I’m not sure quite what it is they’re trying to get at, since this winter has not been uncharacteristically cold, mild, wet, or dry. It’s been a bit of all those things, just like British winters tend to be.
It’s worth noting that the Met Office isn’t forecasting anything like what The Sun is. Neither is Netweather.
And this is why I wanted in on the ground floor! All The Sun’s blather about snow over the last fortnight came to nothing. Even places which had any barely saw more than a centimetre (for Brexiters, that’s about three eighths of an inch). And as for it being colder than on the dark side of the moon until the end of March, today the temperature ranged from lows of around 7°C to highs of 10°C, and the forecast – the proper forecast from the Met Office and not some two-bit amateur outfit using seaweed and pine cones – is for temperatures as high as 12°C into the middle of next week.
Fair enough, we have had quite a bit of rain today which, after all, is only unfrozen snow, but still not quite the new Ice Age that The Sun was assuring us was underway.
You could just leave it at that. If you’re like me, though, you might see something a little more sinister.
Once upon a time, hurricanes were always given female names. In our modern PC world, though, this is totally unacceptable, and nowadays they use a mixture of male and female names. I believe that they alternate – so one hurricane will be female, the next male, the next female, and so on.
The Met Office – which started naming “storms” in the UK last year – has been giving them both male and female names from the start. As you know, all science in the UK simply has to involve children (and people with the kinds of children), which explains why you get names like Oisin and Wilbert.
I mean, there have been about six people named Wilbert in the last 100 years. Most of them are dead (a bit like the name, really), and those who aren’t nearly are. And although Oisin is apparently a top choice for Irish language boys’ names in Ireland, I can honestly say that the only time I’ve ever come across it is in ancient Irish literature (Oisin was the son of Fionn MacCool) through one of my favourite bands, Horslips.
The sinister part to my mind is that there are 11 male names and only 10 female ones. Can you imagine the uproar and demands for resignations that would follow if it was the other way around? And I reckon it’s only a matter of time before they start naming them retrospectively – or renaming them after the event – so that damaging ones don’t go down in history as having female names.
I’d bet money that someone somewhere has already raised that one in a meeting.
Mmmm. Just in case they missed it, Nottingham had a recorded total of 55mm of rain over three days between 14-16 June (20mm was recorded on 15 June). There is only one Met Office station up here, at Watnall, and the heaviest localised rainfall was definitely not there, and actual rainfall at such locations was certainly much higher. Many homes and businesses were flooded. But that never got into the news headlines. And all this applied to areas of Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire.
There are a couple of dozen Met Office stations in and around London – or what is considered to be “London” when the media is reporting things. The rainfall figures from yesterday are much less likely to have missed any extreme localised events.
As the title says, all that matters is London. No one else exists on the front pages.
They’ve been naming hurricanes (all right, cyclones) for years. They all used to have female names, but someone somewhere decided that this was sexist and now they alternate between male and female. Apparently, they have six lists for the North Atlantic, each list comprising names beginning with the letters A-W, but excluding Q and U. Usually, they only have to use about half of the names each year.
Britain has decided to get in on the act and has begun naming our storms, but in true British style they opened it up to the public – no doubt with prizes being awarded to the best papier mâché models, covered in glitter and dried spaghetti. As a result, possible names include: Clodagh, Frank, Gertrude, Desmond, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Eva, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon and Wendy. We’ve already had Barney, Eva, and Abigail, while Frank recently strutted his stuff. You just KNOW that the names relate to relatives and children of typical Daily Mail readers.
Laughably, virtually every storm cloud that comes across bringing rain or wind is getting named at the moment. At this rate we’re going to need another twenty names before the end of the winter.
(Obviously, this does not detract from the problems those whose homes were flooded are having to cope with).