A 1/2 inch of snow is "heavy" for our area. A half an inch can literally shut down the city. - You can imagine the chaos when we had a freak storm last winter that dumped ~18 inches of snow! We thought the world was ending!
Those videos were shot in Portland, Or, or at least one of them was. They get some nasty ice storms there. In Seattle area we get snow about every other winter nowadays (was more when I was a kid). Last year not a flake. The year before we had about 13 inches in the city! It was a nightmare because the mayor would not let them use salt on the streets (to protect the water quality from runoff). And, we have very few plows considering what a big city this is. And, the whole place is built on hills and bridges! And, a lot of folks have no real experience driving in snow and don't have snow tire or studs or chains. And, the kind of snow we get is wet and compacts down int a hard, ice like substance with a film of water on top. I challenge anyone from the great flatlands of the snowbelt (who make fun of us wimpy Seattlites when it comes to snow) to make it up and down our hills on our homegrown snow; Cascade Concrete, as it is fondly known.
We are being told that we will have a good snow year. So, I guess that'll be two or three snowfalls of 2 to 6 inches each. Isn't much , really.
The UK doesn't get much snow. We're at a higher latitude than the States, apart from Alaska, but the gulf stream keeps us at drizzle and clouds instead of snowstorms. So we're not very good at dealing with snow.
The BBC reports 'heavy snow' in northern Scotland - 'up to 10 cm'. That's four inches.
I don't think I've ever seen four inches of snow in my life!
That's a typical day for us here. For us I think heavy snow would be 2-3 feet of snow in a very short period of time. We generally have that much snow through the full months of winter, but its a build of it over a period of weeks. Getting a sudden fall of that much snow would be a lot.
We get dumped on every year. I'm in Montana and they barely even plow the roads during the winter because it's just pointless. I had to shovel my car out of the snow to get to school last year...
Like m2g said 2 or 3 feet at once is a lot. But its not unusual to see snow drifts over your head that have piled up.
I moved here from NJ and miss the days where everything shut down over an inch of snow...
The only snow day at school anyone my age can remember (Im 21) was when it was -40 and the school buses wouldnt start. I've personally gone to class in -30 weather. Ugh.