Big Freeze: Britain Braced For Blizzards

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. dong20

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    Big Freeze: Britain Braced For Blizzards - Yahoo! News UK
    24 hrs later
    Britain begins to thaw after bad weather - Yahoo! News UK

    I've been reading about this coming for days but as I look out of my window right now it's blue sky and clouds with almost zero wind, yesterday was wall to wall blue sky, if a tad chilly mainly due the slight to moderate windchill. London usually escapes the worst of the weather anyway so no surprise there really.

    Not to trivialise (I know there's been at least one fatality due to high winds blowing over a lorry and some parts of Scotland can experience truly severe weather) but why do we seem so often to massively overreact to, seem paralysed with fear with and have an inability to cope with what is, by any reasonably objective weather an inch, maybe two of snow, a stiff breeze and a bit of chill?

    Have any folk here been massively affected by this 'arctic' weather?
     
  2. Mem

    Mem
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    When was the last time you did have a Blizzard or a heavy snowfall of 6 inches or more?
     
  3. dong20

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    Well it's not that rare as such in terms of depth in that it happens somewhere most years, but the thing is extreme weather is relative of course. It was more about our (over)reaction to it.

    Some 'interesting' snowfall info.

    British Winter Snowfall Events 1875-2007
     
  4. rob_just_rob

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    These things are all relative.

    For example, everyone in the ROC likes to mock Toronto for basically shutting down whenever they get more than 15 cm of snow. If you're used to getting lots of snow (like Montreal seems to be), it's no big deal. If you aren't, it is.
     
  5. Principessa

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    Agreed!
     
  6. B_Italian1

    B_Italian1 New Member

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    So much for global warming. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  7. dong20

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    Oh crap, here we go...:rolleyes::biggrin1:
     
  8. ZOS23xy

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    Global warming? If you knew social history, you'd find a general freeze from some time back, when Greenland was cultivated and had vinyards, and more recently, after the mini-ice age, that there were carnivals held on the Hudson River in the winter because the ice was so thick it could support hundreds of people...

    ...I've been wonder why science has become a political tool rather than a guideline.
     
  9. Gillette

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    Affected, sure. I'm using my cell phone as a modem because the highspeed has been knocked out from the most recent storm west of PEI.

    I think it's mostly about preparedness. Some areas, like Toronto and Vancouver, don't typically get much snow accumulation so when they do it takes longer to deal with it. Even in areas where we are accustomed to Mother Nature's sense of humour I find that people have a short memory. The first snow fall creates havoc on the roads despite the fact that such driving conditions aren't new to us and the stores get strafed for snow and ice removal products as though somehow folks thought that this would be our first snow free winter.

    As if.:rolleyes:
     
  10. SpeedoGuy

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    I've been forecasting weather professionally for 22 years, particularly in specialized severe weather patterns.

    You're not dreaming, dong. The trend of over-sensationalizing mediocre weather events is growing worse year by year. It began first with media weather broadcasts but is now spreading even to government agencies who should be immune to such brazen over-hyping tactics.

    Sadly, that's not the case. Sensationalizing even mediocre weather events is a crass, attention-grabbing tactic that boosts ratings for the broadcast media, who, at least in the US, are more interested in increasing ratings than relaying accurate information. Even the government agency I once worked for also fell victim to this mindset.

    The downside of over-hyping mediocre weather events is, of course, that the public eventually tires of the "cry wolf" tendency on the part of weather broadcasters and loses respect for the value of the forecast. Eventually a dangerous storm will arrive but by then the public won't care because of years of being conditioned to ignore severe weather warnings.

    As I forecaster I always tried to fight the over-sensationalizing trend, but, sadly, the management of the agency I worked for was more interested in hype than science. I eventually left.

    Anyway, you can view European weather pattern forecasts at:

    wxloop europe_thkn_slp 31
     
  11. B_Italian1

    B_Italian1 New Member

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    I don't believe it. :tongue:
     
  12. SpeedoGuy

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    Another example of conveniently mistaking weather for climate.
     
  13. rexcasual

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    No shit. I am a long-time Toronto resident. I lived in Montreal as a child, and then in rural Ontario, and to this day cannot understand the Toronto over-reaction to weather. My kid's school actually closed at noon yesterday during a typical winter snowstorm. Parents had to leave work or make arrangements to pick up their kids with an hour notice. A severe weather warning with dangerous ice or power blackouts would make a just cause for that type of reaction. It seems a trifle bizarre to me. I can see why the Rest of Canada (ROC) would find it a bit ridiculous. As one of my buddies who was a cub scout leader would smilingly say to his troop as they trained for winter camping, "There is no such thing as inclement weather — just inappropriate clothing." He wasn't born in Toronto either. :rolleyes:

    Back to the topic, Britons and Europeans are often inadequately prepared for severe weather. I hope it passes without any severe consequences. Many people ignore the news unless it's a bit sensational. And of course the news industry is usually most eager to deliver bad news.
     
  14. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    I'm still trying to stop laughing at the locals down here, who whip out the sweaters, jackets, and parkas in September when the temperatures drop to bone-chilling 88-89 degrees farenheit
     
  15. rob_just_rob

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    I explained it in the post you quoted. :biggrin1:

    If you're used to it, it's not a big deal. If you aren't, it is.
     
  16. ZOS23xy

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    People in London were seen to pass out from the heat wave in 1979 when the temp. hit 73 degree f.
     
  17. dong20

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    I'd agree with that, mostly.

    England rarely gets what I'd consider as severe weather - having experienced what I think would objectively be considered severe but not extreme perhaps elsewhere.

    But, when there's an inch or two of snow, or a stiff breeze or a downpour or a rare scorcher I don't throw up my hands in despair and run around like it's the end of the world, filling my car with everything from gloves through to arctic survival suit a portable water purifier and life raft to Andy McNabb and food rations for 3 months - just to pop to Tesco for some milk and a loaf.

    Ok, so I'm exaggerating somewhat to make a point, but you understand what I mean, right? That's really all I was trying to say.:cool:
     
  18. B_IanTheTall

    B_IanTheTall New Member

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    I predict that in about 9-1/2 months headlines will read:
    • Delivery room shortage across Britain
    • Population downturn reversed
    • Pension system will be secure after all, number of payers to increase in twenty years

    and my favorite is
    • Keeping warm through friction causes Pregnancy
     
  19. ZOS23xy

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    Hopefully, that population upturn will affect Scotland. It is there they advertise for people to immigrant to the land of the loch.
     
  20. eddyabs

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    I'm from southern England, and during the 70's and early 80's I remember being snowed in (6 feet or more) and unable to go to school for a few days for at least 6 of those winters.
    Nowadays, it's an extreme rarity if we get 2 inches, and if we do, it rarely lasts more than a day.

    They do seem to over-sensationalize the weather these days.

    As for HOT weather, anyone remember that heatwave in England a few summers back? I was in London, it was so hot it was almost frightening, I remember I was forced to retreat to the car and switch on the aircon, which was no use whatsoever...just stiflingly hot.
     
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