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Snow Forecast – are you ready?

The forecast is in, and the UK is expected to see the first snow of 2017, and indeed the first real snow of this Winter from today all across the country. We can surely ‘look forward’ to motorway hold ups, train delays, snow days for school children, not to mention sheer panic from the press!

UK Weather

(Source BBC iPlayer)

Some have even labelled the predicted forecast as a ‘megafreeze’! Cold air is expected to be brought down from the Arctic via a powerful ‘Polar low’ pressure system, that will bring with it freezing cold air, heavy snow, and blizzard conditions. We’ve also been warned not to be fooled by the current mild weather from the Atlantic and this will soon change.

Snow Flake

James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said most of Britain is likely to be covered in the white stuff.

He said: “There is some good agreement on several weather models that from next week we will see a significant weather pattern change to several widespread snow events that could bring the risk of snow to most and if not all parts of the country. This is likely to lead to some notable accumulations and lying snow on the ground for several days in succession due to the accompanying cold conditions.”

In all seriousness, a little bit of snow can go a long way to causing disruption to business, simply because we’re never really prepared. In reality the UK only sees an average of 23.7 days of snow fall each year, of which there are only 15.6 on which it settles, that’s just 4% of the year! (source: Met Office) It’s also a drop in the ocean compared with somewhere like Canada, where snow can fall for up to a quarter of an average year. So when it does happen in the UK it’s normally a nice surprise, followed by confusion and frustration.

Snow affects us all in different ways, but for a Facilities Manager it can be particularly difficult. All entrances to buildings suddenly become the focus for attention, as snow and ice are tracked in by visitors and employees, causing increased safety and maintenance concerns. Normal defences can often be overwhelmed if there is a sudden change in weather and with it increased dirt and moisture.

We advocate that every building has a matting system designed to be effective all year round, but with the best will in the world a sudden influx of snow will push some installations to their limit. In this instance loose lay entrance mats are a quick and relatively low cost way of extending your entrance area to pick up the slack.

Tough rubber mats like Ringmat and Rampmat can be laid outside in order to do the heavy lifting, with carpet mats such as Vyna-Plush and COBAwash® placed directly after any permanent matting system to deal with dirt and moisture quickly. When it comes to snow however absorbency is important, and the most absorbent commercial entrance mats in our range is Microfibre Doormat, the premium material of which captures moisture extremely efficiently.

Snow Being Shoveled

Timing is everything though and mats need to be in place before weather events occur. Be prepared