Gloomy forecasts

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Poor old Met Office! In the vein of “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” Britain’s forecasters are now accused of forecasting too much rain.  Whether they’re overcompensating for the disastrous forecast of a ‘barbecue summer’ which was anything but, or just being realistic, some folk have cause to moan.

Tourist attractions in the West Country (Southwest England) are complaining that gloomy forecasts put off visitors. The owner of The Big Sheep in Devon has threaten to sue. He said:

The Met Office seems to come up with such pessimistic forecasts predicting chances of rain when we’re enjoying sunshine.

Devon, which I know well, is one of the warmest and sunniest parts of Britain, although also one of the wettest overall.  In summer it’s not unusual for Devon along with Cornwall to enjoy better weather than the UK average.  Apparently overly ‘alarmist’ forecasts are having an effect on tourist bookings.

After the barbecue summer debacle, caution took hold (see A Guide to “Metspeak”) but now the trend seems to be ‘weather extremes’ warnings, pushing the new ‘rain and floods due to climate change’ mantra. Nothing like staying on message.

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8 Responses to Gloomy forecasts

  1. argylesock says:

    There’s too much blaming of the messenger, I think.

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    As often as I can, I like to get down to Lyme Bay so I strongly agree with the sentiment of what you’re saying. Frequently the weather along the coastal margin is a world apart from what is experienced just a few miles inland, yet you would never know it from the weather forecasts. Over the years I’ve learnt to filter the message the forecasters give in order to get a better idea of what is going on. If I ran a business down there that relied on tourist numbers I know that the pessimistic forecasts would send my blood pressure up. With a bit of luck I’ll get down to Beer again before the season ends.

  3. Thanks to my many relatives who remain in the UK I get a never ending stream of complaints about the weather. Too cold, too wet or too windy. They never complain about “Too Hot”. I keep telling them to move to Florida where the weather is delightful for most of the time but they don’t listen.

    Thank goodness that the last winter in Florida was warmer than the two prior winters. I was seriously considering moving another 500 miles south into northern Mexico. The Canadians realize that the last thing they want is a cooler climate but how is it that you Europeans are stll fighting against Global Warming?

    • argylesock says:

      Some of us over here do complain about ‘too hot’. Even a day that’s hot by British summer standards plays havoc with certain disabilities, eg my multiple sclerosis. Like other MS patients I rely on electric fans and frozen ice-packs. I’m adept in responding politely to cries of ‘Isn’t it gorgeous?’ when the weather is making me almost unable to walk.

      As for Florida, I’m glad you like it there but due to the heat, I wouldn’t go there unless somebody offered me a huge cash payment and preferably a cure for MS.

      Btw we’re not ‘fighting against Global Warming’. We have a range of opinions in Europe. Otoh you’ve observed one of our great British traditions: we do like talking about the weather! It comes of being on an island, I think. The weather changes all the time.

  4. Verity Jones says:

    @Bloke down the pub
    Yup – as a sailing enthusiast, many years of experience (and sailor’s tan) have taught me not to trust the weather inland. You need to go prepared for anything and that means packing suntan lotion even if rain is forecast.
    Nothing nicer than arriving home with a healthy glow while the townies inland bemoan the awful weekend weather.

    @Gallopingcamel and argylesock
    Sorry GC, having experienced South Carolina in September and May and Washington DC in June, Florida sounds much too hot for me. I’m with arglesock on that one – being happy with ‘normal’ summer days in the UK. Although I did discover I wasn’t drinking enough water and had mild but chronic dehydration; upping my liquid intake substantially means I’m much happier in hot weather.

    I suppose too you get used to it (although perhaps not so with a medical condition such as MS).

    • Verity & argylesock,
      Florida would be a hell hole for folks like me who were brought up in a cool climate but for two things. First they drained the swamps so you can get around without a canoe. Then some bright spark invented air conditioning. When it is miserably hot and humid outside one can stay indoors and enjoy the refrigerated air.

      My favorite time in Florida is the six months from early November through to late May. This is the delightful “Dry Season” with moderate temperatures and low humidity. The other half of the year tends to have high temperatures and high humidity, a poor combination IMHO. Even so it is very rare for temperatures on the “Space Coast” to exceed 35 degrees Centigrade. Many places in the USA get much hotter than that. Thank God we are surrounded by water………….that sounds familiar!

  5. j ferguson says:

    Seven of our 14 years in Miami were un-airconditioned at home. We both worked, were gone all day, and the house in Coconut Grove was under large Oak trees. We had ceiling fans – the big ones and that was all we needed.

    Temp rises to 94F most days in Summer but seldom more. Then it drops to low to mid 80s at night (IIRC). I understand that Orlando doesn’t get this drop at night and often has higher daytime temps. And one does get used to it. I can clearly remember freezing my butt off in a trip to San Francisco where it must have gone down to 70F. I do agree with GCamel about best time of year.

    We used to think that if the folks who thought that given that it was farther south, Miami must be much hotter than Orlando ever discovered the truth, we’d be overrun.

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