Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wind Chill

Something Else We Never Had When I Was A Kid

No, not Ant and Dec, although we did have Mick and Montmorency who did daft things with planks on BBC Children's Hour TV. And no, not mobile phones, although Mrs Bracewell, the only householder in our street with a telephone did let neighbours use her device in emergencies – childbirth, imminent death, or a Pools claim. (This last just once from a Mr Earnshaw who lodged at No. 47 and won £507.17/6. Bought a second hand Ford Pop and a new trilby and was never seen again).

Ah, dear dead days beyond recall when becoming snowed in was common and yard-long icicles hung from every gable end. It could get really cold over there in east Lancashire in the lee of Pendle Hill which loomed over all like an albino whale. We DID have weather forecasts on t’ wireless, delivered by a chap with a completely dispassionate plummy voice… "And in The North, temperatures are expected to fall to 127 below and the public are warned that they will probably freeze to death…" Then the posh bloke on the wireless moved on to the ever-fascinating Shipping Forecast and told us of strange lands called Dogger or German Bight and what Portland Bill had been up to.

What he never mentioned was “Wind chill factor”, a confusing term beloved of modern forecasters… "Temperatures today won’t get much higher than nine or ten, but its going to feel much colder than that with the wind chill factor making it feel more like minus 34…."

Come on! So what IS the temperature? Nine or ten, or minus 34? The wind-chill factor isn’t disinformation, its naffinformation.The temperature is what you actually FEEL, isn’t it? The way weathery things are presented today is a bit like saying, "Mr Gerard Fortinbras (51) of 13 Trampoline Road was, at 11.25am today, in moderately good health. At 11.26am however, he was not, due to the Heavy Goods Vehicle Factor".


  1. True - and clouds never used to 'bubble up'. They just came and sat. Nor did we have 'spits and spots', not of that kind anyway, though there were several strong contenders for the title of Town Spagmeister. Recently I heard a forecast predicting 'patchy drivel along the South Coast'. They were right an' all.

  2. Oh I do so LOVE clouds with their ephemeral beauty;their fleeting existence despite in some like the mighty cumulo nimbus, a dominating, overpowering presence. And that magical process whereby the clouds' weightless wonder is transformed into raindrops. Oh, raindrops ! I do so love raindrops.........OI !.........yes?..............CLEAR OFF !

  3. Never got the 'wrong kind of snow' either...or leaves on the line, etc. etc. Did get chapped knees, though, which required Vaseline or Germolene if really nasty...

  4. And if this rich boy government gets its way, there will eventually be the wrong sort of train on the line.


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