"Climate modelling? You'd learn more from watching a bunch of cows." MetWatch's Sonja Redmond is no fan of forecasters but agrees predicting rain with cows in say, Tooting, could be problematic. Met Office johnnies who keep getting it badly wrong are always in line for a Redmond tongue lashing but after a change in the law, she's suddenly smelling meteorological blood and is convinced predictions will improve.
"Bad forecasting is a breach of trust. I'm fed up with being told conditions will be fine and dandy when the reality is an arctic blast with a belt of biblical hailstorms that some visually challenged fluff has somehow completely missed on her state of the art computer system." The public are equally sick of the endless 'prediction failure's although without them, Redmond acknowledges spontaneous bus and lift conversations could fade away altogether.
But the outlook is improving for us all (probability 78%). There could now be legal consequences for any weather jock who screws up your day. According to Don't Let it Rain on Our Parades, an MOD policy document, 'a forecaster who, within four hours or less, proves to be substantially inaccurate, can be charged with issuing a forecast likely to mislead'. Presumably a conviction leads to the presenter being formally stripped of the inane grin and that little button thing they're always pressing.
None of this is much comfort to shivering innocents who ventured out on the promise of 'mostly dry with sunny spells' only to find that the 'possibility of an occasional shower' actually translates into being comprehensively drenched on a waterlogged nature trail with a small bush and an empty fungicide drum as the only shelter for 20 miles.
Pusey Cricket Club's weather related disaster occurred after they were caught out by a sunday match forecast of 'warm and calm conditions across the south'. The 60mph winds they experienced that day, demolished the entire WI teatime muffin display and sent one player to hospital after a gust got behind a googly. "He's still having dental reconstruction in Swindon and he don't smile much no more" says team captain Arthur Blakewell.
After moments like these, what most weather victims are thinking about is not misdemeanour penalties but how to drop a B52's payload on to the Met Office roof or how to exact revenge on the tv weather man's "unexpected cold front" by crucifying him on his own map using a nail gun.