It may be early February 2012 but finally winter is about to arrive in the UK. Temperatures have begun to plummet and early growths in the garden will soon be nipped, quite literally, in the bud. A mild winter in the UK so far has meant that autumn flowers have lingered way passed their "best before date".
That is all set to change.
Europe has been experiencing extreme weather with some regions having their lowest temperatures for thirty years. In the Ukraine thirty people have died as a result of the cold weather. With temperatures of -32.5 C being recorded in some parts of Europe more deaths are predicted. Traffic, supplies and energy have all been disrupted. Compared to this the UK should fare much better. That said bitterly cold weather has quickly taken hold this week.
Unusually for the UK the cold snap, to date, has been dry. The air has been so dry that in spite of the very low tempatures there have been no frosts. At the weekend this will change and snow is forecast.
Last year the UK experienced the heaviest snowfalls for years. North, south, east and west were affected. It was not just the fact that the snow was widespread though. It was snow a plenty and it stuck around. There was a big chill and it caused chaos.
The snow predicted for the coming week in the UK will hopefully not be in the same league. Many people in the UK though will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief. Without a "proper winter" how can we have a good Spring and Summer?
As is usual in the UK a few days of snow will cause a huge amount of disruption. For a country obsessed with the weather we are never prepared for what the heavens may throw at us, even when we have been warned.