An unseasonably warm November... what a different a year makes

Eastbourne beach in the snow last November
Eastbourne beach in the snow last November

THIS time last year Eastbourne ground to a halt as locals trudged through snow in chilling temperatures of -7C.

One year on, and the people of the town are basking in unseasonably warm conditions with no signs of winter weather. There are even concerns of drought following low levels at Arlington Reservoir.

The winter of 2010 saw the heaviest snow fall for around 50 years.

At the time, Paul Quanstrom, health and environment manager at Eastbourne Borough Council, described the snow as ‘exceptional’ and said he could find nothing comparable since the early 1960s.

The town stood still as schools closed, shops shut, public transport ground to a halt and motorists abandoned their cars.

Thousands of people were unable to make it to work and the snow had a chilling effect on the town’s businesses as shoppers stayed at home.

There has been no need for the de-icer this year and winter seems a long way off as conditions stay autumnal with Eastbourne enjoying highs of around 13C.

But is the wintry weather on the way? According to the Met Office’s 30-day forecast the weather will be more unsettled next week and through to the middle part of December, with spells of wet and windy weather.

The Met Office forecast said, “Temperatures will be largely around average, perhaps becoming slightly above average, by mid-December.

“However, some colder interludes are still likely to occur.

“Even with average or slightly above average temperatures, frosts are still likely, particularly on the clearer and more settled nights.”

And if icy weather does come, East Sussex County Council is prepared with a stock of 10,000 tonnes of grit.

A spokesperson from the council said, “We keep stocks of rock salt, often referred to as grit, and when icy conditions are forecast, our fleet of 25 vehicles salt more than 840 miles of the top priority roads, and an extra 200 miles of secondary roads when snow is forecast.

“Every gritter can carry up to nine tonnes of salt and puts down between five and nine tonnes on each route, depending on the severity of the weather.”