Monday, November 29, 2010

Snow Alert

It's only November, right?

Those of you who have been watching the UK weather reports anxiously, wondering how Your Bogger is coping with the veritable blizzards afflicting this country, can rest easy - I have survived so far. It seems that the British Isles, usually tempered by a benign Gulf Stream influence from the Atlantic, is this week receiving its weather from the East - Siberian and Scandinavian weather is bringing one of the coldest Novembers in many a year. Great. My first Northern Winter and it looks like being a doozy. Here's the latest weather news:

Northern Ireland has experienced a new low temperature of -9.5C (15F) in Co Tyrone, and in Wales, a record low of -18C (0F) was reached in Powys. Heavy snow continues to fall over Scotland and north-east England, causing disruption to flights and road journeys, and the falls are expected to last until Tuesday.
Forecasters says Siberian winds will make it feel colder yet from Monday. Despite some sunshine over the UK on Sunday, Durham, Northumberland, Nottingham and the Chilterns are due to get further showers. There may also be snow flurries on Sunday in Northern Ireland and in the southern-most counties of England.
The coldest place overnight in Scotland on Saturday was Loch Glascarnoch, in the Highlands which hit -15.3C (4F). In England, -12.5C (10F) was recorded in Shawbury in Shropshire – the lowest November temperature since 1946. Drivers are being told to be careful in the worst-hit areas and to venture out only if necessary.
The easterly winds show no sign of letting up, with the cold weather expected to last until next week at least.
So far London does not seem to have received any snow - but I have been away for a couple of days. With some kind of unerring sixth sense I flew out of one of the few places in England without snow and straight into a place which was blessed with the stuff: Jersey, one of the Channel Islands.

Actually, I think the snow is rather exciting, although this was not my predominant mood when I went out before dawn on Saturday morning to catch a flight to Jersey from Gatwick...only to find that Jersey was blanketed in snow and its airport had no flights coming in or going out. Nevertheless, things were fixed up and I did manage to get to Jersey only a couple of hours late. It is very unusual for Jersey to have snow - it is a tiny island, only 45 square miles in total (I will have lots more to tell you about Jersey). I was there at the kind invitation of Brigitta and Michael, to spend the weekend with them in their now prettily snow-covered cottage.

'La Peronelle'

Brigitta and Michael had woken to a snowy world on Saturday morning, but as the morning progressed it seemed that the snow would soon melt away. Hah! By lunchtime it was coming down again, dusting us with white as we scampered from the car to the restaurant. Driving conditions were not great, of course. We stocked up on lovely fresh produce from the market - cheese, wine, ham, pate, baguette - oh, and coal for the fire - and settled down to a very cosy evening indoors.

Brigitta drives bravely on.

By Sunday morning, the world was still white but the sun was shining - an excellent combination. Temperatures hovered around 0 degrees. We took a tour around Jersey - actually a complete circumnavigation - and found that on the northern and western coasts, where the altitude is higher, quite a lot of snow remained on the fields, and (somewhat bizarrely) on the vineyard. Icewine this season, do you think?

See? Jersey really does have vineyards.

me new bovver boots...ideal for the cold, but a bit slippery

Jersey cows looking contented despite the snow.

I've arrived back in London to face the coming week - whatever the weather may bring. Snow is still predicted as a possibility for the capital. We'll see. At least I've now had some practice on the delightful island of Jersey.

News from:
Map from:

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