Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A little snow yesterday, now gone

Following on from my last post it decided to snow here on the following day i.e. yesterday. Nothing to get very excited about I must say but in the early morning there was a heavy shower and, as always, I'm fascinated by the rapidity of build up of snow thickness. I recall being told by it must have been my geography teacher that one foot of snow is equivalent to an inch of rain. Things have warmed up a little and I was surprised very early this morning to hear the sound of gentle rain whilst I was still under the duvet. So our little bit of snow has now washed away and it seems we may be somewhat too near to the south coast for the next lot of precipitation to be the white stuff.

Although obviously the recent weather has been colder than we have experienced through most of the last few winters I don't reckon it has been anything like as chilly as in decades past. With the predominance of easterly winds I would have expected much lower temperatures. A point that has to be made is that many of us now have the luxury of a softer lifestyle - think central heating, think double glazing, think car heaters that are efficient, think the waterproof clothing now available and compare the way we lived 20, 30, 40 years ago. In other words our routine day to day activities don't involve us really confronting the cold in the way they once did. I can readily recall winters with burst pipes, ice on the inside of the bedroom windows and a rug to cover the knees when sat in the back of a car! And of course we wore short trousers until we got into our teens and the schoolgirls would be in skirts, it was almost unknown too for adult women to be seen in trousers (or "slacks" as my mother would say). Yes we were a hardy lot but I mustn't drift into nostalgia!

Sorry, I've gone a bit off topic in my last paragraph. Back on the rails now thinking about the positioning of high and low pressure areas and the direction of wind I still maintain that the temperatures ought to have been lower. So if the planet is warming this might explain why although cold here it is not so cold as one should expect. The other thing I must mention is that 'down under' in the south east of Australia they are experiencing record high temperatures, over 40 degrees centigrade. Phew!

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