Thursday, February 23, 2012

The UK as Hot as Morocco?

If there was ever a question about the climate changing and normal patterns going topsy-turvy, then the debate can be put aside. Just a few weeks ago Britain and Europe were undergoing extreme cold with a Siberian cold front sweeping south. Now, the weather has changed again. British newspaper, always keen to boast about warm weather, are glowing with pride that Britain is as warm than Morocco - at least today.

The Daily Mail says, "If you're thinking about flying south in search of some winter warmth, you may be wasting your time. Britain will be as hot as Morocco and Barcelona today as the mercury nudges 18C (64F). This is around 10C warmer than average for this time of year – and puts the UK on a par with northern Africa."

And it will also be milder than Athens, where it will reach just 13C (55F). The highest temperatures in the UK are expected in the Midlands, north-east Wales, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, while London and much of Scotland are predicted to reach 16C (60F).

As one Daily Mail reader said "Do you think that a Morocco Newspaper has the headline! WEATHER SHOCK. WE'RE COLDER THAN PONTEFRACT!" - Well, actually, Simon, yes!

Meanwhile, in Morocco Fez is 16 Celsius, Rabat 19 and Marrakech 17.

Up in the Atlas mountains it is a different story. Magharebia is reporting that the Moroccan government is promising to look into the needs of isolated communities hard hit by an unusually severe winter.

Magharebia says that people living in remote regions of Morocco were hard hit this winter by an unprecedented cold snap, with some villages cut off from the rest of the country by snowfall. But residents could soon see assistance thanks to a programme run by the Mohammed V Foundation and the interior ministry.

Reaching some High Atlas villages is difficult at the best of times

Beni Mellal resident Hajja Fadma told Magharebia that during the 65 years of her life, she has seen women dying in childbirth and babies dying of cold and isolation because of a lack of assistance and chaotic driving conditions on the roads.

"The cold is so bad that we feel we're going to die and there is little we can do to keep ourselves warm," she said.

To address the situation, the Mohammed V Foundation allocated six million dirhams on to an assistance programme run with the interior ministry and the Royal Gendarmerie. Launched February 8th, the project aims to help those living in remote mountain villages in the Azilal-Beni Mellal region and elsewhere.


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