Quite Frankly . . .

Which weather forecast do you believe?
Or, to put it another way,
which forecast is the most accurate?

Hynish looking towards Manal on a stormy Boxing Day holiday
Hynish looking towards Manal on a stormy Boxing Day holiday

Living on an island on the edge of Europe, off the West Coast of Scotland, 4 hours out into the Atlantic Ocean, we are certainly conscious of the weather. It is often the sunniest place in the UK, but it can also be one of the windiest places. Here on the Isle of Tiree weather doesn’t just affect mood, it can also affect electricity supply, communication, transport, life on the croft and fishing. Wind speed and direction determine whether the ferry is able to berth or the plane can land or take off. In turn this has an impact on whether there are supplies for the two grocery shops, newspapers, parcels or mail.

Although there are tales told of an old fishermen choosing the forecast he liked best, it is much more serious. There is no shortage of sources for weather forecast. Newspapers, television and radio all issue forecasts, but many people turn these days to their computer or smartphone. The question is which forecast is the most accurate. The Met Office has the stamp of authority behind it and for many years was the basis of the BBC forecasts. Many in these parts swear by XC weather, although personally I find it to err on the pessimistic side of things.

An empty beach at Crossapol
An empty beach at Crossapol

We have moved on from tapping the barometer to tapping our smartphone, yet weather forecasting can still be a frustratingly inexact science. So which weather forecast do I believe? Roger Browning writing for The Guardian says, ‘the MeteoGroup is the most reliable – it powers my favourite app, WeatherPro HD’. No forecast is always going to be accurate, but MeteoGroup and their app(s) wins my vote too.

Surf and breakers rolling into a grey Crossapol beach.
Surf and breakers rolling into a grey Crossapol beach.

Quite frankly, another storm, this time labelled ‘Frank’, is on its way.

Stormy waters off Crossapol
Stormy waters off Crossapol