NOVEMBER 2: We were told to prepare for more travel chaos. We were about to be hit by Siberian temperatures. According to experts, temperatures “…will drop to below zero within a fortnight – and could be down to Siberian levels of -20C by December.

So everybody rushed out and bought salt and spades. A chum of mine spotted somebody in Livingston Centre with seven – yes, seven – snow shovels.

Another expert reported “…signs of a significant change in the mild weather in mid-November.” Another warned of “frequent and widespread heavy snowfalls during November… with below-average temperatures.”

Now the rush was really on: snow tyres and anti-freeze. Nobody was going to get caught out this time.

NOVEMBER 9: The same expert alerted us to “… snowfalls during November to January” Really? Snow in December and January? This guy is good. Mind you, that’s probably based on the weather patterns of the last 8,000 years. Pretty much a sure thing, eh?

By now we were feeling smug, because we were ready for it. We had stocked up on everything to last us through an Ice Age of Holywood proportions. However…

NOVEMBER 19: And the headline reads “UK Heatwave a Month Before Christmas.”

Just to put you in the picture. Despite the experts’ warnings that Arctic conditions would freeze us into blocks of ice then bury us forever under tons of snow, it was warmer here than in Istanbul and Ankara. In Otterbourne, in Hants, the mercury reached a level higher than the average June peak temperatures.

NOVEMBER 28:  Met Office figures show the average for the month so far is 9.4C – almost double the November average.

We were now using the snow shovels to fan ourselves. The sledges were being used as barbecues, and the anti-freeze had been exchanged for suntan lotion.

DECEMBER 3: It is officially announced that this has been the “Warmest November in 100 years, since records began.”

The Met Office stopped providing long range forecasts a while back, because they got them wrong so often. Quite simply, nobody can predict the weather weeks in advance, any more than you can predict the lottery. But that hasn’t stopped the one-man weather wizards – internet “experts” – from trying. Their forecasts are based on sea patterns and sunspot activity rather than science, satellite imagery and years of academic training.

They might as well have used tarot cards. Or phoned Wanda, the 4-quid-a-minute psychic.

So, don’t blame the Met Office. It’s the “expert” wet-seaweed brigade who came out with all that twaddle. And it’s thanks to them you have a shed filled with snow shovels and rock salt.

But have they hung their heads in shame and embarrassment? Have they wheech. No, they’re still running their pointless websites and making their equally pointless predictions, sound in the knowledge that sheer chance and probability means they must get it right some time.

Just not this time, eh?

Drew McAdam


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