Thursday, November 22, 2007

Good Evening Mrs Storm, is your daughter in?

It's a slightly surreal title, I know, but then I've just put another empty bottle of Macallan into the recycling.

I am not a meteorologist. However, I do have an inkling about how some weather systems work...

**parades 'A' in GCSE Geography**

But the little I know leads me to believe that I know more than Jo MacFarlane, or at least more than she's letting on. (I don't even know if Jo is male or female but that, as so often is the case, is irrelevant).

Mother Of All Storms Will Blast Britain At Christmas

Now, being the Daily Express, it has no truck with fact and so can quite happily state 6 week weather forecasting as truth incarnate.

As an aside, the BBC would (if it was a REALLY slow news day) have headlined this with:

Adverse weather to "blast Britain at Christmas"

knowing that quotes negate any need to justify the headline. The Sun would have led with

Ghost of Christmas Blast

although I reckon it would have been lost on most of its readers, and the Mail would have led with:

Lower houses prices and increased taxes expected as Brown fails to prepare for coldest Christmas on record caused by asylum seekers committing benefit fraud

As I said, the Macallan is finished.

Now the point of this drunken tirade is two-fold:

1. Predicting that in Britain there will be storms in Winter is a bit like predicting that the next Pope will be Catholic. It certainly doesn't mean you can claim Randi's Millions if you are correct.

2. If the Met Office say that "[longer term predictions] are not necessarily within the scientific understanding of weather forecasting" I would tend to believe them, rather than Piers Corbyn, whose reasons for making [exciting if vague] predictions are clear either from a profit point of view or from a personal point of view.

Now, whether or not Mrs Storm does arrive at Christmas is not the point, it's whether Mr Corbyn predicted it. Given that we're currently (as in tomorrow, Friday 23rd Nov) supposed to be enjoying "Dangerous storms and tornadoes" (also penned by Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms MacFarlane) I'll happily put him in the file marked "Bluffers".

EDIT: Just thought I'd put in today's (FRI 23rd Nov) report from the Met Office, compared with Mr Corbyn's 'predictions':

Friday day
Most parts dry, sunny but rather cold, a brisk, chilly northeasterly wind bringing rain, sleet or snow showers to some North Sea coastal areas of England and wet and windy weather arriving in the far northwest of Scotland.

Friday night
Widespread frost. The north, becoming windy, rain spreading southeast, turning to snow for a time over eastern Scotland and hills of northern England. Risk of icy conditions for a time.

Daily Express:
...“dangerous storms” to hit by Friday.

Regions could be battered by heavy rain and winds gusting up to 100mph, said forecaster Piers Corbyn at Weather Action.

He also warned that conditions would be perfect for tornado development, especially off the South Coast.

EDIT: January 1st 2008 - Happy New Year. Looks like we managed to escape the tornadoes over Christmas. What a waste of time Piers Corbyn is.

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