This page was last updated on: January 16, 2018
THE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE
an in-depth history of one village in Hertfordshire UK.
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Unusual and wild weather in 2017
October 16th 2017 - Image © Barbara LeTallec
October 16th 2017 - further image © by Barbara Le Tallec
On Monday October 16th 2017, many folks across Britain experienced a strange phenomenon, including those of us here in Leverstock Green. The BBC and virtually all newspapers reported on it at length. Click here to see the BBC report. Many local residents, including myself, took photographs throughout the day recording not only a red or orange sun at times, surrounded by an orangey or ochre set of clouds, but also the highly atmospheric overall pinky-orange hue which felt as if we had been either transported back in time, or onto another planet! I was reminded of a time about 40 years ago when the clouds appeared to be raining blood, and if radio 4 reports were to be believed, in a few places it also rained small fish and frogs! I had been ill in bed with flu at the time and can remember seeing the red streaks ( rather akin to blood) running down my bedroom window. In both instances it would seem that these phenomena were due to unusual weather conditions. The red "blood" was due to particles of sand swept up from the Sahara and suspended in the atmosphere - falling with the rain when it fell. Just such a phenomena was experiences in April 2015 (see: 'Blood rain' to fall on Britain as red Saharan dust blows in from Africa - Telegraph)
“Blood rain” is the term used when rain mixes with sand from deserts. The cyclonic high speed winds from Ophelia lifting sand from the Sahara Desert to be deposited later over the UK.
At the same time forest fires in Spain & Portugal ( some, it is thought,set intentionally!) were intensified by the storm, and carried debris from the fires in its system, later to be deposited in the atmosphere over the UK.
Oct 16 2017, taken at 15:23, looking towards the school fields along Peascroft Road. This intensity lasted for several hours. © Barbara Chapman
Ex-Hurricane Ophelia, now Storm Ophelia battered our local trees all day whilst regaining orange/red colour.
© Barbara Chapman
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CALLING ALL LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHERS.
If you took photos in Leverstock Green during either of the events mentioned on this page, or during any other "weather phenomena" and are prepared to let me publish it on this web-site, then please contact me. All photos used will be labelled with the photographer's name and the copyright symbol. (As per those on the left taken by Barbara LeTallec.) Photos should be in jpg format please and if possible reduced to a manageable size.
In the early hours of Sunday 10 December 2017 I woke up. Alerted by the unnatural quite (Its normal to hear a distant sound from the M1 even in the middle of the night, plus occasional goods trains passing through KIngs Langley, not to mention the odd Owl or Fox), I got up and looked outside.
It was snowing quite heavily and had probably been doing so for an hour or so. Looking at my clock I found it was only 5 o'clock ish, so I went back to bed. Over two hours later and waking for the second time, it was obvious it had been snowing continuously. It was still not quite dawn, but the snow made everything very easy to see, and as it turned out, to photograph. It was 7:33 am and this is the picture which I looked out upon...
The snow continued to fall relentlessly - sometimes imitating a HIghland Blizzard, and at other times just a gentle falling of soft snowflakes. By mid day we had got about 7" of snow, with a few "drifts" of greater depth.
A Channel 4 TV programme - "Britain's Wildest Weather 2017" broadcast in early December 2017 and repeated at the beginning of 2018 examined the extreme weather that hit the country in 2017, heard the amazing experiences of the people caught up in it, and explored why such erratic weather batters Britain. At the time of writing (January 5th 2017) this can be viewed at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/britains-wildest-weather
As this programme was the 4th annual such programme, all the programmes since 2014 can be viewed and played at the above URL.
The introduction on line stated the following: "The amazing human stories and incredible science behind Britain's recent wild weather, from floods to tornadoes and hurricanes. Is there worse to come? " It then went on to say: "Britain's Wildest Weather examines the extreme weather that hit the country in 2017, hears the amazing experiences of the people caught up in it, and finds out why such erratic weather batters Britain"
It was a fascinating programme and reminded my husband and I of many of the "Wild Weather Events". which we had viewed on the News Broadcasts over the year. (How quickly we forget!). To mention just a few: Storm Doris (Boxing Day 2016) whose high winds affected most of the country with fallen trees, battered and damaged fences etc, but which had also caused massive flooding in various regions; In May Devon suffered storms after a heat wave, and in June the South of the country and areas in the Midlands and further north suffered a heatwave followed by comparatively chilly weather for a few days, leading again into a heatwave. (Luckily for us while we were on holiday in the New Forest.) The highest recorded temperature of 32.5º at Hampton in the UK since records began was on July 19th.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was devastating with several hurricanes following in rapid succession and doing untold damage, especially in the Caribean. There were 17 named storms, (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Atlantic_hurricane_season ), and here in the UK we tended to get the tail-end of each of them which gave us rain and high winds. It was x-Hurrican Ophelia, together with Portugeuese forest fires and sand from the Saharah Dessert which gave us the Red Sun in mid-October.
Photographs © Barbara Chapman
In response to criticism about lack of gritting around schools etc. Herts. C.C. put out the following statement. The quantities of grit used were even repeated on television news coverage.
A spokesperson said: “There are 13 weather recording stations around the county which can warn us about bad weather conditions during winter. During winter, Hertfordshire County Council operates a ‘snow desk’ from the Integrated Transport Control Centre at County Hall, which responds to icy and snowy conditions and works closely with ‘blue light’ emergency services.
“When icy weather or snow is forecast, we grit major roads first. These are known as our primary routes and include A and B roads (not motorways) major bus routes, and one road in and out of each village.
“Last weekend, between lunchtime on Friday (8 December) and lunchtime on Monday (11 December) crews completed nine gritting runs – spreading circa 2,700 tonnes of salt and covering 21,500 km.
"Salt bins are also provided in more than 1,000 locations around the county for ‘self-help’ during icy weather. We also provide community salt via our self-help scheme to district, borough, town and parish councils, schools, resident associations and community groups."
People can find out when the council's gritters are going out by following the hashtag #grittertwitter on www.twitter.com/Herts_Highways
Photographs © Barbara Le Tallec
Above & Middle the back garden of in Peascroft Road, taken by Barbara Chapman.
Larger photos on 3rd line looking out over the front of in Peascroft Road.Taken by Barbara Chapman
RIGHT:X- Hurricane Ophelia, now designated a storm, as it approaches Great Britain.
Before and just about dawn (7:30ish 11th December 2017, looking out of the front windows in Peascroft Road, towards Hobbs Hill Wood School's playing field.
These photos below were taken by RICHARD STARLING around Poynder's Hill.
BELOW: FROM INSIDE THE LEATHER BOTTLE LOOKING TOWARDS THE GREEN
© RICHARD STARLING
Below: HOLY TRINITY CHURCH 11 DECEMBER 2017© DEFINITY PHOTOGRAPHS
If YOU have any photographs which you would like to contribute to the record of this day, then please contact me.