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2010: The year of extremes: Extreme weather events from across the globe in 2010

Record highs and drought

Although the 2009/2010 European winter saw some exceptionally cold and snowy periods, the Arctic polar regions and Canada experienced unusually mild winter conditions. Northern Europe experienced its coldest winter for nearly 30 years, while temperatures in some places in the Arctic and Canada reached +6°C above the long-term average and Canada experienced its mildest winter on record.

The winning question: How was the first thermometer calibrated?

The winning question (or, to be accurate, questions) in our Ask the Experts competition has been announced. Congratulations to Richard Ware for soundly testing their knowledge. Just to clarify, the image above is of Galileo, not Richard.

Question

a) How was the first thermometer calibrated?

b) What did Galileo use as a reference? Did he just get his pencil out and start marking the side of the thermometer ""10 ... 20 ... 30 ... 40"" etc?

c) Why did everyone (presumably) accept his findings as pukka? Did anyone query them?

Behind the folklore: cows lying down: Do cows really lie down when it rains?

If a well known piece of old countryside folklore is to be believed, a sure sign of the imminent arrival of rain is the sight of a herd of cows sitting down in a field. But then again, if old countryside folklore is to be believed, black dogs are devils and Londoners can't be trusted, so it's a claim that cries out for further examination.

Understanding the Weather of 2010: Club members invited to learn about the extraordinary weather of the past year

2010 has been a year of quite extraordinary weather. In order to reflect on the meteorological events of the past 12 months, The Royal Metrological Society is holding a national meeting on Saturday 5th February 2011, and members of theWeather Club have been specially invited. Entitled 'Understanding the Weather of 2010', the gathering will involve some of the top scientists in the field explaining the science behind some of the main UK and world weather events of the past year, including flooding, the Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud, thunderstorms and the cold weather.

Ashes to ashes: How the Tamboro volcano eruption wreaked havoc on Europe's weather

Six months after the end of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption, we look back almost 200 years to examine how ash from the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history played havoc with the weather, with utterly devastating effects

This an extract from the launch issue of theWeather magazine. Join theWeather Club to read the whole article. The Winter issue of theWeather is out now.

Member profile: Graham Smith

GRAHAM SMITH

Why did you join theWeather Club?

Being an avid weather enthusiast, I saw theWeather Club as a great way for me to interface with other folk from around the country interested in the UK's fascinating weather patterns. Not only that, but the magazine and news articles on the website are always informative and I also believe the aims and goals of the club are highly worthy of support. I have to confess that getting the nifty Galileo thermometer was no bad thing either!