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the Advent of winter

November 28, 2010

The first Sunday of Advent has brought us truly exceptional weather. I know it’s a cliche that Brits talk about the weather all the time but really, this is extraordinary. The snow began on Wednesday and has continued on and off ever since. Yesterday was beautiful: powdery snow under blue sunny skies, with some of the trees still clinging to their autumn colours. We had a lovely time toboganning in the garden (or ‘tobobbing’ as younger son called it).

Last night, though, things frankly began to get a little weird. We were out for dinner with friends and, in a half-hour drive along icy roads, the temperature plummeted from -3 to -10C. What atmospheric conditions would cause such a rapid temperature drop, we wondered? Anyway, we arrived safely, had a lovely evening and, by the time we started for home again at midnight, it had warmed up to a balmy -2C and was snowing. And it kept snowing all night. And has kept snowing all day today. Heavily, incessantly, all day. In November! This is not normal for Scotland. This morning we went out to the fields to do some proper sledging in the deeper snow: while we were out, there was a flash of lighting and a couple of long rumbles of thunder. I’ve never experienced a snowy thunderstorm in this country before.

This evening the snow continues to fall along with the temperature, the long drive to the castle is barely passable even with four-wheel drive and the roads to the north and south of us are closed. There is no possibility of returning our elder son to school in Edinburgh after his weekend at home, and it’s looking unlikely that younger son’s local school will be open tomorrow. We are officially snowed in! An adventure at any time of year, but quite a memorable event for November. Hmm, I wonder what the boys will be doing tomorrow…?

Postscript: I was just about to publish this when the power went off, and we were left sitting in the dark with only the firelight from the stove. Heavy snow on the trees often affects the power supply here, so we were half expecting it. In the past hour we have been playing games and singing advent carols around the piano by candlelight. A power cut is also an adventure for a little while, but I am very relieved that we have light and heat back on now! Three cheers for the indomitable engineers, who always manage to reach us so quickly in their Land Rovers to restore the supply to us and the surrounding houses on the estate.

See also: winter solstice

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2010 9:02 pm

    You have stolen our winter!
    In a very weird anomaly, we had no snow at all last year, which actually just made for a very dull, drab brownness for months on end.
    And a thunderstorm in winter, I actuallly find a little exciting, if only for its rarity.

    • dancingbeastie permalink
      November 28, 2010 9:36 pm

      That is very weird. I think we must have stolen your winter last year as well. You are welcome to come and get some of it back! Meanwhile, I could do with those snow tyres of yours…

  2. Margaret Lambert permalink
    November 28, 2010 11:44 pm

    I have heard of thunder and lightening in a snowstorm, but it is peculiar…we loved the mornings we were snowed in, when our children were young. In our area we are usually able to get out by afternoon. In fact, we had our first (early!) snow of winter at 7am this morning, but it was just what we call a “dusting”. Still, relatives in Michigan haven’t had theirs yet, and that is unusual as well.
    Stay warm and safe!

  3. November 29, 2010 8:39 pm

    Even *I* am finding it hard to work when it is so beautiful outside. I find myself just gazing out at the weather. You have lots more snow than we do! Glad your power came back on otherwise what starts as an adventure can become a little cold and tiresome very quickly. I too admire the engineers who come out in all weathers to restore precious power!

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