December is literally one day away, so that means that one of the most beloved (or hateful?) seasons is practically here. Winter – the coldest period of the year, yet enjoyable and joyful as we celebrate Christmas and relax because we are finally on vacation! It’s not all miserable like the weather, I promise. But here is a list of things you want to watch out for throughout a British winter:
- Sub-zero temperatures
Forecasters have warned that after half-a-century of mild winters, this year will be the coldest of all, including blizzard conditions, heavy snowfall lasting for months, and strong winds. Everyone should prepare well and wrap up warm!
- Slippery roads, bridges and pavements
Slippery surfaces can be very annoying and dangerous too (not to mention embarrassing if you fall over!) Usually, the solution to the problem is to throw thick salt on the street so there is friction while walking and the snow melts faster this way too. Don’t worry about walking around with salt in your pocket though, the roads and pavements are usually gritted for us! However, I would recommend that you avoid playing games on slippery areas, or running in areas that are likely to be dangerous.
- Cancellation of flights, train and bus routes
It’s so stressful if this happens, but at least it’s for our own safety. Imagine flying during a horrible weather, with strong winds and rainfall (happened to me, bad experience)! Cancellation of train journeys, bus routes and road closures are the most inconvenient things, especially for those who need to commute to get onto campus every day, or for getting home for the holidays. That’s why it’s always best to check for travel updates and have a plan B, just in case!
If it’s really strong, ice and hail can cause damage. Unfortunately, there is not any particular way of protection from ice and hail, but on the plus side it doesn’t usually last for long. I just wouldn’t recommend going out in it, that hail can hurt!
- Sunset at 4pm
Fact. You know it’s nearly winter when the sun goes down at 4pm and it is dark everywhere! I don’t advise that you walk alone in the street when it’s dark and icy – sometimes your options to move to one place to the other on foot can be limited. The dark, long nights can make you feel a bit blue, but on the other hand, this can be a good opportunity for you to stay home and watch a movie with your flatmates, or get some studying done!
- If you own a slightly older car, make sure you’ve got a spare car battery with you if you’re travelling for long journeys and maybe keep a first aid kit in the boot as well.
- Make sure you’re stocked up on warm clothes and blankets.
- Boots and snow socks. There’s nothing worse than cold feet!
- Carry a hand cream and a lip balm in your purse – ideal for dry skin and chapped lips.
- You can buy snow chains to put on car tyres if it’s very snowy. Cars can lose their grip and skid if the road surface is slippery, so n extreme conditions it is better to put chains on the tyres to help avoid any accidents.
- Purchase flu medicine, nasal spray for a blocked nose and vitamins. All this cold weather can run your immune system down a bit, so make sure you look after yourself!
So, there are a few things to be aware of during the British winter. It isn’t all doom and gloom though, it can make for a pretty stunning view too.
Not mention that it’s a great opportunity to grab your friends and go sledging!