Spring Awakening! After the longest winter, it’s going to be the hardest haul from hibernation.

 Yes, it may be May.  But the weather has taken a while to get the message.

The start of last month was the coldest on record since the 60s; it’s only been a matter of weeks since I last reported severe snow in Wales; and it’s fair to say most of us are hardly out of overcoats and thick tights.  Winter has so hogged the limelight this year, that Spring has barely yet sneaked a turn on the seasonal stage and Summer is still somewhere in the wings, learning its lines.

It hasn’t always been so shy of attention.  Unless my memories are belied by nostalgia, I’m sure I remember long, hot adolescent summer times played out to the soundtrack of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  So why has balmy Britain retreated to the shadows?  Well, science is working on that.  Recently, a hardy ITV news crew visited a small research station in the Arctic.  There they spoke to experts who believe that rapid melting of the ice may be responsible.  A smaller temperature difference between the Arctic and us, means a slower jet stream and longer spells of colder temperatures here.

The result: weirder winters and a nation deficient in Vitamin D.  With reserves in short supply, we’ve all been in extended hibernation until things warm up a degree or two.

Tortoises, perhaps, can teach us a thing or two about this.   Continue reading