Cold snap snappy dressing

Man in hooded fur coat

Stay snug…

Feeling a tad nippy? We’re not surprised! The snow has set in and temperatures nosedived to -11C in parts of the country last night.

Forecasters have released a cold weather warning, with no respite in sight from the snow, ice and bitter winds. But as renowned fell walker, Alfred Wainwright once put it: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

We thought we’d pay heed to those wise words and share our top tips for staying warm during this bitter cold snap.

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Elf and safety: Stay safe this Christmas

Christmas Health and Safety

What dangers lurk over the festive season?

With Christmas almost upon us, it’s worth taking stock of elf and safety, as the festive season is also known as the accident season.

T’is snow joke either, as RoSPA reports (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) reveal that more than 80,000 people require hospital treatment each year for accidents during the Christmas period.  And you’re at your most vulnerable when you let your guard down to enjoy fun activities like opening presents and putting up decorations!

Just take stock of the following and it’s highly likely you’ll be in good elf come the New Year. Though we can’t be responsible for what you get up to on New Year’s Eve.

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Extreme needs for thermal trousers

It was Alfred Wainwright who said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

While this may be true for most situations, there are places where the weather is so severe that no matter what you wear, the elements are bound to come out on top.

Pack your sandals, shorts, thermal trousers and perhaps even a windproof umbrella – as we embark on an extreme weather tour of the world.

Coldest

Oymyakon

It’s cold up north
Source: Sometimes Interesting

Slip your feet into ice skates, or strap on your snowshoes – you’ll need them in the coldest inhabited place on earth. The isolated Russian village of Oymyakon has a population of just 472 – not surprising given its shiver inducing, monthly mean temperature of -46°C.

It’s not just the villagers of Oymyakon, who have it tough. Inhabitants of the Canadian research facility ‘Eureka’ spend the whole year dressed in thermal trousers and super warm coats. With the world’s lowest annual mean temperature of -19.7°C, stepping outside in your jeans and sweater can be fatal.

For a more accessible chilly city, try Winnipeg. The Manitoban capital is dubbed “Winter-peg”, as temperatures rarely reach double figures even in the summer. Once in 1879 the thermometer fell to a bone chilling -47.8°C!

Hottest

Dallol, Ethiopia

Not your usual tourist trap
Source: Atlas Obscura

Many of us like to escape the gloom of the British winter. So if you like to wear your shorts and t-shirt in winter, how about a holiday to Dallol in Ethiopia? The town is a little short on tourist facilities, but it’s consistently sunny. Between 1960 and 1966, the mean daily temperature was 41.1°C, making it on average, the hottest town on earth.

Even the most dedicated sun worshiper would think twice about rolling out their towel in Death Valley. The record temperature there is 56.7°C, which in a place where people run marathons and visit for tourism, is really something.

Unlike Dallol and Death valley, no one has ever lived in the Lut desert of Iran. This is hardly surprising given the temperature there has reached 71°C – the highest ever recorded.

Windiest

Wellington wind

It’s windy down south
Source: Expat Forum

Chicago is called the “windy city” but it’s nothing compared to Wellington. The New Zealand capital once recorded a wind speed of 248km/h. Certainly not weather for a sun hat.

Wellington is built on the edge of the Cook Strait. There, a gap in the mountain range running the length of the North and South islands creates a wind funnel that accelerates the air blowing through it. The effect is strongest on the Wellington side, making this one of the most windy cities on earth.

Wellingtonians must be very fond of windy weather – the shape of the capital’s Westpac Stadium, aka the Cake Tin, creates a vortex – was that by accident or design? So if you go and watch the All Blacks play, you may wish to take a windproof umbrella.

Wettest

Bathing in the rain

Bathing in the rain
Source: Asfayara

Here in Britain we get out and about despite the rain – donning our waxed jackets and rubber wellingtons to fend off precipitation. But in some places, you may just want to stay inside.

Separated by just 10 miles, inhabitants of the Indian towns of Cherrapunj and Mawsnyram must fight over the title for wettest place on earth. In June and July you can expect 120 inches of rain there, more than double the UK annual average of 45 inches.

Driest

San Pedro de Atacama

Not a hose in sight
Source: Leave Your Daily Hell

Jump into moon boots and visit the Mars coloured sand of San Pedro de Atacama. Chile’s Atacama desert is the driest place on earth, but that doesn’t stop flip-flop wearing backpackers from visiting.

Due to the minuscule 15 mm of annual rainfall, there’s a 3 minute shower limit. So you have to wash your hair quickly, or everyone goes thirsty.

If you do decide to visit the Chilean desert, don’t forget to pack something warm to wear. Daytime temperatures maybe scorching, but at night, the mercury can fall to -10°C.

Humid

Singapore Humidity

A muggy night over Singapore
Source: I Super Love

Find yourself a time machine and head back to 1922 Libya. If the statistics recorded at the time are correct, the temperature soared to a scorching 57°C with 100% humidity. Dehumidifiers would do you no good here.

Can’t get your hands on a time machine but still want to get hot and sweaty? With an average annual humidity of 84.2%, you could try Singapore. In Singapore’s popular tourist spots and streets you’re sure to swelter, but if you feel a bit faint, there’s many air-conditioned shops and restaurants in which to retreat.

Do you know of any more extreme weather locations we might have missed?