Let it snow! 10 amazing London snow facts
From when the Thames freezes over, to how many words Eskimos actually have for snow
It has been forecast for a week, but today was finally the day that snow descended on our dear London.
Starting in the morning rush hour, it has already brought commuter chaos, causing some schools to close, Heathrow to cancel 70 flights, and widespread delays on the trains. Up to 2.5in are expected to fall today, with a total 3.1in falling over the weekend.
So bundle up people – it’s blizzard time! Rush home, buy emergency supplies, stock up on firewood, medicines and charge all your electronic devices just in case London freezes in the snow.
How the Russians, or the Swiss, or the Scandies and the Canadians for the matter all manage to get along just fine with bundles more of the white stuff for much longer periods, we will never know, but you have to love a little bit of commotion every once in a while so try and enjoy it.
To take the edge off though and make sense of all the impending bedlam, we give you some fun, frivolous and yes some interesting snow facts too – enjoy!
1) Shops across the country earlier today reported being stripped of essential items as panic buying set in due to the predicted 40 hours of snowfall. We only suggest panicking if you think you will run out of water, loo roll, or alcohol but if you must shop away – better do so now!
2) Snow is expected to stay on the ground in London until early next week as temperatures will not get much above 1 degree Celsius.
3) If you have to take a train today, you may as well start off assuming it will not be working. So now is the time to tell your better half: “Oh no darling! I can’t come back home for the weekend. Absolutely must stay in London with all this snow. I feel dreadful I will be missing your parent’s visit – send them my love.” Hahahaha.
Now for some facts which verge more on the silly side:
4) Apparently, one in five people take the day off when snowfall is heavy. We are happy to report that at LondonlovesBusiness.com we have defied that trend. All staff are accounted for, you work dodgers.
5) Chionophobia is a fear of snow. Apparently, it seems that one in five Londoners have it.
6) The heaviest snowfall in the UK was in 1695. London saw snow for five weeks straight - and the Thames froze over. The snow didn’t fully clear till mid-April!
7) In 1864 the Thames froze for even longer. It was solid for two months as average January temperatures dipped to -3 degrees Celsius.
8) Over 100,000 tonnes of girt or rock salt is laid across London when snow is expected. This is done to stop it freezing over, and crucially to stop you falling over, or your car skidding over the edge.
9) If you think you’re having a hard time of it, think again. Around 12% of the Earth’s land surface is covered in permanent snow and ice.
10) If you have used this fact before – shame on you. It is a myth that Eskimos have 100 different words for snow.