The -5.2°C overnight minimum at Exeter airport last night caught out not only David Braine in the Spotlight SW weather forecast at 6.55 PM, but also John Hammond in the later national forecast at the BBC.
It’s always very difficult gleaning evidence after the event in any BBC forecast from the previous day, suffice it to say the -5.2°C (fig 1) was considerably lower than either presenter forecast. Even the forecast temperatures for 08 UTC this morning left a lot to be desired (fig 2 & 3).
Figure 2 – Courtesy of the BBC
Fog all day at Exeter
What annoyed me with David Braine last night is the fact that even though Exeter Airport had been in fog all day on Tuesday, with visibilities of 100 or 200 metres and a maximum of 1.8°C (as had we in Bradninch), he never even bothered to mention it. The plot grid (fig 4) is especially for David as a reminder that it might be a very good idea to have a look at a handful of observations from across the southwest before going on air. Even Holly made a quick reference to the fog in ‘southeast Devon’ in the weather at 1.40 PM. As for the Spotlight news team, they were probably too busy having another go at the NHS to mention any travel disruptions at a distant airport, but I digress…
I can’t believe that hundreds of people weren’t inconvenienced by not being able to fly where they wanted to yesterday (and in the last week) from Exeter. Surely that’s newsworthy to the people of the southwest? When David did mention fog in his presentation, it was with a passing reference to Dorset and Somerset. Curiously the fog that had blighted the airport for days cleared by the early hours by drier air that had been advected up from France.
As for his stab at the minimum temperatures they were wildly on the high side, he was too busy going on about how cold it will feel on Thursday when the wind picks up, the increased wind chill in the strong SE’ly wind, and what a shock to the system it will be. And I do know that Exeter Airport is a well-known cold spot, which doesn’t excuse the insertion of an extra low value on the chart to cover this possibility.
Plymouth Centric Spotlight
It may have been much milder in Plymouth, but for a number of mornings in the last week I’ve been scraping the ice of our car, so I know how cold it’s been in our part of Devon. All I can conclude is just how Plymouth centric both his, and the rest of the Spotlight news teams thinking really is.
At 08 UTC this part of mid-Devon was covered white in frost as the sun was rising and the sky was a gorgeous Mediterranean blue, the temperature at Exeter Airport was a full 12°C colder than it was at Plymouth, it’s as if we were in a different world, because of course geographically we are.