My last post was entitled “Is It Spring Yet?” as winter seems to have lasted for about the last 5 years here! Anyway, imagine my surprise when watching the news today to find out that, apparently, yes it is spring already!
Now I know what you are thinking – “spring doesn’t start until March 20th” (if you are in the Northern hemisphere at least). I agree. The vernal equinox is the start of spring, or at least it has been for as long as I can remember. But now, The Meteorological Office here in the UK have declared that spring now starts on March 1st, and similarly summer starts on June 1st, autumn on September 1st and winter on December 1st. Oh, and because they have decided on this timetable, those are now the Official Dates for the various seasons. Not for me they ain’t! My diary still tells me that spring starts on the vernal equinox, and that’s still the day that I will be observing.
Anyhoo, in other weather news, the same Met Office say that this winter – that’s the one that ended on the last day of February obviously – has been the coldest in England for over 30 years, and for nearly 50 years in Scotland. I can well believe it, the cold weather seems to have gone on forever, and the snow has been a much more regular occurrence than usual. This was illustrated by this NASA satellite photo released in January of a snow and ice-covered Great Britain.
The Met Office have yet to release a seasonal forecast for this spring, even though it is already here! But then, given their track record for last summer – “a barbecue summer” it rained and rained – and this winter – “milder than average” coldest for 30+ years – it is maybe not so surprising.
I am just glad to see the sun come out for the last couple of days, even if it is going to go back in hiding again tomorrow!