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28 January, 2004

False alarm?

Alex Square, Lancaster University - as snowy as it gets. Copyright NRT, 2004
After the anticipation I mentioned last night, it was probably inevitable that nothing would happen.  An hour or so after I posted that entry, the sky cleared, and remained so until at least midnight.  This morning, the ground was clear and there wasn't much of a wind.  I thought last night's rain had frozen onto cars and the road, but no, it was liquid, so the cycle ride to work was entirely routine.  I wasn't even cold.

Later this morning it was cold out, with a cutting wind, but there was still no snow until 13:00, when the real Arctic stuff started to fall - tiny, dry flakes totally unlike the typical large, damp clumps we usually see.  The clumps tend to melt on contact with the ground, so it requires a sustained fall for surfaces to acquire a noticable covering.  In contrast, the view out of my window was white-over within five minutes of the snow's onset today.

Then it stopped again, the skies cleared, and now, after four hours, the snow has almost all gone. I just hope the meltwater hasn't already refrozen; I'm leaving for home on time for once, just before dusk, to minimise the risks.

To give the forecasters credit, I think we've just been lucky in Lancaster; conditions elsewhere in the UK have been worse.

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