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View Full Version : Britain celebrates 150 years of the Shipping Forecast today...



Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2017, 11:07 AM
Originally started by Fitzroy who disagreed with Darwin, the longest continual run of weather forecasts in history.

In recognition of which, may I offer you happy people on the windward side of the Atlantic, who insist on sending us your secondhand weather, a Beaufort Scale that you may have missed, which is particularly pertinent to Britain (oh, and Bergen, Norway..) - not wind, not sea state, but Rain:

Force 0: Complete Dryness.
Absence of rain from the air. The gap between two periods of wet.
Associated Phrase: "it looks like it might rain."

Force 1: Scotch Mist.
Presence of wet in the air, hovering rather than falling. You can feel damp on your face. but if you supinate your hand, nothing lands on it.
Associated Phrase: "i think it's trying to rain."

Force 2: Individual drops.
Individual drops of rain falling, but quite separate as if they are all freelance and not part of the same corporate effort. If switched on now, windscreen wipers make an awful screeching noise. Spectacle wearers begin to grumble. A newspaper being read outside begins to speckle.
Associated Phrase: "it's spitting."

Force 3: Fine Rain.
Raindrops falling together now, but still invisibly, like the spray which drifts off a fountain with the wind behind. Ignored by all sportsmen except Test cricketers, who dash for cover. Spectacle wearers walk into oncoming traffic. Windscreen wipers, when switched on, make the windscreen totally opaque. If being read outside, a newspaper gets damp.
Associated Phrases: "is it worth putting the umbrella up?" and "another fine rain you've gotten us into."

Force 4: Visible Light Shower.
Hair starts to congeal around ears. First rainwear appears. People start to remember washing left out. Ignored by all sportsmen except Wimbledon players, who dash for cover. A newspaper being read outside starts to tear slightly.
Associated Phrases: "it's starting to come down now," "it won't last," and "it's settled in for the day now."

Force 5: Drizzle.
Shapes beginning to be visible in rain for the first time, usually drifting from right to left. Windscreen wipers are too slow at slow speed, too fast at fast speed. Shower-proof rainwear turns out to be shower-proof all right, but not drizzle-proof. First damp feeling inside either shoes or neckline. Butterflies take evasive action and begin to fly straight. A newspaper being read in the open starts to turn to pulp.
Associated Phrases: "it's really chucking it down now," "it's raining cats and dogs," and "nice for the farmers."

Force 6: Downpour.
You can see raindrops bouncing on impact, like charter planes landing. Leaves and petals recoil when hit. Anything built of concrete begins to look nasty. Eyebrows become waterlogged. Horse racing called off. Wet feeling rises above ankles and starts for knees. Butterflies fly backwards. A newspaper being read in the open divides into two. Gardeners watering the flowers begin to think about packing it in.
Associated Phrases: "it's coming down in stair rods," and "it's bucketing down."

Force 7: Squally, Gusty Rain.
As Force 6, but with added wind. Water starts to be forced up your nostrils. Maniacs leave home and head for the motorway in their cars. Butterflies start walking. Household cats and dogs become unpleasant to handle. Cheaper clothes start to come to bits.
Associated Phrases: "it's pissing down now," and "there's some madman out in the garden trying to read a newspaper."

Force 8: Torrential Rain.
The whole world outside has been turned into an en suite douche. It starts raining inside umbrellas. Windscreen wipers become useless. The ground looks as if it is steaming. Butterflies drown. Your garments start merging into each other and becoming indistinguishable. Man reading newspaper in the open starts to disintegrate. All team games except rugby, football, and water polo called off.

Associated Phrase: "Jesus, will you look at that coming down."

Force 9: Cloudburst.
Rain so fierce that it can only be maintained for a minute or two. Drops so large that they hurt if they hit you. Water gets into your pockets and forms rock-pools. Windscreen wipers are torn off cars. Too wet for water-skiing. Instantaneous rivers form on roads, and man reading newspaper floats past. Rain runs UP windows.

Force 10: Hurricane.
Not defined inland - the symptoms are too violent and extreme (cars floating, newspaper readers lost at sea, people drowned by inhaling rain, etc.). So, if hurricane conditions do appear to pertain, look for some other explanation.
Associated Phrases: "Oh my god, the water tank has burst - it's coming through the kitchen ceiling," and "I think the man upstairs has fallen asleep in his bat

Peerie Maa
08-25-2017, 11:19 AM
Well dome that man.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2017, 11:25 AM
I stole it

Rum_Pirate
08-25-2017, 11:26 AM
Glad you did. It is entertaining. Y>

#3 about Test cricketers reminded me of this:


Cricket: As explained to a foreigner...

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.

When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.

Sometimes you get men still in and not out.When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

SKIP KILPATRICK
08-25-2017, 11:51 AM
Force 1: Scotch Mist

Now that sounds like a refreshing beverage!

"Make it a Force 1 Scotch Mists on the rocks, please!"

Peerie Maa
08-25-2017, 11:53 AM
Force 1: Scotch Mist

Now that sounds like a refreshing beverage!

"Make it a Force 1 Scotch Mists on the rocks, please!"

In truth Scotch Mist is closer to force 6.
Force 1 is better described as a soft day.

Whameller
08-28-2017, 10:47 AM
"Dreich" - my favourite word but never heard on the Shipping Forecast !

Peerie Maa
08-28-2017, 10:54 AM
"Dreich" - my favourite word but never heard on the Shipping Forecast !

Well, that ish the whole thing, wind rail and cold. More a state of mind.
This I like:
https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/019/373/large/george_simpson_beaufort_scale_comic.jpg

Flying Orca
08-28-2017, 11:03 AM
In truth Scotch Mist is closer to force 6.
Force 1 is better described as a soft day.

Not for the first time, I am struck by the consonance between the Highlands and the sub-Arctic.

Peerie Maa
08-28-2017, 11:07 AM
Not for the first time, I am struck by the consonance between the Highlands and the sub-Arctic.

How long do you guys have to wait before the weather changes?
In Scotland it's about a half hour. :D

Flying Orca
08-28-2017, 11:10 AM
How long do you guys have to wait before the weather changes?
In Scotland it's about a half hour. :D

Half an hour if it's good weather. Days, if it's not... :D

It's tough when you're out on the land. I remember being stormbound for five days on one occasion, on a small island low enough that we were awash in cold salt spray the entire time. I also remember being stormbound for three days in winter, which was actually much more comfortable, as it was dry and we just stayed in sleeping bags and read and played cards for three days.

mmd
08-28-2017, 11:15 AM
Changeable weather? When I lived in east-coast Newfoundland the common phrase was, "If you don't like the weather, look out a different window." <grin>

Jim Bow
08-28-2017, 11:21 AM
Give a listen to a U.K. tradition:
Report starts at 1:20

https://youtu.be/oguCxlZ94Ho

Flying Orca
08-28-2017, 12:05 PM
Changeable weather? When I lived in east-coast Newfoundland the common phrase was, "If you don't like the weather, look out a different window." <grin>

That's even better than the "hold my beer" variants!

Rum_Pirate
08-28-2017, 12:20 PM
On another forum there was an Architect/artist Nigel(?) that wanted a subject suggestion.

I suggested a sequence of 12 paintings each of the same yacht in each of the Beaufort Scale wind forces.

IIRC he did do it but I never got to see a pic of the set. |:(