Winter 2009-2010 review – What went on with the global climate?
Winter is officially over here in the UK and British Summer Time is just around the corner. This past winter was rather exciting for weather and climate enthusiasts! I must state this first…
What is Climate?
“Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorological elements in a given region over long periods of time”
Basically, the Climate is more than just the weather over a couple of months. However, if the weather is cooler over a long period of time then that will alter the climate statistics. This winter in the UK, Europe and Russia was indeed record breaking in many areas. Russia’s winter statistics are still being compiled, but as stated in an article in the daily mail today, it looks like the Siberian winter will be a record breaker in terms of prolonged spells of temperatures below minus 25.
Despite this, record warm temperatures were recorded in Greece and the Arctic was experiencing much milder weather than usual, this is due to the way the weather patterns worked and the extreme cold which usually sits up at the pole was squashed into a band further south. The winter Olympic organisers has a tough time on their hands too, snowfall was way below what the average is in Vancouver for that time of year so they actually had to truck snow in to top up the venues!
But….many people forget that in November, record snow falls were recorded in Whistler, the most snow fell of any November in recorded history in that area.
My experience of this winter, living in Glasgow was rather enjoyable. My wee car handled the snow and ice perfectly allowing me to get to and from work with no hassle at all, it was just the other driving losing control I had to be aware of! Snow fell around the 12th or 14th of December and this snow lay, for weeks, and weeks, temperatures never rose high enough to fully thaw this until February! From what I saw the coldest temperature at Glasgow airport this winter was -13C…and there was stretches of days on end with temperatures not getting above 0C, and there was days with only one or two hours above freezing point. The Scandinavian high which sat across western Europe led to this cold weather, but with it, calm weather. Now I’d rather have a bitterly cold winter which is sunny or at least calm, than a warm, wet and windy one.
My only gripe was the pavements! After a day or two of the sub-zero conditions and people walking on the snow it turned to hard compacted ice, it literally was impossible to walk on it safely, there was little the council could have done apart from get shovels out and start digging it ice off the side walks. People complained there was not enough grip down…but after the ice melted you could see how much grit had been put down, and the streets were covered thick with grit! The fact is it was actually too cold for the grit to have any affect!
Even now, spring hasn’t been able to come into full bloom. At the time of writing this I’m on the ferry to Arran, and the islands hills are covered in thick thick layers of snow, a rare site for April! Up north, the Scottish skiing season is expected to carry onto the start of May. There was a point in March where people were beginning to feel like spring was on its way, but, there was still snow on the hills and there’s a saying on Arran:
“If there’s snow still on the hills, there’s more to come.”
This held true and just at the end of March, Scotland was battered with a wintry storm causing a lot of disruption around the country, some places had another 40cm of fresh snow fall! Not quite sure whats in store for this summer, but I’m pretty sure it won’t help the Global Warming fanatics!