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Snow caused Chaos, Why?



On Friday 9th February 2007, a period of snow, mostly heavy, fell upon the Swansea area (as well as most of Wales and West Midlands), it started around 9:30am after a period of rain, the snow started to settle on the grass and shed by 10am, by 11am the snow was settling upon roads and pavements. At this time I was listening to the radio (thewave) which was reporting that schools were closing, and passing on information so parents knew. By 1pm there was gridlock around Swansea with traffic at a standstill or moving slowly as 2-6 inches of snow was falling, some people spent hours travelling only a few miles.

A lot of people are asking why only a few inches of snow (our heaviest since 1991) caused so much trouble, I think its because the fact it hit mid morning and was expected (and did) to last well into the afternoon, and it was heavy compared to what we are used to here, which resulted in schools and businesses including shops closing early.

So we had parents picking up their kids (school buses struggled to get to hilly school locations), and people leaving work at the same time, the result being that the school "rush" and the evening "rush" were slammed together at lunchtime in unsavory conditions, which with the normal lunchtime traffic resulted in the chaos across the city routes.

However it was the worst best snowfall here since 1991, although we would need alot more snow over a few days to beat even 1991.

Another strange fact is that the 2007 snowfalls had a simularity with snowfall in 1999, as in both years it failed to snow or live up to the forecasted expectation on the morning of the 8th of February, but did suprisingly snow on the 9th of February, both snowfalls on the 9th February 1999 and 2007 were not forecast until they were almost on top of us.

See pictures of the snow in my gallery


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