Wintery Facts

Whilst the sun continues to shine across the UK, here at Online Rock Salt we thought we’d get you into the mood for the snow and ice with a few wintery facts.

According to the Met Office the UK gets an average of 33 days of snow a year. To keep everything moving over 2 million tons of rock salt is spread on the UK’s roads every year and it is estimated that without this delays would cost us £2 billion a year.

Online Rock Salt is supplied from the Winsford mine in Cheshire which has over 137 miles of tunnels and can extract half a million tonnes of salt in 6 months. All this means we are well prepared if we have another winter like the one in 1963 when between 22nd January and 17th March snow fell somewhere in the UK every day and the sea froze a mile out from the coast.

To keep everything moving over 2 million tons of rock salt is spread on the UK’s roads every year...

However, this would be bad news for those who suffer from chionophobia or the fear of snow. They particularly wouldn’t be impressed by the world’s largest recorded snowflake. It fell in Montana on 28th January 1887 and was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick. Snowflakes form as water particles freeze around dust in the atmosphere. The shape is determined by many factors including the temperature, wind, time it takes to fall and the amount of water vapour in the air. All this means no two snowflakes are the same, although they are all 6 sided.

Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief it is never too cold too snow. It’s all to do with the water vapour in the air and although a drop in temperatures does reduce the amount of water vapour, it does not get rid of it entirely. It has even been known to snow in the Poles. Only once temperatures reach absolute zero (-273oC) is snow impossible as all water vapour condenses and loses molecular energy.

So, here in the UK we should consider ourselves lucky that by some of these standards are winters are quite tame. However, winter will always be unpredictable so allow Online Rock Salt to help you prepare for whatever it throws at us this year.

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