GRAHAM TURNER: Our weather is predictably unpredictable

A personal view
A personal view

You can’t trust the weather in this country – it never does what you expect – so I had to smile to myself this week when it was revealed that a Met Office report was saying our weather was likely to get more unpredictable.

When has anything been more unpredictable than our weather?

Who would have guessed that snow would stop play on June 2, 1975, in a (cricket) match at Buxton between Derbyshire and Lancashire?

Even the great storm of 1987 came as a bit of a surprise to most folk.

I rarely leave home without a coat or jacket of some kind, partly because I must have pockets available – there’s nothing worse than having to stuff all your ‘essentials’ into trouser pockets – but mainly because I know that even during the hottest of heatwaves and driest of droughts there’s bound to be cloud, a cold wind or even a shower.

My climate pessimism is probably the result of growing up on the Isle of Wight, where the weather, though largely better than the mainland, is at the mercy of tides, offshore breezes, onshore breezes and just general unpredictability.

When I was at university, I spent the long summer holidays on the Island working as a bus conductor (younger readers might need to ask a parent what that is) and the route I worked most often was from the ferry terminal at Ryde round the coast and over the downs to a popular tourist attraction called Blackgang Chine.

On warm summer mornings the bus would fill up at Ryde with excited families dressed in T-shirts and shorts, prepared for nothing but sunshine and heat, but all too often we’d arrive at our destination to find it cloaked in thick fog, cold and dank – not forecast at all. Many returned on the same bus they’d arrived on.

Of course, the unpredictability that the Met Office report describes is much more serious and climate change is something that we’re likely to become more aware of. Extreme events, like this winter’s flooding, do seem to be occurring more often.

I suppose only a concerted international effort (a consensus of opinion would be a good start) will bring about the necessary changes to reverse this trend.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to carry a jacket throughout the year.

-- Sorry to take you back into my bathroom again, but I noticed this week that my anti-perspirant is made in Russia. I was thinking of boycotting it in solidarity for our comrades in Ukraine, but I’m not Sure if my colleagues would appreciate that!