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Friday to Sunday  15 - 17 March 2013

More Miserable Weather

There’s been no let up in the dull cold weather at all over the weekend. The temperature struggles up to a few degrees by day and falls to almost freezing point each night. We’ve managed a few showers and some longer spells of rain through the weekend too. Thoroughly miserable and we still haven’t visited the plot this month.

We did have an excellent trip to Cumbria to visit a friend. On the way we stopped for coffee at Mainsgill Farm just off the A66 and, after our coffee, had a look in “The Lambing Live” shed.

If you watch the video you’ll see how quickly little lambs learn how to read.

After leaving the farm we continued on the A66 and headed on over the Pennines where there was still snow about.

Once over the high ground of the Pennines the snow disappeared for a while but once we were into Cumbria and the Lake District snow was still evident on the tops of the peaks.




Monday  18 March 2013

Lucky Us

Monday was another cold grey and wet day. Luckily it rained where we live but further north it fell as snow and first thing on Monday morning the A66 was closed due to snow. This was the route we’d taken to Cumbria at the weekend.

As you can see from the picture captured early in the afternoon Monday was a miserable day with the maximum temperature reaching just 2.9°C. There doesn’t seem to be any sign weather wise of the approach of spring. It’s going to be a late start on the plot and sowing seeds this year.

This is the forecast for the rest of the week.

I think our seeds will be remaining in their packets for another week at least looking at the temperatures predicted by the Met Office.

Tuesday  19 March 2013

Almost Tempted

Tuesday morning started off with stunning blue sky and bright sunshine. It tempted Sue outside to plant some bulbs in the front garden that had been started off in pots over winter. I was almost tempted to sow some broad beans into modules to germinate in the greenhouse but in the end thought better of it.

I’d spent a little bit of time in the morning looking through some weather records for March. Oddly at the moment March could turn out to be colder than January and February not that they were particularly mild months this year. That’s got to be unusual!

Originally on the chart above I decided to show 1996 as the coldest March in the last 25 years. At the moment we are well on course to be colder this year so I started looking further back into the records for some additional records to add to the chart. The Met Office records I checked through date back to 1772 but it’s unlikely that we will go too far into history as March 1962 was the 9th coldest since those records began. The average temperature that year was just 2.8°C by the end of the month. Our current monthly average is 3.4°C which compares with a rather enviable value of 8.7°C last year.  

The morning sunshine did bring out the tulips in the front garden.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Every Cloud and All That

Wednesday continued cold and wet and without a hint of sunshine. In the morning the rain was sort of sleety but nothing settled. The temperature was, how shall we say, on the low side hovering below 2°C for much of the day. The forecast looks like something for the middle of January rather than the start of spring.

I suppose we should be grateful it’s actually forecast to be above 0°C tomorrow and then, well, it looks like more snow. Glad I didn’t bother sowing those broad beans yesterday now.

I have spotted one benefit of the cold weather. I noticed the other day that the potatoes set to chit in the greenhouse weren’t making much progress. I took some of last year’s stored potatoes out of the garage for use in the kitchen. As it’s colder in the garage than the greenhouse even now as we approach the end of March they’re not really making any sprouts or starting to go soft as I would normally expect them to do by now.

These are Charlotte potatoes harvested early in August last year and stored in the garage over winter. They’re still in perfect condition for use in the kitchen with only the tiniest of sprouts starting to form.