Winter wonderland in Watford

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Snowflakes fluttering in the wind and the soft crunching sound as you walk across the snow. Ohh how I missed you!

What is it about snow that makes it so mesmerising, reminiscing about when you were a young child, watching the snowflakes fall for hours putting you in a trance.

The snow came thick and fast floating and dancing as they slowly hit the surface with a soft thud. The air is full of thousands of flakes hitting each other creating a distinct sound which echoes all around you. Bringing back memories of earlier falls in the distant past.

Watford Winter Wonderland

In the space of three hours, the snow rises covering everything in a warm blanket. There is nothing in all of weathers manifestations that can change the mood, calming the atmosphere, dulling all sounds, bringing joy to your heart.

Your inner child comes out and for a brief time, you are taken back to your childhood, to the feelings you had when snow caused so much excitement. Jumping for joy as your 6-year-old self felt the snowflakes hit your cheeks making the cold feel warm. The crunching sound as your small feet compacts the snow with your weight. Squeezing the air out between the hundreds of flakes. This sound is embedded in my memory, stored in a happy place, the joyful place.

Garden transformed by snow

The sounds of happy kids echoing around me bring me back to the present as I am walking through the Grove Hotel grounds. Kids sledging, kids building snowmen, kids having snowball fights. For a brief moment in time, they forget about the lockdown, about not going to school, about not meeting their friends as they play in the snow.

7.5cm of snow fell around Watford and on my four-hour trek documenting the snow from the grounds of the Grove Hotel to Cassiobury Park via the edge of Whippendell woods I shot plenty of videos which can be seen below.

This was Watford’s first decent snowfall this winter, the snow that lasted longer than an hour. The first is always the best and with the passing years, it never seems to lose my interest. It is by far my favourite weather it feels even better this year after having none last winter and how this past year has panned out.

Winter at the Grove Hotel in Watford

This winter has been unusual we have been mostly on the cold side of the jet stream. The fast ribbon of air far above our heads that drives our weather in the UK. It has been down across Spain bringing record snowfall for Madrid. Up to Eastern Europe bringing warmth. But now the continent has cooled down after the record heat of autumn subsides. Will the ‘Beast from the east’ return this year in February, the early signs are that it might.

A weather front moved in the from the west in the early hours of the 24th bring light snow to the west of the UK the front developed into a small low-pressure system and tracked across the country from west to east. It stalled from north wales to the wash where it snowed most of the day. Watford was on the southern extremity of the front. Most of the snow (7.5cm) fell in the 3 hours between 9 and 12 before it moved further north. To the east not much fell and it was mostly raining as it was pulling in winds off the north sea which increased the dew point.

Maximum snow depth in cm | Source Dan Holley

The chart above shows the level of the snow in cm illustrating where it fell and the places that missed out.

Snowfall over the UK, taken 25/01/2021 | Source: NASA

The satellite picture above shows the extent of the snow that fell. It missed a lot of the east of the SE even London was cut in half. The weather front had stalled to the north of London dumping the most snow around Derby and Nottingham. With 15 to 20cm being the maximum snow level which was quite a bit for the midlands.

winter wonderland in the Grove Hotel

As we move into February the cold wouldn’t be far away and we could be having some memorable snow with depths that we haven’t seen for a while together with bone-chilling cold.

Read more about the weather on my monthly updates on here and see if the Beast from the East returns in February.

Links

Flickr Photos – https://www.flickr.com/photos/alalchan/albums/72157717256371497

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