14 Feb What Exactly Is Thundersnow?
We’re in the middle of February now so you might expect for the weather to start cheering up just the tiniest bit – but no such luck for us poor souls here in the UK, unfortunately. In fact, it looks like it might be getting steadily worse!
The Met Office has reportedly predicted that there’s a chance we may see some thundersnow in parts of the country over the next few days, so if you are going out and about on the roads make sure you take all the necessary precautions.
With lots of weather warnings now in place, do make sure that you check what’s going on in your local area before you set off anywhere – no matter how short your journey. No doubt you’re aware that the state of local roads has worsened in recent weeks and months, and bad weather can make potholes and other road issues even more dangerous because you’re less likely to see them.
So make sure your car is roadworthy and your tyres properly inflated to withstand winter weather, give yourself more time for your journey than you would do usually, and adjust your driving depending on the weather conditions.
When it comes to this thundersnow, however, the question must be begged – what exactly is it and what can we expect? Quite simply, it’s a rare weather phenomenon that occurs when thunderstorms take place in wintry conditions. If it’s cold enough, the rain that you would typically see during a thunderstorm falls as snow – hence thundersnow!
Heavy snowfall is likely during such weather conditions so remember that your visibility will most likely be hindered quite severely if you are driving. Take extra care and remember to slow down if you can’t see properly.
Carrying out winter driving checks on your car is an absolute must. You should make sure your coolant levels are topped up because you don’t want your car to overheat or for your engine to freeze. Also check your screen wash before setting off because there is a lot more dirt and muck on the roads at this time of year and you do need to be able to see where you’re going.
Tyres in particular are very important to check on a regular basis because these are the only connection you have between you and the road. Keep an eye out for any bulges or irregular shapes as this is a sign you need to have them replaced.
If you think you’re going to be driving in snow, accelerate gently and use low revs, changing to a higher gear as soon as you can. Maintain a safe stopping distance between you and the car in front just in case. When going downhill, use a low gear and try not to use your brakes as you may find yourself stuck in a skid otherwise.
And when you approach a bend in the road, brake before you start to turn the wheel. If you feel the car lose grip, don’t panic – take your foot off the gas and keep your wheels pointing in the direction you want to go in.
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