Close window
Close window
This section of the new site isn't ready yet. We've brought you back to the current site.

Red warning of snow, 2 February 2009

The example below details an event that happened in south-east England and London. It would have generated a red warning of snow with the new warning service.

Snow Warning Red


Easterly winds over the weekend of 31 January to 1 February brought in some very cold air from the continent. Heavy snow showers developed over the North Sea which moved inland across eastern and south-eastern areas of England, particularly later on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 February. The snow showers became bands and led to some locations to the south of London seeing level snow depths of around 30 cm. Even in central London, there was up to 10 cm of snow.

The highest official snow depths across south-east England included:

Mickleham, Surrey  29cm  
Alice Holt Lodge, Hampshire     23cm
High Beach, Herts  17cm
Andrewsfield, Essex  16cm
Hampstead, Greater London  16cm


Aircraft parked in snow

  • Severe travel disruption.
  • All London bus services stopped in early hours of Monday morning and seriously curtailed through the rest of the day.
  • Major disruption to rail services, especially south of London.
  • Airports closed including London City, Luton, Southampton, and both Heathrow runways for a time.  Passengers were stranded at Gatwick.
  • Hundreds of schools closed across the southeast including all state schools in Surrey and 90% of those in London.
  • Widespread disruption to services and business generally due to staff being unable to get into work.
  • Large increase in 999 calls to ambulance services but their response times were increased by the conditions.

Warning Assessment

Based on the new warning system the following assessments would have been made:

  • Likelihood - high
  • Impact - high

This would have resulted in a red warning for snow:

Red Warning

Last updated:

Follow us on

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, or LinkedIn Facebook Follow @metoffice on Twitter YouTube Instagram Snapchat LinkedIn