THE Arctic blast which has gripped Huddersfield for weeks could finally be on its way out.
Temperatures are expected to reach double figures by early next week – bringing welcome relief after the coldest March for more than a century.
It has been confirmed that last month was the coldest recorded in Huddersfield in more than a century, with temperatures averaging just 1.6º C – some 3.5º below the average.
Three days: the 11th, the 22nd and 23rd, never got above freezing.
But, remarkably, it was a relatively dry month – even though the rain that did fall came amid the heaviest snow for years.
Huddersfield weather expert Paul Stevens recorded 46.9mm of precipitation over the month, with much of that accounted for by the 14 inches of snow that fell in just 48 hours.
“It was certainly a very cold March and was the coldest on record for this area,” said Stevens.
“The previous coldest in recent years was in 1978, when the average was 2.3ºC so we were well below that figure.
“It was also exceptionally dry. The heavy snowfalls in the last week of the month saw the whole town suffer and some areas are still blanketed by snow and ice.
“The formula is one foot of snow equates to one inch of rain, so the bulk of the rainfall in the month came in that snow.
“There is, however, some good news just around the corner.
“The block of pressure which has been sitting to the north of the UK for the best part of a month is about to start moving away and that will allow the winds to come in from the Atlantic.
“It should mean milder temperatures, perhaps up to 12ºC or 13ºC by the end of the weekend, but still below the normal for early Spring.
“The milder weather will also bring in some rain, but at least it will feel more Spring-like.”
The cold and dry conditions seen in March were largely due to high pressure dominating UK weather patterns, allowing cold and relatively dry air to move in from the east, especially Siberia.
Snow is still lying in many areas and yesterday the A6042 over Holme Moss remained closed for a 12th successive day.