The Beeb, Swallows Hard, Says It’s Cold & Snowy

Oh, that’s gotta sting!

20 January 2013 Last updated at 07:37 ET

Frozen UK braced for more ice and snow

Ice and freezing temperatures are to continue across the UK, as further snow falls – particularly in eastern parts of the country.

BBC Weather said snow flurries were expected for much of the UK throughout Sunday.

Up to 8cm (3in) is forecast for south-east and eastern England spreading to parts of north-eastern England later.

Travel disruption will continue and Heathrow Airport will be hit by a third day of cancellations and delays.

The airport has reduced Sunday’s flight schedule by 20% because of forecast snow and low visibility.

Airport managers said the planned reduction – which amounts to 200-250 flights – should create enough space in the timetable to prevent any further cancellations.

London City Airport has also been affected and has closed its runway until 14:00 GMT.

The airport urged passengers to check their flight status before traveling to the airport.

All delivered with that typically British style. You just know someone is fuming over the story, but it must be done, so stiff upper lip and soldier on…

Hey, I grew up with it from my Mum who taught me to “persevere” despite the emotional status. She being English.

But you just know that deep down inside, someone, somewhere at The Beeb, is just gritting their teeth…

It goes on:

The weather has also disrupted train services.

Eurostar, Southeastern and South West Trains have all reported either delays or cancellations due to the adverse conditions.

In other developments:

Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has said an avalanche, in which four climbers were killed on Saturday, was an ‘appalling tragedy’.

In County Down, power has been restored to homes after engineers worked through Friday and Saturday. The power cut due to heavy snow and high winds had affected more than 2,000 homes.

The eastbound carriageway of the M48 Severn Bridge has reopened but the westbound carriageway remains closed due to ice.

In Essex, a crash in heavy snow has blocked the southbound carriageway of the A12.

Which all sounds like quite a mess.

The Met Office has issued a yellow “be aware” ice warning covering almost the whole of England, all of Wales and Northern Ireland, and the south-west corner of Scotland.

The warning says: “The public should be aware of the risk of localised difficult travel conditions due either to existing snow cover, or to icy surfaces.”

I don’t know how bad “Yellow” is, but presume the only thing left worse is “Red”?

Road conditions in parts of the south have been described as “miserable” and drivers have been warned to take extra care after sub-zero temperatures turned snow on some roads to black ice.

Meanwhile, Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital, which put out a call for help from 4×4 drivers to help transport staff, said it had been “overwhelmed” by the response.

Well, they certainly don’t seem to be varnishing things much. “Miserable” is pretty clear.

Needing 4 x 4 trucks to get staff to the hospital is also pretty clear. Do find it humorous that they are surprised at the turnout. All those folks with 4 x 4 vehicles, waiting patiently for some reason to have spent the money to buy them, years of spousal “looks” and friends remarks; their chance for vindication and to show up at work pronouncing “I and my 4 x 4 were needed to ferry staff to Hospital.” Delivered with the necessary dismissive ‘Snif’… God, you’d have them lined up around the bloody block. And it seems that they were ;-)

Looks like it’s not getting better any time soon, either:

Forecasters said the snowfall would continue in much of eastern Scotland and north-east England on Monday, while there could also be flurries in southern England and Northern Ireland.

Cold weather is anticipated across the UK throughout Sunday, with temperatures at or about freezing in most areas and BBC Weather predicting a possible low of -8C in Dorchester, Dorset, on Sunday night.

North, south, east, “most areas”… Looks like the whole place is going into the meat locker. The article has a color map (much blue on it) showing snow most everywhere but Ireland. Then again, most of Ireland (the island) is not in the UK. Perhaps God is an Irishman ;-) Or at least not an Orange. Snow only expected in “Northern Ireland”? ;-)

There are times when nature sure does seem to have a sense of humor and fair play.

Though I do hope this doesn’t go on too long or be too miserable. After all, 1/2 of my family tree is still over there. (The rest is scattered around the globe. Australia, Canada, Germany, Denmark / Scandinavia, a bit of France; and wherever they then went in later years. Some of the German / Swiss / Amish kin ended up in parts of South America ( I think mostly Argentina) but that’s a more distant connection.

At any rate, wishing those still in the UK and Northern Europe a quick return to warming. For the family in County Mayo, Ireland, I wish them continued lack of snow.

As for the BBC: Just read the lines, smile to the camera, even if only a little smile, and “carry on”.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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26 Responses to The Beeb, Swallows Hard, Says It’s Cold & Snowy

  1. adrianvance says:

    The weather we are seeing is far more consistent with the Le Chateleir Principle and the Malinkovich Cycle than would be a warming trend where water vapor does 99.8% of all atmospheric heating and adding CO2 reduces the amount of water vapor air can hold. This was what happened during the late 30’s when we geared up for, fought WW2 burning down Europe and Japan.

    Come see us at The Two Minute Conservative, and when you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.

  2. Steve Crook says:

    I’ve been wondering if we should have a new public holiday here in the UK, it wouldn’t be a regular public holiday, but would be triggered by the first day in winter when snow causes delays or cancellation on any form of public transport in England or Wales. We would call it Viners day.

    Oh, I excluded Scotland because it would make the whole thing too easy…

  3. pleiotropik says:

    Global warming/climate change is a joke so stale that even Gaia has decided to NOT laugh. Give the britons some (Carbon) credit for prolonging the life of a zombie consensus way beyond the flat line.

  4. eqibno says:

    Today Flurries ending early this afternoon then clearing. Risk of snow squalls this morning. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Local blowing snow. Wind south 20 km/h becoming west 30 gusting to 50 this morning. Temperature falling to minus 18 this afternoon. Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 26. Wind chill minus 32.
    Monday Sunny. High minus 20.
    Tuesday Sunny. Low minus 32. High minus 21.
    Wednesday A mix of sun and cloud with 30 % chance of flurries. Low minus 34. High minus 19.
    Thursday Sunny. Low minus 29. High minus 18.
    Friday Sunny. Low minus 30. High minus 17.
    Saturday A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 25. High minus 13.

    Knowing when NOT to complain is a virtue…lol.
    Please note the Wednesday forecast, snow AND bitter cold.
    The Canadian Shield certainly doesn’t shield us from winter weather. ;-)

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    Just waiting for the Thames to be frozen…Buy more popcorn!

    Years when the Thames froze
    From 1400 into the 19th century, there were 24 winters in which the Thames was recorded to have frozen over at London; if “more or less frozen over” years (in parentheses) are included, the number is 26: 1408, 1435, 1506, 1514, 1537, 1565, 1595, 1608, 1621, 1635, 1649, 1655, 1663, 1666, 1677, 1684, 1695, 1709, 1716, 1740, (1768), 1776, (1785), 1788, 1795, and 1814.

  6. Jeff Alberts says:

    SUVs are evil, unless you need them when Global Warming falls on the ground.

    Had a similar situation when I live in Virginia in 1995 and 96. Two really heavy snows two years in a row. I had a Toyota 4×4 pickup, worked night shift for a major telecom company in the Network Operations Center, so we were considered “essential personnel”. I would ferry a couple folks into work for my shift, and even picked up a couple of the morning crew when my shift was over. Almost 30 inches of snow in places than hadn’t been plowed. But the Toyota soldiered on… In Virginia, every other person has a 4×4, well, not necessarily the kind you’d take offroad, but still. One person I shuttled had an older F150 4×4, but she was scared to death of driving in the snow.

  7. Graeme says:


    Back in 1814, the Thames was much wider when it ran through London as the Embankments had not been built. The river came up as far as the Strand – if you know London. So the stream was a lot slower. The stream was also slowed by the piers of the old London Bridge which actged like a kind of weir, causing a mini-waterfall at some states of the tide. So I would be very surprised to see the Thames freeze – it would take a good few days of below zero temps..

  8. Verity Jones says:

    It’s horrible wet claggy snow where we are – not pleasant. It has snowed lightly most of the day but the lying snow melted at the same rate as the accumulation. Every where looks as if it has been thinly coated in foam which is semi translucent and you can see the road though it. It has that melting granular feel.

    BTW – just sent you an email.

  9. Petrossa says:

    No the never wrong, completely unbiased BBC isn’t gritting their teeth. This is ‘proof’ that CO2 causes extreme weather. They are buying cake and champagne, finally vindicated.

  10. crosspatch says:

    Joe Bastardi says they have yet another cold blast on the way.

    29 dead in Mexico from cold:

    “Historic” snow in the Pyrenees. 6-1/2 feet on the ground, another 2 feet due this weekend. More on the way.

    Germans stealing wood to keep warm:

    Snowpocalypse Russia. Worst since 1938.

    And more is on the way. One model is calling for -10F in NYC in about 8 days but that might not come to pass.

  11. peter_dtm says:

    There was a Red Warning for South Wales (no; not the new one :-) I believe that is enjoying a bit of a warm spell) and indeed; S Wales pretty much closed down.

    Here in the East Midlands (60 odd miles North North West of London Town) we have 2 -3 inches of global warming; and (just) sub zero temps all day.

    Ah yes; I do so enjoy not seeing snow any more – just a shame really; that global warming looks, smells and feels just like snow used to !

  12. Baa Humbug says:

    Not for the first time it’s extra cold in (parts of) one hemisphere whilst extra warm in (parts of) the other.
    Maybe we should look past the quirkiness of Stefan the Denier and look more carefully into what he is trying to hypothesize.

  13. Evan Highlander says:

    Say something ? DON’t just DON’T get me started !
    Here Boys! – You’re pulling my leg!
    Been watching TV on/off most of the day ( Friday ) an watching / having to HEAR / LISTEN to the utter waffle about all this Winter STORM ??
    LIke the King’s new clothes – “…. all this £ Millions spent on new equipment and Salt stocks… – to keep roads and Ports open . but the MEDIA encourages the Public through their Interviews ‘n Reports to STAY AT HOME if journeys not really necessary…. ! Now in principle that’s OK BUT How will anyone EVER get any experience of conditions and realise they need SnowChains ot at least WINTER TYRES etc ( And DO NOT NEED to have 16’s ( ie 4 x 4 )’s to get anywhere )
    Here in N of scotland it is fine and DRY and Warm – GLobal warming of course INIT ? -1C or thereabouts – it IS WINTER after all – and while I conclude this note it is now SUNDAY. But Yes we are lucky – THIS YEAR. Benn watching the WEather/ climate Docu’s last night on Independent TV Sat night – whole evening of them ….. Did we learn anything from our HISTORY

    Ohhh OH!!! WHATEVER HAPPENED to the Courses run by GOv’t in ’99 about the MILENNIUM BUG – wasn’t it about coping with whatever COULD GO WRONG – not just the Clock ??

    Och mannie – I better go and do something………… can someone elese finish this for me PLEASE ?

  14. DirkH says:

    The planet seems to have no probelm at all radiating heat to space. Warmists should jump for joy in the streets; the heat death of the Earth has been postponed again.

    Here in Germany it’s -5 deg C and 10 cm of snow in the low lying areas all across the country. Business as usual, lots of salt on the major streets. Driving only with winter tyres recommended. What was the problem in the UK again? ;-)

  15. crosspatch says:

    Hundreds of flights cancelled in Paris and London due to snow with more snow on the way:

  16. crosspatch says:

    Business as usual, lots of salt on the major streets.

    They’re back to using salt again? When I was there in the late 70’s and early 80’s they were using some sort of stuff called “granulad” but I can’t find any recent reference to the stuff so it looks like they have stopped using it. It sucked. It got between brake rotors and pads and caused problems.

  17. DirkH says:

    crosspatch says:
    21 January 2013 at 4:31 am
    “They’re back to using salt again? When I was there in the late 70′s and early 80′s they were using some sort of stuff called “granulad” but I can’t find any recent reference to the stuff so it looks like they have stopped using it.”

    Salt on the highways and major roads, Granulat (small pointy stones) on all pedestrian ways. Yes, might be that they tried that stuff on highways some time ago, but they sure don’t do that anymore. The 80ies and 90ies had MUCH less snow and ice so maybe that’s why they thought that could work.

    The Granulat will stick around til April and creates business for makers of bicycle tyres.

  18. Mark Miller says:

    I agree with Petrossa. They always have an answer. AGW is *never* contradicted, evidence be damned. If it’s below zero and a snowstorm comes through, global warming. If it’s 100 degrees F during the summer, global warming. If it’s 70 degrees F one day in January, or we get a spate of tornadoes in the same month, global warming. It fits every situation. It’s like saying, “This, too, shall pass.”

    What they say about winter storms is that global warming causes more moisture to evaporate, and so more moisture for the snow storm… Never mind the temperature. What the alarmists say is, “So it’s cold. It’s winter. Duh.”

    Never mind the “weather is not climate” business. They get to talk about the weather as further evidence of AGW. You don’t get to use it for “it’s just natural.” They’re insufferable, and I think they know it.

  19. philjourdan says:

    How many winters running now does that make it “cold” in Europe? I saw where Southern California had its second hard freeze in the last 5 years (got down to 24 in El Centro). And until now, we have had a mild winter back east (not warm like last year, just normal).

    I would say the “weather” is behaving normally – i.e. unpredictable.

  20. adrianvance says:

    They used to use some kind of calcium salt in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but I believe they quit since it not only caused all the cars to “rust out” and literally fall apart, but was the cause of that bridge collapse they had in the 90’s. The salting has not been made the official reason for the bridge failing as that would unlock their “act of God” dodge.

    Come see us at The Two Minute Conservative, and when you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.

  21. Paul Hanlon says:

    Well, God was an Irishman this year and last – maybe he rotates around different countries like the EU presidency – of which Ireland is currently the holder.
    We just had our first flurry of snow today in Dublin, and it is pretty much melted out now. Last year, we may have had one flurry. That said, both last year and this, Central Europe had / is having a really bad time of it. It’s probably the loopy jet stream blocking the cold front from getting to Ireland, and if it is, long may it continue.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Paul Hanlon:

    There would nay ha been an Englishman disparaging Ireland and calling for control o’ the weather lately? Might a just pissed off the All Mighty that someone were being so smug an’ full o’ conceit … just enough to give you a spot of blessing and shew him the fool ;-)

    Headed to L.A. sometime next week. I’ll give a report on the cold, if it is still hanging around. Today in the SF Area was pleasant…

  23. Paul, Somerset says:

    The BBC isn’t letting this story die!

    20 March 2013 Last updated at 07:47
    Spring equinox today but winter lingers

    By John Hammond
    BBC Weather

    Even the daffodils are missing
    At 11.02 GMT today the sun crosses the Equator and for the next 6 months, the days will be longer than the nights. Spring has sprung – and we can finally banish the winter blues. Well that’s the theory. In practice however, the nation continues to shiver beneath several layers of clothing, very little is growing in the ground and our weather forecasts continue to warn of ice, snow and severe wind-chill.

    The statistics are even more sobering: so far, March 2013 has been colder than both this winter’s December and January. The average temperature (day and night combined) for the UK this March to date is currently around 3 Celsius; it should normally be nearer 6C.

    The chill really set in during February, and winter has dragged on ever since. The reason has been the persistence of easterly winds from a frozen Continent – winds which have chilled the North Sea to just 4 or 5 degrees C. Hardly surprising, then, that eastern parts of the UK have suffered the most.

    Moaning about the Great British Weather is a national sport, but when such conditions impact on our livelihood, the effects are particularly serious. Farmers are perhaps suffering most from the cold. After such a wet year, the ongoing lack of either warm or dry weather means that many fields remain waterlogged and unworkable.

    More at:

    Fun aside, it’s the last sentence, concerning fields remaining unworkable, which I find sobering. As I commented in your thread on cereals which thrive in cold, wet conditions, it doesn’t matter how well the crop grows in theory if you can’t access your land to plant and/or harvest it.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @Paul, Somerset:

    I don’t worry so much about the cold, as the wet. For the “access to the field” problem, but also for the “knock down the grains” problem.

    During the L.I.A. a lot of the famine was due to heavy rains flattening grain fields.

    Per the Beeb:

    I get this suspicion that someone a bit up in government has been hit with a ‘clue stick’ that it is NOT warming up and that maybe, just maybe, they were sold a bill of goods on the whole Global Warming thing… That then this “clue” has started to be distributed around a bit, and some of went to the BBC.

    It just seems like an oh so small, but clear, step has been taking toward “Neutral” on AGW while a ‘rethink’ happens…

    (So I’m hoping there is snow on the ground in May ;-)

  25. Paul, Somerset says:

    Your wish is granted!
    30 May 2013
    “This spring is on track to be the coldest for more than 50 years, provisional Met Office figures suggest.
    This month has seen lower than average temperatures and it has been wetter than usual, forecasters said.

    Earlier this month, snow hit Shropshire and Devon and Cornwall …”

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh Boy! Just one more day to June… June snow would kind of make the point ;-)

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