The Mail on Sunday - - News - John Ket­t­ley

Thurs­day morn­ing saw tem­per­a­tures again dip to -6.4C at Ben­son, Ox­ford­shire, con­trast­ing with 10C in Aberdeen.

Just a mod­est 1in (25mm) of rain so far in the far north of Scot­land. Some early spring bulbs have al­ready sur­faced, but we of­ten see win­ter volatil­ity by mid-Jan­uary leav­ing na­ture con­fused.

On this equiv­a­lent Sun­day in 1987, on the BBC Coun­try­file TV weather fore­cast I sug­gested that ‘The only bright thing on this fore­cast is my tie’. What was about to un­fold was a bone-chill­ing Siberian blast of win­try weather bring­ing the cold­est week of the en­tire 20th Cen­tury.

Next week is likely to bring more change­able con­di­tions with more rain. But it will only take small changes in the ori­en­ta­tion of the jet stream to her­ald a sig­nif­i­cant cold episode in the near fu­ture.

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