The last month of the year is here, and the early winter is tightening its grip. A fall of snow left an inch of the white stuff here in Stornoway, although the bright sun has served to burn most of it away. We are left with the snow that fell over the weekend, which is slowly evaporating in the sunshine. Our temperature? Well, we reached +1.6C at 1pm.
Temperatures in Altnaharra, in the far north of mainland Scotland, have peaked at -12C this afternoon, after dipping to -20.5 overnight. As darkness falls, the mercury is expected to plumb new depths, down to -22C. And the following night might see it go down to -25C. Altnaharra is located in a valley, where the cold air pools; the snow serves to lose even more 'heat' and down goes the temperature. Residents in the village have been unable to reach the main road, and some have not seen their car since Friday - when it got buried under snow.
Falls of snow are much more of a problem than extreme temperatures. Snow has now reached the south of England, leading to passengers stranded on trains overnight; air passengers unable to fly out of Gatwick or Edinburgh (I know the feeling) and road travellers unable to budge. It is reported that 1 metre of snow (that's 40 inches in old money) has fallen in the northeast of England.
No let up in sight.