Hoar frost in Kenilworth December 2010 :: Shared Description
On the night of Monday 6th December / Tuesday 7th December 2010 the area experienced its coldest temperatures for 23 years.
My thermometer (in a sheltered place adjacent to the house wall in the centre of the town) recorded -7 degrees C overnight.
The reading at our most local 'official' weather station at Bablake School, Coventry was -10.2 degrees C, which was the lowest December minimum temperature since 1981 (when -16.1 degrees was recorded) and the coldest temperature at any time of the year since January 1987 when the temperature fell to -10.6 degrees C.
The maximum temperature during the day on Tuesday recorded by my thermometer was -2 degrees C. It was the coldest December day (-1.8C) at Bablake since 1995 (when -3.4C was recorded).
The whole of the Midlands had a spectacular hoar frost - and to quote from the Wolverhampton Express and Star website:
'Hoar frosts are relatively rare in the Midlands. They describe the scene when branches of trees, wire fences and even cobwebs are covered in a layer of white.
It happens when the air cools and water condenses rapidly, creating complex icy structures. When objects lose heat into open clear skies, they become colder than the surrounding air and allow hoar frost to form.
Gavin Robbins, from the Met Office, said “The reason we have hoar frost is that we haven’t had any snow or rain but the temperatures are so cold that ice forms on surfaces directly from the air. Had temperatures been above freezing, it would have formed as dew. It is different from air frost, which happens in autumn when temperatures dip to freezing but the soil still retains some summer heat. And it is not the same as ground frost, which can form when the ground can fall below freezing when the air does not.”
Postscript: Two weeks later temperatures dropped further- the maximum daytime temperature at Bablake on 19th December was -2.8C and the temperature there fell to -10.8C on the night of 20th December.
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Created: Tue, 7 Dec 2010, Updated: Tue, 1 Sep 2015
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