Sitting here on a sunny Saturday morning basking in the blue sky it is hard to believe that we have had such different weather in the last few weeks.
This is only the 2nd of February and already this is looking like it is going to be a year of extreme weather. In this part of England we don’t often exprience so much weather, we have our own ‘micro climate’ sheltered as we are by the hills behind us and the island before us. Yet we had more snow a few weeks ago than we usually have in a decade. Back in January 2010 they told us we would have heavy snow which would start during the evening rush hour. Of course nobody believed what we were told. During the afternoon we looked through the office windows to see rain. It might be snowing elsewhere but not here.
5pm on the dot I left the office as I was going to visit my mother in the local hospital. As I started the engine so the first few snow flakes crossed my vision. By the time I reached the other side of the town the snow was getting heavier and had already begun to lay thickly on the roads and it had only been 5 minutes or so. I decided not to visit the hospital but go straight home, a journey that usually takes about half an hour, this time took me 7 long cold hours. This snow stayed around for about two or three days .
Then in December of the same year we woke to find several inches of snow everywhere.Again this lasted for two or three days before everything was back to normal. We don’t cope well with snow in these parts as we don’t see it often enough for there to be contingency plans.
Since December 2010 we have seen the odd snow flurries and maybe a light dusting of snow or three but nothing heavier. Not that is until January 2013. All week they had been predicting snow. Of course opinions on whether we get it were divided. There were those who went into panic mode and those who poo poo’d the whole idea of us getting snow. Myself I just figured I would wait and see….what else could we do.
I woke at 4.30am, checked outside nothing. 5.30am it was starting to snow. By 6am we had a light dusting on the car but it wasn’t laying on the roads yet. By 7am it was now on the roads and pavements. Although we have a 4 x 4 truck I decided not to risk driving into work and not being able to drive back. I took the bus to work for the first time, it was only a 10 minute ride, but apparently it was one of the last buses to run past our house. Those of us who live closest to the office made it in. But by 9am it was looking quite bad out there so we were ordered to leave. My Manager dropped me off at the main road and I walk from there. It continued to snow for the remainder of the day. I have never known so much snow to fall in one day (I don’t remember the snow in 1963). Our cat had a shock when she went out through her cat flap…she only managed a few steps before turning tail and heading back inside. We had snow on and off for several days…..that was a new experience for us here. On the Sunday afternoon it took us 20 minutes to get our truck off the drive. It was a full week before the rain washed away the snow.
Then the rains began. We had days when it didn’t stop. Nothing unusual in that really after all this is UK. But with the melted snow and the rain together rivers flooded, fields and roads were left looking more like lakes and still there is more to come.
So looking at this bright blue sky on this early February morning is a welcome relief.