Time for a shot of weather reality

Cold comfort: Snow catches us out every year.
Cold comfort: Snow catches us out every year.
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what a shock when I opened the curtains and saw a car gingerly edging along the road.

Welcome to winter.

Slipping and sliding and displaying to the world just how totally unprepared we are for snow.

It happens every year. That is, it snows.

It happens every year. That is we are caught out and mildly panic.

It happens every year. That is, the authorities say it would cost too much to kit themselves out for foul weather, considering how infrequently it snows in England.

Now I may be dim. Sorry. That should read I am dim. But even a dimwit like me can work out that it snows every year at some time.

And every time we are caught out.

So how bout a shot of reality?

We live in the top bit of the Northern hemisphere. That is where it turns cold in winter. Sub-zero.

Stop kidding ourselves that this is freak weather.

It is seasonal. It is predictable. And we could be more prepared, more clued up on what to do.

Luckily the snow which greeted my bleary eyes yesterday morning was not a major meteorological event.

Unlike this time last year when we faced deep snow, compacted to treacherous ice, right up to and beyond Christmas.

On this occasion, it had all gone by lunchtime.

However, the forecast is not promising and we could well be in for more snow in the days and weeks to come.

In fact, I would go further.

I would wager money that we will be hit by more snowfalls before winter is out.

And you as well as I know that when it comes, Sheffield is stricken.

I don’t blame the motorists. I don’t wholly blame the city council. I blame Nature.

Sheffield is hilly. Very hilly. And it only takes one unfortunate motorist to become stuck and the rest of the flow of traffic is disrupted.

However, it would help if there hadn’t been a determined campaign over the years to close, limit and divert as many roads as is humanly possible.

This has meant that all the traffic is channelled into a limited area of road space and when this grinds to a halt, there is no escape.

In the past you could have pulled to the left, nipped along a side road and re-joined the main carriageway beyond the obstruction.

These days, that first road you try to join will be one way (wrong way) or blocked. The road you would have joined will be peppered with speed cushions (invisible in the snow and a blinkin’ nuisance). And the obstruction is probably much further than you had anticipated and you are simply re-joining the traffic jam.

On top of all that you are branded a rat-runner for your troubles.

I’m sorry, but there is nothing rodent-like in wanting to get home and join your family after a long day at work.

Much better to invest a bit of money (OK, a lot of money, but it’s only once to be spent) and keep the traffic moving.

But that’s the rub.

There are still some in the town hall who don’t want traffic to move.

They want to condemn us to life in the slow bus lane and a miserable existence as a dreary commuter.