This remarkable turnaround was brought about simply because the wind changed direction from the icy east to the warm west. This is the first time the temperature here has been above zero for a fortnight.
Although the main roads have been clear there has been such a sense of drama in all the news bulletins that most people have been afraid to travel and the Lake District has had very few visitors, which is a pity because they have missed seeing the countryside at its most beautiful. This is how Paul Simons, who writes on the weather in the Times, describes it:
“As if by magic, a winter wonderland has appeared. Every tree, fence and blade of grass looks as if it has been sprayed with icing sugar, glittering and sparkling in the winter sunshine. This is a frost, but no ordinary frost. It is called rime, and appears as a thick coat of white crystals in exceptionally cold weather. And if the wind blows, the rime forms thick streaks on the side of a tree or any other object facing the direction of the wind, making it look like icy spears bursting out”.