Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Welcome to Winter

Its started - the weather predictions are hitting the headlines again.

This week I learned that one long term weather forecast predicts a long cold spell. Another one said it would be a wetter but warmer winter. Another one said it would be a normal winter season. The nice thing about weather forecasts is there are so many different ones to choose from, If you look for long enough you're bound to find one that suits.

The nights are certainly getting longer, the sun does not climb very high in the sky. The wind has started to have quite a nip. Mornings are dull and grey with patches of freezing fog. Nature has almost gone into hibernation. Everyone is wrapped up against the cold and on some mornings our breath freezes in an instant.

Late in December it will be the Winter Solstice. Our ancestors celebrated this the longest night and the shortest day. Interpretation of this event is different from one culture to another. Most cultures recognised the solstice as a time of rebirth or a time for festivities and rituals. Often referred to as midwinter's day.

In the summer months, the temperatures have often been above the seasonal average in the UK this year. The last three winters have all been colder than the seasonal average. Cold winters do tend to come in clusters, but even during these periods a mild winter can and often do occur.

In the poem "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Christina Rossetti and set to music by Gustav Holst the first verse sets the scene.

In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

But winter is not such a bad time of the year. Think of those clear fresh cold mornings as rime covers the hedgerow and highlights the spiders web. The crunch of frozen puddles underfoot, a day when you can have a ramble in the countryside and know that there will be no mud on your boots at the end of your walk. The air is so clear you can see for miles and miles.

Think of coming back to a wood burning stove with the toasty warmth spreading around the boat. Bright flames licking around the logs and a curl of smoke from the chimney. Mooring ropes frozen hard as iron and a layer of frost on the roof. Next time someone says "is it cold on your boat in the winter" you can answer "It depends on where I set the thermostat".

Soon it will be Christmas, a time spent with family and friends. A time to make plans for next years cruise. We all want Christmas eve and Christmas day to have a few feet of snow and for it all to be gone by boxing day! So what are the chances of a white Christmas this year.

White Christmas Forecast TWO (The Weather Outlook) web site predicts. "The weather patterns so far during November have remained blocked, with a mild southerly flow. The mild weather looks set to continue for a while at least, and there are currently few signs of an early winter developing. The current Christmas forecast is for mostly mild to average temperatures with winds coming from the west or south west."                   

The RoA six month weather forecast is - It will be cold in December, January and February. March will be more windy and slightly warmer. I predict that April will be a wet month, May into June being a significantly warmer period. I am so good a predicting the weather, I should have been an astrologer!

In a few short weeks the spring flowers will be with us as the days start to grow longer. I will be aching to get underway to watch as winter departs once more and to enjoy the weak warmth of the spring sunshine once again. There are few snowdrops starting to show in the garden. A flowering cherry has a sprinkling of flowers already, it seems that the late warm spell fooled the cherry. However, it usually looks like its covered in snow when it is in full bloom.

The nice thing about winter is, the spring and summer are not all that far away!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.