Wooler Weather – Past, Present and in the Future.
Allan Colman from Milfield knows about weather and in a talk illustrated with his own photographs and interspersed with his own weather poetry he told members and guests of Glendale Local History Society all about it – what makes it, what changes it, how it was and what it might do in the future.
Allan’s enthusiasm for the weather is a lifetime passion. He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, writes on the subject, and observes it daily.
It is often said that no two days are alike. Allan explained how research done on ice cores indicate that the earth, in historic time, has undergone alternate warming and cooling such that no two eras are alike. The famous mini ice age in the 17th century when the river Thames froze is an example of that. In contrast it is thought that there were periods in the middle ages when Europe was warmer than it is now.
In his research into the weather in Glendale Allan related how he had found attendance records from the school at Southernknowe in the College Valley useful. Most winters it seems snowfalls made life a challenge for both teachers and pupils. One winter the boys had to dig a way across the school yard to get out at break time!
What we experience – whether we are wet, dry, hot or frozen - comes as the result of numerous different weather phenomena. Allan explained how cloud, mist, fog and frost form and gave an explanation to terms such as front, occlusion and dew-point that describe how weather is progressing.
When considering the future the apparent cyclical nature of climate and the observation that the earth is getting hotter provoked some lively discussion.
What we are doing to the earth – the generation of warming gases such as methane and carbon dioxide – what the sun is doing to the earth with increased sunspot activity and what the earth itself is doing with volcanic events all contribute to global warming.
Where global warming is taking us and whether it is good or bad are questions that were left, as is said, hanging in the air!