Coldest December on record

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the south of Scotland endured the coldest December since records began 100 years ago.

Throughout the month the average temperature recorded at the Eskdalemuir site for December 2010 was -2.3C; 1981 held the record at -2.25C. Across Britain the December just gone was the coldest recorded for 120 years.

Combined with the cold start to 2010, the snow and ice experienced in November and December made the year the coldest experienced in southern Scotland since 1986.

Throughout the UK there were 10 nights in December 2010 when the temperature fell below -18C - mostly these temperatures were experienced in northern Scotland.

The mean temperature for 2010 was just 6.67C, the coldest in nearly a quarter of a century but significantly warmer than the record low of 5.95C in 1919.

“Main reasons for the cool year were the months of January and December,” explained Ian Dawson of the Met Office.

“In fact December 2010 has proved to be the coldest December in the observatory’s 100-year history.”

February 1947 still holds the record for the coldest month at -2.8C, closely followed by January 1940 at -2.75C.

Nightime temperatures peacked, or may that should be troughed at -15.1C on January 7 and -14.6C on December 3. Not only did the region experience extremely cold weather but summer also came early and proved to be very short.

“Unusually, the warmest day of the year came in May, with 25.5C being recorded on May 22,” added Mr Dawson.

“The fact that on no day in July did the temperature reach 20C shows what a poor summer it was.”

The year of 2009 saw near record-breaking rainfall of 2214mm in the region but last year it was only 1303mm, making it the driest year since 1976.