Winter weather warnings and information - a list of useful places to find out more
When winter arrives the likelihood of the weather disrupting our lives increases. Snow and ice are obviously far more likely but the chances of flooding also increase and fog and high winds tend to be more prevalant between November and March than at other times of the year.
Quite apart from the actual weather forecast there's a whole range of information updated daily to keep you informed about such things as flood risk, river levels, gritting, weather warnings and school closures related to the weather. These sources really do come in to their own when the weather takes a turn for the worse
Be healthy, safe and prepared
Oxfordshire County Council has provided its own advice on staying healthy, safe and prepared throughout Winter with input from its road safety experts, firefighters and public health and social care teams.
The Environment Agency update the flood risk for all parts of England and Wales every day of the year here. For much of the time, even in Winter the risk is "Very Low" but other bands of risk are "Low", Medium" and "High". It is a useful overall guide as to whether Oxfordshire and neighbouring areas are likely to be impacted by flooding.
As a resident there is lots you can do to prepare for flooding and ensure it has as little effect on you, your community and property as possible. Take a look at the Oxfordshire Flood Toolkit now and find out about the small things you could do now to make you more flood resilient if the worst happens.
For more specific information on rivers and water-courses near where you live, the Environment Agency monitors river levels each day and if there is a risk of flooding it first would issue a "flood alert" and then a more serious "flood warning". Whether it be the Thames, Cherwell, Evenlode, Ock, Glyme or any of their tributaries this is a useful place to look for information in your neighbourhood.
The Met Office will always issue yellow, amber or red warnings for weather that is likely to cause problems. Rain, ice and frost, snow, fog and high winds can all cause the Met Office to issue such warnings and they'll always give advice about action you should take here
The daily gritting decision and routes
For more information on the county council's gritting service including which roads are treated and the daily decision on whether or not the gritters will be sent out on any given day, this page is useful.
When flooding or heavy snow and ice are present, headteachers can occasionally take the decision that it is not safe for a school to open. In such circumstances schools are asked to notify the county council of their decision and this page is updated as a consequence.