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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

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Thundery wintry showers

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We are increasingly looking like being locked into a prolonged cold spell, which may be snowy in the east and south- similar to January 1985. February looks at this stage like being somewhat milder, but whether it will be mild throughout, or a mix of mild and cold spells, remains to be seen.

I reached 12cm snow on New Year's Day and had 2 large snowmen built in the front garden- 12cm is the deepest snow at Cleadon, alongside February 2004, since February 1991. There is more chance of snow on every day through to the 5th, when I head back to Norwich, as long as there isn't too much disruption on the trains (oo-er!). The 4th looks quite marginal, but less so than the 1st/2nd.

There probably won't be much snow in Norwich before I get there, but after I get there, with a pronounced easterly or north-easterly flow likely to set in for a week, that is likely to change. I may miss out on the largest snow depths in Cleadon, as there will be more accumulating snow there after I leave, but similar depths may well be reached in Norwich by around the 10th January as prolonged ENE'lys are ideal for snow streamers in the Norwich area.

The question is, when does the point come when I get sick of all of this cold and snow? I had initially assumed it would be about a week or two, but in practice it is proving to be a lot longer than I'd expected. I'm becoming less averse to the idea of a pattern change to milder weather as time goes on, but it isn't approaching the stage where I start actively hoping for one. Perhaps the fact that we've had such a long run of mild winters, the sense that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness an 80s style cold spell, and the fact that the snow depths haven't been extortionate, are contributing to this.

As John Holmes has often indicated, in a cold spell like this people need to take care of elderly and fragile people they know of, as many of these will suffer, particularly in areas hit by heavy energy bills. Cold/snow lovers should not feel guilty for enjoying this cold snowy weather, or for wishing for more of it, especially as the weather is something that we can't control, and making an enemy of snow or suppressing one's desire for it doesn't achieve anything positive (contrary to what the media seems to think!). But the health of those who struggle to cope in these situations is something that many of us can and should help.
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I've often ranted about the quality of modern-day BBC forecasts, but Countryfile forecast, in my opinion, remain every bit as good as they were in the 1990s- if anything they may even have improved slightly. The forecast had the right amount of detail and clarity and to my mind presented the main snow areas pretty well. As always with this kind of setup they'll have got some of the specifics wrong but I think the general progression was near the mark.

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