Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Moroccan Plume

As far as I'm concerned winter ends on the last day of February. I know that- officially- we're supposed to wait until the vernal equinox, but I'm impatient- and refuse to experience March as a winter month. Look, the crocus are out- and the daffodils. When there are flowers in the grass it's spring.

This year the seasonal changeover was complicated by February having ended with an utterly uncharacteristic heatwave- one of the loveliest and most exhilarating passages of weather I can remember. Heatwaves are always pleasant- unless they go on too long and everything dries up- but a winter heatwave- with temperatures exceeding 20 degrees- and deep blue skies with never a cloud in sight- is special. In fact, I'm not sure there's ever been anything quite like it before. At least not in living or recorded memory.

It was caused by what they are calling a Moroccan plume (which sounds like some kind of spectacular head-dress; I can visualise it) which was dragged up north by a vortex in the polar regions. Or something like that. It was so hot that the moors caught fire. There was even a fire in Ashdown Forest, just down the road from here.

And now the plume has moved away- and spring comes in with a spell of cold, wet weather. But not terribly cold or terribly wet. The temperature is around 10 degrees- which is sort of what you'd expect for the time of year. Back to normal, in fact...
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