I’ve just received the following very useful update about the weather:
I can now confirm that the weather forecast is predicting, with high confidence, that we will have snow tomorrow morning from around 3 am onwards, across the County. The heaviest snow is expected from 8am onwards and a fall of 5cm – 10cm with potential drifting is possible away from the coastal strip, where accumulations will be lower. We expect the snow to stop by late afternoon, but it is then likely to be a cold night, and we expect continuing overnight freezes through the weekend – so the snow will probably be around on the ground during this time, freezing hard each night. We are not expecting any further snow falls over the weekend at this stage.
We are now running the P1 routes and will do so twice more (at 18:30 and at midnight) to get a good volume of salt down before the snow arrives. We will then have the gritters on standby with snow ploughs fitted, at our depots to deploy as necessary tomorrow morning. The community routes are also being run now and will be again early tomorrow morning to ensure that they are well salted to ease access to schools and community facilities such as doctors surgeries etc. We are targeting additional salting on known previous problem areas such as the A31 at Four Marks or the A339 south of Basingstoke. Any community self-help action using the grit bins should be aiming to get salt down before the snow comes, to maximise effectiveness. We are planning to replenish grit bins over the weekend where we can. The farmers we have arrangements in place with for snow ploughing will also be operational as required tomorrow. The Police will lead the communications on messages to motorists, but the theme will be don’t travel unless you have to, and if you do take proper precautions and be prepared for winter driving conditions.
On Saturday morning, assuming that we have control of conditions on the main P1 routes, the emphasis will switch to supporting access to shopping areas and we will also plan to run the secondary (P2) routes which should ease access in residential secondary routes early on Saturday. We are also liaising with our colleagues in the District Councils to co-ordinate activities away from the main and secondary salting routes, and will as usual mobilise our sub-contractors to support the winter response. I hope that this information is useful to you and the message can if desired be passed on to Parish Council contacts and others.
The note is sent directly to District Council Chief Executives for further distribution to District colleagues as required.