Monday, 9 February 2015

Weather or not

A weathercock at Limbergalm, Austria.

Last week the weather forecasts for this week were dire. We were due snow, force 9 winds and below freezing temperatures.

Today, I look out of the window and, sure, it's not nice out there - rain and a cold north wind - but it's not what we were bracing ourselves for last week.

As I said in an earlier post the word meteorology, the study of the weather, comes from the Greek for things from on high. That doesn't make Greek weather forecasts any more accurate in the long term than any others.

Even so, I have a certain amount of sympathy with weather forecasters. They are frequently held up to ridicule - just mention Michael Fish to British people - and accused of "never getting it right".

That point of view largely ties in with most people's idea that everything is all about them. In other words, a weather forecast should relate specifically to us precisely where we happen to be. This follows from so many people's belief that they are the centre of the universe. I'm afraid it's time to break the bad news to those people that they're just a few random atoms loosely agglomerated somewhere in the universe and almost certainly not at its centre.

Anyway, if you really want an accurate weather forecast, just look out of the window. That's what I do and that's why I'm just about to light the fire.

There are lots of songs about the weather and it was difficult to make a choice. However, I opted for Crowded House and Weather With You because as the chorus says "Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you". Not entirely accurate, but the weather is definitely always there.

* Picture of weathercock by Peter Haas / , via Wikimedia Commons


  1. What - my random molecules are not the center of the universe? Gah! A few years back, when my office at work was towards the interior of the building, I called out to my co-worker with a window office "what's the weather like?" She did not turn around and actually look out her window as I would have. She picked up her smart phone and told me it was 65 degrees F outside. If you expect people to look out the window you might just be expecting too much.

    1. Sorry to break the bad news about your place in the universe. I should add that I'm not the centre of the universe, either, although maybe we are all the centres of our own funny little universes. On the weather front, I looked out of the window a while ago and we had SNOW!!! It does happen here, but not that often. It's stopped now, but I've still got the fire going.


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