So, what is happening? It is mid-October and I am writing this while wearing shorts and a t-shirt and the house heating most definitely is not on. For some reason the temperatures in this fair land are rather balmy this weekend.
Today is 23 Celsius according to the car and tonight is going to be warm. I’m not sure I like it. I’m looking forward to the cold, although not the heating bills that go with that. Tomorrow there’s rain coming and that doesn’t really fit with my plans so I’ll be back to moaning like everyone else I guess.
I’m curious about the level of abnormality for this current weather.
I’m having a short phase of ignoring Twitter on my phone, or rather just ignoring my general account where I follow too many people. Strangely the news hasn’t been getting me down, although it should, but I feel that it’s time to use other things to distract me. Because of this I was looking at Google News and spotted the weather box.
How cool is it that you can set the temperature to Kelvin? I thought that was a nice touch. It’s something I can explain to people and give them the knowledge of Kelvin as a temperature scale.
Then there’s the BBC and they default to a decent scale of temperature:
This is clearly that the BBC knows the correct units to use. Finally I give you the Daily Mail:
You can tell it’s the Daily Mail, partly by the insane length of the headline and the other reason is that they still use Fahrenheit as their measure of temperature. I’ve moaned about this before but the use of antiquated units is why this country CAN’T MOVE ON. It reinforces the idea that old people can have things the way they want. It continues to allow people to refuse to accept change. It is a deliberate attempt to force this country to stay in the past. The Daily Mail knows this. It is bullshit.
Celsius has been in use since 1995 in the UK because of alignment needed with the EU. There are some measurements which are allowed to be in Imperial units still and they are:
the mile, yard, foot and inch for road traffic signs, distance and speed measurement,
the imperial pint for the dispensing of draught beer and cider, and for the sale of milk in returnable containers,
the acre for land registration,
the troy ounce for transaction in precious metals.
These are almost acceptable. The implied cost of changing roads signs and the education to change to kilometres makes that something that is never going to happen. However, the pint, should go. All you have to do is order a large or small. Did you know that if you go to a pub and order a pint of lemonade you aren’t buying a pint? You’re buying the metric equivalent. There isn’t a good reason for this to have not changed but all you need is the image of that far right politician Nigel Farage with his pint to understand that the government was scared of those old people who go down the pub a lot and didn’t want to upset them. Not that the experience would have been any different to anyone visiting a pub.
Now, pubs are closing. They aren’t sustained by the changing use of society. They are losing money. There are campaigns to keep pubs open but these people don’t understand that society is changing. People don’t go down the pub anymore. Closing pubs might be sad but such is life.
Firstly: We’ve had plenty of warning that there was going to be snow. It wasn’t a surprise.
Secondly: People should have been prepared for the roads to become bad and for transport to be cancelled. BECAUSE WE HAD WARNING.
But, why doesn’t anything work when it snows?
Because you don’t spend LOADS of money on services that are going to sit idle for 360/365 days of the year. If you want everything to work “just fine” when there’s a lot of snow then bloody well pay for it. It will cost a lot of money. It just doesn’t make economical sense.
Hopefully, many services have plans for getting through the snow. Hospitals and emergency services are important and I somewhat suspect that they HAVE plans. Being forewarned about the snow means those plans can be enacted.
I know we moan about the weather all the time in this country. It’s what we do. It’s a way of forming conversation. Something we can talk about. We love headlines that ultimately just say:
Weather cold this winter.
Weather hot this summer.
Yesterday, after about a week or forecasting the snow came to the UK. It hit Maidstone at 18:00. The town ground to a slow crawl. It probably doubled the length of time for me to get home. But, I got home and there were no exciting events for me. Rather than the UK moan about:
Why aren’t we prepared for this? Why does everything go to shit when it snows, it doesn’t in Finland.
We need to accept that nowadays snow is a reasonably rare event, definitely in the south east. It’s a few days a year. We should EXPECT disruption and things to go to shit. It’s essentially a rare event.
Here’s the traffic from 18:30 last night:
A larger view of the SE.
Now on this map, apart from my favourite places, you can see the disruption. Here’s a larger view:
Lots of red roads which is indicative of severe disruption.
Recently had a good weekend at SMP near Folkestone. It was a training weekend giving skills to the CCF so they are ready to get on and enjoy some of the activities we do. On the first full day the weather was pretty poor and although warm [ish] it was overcast and drizzly. The second day was much better with brilliant sunshine and a glorious sun rise. There now follows a gallery of some of the best shots I took.
One night at SMP I had to accompany someone to hospital. Arriving at 23:00 we finally left the minor injuries section at 03:15. Given that reveille was at 06:00 this was harsh, got into bed at 03:45. The following day was quite hard although I did manage a kip in the drone training room.
I recently saw that the Met Office had a new weather app. I think it popped up on the front page of the app store. I was interested as I’m quite fussy about my weather apps. Once you get used to one and the information it gives you it’s quite hard to change. Much like buying a new wallet, which I have to do soon and it fills me with dread. By the way, I don’t like the term “app”, I’m not particularly fond of the term “application”, to me these are programs and always will be.
Here’s the front page of the new app:
The new app had embedded video forecasts from the Met Office – these are not needed, I’m too old to care for video forecasts. Also, video on a phone is antisocial and useless, I can get the same information without the noise and movement. I think this may be a generational thing. I don’t need sound and people to inform me something that I can see in a diagram or map. It could possibly be why I also don’t like the news that is broadcast into our homes all the time [hint: change channel, which I do].
Here’s another view of the new app:
I’m not sure I like the days across the top. I think that’s mostly because I the older app [which is still available] had the days going down the screen. The worst part of the new app is the weather alert screen. This screen used to be a map with colours over it.
This is a good weather warning map. It tells me what I need to know. The new app just has text to read. I can’t be bothered to read it. The text is broken down into regions. I can be even less bothered to find my region and then decode the words. Oddly, I do like listening to radio weather broadcasts so maybe I’m just weird here.
One last thing. The new app has done away with proper weather charts. These actually mean something to me and I like them. They give an overall impression of what is really going on in the weather. Here are some examples of good stuff:
Day by day and then lovely extra information if you need it. There’s a page that will give hour by hour predictions too.
Look at these maps. Aren’t they pretty and lovely. They let you know what’s going on. The new app doesn’t have this. Which is a shame. I do get the feeling that sometimes things are “improved” to include lots of new functions but the reality is that they just fuck them up.
That night there was also the most almighty storm. I was sitting watching television when it went darker than normal and so I went into the garden. I saw a sight I can tell you. The sun was setting in the west and it was bright in that direction but to the east and south it was dark and foreboding. There was no noise but there was a lot of lightning over towards Maidstone.
After a while I could hear what I thought, at first, was rain but it was a slight breeze going through the nearby trees. Then all of a sudden the wind really picked up. It became a constant driving wind and then the rain came, large spots at first and then torrential. The lightning and thunder was just spectacular.
These are two videos I took to show the electric storm over the Weald of Kent.