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Gritter data predicts mildest start to winter for three years?

Does data from the Met Office winter gritters team show that we may be in for a milder winter than we previously thought?

Gritter data predicts mildest start to winter for three years?

Published: 08 December 2014
By Chris Haycock



A graph produced by the Met Office's Winter Highways has shown that the gritter mileage per week is on par with the winter of 2011-12, which was the mildest of the last three winters.

Despite the tabloids predictions a 'white winter', and the bookies slashing the odds of snow on Christmas day, so far the total number of miles that the gritters have had to travel to date this year doesn't (yet?) match the hype. Is this a sign of a mild winter for a change?

Met Office - Gritter Mileage

Highways Winter Gritter Data

Total gritter mileage up to the 7th of December is less than half than it was this time last year, when the miles travelled totalled almost half a million miles in order to spread grit on icy roads.

We don't have to go far back to see when we last had a white Christmas. Four years ago in 2010 over eighty percent of the Met Office's stations recorded snow on the ground - the highest ever recorded.

The Met Office's predictions of a white Christmas is typically vague (as it probably should be), although even the best weather prediction algorithms can only accurately forecast up to five days in advance.

Nevertheless, the graph may show us some indication of what we can expect, but only if we use previous data to make the predictions.

Whatever the weather, the winter period always brings unexpected conditions, so ensure that you're fully prepared for every eventuality. Check your car, use common sense and of course, drive safely in any weather condition.

What do you think? Will it be a white Christmas after all?


Highways England news licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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