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Friends of mine were travelling in the UK by bus once, when suddenly the bus stopped and all passengers had to get out. The driver told them that there were "snow windows" and so they couldn't proceed to Glasgow. When they said "but there's no SNOW" - all they got back was "but there are snow windows". However, no one could translate or paraphrase to them what "snow windows" are. Back home they tried to look it up in several different dictionaries, but no success. I wasn't able to find anything about it using Google either.

So what kind of weather condition are "snow windows"?

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Did the driver have a thick accent? Could they have misunderstood? "There'ssnah windows"? There is no windows … whatever that means. –  David M Mar 16 at 17:57
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All I can assume is that the bus driver meant that the weather forecasters were predicting 'windows' i.e. intermittent snowstorms along the way. But it does seem a pathetic course, to abort a journey before any snow has actually been encountered. –  WS2 Mar 16 at 18:01
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I think this may forever remain a mystery unless you can find the driver and obtain clarification. –  Brad Thomas Mar 16 at 18:51
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@WS2 - It is pretty common in mountainous areas to do just that. Once when traveling towards Wyoming from the west we were stopped in Salt Lake City UT because the road was closed hundreds of miles ahead around Laramie. They isn't the ability to handle too many vehicles up there so they stopped everyone near a major city. –  Oldcat Mar 17 at 17:49
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In that same trip they plowed the highway and opened it, then plowed the roads over the highway making piles of snow several feet deep under every bridge. These were quite a hazard if you didn't follow where everyone had made a path. –  Oldcat Mar 18 at 19:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Maybe the driver meant to say "snow windrows"?

As per the comments, we may never know...

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I've never come across this usage, and I don't believe it has any meaningful currency. But my guess is the driver was conflating two different idiomatic usages...

"windows of opportunity" (51,900 instances in Google Books)
"pockets of opportunity" (4,110 instances)
"pockets of snow" (7,810 instances)

That's to say, what he meant was some sections/pockets of the route were/might be snow-bound.

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