It has been dry here in Co Down for the best part of three weeks, which is highly unusual for this time of year. A Continental High pressure are has been sitting over the UK for the last while and whilst this means drier weather it also means colder weather and indeed it has been cold for the last week or so. Our daytime temperature should be in the region of 6 to 7 degrees centigrade, but it has struggled to reach 3 to 4 for most days.
The long range forecast is that in about a weeks time the Winds will start to once again come in from the Atlantic bringing back, in relative terms, the milder weather, and with it the rain. Apparently only for these winds bringing this milder air in from the Atlantic which has been heated by the a Current called the North Atlantic Drift – a continuation of the Gulf stream- Ireland would have much colder winters. Northern Ireland is on the same latitude as Goose Bay in Newfoundland and the average daily temperature at this time of year is an unbelievable Minus 13. This may not be a fair comparision as I am sure Goose Bay suffers from the affect of being part of a large Continental Land Mass and these tend to have bigger seasonal temperature variations, think of the central European Countries like Bulgaria etc.. Islands like Ireland benefit from the buffereing effect of being surrounded by water, but the point is that with out the heating affect of the Atlantic Drift we would be much colder, possibly in a mini-ice age.
The fear is, and this was not in my mind when I began this blog today, (I simply wanted to give a weather report), that as a consequence of Global Warming and the melting of the Polar Ice Caps there will be an influx of colder water from the North Pole which will push the benefits of the North Atlantic Drift much further south. So ironically as a consequence of Global Warming here in Ireland we may actually move into a mini ice-age. I seem to recall a BBC Northern Ireland Programme on this very topic presented by William Crawley and I do remember him traveling to Newfoundland and ‘flying’ about on a snow-mobile.
Now I am in a quandry, should I buy a new pair of Thermals or a pair of Bermuda shorts.