How to forecast the weather

As a nation, we’re weather obsessed. It’s unpredictable, we’re all interested, and it’s very easy conversation.
My first bit of advice is this ; if you read a newspaper headline or listen to national news or engage in weather small talk and you don’t live in the South East, you can ignore any sentence that starts with ‘Apparently it’s going to be….’ or, ‘They say it’s going to…..’
Secondly, all weather forecasts are created using the same meteorological data, the difference is how that data is translated. For example, one service may predict a pressure change in 12 hours, others 18. Which can change everything.

Stephenson Quarter site

Stephenson Quarter

Weather forecasting is exactly that, forecasting. ie. figuring out what probably will happen based on the data available. It’s educated guesswork.
Made even harder in the UK because we’re a small island affected by many different factors coming at us from the south, east, west and north, and our geography affects it again (for example. the Pennines absorb the Atlantic rain that hits the North West, which is why the North East has more sunshine hours than other areas). We also have a lot of micro climates. All in all, very difficult educated guesswork.
My advice is to use two to three forecast services, because none of them are right all the time. And to use services that show hourly data, because the ones that offer one symbol to cover a whole day are pretty hopeless, unless we’re in a rare period of prolonged high pressure.
I use these ; my favourite is www.yr.no (from the Norwegian Meteorological Service). Also www.xcweather.co.uk, www.windfinder.com (not just wind, also cloud cover etc), the WeatherPro app and the Sunrise Sunset app for sun position. Hope and luck also play a part.

Total eclipse in North Tyneside

Total eclipse in North Tyneside

Stephenson Quarter site

About sallyannnorman

architectural and location photographer in the North East of England

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