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mike Meehan

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Everything posted by mike Meehan

  1. I'll be watching what happens to Moscow and Scandinavia - the latter has warmed up recently but Moscow remains very much brass monkeys - if the Russian high with its cold temperatures extends back towards Scandinavia we could see the beast from the east yet though it will take some time - probably a cold snap mid Jan to mid Feb. At least if we get a proper beast from the east we stand a chance of getting some decent powdery snow - far better than the slushy type substance we get on N Westerlies down here. Otherwise if the weather is to continue in the current vein, I say roll on spring. The other thing I wonder about after a relatively wet 8 months is when the next drought is due? - these patterns normally even out on the long term.
  2. Peter Cockroft reminded me of the spell we had of foggy weather 50 years ago when it was a real pea souper of freezing fog. It was probably the last we ever had like that because shortly afterwards the Clean Air Act kicked in. At that time I was a scientific assistant at Heathrow and recall a temp of virtually a -5C for a few days. December of 1962 was pretty cool with ice starting to form on the Thames - my mate Banny had a houseboat on the Thames near Richmond and there was ice on his walls ON THE INSIDE!
  3. My daughter living at Bedmond in Herts told me that there was a covering of snow first thing in the morning but it soon melted. It seems that snow in October is becoming more prelevant.
  4. Interesting post - It just shows what can happen when you get a number of factors 'dovetailing'. I would expect that at ground level the 'ventura effect' could cause localised higher gusts as the wind passes through a series of largish buildings. The approaching 250mms of rain would not help either with it being unable to drain away into a surge tide. It was well forecasted and gave the authorities some time to get emergency procedures, such as evacuation, into operation. It brings back memories of our 1953 'North Sea Sea Surge', which wasn't so well forecasted at all but this really shows the advance in technology and techniques over the years rather than anybody falling down on the job - London is now better protected than what it was with the Thames Barrier but the topography of New York Harbour does not lend itself a similar contruction. I expect the alternative they will consider would be higher sea walls which would be a considerable undertaking. Thank God they closed down the subway. It also reminds me of the floods we had in the area of France a few years ago, where we are at the moment - here gale force SE winds forced a 'high tide' causing the water to back up into the Aude whilst torrential rain in the Corbiere area was trying to drain out, the result being that Cuxac d'Aude, about 5 miles south of us, was under 2 metres of water. Now they are building extensive flood drainage channels.
  5. Can't remember the weather on 24.10 2011, though it is her birthday but generally the last two weeks of October were merde in the south of France with quite a but of LP in the Med and on the way home at the beginning of Nov lots of the vinyards prior to reaching the Massif were flooded. This year, it is quite different, virtually no cloud and calm with a temp of 23C inland and 20C on the coast where spent an agreeable afternoon.
  6. It does remind of the time when my son was born on 05.03.1970 - At the time we were living in Hemel Hempstead and had arranged for a home birth - the snow had started the previous day and quickly accumulated to some 15 cms - as far as my wife was concerned there were signs that things were starting to happen, so during the afternoon I made my way to the phone box (we couldn't afford the luxury of home telephones in those days) so I could let the midwife know in good time, concerned that the depth of the snow would affect travel. It continued snowing and by the next moring our son Richard had made his debut into the world and I took our daughter Emma into the garden to make an igloo for her; by that time the snow depth was some 20 cms. Unfortunately it did not last too long after that, melting during the next few days - fortunately Richard outlasted this by a long way and now has his own family. http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/cgi-app/reports?LANG=en&MENU=Extra&FILE=extra_pe&DAY=20100320
  7. So it's serious then - congratulations and all the best for the future - if you can't find those specific names look for things like vin de Paye d'Oc, vin d'Aude, or vin d'Herault
  8. Naw - my favourite is Jamies with ice - love the Irish varieties, well with the exception of Paddy - I think that must be an acquired taste.
  9. Sorry that this is a bit late and are you still together after all this time? only just found your post but my favourites are the wines of Languedoc - you have the Corbiere, Minervois, Fitou and Faugieres which are all full bodied reds about 13.5% and not expensive. Beautiful but of course I'm biased - when we go there we usually buy by the 'pichet' in the restaurants in the village - a good local wine varying from 2€50 to 5€ for 50 cls, or a demi.
  10. Just hope this is not the start of a trend for dry winters with wet summers
  11. Rules are for the guidance of the wise and for the compliance of the foolish:)
  12. mike Meehan

    Dry Summer

    I wonder with the low dam levels whether there is any of the white or wintry stuff on the tops of the mountains?
  13. mike Meehan

    What Happend......

    I will predict that one year we will get an absolutely great summer - the only problem is that I don't know when it will be.
  14. mike Meehan

    Summer 2012

    If it's any consolation June 1815 must have been a bit soggy as well - on 18th when the Battle of Waterloo was fought the ground was very muddy, so much so that the French cannon balls just went splodge into the mud and had very little effect which helped towards the day going in our favour.
  15. During this summer I have seen snippets (100 years ago today) relating to the weather during the years of 1911 when it appears they had a long dry hot summer. Today I saw that there had been heavy snow in southern France which would have been on 21.09.1911) with a reported fall in temperature from 63F to zero in just a few hours, though I am not sure if they mean zero C or zero F, which would be -18C. Does anybody have any access to European records of that year?
  16. Is there anybody out there with access to past daily temperature records who can enlighten us on the periods of fairly sustained cold with a max of -5C or thereabouts in SE/Eastern England, if possible from 1940 onwards? It would be interesting to see whether any sort of pattern can come out of this.
  17. One storm I recall was when I was a boy in January circa 1954. We had been down to visit my grandparents in South Derbyshire and were returning to out home at Holton le Clay, just outside Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Before we set off, I noted that it was cloudy and the temperature was below freezing. We set off via Nottingham and then on to Lincoln and up until that point the journey was uneventful, though my step father being very perceptive noted that oncoming lorries had snow on them and remarked that we were heading into snow. When we got to Lincoln it started to snow big flakes the size of half crowns. As we got to the top of the hill and headed out through the other side, the snow depth increased dramatically. It had obviously been snowing for quite some time and was banked up at the sides of the road in some cases to about 6 feet. The wind was blowing furiously and the drifting snow had the appearance of fog. My step father decided to take a lower route rather take our usual one over the Wolds, however we eventually came to a crossroads where it was not possible to make any further progress and parked our car, an old 1935 Humber 12, outside an AA box. On looking round we spied a farm labourer's cottage and sought shelter there. Before we knew where we were about another 10 people had joined us. Since we were short on food, the farm labourer went out to the woods and shot some pigeons. The following morning his wife walked 3 miles to the local shop to try and obtain bread and ended up heart broken to find there wasn't any left. My mother had a goodly supply of mince pies given to us by my grandmother and she was able to make soda bread for us. The visits to the toilet were an education. This was a wooden outbuilding built over a hole in the ground with the old plank with a hole in it for sitting. The bottom of the wood had rotted away allowing the snow to swirl in and freeze our nether regions as we were answering nature's call. I marvelled at the shape and complexity of the snow drifts and loved watching them grow. In all we were there for 3 days before they could get the roads cleared again. The cylinder block on our old car had frozen so it was kaput. We got a lift back home with a breakdown lorry. Along the way there were countless telegraph poles broken in half and countless wires down. In those days they used to have the snow reports on the TV and these were preceded by a photograph and imagine our surprise when we saw that the photograph was our poor old Humber outside the AA box. The cold weather did not last and after a few days it seemed that we had positively balmy weather with sunshine melting the snow. Now I would greatly appreciate it if anybody was able to get hold of any synoptic charts and observations so that I could look at it in further detail. As far as I recall, it was the only substantial snowfall that winter and it was in January shortly before I was due to return to school after the Christmas break, hence the mince pies.
  18. Sunday evening I was at St Austell when I saw what appeared to be a shooting star travelling from SE to NW. It appeared to be at a relatively low level but it is hard to tell. It was visible for some 3 seconds and breaking up with pieces coming of it glowing red. I have never before seen one quite like this. I initially thought shooting star but was it a piece of space junk breaking up as it re-entered the earth's atmosphere?
  19. My flabber has been well and truly ghasted. We currently have temperatures of + 21 C on the eastern seaboard of the US of A. Probably the mildest first week of January that I can recall and that goes back along way. For a significant part of the winter so far the temperature in Moscow has been above freezing. At the same time unseasonably cold in New Zealand +14 C at Christchurch inthe height of their summer! Qui a passé? I suspect that the relatively cold temperatures in New Zealand are most probably caused by increased ice shelving off the Antarctic ice cap into the southern oceans causing cooling will account for that part. It may be the position of the jet streams which account for our weather at the moment but something must have caused this, with higher than average sea temperatures. No doubt the El Nino is in blame for part. It is a far cry from my childhood in the 40’s and 50’s where snow at least for a time was guaranteed each winter with some heavy and cold frosts. Daily maximums as low as -5 C were not that uncommon with the nights dropping to -10 C and below. Mostly winters followed a more or less predictable fashion with mild spells and cold snaps which were sometimes just frosty but probably 3 or more times in the winter we would generally get snow. Some decent falls at times with drifting. On the odd occasion we would get that lovely dry powdery stuff which made it difficult to make snow balls.There appeared to be plenty of opportunity to make slides on frozen ponds. Alas my granchildren have seen seen little of this. Come to think of it my children saw far less than whatever I did. I remember clearly the winter of 1962/63 when I believe I was privileged to be working as a scientific assistant in the Met Office at Heathrow when I was able to gain a grandstand view as it were. During that same winter an observation came in from New Orleans with -5 C and freezing rain and there was plenty of snow in the Atlas Mountains and some on the lower ground in North Africa. I suppose we will all have to order our air conditioning next summer then that will contribute more to global warming – a catch 22. If it is of any comfort,"Old Moores Almanac" predicts a colder than normal December 2007! We will wait and see. I am sure that one winter we will get a nice blocking high to give us a winter similar to'63 since even with global warming nature has a habitof reverting to extremes. I thought it might happen in 2005 but it did not quite work out. Mike Meehan
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