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Credit to: Nathalie Siah

End of Autumn Term: Wintery Weather

Nights are drawing in and mornings are that little bit bleaker. As we now enter the latter stages of term, the wintery weather is increasing, with snow already falling in parts of the UK and snow likely to fall in Reading in December.

It’s not long until the Christmas holidays, when you can snuggle up on the sofa with the thermostat turned up high because you’re not paying for it.

Until then, however, you’ll have to invest in a blanket to keep you warm. The weather during November thus far has been very changeable, and generally quite poor, with lots of wind and rain. A pattern is set to continue.

What’s with all the wind?

Recently, Storm Barney battered the UK; here in Reading there were gusts of 70mph that caused flash flooding. Jessica Hope captured footage of one flash flood incident near Wokingham Road.

Speaking to Get Reading, she said, “I was walking along Wokingham Road amidst extremely strong winds and rain. After about 15 minutes, the rain had abated but had left quite the scene behind.”
Meanwhile, a tree in a garden on Grange Avenue was felled by the powerful winds, and, similarly, nearby in Didcot, residents escaped unharmed after a tree fell over two houses. Flying debris caused by Storm Barney also affected the power supply to over 850 homes across Berkshire as power lines were damaged.

Barney is the second named storm, after Storm Abigail, as the naming of UK storms is a new concept and a part of a Met Office pilot scheme.

Explaining the decision to begin naming storms The Met Office says, “it is hoped that naming storms will help raise awareness of severe weather and ensure greater safety of the public.”

What’s expected for the upcoming weather?

Looking further ahead, the weather is set to be very changeable, and it is expected that we will experience every aspect of winter weather. From rain and strong winds, to brighter albeit showery and colder spells, to snow and fog, this Christmas is likely to be very bitter and dreary weather-wise.

What’s with all the ‘selfie storm’ warnings?
Incidents of selfie-related injuries are rising at a worrying rate, particularly incidents where people are trying to take selfies in extreme weather situations. As a result, the Environment Agency and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have warned the public to refrain from taking so called ‘storm selfies.’

Neil Davies, duty flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The power of Mother Nature is a fascination to us all – and taking storm selfies may seem exhilarating – but over the last few years we’ve had an increasing number of people putting themselves and family members at severe risk along coastal paths and promenades. Floods destroy so take care and be prepared. Find out if you are at risk and sign-up for early flood warnings. Stay safe and act now to be better prepared for floods to reduce the impact it could have on your family, your home and your business.”

About Hannah Crofts

h.crofts@student.reading.ac.uk'

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