Friday, 27 July 2018

Britain Blowing Hot & Cold

I'm sure many have been enjoying the hot weather in recent weeks. It’s certainly possible that we are on for one of the hottest and driest summers in a very long time. Temperatures are rising over and above 30C. 37C in some places. 
Gold Hill Shaftesbury in summer

It has been such an anomaly that it is being compared to the summer of 1976, the hottest summer on our records (Non UK readers will note that all you need to say in Britain is “summer of 76” and everyone knows exactly what you are talking about). The difference is that 1976 saw 18 days running of 30C+ and we, at time of writing, are only half way through that record. Time will indeed tell.

However, I must draw your attention back to March 2018. We in Britain witnessed a beast of uncontrollable and relentless power sweep over our little island. I am, of course, talking about the ‘Beast from the East’. A horrendous storm exacerbated by clashing with storm Emma who was conducting a flanking manoeuvre over the SW of England shortly after.   

The beast, who began its assault in the SE of England on February 24th, had already covered most of Britain in snow before having to confront storm Emma on the 2nd of march. The storm combo had claimed sixteen lives in Britain. 

Frozen rain, blizzards, drifting snow, strong winds and some of the coldest temperatures in years gave The Met Office cause to issue a red weather warning, the highest alert, in some parts of England. In some places, as much as 50cm (20in) of snow fell and caused mass disruption all over the country. 

The weather was so bad that I wouldn't have been surprised to see Lord Commander John Snow on BBC news telling us ‘winter is coming!’ Not nearly as bad as seeing a man dressed up as the Night King in my local coffee shop. I may have believed it if I hadn't seen him drinking a double espresso; and yes, for the record, I did ask him if he had had a ‘long night’. 
Gold Hill Shaftesbury after storm Emma

Forgive me for being facetious. There is an important connection to be drawn between these two weather extremes. The winter snow from the Beast ended in March and our current heatwave started officially on the 22nd of June. Only three months between them! 

I would be wrong not to also mention that April the 18th and 19th were recorded as the hottest days in April for 70 years where temperatures rose to 29.1centigrade. The London marathon on April the 22nd was also the hottest London marathon ever recorded at 24C and people participating were strongly advised not to wear any fancy dress. 

I stress this because I cannot find any evidence online of any similar swing in extreme weather in Britain and in such a short time gap. Anyone who can't or wont believe global warming and climate change are an issue or believe it wont effect you in your own lifetime needs to wake up. The effects are obviously already here. Scientists have said, according to The Guardian newspaper, that climate change has made our heatwave twice as likely. I have included the link to that article below if you would like to read further.

Forget ‘winter is coming’. Summer is here! 

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