Birmingham, UK: Snow is expected in the UK as early as next month, says meteorologist James Madden of Exacta Weather. He predicts October will see below average temperatures and snow in places, with heavier and more widespread snow storms in November and worse to come in December and January.
Madden, who correctly forecast the previous two harsh winters, well in advance, warns: “No region is likely to escape the harsh winter, not even the South. However, we expect Scotland, North East England, Northern England and Northern Ireland will be the worst hit. I’d be very surprised if we don’t see weather records being broken.”
“A winter of this magnitude poses huge implications for the infrastructure of the UK transport system,” he says.
ATS Euromaster, part of the European-wide Euromaster Group, anticipates high demand from businesses and has doubled its investment in cold weather tyres this year to £6m, with premium, mid-range and low-cost brands on offer to suit all fleets. Cold weather tyres offer significantly improved grip, handling, cornering and reduced braking distances when temperatures drop below seven degrees Celsius.
Peter Fairlie, ATS Euromaster’s group sales director, says: “The last few winters have really taken their toll on businesses in the UK, but there’s a real risk the worst is yet to come.
“If drivers can’t get their vehicles out on the road, staff will struggle to get to work, goods won’t be delivered and services will be delayed. The knock-on effect means invoicing and cash-flow are disrupted. We have seen this happen in the UK for three years now – I suppose we should be getting used to it!
“The key is to think ahead and plan early. There’s no point waiting until your fleet is stuck to consider cold weather tyres. Companies have been changing tyres on the continent for decades, but it’s now become a business-critical issue for the UK too.”
Drivers fitting winter tyres can check their summer tyres in to ATS Euromaster’s network of tyre ‘hotels‘ where they will be inspected and securely stored until next March or April.
• Exacta Weather is a non-profit weather organisation providing long range forecasts for weather in the UK, northern Europe and the USA. James Madden is the organisation’s UK long-range forecaster. His forecasting techniques have attracted significant attention in recent years after correctly forecasting seasonal trends in the UK – and following the Met Office’s decision to scrap its own seasonal forecasts in March 2010, after being criticised for failing to predict extreme weather. In January 2011, Madden forecast a UK summer which would see more rain and a dip in temperatures during June, July and August. His long-range forecast proved correct, with the coldest UK summer in nearly two decades.