- Travel and Places
The big freeze 2012 in Eastern Europe
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.
Euro weather stories
- UK weather: Temperatures in Britain \'colder than South Pole\' as 1500 a week could die | Mail Onlin
The Met Office has upgraded its cold weather alert to level three, which means 'severe' conditions, with some areas expected to experience temperatures of minus -11C.
- Cold weather kills more than 80 in Europe; snow falls over Italy | News | National Post
Europe froze as the continent experienced some of its coldest temperatures in decades on Wednesday, the death toll from the weather topped 80 and countries battled to clear snow from roads and railways
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.
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?
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.
SO, IF YOU STRUGGLE TO KNOW WHAT TO SAY WHEN MEETING NEW FRIENDS......
TAKE IT FROM POSH
TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER!
There you have it, my top tip of the day!