There was much talk yesterday about a lot of the south of the England recording an ‘ice day’.
In the London area most places missed out because the temperature rose briefly above freezing around dusk and also just before the 0900 observation today.
So although it felt brass monkeys out there it doesn’t count.
Ice days are when the temperature fails to rise above -0.1C over a 24 hour period, usually from 0900 to 0900. The confusion over yesterday’s ice day was caused by the fact that some stations release a 06-18 maximum reading – both Kenley and Shoebury stayed below zero in this time period.
Ice days in the Wanstead area are probably even rarer than decent snowfalls. Since 1959 there have been 81 ice days.
The last time the temperature failed to rise above 0.0C was January 20th 2013. The last time the temperature failed to rise above -0.1C (a true ice day) was January 6th 2010.
Stephen Davenport’s synoptic analysis of the event is included below:
“[The cold conditions were] all thanks to this nicely (or not nicely, depending on your view) blocked situation. On Tuesday 24th a 500 hPa ridge started build northeastwards to the north of a small upper low situated over France. By 12z on Wednesday 25th it had cut off to leave a classic-looking Rex block over western Europe:
Surface winds from the Continent started to bring colder air across as the temperature anomaly analysis for 12z Wed 25th shows, while milder southerlies continued across Ireland and Scotland, and brushed western Wales and SW England:
By 12z Thursday 26th the block was becoming more omega-like…
… and cold air continued to percolate north-westwards from the Continent farther across the British Isles:
There’s a certain beauty in the sinusoidal flow around a Rex block, I always think.”