Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snow and how we handle it

Usually, in the UK, we get heavy snowfalls after Christmas. White Christmases are very rare. I have known it snow after Christmas and on or around New Year's Eve on several occasions in my lifetime, notably in 1995, 1996 (When it snowed heavily on New Year's Eve), 2000 (When it melted on New Years's Eve), 2001 and 2003 (When it snowed heavily on New Year's Eve). It also snowed heavily just before Christmas last year, 2009, but thawed. More heavy snow fell early in the new year of 2010 though.

However, this year, heavy snowfalls have come early. The cold weather started last Thursday, 25th November. The areas which got it worst at the beginning were Scotland and North-Eastern England. I thought that where I live would escape but after going to bed at 12.40am last Saturday, I looked out of the window and saw that it was white over. Silent snowflakes were falling from the sky. By the time I got up thought it had stopped, but an inch and a half had fallen overnight.

Saturday was a bitterly cold day, and the mercury fell to -10 on Saturday evening/Sunday morning. Further snow fell Sunday, and it snowed Monday evening from 8.30pm onwards. Last night and today has seen the worst snowfalls. It started snowing from 7.30pm to 10pm, and from 10.45pm to 1pm today non-stop. It was heavy at times. More Snow is forecast for tonight and tomorrow and it will be a bone-chillingly cold night on Thursday. I have known snow like this before. Of course I have. I have known snowfall in November before, in 1993 and 1996, but it has usually been January and February when it has been this severe. In fact, 2010 has been the earliest for heavy snowfall since 1981.

My feelings towards Snow are that it is like Christmas, you love it when you are young. I liked it at that age, but as you get older you grow indifferent to it, or even dislike it. Snow and Christmas are synonymous with each other. For me, it is disruptive and gets in the way. I don't think the UK is equipped for the amounts of snowfall which most of us are getting at the moment. I hope what we have now is melted away with sunshine when the thaw comes because if rain melts it away, there will be a lot of flooding.

When we get heatwaves in Summer, we get sharks and tropical fish in the English Channel, but for some reason, Polar Bears and Penguins aren't making their way to the UK at the moment. It does make me wonder how they manage in Siberia and Russia with constant heavy and deep snow, but I suppose if it is all you have ever known, you get used to it and find ways to adapt.

One solution I have for football matches, is say Manchester United have a fixture against Birmingham City at Old Trafford, and they haven't played them away yet, what should be done, if no snow has fallen in the Birmingham area, is play the return match at St Andrews, and then play the match against Birmingham that was due to take place in, say, March at St Andrews at Old Trafford. That would save clogged up fixture lists at the end of the season.

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