Wrap up well folks, Ireland could be set for its worst winter in 50 years
Worse than 2010 and 2011? Really?
Ireland could be set for its worst winter in half a century if warning signs from across the water in the UK are anything to go by.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the first of a flock of Bewick Swans, migratory birds from Siberia, have arrived at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, which is normally taken as the first sign that winter has arrived.
What is significant about the visit of these particular birds is that they has arrived way earlier than usual – 25 days earlier than last year and the earliest arrival since 1963 – which has led some to believe that we could be in for our harshest winter in years.
"Apparently there's a Russian saying that 'the swan brings snow on its bill', because they tend to move just ahead of the cold weather,” Slimbridge swan expert Julia Newth told the Daily Telegraph.
"Of course, we can't infer much from the arrival of a single swan but it's certainly exciting this bird has arrived so early.
"It's only a year old and, because it's made it all the way here on its own, we assume that it must have come to Slimbridge last year as a cygnet with its parents.
"We record all the Bewick swans that come to Slimbridge each winter by their unique bill pattern as part of our study and give them a name.
"This one needed a name, so we've called him Record Breaker."
As well as the arrival of the Bewick swans from Arctic Russia, the presence of the El Nino weather pattern (warmer waters driving extreme weather conditions) in the tropical Pacific has also sparked fears that the European winter may be longer and more severe than usual.
It has, of course, only been a few short years since the incredibly harsh winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 in Ireland so this winter would want to be incredibly severe it it’s going to be worse than those.
If it does happen, this fella will want to be careful, that’s for sure…
Clip via greannmhar3