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Convergence

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Everything posted by Convergence

  1. Snowing heavily in Heathfield, settling everywhere -2 degrees.
  2. Just had 10 minutes of wet snow in Heathfield which has now eased off. Temperature -3
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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....
  7. Amazing, you guys are psychic, you answered my question before I posted it. This forum really is stunning!
  8. 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?
  9. I haven't been able to keep up with the latest over the past few hours, what's the latest predictions for tonight the SE corner?
  10. If it continues like it is here until tomorrow (which it won't) we'll be well and truly buried.
  11. Blackboys. Really good snowfall still, 50p sized flakes, lovely and dry and falling heavily. Looks to be about 4cm now on the garden table. Can't see the other half getting to London in the morning.
  12. And here we go again, home in Blackboys and it's just started up heavy again. Cracking stuff.
  13. Just driven from Ringmer up the B2120 to Cross in Hand. Very heavy snow almost all the way. Big flakes, very dense and lovely and dry. Settling on the road such that by the time we got past Blackboys there was about 3 - 4 cm's on the road. For about 10 minutes it was one of the heaviest, most intense snowfalls I've seen and that's coming from someone who worked 8 seasons as a ski instructor. It's almost stopped now but looks like I'm about to go under another intense blob. This is looking very promising indeed. Temperature was -4 throughout and there's absolutely no issue about it settling on the roads. Take care if you're out driving, I've got some of the best winter tyres on the market on my car and even with them there's not a huge amount of grip. Biggest issue tonight though was the visibility, there were moments when the snow was so intense it was quite hard to see much more than a car length ahead. Enjoy, hope everyone gets to share in the fun. :-)
  14. 3 @ 9am 2.7 @ 10am 2.9 now (10.50am) Blackboys, E Sussex. I reckon between 12 and 1pm I'm going to see some snow falling, but not lying.
  15. I'm feeling more positive by the day. Last night was slim pickings compared with what we really desire, but - I've got lying snow outside at the moment, I've just checked the 06z GFS and we've got a possibility of some back edge snow on Friday, followed by another (very slim) chance of some sleet on Sunday. After that, it's probably a few days wait before we can tuck into our starter before the main course arrives around the 22nd or thereabouts. And there's a very good chance that the main course will be an Eastern dish which always goes down particularly well in this part of the world.
  16. I had a flurry of messages on the WhatsApp group for our kids school this morning, "Were the roads Ok?", "Is the school going to be closed?" etc, etc. On dropping the kids off at school they had to go straight in as the playground was apparently too slippy to safely play in. As a kid growing up in Scotland I remember wading through waist deep snow to the school bus stop and waiting in a blizzard for the bus that didn't make it. After half an hour a parent came over to say she'd phoned the school and the bus couldn't make it so we'd have to walk. Big kids looked after the little kids and we all set off at about 8.30 to walk the 3 miles to school. The first bit was an easy 800ft downhill, then through the town and 800ft up the other side. As I remember it we got to school about 11.30, had lunch, and then set off home again. We got home after dark in a slightly lesser blizzard, had tea, and then went sledging in the woods above the houses - and did pretty much the same again the next day. In one way it was fairly safe as there was so much snow there wasn't much traffic outside the centre of town.
  17. Snowing again here in Blackboys but it's thawing faster than it's falling despite being below zero. We've still got lying snow everywhere bar the roads but I'm very surprised how quickly its melting considering it's been well below freezing since yesterday afternoon. The ground is clearly still pretty warm despite several nights of sub zero temperatures.
  18. Heathfield at about 8am.
  19. I'm surprised how wet the roads are given that it's still -1.3 and was -4 when I went to bed.
  20. Coming up for 1cm here. Everything white bar the main road although up the hill in Heathfield even the main road is white. Been snowing for about an hour and getting heavier. Woohoo! What's really nice is this is at least the third time I've seen falling snow this winter but the first time I've seen a proper covering. Even better, given we have some very interesting longer term forecasts (SSW) I've a feeling this isn't the main course or the starter, but is merely the peanut at the bar before being led to your table.
  21. The snow started about 1 mile East of Heathfield on the Dallington road. Even the road was white within about 3 minutes of it starting.
  22. Great analogy, I was using fogs and full beam just for the entertainment value at times. Didn't help me see and better but looks so cool :-)
  23. Just got back from East of Heathfield, it's quite intense but very localised showers at the moment. I went from clear skies and nothing to small flakes but dense heavy snowfall within about 400yds. Had to slow down to about 30mph just because of the visibility. Back home in Blackboys now and there's nothing at all here.
  24. Going by the amount of grit and salt on the road the council is obviously expecting some snow and ice tonight. The centre of Heathfield had more sand and grit on the road than the car park at Camber Sands. Probably a good call though, it was snowing pretty heavily at times and between the showers the skies are clear and its well below freezing. Whatever does fall overnight should still be there come the morning. Looking forward to drawing the curtains in the morning.
  25. Snowing heavily just East of Heathfield, certainly not marginal, grass, pavements white within minutes of it starting and road going white as well. Woohoo
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