Wednesday, February 10

The big freeze - Part 2

The coldest winter in three decades has returned with vengeance. Since Monday we've had snow flurries falling on and off throughout the day. While the falls have never been heavy enough to settle, we've still come home to a light dusting over cars parked along the street. The overnight temperatures have also plunged. The mercury fell below zero more than an hour ago and will continue dropping to at least -3°C.

Once again, as the cold weather returns, so do our household plumbing issues. This time the dual flow valve heating our water failed. We've endured three morning of bitterly cold showers before the plumber was able to finally complete his permanent repair. I've been going to work early to use the office shower. You could say we're over it.

Nationwide it was the coldest January since 1987, while December was the coldest since 1995. January was definitely a cold month across England. Mean temperatures were 2.5 to 3.0 °C below normal. December was between 1.5 and 2.0 °C below normal. Ironically, January has been the warmest on record in Vancouver, the host city host for this month's Winter Olympics. This week organisers resorted to shifing 780 tons of snow daily by helicopter and tractor in a desperate attempt to cover the slopes for snowboarders and freestyle skiers.

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