Why does usw come alive at the prospect of snow?
Some of those lurking in the uk.sci.weather newsgroup must find this fascination with severe winter weather (as well as other 'severe' events) rather odd, or even perverse. However, it must be appreciated that our interest, from both amateurs and professionals, is primarily in the meteorology of such events ... the rapidity with which the scenario can 'kick-in' and the mechanisms which maintain such blocks as are described here. ( For example, the 'severe/snowy' period, lingering until early March in 1947 did not really start until well after mid January of that year, & was immediately preceded by an unusually mild spell around the middle of that month.)
We do appreciate that bitterly cold, snowy weather is the cause of great inconvenience, not to say distress to many people, especially the elderly, disabled and those on low incomes. Make no mistake, although the incidence of severe winters has decreased, this must not be taken to imply that they will always give us a miss. Subscribers to this newsgroup will perform a valuable service in monitoring conditions as they develop. (See various/other sections on making weather reports in this FAQ series e.g. here, and the section on observing and reporting and links therefrom.)