I thought I would look in my "Seed Time & Harvest", the diary of an Essex Farmer – William Barnard of Harlowbury by Joyce Jones – to see what the weather was like in April.
The weather this day very ungenial ...the severe frost have checked vegetation very much which the previous mild weather had caused to be forwarder than had been known for many years.I should have tried to sow Grassy piece with barley this day had I not been at malt carting; it has now been plowed about a month & having once got dry it was useless to attempt to sow it without rain, but if we do not have more showers I am not sure I can do it next week. I never remember so long a time this season in the year without rain.
So unseasonable and unusual weather can be caused by things other than man-made pollution. April 1811 was obviously unusual. The severe frosts William Barnard mentions in his diary were causing him problems and then the long period of dry weather, also unexpected in April – there wouldn't be the saying "April showers" if the month is not usually wet – prevented him from planting his barley.
The long-range weather forecast for 2014 is for the hottest summer ever – May to August the temperatures are expected to be in the 30s. Is this expected heat wave a product of deforestation and carbon emissions or just part of the world's natural cycle? Even the Americans now believe there is something called "global warming" but I'm not sure they accept this is damaging our world and changing weather patterns.
What do you think?
Fenella J Miller