The Met Office has announced its latest storm names for the 2021/22 season. In conjunction with the Dutch and Irish weather services, the list scrupulously reflects the rich ‘diversity of our three nations’.
It includes family members and pets and runs from Arwen, which is believed to be Welsh in origin and is the name of a character in The Lord Of The Rings, to Willemien, nominated by the Netherlands.
Willemien is a new one on me, but I seem to remember the B-side of Something In The Air by Thunderclap Newman was a song called Wilhelmina. Maybe Willemien means ‘thunderclap’ in Dutch.
There’s also Virgil, who was one of the Earp brothers in Tombstone, famous for the Gunfight at the OK Corral. After Virgil had his arm shot off by the Clantons, Wyatt Earp promised to ‘call down the thunder!’ on their heads. So perhaps they should have called it Storm Wyatt, rather than Virgil.
The increased flooding we have seen in recent years isn’t down to global warming, but almost entirely to the reckless, politically motivated decisions not to dredge river beds, in the name of ‘rewilding’ and protecting the habitat of our old friend the Depressed River Mussel
If they ever get to L, the ‘extreme weather event’ will be known as Logan, after a Scottish grandson who ‘runs through the house like a tornado’.
R is for Ruby, not just for a daughter who ‘leaves a trail of destruction’ wherever she goes, but also for a pet cat who ‘comes in and acts like a storm’.
You couldn’t make it up.
Naming storms is a relatively recent obsession, after the Met Office and their nearest counterparts decided they had to start copying the United States.
The fashion was seized upon gleefully by broadcasters, who delight in bringing us daily apocalyptic warnings of impending doom brought about by the ‘climate emergency’.
Storm Virgil sounds so much more dramatic than ‘a gentle breeze moving in from the South, accompanied by a little light drizzle’.
Still, it makes a change from gormless TV weather girls constantly hectoring us to wear sun screen, keep hydrated and carry an umbrella.
How old do they think we are — five?
Not so long ago, weather forecasters were content to tell you the predicted temperature and the likelihood of rain or snow.
Now, every day is a ‘record this’ or a ‘record that’. When the sun shines, it’s all down to climate change. When it rains, it’s an ‘extreme weather event’.
Naming storms is a relatively recent obsession, after the Met Office and their nearest counterparts decided they had to start copying the United States
We’re told that this summer in Britain was one of the hottest since the end of the Ice Age, or something, even though the sun put in an appearance about twice.
Look, I don’t dispute that human activity has a bearing on the weather systems. But spare us the hyperbole every time the mercury goes above 80ºf and a North Sea gale brings heavy rain to East Anglia.
I’m old enough to have lived through a procession of dire warnings, from new Ice Ages and nuclear winters to forecasts of flourishing vineyards in the Peak District and wildebeest sweeping majestically across the dust bowl which was once the M4 corridor.
Yet Britain still has one of the most temperate climates on the planet, and is responsible for just one per cent of global carbon emissions. While climate change may or may not be ‘man-made’, one thing’s for certain: if there is a crisis in the UK it’s most definitely man-made.
The increased flooding we have seen in recent years isn’t down to global warming, but almost entirely to the reckless, politically motivated decisions not to dredge river beds, in the name of ‘rewilding’ and protecting the habitat of our old friend the Depressed River Mussel.
Building tens of thousands of new homes on flood plains hasn’t helped either.
If you want to see real flooding, cast your eyes across the Atlantic, where Hurricane Ida continues to bring death and destruction.
Having cut a swathe through the Caribbean and made landfall on America’s southern Gulf coast, Ida has barrelled 1,300 miles north and brought a month’s rain in a day to New York and New Jersey, killing at least 22 people.
Look, I don’t dispute that human activity has a bearing on the weather systems. But spare us the hyperbole every time the mercury goes above 80ºf and a North Sea gale brings heavy rain to East Anglia
The death toll in the North East is higher than in New Orleans, which felt the full force of Ida’s 160mph winds.
Entire cities have been left without power.
In Louisiana, a 71-year-old man went missing after an alligator tore his arm off in floodwater. Say what you like about the Depressed River Mussel, but I can’t recall him ever biting somebody’s arm off.
Look, I’m not trying to be flippant, but the devastation wrought by Ida certainly puts our ‘extreme weather events’ into perspective.
Americans would take a look at the recent mild flooding in London and elsewhere and simply shrug.
When Crocodile Dundee was confronted in New York by a mugger armed with a flick knife, he pulled out his Bowie knife, the size of a small sword.
‘Call that a knife?’ he said. ‘THAT’S a knife!’
Americans hit by Ida could say something similar about Storm Arwen, if and when she ever arrives.
‘Call that a storm? THAT’S a storm!’
The usual suspects have attempted to blame Ida on climate change, but few people in the U.S. are taking them seriously. They’ve seen it all before, dozens of times over the past century.
It’s generally agreed that the worst storm ever to hit the U.S. was the Great Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Packing 185mph winds, it killed almost 500 people in Florida’s Upper Keys — out of just 600 who lived there at the time.
And that was long before global warming had been invented.
Ida started to form off West Africa, before travelling 5,600 miles across the Atlantic. I don’t know how to break it to the Greta Thunberg fan club, but scrapping gas boilers, shutting down power stations, and banning petrol cars in Britain wouldn’t have prevented it. And won’t stop it happening again.
Meanwhile, the spoilt, self-indulgent Extinction Rebellion headbangers are causing chaos in overcast London again. In submerged Louisiana, they’d probably have given their right arm, too, for a pink yacht.
Like XR, the doomsday scaremongering of our professional climate alarmists isn’t about saving the planet, it’s all about them.
While far-flung, poverty stricken islands in the Caribbean are reduced to rubble and the death toll continues to rise in America, in Britain the eco-mentalists amuse themselves by naming thunderstorms after their pets.
Watch out, everybody, here comes Storm Geronimo!
Control? Don’t make me laugh
Britain is quite rightly granting permanent residency to 10,000 Afghan refugees, including brave translators and their families.
Yet at the same time we learn there are 10,000 convicted foreign criminals walking the streets who we can’t kick out because of the pernicious ‘yuman rites’ industry.
And already this year, 12,500 foreign nationals have arrived on cross-Channel dinghies after paying criminal people-smuggling gangs to avoid normal immigration processes.
Already this year, 12,500 foreign nationals have arrived on cross-Channel dinghies
Not one has been deported and most probably never will be.
Britain has a proud record of taking in refugees such as the Afghans who deserve our help. We should make room for them by booting out those who have no right to be here.
Brexit was supposed to let us take back control of our borders. Why are we still waiting?
The Government is sticking unapologetically to its insane, over-complicated air travel regulations. This is despite the fact that you have more chance of contracting Covid at home than overseas.
As a result, families returning from long-overdue sunshine holidays are being subjected to intolerable five-hour delays at Heathrow.
Passengers complain of being crammed together with no social distancing and without access to drinking water or toilets.
Getting into Britain these days is more difficult than getting out of Kabul last week
Yet the Home Office says people will just have to lump it because of a high volume of arrivals and the need to comply with Covid documentation.
That still doesn’t explain the chronic staff shortages or the malfunctioning electronic gates. Getting into Britain these days, even for UK passport holders, is more difficult than getting out of Kabul last week.
Maybe it’s time to hand over border control at Heathrow to the Taliban.