Twitter and the UK goes snow crazy

Social Media Training look at snow trends on Twitter today

If you've been in the UK in the last 24 hours you could be forgiven for thinking the country is about to enter a new ice age.

Terrestrial and satellite TV channels have been reporting on the blanket of snow that was due to cripple the nation overnight.

Coverage started with the dawning of Sunday and continued throughout the day, building to a crescendo (or blizzard) as the evening news began to report on the need for people to take evasive action and prepare for an onslaught of weather last seen in an episode of Frozen Planet.

Twitter users in the UK went on full alert.  Activity went through the roof and as we type #snow remains a trending Hashtag.

Snow started to get a mention on Twitter early yesterday (Sunday 13th January) but began to snowball (sorry) as the day progressed.  By the time the 6pm news arrived there'd already been thousands of mentions of it.

Between 6pm and 7pm there was a flurry (sorry, again) of tweets passing the 3,500 mark (yes, 3,500 tweets mentioning the word snow in the UK alone).

The country waited in anticipation of the deluge of white cold stuff expected to fall overnight.  It reached blanket coverage (insert another apology here!) as the late evening news passed with a whopping 5,000+ tweets between 8pm and 10pm.

You could be forgiven for thinking the UK had won the Winter Olympics on the back of the success of London 2012.  There were over 17,000 tweets referencing the mayhem the snow was to bring.  We had our Blue Peter sledge out at one point.


This is what we expected to wake up and see:

Social Media Training view of North Tyneside that never came


So, imagine our surprise this morning when we awoke to find a complete lack of white.  We searched high and low - but couldn't find any.

We switched all the news channels on and the only snow in sight appeared to be on the top of mountains that roving reporters had been sent up to desperately report that all had not been lost!

Worry not, the snow has been!  The reality is that most of the UK didn't get any snow overnight.  In fact what snow did arrive was rather reminiscent of a dusting of icing sugar on a Victoria Sponge.  To be fair, if you did get a slice of cake with such a small amount of dusting on top of it you'd probably complain.

Twitter didn't let us down like the weather forecasters had though.

Whilst TV crews pursued vertical tracks to get as high as possible and the tabloids warned us that we shouldn't drive unless absolutely necessarily, Twitter users in the UK started to ask "Well, where is it?".

It started with the very early risers between 5am and 6am - all 3,000 of them waking up and wondering if the previous nights news coverage had been a dream.

By 7am, as the majority of the nation cleared its bleary eyes and slowly tweaked their curtains in dread to witness the undoubted havoc that had been forecast outside, Twitter was gathering pace.  Another 5,000+ tweets appeared as the British started to ask if someone had stolen all their snow?

By 8am there had been a further 6,400 astonished Tweeters.

Over 14,000 (by 8am) were asking what had happened?  We'd been warned of turning into Antarctica.  We'd stocked up on Bovril and prepared a feast of fresh fish to feed to the Penguins that would frequent our gardens by the afternoon.

But no.  It didn't come.


Instead, this is what we woke up to on North Tyneside this morning...

This might not be North Tyneside.


It's now 9.50am and some people are starting to report the appearance of the much reported white stuff.  Rochdale seems to have some (according to Twitter), so if you live in Rochdale we strongly recommend you prepare for at least 500 TV news crews arriving in the next hour.

For the rest of the UK, the wait continues.

We have shelved our plans for a 10m Snowman.

Our Igloo will have to wait a little longer. 

Most worryingly of all though, it looks like the Winter Olympics we had expected will have to be postponed.  Until tomorrow, when the news channels will no doubt start it all over again...

Twitter never lets you down.  It snowballs the news in brilliant form and the UK response to the apparent inaccuracy in the overnight forecast has been a pleasure to read. 

Do a Twitter search for #snow.  It'll brighten your morning when you see the dry (sorry, there we go again) humour that the British public demonstrate better than any other on the planet.




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