Wednesday 21 January 1998
The conditions most likely to produce snow in Britain are a good supply of moist air, a temperature of about 1C and a slight wind. Any warmer, and the snow will fall as rain; any colder, and the air is likely to be very dry Polar Continental. Although Canada often experiences snow in temperatures of -15C or lower, most snow in this country falls in temperatures between -2 and +2.
By following the changes in weather forecasts issued yesterday, we can see the difficulty in predicting snow. In the early hours of the morning, it was: "Blizzards predicted to sweep south". The huge snowfalls that Scotland had suffered would spread down the whole of eastern England and drivers were advised not to make journeys unless absolutely necessary.
That was at 3.39am; but by the time we were getting up, some snow had indeed fallen, but blizzards were already looking unlikely. And shortly after ten o'clock, the forecasters took off their winter woollies and told us: "The cold snap which has brought snow and freezing conditions to much of Britain will make way for milder weather today ... there will be some light snow showers on the east coast today, but they will soon be over and will be fairly insignificant." The difference between "insignificant" and a blizzard can be very small indeed.
Life & Style blogs
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Facebook, Instagram websites down — Lizard Squad hint at involvement, but Facebook claims it broke itself
SAG Awards 2015: Best and worst gowns on the red carpet
Nike Back to the Future style self-lacing shoes 'will arrive in 2015'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity for an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading digital agenci...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A chance to work for an extreme...