The white stuff


Of course, I am much too unorganised to have snapped a picture of this momentous occasion.

It is a bit of a phenomenon where I live, but of course, it’s also a bit of a nuisance. The snow covered my car, soaked through my gloves, and caused random pedestrians to slip off the road. It also took three times as long to get to work, for no apparent reason other than a bit of frozen rain, so perhaps nuisance isn’t a strong enough word.

After all that, though, there is something magical about a blanket of the white stuff. That moment when your path from the front door to your desired location has no footprints in it yet, and you will be the one to take those first crunchy steps to freedom. Snow makes normal activities into adventures.

Apparently this “cold snap” has travelled all the way from Russia to greet us. Why do we always get second hand weather? We get the tail end of hurricanes from the US, warm air wafts up from the Mediterranean, and snow hurries across from the East. Do we ever create our own weather here in Britain? And are there any countries that say: “This rain must have come from the UK.”

The BBC have a few pictures, the third one in the set (of the snowflake) is utterly, ridiculously good.

5 thoughts on “The white stuff

  1. Oooh, something I vaguely know about…

    Why do we always get second hand weather?

    It’s mostly down to the air (or jet) streams and the UK’s position in the Atlantic. Warm air comes across from the Gulf of Mexico (the Gulf Stream), which helps keep the UK relatively temperate. Although we do get cold snaps from the North and East, it could be a whole lot worse without the warm air and water from Central America. We’re only 10 degrees North of New York City, and think about how cold it gets there in winter!? NYC is actually the same latitude as Spain, but unfortunately for New Yorkers, there’s no stream from Portugal or Africa running North West across the Atlantic.

    And are there any countries that say: “This rain must have come from the UK.”

    It’s unlikely because the East of the UK is quite flat whereas the West is quite mountainous. The mountain range in the middle causes the warm westerly air to rise, which in turn causes rain to fall. Hence why Wales is usually wetter than London – the East is considered to be in a rain shadow. So our rain rarely gets as far as the continent. Annoyingly. 🙂

  2. Forgot to say earlier: IT SNOWED!!! Those photos on the BBC site are pretty good. The one of the Asda lorry had me confused for a second. The trailer looked unhitched, then I realised the tractor was out of sight because it had completely jack-knifed.

    I think you missed your calling in life

    A year-and-a-half of Marine Geography at Uni taught me quite a bit about meteorology. Annoyingly, it’s the one thing that stuck in my head after all this time.

  3. The Peak District is a big enough obstacle for most clouds. Manchester is the wettest place in England, yet Chesterfield (just on the other side) is about average. That’s how much difference 20 miles of large hills can do to the weather…

  4. You’re all welcome to my yearly regenerating supply of snow. It’s free to a good home…Next shippment is supposely hitting us this weekend.

Comments are closed.