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    Blackboys, East Sussex, 275ft ASL
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  1. Very windy here in E Sussex, tried to drive to Heathfield but road blocked by huge Oak tree across the road just past Blackboys. Decided to head home and do some work there. Definitely not a good time to be driving.
  2. It's just to the SE of me, probably 10 - 15 miles (I'm near Heathfield), almost constant flashes and bangs, the whole sky lighting up to the SE - the dog is not happy at all!
  3. Was snowing heavily for about an hour in Heathfield from just after midnight until about 1.20am. Pavements and grass white and some wet but white areas on the minor roads. Dark slush on the main road. It was actually some of the heaviest snowfall I've seen all winter. Will try and post a pic.
  4. To my mind things are definitely looking up again. And although she's cleared her throat a few times the large lady certainly hasn't broken into song just yet. Over recent GFS runs in FI the mild sectors are getting smaller and the uppers getting colder with each passing system. If we do see some wintry action it will probably be a repeating pattern of heavy wet snow failing to settle or washed away within 24 hours but I'd take that in an instant given the winter we've had so far. I'm seeing repeated active systems with lots of precipitation passing NW to SE and with uppers just cold enough for snow to low levels. From an IMBY perspective (SE England) the 11th onwards is where things just might get interesting. A key factor at this time of year may well be whether the sweet spot passes over any particular location at night or during the day. Keep the faith, I've a feeling it's not over just yet...
  5. Fair enough, wish I could find some reason to laugh about our winter though
  6. Not sure the Accuweather historical data is accurate with it's 1mm normal amount for January. Some other sites give a normal rainfall for Jan in Madrid in the region 37mm. That would make this years Jan rainfall for Madrid about 30% of normal which ties in better with the "dry and settled" for the rest of Spain and Portugal.
  7. Just had 10 minutes of wet snow in Heathfield which has now eased off. Temperature -3
  8. Two mates turned up on foot yesterday having got their cars properly stuck on the school run and were asking for assistance. The problem they have is they live on a lane that's steep, twisty and has virtually no traffic. I just managed to drive the first one out with the help of the two of them pushing but the other one was hopeless. It was interesting for me as my car is fitted with winter tyres and this was a similar car to mine but with "normal" tyres. The difference was absolutely incredible. On "normal" tyres it was almost impossible to do a 3 point turn on the flat and completely impossible to get up the slope on the packed snow and ice. My car in comparison was happily turning and reversing (even into the deep snow at the sides) without even spinning a wheel. Luckily I had a set of chains in the correct size for her car in the shed and set off back home to get them. Once again my car quite happily drove up the hill on the ice and bashed through a few drifts without any drama whatsoever. We quickly fitted the chains to her car and I drove it back up the hill to her house. She followed in my car and was completely stunned by the difference. An hour of pushing, spinning and getting nowhere in her car, compared with just get in and drive normally in mine. I've used winter tyres ever since working as a ski instructor in my younger days and even living down South now have enjoyed the extra grip, feel and confidence they give in frosty, icy and generally cold conditions ever since. This recent spell though has given me a chance to see what the latest winter tyres are like in proper icy and snowy conditions and even as a long time convert I've been completely gobsmacked at how good they really are. The lane opposite my house we've been using for sledging so as you can imagine, it's hard packed snow with sheet ice where the wheel tracks are and pretty steep. Not only can I drive up or down it completely without drama I can even stop, have a chat with pedestrian and then set off up the hill again without any issue whatsoever. Can't recommend them enough. And there's always the fall back of a set of chains in the boot should I encounter some really tricky conditions. It's important to note also that I'm not talking about studded snow tyres (which are illegal to use in the UK), these are simply winter tyres with a tread pattern and rubber compound optimised for snow and ice. For reference I'm driving a bog standard front wheel drive 15 year old Renault Scenic. The tyres are Continental WinterContact TS860 and I can't recommend them enough. I run the winter set on a spare set of alloys from a breakers yard but the other half (who simply commutes a few miles a day) has hers on all year around.
  9. It's moved across the channel really fast, looks almost at my location already. I might have to get out of a very warm bed and check for snowfall in a minute.
  10. If it was to stay as it is now, I'd say the issue is simply everyone else getting stuck and blocking the road. Wherever there's virgin or packed white snow it's quite a nice drive, wherever people have been spinning wheels or packed it down so much it's gone black then it's very icy. At the moment most cars and lorries on ordinary tyres are going to be stuck on every steep hill and If they remain stuck it's hard for the gritters to do their job. If you've got 4 wheel drive, winter tyres, chains or snowsocks you should be able to go everywhere there's nice white snow without any problems. If it was me in the morning I'd take the back roads to avoid the stuck traffic. I'm driving a very ordinary front wheel drive MPV but with a good set of the latest Michelin winter tyres. In slippy or icy conditions I can pull away on a hill without any hassle, unlike an Isuzu 4x4 earlier which was well and truly stuck. Ordinary 2 wheel car with quality winter tyres will generally just beat any 4x4 on summer tyres for traction and completely out class it under braking (all cars have 4 wheel braking so it's purely about the tyres). And just in case it really chucks it down I can always put the chains on. Chains will get you through just about anything up to the point you've long since run out of ground clearance.
  11. Roads are pretty grim around here (Heathfield area), just been along the A267 (Heathfield to Frant/Tunbridge Wells) and traffic was stationary going down the hill between Butchers Cross and Mayfield. It was basically the first steep hill I came to and all I could see was nothing coming up the hill towards me and everyone out of their vehicles in the distance further down the hill. The uphill Eastbound lane was pure white with lots of icy slither marks and about 6 cars including a couple of 4X4's stuck at various points trying top get up the hill. There was obviously no way through so I did a U turn and came back up the hill to Five Ashes. I didn't see what the issue was but I imagine it was simply cars and lorries stuck on the hill. Without winter tyres I wouldn't have had a hope of getting back up the hill. And nearer home there was the obligatory BMW off the road and embedded deep in the trees. From the skid marks it looked like he'd lost it coming downhill on a long gentle slope. Be careful out there everyone....
  12. Amazing, you guys are psychic, you answered my question before I posted it. This forum really is stunning!
  13. What's the latest forecast, is it supposed to intensify later or not until the morning, the forecast seems to have been continually evolving today and I have no idea what the latest thinking is?
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