Saturday, December 19, 2009

White Hell of Kent

This has been a year of wierd weather in England. We have had floods, storms and now snow in southern England. The wind is blowing in off the Baltic and we have the unusual combination of precipitation and cold.

Six inches fell in a night and life has ground to a halt.

The Eurostar has been shut down after an interesting design feature revealed itself. The electrical systems fail when the trains plunge from the cold French countryside into the warm Channel Tunnel. Four trains jammed the tunnel, one after the other.

Above shows the view from my front door. Note that flowers grow outside pretty much all the year round.



The December sun peaks over the horizon.


But not for long.



The holly bush in my back garden.


View from my bedroom window over the Mierscourt Valley estate. Note the palm tree. They grow well here in Kent. We also have vinyards.



Wabbits don't like snow very much.

10 comments:

matapam said...

Pretty!

And no doubt a real nuisance if you have to get somewhere. We has snow a couple of weeks ago. Very unusual for Houston, and the earliest date it's ever been known to happen. It melted by noon the next day.

Interesting design flaw on the trains. Here they're switching to LEDs for traffic lights- and have now discovered that they aren't hot enough to keep snow from sticking. I guess when something has never been a problem with previous models, you don't think to lab test for problems with it.

What problems will come up in Space, or habitats on far planets, that no one thought to test for, as it had 'never happened before'?

John Lambshead said...

Yeah the Eurostar trains are essentially French HSTs and they have been running around France quite happily for years. The Channel Tunnel is unique and the quick temperature variation has never happened before to a HST. And we find they break down.

This is a great disruptor for an SF or F story. It sets the scene for a plot driver.
John

C Kelsey said...

Supposedly we're going to get pasted with whiteout snow conditions tonight and tomorrow. Some areas south of here are expecting anything from 12 to 22 inches of snow. Right now we're only predicted to get six inches.

That's a really interesting design flaw on those trains. Reminds me of the Russian Soyuz module that had a valve for releasing air pressure (I for get what the reason for this was). It worked fine when strapped into the module but sitting on the ground. It didn't work so well when the valve opened in space during re-entry and the cosmonauts couldn't close it before all the air was out.

John Lambshead said...

Dear chris
I saw that the E Coast of the USA is going to get a belting - is that where you are?
John

C Kelsey said...

John,

Yeah. I'm north of Boston so the storm won't arrive until sometime around 2100 tonight. It also shouldn't be quite as severe as it is further south. Still, I've laid in supplies and am making preparations in case the snow and wind decides to deprive me of electricity. It's not a big thing. I take the boy scout motto to heart. :)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Snow! How exciting.

I know you guys will find it a nuisance, but over here we had our extended family Christmas party today. Cold ham, salad and swimming in the pool!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

John,

Just as well your daughter didn't get married this weekend!

John Lambshead said...

Dear Rowena
I don't think we will be doing much swimming this xmas.
J

John Lambshead said...

Dear Chris
Good luck.
John

C Kelsey said...

John,

Currently looks like a total of 7 or 8 inches here by the end of today. That's nothing compared to points south. I guess they've received the full 22 inches. I was just out for a drive. The roads are okay, but I have an all wheel drive car so okay all depends on your point of view. I saw several cars having a hard time out there and heard more than one person talk about getting stuck in a snow bank.