06 October 2007

Low pressure over the Atlantic!

"I have often thought about offering my services as a 'drought breaker'.....they always have facial expressions akin to a child opening presents on Christmas Day!"

For the first time in the past fortnight the weather here in England has actually been superb for more than one consecutive day. Now I know to a lot of people around the world, especially in Australia, that might be surprising. Indeed it is to me as well. Normally when I am back here in the Old Dart it rains on virtually every day of my stay. For example, a couple of years ago it rained on 28 of the 36 days I was here. Even last year during the English summer it rained on more than 20 days of my five week visit. At the beginning of my holiday the country was in drought, by the end of it the dams and reservoirs were virtually full!

I have often thought about offering my services as a 'drought breaker' as it always seems to rain when I am away from Australia! I imagine that I could charge large amounts of money in places, like Africa, who are crying out for the wet stuff from above. Maybe the UN might be interested in my drought breaking capabilities!

This brings me nicely onto the subject of the weather. To UK people the weather is one of the main topics of conversation. If you want to talk to a stranger on a bus, or in a lift or even in a swimming pool then talking about the weather is an easy option. In fact the Brits are well known to be fascinated by it!

One of the amazing things I have observed has been when the weather forecasters on television are revealing the current situation. I should state upfront that the presenters here are actually qualified meteorological professionals unlike in Australia. In Oz it is not unusual to see an ex comedian reading the weather forecast. I suppose that given the long dry, hot and sunny spells they get then it makes sense to put a bit of humour into the forecast.

Anyway, the forecasters here really seem to like bad weather. I have observed on numerous occasions that when the weather is truly lousy (ie: gale force winds, flooding, snowstorms etc) the forecasters get really excited! The tone of their voices seem to go up a notch and they always have facial expressions that are akin to a child opening presents on Christmas Day!

I imagine that these weather forecasters get up in the morning and, while they are eating their corn flakes and drinking their coffee, check the weather forecast from the Met Office. When they can see that its going to be a truly bad day, from a meteorological point of view, they let out an exultant whoop of joy!

The attitude of these forecasters changes dramatically when the UK experiences normal weather (like we are currently having). On these occasions the forecasts are done in a very monotonic way and the forecasters truly look sad. If you need proof of this check out any UK weather forecast.

The other amazing thing is that a number of these forecasters have become cult figures and celebrities in their own right. Often they will appear in a number of shows either hosting or as a guest. Soon I am sure there will be a weather forecasters 'Dancing with the Stars' here in Britain!

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