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The Times wrote:Homeowners were advised yesterday to build snowmen to combat a “sudden thaw” that could cause flooding as schools remained closed and transport networks struggled to cope with fresh snowfall.
The Environment Agency said that building snowmen in gardens and driveways could help to slow the rate of a sudden thaw and minimise the chances of properties flooding.
The advice came as the Meteorological Office predicted that temperatures, which have been as low as -13C in some parts, could rise well above freezing to 10C by the end of the weekend.
Roy Stokes, a spokesman for the Environment Agency, said the compacted snow and ice in a snowman would melt more slowly than snow on the ground meaning there would be less surface water when the thaw happens.
He said: “Ideally if everybody built themselves a snowman that will slow the thaw down a bit. If you notice when people clear their the snow it thaws away but the compacted piles stay, which will give a balance to that, which would be helpful.”
Mel Sandells, a snow physicist at University of Reading, said while there was some “logic” to the agency’s advice it would only work for a “very short time”.
She said: “It really depends on the properties of the snow and the density. If you make a snowman the likelihood is that the temperature will be far lower because the snow is thicker.
“It comes down to the rate of heat transfer and energy that can pass through air bubbles in the snow. The more compact they are the slower the snow will thaw but really as long as heat is coming from the sun and the temperature is well above freezing the thawing process will be undeterred.”
pieces o'nine wrote:Between the fires and the floods, your country is not having a good 2013 so far...
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