Stop the trains, close the roads, lock the school gates: There’s been a light dusting of snow

A light dusting of snow at the Old Tannery

The snow we were warned to expect on this bitterly cold day is actually falling over Canterbury,

It’s a proverbial “light dusting of snow”, that classic cliche from the meteorologist’s lexicon. Others might include “sunshine and showers” and “in summary, then” which is always preceded by a monologue of no longer than 30 seconds.

But the most irritating thing about our apparent obsession with talking about the weather is that we are forced to rearrange our lives around something totally predictable for the time of year.

“Dress up warm,” comes the order from the weatherman’s condescending gob. Yeah, cheers for that. I didn’t know those white things swirling around outside my window denoted a cooling of the temperature.

Meanwhile, Southeastern Trains got in there early this morning with a warning that passengers should try get home early in case there’s disruption.

And when there is, the firm can say: “We told you so.”

More to the point is that vast sections of eastern and central Europe and Scandinavia are blanketed in snow, but they can apparently operate functioning railway systems without lines being paralysed by a few flakes.

Now it emerges that Kent County Council’s highways unit has declared a snow emergency. They’ll shut roads first and then send the kids home from school because the heating has broken.

KCC’s snow emergency was breathlessly announced on Sky News by fragrant Kay Burley who told viewers that we are in the “coldest February in five years”.

Five years! Are Canterbury’s boozers and betting shops full of geriatrics ruefully recalling the savage February of 2013?

Look, it’s a bit cold, quite blowy and there’s the odd snowflake falling from the heavens. But I do wish we would stop treating cold weather like some sort of national crisis.

We get the same in the summer if temperatures touch 30C when we’re told we’ll either shrivel up or die from dehydration.

Bouts of hot and cold should make the weather interesting – not send us into a desperate panic.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is snow joke…



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