Heavy Snow!!! (in London, England)

It is looking more and more like Baltimore will only be teased by the big storm off the coast tomorrow, see John Collins’ latest post below, the latest snowfall forecast posted here and I’ll have a closer look at the storm tonight at 5pm and 6pm on WBAL-TV.

mid-atlc-snow-fcst-2feb09

However, across the Atlantic the British capital was smacked with what MSNBC calls “the worst snowstorm in 18 years”.  Doesn’t seem right…more snow in London than Baltimore?

london-snow-2feb09

MSNBC.com

Snow causes chaos in Britain
Hundreds of flights cancelled; storm could cost economy nearly $2 billion
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11:41 a.m. ET, Mon., Feb. 2, 2009

LONDON – The British capital ground to a halt on Monday after the worst snowstorm in 18 years caused hundreds of flight cancellations and virtually shut down public transportation.

Shops, schools and courts shut down and long trails of commuters trudged through the streets, looking for scarce taxis or ways to work after more than four inches of snow fell overnight.

“We’re not in Russia here,” said Guy Pitt, a Transport for London spokesman. “We don’t have an infrastructure built for constant snow.”

Business groups estimated that about 20 percent of the country’s working population never even left home: some were working from home or taking the day off rather than risking journeys into work.

The cumulative cost to the economy here, which is already facing recession, could approach $2 billion, Stphen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesses told the British Broadcasting Corp.

Heathrow closed one of its two runways and reported more than 650 cancellations. Major delays and cancellations were also reported at London’s other major airports at Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. London’s City Airport was closed.

An Airbus 330 coming from Cyprus slid off the taxiway at Heathrow with 104 passengers on board. Cyprus Airways spokesman Kyriakos Kyriakou said there were no injuries or damage. No other incidents were reported.

There were massive traffic jams on many highways near London.

More snow on the way
The Met Office, the country’s national weather service, said it expected another four inches Monday afternoon.

“We are doing everything in our power to ensure that the services — road, rail and airports — are open as quickly as possible and we are continuously monitoring this throughout the day,” said Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the city lacked snowplows.

“You can grit and you can salt it but the snow comes down again,” he said. “You can make an investment … in snowplows for London and then not use them for a couple of decades.”

Johnson said many buses couldn’t be sent out because “if they skid they become a lethal weapon.”

London’s subway network was hit hard because much of the system is above ground. Of some 12 lines, only the Victoria Line was unaffected.

After waiting in vain for an Underground train to arrive, office worker Caroline Samuel, 36, decided to retreat.

“There’s no point in going to work today,” she said. “I’m going home.”

Many of the tracks were covered in snow or ice and some transport workers themselves struggled to get in to work.

Heavy snowfall in France also disrupted traffic and caused delays at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

Southeast England was hardest hit with up to 10 inches reported in some areas.

Hang in there snowlovers, the groundhog saw his shadow in Punxsutawney, PA today and tells us we have six more weeks to track winter storms.   Maybe he just looked at the calendar; astronomical spring is about six weeks away:  March 20th!

Tom Tasselmyer

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One Response

  1. You could replace every city name with Baltimore and that would pretty much describe how we would react here to 4 inches of the white terror. We need to pull up our bootstraps and get moving. It’s only snow, not acid!

    The story out of Britain is amusing, but I’m originally from the Midwest so I find all stories of 4″ of terror quite amusing.

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