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Weather Watch: Armchair enthusiasts feed tabloids’ outlandish claims (so, no, there won’t be a heatwave)

Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover

Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover

  • by Brendan Jones, forecast manager at MetDesk in Wendover
 

After the rather showery weekend, expectations for an upcoming heatwave have been raised, particularly amongst the tabloid press.

Cast your minds back a few months and you’ll no doubt remember how winter 2013-14 was one of the mildest and wettest for years.

Despite this, sections of the media reported on how the worst snowstorms in living memory were always just around the corner.

Front-page headlines such as “100 days of snow”, “Snow-hell” and “White-out” appeared.

Of course, none of these reports came to fruition. Were forecasters responsible?

Well, that depends on who the forecasters were.

Thirty years ago, UK weather forecasts were essentially the sole domain of the Met Office.

Today, independent weather companies sharing the marketplace.

Some of those private companies invest heavily in technology and expertise to produce accurate forecasts. The increase in free weather data available on the internet has also allowed a collection of smaller weather outfits to rise up, often consisting of just a single weather enthusiast and a heavily-used laptop.

A couple of individuals have cornered a market which delivers them maximum publicity. These armchair enthusiasts regularly produce exaggerated forecasts, rarely devoid of epic snowstorms, blistering heatwaves or cataclysmic thunderstorms.

These spectacular ‘forecasts’ are then grasped by tabloid newspapers and spread like wildfire through the population.

It’s a win-win relationship for both the tabloids and the individuals in question.

Back to the claims of an upcoming heatwave, it’s no surprise that this weekend and, indeed, the rest of May, aren’t looking like breaking records.

That said, prospects for the Aylesbury Vale are pretty good, indeed through tomorrow and Friday with some warm sunny spells lifting temperatures to around 19 or 20 degrees in light winds.

The weekend is a little less certain with a growing risk of catching a few showers but it should still reach a warm 20 or 21 degrees in any sunny spells.

Unsettled conditions are likely to return next week.

So, all in all, a warm few days to come but hold-off placing your bets on a record-breaking heatwave!

>@metdesk

>www.metdesk.com

>MetDesk’s brilliant new weather app, Home and Dry, great for tracking UK storms and heavy rainful, is now available to download from the Apple store

 

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