Winter Weather in the UK – A Look Back Over the Past 3 Years

Here in the UK we are no strangers to snow, but yet every year we always underestimate how much we’re going to get, leaving us to struggle once the snow piles up on the roads and thus grinding the UK to a halt! We need to prepare before the winter weather actually arrives, so here’s a reminder of what the past 3 winters in the UK have brought us. Continue reading… “Winter Weather in the UK – A Look Back Over the Past 3 Years”

Grit Bins – Product Lifespan ?

Many various types of containers over the years have been used for the storage of Rock Salt, among the first materials used in the construction of Grit Bins were stone, concrete and wood. Up until recent times the most common material used in the construction of Grit Bins was a material commonly known as fibreglass or Glass Re-inforced plastic (GRP). Throughout the UK today, the most common material used for manufacturing Grit Bins is a material called Polyethylene, which is a tough and durable plastic material. These bins are manufactured from a process known as Rotational Moulding. Continue reading… “Grit Bins – Product Lifespan ?”

Rock Salt Facts and Figures

Over 2 million tonnes of rock salt is spread onto UK roads each year. The majority is spread on motorways, trunk roads and main roads. Less than a third of other roads are treated.

The operation of salting UK roads costs over £150 million per year. Without salting the delays would cost the economy an estimated £2 billion per year.

Entirely dependent on the weather, expenditure for winter maintenance can vary vastly, making control of budgets very difficult. There can be huge differences between individual area highway maintenance plans.

An act of Parliament passed in 2003 binds local authorities to ensure, “So far as is reasonably practical safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice”.

The introduction of technology to Winter maintenance is now providing methods to review effectiveness and efficiency of service and delivery.

Each year over 1,000 people are killed or seriously injured on icy or snow-covered roads.

A euroRAP (European Road Assessment Programme) survey shows the risk of being killed in a traffic accident in the UK is 5.9 per 100,000 population – the lowest figure of any country in Europe.

UK rock salt mines have around 140 miles of tunnels – the same distance as from London to Brussels.

Many of the towns in the Cheshire area have taken their names from salt production; Northwich, Middlewich and Nantwich are three examples: Wych or Wich means Brine town.

The world’s oceans contain a huge amount of salt. If all the Salt was on land it would be enough to cover the UK with a layer 50 miles deep.

Rock salt in the UK was laid down around 200 million years ago when Britain was a shallow inland sea surrounded by desert, near the equator.

The oldest known salt mine is in Xiechi Lake, China and dates back to 6000BC.

Rock salt is the common name for Halite. It is a rock rather than a mineral, this is what makes it different to the salt we use in our food, although it does share many characteristics.

Freak Weather Hits North East America in October

In October a freak snowstorm hit the North East region of the USA.

The snowstorm broke all records for snowfall in October in the region. In one weekend 32 inches of snow fell, knocking power out to an estimated 3 million homes and businesses and with 11 people reportedly killed. In Massachusetts 68 centimetres fell and a state of emergency was declared in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Continue reading… “Freak Weather Hits North East America in October”

Winter World Records

  • The snowiest place on earth is a place called Paradise which is located in The Mount Rainier National Park in Washington USA. In the Winter of 1971 -2 over 93.5 feet or 28.5 meters of snow fell setting a world record for that year.
  • The lowest temperature ever recorded on the surface of the earth was – 89.2 centigrade at the Russian Vostok Station in Antartica on the 21st of July 1983.
  • The world record for the most snow to fall in 1 year is held by Mount Baker in Washington State USA, in the winter of 1998-99 over 95 feet or 29 Meters of snowfall was recorded.
  • The largest snowflake ever recorded was found at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA on January 28th 1887, it was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick.
  • The Thickest Ice ever recorded is to be found at Wilkes Land in Antartica, the ice reaches a depth of 15,669 feet or 4776 meters.
  • The height of the tallest iceberg ever recorded was 550 feet and was found in the North Atlantic.
  • The largest Iceberg ever recored was found off the coast of Antartica in March 2000, known as Iceberg B15 and measured 183 miles in length and 23 miles wide or 295 Kilometers in length and 37 Kilometers wide and was larger than the island of Jamaica.