It's (Kinda) Official: Ireland Is Set For Its Warmest Winter In 143 Years
Break out the sun cream and hit the beach – because I just said so
I walked out the door this morning and there was the tiniest bit of a chill in the air.
The very first sign of winter after a glorious Indian summer, and the temperature will in fact be about 15C for the rest of the week.
As I sat down at my computer the cold chill got me thinking about one of my pet hates... the shock forecasts that appear at this time of year. Each year brings warnings of "the beast from the east" or another "big freeze", sending dread and panic through the nation before inevitably failing to materialise.
And so, right on cue, up popped a headline from The Indo: Is Ireland heading for its longest winter in 50 years?
Of course, they're not the only ones flogging papers with hyperbolic weather forecasts; they did warn last year of the "Polar Vortex" that was about to engulf us, but you also have the Examiner doing the same thing in 2013 and they even make these calls Stateside.
Now let me tell you something about long range weather forecasting... beyond 48 hours, it is a complete and utter load of horseshit; after all the two times we suffered cold winters (2009 and 2010) we ran out of salt and grit by early December.
So don't worry about this winter.
The Indo reckon a new ice age is coming because: "A 300-strong flock of Bewick swans migrate 2,500 miles from Arctic Russia to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire each year and their arrival is used as a sign to say that winter has arrived".
I, on the other hand, am happy to tell you that I've just seen wallabies, springboks and Kiwis migrating unusually around the UK recently – seeking warmer climes, even though it's summer down there.
So break out the sun screen, keep the electric blanket in the hot press this winter and plan a Christmas BBQ because this is going to be the hottest winter since records began.
I may be wrong, of course – but I'm also just as likely to be right as long-range weather forecasters trying to terrify people into buying newspapers with the same headline year after year.