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Weather freaking … the in vogue meme

8 April 2012
Climate change

The hot spell in central and eastern US in March was caused by warm air from the Caribbean blown northwards by a high pressure system blocking over North America. It was cold on the western seaboard, with a lot of wintry weather in the NW. In Australia the town of Townsville in Queensland was struck by a tornado. Residents described seeing 'green lightning' and hearing a roar 'as loud as a jet plane'. Over 20 inches of rain fell in a few days – on top of what has already been a very wet year (as a result of La Nina). Earlier in the month Sydney had nearly 5 inches of rain in a short space of time – causing flash flooding. In New South Wales flooding forced people to evacuate their homes – but they were not the only ones. Lots of spiders that live in holes in the ground were forced to vacate by the rising waters and they swung through the air on threads of silk and congregated on trees, buildings, and anything above the water mark – even on animals. The spiders then set about munching on mosquitoes. In Britain we've had snow in March and the first week in April. Not particularly unusual in the Highlands of Scotland, such as Perthshire, or even in the Lake District and Pennines, but sleet and snow in the south is a little more freakish – but a flurry of snow fell in June one year in the 1970s. Going further back, and considering this year's Boat Race on the Thames in west London was brought to an inglorious end by a series of mishaps, back in 1952 the Boat Race took place in a full blizzard that engulfed the south from Devon across to Lincolnshire. Drifts of snow up to 8 feet deep built up on the Chilterns as a result of driving 70 mph winds. Villages were cut off for several days, roads were impassable and vehicles abandoned for days. Nothing much ado about weather, then, so why are CAGW alarmists and the mainstream media getting excited about the 'weirding' of the weather, as it has become known – but it was ever thus. Its a bit strange that a generation insulated from the everyday vagaries of climate, ensconced as they are in centrally heated cocoons, their homes, offices and places of work in general, and moving about, not on foot as in the old days but in various metal boxes on wheels with generous heaters and fans to blow away the cobwebs, should think the weather is in some way more freakish than it has been in yonder times. It might be modern communications. We didn't know what was happening in Oregon or New York, or Down Under, a few years ago – now the news is instantaneous – and for some reason weather reporting is always up there in the list of things reported in graphic detail. However, there was a giant sun spot that unleashed a space storm in March that is said to have heated the atmosphere of the earth like an oven being turned on – but not a lot is said about that. It is funny that as there were lots of solar flares in the late 1990s and early 2000s  at the height of the global warming meme – but now its climate change and people look out of their windows and think it has never been quite like this before, whether it is sunshine or snowfall, rain, hail or a few months of cloudless skies, or leaks in water pipes etc.

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