One of my favourite descriptions of how the Met Office behaves as an organisation is to picture a scene from the Hobbit when Smaug the dragon sits atop his mountain of gold protecting it from anyone who dares to take it from him, Smaug’s gold being a simile for all the NWP data that they produce and we never see.
Another one to rival that one is how the lost Ark of the covenant is crated up in the final scene of film The Raiders of the lost Ark, before being added to a massive secret warehouse full of thousands of other similar crates and boxes, the crates being a simile here of the masses of observational and climate data they hoard away on our behalf.
I was thinking the other day about a scene from another one of my favorite films The Wizard of OZ, and in particular the one towards the end of the film when Dorothy, the Tinman, Scarecrow and Lion are granted an audience with the Great Oz, and the curtains are pulled back to reveal the Great Oz shouting down the microphone and pulling various levers and switches. The simile here is not so much Oz representing the Met Office as an organisation, more Oz representing the chief forecaster, the curtain being a metaphor for how they secrete their NWP data which they use in the naming of storms and issuing of warnings. To carry my story one stage further, I don’t see myself so much as a Dorothy, or even a Scarecrow, more like Toto.
The Met Office have finally sprung into action and have this morning, and rather belatedly in my opinion when compared to their hair trigger like response in the naming of storms Ciara and Dennis, issued a yellow warning for strong winds across Scotland for Monday.
So there’ll be gusts of 50-60 mph on Monday? Believe it or not it’s been pretty windy over Scotland today, and there have been quite a few gusts of 50-60 mph reported across the country, but no warning, probably because they are still on tenterhooks for more rainfall rather than being bothered about monitoring wind speeds.
Personally if this muddle of models is correct, Monday’s low has all the hallmarks of a named storm, and looks just as vigorous as many of the named storms in previous years, especially those named by Met Eireann. I’m sure the Met Office would argue that it’s not really going to widely affect the main population centres of the UK. I say they haven’t named it because it will affect Scotland and not England and they are playing the impacts game again.