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The Recent Frost

Nature volume 88, page 495 (08 February 1912) | Download Citation



THE closing days of January and the early days in February witnessed a keen frost over the British Isles, but from the current weather changes it seems probable that the frost has come to an abrupt termination. At Greenwich the temperature fell below the freezing point each night for ten consecutive days, from January 27 to February 5. The lowest shade temperature was 190, recorded on January 29 and February 3, whilst the lowest maximum day temperature was 270, on February 4, which day also had the lowest mean of maximum and minimum temperatures—240. The mean maximum or day temperature at Greenwich for the ten days was 350, which is 10° below the average of the last fifty years, and the mean of the lowest night temperatures 24°, which is 11° below the average; the mean of the maxima and minima for the whole period was 30°. At the meteorological station at Hampstead the shade temperature on February 3 was 16°, and on the surface of the grass the thermometer registered 6°. In the frost of 1894–5 the average temperature at Greenwich for the whole of February, 1895, was 29°, and in the frost of 1890–1 the mean for December, 1890, was also 29°. Both these frosts were, however, much more prolonged than the spell just experienced. The recent frost was more keen over the country generally than any experienced since the winter of 1894–5, when special trains were run for London skaters to Loch Lomond, which The Times of February 6 reports now to be covered for about a mile with good sheet-ice-the first occasion for the last seventeen years. A region of high barometer was centred over the British Isles during the early period of the frost to the close of January, but during the latter period of the frost the barometer was low over England, and the atmospheric conditions were complex in character.

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