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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Daily Express Weather Headlines

Little is more perturbing to the amateur weather forecaster, and certainly will be to those professionally qualified, then the spurious sensationalist weather headlines in the Daily Express.

Weather forecasting is actually rather important, not only to the individual but to many businesses across the country - people will make decisions based on such sensationalist drivel that will cost businesses up and down the country, especially but not only in terms of the impact on tourism.

The latest came on Saturday:

The usual suspects have contributed to the article, notably Jonathan Powell of Vantage Weather Services, and James Madden of Exacta Weather.

They also take effort to quote more reputable organisations such as NetWeather and the Met Office in such stories, but rarely do they actually back up their original headline.

May I remind you of an earlier front page in May?


How did that one go?  Note who again was quoted - Mr Jonathan Powell.

Remember those 100'F temperatures this summer?


No didn't quite happen did it?

Express Bingo is a good website to show how often they come up with sensationalist forecasts - of course some of them are right, make enough and some will come true.

For what it is worth, there is a good chance in my view of a significant wintry spell in the latter half of November, going into December, with potential for some disruptive snowfalls.

But mostly mild after that until spring.

I do not totally rule out the worst winter for decades, I do believe a near-repeat of 1962/63 winter will happen before 2020.  It could be this winter but the models are not suggesting this is likely in my interpretation as it stands.

In fact my headline suggestion would be - "Rather mild at times this winter - less likely to die from cold".

Not quite sure it would sell enough newspapers though.  You know where to go if you want a reasonably reliable outlook.