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At What Point Are Adverse Weather Conditions Considered Normal?

January 23rd, 2010 @ 14:43 BST by Richard Stowey

Mini in the snow

Snow in the UK generally means that the country comes to a halt. Planes are grounded, cars stuck in their driveways and trains in the station. During the snowy and icy conditions, the national rail system blames delays and cancellations on ‘adverse weather conditions’. But how long before adverse becomes normal?

Adverse describes something which is acting against or in a contrary direction. So, in the case of a train journey attempting to get from A to B, adverse weather conditions are forces which are acting against these efforts. This is mainly because the weather is abnormal, unexpected, unprecedented and improperly forecast and prepared for.

How long will it be, and how many weeks or months of the year does it have to be snowy, icy and adverse weather conditions, before it’s considered normal. If it snowed every day of the year we’d all have snow tyres. If it snowed every day of the year, I expect the trains would have snowploughs on the front. So why not build it in anyway.

This year, it snowed for around 2 weeks in some areas of the country. That’s about 4% of the year. I would estimate that anything around 10 to 20% could be considered expected. 20 to 40% could be considered normal and 40% plus could be assumed as probable.

So, what can we do about it? My answer is be prepared to spend a little bit of time and money on tools, equipment and clothes to help us prepare for these scenarios. When they come along, everyone is prepared!

Photo by Richard Stowey

  • http://www.curiousme.com Pinar

    Good post, but I do have some reservation about preparig for this 40% that is expected. This can anly be assumped to happen within the next 10 – 15 years. Although the snow comes and trains stop, it isn’t because we were not prepared but it is because the train services did not act accordingly to their superiors when warning were given.

    Allowing the train services to have snow plows on the front of each train will need a lot of money. The money would essential come from us commuters and tax payers. For the 4% of snow and ice presently I think it wouldn’t be worth spending millions of pounds just for that week or two of snow. Having efficient amount of grit and salt for the roads, train tracks, schools and hospitals is what is really needed at the moment.

    I certainly don’t want to be paying more for my train tickets in and out of London just to cover the 4% of snow.

    I am pretty sure with a little more organisation, delegation, effective spending of money, fast working and people listening to warnings, the 4% of snow at present will be covered better and for the the future.

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