If you live in England, have you noticed how, no matter how joyfully you banish Winter and welcome Spring at Imbolc, there is often a cold spell, sometimes with snow, just after it?
The days between Feb 7th and 14th are usually colder than normal for the year. This period is known as Buchan's First Cold Spell. Alexander Buchan observed the weather patterns for about fifty years prior to 1900, and found that there were six periods in the year when lower than normal temperatures could be expected, and *also* three periods where the weather would be *higher* than normal. The other dates are thus:
Take notes for a few years and see if you agree with him!
It would be interesting to see whether there are similar patterns elsewhere. (Start your records *now*.)
By John Harper for Diarmid's Observatory