Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Michael Fish and his verdict on the Admiral Fitzroy storm glass

When you want advice about the weather, who do you ask?

Well, for the past four months I have been putting my faith (for the purposes of this blog only), in the Admiral Fitzroy storm glass.

It has faithfully predicted bouts of snow, ice, and even the odd milder spell, while sitting on the desk in my study.

However, I learnt today that I may have been doing this all wrong.

And this word of advice came from another weather aficionado, the one and only Michael Fish MBE.

I spent a very pleasant morning with this meteorological guru most famed for 'that' incident in October 1987 when he failed to predict the Great Storm was about to raze parts of Britain to the ground.

That aside, the former BBC forecaster has been at the forefront of his profession for the past 40 years.

Although he is not on our screens as often as he was during the 80s and 90s, he is still very much considered to be one of the top in the weather forecasting business.

Look out for an array of goodies from this morning in the Daily Express and on the Express website this week.

Anyway, I mentioned I have been having a bit of fun with the Admiral Fitzroy storm glass after it was given to me as a present for Christmas.

"Where do you keep it?" he asked, before I told him, safely on my desk in my spare room.

"I suggest you take it outside then," he replied, "they don't really work in centrally-heated houses."

I had suspected this when, during the harshest weekend of the winter, the boiler went and as the temperature in the house dropped to just above freezing, the storm glass began giving surprisingly accurate readings.

I came to the conclusion there must be an element of temperature sensitivity in the mechanism which makes it work.

And it seems I was right, Mr Fish's diagnosis was that the solidification of the crystals is probably driven by the temperature and so it is outside where you will get the most accurate readings.

Makes sense really.

So, it seems that even though he has been spot on so far, Admiral Fitzroy could be doing better.

For now though, it suggests things might be staying cold for the next few days at least.

Wrap up warm.

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