A “cool change”, late-September 2003
It snowed last Tuesday over the Scottish highlands, settling on slopes above the 300 metre level – the first significant snowfall of the season. Snow in September is not rare over the mountain tops, but it has become increasingly infrequent on slopes between 300 and 600 metres above sea-level during the last 15 years or so.
This wintry snap arrived in the wake of a vigorous cold front which swept south-eastwards across the whole country during Monday, and this same front was responsible for the dramatic arrival of autumn in southern and midland counties of England with a sudden drop in temperature, fierce squalls, the first widespread rain since the end of July, and there was even a minor tornado in Gloucestershire.
temperature had continued abnormally high for the season until last Sunday when
28.1ºC was recorded at
accompanying downpour offloaded 10mm of rain or more across much of the
The northwesterly airflow in the rear of the cold front had
originated inside the
In southern England several records of 40-50 years standing were broken, and in Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire readings around –2ºC were certainly the lowest in September since 1919.
© Philip Eden