This post is in response to the ‘100 Word Challenge’ prompt here, where there are links to the other responses. The brief was to write 104 words, including the phrase shown in bold. The substance of my piece is based on my memory of this occurrence some years ago.
The extreme weather meant that the nation’s ability to respond to a crisis would be tested to the limit. It was not that conditions were incredibly cold, nor was the snow the deepest most of us had ever seen; rather that a deadly combination of air temperature (round about 0°C) and critical wetness of snow occurred simultaneously. This gave rise to the phenomenon known as ‘ice accretion’ where flakes of snow can join and cling together round a suspended line, such as a power or telephone cable. This, of course, increases its weight and causes it to stretch and even snap! The consequences that time were disastrous!