Sunday, 27 October 2013

Extraordinarily warm autumn

The clocks have gone back - this is for me bad news, it's that turning point in the year, the definitive tipping point from light into darkness. Today, the sun sets at 16:14 in Warsaw. I'll not be leaving the office in daylight for another five months. An extra hour in the mornings is inadequate compensation. I believe that winter time should either come to an end on the last weekend of February, for the sake of symmetry and mental health, or that it should be dropped altogether. [I wrote about this at greater length as the clocks went back in October 2009.]

Yesterday afternoon, the temperature hit 19.5C, while at 09:00 this morning, the Institute of Physics website showed an amazing 15.7C. Looking back over my blog for previous years, late-October has generally been pleasant in Warsaw, with many sunny days and the odd frosty morning. And last year, on 29 October - we had a not insignificant snowfall. But this week has been exceptionally clement, with the temperature falling below 10C only briefly during the wee small hours of Tuesday. And looking ahead, the temperature is not forecast to fall below 10C until next Tuesday evening.

Sunny Sunday morning, from my bedroom window
Autumn - how long does autumn last? Astronomical autumn lasts through to the winter solstice (21 December), but for me, there are two autumns - Polska złota jesień (Polish golden autumn), which lasts until the trees are all bare and while the skies are generally clear, temperatures mild. Then there's a separate season - grim, dark, cold, damp - which begins in mid-November and lasts until the first snow to give lasting cover, which ushers in winter-proper. This usually occurs at the very end of November at the earliest, by mid- December at the latest.

Sunny Sunday afternoon, from my bedroom window
By mid-afternoon, the temperature has climbed to 21.2C, balmy by the standards of an English summer (that's 70F in old money). Absolutely wonderful.

Climate change indeed - global temperatures creeping up ever so slowly, but enough to be noticed over a period of a few decades. Keeping a blog over a period of years with weather observations and photos is a useful aide-memoire and prevents purely subjective memories from muddying the climate discourse.

On Friday evening, while sprinting for a bus on Karczunkowska, I injured my calf muscle. At first, I thought my heavy, wide-angle lens had fallen out of my rucksack and thumped onto the back of my leg; it felt like I'd been given a sharp whack over the calf with an iron bar. Currently I'm unable to walk, but I'm hopeful that full mobility will be restored by the end of the week.

Follow-up: it's 22:30 on Monday night,28 October, and the Institute of Physics website shows the temperature as being 18.3C.

This time last year:
On behalf of the work-shy community

This time two years ago:
Classic truck cavalcade

This time three years ago
Suburban back-roads clogged with commuters

This time four years ago:
Autumn gold, Łazienkowski Park

This time five years ago:
Quintessential autumnal Jeziorki

This time six years ago:
Google Earth updates its map of Jeziorki


student SGH said...

The most ridiculous thing about moving clocks backwards / forward is that in our time the winter time is the base one, while the daylight saving time is an aberration. Intuitively, this should be the other way round, while the summer time better suits patterns of our activity.

You're not the only one stranded at home. I'm down with some virus that attacked by digestive system and also cannot enjoy the beautiful late summer. May we recover soon!

DC said...

Greetings from Kraków. I certainly did not imagine when I got on the plane a couple weeks ago that I would be eating dinner in my uncle's garden, as we did today. Magnificent.

DC said...

And good luck with the leg.

Liz said...

I agree that March is too late put the clocks forward. When I first came to Poland (1985) the clocks went back at the end of September! Not content with the long winters they rushed into them at the earliest opportunity! It was also more difficult to keep track of Polish time in relation to Britain. Poland only fell into line in 1995. Perhaps you remember those dark Octobers too.

Anonymous said...

Warm but very windy here in Zywiec the last two days. Having just moved from Southern California to live with my parents, this weather is actually just like what I am accustomed to. Hot Santa Ana winds in the Fall. Being British I never did get used to the California heat though. I always much preferred the foggy days, which we had plenty of in the Summer.

Bob said...

It is like the banana belt down here closer to the equator in Chylice! We took all of the garden furniture in for the winter 3 weeks ago. Just a small plastic table and 2 chairs remain - but that's enough to enjoy a coffee in the garden.

Take care of the leg!