Altnaharra doesn’t look anything like that!

Courtesy BBC

The BBC lunchtime news read by Reeta Chakrabarti made me smile when Reeta mentioned that the coldest place had been -16.7°C in some places in the Scottish Highlands, whilst at the same time showing video of what looked suspiciously like the northern end of the Lairig Ghru in the Cairngorms. The -16.7°C occurred at Altnaharra, and though in what’s loosely termed the Scottish Highlands, the landscape there is much different from that of the Cairngorms eighty seven miles to the south southeast. Altnaharra is in an area that’s known as the flow country, not particularly high ~100 M amsl or so and quite wide, flat and boggy with many lochans and completely different to the Cairngorms and at the moment its covered in at least 10 cm of powdered snow.

Courtesy of Google Maps

The temperature just kept falling at the AWS at Altnaharra this morning and the minimum -16.7°C could have occurred at either side of 09 UTC even in early February. It’s only -7°C there at 13 UTC, so it’s going to get off to a much colder start than yesterday when the temperature was six degrees warmer at the same time. So as long as the winds stay light and the sky clear it could go even lower than that tonight.

It has some way to to beat the -25.0°C record for a minimum in February.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

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