Thursday, 17 December 2015

Snow in December: a figment of my imagination?

I've been blogging since 2007, so this is the ninth December covered here. When I first started coming to Warsaw in winter, it was usual to have heavy snow in mid-December, then a thaw around Christmas. Older residents would tell me that the thaws were unusual, and that winters were already getting warmer.

Looking back over past years, it becomes clear to me that the a) either climate change has taken root some while back or b) the concept of a snowy December in Warsaw was ever but a myth. Traditionally we head back west to the old country around the 23rd of the month; on return, in time for Sylwester, there's usually snow and frost in place. So now - an overview of Decembers past...

Below: 16 December 2007. A light dusting of snow coats Jeziorki. Nothing earlier that month.

Below: 21 December 2008. No evidence of snow throughout the month, certainly none before Christmas. Photo taken from the top of the Rampa na kruszywa, demolished earlier that year.

Below: 19 December 2009. A goodly deposit of snow in the garden, this beautiful wave sculpted by winds.

Below: 4 December 2010. Photo of a foraging pheasant taken from the house. First and last snow before Christmas break.

In December 2011, the first fall of snow was so unremarkable that I couldn't be bothered to photograph it. I said so too. [here]

In December 2012, there was a heavy overnight snowfall from the 17th to the 18th. Below: Here's how Plac Zbawiciela looked a few months after the football championships had come and gone...

Below: a 'named storm' visited Warsaw on Friday 6 December 2013 - Hurricane Xaver (Orkan Ksawery), whipping in swirls of snow during the evening rush hour.

Last December was snow-free until Christmas. Below: this shot was taken on the 20th. The greenery looks like early spring.

I was prompted to write this post because Britain's Met Office has forecast that next year will be the hottest year on record. If so, it means that the three hottest years known to mankind have been the three most recent ones.

This time two years ago:
A muddy walk along ul. Karczunkowska

This time three years ago:
Ul. Trombity - a step closer to dry feet?
[Asphalt yes, but still no pavement]

This time five years ago:
Matters of style

This time six years ago:
Real winter hits Warsaw

This time seven years ago:
This is not Mazowsze, no?

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