Britain’s obsession with the weather is not new, but 2018 must go down as one of those remarkable years where we actually had distinctive seasons.
In March, the ‘Beast from the East’ led to snow havoc – and sledging fun – when Siberian temperatures collided with Storm Emma, causing Arctic conditions and the Met Office triggered a red weather warning.
Beast from the East: Courier country freezes
However, the other end of the spectrum was reached in June/July when a seemingly never ending heatwave put 2018 on course to be Britain’s hottest year on record since 1976 – leading to hosepipe bans and a record 2.2 million patients attending A&E in July.
Summer sun: Courier country bakes
Throw in the increasingly frequent run of high intensity storms – including the one that temporarily closed the V&A Dundee just days after the museum opened in September – and it was further evidence of climate change on our doorstep as the overall temperature of the planet rises and extreme weather events become more frequent.
Further afield, and the east coast of America suffered its lowest temperatures on record with -41C (-41.8F) recorded in Minnesota while, in contrast, California had its worst ever wildfires, leading to much damage and lives lost. Snow in the Sahara, Japan’s highest ever temperatures, Australian, Greek and Swedish wildfires and devastating floods in China, India and France also fired a warning of topsy-turvy trends.