Contrails: the jet streams wrapped around the planet are broad rivers of wind often thousands of kilometres long, shifting between north and south as seasons change. Illustration: Michael Viney

Between the slashing hail squalls borrowed from Canada’s winter, I kept an eye on the sky above the mountain, looking for contrails speeding far too f(...)

Farmer Donald O'Reilly rescues a sheep trapped in a snow drift in the Aughafatten area of Co Antrim last week. Photograph:  Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

What a difference a year makes; a year ago Europe was basking in some of the warmest spring temperatures recorded. Last week all that seemed a very(...)