Monday, August 31

The Weather Man is a Drip

Did you enjoy today's sunny weather? Hopefully that won't be the last gasp of this derisory summer just yet.

But who knows for sure?

Maybe the Meteorological Office & its ubiquitous stooge the TV Weatherman?


Or then again.......Nope - probably not with their track record over recent times.

For this weekend was the last straw for me in treating seriously the dire content of the dumbed down weather forecast for the masses.

Take Saturday's TV forecast beamed out around 22:00 in the evening on BBC1.

'Bad weather on Sunday for the south of England, but not until around 5pm' cheerily pronounced the Metman's grinning monkey, 'Enjoy the Sunday sunshine while you can'.

Meanwhile, blue screen background behind him, the forecaster waved his arms with enthusiastic animation as a computer generated model of the weather for the next 24 hours silently confirmed his projection. Its crude overview indicating clouds and rain cruising across from Ireland, and due to reach my own locale until late on Sunday.

It must be true - the time was at the bottom of the cartoon after all.

Plans made accordingly I departed to bed.
Why then did I look out of the window early Sunday morning to see thick cloud cover. Which by lunchtime had built into light drizzle for the rest of the afternoon? By then I'd given up in disgust and was watching the rain blow in from the coast whilst getting some work sorted in the office.
(Well it seemed like a good way to use the time bearing in mind the happier alternatives that had gone by the board)

How is it the high tech, multi million pound Met Office weather models can be so inept about weather only 12 hours ahead?

That's not the worse case I can relate. The TV forecasts have been getting progressively more dreadful over a period of many months. Its almost as if the senseless drive to make the forecast more "accessible" to the drooling TV couch potato has up-ended any accuracy they once had.

And for what?

The conditions Outdoor are largely irrelevant for Mr Lardy Arse TV Watcher.

Nope. I've had it with the TV & Radio forecasts from now on.

Here's my three top tips on how to predict the forthcoming weather:

1. In hilly areas, refer to the Mountain Weather Information Service's report for the next 1-2 days. These tend to have a very high level of accuracy & are essential reading for high hill walking at times of bad weather.

2. Learn to read & interpret a pressure chart. I like this site, although the level of detail can be intimidating for the uninitiated at first
(click on the dates at the foot of the page).

Another excellent source is on the MWIS site.

Or there's this over on the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts site

3. DIY. Look out of the window & go outdoors. Check the flow of air movement especially in comparison to the clouds overhead. Sense the air temperature - colder or warmer than earlier? Look at the clouds and the formations. Then back indoors to tap the barometer to see if its rising or falling.

Then take your best guess!

4. Finally - down to the seashore & pick up some seaweed.
Only a fraction of the cost of the Met Office's new "second most powerful computer in the UK"
but probably a damn sight more accurate than the drivel fed to us from the goggle box each day.

Better still - sod the forecast - just get outside anyway.

And pack a waterproof, just in case.

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