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Booker, Abigail & Barney

November 22, 2015

By Paul Homewood   




Booker runs with the story of the storms that were not.


On returning from a trip abroad, I found out what fun had been going on over our climate-change obsessed Met Office’s latest gimmick to get us all excited about “extreme weather events” – by giving cute little names to “Storms”.

This led gullible journalists into predicting that the first of these, “Storm Abigail”, would cause mayhem across the land. When nothing happened out of the ordinary for early November, the Met Office merely suggested that the real “Storm Abigail” would now arrive a few days later.

But according to the Beaufort Scale, wind only justifies being called a “Storm” when it blows at a sustained speed between 55mph and 63mph. When those two expert analysts Paul Homewood and Neil Catto used the Met Office’s own data to report on the Not a Lot of People Know That website what actually happened, they found the only time when “Abigails One or Two” reached storm-force was for one three-hour period on Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides.

Otherwise, despite the Met Office’s further bid to hype things up by quoting extreme “gusts” rather than sustained wind speed, the best these non-storms could produce was wind between 33mph and 38mph, which, according to Beaufort, should have classified it as no more than an “Abi-Near-Gale”.

When the Met Office tried again with “Storm Barney”, threatening widespread “structural damage”, again we got no nearer than a “Strong Gale”, blowing at 52mph in South Wales. Still nothing statistically out of the ordinary for mid-November.

But at least these ill winds blow good to someone. Coral and Ladbrokes have made a fortune this year from punters silly enough to believe what the Met Office tells them. When, for instance, the bookies offered tempting odds that we could expect the “hottest July ever”, its temperatures were in fact “below average”. The supposed “wettest ever August” ranked only 34th in a century.  

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    November 22, 2015 2:35 pm

    Good to see Booker back in the saddle. In today’s paper copy of the Sunday Telegraph, there were also interesting articles in the business section by Jeremy Warner,on the Amber Rudd speech, and by Tom Stevenson, on the price of oil. Both worth checking out.

  2. November 22, 2015 3:38 pm

    It was a strange sight watching the BBC’s weather forecasters talking in near-apocalyptic terms about a routine autumn spell of windy weather coming off the Atlantic.

    Maybe someone’s been spiking their coffee?

  3. A C Osborn permalink
    November 22, 2015 4:20 pm

    He is on the ball again today with this one

  4. Green Sand permalink
    November 22, 2015 7:53 pm

    Bella! A proper name for a real storm!

    “Winter storm Bella dumps 16 inches of snow on the Midwest in the heaviest recorded November snowstorm for a hundred years”

    “Season’s first snow is Chicago’s largest November snowfall in 120 years”

    Oh the weather outside is frightful
    But the fire is so delightful
    And since we’ve no place to go
    Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

  5. johnbuk permalink
    November 22, 2015 9:12 pm

    It’s been quite nice today here in the East Midlands – sunny in parts, cold but a light breeze which I’ve named Cecil as it is so evocative.

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