Monday, 1 February 2016

31 ‎January ‎2016 - Glasgow

As manufactured storm "Henry" hits us, it is worth bearing the following article in mind....

Here comes Elaine again – why the naming of storms is a washout

"The naming of storms is a difficult matter, as TS Eliot might have said, if he hadn’t been so distracted by cats. Only last year scientists discovered that Americans failed to take storms seriously when the weather system was given a female name. The most lethal female-named hurricanes have notched up almost twice the death tolls of their male-named counterparts because, one presumes, too many Americans have assumed that lady-storms are just making a fuss about nothing and can safely be ignored until they go off in a huff.
Not to be left off the weather-naming bandwagon, the Met Office and Met Éireann have decided that Britain and Ireland should have named storms too. No longer will we have to shake futile fists at an anonymous sky. Now, when we have left the house without an umbrella and found ourselves soaked to the skin, we will know who is to blame, be it Abigail, Barney or Clodagh. Sadly, the naming conventions preclude the use of the letter Z, or we could, like the Greeks did a couple of millennia before us, decide that it is Zeus who is responsible for the thunderbolts.

If your first thought is to ask why we need to start naming weather systems now, when we’ve managed perfectly well describing it as “that bloody rain” for centuries, we are of one mind. But the Met Office has an answer: “The naming of storms using a single authoritative system should aid the communication of approaching severe weather through media partners and other government agencies.”

Suddenly, the lack of warning for the 1987 hurricane makes sense. Poor Michael Fish was probably calling it “Barry,” while Wincey Willis no doubt referred to all storms as “Elaine” (after a bracing encounter with Elaine Paige in the TV-am green room).

I already think most weather forecasters are children’s TV presenters who refused to work with glove-puppets. And encouraging them to name aspects of the weather can only add to that impression. So I think I’ll give up watching the forecasts and check my phone to see what the weather will be like. And if I get drenched, I promise not to complain about Desmond."
31 ‎January ‎2016

31 ‎January ‎2016 - Terra/MODIS Britain

31 ‎January ‎2016 - Aqua/MODIS Britain

31 ‎January ‎2016 - Suomi NPP/VIIRS Scotland

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