Over the past weekend and just before, weather forecasters have been telling us that there will be stormy gale force weather to contend with yesterday and today. However, most of Sunday was beautifully bright and sunny and today has been the same so far. I will admit that there was some rain in the early evening which lasted through most of the night, but I have yet to see bad weather today.
Meanwhile, I was told whilst speaking with someone in Edinburgh today, that the same weather doom mongers had forecast snow but again nothing has materialised. A guest at breakfast told me that he used to work in the flight industry and learnt how to foretell the weather by looking at the skies and being sensitive to the feel of the air. Even he thought that weather forecasts in the media often did not match up with what residents experience in their own localities.
The problem with weather forecasts is their effect on the public’s perception of a place and how this perception affects their travel plans. For example, most everyone will say that the Lake District is a rainy area, with particularly high rainfall when compared to other parts of the UK. What most people don’t know is that the villages and towns protected by the mountains that surround their specific locales within the Lake District might experience different weather patterns from those relating to general forecasts for Northwest England, for example. This is a pity, as some people will plan their itinerary to miss out the Lake District because they have heard that the weather will be bad.
Of course weather predicted to cover a general region cannot be drilled down and applied to specific areas accurately. Thus, when weather forecasters tell us that there will be rain in the Lake District, they cannot be expected to know that in such and such a part of the Lake District the sun will be shining instead. A few weeks ago, the weather forecast was for rain in the Lakes. Guests of ours who went to Grasmere on a day visit, a mere 10 miles from our guest house in Bowness-on-Windermere, experienced torrential rain, whilst at Blenheim Lodge we enjoyed gorgeous sunshine!
Since coming to live in the Lakes about 10 years ago, I think I have only experienced accurately predicted weather patterns when the forecasts have been for extreme weather. For example, when the rain and floods covered much of the Lakes; when the snow fell so hard that it completely covered up the roads; when the temperatures rose so much that it became a heat wave. Most of the time of course residents in the Lakes experience the gentle softness of fresh Lakeland air, perhaps a touch chilly depending on the time of year that is reflected in the lush landscapes of this beautiful area.
My years of residence in the UK has taught me to accept the weather as it comes. I have learnt to pack for all weathers when travelling in the UK. In fact, one year, when I packed for the family to visit Inverness-shire and Ross-shire in July, our luggage not only contained shorts and T-shirts but also thick woolly jumpers and socks! The vagaries of the British weather provides a great talking point in this country which certainly cannot be beat!
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