Love snow or loathe it, you’d be hard pushed to find many UK residents this week who haven’t found themselves impacted in some way by what are predicted to be the country’s worst blizzards since 1962. Few parts of the country have been unaffected: in central Scotland, an unprecedented red weather warning saw motorists on the M80 trapped in their vehicles overnight. Weather conditions in Lincolnshire and Cambridge led to fatal car accidents. More than 330 schools were closed in Kent alone.
If cold weather is predictable in the British winter, our grumbling reaction to it is even more so. As transport infrastructure and large parts of the public and private sectors grind to a halt, comparisons to the likes of New York, Canada and Scandinavia begin. Why is a country known for its cold weather so unprepared for snow? If these places can carry on as usual through extreme blizzards, why can’t we? South Western Railway’s decision to cancel all trains after 8pm tonight comes after passengers were forced to endure a night after a train broke down last night.
The service from London Waterloo to Weymouth ground to a halt near Christchurch, Dorset, on after the train track providing it with power froze.
Four other trains to stop behind it and forced passengers to endure a night without heating or electricity inside the carriages. The ‘Beast from the East’ has wreaked havoc across the UK this week, bringing sub-zero temperatures, travel chaos and heavy snow fall.
But the white stuff isn’t over yet – with up to 20 inches expected to fall in some parts of the country as extreme weather maintains its iron grip.
Hundreds of motorists were left stranded overnight as strengthening winds sparked blizzard conditions and brought roads to a standstill trapped in their cars.
And forecasters have warned the country “is not out of the woods yet” – with the effects of Storm Emma adding to those of the icy Siberian chill. A staggering 50cm (20 inches) of snow could fall over parts of Dartmoor, Exmoor and south east Wales, forecasters have said. Temperatures will once again be below freezing for many areas of the UK during the day, with strong winds making it feel even chillier.
Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates said: “We are not out of the woods yet. There’s further snow to come, as well as a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain. Snow Winter Spring “Winter 2018” Snowing Weather “weather forecast” train travel traveling drive driving “driving conditions” 2018 work “off work” drift home “heavy snow” england UK “United Kingdom” Europe flights flying power cold heat heating “cold weather” ice freeze blizzard wind windy summer “summer 2018” sun “british weather” british britain easter “Even parts of London and the South East are not immune to seeing more snow through the afternoon – not as much as yesterday, but still enough to cause further disruption.” The heaviest snow is forecast over much of western, central and southeastern New York state with the likelihood of at least a few inches of snow around New York City.
However, it’s possible that much heavier snow falls in New York City to perhaps as far south as Philadelphia. A matter of a couple of degrees Fahrenheit may make a difference.
How quickly cold air is drawn into the storm near the end will determine how far south snow falls in the mid-Atlantic and in southeastern New England.
In lieu of high winds, the snow will be heavy and wet enough to weigh down trees and power lines. The weight of the snow, whether it be a few inches to 18 inches will be difficult to shovel and plow. And as it moves into the Midlands, Wales and central Ireland, it will turn to snow as it runs up against the colder air, forecasters say.
This will then move into Northern Ireland, northern England and Scotland, before turning back to rain.
Forecaster Hannah Findley, of The Weather Channel, said more snow was likely with frontal systems moving warmer air into the bitterly cold flow, while lying snow was expected to persist for a “few days”. london birmingham manchester