Saturday, 9 June 2012

The coldest May for 100 years?

On 19 April, the Express' front page splash was yet another weather prediction:

The article by Nathan Rao explained:

Britain is facing the coldest May for a century with winter poised to return, bringing snow and bitter winds.

Parts of the UK are braced for the thermometer to plunge as the cool spring turns even chillier. Worst hit will be the East – although summer will be on hold across the entire country.

The story was based on a forecast from WeatherAction's Piers Corbyn:

He said: "We are making this headline public because of its importance...we last got a very cold May in 1996, but we could have to go back to 1891 to see similar. It is certainly going to be a very cold month in the East, although the West will be milder during the day."

A Met Office analysis of the weather from 1-28 May, published on the 30th, actually revealed:

temperature, rainfall and even sunshine are very close to normal....Mean temperature for 1 to 28 May is 10.1 °C, just 0.1 °C above the long-term average. Sunshine is at 104% of the average with 192 hours, so a little above what we would expect, and rainfall is just below at 90% of the average, or 59.8mm.

There was:

a run of dry and fine weather, with some remarkably high temperatures. This included a new maximum May temperature for Scotland...

In all, it has been the longest warm spell in May since 1992.


  1. Private Eye did an article about the Express weather predictions this issue.

    i reckon a crystal ball and fairy dust would give them just an accurate forecast.

  2. It's not just that they include a wildly inaccurate weather forecast, but why would anyone think it would be a suitable front page headline?

    Does the Express need to keep its readers completely insulated from actual facts and events in the real world, or something?

  3. I'm not sure why you are making a fuss about this. Why does it matter? I'd rather they were doing silly stuff about the weather than the hardcore toxic tabloid fare - xenophobia, climate denial etc etc.

  4. They used a source that has a bit of track record for slighty dubious weather predictions, and a decent paper could have picked up on that. I dont know if this had any anti mainstream science angle e.g. climate change or anti public agency (uk met office) but i agree with David probably much worse things get published.

  5. Corbyn is a quack, who functions in a similar way to astrologers..

    This was published on on the 16th (predicting worse extreme flooding than earlier in the week), but promptly removed when obviously corbyn realised he was going to be completely wrong.. exactly the sort of cover up he claims to be so against..


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