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I get the news I need on the weather report

He likes his eggs sunny side up and knows all the words to 'Greased Lightning' - who better to talk about all things climatical? Ladies and gentlemen... The Weather Doc:

OK, so last week we were filled with the joy of a vastly improved forecast. We at GFF spent a very jolly weekend shopping for rubber rings, flipflops & thongs, flopped back in our deckchairs & relaxed with a nice glass of advocaat, safe in the knowledge that the forecast was good. We had satisfied our legions of ardent (and increasingly aroused) fans and done great things for the sale of suncream.

Then Metcheck threw us a googly. I believe we mentioned that they were the first to really go for a nice forecast, while all others were urging caution. Sure enough, no sooner had the ink dried on our expertly crafted webmagic, they turned the hosepipe on our pale & naked pigeon chests.

60% chance of rain, 21 degrees.

The swines!

They had fallen back in line with the other generally less good forecasts out there & made it merely average. So, why the sudden change? Long range forecasting is a tricky business & it will be at least another month before they start getting anything near reliable. It relies on historic data, trend analysis, massive amounts of computing power and the office teaboy throwing a dart at a bunch of post-its to decide which of the various options is the most likely based on the current state of the weather.

Predicting exactly what will happen in a couple of months time is hugely problematic. All they can really say is that June will probably be nicer than April, & maybe the recent sunny spell threw their computer cogs into a spin & suggested a warm spell that the rest of the data didn't support.

It's obviously not just our beloved metcheck that rely on statistics - they all do & occasionally they can mislead us & be depressing. Theweatheroutlook.co.uk, for example, have a nice set of graphs that show the percentage deviation from average over 56 days of temperature, precipitation & sunshine. Their forecast for the start of the festival shows that it will have 80% more than average rainfall, below average sunshine & about average temperatures.

On the face of it, that sounds pretty disastrous, but let's look at the facts - our summers are getting warmer, & therefore the long term average temperatures are also rising. A temperature 10% below the 10 year average, for example, might be a perfectly acceptable temperature from 11 years ago. As the average rainfall for England & Wales in June is 65 mm, then 80% more than that is around the 115mm mark (roughly what you'd expect in September or October). However, this could be 4mm a day constant drizzle, in a few showers, or it could be a couple of 2005 storms. Let's not also forget that the figures quoted there are for the large chunks of England & Wales - including places where it throws it down a lot like the Lake District, the Welsh mountains, & my back garden. Averages, you see, include the extremes, & may not really tell us what we're really likely to experience.

And is if to prove just what a contrary madam the whole business of stochastic prediction is, no sooner had the wax dried on our tablet than Metcheck step in where other forecasters fear to tread, reducing the chance of rain by a whopping 16.7% to just 50% (yep, we're back to 'might rain, might not' again), and the temperature is an enormous 9% higher (50% chance of rain, 23 degrees C). See what fun statistics are?

Even with this change, our summary of all the summaries is still looking pretty non-descript at the moment, but the chances are that we will have some rain at some point & it may even be quite chilly without the sunshine. Don't throw away those wellies yet, or the shades, get something warm to cover up the bikini with of an evening, & be prepared to be a little moist in places.

For those of you rejoining this piece of precision predicting because you feared doom & gloom, it's going to be gloriously sunny & pack your thong.

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By: Glasto Festival Forecast | Friday, April 27 at 12:14 | |

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In The Event Of Rain...

Weather update: 60% chance of rain.

If the team at Glastonbury Festival Forecast won the lottery, there would be no modest proclamations of surprise or graceful talk of giving some money to charity. Nope, we'd hire a limo, pick up the first sexy ladies we saw, drive around London with The Tampara (feat. Maya) blasting out the open sunroof and crassly inform anyone who looked in our direction that from now on we'd be wiping our bumholes with those fancy new £20 notes.
And then we'd go and lose the ticket.

Given that we'll clearly never be one of the lucky few who win the big money, there's no actual way we could know this for certain. But if the events following last week's metcheck heatwave prediction are anything to go by, we're pretty sure that's the cookie would crumble.

The promise of 25 degree temperatures and a measly 45% chance of rain was all it took to give us the best day of our lives ever. We didn't have the funds to get a limo but that didn't stop us piling on to the Weather Doc's BMX like an overjoyed pyramid of sun-worshipping stuntman and speeding down Oxford Street yelping "Heatwave! Heatwaaaaave!" over the sounds of the sea of bewildered tourists. With hands sore from high-fiving, we embraced, bonded, wept and thanked God. And all for nothing...

No sooner had we finished designing a massive image to leave on the homepage that said "Site closed - it's going to be fucking sunny! Job done! Woo!" did we hear the news. The forecast had changed. True, the new forecast of 21 degrees and a 60% chance of rain isn't entirely terrible, but frankly we quite liked being the bearers of great news. Now we're back to having to counter every bit of good news with a bit of crap news.

Well no more! Why get upset about the thought of rain and lower temperatures when we can spin the news in such a way that it still sounds great and nobody burns their tickets in dismay?

So here goes:
  • 25 degrees is far too hot anyway. There's next to no free shade at Glastonbury and the idea of standing in those sorts of temperatures actually sounds quite rubbish.
  • Rain isn't all that bad. 2005 may have been a washout but there's a lot less chance of that happening this year. Instead, think cooling showers and the chance to shelter up with as much alcohol as your long-suffering kids/other half can carry.
  • The less sun, the less chance of fat men getting topless. Doesn't sound that bad, until you're stood in a crowd with stretched, hairy nipples pressing against your forearms, quietly dry-heaving with disgust. And believe us ladies, there's something slightly horrible about urinating next a man who happens to be topless. A bloke who's that happy to show off his bulbous man-tits can only be too happy to urinate on other men in public toilets for fun. Not a fact, but worth presuming to be on the safe side.
Take a brolly, some wellies and lots of alcohol (in plastic bottles of course) anyhow and either way you'll be fine. In sunny weather, the umbrella acts as some welcome shade, alcohol is always welcome whatever the conditions, and the wellies will mean that at least your feet stay dry if you do end up next to a chest-baring watersports fan in the loos. Better to be safe instead of sorry, hmm?

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By: Glasto Festival Forecast | Monday, April 23 at 18:37 | |

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Hey, It's The Sun!

When a man with a PhD in pop gives mad props, shows some love and makes some noise for the Weather Doc, brother better listen. Over to the big dawg himself...

Here at GFF HQ or, as we like to call it 'gffhq', things have been very busy indeed. We've had the tricky business of sifting through every weather forecast with the words Glastonbury in it, analysing the results & putting all this technical & highly complex data into our trusty ZX Spectrum - all whilst maintaining adequate stocks of all the other vital weather forecasting stuff you need in an international multi-discipline star studded meteorological office (seaweed, bees, oak & ash trees, gizzards & the like). And as if that wasn't enough, we've had to deal with our ever growing & increasingly A list fan base.

It's as if everyone on Elton John's birthday list has been banging away at our rear entrance trying to get at the goods, such has been the surge in interest. We've even had to turn away some of the early evictees fom Big Brother 3. Out in the street it's no different. I can be minding my own business in a well known supermarket, sizing up the courgettes & mulling over the latest rainfall figures from Peru when I'll feel a tap on my shoulder & someone will ask "Oy, global warming innit?"

Well my weather watching friends, there are important things to think about global warming, and I shall posit the notion that we should bloomin' well think them. Earlier this week, Saint Met Office of Bracknell produced, to great fanfare & acclaim, its long range forecast for Summer 2007 - the period that will almost certainly cover Glastonbury Festival. The most important thing about their long range forecast for Summer 2007 is that it had almost exactly the same words in it as the summary sentence announcing it's publication: likely to continue the warming trend of previous years, no indication of excessive heat or rainfall blah blah, yadda yadda. Today, the newspapers are full of "Phew, what a scorcher" stories predicting another very hot summer & the likelihood of droughts - probably derived from the Environment Agency's drought likelihood report, which does indeed point out that some areas are at risk from water shortages. Planning a wet t-shirt contest? Have it soon, milkytits. Have it soon...

Anyhow, so far so Arctic ice melting-tastic. Hang on though, how come Metcheck increased the likelihood of rain this week from 55 to 60%? How does that square with warming & a hot dry summer? How does that square with the whole global warming thing? Well, for one thing the summer proper won't really be here until July & August - & obviously we're interested in June, particularly the point when our 'monsoon' finishes - something Metcheck are still predicting for Glastonbury weekend. The other point is that global warming doesn't necessarily mean we will be always basking in Mediterranean sunshine. We're an island smack bang in the way of wet winds over the Atlantic heading eastwards. More warming means more evaporation from the sea, and warmer air capable of holding more moisture, meaning more moistness heading our way. Sure it'll be warm & wet instead of cold & wet, but still wet. The sort of storm we saw in 2005 doesn't help recharge underground water stores as it just flows staight into the rivers & streams, & a month of fine drizzle won't do much either, as it'll evaporate before it soaks in to the soil towards the water bearing rocks.

But wait, what's this? What's going on - just as we've been sitting down congratumalating ourselves on another stunning bit of weather info for our adoring public Metcheck try & pull a fast one. The sneaky bastards! It's as if they wanted to discredit us and make us look like stupid amateurs who are just making it all up. There it is, right there on their webpage, a little forecast with clogs on, well I declare shouting 45% chance of rain & 25 degrees. HEATWAVE - IT'S A HEATWAVE!! It is now officially more likely to not rain than it is to rain, and those high temperatures more than make up for it. Maybe they read the headlines & took note of The Weather Outlook website that predicts high pressure building from the south from the end of May. Maybe the threatening letters & nasty looks we've been giving them in the supermarket have worked. We'll keep stalking them on your behalf though, because they still have our monsoon ending at Glastonbury weekend. For now we'll believe them, mainly because we like the idea of warm & dry more than wet & cold, and The Slideometer is heading straight back to Michael 'Happychops' Eavis' smiling face on the right.

So there's your answer - we are going to have a nice Festival. In fact, it's going to be bloody lovely & we can drink beer in the sun till we fall over & go very pink. Every so often there might be a rumble of thunder & a sharp shower but on the whole, by and large, in a manner of speaking and suchlike, we're going to fry in our stinking filth encrusted festival pants. True, it might change. The people with all the numbers might change their minds & make it rain again, but for now we can rejoice & start buying suncream. Don't worry if the forecast changes. As it gets closer to Glastonbury time, if it looks like it's going be bad, we'll just lie, because it will make you feel better & happy, and that's what we at Glastonbury Festival Forecast are all about.

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By: Glasto Festival Forecast | Saturday, April 14 at 20:21 | |

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Twist And Showers

Slightly Pointless Update Time!

The bad news: The latest long-range forecasts are now claiming there's a 60% chance of rain at this year's Glastonbury.
The good news: For (possibly) the first time in history, such news has been broken by two portaloos by the names of Crapper Deemus and Pliers.

Glastonbury Festival Forecast - breaking ground, people. Breaking ground...

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By: Glasto Festival Forecast | Wednesday, April 11 at 16:38 | |

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Comes Rain And Shines

If the Weather Doc and Mother Nature had a fight over the climate, not only would he beat the crap out of her (not that we'd condone that), he'd also end up making sweet love to her afterwards. Over to the man who spunks rainbows...

"The official start of the festival summer is heralded by the sale of Glastonbury tickets, & now that we've all snapped those up
the thoughts of every serious Glasto loving festival head turn to one thing and one thing only: will they be showing the football? And the weather.

The weather can make or break a Glastonbury, and while there's something to be said for the Dunkirk spirit & camaraderie that a
good mudfest can induce, there is nothing, simply nothing, quite so good as simply messing about in hot sunshine befuddled by the

So, what will the weather hold for us this year? The long range forecasts are still to be nailed down, and up until a few days ago Metcheck were still going with its "Might rain, might not" forecast, but the key this year, as with all others, is a phenomenon we scientists call
"The European Monsoon". This seasonal effect has only relatively recently been marked out as a distinct event, having previously
been masked by the UK's propensity to have summer weather than can best be described as 'a bit shit'.

The monsoon phase of our weather starts around the end of May & is caused by the European landmass, of which sadly we must count
ourselves part, warming up in the longer days of late Spring. It takes a while for the oceans to catch up with this warming, & as the heated land causes warm air to rise, it sucks in the weather from the west, bringing with it unsettled, windy & rainy conditions. The end of this monsoon period varies, but it is usually around, you guessed it, Glastonbury festival weekend. So, the chances of us wading round in 4 feet of water or basking in glorious sun depends on whether the monsoon phase is still with us, or whether the oceans have heated up sufficiently to start generating the fabled Azores highs that gives us those wonderful July & August heatwaves we love so much.

When will the monsoon end this year? Annoyingly, Metcheck are predicting it will coincide exactly with Glastonbury weekend, which could explain their metaphorical wobbly hand gesture as to what's going to happen to us. Just as GFF are busy poring over the runes & small animal entrails to work out what this all means, they have updated their prediction to a 55% chance of rain, which is a little more definite than the unequivocal & decisive 'meh' that it was before but not entirely what we want to hear.

That said, the maximum temperature they're looking at is 23 degrees, which suggests that it will be warm, & any rain will be of the 'short sharp shock' variety - possibly with some thunder & relatively strong breezes - there could be some sticky puddles if that falls on hard sun-baked ground. On a brighter note, the Met Office (peace be upon them, and their families) are slightly more hopeful. They suggest that the annual warming trend will continue this year & we could be in for a nice Summer. We'll look forward to more of that kind of forecast from them!

At the moment though, any variation in the weather (however slight) is a bonus to us because it means we get to play about with The Slideometer. Look! It's moved a tiny bit towards the rainy cloud. It's fucking moved!

So anyway, back to the weather... Metcheck aren't yet being specific as to when this Summer will start though, so don't pack away your cagoules just yet. In the mean time we could always fall back on some folklore. One bright spot in the legends is this little gem: "If February brings drifts of snow, There will be good summer crops to hoe". If you cast your minds back to February, you'll remember it did in fact snow, so that heralds a nice growing season. Other things to look out for are the flowers on oak & ash trees: “When oak is out before the ash, ‘Twill be a summer of wet and splash, But if the ash before the oak, ‘Twill be a summer of fire and smoke." Watch for those blossoms! Next month, keep your eyes out for bees: “A swarm of bees in May, Is worth a load of hay.” You'd need to ask a farmer as to whether a good growing season for hay and the like is lots of sunshine or lots of rain - anyone know a farmer near Glastonbury?

It's still early days for weather prediction this Summer, but don't waste too much time fretting about it. Sit back in your garden, relax with a beer, and keep checking back to Glasto Festival Forecast and we'll do all the hard work for you."

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By: Glasto Festival Forecast | Monday, April 9 at 11:21 | |

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Heads It Rains, Tails It's Sunny...

"What on Earth is this?"

At the moment it's a lovely looking, but fairly empty site. However, over the next few months it's going to become the definitive guide (we hope) to what the weather's going be like at 2007's Glastonbury festival. It'll be updated alongside the weather boffins' predictions, as they happen, to ensure you get the very latest festival forecasts. The idea came from the brilliant Glasto Weather Watch, written by a very funny man named Bruce, who's getting married this year and will be too busy having lots of sex in foreign climes to keep an eye on the weather for the sake of some crusties.

"Hooray. So what are the weather folk saying so far then?"

Metcheck are first off the blocks this year with their camply-titled 'Super Long Range Weather Forecast' that predicts a 50% chance of rain and an average temperature of 23 degrees. Inspired work from Metcheck, presumably involving a coin toss and educated guesswork based on the fact it's usually fairly hot in June.
They're either keeping their cards close to their chest (which would be a bit pointless) or they clearly don't have a clue yet but can't say so just in case Sian Lloyd and other famous weathergirls laugh at them.

"Any chance you could sum up the latest weather predictions (6th April) with a fancy graphic?"

Yup, course. To demonstrate the latest leanings from the professional weather folk, we'll be using The Slideometer. See where the red bar sits? That's what they're currently expecting the weather to be like. For each new varying weather prediction, we'll update The Slideometer to reflect it and then whoop and high-five or sulk and whinge, depending on what it foretells.

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By: Glasto Festival Forecast | Friday, April 6 at 10:52 | |

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