online: 12 february 2004
modified: 12 february 2004

1 february 2004 (second entry today) maritime weather

11:42 Station. After walking back in mild sunshine beneath occasional clouds, and seeing the dome of St Paul's (no longer hidden by buildings), and the city towers, as often, in mist while the panorama of the south-east sector of the city is less misty, almost clear.

Gales and rain are promised for this afternoon. The weather, the ever changing nature of the atmosphere in Northern Europe, west of the Urals, north of the Alps, east of the Atlantic. And here on an island it's the weather of the sea, warmed always by the Gulf Stream - vulnerable as it is to the slight disturbance of currents that could put Britain and Scandinavia back into a new ice age - as is Labrador at the same latitude...

I prefer this maritime climate, as it is now, so mild, so various - and so quickly changeable, in hours not days, sometimes minutes.

Today there are many leafless twigs and branches snapped off by the wind. I picked one up to feel for myself the force that the wind must have exerted on that slender branch, with no leaves to give it a grip. I'm surprised that it's possible - for the bending of the twig took a force of certainly a kilogram, perhaps two. I find it hard to imagine a wind strong enough for that. Is the wind much stronger at the height of treetops than we ever feel it on the ground? Perhaps.

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