Islay and the Big Freeze

It was bound to happen sometime that I would write something about the weather. Not that I'm a weather man but I do like the subject. As most of you probably know by now Europe is one big deep freezer. Over here in west holland it is early evening when I write this post, it's minus 9 degrees celsius already and we have 12 cm of snow, while we live close to the sea where we normally (should) have relatively mild temperatures. The situation in other parts of the European continent is much worse. The north of Europe is completely covered in snow and saw very low temperatures last night, Hemavan in Sweden saw -40,8 and Røros in Norway had -41,7 degrees celsius. The temperatures in the UK are extremely low too, Woodford had -16,2 and Benson had -17,7 degrees celsius. Port Ellen on Islay had -6C which is very low compared to average winters. Forecasters warned the temps could fall to -20C in the North East and Highlands at the weekend.

The cold weather from the continent is flowing over the north sea to the UK with north and easterly winds. These winds are picking up moist from the slightly warmer sea and snow showers develop easily giving a good cover of snow in almost every part of the UK. So far these showers brought the heaviest snowfall in 50 years. Only Islay, Jura and some other islands on the west coast seem to have missed the snow, at least on the lower parts. Continue reading.....

I have already heard people comparing this winter with the severe winter of 1963. My late father always mentioned the winter of 1963 as being the most severe winter he and his father experienced and I can tell you that we haven't even come close yet, although it's only January and who knows how long this cold spell will last. With most of Europe covered in deep snow and high pressure developing over the north of Europe it's likely to stay this way for a while.

The snow and ice are a great subject for discussion and for taking images too. In December last year, around Christmas, I already posted many pictures from Teresa Morris showing some beautiful wintry Islay scenes. Mark Unsworth from Islay Studios sent me an email today and he told me that he already took a lot of images during this wintry spell and many of them can be seen on Mark's photo blog. Mark was kind enough to include some images from the big freeze on Islay too which are included in this post. For now I wish everyone a roaring fire, a fine Islay dram and let's forget about the scary stories in the media and enjoy this exceptional weather!

Ice on the shore of Loch Indaal

Tag: snow winter weather ice