Friday, August 28, 2009

Playing chicken with the weather forecast

Hurricane Bill blew in to South Wales on Wednesday ... yawn. As the tail end of hurricanes go, Bill, it must be said, was a bit a limp-wristed.

How do I know it was Hurricane Bill mincing around that dampened the garden and snapped one or two minor twigs from the Ash trees? Because the paranoid BBC weather forecasters warned us it was coming, several times.

And why did they bother? Because they are terrified of getting it wrong again after The Great Michael Fish 'This is not a Hurricane' Blunder of '89. Ever since then, the slightest threat of a minor weather system spoiling things for someone and they roll out the weather warnings with a fanfare.

This exasperating combination of undue pessimism and ultra-caution renders their forecasts nigh-on useless!

Add to this the frustration of the local BBC Wales forecast every weekday night at 10.30pm which is then usually contradicted by the BBC1 UK forecast that immediately follows it!

You can tell I have a bee under my bonnet here. But rather than choke on my rage (more ragious than Huricane BIll, any way) I decided to do something about it and have invested in my own weather forecasting system.

The weather station itself has duly been set up on the corner of the chicken pen outside and is already broadcasting to a computerised display screen in the house. I'm in the final throes of setting up the computer to record the data and then Chicken Weather News will be ready to get into the forecasting business in ernest.

First step will be to train the weather girls, of course. I'll introduce them in the next few days. and then we'll (hopefully!) put the BBC in its place for playing chicken with the weather forecast.

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