(Climate Realists) Those of us with a keen interest in the weather
can't fail to have noticed yet another headline in the Express this weekend,
claiming this winter would be the coldest in 100 years, which you can see here.
went this weekend, I've been stopped in the street by people asking me when the
awful weather is likely to hit, whether they should buy winter tyres for the
car, or go ahead with a planned visit to relatives at Christmas.
headline in the Express came courtesy of little known 'Exacta Weather', a tiny
private weather company, which bases its forecasts on, amongst other things,
variations in solar output.
headline this weekend is almost identical to the one from this time last year,
in which the same 'Exacta Weather' forecasted severe wintry conditions
throughout last winter, leading to yet another front page headline in the
In the end,
last winter was milder than average. Exacta
Weather is by no means the only company to issue such forecasts.
The headline in the Express is one of over twenty in
the newspaper in recent times, all claiming severe or extreme conditions were
about to befall us, each one of them the result of press releases from small,
private weather companies, and most of which turned out to be wrong or
worked at the Met Office some years ago, I remember the press office contacted
a tabloid newspaper to ask why they continued to print such weather stories
which invariably turned out to be wrong.
answer was very honest, straightforward and unapologetic.
sells newspapers they said; admitting that each and every time they had a front
page story on extreme weather, their circulation went up by around 10%.
forecast was right or wrong didn't seem a concern, after all, the newspaper was
only reporting on what was being forecast by the weather company in question.
How did they know whether it would turn out to be right or wrong?
would assume that any small private weather company, in a difficult completely
un-regulated sector which is dominated by the state-funded Met Office, is happy
to get some free, valuable publicity.
So it's a
mutually beneficial process.
of course, are the readers, and more importantly the whole weather industry
itself, which gets tarred with the same brush as those who issue extreme,
sensationalist forecasts, which rarely bare any resemblance to reality.
So will it
be the coldest winter in 100 Years?
extremely unlikely and if it were to happen it would be a huge turn up for the
if it were to happen, the many, many misleading headlines based on questionable
forecasts that have appeared in recent years would quickly be forgotten.
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