Overnight snowfall and that red warning

Figure 1

I still can’t understand why the red warning that was issued by the Met Office yesterday for the central belt of Scotland hasn’t been extended to much more of the country. There’s certainly been a lot of snow in this part of the Scotland and the northeast, and it’s still falling, but equally there has been just as much if not more across the east Midlands in the last 24 hours, with Wittering reporting 29 cm at 06 UTC (fig 1). This combined with a 20 knot wind must mean extensive drifting of that snow – and I know that close by is the A1 one of the main north south arteries (fig 2).

Figure 2

Author: xmetman

An ex-metman passionate about all things to do with weather, climate and clouds

3 thoughts on “Overnight snowfall and that red warning”

  1. I know how difficult it is to judge snow fall in wind conditions but I had always assumed that the MO had a more accurate method for measuring depth.
    There is the additional problem of when snow is over number of days, with thawing in between.
    I suspect that depth has historically always been exaggerated for effect, in the press and media.
    Unfortunately the batteries gave out on my weather station last night, so I don’t know how cold it got.

  2. If you listen to the news, they’re all saying things like ‘a red warning has been issued for Scotland’. Reality is that most people don’t look at the warning map, and the actual area isn’t important.

    Amber warnings, at least 24 hours ahead, are the important ones and how I judge a hit or a miss. They’re the ‘push’ warnings which decision-makers see and which prompt changes to plans; most yellow warnings pass by unseen. Going to red certainly reinforces the message but usually isn’t of practical importance.

  3. I’m now beginning to realise with the drifting that’s occurring here in Devon at the moment, that AWS snow depth sensors in these windy conditions, maybe showing false snow depths because of the extensive drifting around the Met enclosures. As an ex observer I remember just how difficult it is to report a level snow depth when drifting is occurring, and more often or not you just gave up on reporting snow depth and reported 49999=

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