In keeping with much of the country, our neighbourhood had a goodly fall of snow last week. Of course, to maintain my climate denial persona, I should now be saying, ‘So much for global warming’. But the reality is that it hasn’t been particularly cold for the time of year. I’d say instead that it has been seasonal, and I’m just pleased to see that, courtesy of entirely normal conditions for early January, children in my cul-de-sac were still able to make their snowmen – at least for the time being. That said, the Angel of the North tribute, constructed on the lawn across the road from me, is now looking less resplendent. Following a partial melt and loss of facial features, what had been a snowy humanoid designed for childhood entertainment has adopted the menace of a five foot phallus. I don’t remember it being that way in the Raymond Briggs story. No hat and scarf sat innocently in a pool of water for me. No, just an enormous white willy frowning through my front window. And I fear it will be there well into March.

Fortunately, I do have the option of closing the curtains after nightfall, whereupon my self-esteem and equanimity are readily restored. That’s also the time when I like to tune into the weather forecast on TV. Perhaps an unseasonably warm spell will come to my rescue and hasten the demise of our neighbour’s unplanned portraiture of icy manhood. Unfortunately, I was destined to be disappointed:

“Tomorrow’s temperatures,” I was confidently told last night, “will be between three to six degrees centigrade, which is four to seven degrees colder than is normal for this time of year.”

“Really?” thought I. Am I supposed to accept that 10 degrees centigrade is the new normal for the first week of January? Or is this just part of the brainwashing we are all casually exposed to nowadays? It may be cold and snowing out there but this is actually very unusual now for winter, our friendly TV weather girl appeared to be implying.

Intrigued, I decided to look this up on the internet, and this is what I found:

“Based on weather data collected from 1981 to 2010, across the UK, January temperatures average a daily high of 7 degrees Celsius (44 degrees Fahrenheit) and a low of 1 °C (34 °F).”

I should point out that I am old enough for my meteorological expectations to have been established long before 1981. I am of older vintage so, for me, 1981 is actually the year the music died.  As a child, I would put my little top hat on and join my friends skating the Thames, whilst mother would be cooking the biggest, fattest goose she could find in the butcher’s window. Nevertheless, an average daily high of 7 degrees Celsius is still a far cry from an expectation of 10 degrees. Furthermore, the figures quoted are for a January average, which one might expect to be significantly higher than that for the first week in January. For that reason, I am quite prepared to conclude that a first week forecast of 3 to 6 is perfectly in keeping with a monthly average of 7.

So what was the weather girl on about?

Don’t ask me. The UK government’s abuse of statistics during the covid-19 crisis has put me right off numbers. The weather girl can come onto my TV and say whatever she wants. None of it makes any sense to me anymore. A six has has turned out a nine. Ten is the new seven. Snow in winter is ‘wild weather’. Seventy three dead kittiwakes is still a moral victory. False positives are a conspiracist’s fantasy and nothing to do with one hundred years of medical science reality. The new coronavirus variant is 71% more transmissible, and that is a fact. And you have Ferguson’s word for that; what more do you want? The town down the road has just registered a covid case increase that is 71% greater than that of my hometown, so this must surely be due to the spread of the new variant. It can’t possibly be due to the fact that the town concerned has been, and still is, in a lower Tier.

The point is this. Whilst everyone is throwing numbers around without the slightest effort to ensure that they make sense, you might as well kiss goodbye to any hope of a rational world. If the weather girl is at liberty to play numberwang whenever it suits, then what hope remains? I have a five foot snowprick loitering with intent outside my window, but if I call it six inches the problem will just go away, won’t it? Why not? My fantasy world is as valid as anyone’s.

61 Comments

  1. John,

    TV: “will be between three to six degrees centigrade, which is four to seven degrees colder than is normal for this time of year.”

    WHAT??? I’m old vintage too. Or just old. I recall winters in the 60s as a child (in Sheffield) as brutal. In the early 1980s working in Northamptonshire, I left an experiment running which happened to have a spare thermometer probe dangling in the free outside air, and it recorded -20C. I remember this because the printer connected to the computer running the test, partially froze up (all the equipment was in a bay with open slats to the outside), but unfortunately in ‘on’ mode, hence printing about 500 sheets of temp and other readouts before running out of paper. Don’t recall the month, anywhere between Dec and Feb, but recall it was very cold indeed for much of that winter.

    Well I guess at least we can’t say it’s warm bias this time. Unless some algorithm of 3 or 4 recent years has convinced the forecasters that indeed warm is the new normal, so this must be ‘wild weather’ on top of warming, rather than just, well… ‘normal weather’.

    When I gravitated to the study of emotive narratives, little did I think that I might be at their mercy before I actually got to understand them properly, before they were at mine, so to speak.

    You could always sneak out and knock it over 0:

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  2. Oh yea you northern snow guys, we in deepest darkest Norfolk are clearly nowhere near north enough to experience the white stuff. Two mornings ago we had a severe frost, rushed out and feebly tried to create frost angels (a poor relation of snow angels). Retreated in disarray and chagrin.

    I don’t remember a Christmas with snow, but I have a photograph of myself in 1948 or 1949 in East London upset that the deep snow prevented me from operating my brand new, pedal-powered racing car made by my father from sheet metal. Evidence of massive climate change!

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  3. Andy,

    >”You could always sneak out and knock it over”

    What do you take me for? I’m not Extinction Rebellion. No, I’ll deal with this the English way and tut to myself disapprovingly.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Days of hard frosts here in Cumbria, with plenty of snow on the fells. Black ice is a problem. And it’s cold!

    I posted this at Bishop Hill Unthreaded earlier today, which seems vaguely relevant to this thread:

    “I posted here last month about the Met Office forecast then for January which was for it to be wet and mild, which serious risks of flooding. I can’t be bothered to trawl back through dozens of pages of unthreaded to find it, so I’ve dug out instead the 3 months forecast for January – March 2021:

    Click to access 3moutlook-jfm-v2.pdf

    OK, it’s early days, just 4 days in, and we need to wait for the full 3 months to be over, but given that the forecast now for the next 14 days is for it to remain largely cold and largely dry, the 3 months forecast isn’t looking too good at this stage. Basically, no doubt as part of its climate change narrative, it forecast that there was a 5% chance (equating to 0.3 x normal chance) that it would be cold, 55% chance (equating to 0.9 x normal chance) it would be near average and 40% chance (equating to 2 x the normal chance) that it would be mild.

    Unfortunately I can’t cut and paste, so will type only the headline claims:

    A moderate increase in the chance of mild westerly winds means a greater likelihood of Atlantic weather systems bringing impacts from wet, windy or even stormy conditions. On the other hand, this shift in likelihood reinforces the decrease in the chances of cold conditions from the warming of UK climate as part of global climate change. Impacts from cold weather, such as snow, frost and fog, are therefore less likely than usual. Nevertheless the chance of cold conditions in January is higher than in recent winters and only slightly less than the normal chance over the longer term. Furthermore, there remains a small chance the January-March period overall will be cold.

    Talk about hedging your bets! Headline says its going to be mild, windy and wet because of global warming, but if it turns out to be cold and calm, they can say they did predict it might be.”

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  5. I just checked Dec 2020 CET. It was 5.0C mean for the month, making it the 119th warmest December since records began in 1659.

    The 5th coldest January ever was 1963 at -2.1, so we’ll have to go some if we want to beat that record this year. My guess is that January 2021 will turn out to be as unremarkable as December 2020.

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  6. Mark,

    Forecasting with high confidence is actually very easy as long as you are vague!

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  7. Jaime,

    I think you will find that unremarkable is the new remarkable, and society is now afraid of its own shadow.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Most amusing, John, apart from the kittiwakes.
    Just what I needed at 2am on an unsleepy night.

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  9. Geoff,

    Thanks for that. You are quite right, of course. There is nothing funny about 73 dead kittiwakes. I think the article I link to makes it plain just how conflicted the RSPB is on such issues. They continue to maintain that global warming is a greater threat to birds than windfarms and so are fully supportive of them – until specific locations are proposed. The conscience is supposed to be salved with plant-a-kittiwake schemes but not everyone in the RSPB seems convinced.

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  10. Is your snowman really phallic though? The laws of physics suggest that it should be rather Gaussian in form, possibly with a fat tail trailing off northwards? In which case, its centre of gravity will surely deviate from its highest point as it melts.

    I should get it examined by Professor Lewandowsky, who will surely demonstrate that the more it melts, the less certain it is that it ever existed at all.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Geoff, if John says it’s phallic then it’s phallic. The physiology of a melted snowperson is in the eye of the beholder and clearly this one is affecting him deeply. Count how many synonyms he has used. It clearly has affected him deeply. Soon it will sublimate into nothingness, leaving John with just a loss of manhood nightmare.
    In these times of regimented isolation and contemplation of the infinite prisms of climate change, would a visit from the overworked and overstimulated Professor Lewandowski be considered essential travel?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Geoff, Alan,

    I am truly touched by your concern for my welfare. As to whether I am in dire need of a statistician or psychiatrist, I will simply paraphrase the Prayer of St Francis of Assisi.

    “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow numbers; where there is injury, more numbers; where there is discord, perhaps a different set of numbers; where there is doubt, more decimal places; where there is despair, a further reminder of the numbers; where there is darkness, you can never have too many numbers; and where there is sadness, endless re-runs of ‘Only Fools and Horses’.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Further to the Hornsea 3 noble 73 kittiwakes sacrificing themselves on the altar of carbon:

    I’m not sure at the mo where the number 73 comes from. Let me say that the chance that Hornsea 3 will kill 73 kittiwakes every year is so small that I’d bet the farm against it if I had a farm. The relevant documents for the Hornsea 3 development are held at the Planning Inspectorate (about 1500 of them). Ploughing through you get to Annex 5.3 of the Environmental Statement where collision risk modelling is undertaken. This uses the Band model that I’m familiar with, but an updated version of it that I am not. It’s somewhat embarrassing to admit to being an ecologist where this type of thing is considered the state of the art. However.

    Nowhere that I can see is the number 73 used. In fact about 60 different numbers for potentially slain kittiwakes are given, from 13 to 395 per year. The 13 comes from “option 1” of the Band model (basic), with site-specific flight data, and is the lower confidence limit of mortality with an avoidance rate of 99.5%. The 395 uses “option 2” (enhanced), with generic (book) flight data, & is the upper confidence limit of mortality given an avoidance rate of 98.7%.

    Of course no-one knows what the appropriate numbers are, nor will anyone ever know. Those birds swatted out of the air will never be counted.

    The colony in question is the UK’s largest at about 45,000 occupied nests. So on the face of it even 400 a year lost seems trivial. But this is of course adding to other sources of mortality.

    The numbers of kittiwakes in the UK has, according to the JNCC’s seabird census, halved in 30 years. Most of that was before large-scale mortality from wind farms. You would not be surprised to hear the JNCC’s reason:

    This would appear to be related to declines in abundance of their sandeel prey which in certain regions is negatively correlated with sea surface temperatures that have risen due to climate change

    Personally I think this has far more to do with industrial fishing by predominantly Danish boats which Brexit was a chance to put a stop to. This is also the opinion of others, including the experts working for another wind farm, Norfolk Boreas. (Also wanting to build kittiwake towers or walls or something.)

    I could go on at length about sandeels and climate, because I read a lot about it for Denierland (in relation to puffins rather than kittiwakes). But I won’t, unless anybody really wants to know the details. The same applies to the flippin’ Band model of collision risk.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jit,

    You question where did 73 come from? Well, the first thing to note is that it is a prime number, and prime numbers score double in numberwang.

    Your last post was actually very interesting to me, so feel free to elaborate, though it might be better to do so on my ‘Birdaggedon’ thread. In the meantime, I am about to sit down with a coffee and a copy of Bill Band’s ‘Using a collision risk model to assess bird collision risks for offshore windfarms’.

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  15. Jit, I’d like your go-on-at-length views on sandeels and puffins, please. In particular, is Wanless’s Wee Bankie (2004) mere numberwang? I read it years ago and couldn’t decide either way.

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  16. Jit,

    I’ve read the Bill Band document now, and I found it to be a thoughtful and earnest attempt to model a tricky subject. However, it seems to me that it has a typical shortcoming. On the one hand, there are variabilities that are relatively easy to model, and so receive a lot of attention. On the other hand, there is incertitude resulting from lack of data. That is more problematic, and so is left relatively unanalysed. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the latter uncertainties are more significant than the former. The result is that the modelling looks more impressive than it is, i.e. most of the effort is expended on tackling the smallest uncertainties. That said, it is an honest document that makes no attempt to hide this fact. Examples of this candour include:

    “Confidence intervals should be aimed at around 95% confidence that the true result lies within that range. In some circumstances, this may be no more than an expert view based on an understanding of the limitations of the survey techniques.”

    “In a collision risk estimate following the above method, there are a large number of sources of variability or uncertainty in the output.”

    “For marine bird species, there is as yet limited information upon which to base a judgement on an appropriate avoidance rate to use. The uncertainty here ranges over an order of magnitude…For the foreseeable future, it seems likely that the uncertainties surrounding bird avoidance behaviour are likely to dwarf the errors and uncertainties arising from an inexact collision model or variability in survey data.”

    It matters little that, as usual, the incertitude and variabilities are all treated mathematically as variability (a particular hobbyhorse of mine). What matters more is that the modelling, laudable though it may be, is unlikely to produce meaningful results with the present state of knowledge.

    Also, as an interesting aside, I note Box 3 of Stage F, which presents an illustrative example of how avoidance uncertainties may be presented. In this example (for an unspecified species encountering an unspecified wind farm) a range of avoidance percentages and associated casualty rates are given in a table. The accompanying text states “Information on avoidance for this species suggests 99% is most appropriate”.

    And in this example a 99% avoidance just happens to be associated with 73 deaths a year. Coincidence? Somehow I doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. John, perhaps, given the drift on this thread, you should re-title it: “We’re Killing in the Air”, from snow phallus to killer wind phalli.

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  18. Alan,

    It’s a sad reflection, perhaps upon us all, that my first instinct here was to check whether you had used the correct plural. Even worse, I started to reflect upon what the correct collective noun might be.

    And before you even start, it isn’t a Cliscep!

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  19. John, correct Latin sourced plurals are a consequence of an arts graduate “she who must be listened to”. Wiki tells me that “phalluses” is acceptable, but not to my Latin wielding monitrix. She will not touch a collective noun with a barge pole and questions your interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. For anyone interested, I have appended a looooong comment on puffins and sand eels and climate change on the old thread Birdaggedon if anyone is interested. Well, I did say I could go on at length about it. Hopefully it won’t disappear because of the antiquity of that article.

    @ John that is my problem with the Band model. There is so much precision in the inputs, for example with bird length measured to the nearest cm. Then a number shakes out. Then an avoidance rate is plucked out of somewhere, frequently 99%. Then your prediction of 1000 birds killed per year becomes 10. And although the modeller is candid about the caveats, these are swiftly forgotten downstream, where people just want a simple number they can focus on. Yet this number can hardly have any relevance to the reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jit,

    Would it be okay with you if I were to take your comment at Birgaddegon, verbatim, to create from it a guest article? There is too much good work there to be buried in the thread of an old posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. My neighbour has now decommissioned the cause of my recent psychodrama. However, the snow has returned with a vengeance, so much so that a cancelled Tesco delivery now features prominently in my latest doomcast.

    In the meantime, for all you students of snowy winters, here’s a belated Christmas present: ‘The History of British Winters’, written by D.Fauvell and I.Simpson:

    https://www.netweather.tv/weather-forecasts/uk/winter/winter-history

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  23. Nary a flake in deepest Norfolk. Some people are greedy snow-wise, but our Tesco delivery tomorrow will probably take place.

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  24. Significant snow here, Alan, and we’re forecast to get down to -6C tonight. That’s global warming for you!

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  25. Mark, cambio climático!

    It’s not fair. The Torygraph this morning tells me of significant snow falls in Spain. Not unusual in Madrid, but VALENCIA!! We in Norfolk have to make do with frost.

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  26. Alan, Spain has apparently recorded it’s lowest temperature ever, during the last few days.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-weather-snow/spain-records-lowest-temperature-ever-at-34c-idUSKBN29B28D

    “MADRID (Reuters) – Heavy snow and icy winds blasted Spain as temperatures plumetted to -34.1C, the lowest ever recorded on the Iberian peninsula, the State Meterololgical Agency said on Wednesday.

    The chilling temperature was recorded at Clot del Tuc de la Llanca in Aragon in the Spanish Pyrenees at 5.19 a.m., the agency said.

    This was two degrees lower than in 1956, when temperatures of -32C were recorded in Estany-Gento, in Lleida, in northeastern Spain….”.

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  27. Wow, it must be serious – front-page news on the BBC website:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-55586751

    “Storm Filomena has blanketed parts of Spain in heavy snow, with half of the country on red alert for more on Saturday.

    Road, rail and air travel has been disrupted and interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the country was facing “the most intense storm in the last 50 years”.

    Madrid, one of the worst affected areas, is set to see up to 20cm (eight inches) of snow in the next 24 hours.

    Further south the storm caused rivers to burst their banks.

    Four deaths have been reported so far as a result of Filomena. Officials said two people had been found frozen to death – one in the town of Zarzalejo, north-west of Madrid, and the other in the eastern city of Calatayud. Two people travelling in a car were swept away by floods near the southern city of Malaga.

    As snow fell on Madrid on Friday evening, a number of vehicles became stranded on a motorway near the capital.

    The city’s Barajas airport has closed, along with a number of roads, and all trains to and from Madrid have been cancelled….

    …The cold weather is set to continue beyond the weekend with temperatures in Madrid predicted to hit -12C on Thursday.”

    They don’t mention the coldest temperature ever recorded in Spain, though. I suppose that would be a step too far.

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  28. Mark. Earlier in the day they focussed upon a record low temperature in the Pyrenees. The BBC TV news also gave significant coverage to the story with pictures of stranded vehicles and trucks with scoops clearing highways.

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  29. Alan, was that on TV, radio, or website? I’ve listened to a few BBC radio 4 news bulletins today, and didn’t hear anything. I’ve seen nothing about the record cold on the website. I’m happy to give credit if they’ve mentioned it, but from here it looks like a fleeting mention!

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  30. An earlier version of the website, round about midday Mark – discussed breaking temperature records – probably before they got news footage from the Madrid area that displaced the early information. I also noted that mention of Valencia (to me a much more significant occurrence) dropped out. I’ve been to Valencia early in February and it can be decidedly warm. Date palms grow there.

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  31. Guys,

    We are dealing with the BBC here. Record low temperatures couldn’t possibly be in their story. As far as they are concerned, Spain is suffering a record storm and we all know that global warming intensifies storms. What more did you expect from them?

    Liked by 1 person

  32. John, you are only partly right. The story is not the storm per se, but instead is the effect on humans – deep snow, stationary vehicles and the like. Also these can be shown with photographs and video footage so get preference in news bulletins. A record low temperature, somewhere in the Pyrenees, where snow would not be out of place, is not so newsworthy.

    A story of the Spanish people sharing your snow pain (not mine) was always going to win out. A Reuters report (words) was always likely to include the record-breaking low temperature aspect.

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  33. Amazingly, this is on BBC4 (TV) this evening at 9pm:

    “Timeshift: Killer Storms and Cruel Winters – The History of Extreme Weather”

    The summary in Radio Times contains this:

    “Documentary following solar scientist Dr Lucie Green as she reveals how some of the UK’s worst and most dramatic weather disasters occurred many years ago, despite the popular belief that the brunt of climate change has been felt in the 21st century. Considering how many people today are pre-warned about potential catastrophes due to innovations in weather prediction, the presenter learns how an 18th-century storm surge once led to a the deaths of a thousand workers in Somerset fields, a hurricane drowned a fifth of Britain’s naval officers, and several brutal winters threatened to completely shut down most services in the country.”

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  34. Alan,

    I take your point. However, I am mindful that a key to winning numberwang lies in knowing the numbers not to blurt out.

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  35. Further detailed and penetrating research reveals that the record low temperature in Spain occurred well before the heavy snowfalls, yet they have been conjoined somehow. Paul Hollinwood reports record low temperatures on the 6th January whereas the disruptive snowfalls associated with Storm Filomena were reported by Reuters and the Telegraph on Friday 9th January.
    I don’t recall the BBC reporting cold conditions on the 6th, but they sure had plenty of snow coverage on the 9th.

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  36. For those hankering for the latest weather info from the non-snowy regions of deepest Norfolk, this morning there wasn’t even a frosty lawn. Climate change seems to be focussed around the CRU building in Norwich and young Norfolk children wonder what snow is. Pictures of snowy wastes around Madrid don’t help.

    Have moved to a house with a steep-sided acoustic bund in the back garden. Cannot wait to try out a toboggan on it, but climate change thwarts by desires.

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  37. John I realise now that Numberwang has certain similarities with the much more profound game of Mornington Crescent. Contestants pretend they know the rules and seem genuinely surprised, nay dumbfounded, when opponents seemingly win out of the blue.

    Numberwang does seem to have a distinct advantage in that the numbers employed might refer to almost anything, can be played with offspring at a very early age (in fact they may possess natural advantages) and require no detailed knowledge of the London tube system (causing northerners to be at a distinct disadvantage). Even weather girls play it with gusto.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Alan,

    You are quite right. These ‘non games’ work on more than one level; they do not just satirise a TV format. Once one reflects upon the game of life they take on a more profound meaning, in which many of life’s rules seem arbitrary and obscure. As far as most of the public is concerned, ‘the science’ may as well be Mornington Crescent and Numberwang. And often they are right in thinking it so.

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  39. The BBC IS reporting the cold in Spain now:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-55632791

    Central Spain records temperatures of -25C after snowstorm

    “People in central Spain are struggling as a deep freeze follows the weekend’s heavy snow, leading to treacherous conditions.
    Officials have warned the elderly to stay at home.

    At least seven people have died due to the weather – the two latest victims were homeless people in Barcelona.

    The temperature plunged to -25C (-13F) in Molina de Aragón and Teruel, in mountains east of Madrid – Spain’s coldest night for at least 20 years.

    Deep snow left by Storm Filomena has turned to ice, disrupting transport. There has been an extraordinary quantity of snow and ice for Spain, where winters are usually quite mild….

    …The overnight temperature in Madrid itself fell to -16C, and on Monday the capital’s hospitals – already under great pressure because of Covid-19 – struggled to cope with patients who had slipped on the ice, breaking bones.

    Medical sources told El Mundo daily that there were 1,200 fracture cases on Monday in the Madrid region’s hospitals, caused by accidents on the ice – an average of 50 an hour….”

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  40. Meanwhile, that Jan-March 2021 forecast by the Met Office in December 2020 isn’t looking too accurate so far (remember it was mild and wet, with risk of flooding):

    “UK weather: Beast from the East might return next week, says Met Office
    Snow forecast in Scotland and north-east England and wintry weather in central England”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/12/beast-from-the-east-weather-might-return-next-week-says-met-office

    “now is likely to fall across many parts of northern England on Thursday, with the possibility of a Beast from the East 2 in the middle of next week.

    The Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said freezing rain could turn to snow in parts of Scotland and north-east England from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

    “Through Thursday itself there’ll be further rain across the bulk of the UK and this could bring some fairly significant snow a bit further southwards through Thursday,” he said.

    “By Thursday afternoon we could be looking at snow across many parts of northern England and into the Midlands and perhaps a little bit further east as well.”

    Though there are warnings of as much as 30cm of snow in Scotland, Burkill said rainfall would “go some way to preventing much snow lying” elsewhere through Thursday in particular.

    “For northern England we could be looking at around 15cm, perhaps 20cm, by the end of Thursday over the highest routes,” he said. “Further south I’m not really sure, particularly into the Midlands, that much if any will settle.”

    He said there could be “maybe one or two centimetres” of snow over the highest routes in central and eastern parts of England.

    “But because of how wet the ground is going to be leading up to it and how much rain there’ll be mixed in around as well there probably won’t be a huge amount settling,” he added.

    Temperatures could drop as low as -7C in the east of England on Wednesday night and possibly to -11C or -12C in Scotland, he said….”.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Mark. “ that Jan-March 2021 forecast by the Met Office in December 2020 isn’t looking too accurate so far (remember it was mild and wet, with risk of flooding) “

    Batting 10 for 10 for Norfolk so far. But promise of sleet later this week is as good as it gets here in Viner County.

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  42. Oh well, Alan, speak as you find. It’s 0 out of 10 for the Cumbria forecast so far! We’ve had a mostly dry start to the year (though with some snow) and it’s been absolutely freezing. We had a wander to the park the other day, about as far as we’re allowed to go these days, and noticed that the River Cocker was at a very low level, especially for the time of year.

    [Edited by anon, to gain intended meaning.]

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  43. Woke this morning to a White Hell! Drifts of snow up to twenty millimetres deep. Cars moving at or below speed limits (not seen for almost a year), and it’s still snowing. Rushed to Waitrose to renew food stocks. Pray for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Alan,

    >”But promise of sleet later this week is as good as it gets here in Viner County.”

    Are the children running terrified through the streets because they think the sky is falling in? If not, why not? Don’t they teach them anything in Norfolk?

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Snow must be a protected weather phenomenon in these parts. There have been no attempts to fashion it into figures of dubious future physiognomies. It lies as a tattered sheet, betrampled and scraped for weapons of war by the local joof. Our temporary excursion into weatherscapes of more northern parts seems to be short lived. Sleet (as predicted by BBC Weather mandarins) reins supreme now with a promise of rain. Summer cannot be long behind.

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  46. Yes now we have more than sufficient white sky excrement to build legions of snowmen but with at least another day of flurries to come, plus wind and bl%dy cold there is no mass attempts to emulate winter Frankensteins. This may be explained by the age of our neighbours, because elsewhere the local television news is full of examples of snowy sculpture – snow cats and dogs are a particular feature this year.

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  47. Alan, let me guess – not an XR protestor in sight? They seem to be summer migrants, protesting only when it’s warm. I wonder where they go in winter?

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  48. Mark. Not relevant, this part of now snowy Norfolk has already succumbed to the influence of nearby CRU and so XR is not required. I suspect JIT and I are considered beyond the Pale. Viner must be in deep denial at children building snow creatures in his former backyard.

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  49. Heads they win, tails we lose:

    “Heating Arctic may be to blame for snowstorms in Texas, scientists argue
    The wintry weather that has battered the southern US and parts of Europe could be a counterintuitive effect of the climate crisis”

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/feb/17/arctic-heating-winter-storms-climate-change

    “Associating climate change, normally connected with roasting heat, with an unusual winter storm that has crippled swaths of Texas and brought freezing temperatures across the southern US can seem counterintuitive. But scientists say there is evidence that the rapid heating of the Arctic can help push frigid air from the north pole much further south, possibly to the US-Mexico border.
    This week, a blast of winter weather has reached deep into the heart of the US, causing several deaths and knocking out power for about 5 million people. Sleet and ice have battered Oklahoma and Arkansas, while many people in Texas have been left marooned, amid unsafe travel conditions, in homes with no electricity.

    “The current conditions in Texas are historical, certainly generational,” said Judah Cohen, the director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research. “But this can’t be hand-waved away as if it’s entirely natural. This is happening not in spite of climate change, it’s in part due to climate change.”…”

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  50. Mark. I vividly recall the 1985-6 winter in Texas (the only winter I spent there) travelling by car from my home in DoubleOak to North Dallas via several highways all covered in black ice. I did notice a scarcity of traffic, but having driven in 8 winters in the Canadian Prairies and my car fitted with winter tyres, I found driving at lower speeds possible but not exactly without some risk. After reaching my destination I found none of my American colleagues, and more importantly my boss, had attempted to drive in those conditions.
    So the Dallas-Fort Worth area experienced very wintery conditions a quarter of a century ago, without any mention of Arctic warming or Climate chaos. We have learned so very much in the interim.

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