Not much on the agenda today.
We did a cache, of course, by Morley ASDA (GC43PZY) – but our efforts to fill our calendar can’t possibly be completed this year after missing Thursday. The snow that evening made caching difficult then, and the rush to get to band made it even harder! Still, we are nicely filling it up and we never realistically thought we’d get it filled this year anyway! You can see our progress below:
Our current caching calendar.
As well as this, today I tried out a Christmas present: DIY Straws. This is a 40-piece set of connectable straws which means it is possible to create twists and turns for a drink to travel around. Now, the use of these with fizzy drinks have been banned by Mrs Pitts (something about making a mess…) and the photos below don’t show the liquid flowing well – red berry squash doesn’t enjoy being photographed – but they worked well and added a slice of excitement to a fairly dull day.
Back to the weather, the forecast for the next few days makes for realatively grim reading, with some sort of snow predicted for each day.
However, we are still way off entering one of the coldest winters on record. 1963 was that year with temperatures so cold the sea froze in places! The country suffered blizzards, snow drifts, blocks of ice, and temperatures lower than -20 °C and it was the coldest winter since 1740. These details, along with some stunning images, were in a documentary on BBC Two earlier tonight. The Met Office website provides more detail:
It began abruptly just before Christmas in 1962. The weeks before had been changeable and stormy, but then on 22 December a high pressure system moved to the north-east of the British Isles, dragging bitterly cold winds across the country. This situation was to last much of the winter.
A belt of rain over northern Scotland on 24 December turned to snow as it moved south, giving Glasgow its first white Christmas since 1938. The snow-belt reached southern England on Boxing Day and parked over the country, bringing a snowfall of up to 30 cm.
A blizzard followed on 29 and 30 December across Wales and south-west England, causing snowdrifts up to 6 m deep. Roads and railways were blocked, telephone lines brought down, and some villages were left cut off for several days. The snow was so deep farmers couldn’t get to their livestock, and many animals starved to death.
This snow set the scene for the next two months, as much of England remained covered every day until early March 1963. While snow fell, and settled there was still plenty of sunshine. The weak winter sun did not warm things up, however, as the lack of cloud cover allowed temperatures to plunge. In Braemar in Scotland, the temperature got down to -22.2 °C on 18 January. Mean maximum temperatures in January were below 0 °C in several places in southern England and Wales, more than 5 °C below average. Mean minimum temperatures were well below freezing. Temperatures weren’t much higher for most of February.
The long bitterly cold spell caused lakes and rivers to freeze, even sea water in some of England’s harbours turned to ice. Ice patches formed at sea and on beaches. Winter didn’t fully relax its grip until 4 March, when a mild south-westerly flow of air reached the British Isles. By 6 March, there was no frost anywhere in the British Isles and the temperature in London reached 17 °C – the highest since October 1962.
Finally, the coldest winter for more than 200 years in England and Wales had ended. With the thaw came flooding, but nothing like the scale of the 1947 floods. Soon after the winter had ended, life returned to normal.
A quick Google brought up some images of these extraordinary events: