How’s the weather where you are? Oh, the weather, the weather; it’s such an English obsession. But, goodness, there has never been any more reason to talk about it than there is now. Our summer so far has been a complete washout. Annette (my horse) and I usually go for long and leisurely hacks on Sunday mornings but recently the bridal paths we both love have been far too water-logged and muddy for enjoyment.
Last week the deluge was so bad that Scotland threatened to drift away from England! I’m not exaggerating; well, OK, I am, ever so slightly. The truth is that both of the main east and west coast rail links were shut due to flooding and landslides. So far as I know this is the first time that has ever happened. Elsewhere in the country flooding made roads impassable. Apparently in some places cars were covered with an orange dust, thought to have been carried to England from the Sahara Desert.
According to the Environment Agency we have had more rainfall over the last three months at any time since records began over a century ago. This month alone we have seen more than twice the usual level of rain. Matters reached a peak last week. On Thursday the north of the country saw a series of Hollywood-style super storms, during which Zeus sent down more than 110,000 lightning bolts. I wonder what can have angered the old chap so.
It was certainly something to behold, with more than 200 strikes every minute at the peak of activity. Those who measure this sort of thing said it was the equivalent of more than four months worth of strikes in a single day. Is this really The Day after Tomorrow? It certainly felt a bit like it, with my own partner stranded in the north, unable to fly, unable to drive and unable to get a train.
Seriously; is this extreme weather all part of the inconvenient truth; is Al Gore right? No, he is not. One deluge does not mean a global disaster! It’s all the fault of a ‘Spanish Plume’, so I’ve been told, something that happens when a wedge of hot air from Spain is forced northwards, meeting cooler air sweeping in from the Atlantic. The result is a dramatic natural quarrel, booms, bangs and light shows.
Still, I can be thankful that things weren’t too bad in the south; we missed all those northern excesses. At the present it’s warm and getting warmer, so all of my bridal paths should be drying out nicely. Annette will be pleased.