Weather stuff

Here in the UK it snows fairly infrequently in the lowland parts of the country, hence, when it does a small amount of snow can cause havoc. In country areas farmers used to clear local lanes but here is a quote from an interview with a farmer on BBC radio in 2010:
"I am a farmer with a tractor: I can clear snow, but I need to buy fully reflective clothing, have twin whirly lights on top and empty my tank of red diesel and fill it with road diesel before they let me on the roads for non agricultural purposes: So I don't."

Some countries get "proper" weather, the following is a report from Illinois, USA on December 21st, 1836, from Chapter 12, Meteorology Today (Ahrens):
"About 2 o'clock in the afternoon it began to grow dark from a heavy, black cloud which was seen in the northwest. Almost instantly the strong wind, travelling at the rate of 70 mph, accompanied by a deep bellowing sound, with its icy blast, swept over the land, and everything was frozen hard. The water in the little ponds in the roads froze in waves, sharp edged and pointed, as the gale had blown it. The chickens, pigs and other small animals were frozen in their tracks. Wagon wheels ceased to roll, froze to the ground. Men, going from their barns or fields a short distance from their homes, in slush and water, returned a few minutes later walking on the ice. Those caught out on horseback were frozen to their saddles, and had to be lifted off and carried to the fire to be thawed apart. Two young men were frozen to death near Rushville. One of them was found with his back against a tree, with his horses bridle over his arm and his horse frozen in front of him. The other was partly in a kneeling position, with a tinder box in one hand and a flint in the other, with both eyes wide open as if intent on trying to strike a light. Many other casualties were reported. As to the exact temperature, however, no instrument has left any record; but the ice was frozen in the stream, as variously reported, from six inches to a foot in thickness in a few hours. This details the passage of a spectacular cold front as it moved through Illinois on December 21st, 1836. Although no reliable temperature records are available, estimates are that, as the front swept through, air temperatures dropped from the balmy 40s F to 0°F."

Last updated 16th December 2014