I've been keeping weather records since 1980 when I was just seventeen and I've decided to look back at these to put this cold snap into some kind of perspective.
I have a maximum minimum digital thermometer in a home made Stephenson's Screen and keep records of temperature only. So here goes.
(I live in Wales by the way so that's obviously where the temperatures are taken).
Record Low: -25.1 Dec 1981.............Lowest this winter so far: -7.6
Most Frosts: 1985/86, 75 frosts............Frosts SO FAR this winter: 28
Most below -10 minimums: 1981/82, 6..........Below -10 minimums this winter SO FAR: 0
Most Sub Zero Maximums: 1985/86, 11..........Sub Zero Maximums this winter SO FAR: 4
You get the picture, it's cold but not exceptional.
The winters this century have been remarkably mild so far but even then there have been lows of -10 in Dec 2000
-9.1 in Jan 2002
-10.1 in Mar 2006
and -8.3 in Febs 07 & 08.
The average number of frosts annually between 1971 and 1990 for my part of Wales according to the Met Office was 62.
The average according to my figures since 2000 is 46. Quite a drop. That's why this year when we're getting probably somewhere near average again it seems a lot.
The most this century is 59 in 2000/01, and the least was 31 in 2006/07.
We'll see how many this year brings.
That record of -25.1 in Dec 1981 has never been touched. The closest to it (according to my figures) was -13.1 in Jan 1985, and I reckon it'll be pretty safe this year.
Sorry for all the geeky stats but I hope you'll agree that the media (as usual) are getting carried away.
It's winter and we're having some frost - hold the front page?!