The next time someone whinges about the weather, show them these pictures.
A year ago, the West Midlands was covered in snow and people wondered if we had entered a sort of real life Narnia – a place where it was always winter and never spring time.
Mother Nature has finally given us a break. Sunny skies, temperatures at a perfectly acceptable 55F (13C) and roads you can actually drive along without having to check whether they have been gritted.
Families have been able to go out and enjoy a walk around Wolverhampton’s West Park, feeding the ducks and looking at the daffodils, rather than having to wrap up the kids and spend half an hour clearing the drive just to go to the shops.
This mild weather started in the winter.
The Met Office said December was the third warmest on record with average temperatures at 47.7F (8.7C), compared with a typical 44F (6.7C) for 1981 to 2010.
The daffodils were out early but even in December, The Woodland Trust recorded snowdrops having appeared in some parts of the country while butterflies such as Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells were in the air.
What we have not seen much of, are insects. The National Trust thinks that the near constant rain we had for the first few months of the year had held them back.
Soil was saturated, bumblebees could not get out and caterpillars were slowed down.
Today, of course, our luck was expected to change. The forecast was rain, blustery showers and wind for most of the weekend.
But we should count ourselves lucky. Last year it was miserable as winter hung around like an unwelcome house guest.
Motorways were particularly treacherous today, the M6 closed at one point when a van overturned in the bad weather. The A34 Cannock Road had to be closed in both directions at Brocton between the Sawpit Lane junction and the Pottal Pool Road junction.
The snow drifts were piled several feet high. Schools and colleges that shut down, meaning parents had to make last minute care arrangements then try to get to work.
Now, however, it’s plain sailing, even if it’s looking a little cloudy overhead.Subscribe to our Newsletter