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The big freeze 2012 in Eastern Europe

Updated on February 2, 2012

Brrrrrrrr. It's soooo cold

Today has seen the coldest temperatures of the winter. Not bad to say that it is the first day of February and we haven't yet seen any significant snow fall in Cambridgeshire at least. The picture above was taken on Dartmoor in the South West of the country.

Considering the last three winters have been quite harsh by modern standards in the UK. 2 to 3 months of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, it seems that Eastern Europe is facing it's worst cold spell for many years. As I write this there are reports of more than 50 deaths due to the freezing weather.

Recent temperatures here have been a balmy -2C compared to the rest of the east at -27C.

Today we have clear skies, bright sunshine,but there is still frost on the ground out of the sunshine at 12:30pm

The forecast is for the cold spell in Europe to catch up with us by the weekend. A cold easterly wind is blowing and the temperature feels colder due to the wind chill factor.

No doubt the boffins will be talking about global warming because of the extremes in weather that Europe is experiencing. Some may say that the weather patterns are normal and these kind of extremes are normal also.


It's not all bad news

In East Anglia Spring is just around the corner and the Daffodils are well advanced for the time of year and some are already being harvested.

Can you believe that? It looks like it will be a bumper crop this year.I can't wait to see the fields in full bloom. They are amazing all golden and shimmering like big buttercups.

Shortly after the daffodils have finished we will then see fields of really bright yellow spring up in the form of Oil seed rape. The smell his amazing from this plant.Once it is finished flowering the green stalks are pressed and the oil which is harvested goes to make Rape seed oil, used in cooking.

I actually saw this in the fields during the warm spell we had to the end of last summer. Some farmers must have planted a second crop due to the warm conditions we had. This is another of my favourite field flowers and really does signify that summer is on the way.

Daylight Hours

This is another indicator that winter will not be with us for very much longer. Days are getting longer by a minute or two per day. It get's lighter in the morning and stays lighter longer in the evenings. This winter has seemed to fly by. In fact the last 25 days whilst I have been doing this challenge have been the fastest I have ever known!

No doubt when all of the birds from the continent arrive we will all be complaining at the dawn chorus starting at 3:30am! We shouldn't moan about it really as we spend so much time in hibernation during the winter. I may even get up early one morning to listen and view it first hand. Something I have never actually done on purpose. Maybe I will report on the results at a later time

Amateur weather forecasters

This is an area which is to be encouraged as competition for the big companies in order to improve the accuracy of forecasting.

When I was growing up there was always an alternative forecast on our local TV station in Yorkshire. The forecaster was called Bill Foggitt and his forecasts were really accurate. He used many different methods to develop his forecasts. His main focus was on the behaviour of plants around his home in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. Observations and notes over a lifetime helped him to make comparisons to previous weather patterns then make predictions based on his intelligence gathered.


The Pine Cone

Whilst holidaying in France about 8 years ago we brought back a number of pine cones, big ones they are. We still have them and they open and close with air moisture and humidity. I think they are a good aid in forecasting if rain is imminent. If the forecast is for dry weather they will be open. With humidity in the air the cones will actually close up.

Not only are they useful tools they are a great reminder of a family holiday.

Not bad for something which is free.

Let me know if you use any amateur forecasting techniques which seem to work for you.


Animal behaviour for forecasting weather

You may have heard of an old wives tale that allows you to predict the weather by looking at the Cow's in the fields. If rain is anticipated the Cow's will sit down. If they sit down it means they don't want to be lying on wet ground. So by sitting and spreading themselves out they will keep the ground dry if it does rain.

Do you believe this to be true?


Is it an old wives tale?

Eccentric Britain

British people are said to be a bit eccentric. I think this is true for people the world over. However, the weather is a talking point for many. The weather is such an easy subject to start a conversation about and because we have such varied weather here we are never short of something to say about it. It can certainly be an ice breaker when meeting people for the first time and is definitely one of the biggest subjects talked by neighbours over the garden fence.




There you have it, my top tip of the day!

25th Hub in the 30/30 hub challenge
25th Hub in the 30/30 hub challenge


Submit a Comment

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire


    we have just had the hottest day of the year in the UK. I am writing this at 19:20 in the garden and it is still 26 C! An age away from that horrible winter.

    As ever thanks for your support.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    OMG I needed a sweater, gloves, hat and extra blankets just reading this hub. That's insanely cold! Can't imagine. Don't want to imagine. Well told Steve. Glad all is well now :)

  • TENKAY profile image


    6 years ago from Philippines

    I will try to bring some pine cones when I visit the mountains... am curious if it could really predict when rain is coming.

    Good hub.

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    christywrites, keep on hubbin babe.

    always, thanks again for reading. On the weather me I'm a Dr!

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    6 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Oh, I do so hope all your predictions are correct. I am sick of cold weather. I want to bask in the sun..YEA..Thank you for a great article..

  • ChristyWrites profile image

    Christy Birmingham 

    6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Thanks Posh I appreciate your support here on Hubpages. I like stopping by to read and chat with you.

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    R9139 thanks for reading and commenting. It is always good to hear from you. 3 favourite lady hubbers

    christywrites, thanks for the comments and for reading so much of my work. You are doing great here, keep it up. Will be over to check out your new stuff very soon.

    writer20, Joyce I am thrilled that you keep coming back for more, I promise I will have a catch up with your hubs as soon as I can get myself sorted out at the end of this nightmare at the moment called 30/30.

    Ardie, Ardie, Ardie, Your support is unshakeable and your comments always make me feel so good about myself. We have had such a busy month and I am really looking forward to having a catch up with your 30/30's as well.

    We are due for heavy snow tomorrow and Sunday so I will have to stay in, keep warm and have a great read.

  • Ardie profile image


    6 years ago from Neverland

    Oh Posh, do stay warm! I feel bad saying this but our weather in Ohio has been remarkable for this time of year. Yesterday it was almost 60 degrees F and sunny! THAT is spring weather - not dead of winter weather. Im NOT complaining. It was a nice chance to get outside and remove branches that had fallen from windstorms. I am going to bring in a pinecone and see how it predicts the weather :) Thanks for that tip. 5 more to go!!!!!!

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 

    6 years ago from Southern Nevada

    I too collect any pine cones I come across, where we use to live we have very old pine trees that dropped large pine cones, that I would save for some reason I'm not sure about.

    I have one sister in Bromley and one in Florence Italy both complaing about the freezing weather. for the in Bromley she has a dog that has to go out and she has to drag him out of the door. Voted up, Joyce

  • ChristyWrites profile image

    Christy Birmingham 

    6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I like that you use the pine cones to forecast weather! Good hub here Posh.

  • R9139 profile image


    6 years ago

    I hate this cold weather I managed to lock myself out at 5am today was stuck out in it for hours. Not helpful when you have strong sea winds coming in at you as well. Great hub, not sure myself about the old wives tale about cows laying down although it is a popular one here. I have always put it down to them just being lazy.

    Last years snow fall found most of the United Kingdom at a stand still and yet was not as bad as parts of Europe are experiencing right now.


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