Severe Blizzard

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About Severe Blizzard

  • Rank
    The Fall Guy
  • Birthday 11/01/1968

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Guildford, Surrey.
  • Interests Music of most genres, electronic organs and synthesisers.
    Cyling the countryside.
    Photography.
    Old hi fi equipment.
    Classic cars.
    General nostalgia.
    Severe weather and weather history.
  • Weather Preferences Thunderstorms & Snow

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  1. Good to see some more positive posts on here regarding the 'poor' start to the winter, with regards to the exceptional temperatures. I agree that the warmth is not the issue and it is the lack of sunshine and persistence of the drizzle that makes the conditions unpleasant. I remember December 1988 and the very mild weather on 23rd / Christmas Eve (>14 deg.C. maxima) in bright sunshine. This is the type of exceptional mild December weather that is pleasant and Wednesday 16th was much closer to this than the last few days, indeed, weeks. If a cold set-up cannot develop, days like this in the S.E. are welcome over hours of drizzly nuisance value rain and horrid gusty winds any day! However, deep snow as in December 1981 and 2010 would still be great.  I have recorded all max. temps. >10 deg.C. so far this December and reached >14 deg.C on 4 days so far! The max. temp. on Wednesday at my Guildford site was 14.4 deg.C.   Got to admit I am enjoying the exceptional mildness with DRY and bright conditions like on Wednesday 16th. Working outdoors in a supermarket car park, chose to wear shorts and still felt hot and glasses steamed up when going indoors! It was also amusing hearing Christmas music in the supermarket, working in what I was wearing on the warmest days in the summer. Most recent nights birdsong has continued all night - eerie.   One must also not forget the spell of mild and dry weather 'enjoyed' in the week leading up to Christmas Eve last year, this also having 12~14 deg.C. maxima. The change to cold zonality after Boxing day when southern areas missed the Boxing Day snow, was most unwelcome. I am aware I have moaned on here often, but the lack of drizzle today was most welcome (not dry today in the true sense as the atmosphere was very humid as one would expect in this tropical maritime air-mass).   I am not becoming a true 'Mildie', but I am making the best use of these unusual conditions to their best advantage benefiting from lower heating bills, comfortable working conditions and hope to get a good bike ride and enjoy the countryside in the 'dry' conditions on Friday!    One historical fact was that autumn 1938 was very mild and December was exceptionally mild up to the 16th. In the south, the S.W. flow changed to easterly with heavy rain on 18th turning to snow and then snow showers everyday through to just after Christmas. 7 inches (19 cm) of snow lay at Redhill, Surrey on Christmas Day. A very mild period in early December 1995 ended with snow on the 5th with a similar change in situation as the high developed to the N.E. and fed in easterly winds in the south U.K. There is still hope for some 'proper winter' . I just hope it does NOT develop into another nasty cold zonal disappointment with the current set-up moving south with more rain, dull and colder conditions with snow everywhere but the south (1983/84, 1992/93, last winter etc). Prefer this mild dry snowless everywhere current set-up to wet horrible conditions and missing out on the snow or anything else interesting like last winter. Perhaps we will see a very anticyclonic January and February with frost, sunshine and some fog at times resulting in a overall dry winter (for the south) like 1991/92 and similarly, 1975/76.  Anyway, looking forward to working in shorts again until at least Sunday 20th, an unprecedented record!
  2. Agree wholeheartedly. 2015 has been a truly AWFUL year!! No snow, no thunderstorms, very dull and rain in frequent nuisance small amounts. Annoying gusty wind making cycling difficult. Always wet on Tuesdays when I have my only opportunity to have a ride in the countryside. Lack of sunshine making me very stroppy and not helped by working in retail with fellow people suffering with this nightmare seven weeks of vile muck. Vile unfriendly atmosphere everywhere - reminiscent of my first uni year in 1988/1989. The mildness is useful and temperature stats could prove to be interesting this month - trying to find something positive! Cycling could be pleasurable if the drizzle could hold off and wind decrease if the high could move a little more north and push the warm sector muck further north. 
  3. My sentiments exactly. I think 2015 has been a truly vile year in Guildford which culminated in a truly vile November, rain total being 48.1 mm (72%) over 20 rain days - so, a dry month with frequent rain.  Guildford was also shrouded in fog all day on the 1st and 2nd where the rest of the UK had gorgeous sunshine and unprecedented warmth.  Extremely boring weather in 2015 - never had so many bike rides ruined by drizzle and rain only to arrive home and find 0.5~2 mm has fallen - enough to get soaked but not enough to be interesting. This area missed the snow last January, missed all the thunderstorms through the summer with nearby areas having copious events and now all this incessant drizzle with frequent stupid small amounts of rain. Set-up is remarkably like last year - that bl**dy Azores high again - which will no doubt lead to another winter situation which I loathe - cold zonality with snow in the north (usually Reading northwards) so we miss out yet again. Prefer a blowtorch dry and mild S.W.ly like December 1988 / January 1989 to missing more interesting weather while accompanied by more vile dross and muck in the south, when the  rest of the UK sees the usual variety with cold zonality ('weather jealousy'!) . I thought last winter was the nastiest since 2005/2006 and I am not ready for round two of nasty winters yet! I think it would take a divine miracle to get heights to rise to the north and N.E. to give the south a favourable E.N.E. flow to bring snow and some real excitement here. In the mean time one can wish for high pressure to cover the UK to result in a much needed proper dry spell, some much needed sunshine and perhaps some frosts,   
  4. Certainly not happy about the GFS for the next 2 weeks.   Although a snow and severe cold weather lover - being realistic, I don't expect a repeat of December 2010 in the next 4-5 weeks.   However, I loathe drizzle, wind and zonal weather such as we have suffered this month with below average rainfall and annoying long periods of drizzle and light rain which always seem to coincide with the only time on the one day a week (Tuesday) when I get to have a chance to have a countryside bike ride.   This was a major annoyance last winter and I am getting sick to my back teeth of this irritating zonal dross already where it seems the weather has just picked up where last winter left off. I already rate 2015 as the nastiest, most vile year ever experienced (with the exception of some reasonable weather during the two separate Cornwall holiday weeks). No snow, no thunderstorms as the Guildford area missed all the summer events, and just mediocre rain with high pressure close enough to the area to inhibit proper rain but not close enough to yield some decent dry and sunnier conditions..   I am so desperate for some decent ride weather, I'll probably be shot for saying this, but I am getting to the point of wishing for a rerun of 1988/1989 or even 1991/1992. I just want to see some decent dry weather and lose this incessant vile drizzle and zonal dross.     A regime of being stormy with worthwhile rain like winter 2013/14 (proper rainfall, winter thunderstorms and INTERESTING conditions) or long dry periods with the Bartlett High close enough to inhibit all rain except for a short heavy shower on the occasional passing cold front is the preference if this zonal theme has to persist even more (winter 1988/1989). Alternatively, contrasting conditions with an anticyclonic theme with frosty and foggy weather such as winter 1991/1992 would be a welcome change from this extremely boring, repetitive and unpleasant zonal muck. Anticyclonic benign weather used to be classed as 'boring' and was dreaded in winter month's, if the Atlantic set-up can't produce anything better than below average monthly rainfall with endless boring mediocre conditions, then the latter can be defined as the new 'boring' and the benign weather is most welcome! Benign and quiet conditions can be 'filled' with activities such as cycling which will be enjoyed. The enjoyment of these activities are not possible with the dross suffered at present.     However, if I have to be grounded and cannot ride (riding being the only pleasure I get at this time of year) then a rerun of the severe Decembers of 1981, 2010 or even 1938 would be welcome!    
  5. Usual story here in Guildford. Looks like we'll make a third consecutive summer month of near misses in the most boring year ever experienced. Such a dry summer - what a waste when that Azores High could be a bit closer and the weather could be settled (like August 1976 /1990 / 2003) and the thunder-less / storm-less nature of the summer could be justified by some decent weather and not 'dry unsettled' conditions.    4 days of thunder heard in 2015 so far - all distant rumbles, none overhead. This time last year there had been 15 days by now and half of these thunder days were events that were noteworthy and not just 'one rumble wonders' or distant muffled thunder from repeated missed events. What a difference a year makes.
  6. The No Storms Club July 2014 Onwards

      Thanks for the invite to join you on the next chase.   You referred to the 'May' storm last year. Your description of the movement of the system suggests this was the Friday 13th / Saturday 14th event which was the one I missed by 15 hours as it occurred when I was on holiday.     Also, an encouraging remark that the next chase might only to be to Guildford!   I work varying hours, so the chance of being available for a chase depends on timing. My days off are Tuesdays and Fridays and I start work after midday on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and work daytimes on Wednesday and Sunday.    Please obtain my Hotmail or Facebook contact information from the the Net Weather profile page. Please Email me so we could exchange mobile phone numbers / details and have better chance of organising a chase when the need arises.   Cheers.
  7. Good remark. This rinse and repeat idea seems to be all well but it would be nice to see the track of the storms be slightly different each Thursday-Saturday 'attempt' so the areas that always miss them (Guildford) finally get a chance and that the areas that have repeatedly done well this summer, miss out for a change.    The issue this year is that the storms form in one area, usually not too far from the Guildford area then move away in a straight line (or lines) developing further north to N.E. or E.N.E. depending on the upper wind direction. The area of storms is usually very narrow, so coverage is very limited unless sufficiently lucky to be in the firing line. Frontal storms developing at an angle to the prevailing direction of movement then moving in an arc will cover a much greater area, an example being 17th/18th July 2014 which was an impressive event even in Guildford. Frontal storm activity has been lacking this summer and despite all these thunder events - thunder has only been heard on 4 days this year, last night's show-down amounting to two distant muffled rumbles. However the lightning, about 30 flashes, is the best this year SO FAR (last two words emphasized as I really hope there will be more chances and that we are not descending into a horrible cool and wet August and September having had the warmth of the summer).    Rain is expected as Guildford area is in drought, the last measurable rain being 1.2 mm on 28th June, 19 days ago, and last reasonable total, 6.5 mm on 22nd June. Pity this extremely dry summer is an 'unsettled' one and not a sunny one. Looks like 2015 is shaping up to be like 1921, an extremely dry year but have little info on whether the summer was good or incidence of thundery activity.   Dry spells like this, Summer 2015 currently much drier than 1976!, often lead to a compensatory wet period. A hot thundery wet August like 1997 followed by dry sunny September like 1997 (holiday planned in first half) would be a perfect development on the current state. The resulting wet weather and potential for a decent storm to arrive before the holiday would make the next 6 weeks more enjoyable than the last 6, and I promise to contribute something better than moan posts on this site!   
  8. The No Storms Club July 2014 Onwards

    Right, Grumble Time.   The purpose of this post is to evaluate and illustrate that 2015 is a truly dire year in central Southern England and the examples given prove how there has been plenty of bad luck here this year and that interesting events have been lacking in a major way. I will also be exploring a bizarre coincidence about the timing of these all-too-frequent let-downs with thunderstorm events.    2015 needs to be called 'The Year of the Let-Down'.    Background: Winter 2014/2015 was the second consecutive virtually snow-free winter in Guildford and unlike in 2013/2014, there was frequent emphasis on snow further north, especially in January when 'cold zonality' was the dominant synoptic situation. Snow even fell in Cornwall, accompanied by thunder on the 13th.The month was beginning to be like January 1984, when Central Southern England (hereafter CSE) missed out badly on the heavier snow which affected the Midlands northwards. Unlike 2015, 1984 went on to be a good year for thunder events in a 'good' but not roasting hot summer.    Last winter was subjectively the most unpleasant for 9 years, 2005/2006, which was also snow-less with local areas missing out while much of the U.K. had some snow. The main issue in 05/06 was the constant 'promise' of a major easterly freeze which was dominating the rest of Europe, moving west. Although frequently indicated, this surge of exceptionally cold air and heavy snow never made it into the S.E. 2006 went on to produce a memorable summer and some very thundery weather, although IMO, we did not do too well for quality of thunder events in Guildford and just had a lot of days when thunder was heard (23 days). Interestingly, the first thunder of 2006 was very late (8th May) like this year (19th May), the moral of this being that the second half of the year could perform very well indeed and catch up.    I will keep this report to the issues with lack of thunder rather than other niggles about 2015, of which there are plenty. Suffice to say. 2015 has also been a very dry year, the current rainfall standing at around 250 mm, in 2014, this level having been reached by mid-February! The dryness is fine, but it would be great if it could be accompanied by proper anticyclonic weather with sunshine, light winds and little cloud and not and endless procession of weak or mediocre Atlantic fronts from the west accompanied by a frequent nuisance breeze, which is now blowing much dust around as the ground is now so dry. Today, the status of absolute drought has been reached as there has been no measurable rain for 14 days. Despite the dryness in 2015, this is the first time the drought threshold has been reached as the usual scenario of a mediocre amount of rain arriving at the 11th hour on the 13th day prevents the threshold being reached. The grumbles about another Atlantic dominated year will also be left out of this report.   Thunderstorm let-downs versus successes in Guildford in 2015: Here is a comprehensive list of thunder events that I remember in 2015 so far and illustrates how badly we have done this year.   (1) Tuesday 13th January: Unstable westerly. Heavy rain at lunchtime, heavy enough to expect thunder. Get none and find thunder was widespread locally, including Bracknell, Wokingham and Reading. Evening brought another ‘trough’ which gave severe hailstorm, heavy snow and covering accompanied by thunder at Par, Cornwall. (2) Sunday 1st March: Afternoon torrential rain, Thunder really expected from the warnings in forecast. None heard locally but plenty further east towards London including Croydon. (3) Tuesday 3rd March: Coastal showers with thunder not too far south. See one flash at 5:30 am on bike ride then soaked in horrid cold rain (raining at 1.5~3 deg.C with not a trace of sleet, snow or even hail). (4) Tuesday 19th May – 1st thunder of 2015: Thundery showers in general area. Afternoon thunder from thundery showers to south and north missing Guildford. Spectacular hail at Woking and eastern Guildford, <2 miles from my address. (5) Friday 29th May: Squally cold front just after midday. Heavy rain. Thunder was reported from Horsley, about 6 miles to east. None heard here. (6) Friday 5th June: Plume failure No.1. Dry with medium level threatening cloud in morning. Thunder over Kent and Sussex and as far west as east Surrey, just too far away to hear locally. (7) Friday 12th/Saturday 13th June: Plume failure No.2. Almost identical to previous week except the storms persist in Kent and move north in evening. Muffled rumble heard at Fleet around 10 pm. Lightning but no thunder reported from Guildford. ( Saturday 20th June: Instability with approaching cold front. Brief heavy rain. Thunder heard in north Guildford, none where I was, despite working outdoors during entire event! (9) Tuesday 30th June – Second thunder event of 2015: Only ‘surprise’ event of year with <5 lightning flashes and thunder just after 10 pm in hot and increasingly unstable. (10) Wednesday 1st July: Severe thunderstorms further north. Their forecast being very accurate and spot on. Guildford misses out again – this was expected but not a satisfactory event. (11) Thursday 2nd July: Major heat breaks down with a puff of wind locally and more storms up north. Thundery showers were forecast for CSE so this was yet another total flop and just like that awful 28th June 2012, with the Newcastle area getting hammered by golf ball sized hail, again while we get altocumulus castellanus and an unstable sky to the east and fluffy cumulus blowing in on the increasingly fresh breeze from the S.W. signalling another ‘game over’ before it even had a chance to begin. (12) Friday 3rd/Saturday 4th July – Third thunder event of 2015 but only just: The definitive event to get excited about with potential for something special. Two cells develop as per forecast and move north leaving an inverted ‘V’ in CSE with NO lightning activity. See some distant lightning and 20 minutes of thunder at Fleet just after midnight. Slight shower. Major event over Kent, London, Dorset and Wilshire moving north so northern areas get another major event. (13) Sunday 5th July: Another Kent and east based event, although slight. 15 mm rain forecast for Guildford from west returning warm front fails to move far enough west. Dry all day. Thundery showers over northern England, possibly more widespread than originally forecast. (14) Monday 6th July: Some isolated thundery showers in Northern England. (15) Tuesday 7th July: Rain on fronts was lighter than forecast, so much that amount that fell was not measurable. Thunder develops further north over the usual areas including Lincolnshire… again. No chance of anything further south and that irritating breeze is picking up again instead.          On Saturday 28th June, looking at the maps for 1st/2nd July with the emphasis on the north having all the storms and after all those annoying east-shunted Kent clippers in June, I had a horrible thought that July may be north dominated month for storms, here on 7th July it looks like this thought was justified. Maybe the first week of July but can’t see anything remotely worthwhile next week and the S.W.ly dross is back anyway, so no chance for Guildford.   One expects to miss some events but not miss out EVERY time such as what is happening in 2015, and after such a long absence of thunder beforehand. Thunder somewhere in the UK every day in July so far, last time there was more than 4 days of thunder heard in a month was April 2008!   Coincidences about thunder let-down event dates: Many of the let-downs, especially with the plume-type have occurred on a Friday / Saturday. This pattern started in September 2014, the boundary where the pleasing increased thundery activity in 2014 returned to the typical scenario suffered in the preceding 7 years. Friday 19th/Saturday 20th September 2014 brought a surprise plume event after 2 days of mediocre activity locally. This missed CSE / local areas by the usual 20~30 miles and affected east London and Kent. Similarly in October, Thursday 9th brought thundery showers locally. This was the last thunder I heard in 2014 and would have to wait until 19th May for the next. Meanwhile on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th, continued south coastal showers brought more thunderstorms to Kent and inland into Sussex and east London, just too far away to see the cloud-top flashes from Guildford. Similarly, in November, there was thundery shower activity along the south coast from about the 3rd~9th but not one single distant flash was seen nor did any of this activity survive the 40 mile trip inland. Thundery showers from coastal events in unstable SW airflow often affect Guildford in the autumn. It is also strange that all these Friday night / Saturday morning fail events have occurred at ‘weekends’ when I have visited my father in Fleet (Hampshire), an area that is even more storm-starved than Guildford. My visits are planned months in advance due to working hours and commitments so it was not just going away on a whim when these let-down situations develop. Furthermore, a half-hearted breakdown occurred on Friday 6th/Saturday 7th June 2014, hours before I went to Cornwall. On arrival I was told that the storm on the evening of the 6th at Par Beach was quite impressive. The only impressive Friday night / Saturday morning event to affect Guildford in the last 13 months in this discussion in an impressive capacity was a week later when a 3~4 hour ‘surprise’ southward slow moving area of thunderstorms brought 43 mm rain. Quite typically, this occurred the night before I arrived home – culminating in the worst missed-storm event I have ever had my misfortune to experience. There have been plenty of these over the years. To add to the bad luck, the work security camera system failed to record the event, the cameras failing 5 pm on the 13th and working by 9 am, Saturday 14th. I am so fearful about missing interesting weather when on holiday that since 1995 or so I have asked people to take notes in my absence! It seems the chances of interesting weather at my holiday venue are never reciprocated. I thought the security camera idea would work well as it has a view of the car park where the intensity of the rain and lightning could be watched against a time-base. I was convinced correctly that something would kick off while away. Even the security guard was upset on my behalf about the camera failure and bad luck as he thought I might have at last circumvented the bad-luck curse that shadows me with anything meteorologically interesting.         Needless to say, constant disappointment missing out on much wanted and craved for thunder events saps morale and there is plenty of time to fester about the frustration with little else to on which to focus and the boring atlantic S.W.ly dross has now returned again and probably take months to shift again. This boredom is especially when at work and unable to spend time on activities and hobbies including cycling which actually makes good use of the boring conditions provided that infernal wind isn’t blowing, and therefore can take mind off the boredom.      Sorry for the length of this post, but I really wanted to have my say this time.    
  9. Summer of Heaven

    Lots of hot and dry sunny weather with low humidity when having a break between lots of thunderstorms. Thundery conditions at least once a week when higher humidity would be acceptable. Occasionally more than one day of thunderstorm activity per week. Absolutely no frontal rain, drizzle or humid muck without storms. No annoying persistent breezes with chilly conditions, except a light breeze during the hottest days and squally wind during the huge and unprecedented number of thunderstorms in Guildford.  No frustrating missing thunder events and getting NOTHING. If a nearby location gets 3 hours of thunder and we get only 1 hour, fine, but it would be our turn on another occasion. Thunderstorm forecasts which favour Guildford which don't get downgraded or go tits up for a change. Surprise thunderstorms when nothing is forecast would be nice. No interesting events when away on holiday so I don't miss anything. Lots of pleasant sunny weather during my Cornwall holidays. Absolutely NO ATLANTIC MUCK at ANY time.   and, oh yes, summer lasts from April to October. Not asking a lot, is it?   Best examples of my 'dream' summers would be 1983, 1989, 2003 or 1959 if I had been alive back then. 
  10. The No Storms Club July 2014 Onwards

    Let-down No.3 in this EXTREMELY BORING MONTH. Filthy humid evening and unpleasant to work in.   Gnawing headache all evening now worsening with accompanying nausea courtesy of this humid thunder-less muck. Always seem to get headaches in this situation, less so if we get thunder.    Brief period of heavy rain resulting in getting soaked (too warm to wear plastic impermeable wet weather gear they supply at work) and only 12 hours to dry this out before next shift - yet again nothing to show for it.   Thunder was 5-6 miles away, as usual. Working outdoors one would expect to hear even distant thunder. Never here in Guildford it seems - just irritating traffic noise and garbage music blasting from the open windows of cars. Normally, thunder should be loud enough to be heard over other noise (I have good hearing, good ear for sound & perfect pitch etc and can detect sound over sound etc).     These let-downs seem to come every week on a Friday or Saturday. Will it be fourth week lucky next Saturday or will more atlantic dross kill off any other chances?  
  11. The No Storms Club July 2014 Onwards

    Another let-down. Only one day with thunder heard in Guildford in 2015 and that was from an area of heavy showers and awesome hailstorm that affected Woking (Tuesday 19th May) and missed my locality. A truly dreadful year - no snow in the winter and now another 2010 style el-crappo useless thunder-less summer. At least in 2010 the pitiful low number of thunder days and weakness of the events was offset by some decent winter weather and snow at either end of the year.    Here's hoping the second half of 2015 will be better than the first.   Just cycled 13 miles around Guildford countryside in the dark in hope of seeing any distant lightning towards the coast. Not a thing and not even any illumination in the cloud tops when the sky started to clear as the first let-down moving north from france dies out having dumped its load over the English Channel and IOW.    Forecast suggested over 40 mm rainfall & 62% thunder probability for this area overnight Friday - Saturday in evening forecast (something to get excited about for once), after suggesting 10~15 mm on Friday all week, downgraded to 4 mm at tea time today. Now its been downgraded to 5~10 mm again. Probably get drizzle if we're 'lucky'.   Anyway, look on the bright side, it will be Christmas in 136 days and we might have had one clap of thunder by then.   
  12. The No Storms Club July 2014 Onwards

    Here we go again.   Another near miss and the usual areas get all the action. The rest of day going to be more crud and now another long wait for any other potential.   Weeks of atlantic dross with useless rainfall amounts, no thunder except a few distant rumbles on Tuesday 19th May when Guildford misses out on the massive hailstorm at Woking. Never known such an awful year - a truly dire winter with virtually no snow and now a useless thunder-less summer. At least in the abysmal thunder-deficient years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 we had decent snow events in the winter.   More tedious waiting. Will we ever see a decent plume situation without that ************* eastward shift?
  13. I have started a thread for those, like myself in S.E. England, who have yet to see the first snow of winter.   This is a sort of moan thread but can also be considered as a No Snow thread and is not just biased specifically at the models and the ups and downs of model-watching. There there is already a good thread for the model aspects of any forthcoming cold and snow in the model section.     I would be interested to hear how winter 2014/2015 compares with other poor performers for snow and snow-lessness especially with biased regional distribution like this season.   Feel free to have a good grumble... I think there will be a lot of dissatisfied snow loving southerners by the coming weekend... All are welcome here. I will add my thoughts on round three of 'cold' coming in this very disappointing winter so far, as things progress. I don't hold out much hope at present.     
  14. Model Banter, Moans and Ramps Autumn/Winter 2014/15.

    Not just the excitement of storms last year. No missing out on the snow, near misses, or dross like Boxing day, much of last week, Sunday, today etc. Fronts also pushed through quicker with lovely winter sunshine to follow, last year, whereas this year, the dross hangs about as frontal activity is slow moving, such as today's snow let-down.
  15. Model Banter, Moans and Ramps Autumn/Winter 2014/15.

    Another let-down on the way in the south tonight. Usual story, wrong side of marginal - yet more cold rain and dismal waste of time cold conditions. Snow north of M4 again, like on Boxing Day and forecast will be 100% correct (as south will have yet another near miss). Funny (well, not really) how Sunday's snow forecast for the south didn't materialise and it was cold rain dross as before.    We're not even out of this 'cold' spell yet and it is game over. I take the FI cold snap of early February with extreme caution. Besides it's another northerly - useless for snow in central southern England. If we can't get snow, unless it is frosty and sunny weather, cold conditions are a complete waste of time and inhibit the enjoyment of outdoor activities - cross country cycling being the only thing that I can engage in to forget this dreadful winter and that isn't fun in damp and windy marginal muck. Sick of being confined to camp indoors when it isn't snowing but too cold to enjoy anything else.    Currently, I rank this worse than 1983/1984 and 2005/2006. Only 1992/1993 was worse - however I am comparing 51 days of this winter with complete seasons in the past. The three other listed winters all yielded some snow, but amounts were very disappointing. This winter has yielded none. Last year was not seen as a dreadful winter, despite a complete absence of snow, as the deluge of rain was accompanied by comfortable mild conditions and the events were interesting. There were also several winter thunderstorms and hail (something else not seen this winter). It is these marginal snow events where this part of the south always misses out then there is a long wait for the next cold opportunity which is just another let-down that makes this type of winter so unpleasant.   Roll on spring, if things can't improve.