Early warning for UK fleets of another severe winter

Birmingham, UK: Truck operators should prepare now for months of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall warns ATS Euromaster.

Meteorologist James Madden, of Exacta Weather, correctly predicted the harsh conditions experienced over the last two years and believes the coming winter will “break all records”.

He warns: “The UK is to brace itself for well below average temperatures and widespread heavy snowfall throughout winter 2011/2012, which will result in the fourth bad winter in succession for the UK, and will prove to be the worst of them all. “I fully expect records to be broken, with the Highlands of Scotland being once again particularly hard hit. It is vital to start preparing now.”

Madden made his forecast as ATS Euromaster is preparing for its second winter fitting cold weather tyres. “A long-range forecast like this should be treated as an early warning sign and acted upon – else fleets will only have themselves to blame,” says Peter Fairlie, ATS Euromaster’s group sales director.

“The British attitude to weather is interesting. We moan about how bad the snow and ice has been, but as a country we almost refuse to prepare in advance.” He warns that UK operators could lose out because of demand for tyres on the continent where many countries have a legal requirement for winter tyres.

Chris Hufflett, group operations director at ATS Euromaster says: “European demand is so strong that there simply aren’t going to be enough cold weather tyres in the UK to go around so it’ll be first-come first served. Any organisations which wait until the snow begins to fall could be disappointed.”

Cold weather tyres use a higher concentration of silica to prevent the rubber hardening when the temperature falls, together with a specially designed tread pattern which ensures they provide better grip, handling, cornering and reduced braking distances.

Long-range forecasting

James Madden’s forecast is based on major natural factors, including solar activity, and how they impact weather and climate on Earth. 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.

Madden’s forecasts are shared globally via Exacta Weather, a non-profit weather organisation that comprises a team of meteorologists from around the world, with a speciality for providing long range forecasting information for the UK, northern Europe and the USA.