Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University

Dear Winter, You’re Late

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Every one living in the Northern hemisphere of our planet can relate to the topic of this article. Winter is late and seems to be stronger than ever. When all of December and January went away without sub-zero temperatures and snow, I gave up on seeing snow again this year. I was looking forward to it because now since I am used to it, I would have enjoyed it more.

Winter was so mild that people were thinking, “Is that all you got? Come on, show me real winter.” and so, Mother Earth obliged. All of Europe, including UK, Rome, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, France, Hungary and Germany has seen the worst temperatures in decades. As many as 176 people in all of Europe, mostly homeless, died in this unforgiving weather. In response, many counties declared emergencies to help people who are in dire need of shelter. In Germany, temperatures started to plummet from last week of January and they are still down. The temperature in Aachen has been hovering around -10 degree Celsius but still weather in Aachen has been kind to the city if you compare it with the rest of Germany or Europe. Also, amount of snow fall in Aachen has been less.

The colder temperatures have its perks as well. For example, in the city of Hamburg, frozen lake festivities will take place after around 15 years, locally known as “Alstervergnügen”. Also, geologists in Warstein in North Rhein-Westphalia were very happy and excited to see the “turbo-stalagmites”, the ice stalagmites formed in limestone caves. In India, places which generally never suffer with temperatures below 10 degrees are facing nearly freezing temperatures this time around. In Nasik, the place from where our dear friend Hemant is from, temperatures of 2.7 degree Celsius has been recorded two days ago. Nasik is by the way a place where the lowest average temperature in any month is 10 degrees. North India has suffered the most. Very heavy snowfalls in Jammu & Kashmir and nearby areas have blocked highways and supplies to the state. The resulting severe cold wave has affected nearly the entire country, including the southern states like Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Officially it is still winter and Spring hasn’t started yet but I won’t be surprised if this lasts for another few weeks and Spring is delayed a bit as well.

  1. Yeah… sometimes temperature is low in Nasik but now it does not affect me much. Because now, Aachen has made me that much resistant to cold. Luckily, I got to experience snowfall at least once before I left for India. :)

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