As the Northern Hemisphere heads into Winter, the Daily and Sunday Express have some shocking news for us all. Apparently it may get colder and it may snow. I am not an Express reader myself, I don’t think I fit their target audience. According to four different front page stories they have published over the last two months, the UK was/is facing the worst winter since records began.
The Express’s headlines and sensationalistic claims would lead us all to believe that the whole of the UK was going to see the coldest November for decades and even last week they were “forecasting” snow for most of the UK and temperatures as low as minus 16 for some areas and minus 11 for must of us this week. The words were accompanied by pictures of snow. Snow from the 1940’s. The other pictures often include pictures of little old ladies. I can only imagine that the journalist (a Mr Nathan Rao) and his Editor are hoping we will infer that the little old lady is unlikely to survive the big chill!
The Express quote various “forecasters”. These do not include the Met Office. In fact often the Met Office’s own forecast is at odds with the Daily Express’s sensationalistic warnings of “record breaking snowfall” for November. In fact on the day that The Express suggested that November would see below average temperatures, the Met Office were forecasting “above average temperatures” for November.
Interestingly the Express’s own piece includes just enough “coulds” and “mights” that they probably couldn’t be referred to the Press Complaints Commission for outright lying. It is also amusing to read Mr James Madden being quoted in their article. Apparently Mr Madden, of Exacta Weather, reckoned that the North would suffer colder weather than the South this Winter. Perhaps he also expected the Sun to rise in the East and set in the West?
Yesterday I saw a tweet by Nathan Rao that said “if we are going to see snow in London, it is likely to be tomorrow”. I took a look at the weather forecast for today and couldn’t really understand his tweet, so I asked him who had told him it might snow. He didn’t deign to reply. Today I am working at our circuit in Sandown Park. I am about 15 miles from Central London and there are blue skies and the two large corporate events racing on the circuit today are enjoying lovely Autumn weather.
I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I am not the Daily Express’s target audience – and I should hope that our customers are not taken in by their ridiculous exaggerations of dubious forecasts designed to sell newspapers to gullible people…