Monday, 11 January 2010

Slow thaw today, snow forecast tomorrow

It's certainly been less cold in my part of the world today and there has been a very gentle thaw of some of the snow and ice, the last mentioned being a greater problem than the snow. For a change the windows on the car were frost free when I first looked out, not that I needed to drive anywhere as it so happened. If there is just one thing to rejoice about in not having to commute to work by car it's the fact that I don't have to do the de-icing routine first thing in the morning. How did I put up with that for so many years?

Tomorrow is another day as they say and it looks like a sizeable dollop of snow might be on the way. It's the classic situation I've seen before where there is blocking high pressure over Scandinavia maintaining cold easterly winds whilst at the same time a low pressure system with its fronts is trying to make headway from the Atlantic. These situations are always notoriously difficult to predict as to whether one sees snow or rather cold rain - it only takes a degree or two difference to produce one or the other. At the moment the forecasters are going for heavy snow turning to rain. We shan't have to wait long to see the outcome. Strong winds are in the mix so drifting is certainly on the cards especially on the moors.

The really cold weather we have had has perhaps put extra strain on underground services: I'm assuming that is why Mortehoe up in North Devon was devoid of gas supply over much of the weekend - not much fun if you rely on it for cooking and heating. Not heard anything further today so I assume all the repairs are complete. There was also a gas leak at Tavistock bus station on Saturday morning but our local bus was able to drop off and pick up passengers nearby and there appeared to be very little inconvenience when we went in to do a small amount of shopping.

It was a few years ago now when the gas main running down my road started leaking, the gas people appeared promptly enough and did the necessary repair. They came back some later to replace all the gas pipe serving this road. A good deal of upheaval because our road is only one vehicle in width (it can just accommodate the dustbin lorry). We were lucky though because our original gas leak didn't occur during cold weather; I guess it was just 'anno domini' catching up with it! The original gasworks for the village was built in 1872 with coal being brought up the Tamar and then through the little canal that bypasses the weir across the river. One used to hear complaints about service providers not co-ordinating their work but this certainly didn't apply here. At one time electricity cables crossed the lower part of some of the gardens in the Row and I can can recollect the power company coming out to do a little pruning to a tree in my own garden where the wires could easily make contact. At the time of the gas main replacement the contractors also inserted a duct in the road so that at a later date the electricity people could route their overhead line through it. It's difficult to remember the electricity cables over my garden now.

Inconvenient though snow is I must admit that there is something hypnotic about watching it falling. I'm at a low level here so it might be rain rather than the white fluffy stuff. Whichever, it's due here about lunchtime.

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