The Flipping Forecast
What’s another name for the Four Seasons? A day in the UK!
He! He! He! I have to laugh.
Until a sunny spring day turns to winter in Siberia. Then it’s not so funny. Not when I’m wearing a cotton dress and get to work feeling like I’ve just trekked through the Himalayas in flip flops. Then it’s not funny at all.
I check my toes for frostbite.
Weather in the UK is very unpredictable. Experts say it’s due to ‘cold polar air from the north and warmer air from the Tropics pushing against each other.’
Uh oh, sounds evil. I better watch the forecast.
6 o’clock News & Weather: ‘Sunshine and showers, chance of mist, possible fog.’ Translation: Haven’t a clue.
8 o’clock News & Weather: ‘Heavy rains, chance of hail possible spring like day.’ Still don’t have a clue.
10 o’clock News & Weather: ‘Sunshine and showers, chance of hail, sleet, snow and any other type of precipitation known to mankind. Possible meteorite.’ Let’s cover our backs.
Confused, I search the internet:
‘Possible clear skies for many, though turning increasingly cloudy across some areas. Chance of rain in the North.’
Possible? Chance? What happened to good old fashioned percentages? As in ‘80% chance of rain?’ Am I part of the many? Do I live in some areas? Is Northampton the North?
Confused and bewildered, I ask the locals. They all say the same thing ‘The weather forecast? Oh they never get it right.’
Wait a minute … did you say never? Never as in … ever? Why not? What kind of professional gets away with ‘never getting it right?’ Imagine a judge that ‘never gets the verdict right’, or a surgeon ‘… never gets those operations right, always fails.’
I worked in the IT industry, got it wrong ONE time and was fired quicker than you can say ‘we’ll weather the weather whatever the weather.’
So what is going on? Why are these people getting away with it? What are their managers telling them come annual reviews?
‘Don’t worry, the important thing is you tried.’
Call me naïve but surely in the land that gave birth to Alan Turning (World War II code decipherer and father of computer science) breaking the weather code should be a breeze?
Or maybe I’m just spoilt, because In Spain the weather forecast is always accurate.
‘For the next million years.’
I exaggerate of course. Sometimes it does rains – as the locals are quick to point out (as if I was somehow responsible).
‘We could not believe it! It rained for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!’
That’s funny because last year in the UK the sun came out for TWO WHOLE DAYS!
But back to the forecast – what to do? Follow it and risk frostbite? Rely on my neighbour’s arthritis acting up? Dog’s barking to detect a storm? Postmen wearing shorts for possible sunshine? Scratch that last one, as I’ve seen postmen here wearing shorts in the dead of winter.
Confused, bewildered and in despair one of the locals tells me about a FORECAST that is the rock among forecast, a timeless British institution, loved and revered in every corner of the world for its smooth sounding rhythm, clarity of words and knowledge.
I tune in, with joyful anticipation.
THE SHIPPING FORECAST
‘Viking North Utsire South Utsire Southeast 4 or 5 increasing or 7 veering south 4 or 5 later, occasional, losing identity, good with fog patches becoming moderate or poor.’
Now that’s flippin’ funny.
Sonia Aste is a stand-up comedian and a worried weather watcher.