Saturday, 17 April 2010

Clear skies

The weather is ideal and there is a high-pressure system holding the weather pattern so that we can expect good weather for several more days. The sky is the clearest I can remember for many years, not a vapour trail in sight, and the lovely weather is also bringing the volcanic dust that has grounded all the flights in northern Europe for the last few days. We live under the westbound flight path for Heathrow and normally the sky is crisscrossed with vapour trails but this week the sky is totally trail free. We live near a military airfield too where practice flights and repatriated soldiers are brought in regularly but no sound from there either.
I am no spring chicken, and pre-date the introduction of jet passenger aircraft and recall when it happened but this is the first time I have known a total ban on air traffic for so long.
It should be slightly warmer today too because vapour trails reflect sunlight and therefore even on the sunniest days we never get all the sunshine down at ground level, but so does volcanic dust. The dust is not apparent and so far we have not experienced any fallout that may occur, but it is possible we would not even notice it, not being a jet engine. I wonder what the long term effect of this ban will be because the Greens keep telling us how much oxygen is used by aircraft and how much CO2 they generate, although the first effect will be a shortage of imported food stuffs, but will it eventually get colder because there is less CO2 around? We just have had the coldest winter for thirty years or so, so I hope not. Mind you no doubt the warm weather will result in a huge number of barbeques being lit, which may compensate for the missing CO2 emissions from the aircraft. I must remember to close the windows around mealtimes or our house will fill with the smell of burning fat.


  1. I see that they are now saying that test-flights have not been significantly affected by the ash. Is this simply another storm in a teacup? Still, which airline would take the chance and be the first to resume flights?

    I was wondering if Canada had perhaps become a recipient of the ashes. My car was mysteriously covered in yellow dust this morning -- but I think it must be pollen!

  2. Definitely a storm in a tea cup -- well perhaps not a storm maybe a little squall. But it sells newspapers and gives them something to print. I like your wry style, Pete!