How to cobble a sensational weather article together by the Daily Mirror

It’s hard to believe these days what can masquerade as good reporting in any news article about the weather from the tabloid newspapers. The Daily Mirror reporter Chris Pharo for example is responsible for this story, ostensibly about the current heat wave, in yesterday’s Daily Mirror (fig 1). It says that according to the Met Office, Eastbourne, with an average of 7.5 hours of sunshine each day so far this month (~187.5 hours to the 25th) is the ‘sunniest seaside spot this May‘. I’ve got some news for him, there are many other ‘seaside spots‘ across the UK that were much sunnier than that.

  • Prestwick (221.7)
  • The Isle Of Man (245.8)
  • Anglesey (236.0)
  • Aberdaron (240.1)
  • Aberporth (211.9)

Of course, these ‘seaside spots’ are not on the south coast, but never let the facts get in the way of a good story. I also strongly suspect that the daily sunshine values he is quoting are the 30 year climate averages which he’s accessed from the Met Office website, and not values for May 2017. For example he states that Orkney is ‘5th on the list‘ of sunniest places this month, but according to my list, so far this month Orkney is 47th out of 56 reporting stations. The link to the Met Office in the article, surprisingly isn’t to the Met Office, and I would love to know exactly where he did source his data, because mixing current weather with climate data to create some kind of Frankenstein monster article about the current ‘heat wave’ is misleading.

Figure 2

Looking on the bright side


Copyright © Sheffield City Council 1998 – 2016

Forget about looking on the bright side, the above image is looking at Brightside in Sheffield and how it must have looked before the first World War by the look of it. Brightside as you can see, is an industrial area that lies to the northeast of the city centre, the terrace houses in the mid foreground look almost new.  I don’t have any idea of why it got the name ‘Brightside’ but I am sure that someone must have an idea. I seem to remember that their was a bend on the river Don which ran through parts of Brightside which was called Salmon pastures (see map) before the Don valley was industrialised. There may not be any salmon in the river Don at the moment, but fish have returned and now there’s even a nature reserve. I can’t pinpoint exactly where the picture above was taken, but you might know better.


Crown Copyright © Ordnance Survey

Pictures of lilies


Apologies for this non-meteorological post about our lily pond, and to the Who for the gratuitous play on words in the title on this summer solstice.  After this mornings rain cleared its now dried up here in mid-Devon and the sun is even coming out. The water lilies in the pond look quite delightful at the moment with the leftover spots of rain on the leaves, my only regret is that we wasted so much time before building it in the first place. It’s now become the focal point of the whole garden, and whatever the season or time of day there is always some activity going on in it, either from the resident newts, water boatmen, backswimmers and pond skaters or the passing Damselflies and Dragonflies.


It would have been nice to see Mercury but…

9 May 2016 1445 UTC (courtesy of NASA)

It would have been nice to see Mercury transiting across the face of the sun but typically for this part of the world the cloud wasn’t playing ball (again).

9 May 2016 1445 UTC (courtesy of NASA)

9 May 2016 1445 UTC (courtesy of NASA)