I’m obsessed with the weather. I have difficulty reigning myself in when people talk about the weather in the way they do. I want to say ‘ which forecast was that specifically ? When you say they who do you mean ? The low pressure is in fact moving north and by tomorrow morning we’ll perhaps have some sun with mist early on’. Actually all they’re doing is passing the time of day.
I’m often asked which forecast I use. I use loads plus some other related forecasts like tide tables. There isn’t one accurate weather forecast, actually most of them receive the same information, they just translate it in different ways. Weather forecasting is mainly educated guesswork, and as for long term forecasts, they’re pure guesswork. It’s pretty hard to forecast what’s about to happen but it’s impossible to predict anything more than three days away. Forecasting is easier when it’s settled, when a ridge of low or high pressure is stuck, with nothing on the horizon about to nudge it out of the way, that’s when it’s easier to predict what’s going to happen.
As for folklore, there’s one with seaweed and another with larch twigs, I’m not sure what, generally I find an iPhone more useful. But a red sky at night really does invariably mean that the next day will be warm and bright.
Getting sunshine at the end of the day, especially in Summer, can be frustratingly difficult. The sun’s been out all day, very few clouds if any, you think it’s worth heading out to that job. Then the cloud builds up on the horizon, and the sun goes behind it as it dips down. And doesn’t come out again. Except for a few seconds when you’ve decided to head home and you’re in the car, ten minutes away from the job. Aaargh
I can check the forecast and current conditions at any place in the world, I can find out exactly what precise angle the sun will be at any given time and date at any given place. Before the internet and iPhones, (a mere 15 years ago) I used to carry a pilot’s flight compass, every year buy a tide table booklet from a fishing shop in North Shields, watched Countryfile every Sunday for a week long forecast, tuned into Radio 4 at five to two every day and watched all the weather forecasts on tv news and I had a barometer. That was the early 90s.
Doesn’t that all sound rather archaic when you look at all the instant ways we can access the information now ? Has the accuracy of the forecasting got any better ? Not really but it is more available. Maybe I should get myself a larch twig.
More on this to come.