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Winter 23/24 in UK & Europe with an early freeze!


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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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Today has been by far the worst day of this freeze. No freezing temps in the garden yet but the high was only 35f and it's currently 32.5f under clear skies at 8.50pm. The reason why I think London isn't performing as well is because this isn't a radiational freeze which the majority of the time they are, this is an advective freeze.  Usually cold nights we have clear skies with 0mph wind speeds however there has been a breeze throughout this freeze. The breeze however is the reason why the outskirts have stayed so mild.








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First of all, some news form around Europe…

Denmark has record its coldest temperatures for this time of year since 1985.


Record breaking snowfalls in Munich and southern Germany.


Nowhere in Germany has escaped the freeze and almost the whole of the country is covered in snow right now.



These are the 9pm temps around Europe tonight…


Back to the UK… last night was the coldest night yet by a long way. Absolutely bitter, especially up north! Temperatures went down to -11C / 10F in Aviemore, Scotland.


It is very cold here right now. The coldest it has got so far yet (-3.6C) , but warmer air will rapidly move in soon to relieve me from these subzero temps.


Nowhere in London has escaped a frost. Maybe the most sheltered back yards, under tree canopy, but generally speaking the mildest areas of central London have still gone down to -1C / 30F during this freeze. Also with a max of just +0.5C / 33F at St James Park, it is the coldest December day in London since the 2010 freeze. Awful conditions.

Here are the 9pm temps…


Look at the gradient between parts of the Isle of Wight and just inland around Portsmouth! Almost a 10C difference.


Bournemouth on the south coast is not well protected and appears to be in a frost hollow. The cold air comes down through central England and passes through the valleys right down to the coast there. Definitely not a place you want to move to if looking for a nice microclimate for palms and exotic gardening. Look at the difference compared to Swanage on the bottom left and the edge of the Isle of Wight on the bottom right, both at 7C / 45F.



You can see that frost hollow on the elevation map, with a valley clearly channelling the cold air down to that part of the coast from further inland.




Exmouth pretty mild with an obvious microclimate there too.


The peninsula around Salcombe is looking mild, as always…


Plymouth is actually more protected than I realised. The microclimate has flexed quite a bit during this freeze. These are the current 9pm temps.


Cornwall temperatures at 9pm…


The Met Office station at the Scilly Islands has reached 10.2C / 50F today and is now reporting 9.4C / 48F at 9pm. Mild AF.


Salvation arrives tonight for southern England and London. In a few hours time, it will be raining and +3-4C in the capital, as it warms up as the night progresses. Unfortunately this salvation will not extend to those in central and Eastern Europe, where the freeze intensifies of anything. But for us here, it is about to end.


Edited by UK_Palms

Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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This is the warmest Wunderground station in all of Portsmouth/Southsea, at the moment it is warmer there as the cloud cover has came in whilst we are still under clear skies however earlier today it got quite a bit colder. 



Under the clear skies Thanet is not performing as well. The warmest weather station there is currently at 30f 


Even Ventnor on the isle of Wight it dropped below 30f this is the first time since 2018 that has happened. It is worth mentioning that the old weather station in Ventnor from last year which was in an ideal spot is not on Wunderground anymore and instead 2 new ones which are at a higher elevation and now on there. St Catherine's point dropped to -1.6c.


32.7f for the warmest part of Falmouth a few weather stations there went down to 30.-31f however this one and another one which are in good microclimates didn't drop below freezing.


28f for the warmest weather station in Plymouth


31.1f in Torquay though all the weather stations more than 0.2 miles from the sea dropped to 28f.


Edited by Foxpalms
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-0.7c on the isle of Portland


32f in Penzance this is the warmest weather station there.


34f low for the warmest part of the salcombe area next.  1 mile inland from there it hit 27f.


The coldest temp in St Agnes Scilly isles was only 42f! Hasn't dropped below zone 11a temps there yet so far this winter.


A weather station on a peninsula part of St Ives only dropped to 38f whilst 3 miles from there in Hayle it dropped to 27f 



37f Low for Gwennap Head/Porthgwarra. 5f warmer than Penzance this area and that peninsula in St Ives could be a zone 10b.

Screenshot 2023-12-02 230638.jpg

Edited by Foxpalms
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Porthlevon and Mullion in Cornwall have surged to 10C / 50F at 11pm. The mildest place on the UK mainland right now.



The two PWS stations on St Mary’s are both reporting 11C / 52F at 11pm. Given that this was a fairly significant freeze, they have still not gone below 5.1C / 41F in the Scilly Isles during this event. Their last frost there was -0.1C back on 1st March 2018.


Look at the temperature gradient across the south coast now around the Bournemouth area! 🫣 :o



Also a vicious temperature gradient around the Brighton and Worthing area too, with the coastal area around 7-8C / 45F but further inland it is down to -3C / 25F.


-11C / 12F at Altnaharra in northern Scotland and +11C / 52F in the Iscles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall. So a difference of 22C / 45F across the UK tonight, going by official stations. The actual disparity will be even greater if looking at PWS stations in the northern parts of the Scottish Highlands. I can see one that is reading -15C / 5F in the Cairngorm summit of Scotland.




The notoriously mild Battersea Heliport right by the Thames in central London is now down to -0.9C / 30F. So this is an exceptionally cold night for early December! :o



By sunrise, this ‘freeze’ will be a thing of the past for us in southern England especially. Temps would have risen significantly overnight as the warm front moves through. Battersea Heliport will probably go up to +5C / 41F by 3-4am. Paris however is going to have a very cold one with clear skies all night, as will be the case for much of the continent. These are the 11pm temps in the French capital…


Edited by UK_Palms

Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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Currently +5.1C / 41F here at 5am now.

With this freeze ending somewhat abruptly in southern England, we can analyse the mildest spots over the past 48 hours.

Nowhere is beating the Isles of Scilly obviously with the Hugh Town PWS station going down to a minimum of +4.4C / 40.0F on one night.


Hallsands just to the east of Salcombe, Devon was one of the mildest places with an absolute minimum of +1.1C / 34F.


Right on the coast just south of Salcombe, Devon the absolute minimum was +0.9C / 33.6F. Very similar to the above station that is not far away, validating each other somewhat.


Also with an absolute minimum of +0.9C / 33.6F was Ilfracombe on the north coast of Devon.


Another spot that stayed above freezing completely was the Treveague Campsite near Gorran Haven in Cornwall, with a minimum of just +0.6C / 33.3F.


Minehead on the northeast coast of Devon also stayed above freezing at 0.5C / 33.0F.


Kemp Town just to the east of Brighton in Sussex had an absolute minimum of 0.0C / 32.0F.


Absolute minimum of -0.1C / 31.8F at Carlyon Bay near St. Austell, Cornwall.


The absolute lowest along the esplanade at Ryde on the north coast of the Isle of Wight was -0.2C / 31.6F.


The village of Boscastle on the north coast of Cornwall went down to -0.3C / 31.5C.


Carbis Bay near St Ives, Cornwall also with an absolute minimum of -0.3C / 31.5F.



Porthleven near Helston in Cornwall went down to -0.4C / 31.2F.



On the coast at Broadstairs in Kent it briefly went down to -0.4C / 31.2F. However that was at like 10pm, with the temperature shooting back up to 5C / 41F a few hours later at 3-4am. So basically a 7C recovery during the night.



Absolute minimum of -0.5C / 31.1F in Torquay in the coastal Meadfoot neighbourhood of town.


The Covent Garden station in central London bottomed out at -0.9C / 30.3F. Again this would have been about 10pm with temps shooting up to +4C / 40F a few hours later at 3am.


The station at Kennington in south central London has an absolute minimum of -0.1C / 31.8F, but it’s hard to say whether that is accurate or not. I think it does seem a bit high to be honest. Perhaps it is in a sheltered back yard or something maybe.


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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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@UK_Palms The weather stations in the city of London dropped briefly below freezing but didn't go below 31f. The only weather station online in London that did not go below freezing was the one in Westminster and is a reliable one owned by the government.  My coldest weather station (sitting on grass in the coldest part of the garden for freezes) recorded exactly 32f as a low yesterday. My warmest 32.5f, which is in a very good microclimate, usually there would be more of a difference but this wasn't a radiational freeze like it usually is it was an advective freeze. The coldest one only dropped to 32f for a few mins. The temp very slowly was going down last night untill it hit 32f then it shot up as the warm airmass came in, 42f at the moment.  Excluding very protected garden microclimates, whilst the majority of central London had a light freeze just below freezing. I think there are still certainly a few extremely protected areas at street level and small public green spaces that just barley escaped going below freezing.

Also whilst Battersea heliport is a mild area (warm 9b) it's not as mild as parts of the city of Westminster and city of London (zone 10a microclimates). The reason why is it's not as dense as the southern part of Fulham (directly right next to the heliport there's a green space)  and south of there it's no where near as dense as other parts of central London with a few good sized green spaces nearby. The same for the UHi to the west of there which is not that dense or that far away from a huge green space, Richmond park.

The likely frost free areas during this freeze in central London would be here in the city of Westminster south of Covent garden closed to the Thames, also the green being shown are trees not open patches of grass.



And here in the city of London which is definitely the warmest area of London during freezes. This is the same area last year right after the Dec freeze where I saw cannas with no damage and still in flower, kentia palms undamaged, a potted dracena marginata undamaged as well as a bunch of other potted house plants and flowers.


Edited by Foxpalms
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12 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

First of all, some news form around Europe…

Denmark has record its coldest temperatures for this time of year since 1985.


Record breaking snowfalls in Munich and southern Germany.


Nowhere in Germany has escaped the freeze and almost the whole of the country is covered in snow right now.


These are the 9pm temps around Europe tonight…






A few years ago southern Denmark/ Copenhagen didn't have a hard freeze all winter (sub 29 F or less than -2 C). 

Lerwick, Shetland northern Scotland only went to upper 20s (-2 C) during this event. 

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5 hours ago, Aceraceae said:

A few years ago southern Denmark/ Copenhagen didn't have a hard freeze all winter (sub 29 F or less than -2 C). 

Lerwick, Shetland northern Scotland only went to upper 20s (-2 C) during this event. 

The problem with Copenhagen is the daytime warmup is so minimal in winter. It is still -1C / 30F in Copenhagen at early afternoon. Weeks if not months will go by with nothing above 5C / 41F at best.


It is 8C / 46F here currently right now, but parts of Cornwall and Devon are 12C / 55F.



Quite a few parts of western Scotland, Ireland and Wales actually remained frost free having checked various stations.

Balla on the Isle of South Uist only went down to 2.4C / 36.3F!


Castle Bay on the Isle of Barra in western Scottish Isles had a minimum of 2.2C / 35.9C


Minimum of 1.7C / 33.4F at Port Mor on the Isle of Muck.


Port of Ness on the north coast of the Isle of Harris went down to 0.8C / 33.4F.


Minimum of 0.5C / 33F at Backhill on the Isle of Berneray.


Bunessan on the Isle of Mull with an absolute minimum of 0.3C / 32.6F.


Minimum of 0.9C / 33.8F at Trearddur by the coast of Holy Island, which is the northwest coast of Wales.


Larne in Northern Ireland with a minimum of 0.6C / 33.1F. 


Minimum of 0.4C / 32.8C at Baltimore on the southwest coast of Ireland.


Minimum of 0.3C / 32.6F at Edernish Island in northwest Ireland.


So quite a lot of frost-free microclimates in westerly based northern areas. However these areas may be much worse effected under different winter setups. It would be naive to assume they will always do this well under other arctic blasts. The summer temperatures are poor as well compared to southerly regions. You could probably zone push more palms and exotics in these places though, depending what the decadal minimums are.

Also St Peter’s Port in Guernsey with a minimum of 3.5C / 38.3F is pretty damn mild. Obviously it is located right in the Channel, but fairly close to the French mainland. Only the Isles of Scilly were warmer really.


Yesterday was actually the coldest 2nd December since 1893 going by the Central England Temperature series. It was even colder than 2nd December 2010.


Temperatures went down to -53.4C / -64.1F in Russia last night! Brutal. 🥶


Edited by UK_Palms
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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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Lows down to -33C / -27.4F in Scandinavia last night. A very cold night across central and Eastern Europe!


Minimums across Germany last night! Some official stations went down to -20C / -5F. Most places have been subzero for days on end now.


Last night, temperatures fell to -58C / -72.4F in Siberia! Serious cold is massing in the north of the Asian continent. 😮

Business as normal for the UK now. Double digit highs (C) for London again by Thursday.



After an overnight low of 7.1C / 44.8F here, it is now 8.2C / 47F at midday today. Chilly, but much milder than what we were having! Not much difference between day and night due to the cloud cover.

Edited by UK_Palms
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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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