Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow and all that it entails

A big storm is blanketing Concord with snow today. Anyone with a school-age child received a wake up call from the superintendent at 5:30 warning us that we could stay in bed. I got up, built the fire, and made pulla!

48 of the 50 states have snow today. Different parts of the country deal with snow in very different ways. You only have to check out your friends on facebook. In Atlanta and Athens, where people are less likely to own sleds, my FB pals are posting pictures of kayaks gliding down snowy hills and empty bread shelves in the local mega-market.

One country that does know how to handle snow is Finland. You only have to compare the response to 5 inches of snow at Heathrow with any given winter day at Helsinki-Vantaa. To read about the pre-Christmas travel horror at Heathrow, I recommend this article from the New York Times. You will never fly again.

If you do fly again, and there is no pesky ash cloud, fly though Helsinki. You can read this article on YLE, but I posted it in full here at the bottom of the post.

We suffered our own travel delay in ATL on Christmas Day. Here is the foreshadowing interview in Logan Airport. After a 2 hour de-icing, our take off was halted when the check engine light came on. My father was a big advocate of covering those lights with a little black tape. We did arrive in Argentina safely, if a little late. In the immortal words of my father, "Time to spare? Go by air."

Now, I must don my puffy pants and run out to play in the snow.

Finnish Ploughs Keep Planes off the Ground

published Mon 11:25 AM

The message about Finnish snow removal expertise is getting through.

Image: YLE / Antti Kolppo

The expertise used by Finnish airports to deal with snow is drawing interest from abroad. The snowy conditions across Europe this winter have raised demand for Finnish snow removal equipment.

Finland is ploughing ahead of the rest when it comes to keeping airport runways clear of the white stuff. In recent weeks Finnish snow removal equipment manufacturers have had an influx of queries from abroad.

"The number of requests for further information including technical information about our equipment has increased a lot during the last two weeks," reveals Veikko Möttönen, Director of International Sales for Fortbrand Services.

Finnish snow plough machines not only plough but brush and blow to ensure snow does not ground planes in bad weather. Manufacturers now intend to make the most of the increased demand and there is talk of further capitalising on Finnish snow removal expertise in the future.

"We could try to sell this as a new Finnish export product as Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb suggested before Christmas," Möttönen adds.

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