Skip to content

What’s Strange About This Weather? Nothing At All

Rod Liddle, The Spectator

How can we stop weather hyperbole? I am so staggeringly bored of waking up each morning to headlines which insist we’re all going to be killed – on the roads, or through freezing to death, or in a flood. There have been four weather hyperboles already so far this year; warmest January, or warmest day in January ever, wettest February, coldest March. There are so many criteria for awarding a hyperbole sticker that almost every day of the year could qualify. So, snow in March? An unheard of experience? Nope, it happens every other year, more or less – and that’s in the south of the country. Last year at this time we were just entering a very mild and rather pleasant phase – warmest April on record! Global warming! We’re all going to die!

There’s been nothing remotely strange about the weather this week or for that matter any week I can remember. I do recall one year – I think it was 1971 – when, up in Middlesbrough, we had a snowfall in every month from October to June. But that was interesting, or odd, only in a statistical sense. I suppose weather hyperbole enables journos to write long articles entitled: why are we experiencing such extreme weather phenomena? We’re not, though. You’re just writing about it more. And I suppose, as a consequence, I am too.

The Spectator, 23 March 2013