Snow in the Sahara

Scientist - not much more clue than the rest of us, probably.

I don’t know about global warming (and I have a nasty suspicion I have this in common with the huge majority of so-called climate science experts), but it has to be said that the celestial bigwigs seem to have handed over weather system management to an intern this year and gone off to play golf and drink Pimms.

Last winter season started off promisingly enough with bucketloads of snow at the beginning of December, leading us all to believe that we were about to have a stonking time surfing the powder all through Christmas, but pissing rain (and I mean pissing comme the proverbial vache) not only put paid to that one but also more or less wiped out one side of resort, which if we’re completely honest never really recovered and was barely skiable all season.

As soon as our drenched and disgruntled peak season visitors had gone home, temperatures did a welcome lemming impression in January. Unfortunately though, the heavenly interns forgot to turn the taps on and we had about six straight weeks of blazing sunshine and zero snowfall. This was all very well for the park rats, whose goldfish attention spans are well adapted to lapping one short drag and three jumps all day every day, but the rest of us got a tad cheesed off with rock hard motorway pistes and an off piste experience consisting largely of cunningly hidden rocks.

Not while operating heavy machinery

By early February the lack of precipitation was becoming a bit of a boon, as by this time the interns had evidently found the off licence, and were irresponsibly spinning the temperature dials for a laugh. They did seem to sober up sometime around the beginning of March but it wasn’t long before they hit the Buckie again and decided that a spot of high summer was just what the skiing public needed with another six weeks to go until the end of the season.

Having made it to mid-April with just about enough snow to see us through to the grande finale we started looking forward to sunny afternoons on the hill, beers on sun terraces and general lounging about. Unfortunately our weather interns, having now entirely lost the plot, decided to fast forward us into the middle of August, as a result of which we ended up with a resort full of thunderheads every afternoon. This is particularly irksome when you only ever get to ski from 2pm onwards.

The arrival of slightly more conventional looking patterns in mid-May led us to believe that perhaps the celestial bigwigs had finished their unauthorised holiday and gone back to work, but it I suspect it was merely the case that one of them popped back in for a forgotten niblick and the minute his back was turned the students resumed their pranks, because we’ve been getting autumn for the past week and a half down here, while most of the Savoie suddenly found itself back in the middle of January, much to the horror of farmers who had just trucked all their sheep up there from the lowlands in the Bouches du Rhône. Sheep might look warm and woolly, but they aren’t adequately clothed for the arctic tundra.

Sheep. Needs an extra jumper.

All of which makes me wonder what on earth we can expect next. Pissing rain on the Tour de France, without a doubt. Possibly followed by tornadoes, flash flooding, a rain of fish and a series of mysterious UFO sightings which we can later put down to unexpected sunspot activity and a cover-up by the CIA. Could be an eventful summer.

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About misplacedperson

Camping and snowboarding for a living. It may not be a career, but it's certainly a life.
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5 Responses to Snow in the Sahara

  1. Evan S says:

    Did I tell you we had almost 13m of snow in Park City this year? We had almost 13m of snow in Park City this year. Just in case you were wondering, like.

    • Evan S says:

      Oops, sorry, liar liar pants on fire, it was only about 11m. Got lost in translation. Meanwhile, in sunny London …

  2. I am ignoring that comment.

  3. iain martin says:

    I saw that about the sheep. I bet they’d just been sheared too…

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