We’ve all been caught out by unexpected weather conditions – whether it’s been winter coats on a beautiful early spring day or summer gear on a day when winter’s come early.
It’s no fun and in some cases it can even be dangerous – if you are stuck in bad weather on a long walk, for example.
Driving’s no different. While modern cars are equipped to deal with most normal weather, you can still be caught out if you don’t know what to expect.
Checking the weather before driving abroad is only sensible. During the winter, many European countries have far more snow than we do in the UK and snow chains or winter tyres may well be required – in some countries, winter tyres are a legal requirement during certain months (check out the AA’s excellent “Driving Requirements by Country” guides for specific details). Most hire companies will supply the appropriate tyres and/or snow chains in the winter – ask if unsure.
Other hazards to watch out for are heavy rain – especially in tropical countries that have monsoon seasons. Until you have experienced a proper tropical downpour, you don’t understand just how much water can fall out of the sky in a short period of time.
Driving in these conditions is dangerous and being swept off a flooded road into a river is possible – care is required and being caught by surprise will make things worse.
To find out about weather in different countries, my starting point is always the Met Office’s website – as well as the UK, they have sections for Europe and the rest of the World.
Here’s hoping the weather does what you expect it to on your trip – but doesn’t surprise you when it doesn’t!