London, buried in snow

Here’s a sight you don’t see that often: London like a winter wonderland.

London today is still scrambling, digging out of one of the biggest snowfalls ever to fall on Europe’s largest city.

Of course, that’s not saying all that much. The “blizzard” dumped 6-8 inches of the white stuff on London, depending on where you measure. Not exactly like a US Nor’easter, huh?

Still, it was enough to wreaked general havoc among the usually restrained, “mustn’t grumble” British. The storm left roads impassable, and London’s beloved public transportation system, especially its buses, were frozen. London’s airports have also been in chaos. Heathrow saw 850 cancellations through this morning; Gatwick canceled 47 flights and Stansted, 170. Some travelers at these airports, especially Heathrow, have been stranded for more than 60 hours as area hotels started jacking up their rates.

Worst of all, Londoners are furious with the government, wondering why it was so poorly prepared to handle such a storm (hint: It never snows in London).

The infrequency of snow storms belies London’s northern location, which can often be overlooked and is an interesting example of how general variances in jet streams and ocean temperatures can make a northern place still relatively mild.

Some people don’t realize that London is on pretty much the same line of latitude as Winnipeg. Ever been to Winnipeg in the winter? Exactly.