I became completely obsessed with the weather and the forecast this week, practically to the point of excluding everything else in life. I had good reason, being due to travel extensively across the south of England for celebratory activities which have now, like so many, football matches, been postponed. If you have spent about a week monitoring the weather out of the window and checking various forecasts hourly it is hard to just stop and go cold turkey. Yesterday was my best day yet – a bit of obsessive checking in the morning and at night. This morning the tv/radio did not forecast sufficiently comprehensively for my full satisfaction so I have had to top up with a bit of online forecast too, although I am trying to leave the Met Office site alone now – for good.
I have heard a few reasons why we have the weather: one was Arctic Oscillation, another the slowing down to a great looping meander of the usually zippy jetstream. I have heard discussions about how national weather variance is nothing to do with global climate mean temperatures and I have also heard a discussion about probability, which of course made good sense to me as a punter.
It seems instead of saying we are not likely to have a cold winter, or a barbeque summer is nailed on, the forecasters, to cover their modesty, could say the above but then add – there is a 40% chance of rain today, or a 10% chance of snow and so on. Apparently they already do it in America.
Well if that’s the way forward you may just as well put the bookies in charge – they couldn’t make a worse job of it and as an additional bonus there would be endless weather markets to pass the snowbound time. In fact, if the market was left to decide, the weather forecasts would be more accurate, engender less angst (in me at any rate) and be a good deal more entertaining.