Friday, 18 January 2013

Red Alert! Red Alert! Severe Weather Warning for Snow

Weekly Weather Report

It's been a tough week. After an unusually mild winter (so far), things took a turn this week.

We had sleet on Monday that froze in the night. We woke on Tuesday to sheet ice covering the roads and pavements. Luckily I don't have to drive 50 miles to work anymore, but driving locally is still fraught with problems. If I was based in one school it would be fine - walk and stay. But my job involves driving around a number of schools each day. Impossible on Tuesday. So I walked to my first school (4 miles), stopping off at McDonalds for a cheeky hot chocolate to sustain me.

It was too far both in terms of distance and time to reach my next school in time for their session, so I walked back home (I live at the top of a very steep hill on the valley slope...) to collect my car - by then the roads were good enough to drive on.

Wednesday remained very cold, but the roads were ok. Yesterday was horrible though! We learned that the Met Office had issued a Yellow Alert for the whole of the UK for snow, starting around 3am this morning. Some parts got an Amber Alert.

Guess what we got...? A Red!

Red Weather Alert

Now a Red Alert is, we are told, extremely unusual. People went mad! This is not unusual - there is normally a bit of a panic when snow is forecast, but this time it was different. It was like Christmas all over again - queuing up the aisles at supermarket checkouts.There was no bread or milk left in the supermarkets - and this makes me laugh. It doesn't matter what the weather throws at you - you'll be fine provided you've got bread and milk. We could be in a nuclear holocaust but it would all be fine provided you have bread and milk... One boy posted to FB that he didn't mind about the snow because he had his milk sandwiches - :-)

Empty bread shelves Tesco
No bread today
And it came with a vengeance. Blizzard conditions with drifting snow. I have to admit, I have seen worse. In 1978 our school residential was cancelled just as we were due to board the coach - I was one very disappointed kid. In 1981 it was waist high and we waded home - took us a good few hours. In 2010 we had severe ice and snow that started in November and didn't disappear until February! Talk about Narnia! But this has come as quite a shock due to the mild weather we've had so far. There's just no escaping it though... Just look at this poor weatherman! He's actually reporting from my town. I think he could do with a Macdonald's hot chocolate... Click on the image to see the video report.

All of the schools in the Authority have been closed, which saves me MUCH stress. The Authority website looks like a red rag to a bull - red for closures. Here's a snapshot of just a section.

So, what to do today...? Well, I'm keeping warm at home (with lots of hot chocolate, of course!). I've got lots of planning to do for next week - that'll keep me busy for most of the day. But I'm sure I'll find a spare few minutes to squeeze in the new units I've got planned.

Stay warm and safe!

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