Today, 29th November 2010, the sea in Carlingford Lough appeared to be black.Black is bad, I always take the colour of the sea to be indicating something about the weather.The sea reflects the sky, the sky is the weather, the weather is coming from the Arctic, and I am remembering an old 'Tomorrow's World' BBC TV programme making the case that global warming is accompanied by global cooling. The only meteorological thing Ireland has going for it, an island on the same longitude as Newfoundland where the sea freezes over, is the gulf stream. Rostrevor, where I live, similar to parts of the south west coast of Ireland, is known for its mild climate, not today.If we were in Newfoundland the Lough would be frozen over and our children might use skis for getting to school.The gulf stream simply means we don't/shouldn't need snow mobiles, sleighs or winter tyres. So this is how it works- global warming melts the ice cap, this lowers the temperature of the North Atlantic and cools the gulf stream, Ireland ( and England?) freezes over.
The colours of the sea and sky when there is bad weather on the way is interesting. We all know the saying, 'a red sky in the morning is a shepherd's warning.' This simply means bad weather is coming from the east, the sky is very clear, accompanied by cold Siberian wind creating the record conditions of cold that we have today in South Down.
Other things you might look for if you have a mind to: red sky at lunch time in December, always always followed by very severe snow; green sky, what? Yes green sky, the last time there was green sky a thunder storm of biblical proportions exploded over England; we heard it in Ireland.
Other bad weather signs observed today that may or may not indicate the severity of the weather- up at Aldergrove airport three suns appeared to be in the sky, we have to presume this is an optical illusion, the ice in the air having a mirror effect, or it is the end of the world, take your pick; and I spotted a lapwing pecking about on the side of the road near Killowen.That lapwing has been seriously blown off course. I hope it doesn't get run over, or frozen, and that its not on it's own. It may stay here and even produce some offspring, if it's not the end of the world.