Brrrrr! Ireland could be headed for its most extreme winter in 50 years


A very long winter could be ahead for us poor Irish folks, if a certain weather predicition is to be believed.

The earlier-than-usual arrival of a migratory swan from Siberia to the UK has been taken as a strong sign that a harsh winter is on the way for Western Europe.

A flock of over 300 Bewick swans migrate each year from Arctic Russia to a natural reserve in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, with their arrival usually heralding the beginning of the winter season.

The first of this year's flock arrived on Monday October 13, the earliest appearance since 1963, and 25 days ahead of last year's date.

An old Russian proverb, based on the belief that migratory swans fly ahead of cold weather, states that "the swan brings snow on its bill."

Before you go panic-buying woolly jumpers though, it might be best to wait, because so far only one swan has touched down at the reserve.

"Of course, we can't infer much from the arrival of a single swan but it's certainly exciting this bird has arrived so early," Slimbridge swan expert Julia Newth told the Daily Telegraph.

"It's only a year old and because it has made it all the way here on its own, we assume that it must have come to Slimbridge last year with its parents."

The lone young swan has been named Record Breaker in honour of his speedy flying.

in other extreme weather news, the weather phenomenon that caused our snowy winter six years ago is at its strongest ever.

The El Nino effect, which occurs when ocean temperatures rise in the eastern Pacific, causes knock-on effects around the globe.

Met Eireann has yet to predict any snow (thank GOD), but ground frost has been forecast for the rest of the week.