Just a quick note to update our clients on the service disruption caused by the ‘Big Freeze’ – which it seems is (possibly) now the coldest prolonged spell since 1981.
Thankfully, the Qcom Helpdesk staff have been able to get into today and will be manning the system and the phones. Our engineers are endeavouring to get out to calls, where it is sensible and safe to do us, although currently our southern England team are snowbound and Scotland/North East activity is limited.
We will prioritise calls (such as Health Service clients first) and would appreciate as much information from our clients as to the importance of the equipment in use (and confirmation that the site is open).
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
As both a keen metrologist and winter climber I recall a similar hard freeze in January/February 1996, caused by the Scandinavian blocking high pressure system drifting to lower latitude than normal. It may have been colder, but it might not have lasted as long. I certainly managed to ascent waterfalls such as Cautley Spout, The Force, and Newland Hause (in The Lakes), and I know Pistyll Rhaeadr was also ascended.
In Scotland, 1995-1996 was also very cold when the maximum low of -27.2 degrees Centigrade was reached in Altnaharra (matching the record set in Braemar in 10 January 1982 and 11 February 1895).
It’s certainly not yet on a par with the harsh winters of ’47 (the snowiest), ’63 (the coldest) and ’79 …..