloud would soon thicken and increase again after midday, with some light drizzly rain moving in around 2 pm and continuing intermittently throughout the remainder of the day and indeed evening. Becoming drier later, though it would remain cloudy, but it would also becoming increasingly blustery after midnight with gusts of up to 28 knots. The temperature would also rise steeply overnight, rising from 10 C at 11 pm to 16 C by dawn.

The rain and wind brought further leaves down last night, with the now golden Hawthorn in the garden now half bare, and the Beech too is now loosing leaves rapidly.

4th (Thu) 10.5 C to 17.4 C / 2.9 mm / 0.2 hours / SW 5.7 knots
An incredibly mild and warm start to the day, and also quite blustery with a moderate to fresh westerly breeze. The rest of the day would remain generally grey and breezy, the wind gusting to 29 knots, and the temperature would reach a high of 17.4 C, making this the warmest November day in five years and just 0.3 C below the station record of 17.7 C set in 2005. The cloud becoming thicker towards the end of the afternoon with some rain around dusk and in the evening, but this would clear overnight, with even some clear spells developing later. The breeze would also becoming lighter overnight.

The strong blustery wind this morning had brought a large branch of ivy down across the top of Shepherd’s Lane this morning. Though I was able to squeeze by on my bike it nevertheless proved to be an obstacle to motor vehicles which caused a few problems before it was finally removed. The sprout harvest continues apace in the Parklands with two thirds of the field now in.

5th (Fri) 9.3 C to 12.7 C / 0.7 mm / nil / SW 2.8 knots
A largely cloudy morning, though there were some breaks at first, and still fairly mild for the time of year, though it was nowhere near as warm as it was yesterday morning. Remaining generally grey and cloudy for the remainder of the day, and all in all it was a fairly dull and non-descript sort of day. Continuing cloudy in the evening and overnight.

The Black headed Gulls seemed to have now returned to the local district for the winter, with there loud and harsh calls being heard frequently throughout the day, especially in the morning. A few Common Gulls are also seen too, though for now the BHG’s are certainly more conspicuous and in ascendance. In the garden the small birds were very active today, with a particularly busy flock of at least two dozen Goldfinches, amongst which a few Siskin’s were spotted. Greenfinches were also seen well today, and in the Yews a couple of little Goldcrest’s were spotted, our local population still going strong despite a national decline after last winter. Also seen in the garden today were half a dozen Redwing’s and a Tree Sparrow was also briefly spotted.

6th (Sat) 7.0 C to 8.7 C / 2.9 mm / 6.0 hours / NW 2.0 knots
A cloudy start with extensive stratocumulus, but as the morning progressed this would clear away southwards leaving largely clear skies by mid-day. Remaining largely clear and sunny through the afternoon, and in general it was very pleasant with the golden November light really bringing out the colour in the trees. Cooler though, with the temperature reaching a high of just 8.7 C. Clear at first overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall to just 1 C (with a touch of grass frost), but later showers would drift down from the north, some of which were quite heavy.

Central Wolds
Went out for a drive into the Wolds today, taking advantage of the fine weather. In the golden sun the trees looked spectacular, with the coppery Beech’s looking particularly fine, and there is no doubt that though this autumn was fairly slow in getting going it is now turning out to be a most memorable one with some of the best colour that I can remember. The woods in Warterdale are particularly beautiful now, with the pictures here just a taste of what can be enjoyed at the moment. No matter what people say I personally think November is fine month, and I would challenge anyone to claim it as dull and grey when confronted with the beauty seen today.

7th (Sun) 1.0 C to 7.6 C / nil / 6.8 hours / NW 2.5 knots
A cool start to the day, but largely sunny with just the occasional sharp shower before 9 am drifting in off the sea from time to time. These showers would die out thereafter though, leaving a largely sunny, if perhaps quite cool day with temperatures rising to just 7.6 C. Remaining clear at first in the evening, this allowing another slight grass frost, but cloud would increase later with the wind also freshening from the south east. Pressure would also drop sharply overnight, falling from 1001.9 mbar at 6 pm to 977.1 mbar by 6 am, a fall of 24.8 mbar in just twelve hours.

Huggatewold Wood
A gorgeous autumn walk in the heart of the high Wolds this morning, with the lovely golden colours being really emphasised by the increasingly weak November sunshine. Mum again joined us today on our walk, and it was lovely to walk down the wooded valley, with the woodland floor carpeted with leaves, while above us the mixed shades of the canopy glowed against the clear blue sky. The Beeches again stole the show, with their fiery coppery leaves, though they were ably complemented and supported by the golden needles of larch, and the yellow leaves of the Sycamore’s and some of the Ashes. The scene was further enhanced by the contrasting dark green needles of the spruces, as well as the firs further down the valley. Meanwhile the local hedgerows are also still quite colourful, with the many red fruits of haws, hips, and bryony seen along their lengths, this of course attracting good numbers of birds, including a large number of Fieldfare’s up on Huggatewold. Indeed at least a hundred must have been seen feeding along the field edges and in the shrubs, and trees, with their characteristic loud ‘cha-cha-cha’ calls filling the air as they took flight in alarm at our presence.

Other birds of note today included a small flock of Bullfinches at the top of the wood, and a Red Kite above Warterdale. Despite the fact the leaves are now coming down fast, and with grass frosts becoming regular on any clear nights, a few wildflowers can still be found here and there, with herb robert in particular still flowering well in many sheltered spots, though of more interest was the discovery of some very late flowering scabious in the grassland near the top of Millingtondale. This is a plant I associate with high summer and to see it still flowering in November is a surprise to say the least. However there is no doubt that the countryside has now reached and past the zenith of autumn, with the arrival of winter being surely no more than a few weeks away. I for one look forward to what lies ahead for in this land no two seasons are ever alike and it will be fascinating to see and record whatever lies in store in the dark and cold days stretching before us.

8th (Mon) 0.8 C to 8.0 C / 2.8 mm / nil / SE 8.2 knots
A windy and grey morning, with a blustery south-south-east breeze. The pressure had dropped sharply yesterday as today’s cyclone swept in from the Atlantic, with this mornings pressure reading some 37.2 mbar below what it was twenty four hours ago, undoubtedly one of the sharpest pressure falls on my records. Indeed the minimum pressure reading of  969.9 mbar at 3.20 pm was a new November record for the weather station too. The cloud becoming thicker as the morning progressed, with some light rain moving in around mid-day, though it would remain light and patchy till at least dusk. Thereafter it became more heavy and persistent in the evening, and combined with the blustery south easterly breeze it was very inclement for a time. Becoming drier overnight, with variable amounts of cloud, but showers would develop by dawn, brought in off the sea on a still blustery easterly breeze.

The strong wind brought lots of leaves down today, with many trees almost bare by dusk, and as a consequence leaves covered the garden and front yard, with an even layer of beech leaves of at least an inch in depth covering the area in front of the front door and garage.

9th (Tue) 6.0 C to 7.8 C / 3.0 mm / 2.0 hours / E 5.8 knots
A breezy and largely cloudy morning, with some showers blowing in off the sea from time to time, some of which were quite heavy and even a little wintry with ice pellets mixed in. Somewhat drier during the middle of the day, with good spells of sunshine, though with the moderate ENE breeze it nevertheless felt quite cold and wintry, with a high of just 46 degrees. Showers returning around dusk, and becoming quite frequent in the evening, and again as during the morning some were heavy (peak rate of 14 mm/h), and wintry with ice pellets heard rattling against the window. Clearing overnight however with variable amounts of cloud for the duration of the night, and remaining quite breezy.

10th (Wed) 3.1 C to 6.7 C / 4.3 mm / 5.3 hours / NW 3.5 knots
A breezy morning with a mixture of sunny spells and occasional brief showers drifting down from the north. However these would die out by the end of the morning, and it would become increasingly clear and sunny in the afternoon. Feeling quite wintry though as temperatures struggled to little more than 44 degrees, and at dusk there was a lovely wintry sunset with that particular mixture of shades one only gets when its chilly. Under clear skies the temperature would fall quite quickly in the evening, falling in the end to -0.6 C, the first air frost of this winter, but cloud would increase from midnight, with the breeze also freshening from the south. Outbreaks of rain would arrive after 5 am, these becoming persistent by dawn. Pressure also falling sharply again overnight.

11th (Thu) -0.6 C to 11.5 C / 4.5 mm / 1.3 hours / SW 9.5 knots
A wild and inclement start to the day, with persistent moderate rain accompanied by a fresh to strong southerly wind. The barometric pressure had fallen from 1000.6 mbar at 9pm last night to 979.2 mbar at 9am this morning (a fall of 21.4 mbar in twelve hours), and would eventually fall to 972.5 mbar. Becoming somewhat drier for a time in mid morning, but towards midday a band of showers passed through, accompanied by a gusty wind and some ice pellets mixed in with the rain. The wind also shifted from the south to the west as the showers passed through. The showers clearing after 2 pm with sunny spells developing for the remainder of the afternoon, though it would remain blustery. Variable amounts of cloud at first in the evening, but further showers would pass through the area after 9pm, continuing on and off till around midnight. The wind also becoming stronger in the second half of the evening and overnight, with gusts regularly in excess of gale force and peaking at 37 knots. Still windy at dawn with variable amounts of broken cloud.

Another day of wind and rain would bring down most of the leaves which survived Monday’s autumn storm, with only some of the more sheltered Beech’s and Sycamore’s still holding on to their remaining leaves. This means the local woods are now largely already in their winter cloaks with the dark bare branches and twigs the dominant fashion for the next four to five months.

12th (Fri) 6.8 C to 10.9 C / nil / 4.0 hours / W 5.7 knots
A bright but windy morning, the wind regularly gusting in excess of 30 knots, and peaking at 35 knots. More cloud around in the afternoon, though nevertheless there were still some sunnier periods, and the wind would begin to ease from 2 pm onwards, becoming a moderate WNW by dusk. Variable amounts of cloud at first overnight but it would became largely clear later, though the moderate breeze prevented temperatures from falling significantly.

13th (Sat) 5.1 C to 9.5 C / 0.2 mm / 7.3 hours / SW 1.5 knots
A clear and sunny start to the day, and remaining largely sunny and bright throughout the remainder of the day, with just a bit of broken cloud in the afternoon. Under clear skies the temperature would fall away in the evening, allowing a touch of grass frost, but cloud would increase after 9 pm, becoming thick enough for some light rain around midnight. Clearing away later with the cloud breaking up and clearing again by dawn.

14th (Sun) 1.4 C to 6.5 C / nil / 3.7 hours / W 2.5 knots
A clear and sunny start to the day again, and remaining largely clear and sunny through the morning, though increasing amounts of cirrus and cirrostratus began to veil the sun from 10am onwards. This would quickly thicken so that by midday it had become cloudy, and it would remain overcast through the afternoon. However despite threatening the cloud produced nothing, and indeed after dusk began to break and clear, allowing temperatures to fall overnight with a hoar frost later.

Millingtondale Head, & Huggatewold
A fine morning’s stroll on what was a chilly and initially sunny morning, with a light mist hanging in the dales. Indeed towards the vale it looked like it was foggy but the Wolds themselves were bathed in pleasant and golden November sunshine. The countryside is now very much wintry in appearance, with most leaves now having fallen, though in the sheltered areas some beech leaves are still holding on, and the local Sycamore’s are likewise doing so. The glowing fruits of the hawthorns are still providing some attractive colour to the now bare hedgerows, and they truly are like fairy lights this year, with perhaps the best crop that I can remember. Out in the fields small flocks of Fieldfare’s were seen (and heard), and above Nettledale both Kestrel’s and Buzzard’s were seen hunting above the rolling fields and dales of the Wolds, a wonderful sight.

15th (Mon) 1.3 C to 6.6 C / nil / 7.8 hours / W 0.8 knots
A cold and clear start with a touch of hoar frost across the district, and it would remain largely clear and sunny throughout the day, with temperatures reaching just 43 degrees. Under clear skies after dusk the temperature would quickly fall away, with a ground frost soon developing, and the air temperature would reach a low of exactly 32 F.

The garden birds were very active again today, with Goldfinches in particular seen busy in the tree tops and feeding on the Ash keys. A couple of Tree Sparrow’s also continue to be seen every day at the moment, and they seem to have now become resident in the area.

16th (Tue) 0.0 C to 7.4 C / trace / 7.7 hours / SW 2.1 knots
A clear and cold start to the day with a frost covering the local area, and some patches of shallow mist here and there. Remaining clear throughout the day, and all in all it was another pleasant and sunny late autumn/early winters day. The temperature falling after dusk, with a ground frost soon developing, but increasing cloud after 9 pm brought a change in the weather with cloudy skies by midnight, accompanied by a freshening south east breeze. The cloud was thick enough for some light outbreaks of rain before dawn, and the breeze became increasingly gusty.

Venus is very bright in the south eastern sky during the early hours at the moment, and remains visible well after all the other stars have faded. In the evening sky the three quarters Moon and Jupiter are very close together, and though Jupiter is not quite as bright as it was a month or so ago, it nevertheless is very obvious at it crosses the southern sky during the first half of the night.

17th (Wed) 0.1 C to 7.6 C / trace / nil / SE 3.8 knots
A grey and blustery morning, with some outbreaks of light rain on the south easterly breeze from time to time. Remaining dull and overcast throughout the day, though the breeze would become lighter by mid afternoon, and indeed become quite light by the evening. The cloud coming in off the sea would continue to feed in throughout the evening and night, and therefore it was milder than recent nights with a low of just 6 C.

18th (Thu) 5.5 C to 7.9 C / 2.1 mm / nil / SE 1.9 knots
A grey and dull day by and large as the gentle south east breeze continued to feed in cloud off the North Sea. The cloud becoming somewhat thicker in the evening with some occasional outbreaks of rain during the night, though this would clear away later, leaving behind overcast skies and general damp murk.

19th (Fri) 6.2 C to 8.7 C / nil / nil / S 0.3 knots
A murky and grey start to the morning, and though by late morning the earlier murkness had cleared, it would remain overcast for the remainder of the day, making this the third sunless day in a row. Very little wind today, with just a slight southerly breeze, and it was also somewhat milder with temperatures climbing to nearly 9 C. Cloud persisting overnight, though towards dawn some breaks did begin to develop.

At least four Tree Sparrows were seen at the feeding station today, the first time I’ve seen more than just a mere couple in the garden. I still find it surprising to have these birds visiting us here in what is a sub-urban garden, as I have always considered Tree Sparrows to be an exclusively rural bird which are seldom seen in towns. Around midday a Treecreeper was spotted making its way up the garden Hawthorn, an always welcome observation as these small, shy, and quiet birds are undoubtedly under recorded due to their skulking habits. Goldfinches   were around in good numbers again this afternoon, with a small flock seen busily feeding amongst the Ash keys, while the odd Redwing continues to be seen in the garden on most days still, though not in the numbers that they were in mid October. Even still a flock of five were seen at one point this morning, with their attractive red flanks brightening up what was another grey and dull day.

20th (Sat) 5.9 C to 9.3 C / 5.1 mm / 0.3 hours / N 2.8 knots
An initially grey and cloudy start, but by mid morning some breaks did begin to develop allowing some much welcome brightness after three successive sunless days. However these bright spells were quite limited, and all in all it was another largely cloudy and grey day. Indeed by mid afternoon it became very dull and overcast, with outbreaks of rain coming in off the sea on a north east breeze, and these would continue on and off after dusk and through the evening and night, with some of them being quite heavy (peak rate of 7.6 mm/h). It also became colder overnight despite the cloud and rain, as the wind backed into the North.

21st (Sun) 3.6 C to 6.1 C / 9.1 mm / 0.2 hours / N 2.6 knots
A wet, grey and cold morning with frequent outbreaks of rain coming in on off the sea on a NNE breeze, but by the end of the morning it did become drier and by the afternoon there were even some short brighter spells, though again like yesterday these were very limited and it remained generally grey and cloudy throughout the day. Colder as well with the northerly breeze, the temperature rising to just 6 C. Outbreaks of rain returning after dusk, with pellets mixed in at times, a reflection of the colder temperatures, and some of the bursts were really quite heavy, peaking at a maximum rate of 21.2 mm/h. However after midnight most showers died out, and the rest of the night would see variable amounts of cloud continuing to come in off the sea on a light northerly breeze.

At least ten Tree Sparrows were seen at the feeding station this afternoon, with four occupying all the available feeding ports on the seed dispenser, while the other six fed on the spoil which fell upon the ground beneath. With cold weather forecast for the end of the coming week (with the threat of snow), I wonder if we will see even more before the week is out. Goldfinches were also seen in good numbers again today, with at least a dozen and perhaps two dozen seen amongst the Ash keys, while both the male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker’s were seen visiting the feeding station.

Nettledale, Sylvandale, & mid-Millingtondale
A wintry walk on what was a largely grey, and initially wet morning, with not only Mum joining Dad and I this morning, but also Sophie, on her first ever jaunt out into the real countryside, something which she seemed to enjoy despite the weather as temperatures struggled to reach even 40 degrees up here in the Wolds. The bright red berries which have bedecked the hedgerows and scrublands since September attracted her attention, for as I’ve already said this autumn they are perhaps the best crop I can ever remember, with hips, haws, and bryony all glowing light fairy lights. These berries were attracting good numbers of Redwings to the scrublands this morning, while up in the fields flocks of Fieldfare’s were seen and heard. Out in the fields quite a few Hare’s were spotted as well, with three seen running together across Huggatewold as we headed towards Millingtondale in the Jeep.

Down at the pond at the bottom Sylvandale, the dam of which has recently undergone some maintenance, a WATER RAIL was spotted feeding along the waters edge, a sight which has now become an almost regular occurrence during winter at this location, this being the third winter in a row that we have spotted one of these shy and skulking water birds here. A few Moorhen’s were also spotted here, while above the pond and along the shallow stream a lone Grey Wagtail was seen feeding. Overhead both Buzzard’s and Red Kite’s were spotted this morning, and all in all it was an enjoyable and interesting mornings stroll on what was an otherwise unpromising looking kind of day.

22nd (Mon) 4.0 C to 7.4 C / 2.9 mm / 0.5 hours / NE 3.7 knots
A bright start to the day, but by the end of the morning cloud began to thicken with showers moving down from the NNE, these becoming more persistent and heavy going into the afternoon so that by mid afternoon it had turned into a thoroughly grey and damp day. Cold again, with more of a breeze today. Showers continuing after dusk, though as the evening wore on they became less frequent and much briefer affairs. Remaining largely cloudy overnight, with the odd break from time to time, as well as the odd brief shower as well.

The full moon provided a beautiful sight before dawn this morning, with it illuminating the broken cloud drifting across the sky, as well as the countryside below, with the damp roads reflecting the silver light, as did the puddles out in the fields. The scene would have made for a wonderfully atmospheric painting, as I doubt a camera could have done justice to the spectacle, what with the contrast between the silvery light on any reflective surface and the contrasting dark trees and clouds which were silhouetted by the moonlight.

23rd (Tue) 4.0 C to 6.5 C / 0.3 mm / 5.3 hours / NW 6.1 knots
A largely grey start to the day with the odd shower drifting down from the north, but by late morning it began to brighten up and indeed by midday it had become largely clear with plenty of cold but nevertheless welcome November sunshine in the afternoon. Indeed the day was made to feel that bit colder due to a moderate NNW breeze. Variable amounts of cloud overnight, with the odd showers later, but with some decent clear spells it did allow temperatures to fall lower than recently with a touch of ground frost by dawn, as well as some patches of ice here and there on untreated roads.

24th (Wed) 0.8 C to 4.1 C / 4.6 mm / 0.6 hours / NW 5.0 knots
A cold start to the day with some icy patches here and there. Cloud drifting down from the NW brought showers or longer outbreaks of light icy rain and sleet from mid morning onwards, though by the end of the afternoon some breaks began to develop again, with an attractive wintry dusk around 4 pm. Quite raw today, with the temperature struggling to less than 40 degrees, making this the coldest day since the 23rd of February. In the evening as the wind veered into the NNE showers would return, and as temperatures fell they began to turn increasing into snow, with a thin slushy layer covering the lawn, trees, and garden beds by 8 pm. These snow showers would largely die out overnight, bar the odd light flurry from time to time, though it would remain largely cloudy for most of the night, though towards the end of the night the cloud did begin to break up and clear allowing temperatures to dip below freezing for the second time this month.

A Grey Partridge was heard calling in the Parklands this morning, and in the last few days the local Song Thrushes have been singing loudly around dawn, quite surprising considering the current wintry weather. In the evening the first snow of the winter gave a slushy covering of about 1 to 2 cm’s.

25th (Thu) -0.5 C to 2.3 C / 0.3 mm / 5.0 hours / NW 5.5 knots
An initially clear start, but from 7am to about 9am moderate snow showers would become frequent, adding another couple of centimetre’s to the slight covering from last evenings snow. However thereafter the rest of the morning was largely clear with plenty of cold winter sunshine, and it would remain bright and fairly sunny throughout the afternoon, though there was the very occasional snow shower after 1pm. A cold day, the temperature reaching just 2.3 C, and the snow persisting all day on most of the lawn and the garden beds. Variable amounts of cloud overnight, with the odd snow flurry from time to time, and becoming quite cold and frosty with a low of -1.5 C.

The birds were active at the feeding station this morning, what with the cold weather and the first snow of the winter covering much of the district. Birds seen included Robin’s, Dunnock’s, Tree Sparrow’s, Blue tit’s, Great tit’s, Coal tit’s, Long tailed tits, Chaffinches, Blackbird’s, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Also in the garden today was a lone male Blackcap which was seen feeding on the Cottoneaster berries, as well as a few Redwing’s, a species of bird which always looks at their best when there is snow on the ground as their red flanks almost glow in the pale winter light. In late afternoon two skeins of what sounded like Pink footed Geese were seen passing overhead, heading south eastwards in the direction of Hull.

26th (Fri) -1.5 C to 1.7 C / 5.0 mm / 6.7 hours / NW 3.7 knots
A cold and largely clear start with a decent frost freezing the 2cm of lying snow which covers most of the lawn and the garden beds, and also producing lots of ice on paved areas where the snow had thawed yesterday. Remaining largely clear through the day, allowing plenty of wintry sunshine, and remaining cold as the temperature climbed to just 1.7 C. As a result the lying snow barely thawed at all today, and it would seem that winter has come early this year with further cold weather expected through the weekend and into the middle of next week. Cloud increasing in the evening with a spell of moderate to heavy snow around 10 pm, this adding about two to three centimetre’s of fresh snow, and covering over those areas where the snow had thawed. Variable amounts of cloud for the rest of the night, with occasional brief and largely light snow and snow pellet showers.

27th (Sat) -1.4 C to 1.4 C / nil / 5.3 hours / NW 3.3 knots
After a largely fine start, with just the odd light snow & snow pellet shower, more substantial snow showers would become frequent between 7 and 9 am, adding another few centimetre’s to the already lying snow which has been lying since Wednesday evening. By mid morning seven centimetre’s were measured on the lawn, a new November record. Showers clearing away by 10 am and becoming largely sunny, though remaining very cold with the temperature rising to just 1.4 C and falling below freezing again as early as 1 pm. Overnight the combination of snow on the ground, light winds, and clear skies would allow temperatures to further plummet, and by the end of the night the thermometer reached a low of -7.2 C (19.0 F), not only a new Met. station low for November, but in fact the lowest minimum ever recorded here since records began in 2003.

Heavy snow showers this morning would produce a decent covering, with almost three inches recorded in the garden. Of course this produced some beautiful scenes in the garden, and the fact that many shrubs and trees still have some golden leaves (for this is still November remember), there was an extra tint to the typical wintry scene. However for the birds this weather is not such a wonderful spectacle, with many being attracted to the feeding station today as much of their food is now inaccessible under a layer of snow. The fact that there is still plenty of berries on many of the shrubs and tree’s is a plus point for now, though if the birds use up these supplies now and the winter proves long and hard they will face real food shortages by the time we reach mid January. Many people were saying this winter coming had all the signs of being a particularly hard one, and when one has a decent layer of snow on the ground, and temperatures struggle to rise above freezing, and you remember again that this is only November, then one has to think that they could well be right. Indeed looking at the forecast for the week ahead it looks set to remain cold, with the threat of more wintry weather to come.

28th (Sun) -7.2 C to 1.0 C / 11.4 mm / 2.6 hours / NW 2.0 knots
A very cold and frosty start to the day, after an overnight low of
-7.2 C. Despite the cold it was a beautiful morning however, with largely clear skies, though by midday cloud did begin to move in from the east, bringing with it a period of snow, which at times was quite heavy and added another two inches or so to that already lying, so that by 3 pm about 10 to 11 cm’s was recorded in the garden. However after 3 pm the wind began to freshen from the east, this raising temperature with it and meaning that the snow began to increasingly turn to sleet for a time, though after 5 pm as the wind eased and the temperature fell, it did again turn back to snow. Further outbreaks of snow and/or snow pellets would continue through the evening and night, though they were mostly light and only added another centimetre or two to the snow cover. With all the cloud and showers around it was not as cold as last night, with a more seasonal minimum of just below -2 C.

Went for a very cold and frosty morning cycle around the high Westwood this morning, which is still covered in a lovely and relatively fresh layer of soft snow. The temperature was around -6 C but as there was very little in the way of wind this morning it didn’t actually feel that bitter at all, and besides when one is able to witness such a beautiful scene as there was this morning one doesn’t mind getting that cold anyway.

North Cliffe Wood
A wintry and snowy walk in this wonderfully quiet and peaceful wood, which under a blanket of snow looked especially beautiful today. When we arrived the temperature was hovering around -8 C, which added a delicious sharpness to the clean arctic air, and indeed by the time we departed shortly before noon the temperature was still only -4 C. Obviously with the cold and snowy weather there wasn’t much about in the way of wildlife this morning, though roving bands of tits were seen, amongst them the odd Willow tit, as well as a single Green Woodpecker and a lone Buzzard. The snow revealed that both deer and foxes had been active during the night, but neither were seen today, both no doubt trying to avoid unnecessary activity in the current frigid weather.

However it was the weather which was the main attraction today, with Christmas card scenes wherever you looked this morning. The fact that many of the Oaks still have there golden leaves added an extra bit of colour to the otherwise black and white scene, and the frosted berries on the hawthorns and particularly the rosehips also added extra colour. The scene was further enhanced by the presence of a slight rime, from what must have been some overnight freezing mist, and the tree tops in particular were covered in a magical silvery coat of delicate ice crystals. All the pools and ponds in the wood were frozen solid (an extra concern for the poor wild animals of the wood in this hard weather), and on top of many of these frozen ponds was a covering of ice crystals which looked like fibre-glass needles, which in the pale wintry light looked particularly beautiful & delicate. It is hard to remember now just how one thought that scenes like this might never come again, after a succession of mild winters had made us forget how winter should be, but what with last winter with its frequent and often prolonged and snowy cold spells, and now this years early start, one feels that those days may be behind us and we may well be facing a very long and hard winter indeed.

29th (Mon) -2.3 C to 1.5 C / 14.0 mm / 3.0 hours / NE 3.8 knots
The day began with showers of snow &/or snow pellets, which by 9 am had increased the snow cover in the garden to about 12 cm (nearly five inches), and there would be further snow showers through much of the morning, though after 10 am sunny spells began to break through between the showers. Snow showers continuing on and off through the first half afternoon, with sunny spells in between, and bar some minor thawing in the sun the lying snow again survived the day largely intact. Becoming more settled for a time to end the afternoon, this allowing temperatures to fall below freezing again, but by evening cloud moved in from the east, bringing some snow showers. However like last night the temperature rose with these showers, and by 8 pm these showers became increasingly sleety, and it was even warm enough for some rain by 9 pm, a somewhat disappointing occurrence for truly there is nothing more depressing than the sound of rain upon snow. Further outbreaks of what was a mixture sleet, snow, and pellets would continue through the night, with the temperature remaining above freezing. However despite the warmer and wetter conditions the snow cover wasn’t actually damaged that much, with still an even covering of 12 cm by the end of the night, though I can’t help wonder just how much we would now have had last nights sleet fallen as snow. I expect it would have probably been at least 10 inches by now (which would have easily been a new station record), and it makes we wonder how much is now lying up on the Wolds in places like Huggate or perhaps those snow prone villages to the east of Sledmere like Thwing and Langtoft. Half a metre has been reported in the North Yorkshire Moors, as well as in the eastern Grampians & Northumberland and there is no doubt that this must be amongst the snowiest November’s in living memory.

Another active day at the bird feeding station as the current wintry weather shows no sign of loosening its grip. The Tree Sparrow’s are still visiting in good numbers, and the number of Chaffinches seen at the feeding station has increased to near peak levels. The local Starling’s are also starting to take advantage of the food provided, while other birds seen today at the bird table or feeders include Greenfinches, Blue tits, Great tits, Coal tits, Dunnock’s, Blackbird’s, Collared dove’s, Woodpigeon’s, Magpie’s, Crow’s, and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Elsewhere in the garden the local roving charms of Goldfinches are still regularly seen feeding on the Ash keys, and a few Redwing’s were also seen in the garden for a short time today, mixing amongst the resident Song thrushes.

30th (Tue) -1.8 C to 2.0 C / 8.6 mm / 1.2 hours / E 4.8 knots
A milder morning than recently, but nevertheless an even layer of 12 cm of snow still covers the garden, despite the periods of sleet last night. However the snow on the ground has now been transformed from a lovely layer of soft powdery flakes as it was on Sunday morning, to a hard and compact layer of icy snow which is far less appealing, though with a modest high of just 2 C today it barely thawed at all. Weatherwise the day was a mixture of sunny spells and blustery light snow & snow pellet showers, with the ENE breeze making it feel if anything colder than it has been in the past few days. However around dusk a spell of more prolonged moderate snow showers moved in, which to my surprise also included a couple of flashes of lightning, making this the first case of thunder snow recorded here at Beverley since January 2004. Further occasional snow showers overnight, but nothing particularly substantial with probably another couple of centimetre’s added to the already lying snow.

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