From: Richard Chapman, Middlesbrough.
I WAS surprised to read (The Yorkshire Post, October 14) a report regarding unofficial forecasts that the UK is set to experience its severest winter for 50 years. Your paper is now mirroring the farcical headlines that we seem to read, almost weekly, in the Daily Express and the Daily Mail that Britain is going to have the coldest winter since the dawn of time or we are to bake in deadly heat waves.
I notice that you, like those papers, are quoting James Madden from a weather forecasting organisation called Exacta Weather. He has never been proved to be right with any of his forecasts over recent years.
Weather in the UK is always difficult to predict because we are an island on the edge of a Continental land mass being influenced by continental air from the Europe and Polar maritime air from the Atlantic. As a result, we are often in the battleground between different air masses and therefore weather types. At this stage in the season it is virtually impossible, with any degree of accuracy, to predict what the coming winter weather will be like.
Of course we could be in for a severe winter but, currently, there are no strong indications in the medium term trends to support this possibility.