Why Bournemouth rarely sees snow

It is safe to say that Bournemouth residents are not used to  heavy snow, like today’s. As the matter of fact, the last recorded snowfall in Bournemouth was in January 2013 when the snow depth was at 3 cm.  

The freezing weather that is now going around the country is a result of Storm Emma colliding with the cold spell from the ‘Beast from the East’. The Beast is striking around Europe resulting in severe cold and deaths.

Phillipa Gillingham, a principal academic of bio-geography, says that the warm weather and therefore the lack of snow in Bournemouth can be explained by two factors

“First of all, it tends to be warmer in the south because it is closer to the equator. The difference is around 1°  for each 100km travelled. This is essentially because energy from the sun hits the ground at a more direct angle the closer to the equator you get, so that surface receives more energy and therefore heats up more.”

“The second thing is the coastal effect. During the summer, energy from the sun heats up sea water at a slower rate than the air. The sea is generally colder than air temperature, but gets warmer through summer. The sea also holds on to that heat energy longer than the air does.”

At this time of the year, the sea is  warmer than the air and it gradually releases the heat too.

She points out that last time it snowed in Bournemouth the effect of the sea was obvious. “By the coast there was no snow but more inland, by Bournemouth University for example, it was colder and the snow was about 6-8cm deep.”

The weather forecast for the next days can be seen below. Make sure to stay on top of the latest weather forecast as the weather can suddenly change. The Met office warns to stop all unnecessary travels.

 

 

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