Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow storm hits England (and most of Britain) - chaos on roads, rails & airports

Wow! It snowed a lot during the night. It looks like a very pretty winter wonderland (it reminds me of Minnesota). It looks like we have about 6 inches of snow here (in East Hertfordshire), and it's just started to snow again! For those of you not in the UK, this amount of snow is very unusual for the southeastern part of England and even a very small amount can cause a lot of disruption to normal services (trains, buses, schools, etc.). It's not surprising therefore to learn that this quite heavy snowfall has caused major chaos with the roads, rails and airports: Heavy snow in Britain causes travel chaos Heavy snowfall overnight in Britain caused widespread travel delays across the country, including disruptions to flights and London's rush hour Monday morning, and forced the closure of dozens of schools. (link via The Met Office has issued an extreme weather warning for England, Wales and parts of eastern Scotland. More snow is forecast later and on Tuesday. It's quite exciting to see this much snow here because it so rarely happens. And I have to say that I'm in shock because this time the forecasters were right! Edited to add: Travel has been severely disrupted in London. I've just heard that every bus in London has been withdrawn from service - for the first time in living memory! And I also heard that there are hardly any taxis in service. All but two Tube lines were either totally or partially suspended. Many mainline trains in and out of London were cancelled with Southeastern and Southern services completely shut. Getting in and out of London is a real problem. Related post from my blog: Brrr-itain: it's cold and we have snow! February 1, 2009


  1. I am an american, and I have to ask, "What is the usual amount of snow in England during the winter?"

  2. Hello! Well, down here in the southeastern part of England (near London), we rarely have snow and if we do it's usually just a dusting or perhaps about an inch and it usually is gone later that day or by the next day - as the temperature rises. This situation is very, very unusual. The temperature is staying cold enough so the snow isn't melting and we are having a lot of heavy snowfall. In fact it's snowing, yet again as I type!

    They usually get more snow further up north in England.

    This is the heaviest snowfall in southeastern England since 1991.

  3. Spoke to my mum in Bucks tonight and she got the same as you, didn't leave home all day long. I can't remember ever seeing London that bad - stay warm!

  4. Sarah, it will be a day that everyone will remember, that's for sure! The snow storm is the headline on every single newspaper today.

    We still have snow on the ground and most schools are still closed.


  5. Here, 5 mins from Angel of North

    Monday am 2 ins
    Monday night - rain
    Tuesday am - snow gone. Blue Skies, Sunshine but cold.

    mrs k

  6. Thanks for the report, Mrs K. It's interesting to see how the snowstorm affected various parts of the country.

  7. I'm a little bit jealous. We only got one really good snow during our time in Britain. Oxford was absolutely magical under a few inches of snow. Stay off the roads!

  8. Yes, indeed the snow has helped to make England look even more lovely than usual. And I'm sure Oxford is looking particularly beautiful with the snow. It's a shame you aren't still here and you missed all the excitement of the snow storm - but then of course you're experiencing the Australian heatwave!

  9. Hi the snow has been fantastic, although my journey into work took two hours today, (usual 45 mins). to be fair to say thiis weather in the south east is unusual is not entirely accurate, granted the last 22-25 years have been fairly mild winters, but feels like we are reverting back to the norm. i think the last 22-25 years have been unusual, i remember coming home from school in snow drifts 3 feet deep. it is cool to see it again though, maybe this year we will get a white christmas.

  10. Hello. My goodness - two hours instead of 45 minutes for your journey to work. That must have been an annoying way to start your day. It's crazy how the snow - which isn't really that much - has had such an impact on travel.

    I still think it's unusual weather for this part of England (in the southeast, especially the London area)since it doesn't happen on a regular basis. If the weather pattern does indeed start to change and revert back to the type of winters you remember, the councils in Britain will have to invest in a lot more salt and grit for the roads!

    I agree that it is cool to see the snow. I'm amazed (and secretly pleased) that it hasn't all melted away yet. Snow is a nuisance for travellers but it sure is a heck of a lot cheerier to look at than rain.

  11. The snow was amazing. Some of the best i've seen in my life in England. Even managed to get out my snowboard on a few occasions!

    I went up to North Yorkshire, Bolton Abbey and Simon's seat, the snow there was up to my knee's in some places! amazing. Check the photos here.

  12. I agree Simon. The snow was amazing. I have never seen that much snow down here in East Herts! It didn't sound like much (especially compared to snowfalls in Minnesota, where I'm from) to people reading about it but it was an impressive amount for England.

    And it made beautiful England look even more beautiful. I looked at your photos. Wow - gorgeous pictures! I loved them all especially the sheep and IMG_8462 which is very dramatic. I'm impressed! Thanks for sharing.