North Atlantic Oscillation
Apparently Europe is in for something of a cold snap this winter due to something called a ‘North Atlantic Oscillation’. (If I was living in the US, I think this would be a great name for a band.)
This was described in The Times as:
“a low pressure system over Iceland and high pressure over the warm Azores islands in the sub-tropical Atlantic.”
The forecasted result will be blasts of bitterly cold air towards the UK. Apparently, when this occurred in 1940s, there was sea ice in the English Channel! This was the cold snap that froze Hitler’s armies in Russia.
Aside from a probable surge in scarf sales, the UK is reported as having merely 11 days of natural gas reserves, the lowest for 10 years. This would mean that businesses are likely to have to shut down on cold days! It seems improbably now, but who knows. It would be like missing school because it snowed too much and I can’t imagine many workers being too upset about that.
Of course, anyone having lived in UK will know that the merest wisp of snow can bring the infrastructure of the entire country to a grinding halt and inevitably prompt the Evening Standard newspaper to use totally unexpected headlines like “London in Grip of Ice Age’, or basically anything connecting freezing weather and the word ‘shock!’
However, anyone who has experienced a Czech winter knows what -20C feels like, and if you don’t have the right gloves you really can be in trouble.
So, I’ll be telling all my UK contacts that their ‘cold’ winter is really not that impressive, unless of course the Thames freezes over and then I’ll be over for ice skating next to the HMS Belfast!