Winter is coming!
[Shelby Loasby | News Sub Editor]
Brace yourselves for a cold one this year, with some weather forecasters predicting that Britain is on track for the coldest winter of the century. Reports from The Express have said that ‘significant snowfall is likely in weeks with savage frosts and thick winter fogs.’
Whilst we may experience a white-out like 2010/11, it won’t be all fun and games and building snowmen. The severe Arctic conditions could last for up to five months, causing widespread commuter problems and a general standstill for many areas in the UK.
It doesn’t help that we have already been experiencing the gale force winds and heavy rain of the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo. The ex-hurricane has rolled over the Atlantic from its first victim, Bermuda, where it caused between $200 million and $400 million worth of damage, according to Reuters.
The remnants of Gonzalo arrived in the UK on Monday 20th October with 50-100 mph gusts of wind. Since then, many flights have been cancelled with some planes experiencing shaky landings. Hundreds of traffic jams have been reported, with tailbacks on the A1(M) due to an overturned lorry and several train lines that have been interrupted by felled trees. The severe weather has also resulted in three deaths in Kensington, Essex and Merseyside, with another five people believed to be in critical conditions.
Fortunately, the extreme wind and rain is coming to an end, and just in time. With the Arctic freeze on its way, Britain needs to recover from Gonzalo and prepare for even more damage, disruption and misery.
Make sure you are prepared. The cold winter can have damaging effects so you need to ensure that you are wrapped up, you are aware of how the heating works and who provides your energy, and that you take care when walking around Hatfield. The gritters are always a bit of a hit-and-miss with coverage so just be careful of icy pavements and roads. The pathways around the university campuses are always well maintained but it’s important to be cautious.
You can also find helpful information about how to prepare for bad weather on the Herts County Council website under ‘Services’.
It is important that you try your best to make it into university, but just in case you become stuck at home make sure you let your lecturers know. You can always fill in a Serious Adverse Circumstances form with evidence of why you cannot attend.
To find out if the university closes due to bad weather, check the following website; www.uhemergency.co.uk and make sure you follow @UniofHerts to keep you updated.