Firenado, snowmageddon, polar vortex and the beast from the east; our obsession with made-up weather words
It's the go-to conversation-starter for socially-challenged Brits everywhere so naturally the more extreme the better.
Weather, which we generally experience in a pretty mild form compared to the rest of the world, fascinates us in a way which means every year- it simply has to be increasingly dramatic.
We’d have nothing to talk about around the barbeque or use for awkward chats with strangers, otherwise.
Cue headline writers, both tabloid and click-bait hunting (guilty), revelling in terms which then become actual language and perhaps mask which weather events are actually quite serious.
This week’s screamer was the Firenado (not a word), which was caught on video, a sort of fire tornado (see what they did there) spiralling above an industrial blaze.
But it comes hot (sorry) on the heels of a possible rash of headlines inspired by journalists jumping up and down with glee at the chance to play with words (again, guilty).
This year’s appearance of the sun in summer has seen an absolute meltdown of creativity culminating in the recent Furnace Friday (it was cloudy in Lancashire).
But it’s the bad weather of winter in which we absolutely excel, as ‘Stormageddon’ was followed by ‘The beast from the East’, only to be one-upped by a ‘Polar Vortex’ and in what was a slightly desperate stab at re-inventing a classic ‘Weathergeddon’ which, let’s be honest, pretty much covers any whimsy of our unpredictable skies.
To sum up, it was a bit windy and then it rained.
I think we’ve missed the point that the definition of winter is ‘the coldest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere’.
Mind you summer is ‘the warmest season of the year and a time people generally associate with carefree and fun activities’ so presumably the fun activity we have opted is boasting about it and making up names.
When we run out we just go overboard. ‘Killer winter’, ‘killer rain’, ‘snow chaos’ have all graced the front of newspapers and websites.
Though my particular fave this week is ‘It will rain in September’.