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Snow, is it really so different in the UK?

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Snow, is it really so different in the UK?

Old 3rd Feb 2015, 20:21
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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There is snow and there is snow.

In northern climes, the snow is fluffy and easy to blow away, etc.

But farther south it snows just about the freezing point. Put your foot / tire on it and it melts ... than refreezes as ICE as soon as you take the pressure off.

Here, around DC, we usually get snow around the freezing point. The wet snow makes a mess.

I spent two winters in Colorado and they made fun of how poorly DC and similar East Coast cities handled snow. That was until they had a wet snow just like back in DC. Those "superior" Coloradans couldn't get around on it either.

So, yes, there are two or more kinds of snow.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 21:05
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I guess it comes down to planning. Here in Salt Lake City we expect snow between certain dates and there is a plan to deal with it including maps of where gets cleared first etc.

Salt Lake Snow Plan
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 21:09
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Originally Posted by seacue View Post
But farther south it snows just about the freezing point. Put your foot / tire on it and it melts ... than refreezes as ICE as soon as you take the pressure off.
That's why God gave us studded tires.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 22:03
  #24 (permalink)  

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So for most drivers most of the time the temperature will be at or above th +7deg that is upper limit of winter tyres
The plus 7 isn't a limit. However, winter tyres give better grip than "all season" (read summer) tyres in low temperatures.

Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 22:07
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Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate.
Which they don't tell you.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 22:11
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Winter tyres handle the extremes much better. I wouldn't use summer tyres in the winter, nor would I use crap All-season tyres, which are poor in every season.
Give that man a amen!

Fox here's the best site for checking all the crap that comes up the East coast, gives a great overall view instead of the Canadian site which chops the map into forecast areas. Check out the prog for 12:00Z Thursday morning, the center is forecasted to be a hundred miles north of your house.


NOAA National Weather Service.

Last edited by pigboat; 3rd Feb 2015 at 22:22.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 22:18
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Early in my working life, I got to drive many examples of the same make and model of vehicle, and I got to the stage of being able to identify the make of tyres fitted within a few corners of driving.
Moreso if the road was wet - one brand had incredibly poor grip in the wet.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 23:06
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Funfly

You are not wrong! Happened again yesterday!!!
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 23:16
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In Germany, I believe, if one is involved in an Rta without winter tyres during the winter months, the insurance payout has a significant reduction.
Son drove from Delft to Dusseldorf yesterday, and in his words, one cm of snow reduced the autobahns to a shambles. A two and a half hour journey took him over five hours, and the roadside was littered with jack-knifed trucks etc.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 01:18
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ShyT:

Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate
... unless they're studded and your wheels are properly aligned, in which case you'll likely get 1-2 more winters out of them.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 02:40
  #31 (permalink)  
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I wonder what has happened to the Global warming alarmist who said a number of years ago that snow will never again fall in England?

Even had that sort of pronouncement here in Aussie; ie the dams will never be full again.

Shortly afterwards they had that flood up in Queensland.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 07:18
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One benefit from having your tires changed twice a year, is they are always aligned and balanced. Garage also takes care of the 'rotation, such as that is these days.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 08:28
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Haha. Hahaha

There are four vehicles in the family fleet. I get to change all the wheels. I do check tyre wear/pressure, but I don't go for alignment.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 09:43
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The main reason winter tires aren't compulsory here is cost. Quite a lot of old folks only use the car 3 times a week in winter, and most of the roads are very quiet, so there isn't a problem driving around slowly. Winter tires doesn't even get a mention in the Road Safety Strategy.
I cannot recall an accident seen or reported in 5 years "caused by" all season tires. The only ones I have seen are SUVs driven by working age women (probably using mobile phones if the stats are right), and vehicles driven by drunken males.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 09:48
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The only ones I have seen are SUVs driven by working age women (probably using mobile phones if the stats are right)
... and who do not understand that four wheel drive, does not mean four wheel stop - even with ABS!
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 10:11
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ShyT:

Quote:
Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate
... unless they're studded and your wheels are properly aligned, in which case you'll likely get 1-2 more winters out of them.
I used my last set of winter tyres through the winter and most of the way through the following year, until I sold the car and gave the winter wheels and tyres to my son, who had a near identical, RWD car. He used them until he sold the car, with still legal tread on them after almost two years of constant use. They transformed the traction of his car and got him through deep snow on the M62, which caused many other vehicles, including Police 4x4s attending the incidents, to get stuck on the motorway for the night.

It doesn't matter how many electronic driving muppetry aids a vehicle has; if the tyres don't provide sufficient grip, the car don't go, steer, or stop properly.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 10:16
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I think most of us are making that point. My very first car driving lesson, given to me by my younger brother, was driving around a muddy, slushy field one Christmas Day. If there's no grip, THERE'S NO GRIP, and no technology in the world is going to help. A vote here for a skidpan session being compulsory in driving lessons.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 10:31
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Each 'significant' birthday I arrange some special activity for my 'children'.

This year it is going to be 'skidpan' for my daughter.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 10:54
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I agree wholeheartedly about skid training being essential. In my youth I was unable to afford professional driving lessons, but learned vehicle control by driving an old motorcycle, then an Austin van and a tractor in muddy fields and moved onto snow covered roads in the hills after passing the driving test.

My daughter is now learning to drive. I taught her basic car control but have now bought her some lessons from a qualified instructor. However, she will get some extra vehicle control tuition off road from me after she's passed her driving test (and she will hopefully have a go at competing in my off-road trials car, with me as her co-driver). She will get some fatherly tuition before driving on motorways, too.
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Old 4th Feb 2015, 10:56
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I had the immense fortune to experience a 5cm snowfall over the night before one of my driving lessons. I was 17 at the time. The instructor was literally rubbing his hands with glee as we headed for a huge, empty, parking lot. We must have spent two hours there ....

It's amazing how one never forgets an experience like that. Steering into a skid just isn't natural, but having had that lesson - it is for me.
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