The Beast From The East


It’s sort of come in with more of a whimper than a roar, don’t you think?

Considering that a couple of days ago we were looking at horror stories – the media does love to stir up weather fear – that people would die as the Beast swept across the country, it’s definitely not quite packing the punch as much as it could have done.

And yes, people have died in crashes on icy roads, but that’s not quite what they meant. They were predicting Day After Tomorrow style freezing and all sorts. You’re more likely to die waiting, patiently, for the snow to do anything even marginally impressive.

That’s not to say the country hasn’t ground to a halt because of course it has. Because we were expected to, and the halt was more-or-less pre-planned on the Monday and we just had to go through with it on the Tuesday even though there was next to cock all snow.

From a purely personal point of view, all the snow has done is make it harder to get anything else done with regards to finalising gran’s estate. I can’t plan to go to mum’s, or we can’t make appointments for things, because mum lives on the top of a hill in Halifax and a decent snowfall during a night can really bugger things up. As she likes to say, you’ll see her in Spring as she comes down with the meltwater.

The problem with the weather lies in the improving technology for seeing what is coming. As satellites and whatever other gubbins is used improves, we have more sophisticated methods of measuring cold fronts, air pressures and the like. And that then lets us guesstimate what is going to happen way ahead of time. And so warnings can be issued, because that’s a thing we do nowadays, and people can prepare for climactic events.

And then they don’t come.

In some ways, we were better off in times of yore – by which I mean, say, the 80s – when we only really knew what was happening when it happened. You could go to bed one night and wake up in the morning to find snow up to the window sill. And it would be amazing. Nowadays you go to bed expecting to find snow up to the window sill and look out only to see that it looks like someone sneezed while carrying a small amount of icing sugar across your lawn.

Maybe we’ve got it all wrong. It’s not climate change that is affecting the weather patterns, maybe its our ability to predict the weather that’s just taking all the fun out of it nowadays. They do say that when you observe something you change its behaviour, so maybe that’s what is happening. We’ve seen the Beast From The East coming in for however long and we’ve looked at it and decided it’s going to plunge the country into chaos and, because we’ve observed it, we’ve changed it. And now it’s just a bit nippy with occasionally flurries of snow.

But it’s supposed to carry on for a couple of weeks. So let’s see how we get on in the morning.

Here’s hoping it’s up to the window sill…