Coldest lows in Scottish Highlands since 1922 – Skiing in May

Also, snowy start to May in northern Ireland.


Snow in May: Lake District skiers ‘giddy’ in unseasonal weather

Skiers in the Lake District have taken advantage of unseasonal snowfall to head to the slopes for the first time in months.

Snow which started on Tuesday was deep enough by Wednesday to allow the club’s tow up Raise, near Helvellyn, to run.

Members were “giddy” at the unusual sight of snow-covered mountains in May, club president Mike Sweeney said.

“I haven’t seen snow at this time of year before, but I was speaking to some other members who said there was snow in June in 1963, although that was a very unusual year for weather,” he said.

“It was fabulous, people were just giddy with excitement.”

“Up here we rely on drifts and have snow fences because we don’t get a great depth of snow, but some of the drifts today are as high as the fences,” said former club president and assistant hut warden Gerard Unthank, 80.

Walkers and climbers have also been enjoying the unusual conditions.

Bethany Smith said a hike up Helvellyn on Wednesday was her first since the end of the third lockdown.

“We knew it was white on the tops and I’m always prepared for all weather conditions, but we didn’t realise quite how deep the snow was until we got to Grisedale Tarn and noticed people descending from Fairfield Peak on their backsides,” she said.

“At some points, the snow drifts were up to our knees.”

“It felt more like we were in the Alps,” she said.

Frost has been unusually prevalent during April and May.

May snowfall brings disruption to Highlands

May snowfall has brought disruption to parts of Scotland, with the Highlands under a thick blanket of snow.

The Met Office issued a yellow “be aware” warning as the unseasonal weather affected travel on key routes in the area.

The southbound carriageway of the A9 at Daviot, south of Inverness, was blocked for a time by a fallen tree.

The A939 near Tomintoul in Moray was closed because a tanker was stuck in snow. Police said diversions would be in place while the road was closed.

Provisional data from the Met Office suggests it was the frostiest April for at least 60 years – with the lowest average minimum temperatures since 1922.

The frostiest place of all was Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, which dropped below freezing on 25 different nights.

Northern Ireland – Exceptional cold spell for early May

Snow was lying on the Glenshane Pass early on Wednesday and was clearly visible on the hills around Londonderry.

The heaviest showers could fall as sleet or snow throughout Wednesday on the highest parts of the Sperrin mountains or the Antrim hills.

That will especially be the case as temperatures fall, bring frost, on Wednesday night.

It is not a night to leave seedlings outdoors and in the coldest spots we could see temperatures drop as low as -4C

Such cold is certainly not an annual event, but it does happen from time to time.

A couple of listeners to the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme texted to say they had memories of snow in early May, including 1997 and 1981.

Thanks to Paul Cresswell for these links

The post Coldest lows in Scottish Highlands since 1922 – Skiing in May appeared first on Ice Age Now.

via Ice Age Now

May 6, 2021 at 05:44PM

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