The perils of the morning commute loom large in this morning’s weather coverage, with heavy snow, ice, wind-blown drifts and record low temperatures all expected to play their part in making the journey to work a weather-driven obstacle course.
“One thing that will be new on Monday is the wind,” says BBC weather forecaster Liam Dutton. “It will be really quite strong, so significant wind chill will be an issue. Even where there isn’t new snow, what’s there already will be blown about and roads that have been cleared could be covered up again.”
Rock salt suppliers are quoted warning of impending shortages – one reports record sales, difficulties in finding supplies to import despite trying countries like Egypt and Russia, and serious problems by the end of the year.
Sky’s weather presenter Isobel Lang warns of “another exceptionally cold night” while Michael Dukes – a weatherman from wire service PA who is quoted in many places including Sky, The Sun, and The Independent – says the temperatures in some parts of the country are “ridiculously low” and like being in the middle of Scandinavia.
Still more concerned with the Cancun climate change talks, the Indy nevertheless finds space to excitedly declare “cold weather records tumbled like snowflakes at the weekend as Arctic conditions gripped Britain”.
The paper also highlights warnings from police and motoring organisations that thieves are targeting cars left with their engines running to warm up while their owners stay out of sight indoors.
The Telegraph leads with airport closures at Edinburgh and Derry before moving on to the commuter problems, and also gives a shout-out to the ubiquitous Mr Dukes.
And the Daily Mail tops the unofficial competition to roll out the most hackneyed stock phrases – in its headline and first three paragraphs it manages “mayhem Monday”, “commuter chaos”, “big freeze”, “Siberian blast”, blanketed swathes of the country and plunging mercury.
It also reports on fears from the British Trust for Ornithology and RSPB that robins and other small garden birds are being hit hard by the weather. Trust spokesman Paul Stancliffe is quoted saying: “Although we think of robins in the winter amongst the snow, they actually do badly in those conditions.”