Daily Archives: January 8, 2010
Our news seems to be dominated by the “big freeze”. Real snow, exceptionally low overnight temperatures (-21° somewhere in the Scottish highlands), and now little opportunity to thaw even by day.
Needless to say, we’re thoroughly mild by international standards. Among places I’ve lived through a winter, not just boreal Sweden and continental Bavaria are routinely colder; even mediterranean central Italy gets it: I’ve slept under the stars in -20° there myself (and bought a winter-grade sleeping bag after a night of that)!
But here’s a telling point against our own history. In the 1980s, the government introduced “cold weather payments” for pensioners when temperatures dropped below -2° continually for several days. That was daytime maximum temperatures.
This year’s “big freeze” is still too mild to trigger those cold-weather payments!
A few days of freezing fog to keep the daytime sun out could bring us there. But there’s no sign of that. This is ideal weather for those with solar panels!
 I think the threshold was five days, but I can’t remember for sure.