It's a Christmas tradition, here at Londonist, to maintain a chronicle of Daily Express weather warnings. (We say annual tradition... We've only done it once before, but hyperbole is very much the name of the game here, as we shall see.)
As the month goes on, the self-styled "newspaper" takes on an ever-more APOCALYPTIC approach to its weather features. Words such as BATTERED, CRIPPLED, BLITZ and BRUTAL are increasingly deployed in terrifying capital letters. December in Daily Express Land is always just days away from a SNOW BOMB or SHOCK BLIZZARD.
The winter of 2022 is going to be a difficult one for many, and the cold weather is a serious danger in these times of exceptionally high energy bills. Even so, the language used in these icy missives of doom is quite something to behold.
The road to the inevitable Daily Express White Christmas begins in November, when a "Broken jet stream" foreshadows the risk of snow to come.
Two days later, the "barrage of wind and rain" is a distant memory. Attention turns to a "Beast from the East", just DAYS away. The Express even has a photograph of said Beast, who looks deceptively affable in his pristine waistcoat.
Fast forward three days and it seems we were wrong about the Moss Bros guy. The real danger comes from a Troll. A Troll from Trondheim. And one capable of unleashing a plunge. Or something.
Lashed, then blanketed? Pretty much my Friday evening.
More plunging. More blizzards... sorry, 'blizzards'. Temperatures "may drop below -8C this week". On the other hand, they may not.
Some exemplary hedge-betting going on here. The UK will be blanketed "in days" but also "just before Christmas", according to these two articles published hours apart.
Things are getting serious. The words "smother", "savage", "brutal", "blast", "bitterly" and "smashes" have all been deployed. With the Beast from the East and the Troll from Trondheim in retreat, it's time to introduce three new baddies. Hello Polar Vortex, Pest from West and TRIPLE festive weather beast!!!!
We haven't had a mention of a white Christmas for a while, so better squeeze one in before the early December snow strikes.
More smothering and plunging in the standfirst, but just look at that temperature. -10!
"Yellow snow and ice warnings"? Yeah, we know a joke about that. Meanwhile, the gloves are off (or, rather, on) with the temperature predictions. We've dropped from -10 to -15 in 24 hours.
And now we've wobbled back to -12. Isn't "Arctic hell" a contradiction in terms?
This was the day when the snows came bigtime. Britain was crippled, but more by train strikes than the white stuff.
Twin headlines today, collectively predicting a battleground of rollercoasters. Beats tank warfare, we suppose.
And we have a new lowest bidder, with a bone-chilling -17 predicted. The rollercoaster fun will be cleared away by a "wall of snow" that will bulldoze the country.
To be continued...