The Daily Express and their obsession with THE WEATHER

There’s one thing the Daily Express likes to talk about.

A LOT.

That’s right… it is THE WEATHER.

For example, here was last Monday’s front page:

But how many times have stories about the weather appeared on the front page? 

According to my own research, since September 2011:

  • Stories about the WEATHER has appeared on the front page Daily Express 111 times.
  • It has been the MAIN NEWS STORY OF THE DAY 52 times.

Also:

  • It has predicted hurricanes 3 times in the last year. It also claims that a hurricane hit Britain on the 4th January.
  • There has been 12 instances in the last year where it has predicted or has claimed weather ‘chaos’.
  • Here is a wordle of their top weather related headlines in the last year:

So, how many times has it accurately predicted the weather? I’m no meteorologist, but here are all of the Daily Express’ weather headlines alongside the Met Office’s weather report for that month. Is there a correlation between the two?

Judge for yourself.

(M: Main headline S: Other headline on front page)
(Note: All headlines below have been capitalised, whilst not all front page are capitalised)

SEPTEMBER 2011
65MPH WINDS TO HIT BRITAIN  (7th/M)
HURRICANE TO SMASH BRITAIN – 80MPH WINDS AND 50FT WAVES ARE ON THE WAY (10th/M)
88MPH WINDS TO BATTER BRITAIN (13th/S)
BRITAIN FACES AN EARLY BIG FREEZE (20th/M)
WHY FORECASTERS ARE SO CERTAIN THAT WE ARE IN FOR HEAVY SNOW THIS WINTER (23rd/S)
83F HEATWAVE ALL NEXT WEEK, BUT MAKE THE MOST OF IT, THE BIG FREEZE IS COMING (24th/M)
KEEP COOL AND CARRY ON (26th/S)
86F HOTTER THAN BAHAMAS (29th/S)
90F RED HOT OCTOBER – WARMEST EVER AUTUMN DAYS ON WAY (30th – M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2011/september.html)

  • It was an unusually hot end to the month, with temperatures peaking at 29.2 °C (84F). The question is though whether Britain will reach the 90F RED HOT OCTOBER promised by the Express.
  • And what about that hurricane? Well there were strong winds. “A wind gust of 87 mph was recorded at Needles Old Battery (Isle of Wight) on the 6th.”
  • And what about that early big freeze before winter? The paper reported that snow was on the way next month. This month however… “A minimum temperature of -0.4 °C was recorded at Tyndrum (Stirling) early on the 15th.”

OCTOBER 2011
HURRICANE TO BLAST AWAY HEATWAVE (3rd/S)
NEW HURRICANE TO HIT BRITAIN – AND OUR CHAOTIC WEATHER WILL SOON BRING ARCTIC BLAST (4th/M)
SPRING LAMBS BORN IN AUTUMN, ANOTHER HEATWAVE FORECAST THEN SNOW… WHAT’S HAPPENING TO OUR WEATHER? (6th/S)
WE TOLD YOU SNOW (7th/S)
-20°C TO HIT US IN WEEKS – GRIT STOCKPILED ALREADY (8th/M)
BRITAIN FACES A MINI ‘ICE AGE’ – THIS WINTER WILL SEE START OF DECADES OF BIG FREEZES (10th/M)
ARCTIC BLAST TO BRING SNOW – BIG FREEZE NEXT WEEK WILL END INDIAN SUMMER (15th – M)
BIG FREEZE WILL KILL THOUSANDS – WINTER DEATH TOLL TO RISE AS PRICE OF FUEL ROCKETS (20th/M)
BROLLIES OUT… MONTH’S WORTH OF RAIN TO FALL IN JUST ONE DAY (24th – S)
NOW BRITAIN’S ON FLOOD ALERT (25th/S)
ARMY PUT ON SNOW ALERT (30th/M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2011/october.html)

  • Here comes the snow! Well maybe not. According to the Met Office the “minimum temperature of -3.3°C was recorded at Santon Downham (Suffolk) early on the 20th.”  
  • It was a hot month, but not the 32°C (90F) promised last month. “The month began with a southerly airstream resulting in some exceptionally high temperatures, reaching 25–28 °C widely in England and Wales. Some places in the west and north recorded their highest temperature of the year.”
  • And as for that promised hurricane? “A wind gust of 77 mph was recorded at Killowen (County Down) on the 17th.”

NOVEMBER 2011
BIG SIBERIAN FREEZE TO HIT BRITAIN – IT WILL BE HERE IN WEEKS (2nd/M)
NOVEMBER TO BE THE WARMEST FOR 353 YEARS, BUT SHOCK COLD BLAST IS ON THE WAY (14th/S)
AUTUMN BECOMES SPRING – HOW OUR WEATHER HAS GONE REALLY QUAKERS (17th/S)
MET OFFICE WARNS: 75MPH GALES ARE ON THE WAY (24th/S)
BRITAIN BRACED FOR NEW STORMS – 70MPH WINDS AND SNOW ON THE WAY (28th/M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2011/november.html)

  • Well that big winter freeze that will kill everybody has been on the way for a long time now. This month however, “A generally southerly flow in the first three weeks brought many very mild days. There was plenty of cloud at times, and some persistent fog over eastern England, but any rainfall was showery and mainly confined to the west.”
  • Was it the warmest November for 353 years? “The mean temperature was 2.9 °C above the 1971–2000 average, resulting in provisionally the second warmest November in over 100 years with only November 1994 warmer.” 
  • “A maximum temperature of 19.2 °C was recorded at Tregarth (Gwynedd) on the 13th. A minimum temperature of −6.1 °C was recorded at Redesdale (Northumberland) early on the 7th. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on the 18th, 81 mm of rainfall was recorded at Benmore, Younger Botanic Garden (Argyll and Bute). A wind gust of 90 mph was recorded on Fair Isle on the morning of the 27th.”

DECEMBER 2011
-12°C AND FIRST SNOW OF WINTER IS HERE (3rd/S)
WHY A WHITE CHRISTMAS IS A SURE BET (5th/S)
MET OFFICE SEVERE WEATHER ALERT AS HEAVY SNOW SPREADS (6th/S)
BRITAIN FACES KILLER ARCTIC BLAST – 4 INCHES OF SNOW AND 100 MPH WINDS (8th/M)
BRITAIN BATTERED BY 165 MPH WINDS (9th/S)
100 MPH STORMS ON THEIR WAY – BRITAIN BRACED FOR WORST GALES IN 30 YEARS (12th/M)
THE BIG FREEZE – WEATHER WARNING AS ARCTIC BITE BLASTS (16th/S)
IT’S A WHITE CHRISTMAS – BOOKIES CUT ODDS AND THERE’S KILLER ICE THIS WEEKEND (17th/M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2011/december.html)

  • So that White Christmas. What happened? In England “Christmas Day was generally cloudy, breezy and one of the mildest on record, with 14.0°C recorded at Church Fenton (North Yorkshire), and no snow reported anywhere.” In Scotland “…it was very mild, with 15.1 °C recorded at Dyce (Aberdeen).” In Wales it “remained very mild. Christmas Day was rather cloudy, with light rain and drizzle in the west, but again very mild.” And in Northern Ireland a “mild day with patchy rain on 25th and 14.3°C was recorded at Murlough (County Down), provisionally setting a new Northern Ireland record for Christmas Day.”
  • So what about the whole month then? “It was the mildest December since 2006 and over 5°C warmer than December 2010. Over England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the number of air frosts was significantly below average.”
  • We also never got to those killer -21°C arctic frosts either. “A minimum temperature of -9.4°C was recorded at Loch Glascarnoch (Highland) early on the 18th.”.
  • However, it was a little bit windy. “A wind gust of 105 mph was recorded at Tulloch Bridge (Highland) on the 8th and the 164 mph gust recorded on Cairngorm Summit (altitude 1237 m) that day was the strongest in the UK since November 1996.”

JANUARY 2012
BRITAIN BATTERED BY 106MPH HURRICANE (4th/S)
BIG FREEZE TO LAST A MONTH – GET READY FOR THE LONGEST SPELL OF WINTER (27th/M)
FREEZING WEATHER WILL KILL – GOVERNMENT ISSUES SHOCK HEALTH WARNING (28th/M)
BRITAIN ON ALERT AS SNOW AND ICE CAUSE CHAOS (30th/S)
BRITAIN COLDER THAN ICELAND – NEW ALERT AS TEMPERATURES PLUNGE TO -11°C (31st/M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2012/january.html)

  • Boy we do like successive hurricanes don’t we? “A wind gust of 102 mph was recorded at Blackford Hill, Edinburgh on the 3rd.” It was windy in England too, on the 5th January. “The north of the country bore the brunt during the morning, with a gust of 93 mph at High Bradfield (South Yorkshire) in the early hours, but during the day the strongest winds transferred to eastern England, with gusts above 50 mph widely reported.”
  • As for the whole month? “The provisional mean UK temperature was 1.3°C above the 1971-2000 average. It was the mildest January since 2008, significantly milder than those of 2009 to 2011… A minimum temperature of -10.5°C was recorded at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) early on the 16th. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on the 12th, 64.8 mm of rain fell at Kinlochewe (Highland). 

FEBRUARY 2012
PLEASE KEEP WARM… SNOW, ICE AND IT’S GOING TO GET COLDER (1st/S)
BRITAIN FACES A WEEK OF SNOW (2nd/M)
-12°C BRITAIN FACES SNOW CHAOS (3rd/M)
DEEP FREEZE BRITAIN: 6 INCHES OF SNOW THIS WEEKEND (4th/M)
GAS PRICES TO SOAR AS UK FACES WHITEOUT (5th/S)
FREEZE CHAOS TO GET WORSE (6th/M)
-15°C: COLDER THAN THE NORTH POLE (8th/M)
8 INCHES OF SNOW IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS (9th/M)
SKID PAN BRITAIN: ICE AND SNOW CAUSE CHAOS ON OUR ROADS (10th/S)
HALF TERM SNOW AND ICE CHAOS ON THE WAY (11th/M)
BRITAIN FACES DROUGHT SHORTAGE (14th/M)
HOSEPIPE BAN WITHIN WEEKS – ITS OFFICIAL… (21st/M)
68F IT’S GOING TO BE HOTTER THAN HAWAII THIS WEEK (22nd/S)
FEBRUARY? IT’S HOTTER THAN JUNE (24th/S)
81F: GLORIOUS SPRING ON THE WAY (25th/M)
UK ENJOYS ONE OF WARMEST WINTERS FOR 350 YEARS (27th/S)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2012/february.html)

  • We did get snow. Quite a bit. “Cold weather during the first 12 days brought sharp frosts, icy roads and some snow, especially to the eastern half of England. Late on the 4th, several centimetres of snow fell widely across central and eastern England with over 12 cm in places… At 0900 on the 5th a snow depth of 16 cm was measured at Malham Tarn (North Yorkshire) and Buntingford (Hertfordshire).”
  • It also did get quite cold. “A maximum temperature of 18.7°C was recorded at Coleshill (Warwickshire) on the 23rd. A minimum temperature of -15.6°C was recorded at Holbeach (Lincolnshire) early on the 11th.”
  • And as for that glorious spring? On the 23rd “Coleshill (Warwickshire) recorded 18.7 °C making this the warmest February day since 1998. A significant number of stations recorded their highest February temperature on record.”

MARCH 2012
WEATHER WARNING – BRITAIN ON ALERT FOR FLASH FLOODS (6th/S)
70F BRITAIN TO BE HOTTER THAN IBIZA – (12th/S)
NOW GET READY FOR A LONG, VERY HOT SUMMER (BUT THE WORST DROUGHT FOR 124 YEARS) (20th/S)
SIZZLING SPRING IS HOTTER THAN THE SAHARA (23rd/S)
70F – WELCOME TO BRITISH SUMMER TIME (24th/S)
BAKING BRITAIN? IT’S GOING TO GET EVEN HOTTER – 75 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT (26th/S)
EASTER ARCTIC FREEZE ON WAY – SNOW AND -9°C TEMPERATURES TO HIT BRITAIN (31st/M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2012/march.html)

  • Well, I cannot confirm that we were hotter than the Sahara, but the Met Office Report states “Eastern England received some welcome rainfall on 4th, 5th and 17th, but apart from this much of the month was dry, adding to mounting concerns about drought. As well as the dryness, the period 23rd-30th was remarkably sunny across virtually the whole of the UK… A maximum temperature of 23.6 °C was recorded at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) on the 27th.” 

APRIL 2012
BRITAIN FACING WEEK OF SNOW – EIGHT INCHES TO FALL AS NEW BIG FREEZE BLASTS IN (2nd/M)
EASTER ARCTIC BLAST SLASHES THE ODDS ON THE COLDEST EASTER EVER (3rd/S)
DAYS AFTER RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES SNOW CHAOS SWEEPS BRITAIN (4th/S)
7-FOOT SNOW DRIFTS CAUSE EASTER CHAOS (5th/S)
SNOW AND FLOODS BUT HOSEPIPE BAN WILL LAST ALL YEAR (6th/S)
WORST YEAR FOR HAYFEVER MISERY – 1/2 MILLION ALLERGY SUFFERERS FACING MONTHS OF HELL (7th/M)
SUMMER’S ON HOLD AS NEW ICY BLAST BRINGS SNOW (11th/S)
WE’RE IN THE GRIP OF THE WORST DROUGHT FOR DECADES BUT… NOW BRITAIN IS ON FLOOD ALERT (12th/M)
NEW COLD ICE BLAST ON THE WAY – WEATHERMAN WARNS: DONT PUT AWAY YOUR WINTER WOOLIES (14th/M)
WORST DROUGHT SINCE 1976 BUT 6 INCHES OF SNOW AND FLOODING IS ON THE WAY (17th/S)
COLDEST MAY FOR 100 YEARS – SPRING WILL RETREAT AS WINTER REARS BACK, SAYS EXPERTS (19th/M)
NOW WE FACE A MONTH OF RAIN… BUT THERE’S STILL NO END TO THE HOSEPIPE BAN (21st/M)
60MPH GALES TO BATTER BRITAIN – AND A MONTH’S RAIN IN JUST HOURS (27th/M)
FLOOD CHAOS TO LAST ALL WEEK – VIOLENT STORMS CAUSE DAMAGE ACROSS BRITAIN (30th/M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2012/april.html)

  • Not sure where the seven foot (212cm) snow drifts happened. The most that took place in April was “a snow depth of 22 cm was recorded at Whitehillocks (Angus) at 0900 on the 3rd.” The snow also didn’t come back throughout the UK at the end of the month.
  • It also wasn’t the coldest Easter ever. According to the report “The UK mean temperature was 0.6 °C below the 1971-2000 average, and it was the coldest April since 1989. Unusually, April was colder than March (the last time that occurred was in 1998) and the temperature failed to reach 20 °C anywhere (this last occurred in April 1989). Most of England, Wales and eastern Scotland were much wetter than normal, making it provisionally the wettest April on record across the UK (somewhat wetter than April 2000).”
  • As for that rain “With low pressure over or near the UK for most of the month, the weather was generally unsettled with numerous showery days. There was some snow in northern areas early in the month and longer spells of rain especially in the last week…” There was some strong winds, with “A wind gust of 76 mph was recorded at Warcop Range (Cumbria) on the evening of the 29th. 

MAY 2012 
WETTEST APRIL IN 100 YEARS… AND MORE FLOODS ON THE WAY (1st/S)
BRITAIN FACING NEW BIG FREEZE – -9°C AND SNOW ON THE WAY FOR BANK HOLIDAY (3rd/M)
WINTER TO LAST UNTIL JUNE – NO LET UP IN COLD SPELL (5th/M)
WEATHER ALERT AS GALES, FLOODS AND SNOW BLAST BACK (8th/S)
NEW COLD SNAP TO LAST FOR A MONTH (15th/M)
GLORIOUS SUMMER IS ON THE WAY (19th/M)
80 DEGREE FAHRENHEIT: BRITAIN HOTTER THAN SPAIN THIS WEEK (21st/S)
100 DEGREE FAHRENHEIT: SUMMER ON THE WAY (22nd/S)
80 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT: HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR AND MORE ON THE WAY (23rd/S)
81 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT: EARLY HAYFEVER ALERT BUT IT’S ALL SMILES FOR SUN WORSHIPPERS (24th/S)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2012/may.html)

  • Nowhere in the report does it say that it was the wettest April in 100 years. However, there was still quite a considerable amount of rain. “In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on the 14th, 101.0 mm of rain fell at Kinlochewe (Highland).
  • We also never reached the 100F (37.7°C) promised by the Express either. It was however hot, with temperatures above or around 81F (27.2°C). The report says that a “marked improvement occurred from 21st, with a much warmer and more settled spell. Temperatures rose above 27°C at least somewhere in the UK each day from the 23rd to the 28th… A maximum temperature of 29.3°C was recorded at Achnagart (Highland) on the 25th, a new May record for Scotland.”
  • We also never got anywhere near -9°C at the start of the month, or a cold snap throughout it. The coldest for that month was −6.2°C recorded at Saughall (East Ayrshire) early on the 5th. There was a little bit of snow in the Midlands on the 15th.

JUNE 2012
70 MPH GALES TO BATTER BRITAIN – STORMS WILL CAUSE CHAOS (7th/M)
FLOOD ALERT AS 80 MPH STORMS LASH BRITAIN (8th/S)
WORST STORMS FOR A DECADE – MONSOON RAINS AND FLOODS ON WAY (9th/M)
ANOTHER MONTH’S WORTH OF RAIN IS TO FALL THIS WEEK (11th/S)
TWO MONTHS WORTH OF RAIN IN JUST 30 HOURS (12th/S)
MONSOON BRITAIN – FLOODED STREETS NOW GET READY FOR TORNADOES (13th/S)
80MPH STORM CHAOS ON WAY (14th/M)
SUMMER STARTS IN SEPTEMBER – WORST STORMS FOR 50 YEARS WARN EXPERTS (15th/M)
HAYFEVER HELL FOR MILLIONS – CRAZY WEATHER SPARKS SURGE IN CASES (16th/M)
WETTEST JUNE ON RECORD (18TH/S)
STORMS, FLOOD AND MUD, BUT NEXT WEEK IT COULD HIT 82F (23rd/S)
CHAOS AS FLOODS HIT NORTH (24th/S)
SUMMER IS ON THE WAY AT LAST – BRITAIN SET TO SIZZLE AS TEMPERATURES HIT 93F (25th/M)
CRAZY WEATHER FOR SIX MONTHS – LIGHTNING, HAIL, GALES AND EVEN HEATWAVES (30th/M)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2012/june.html)

  • It was the wettest June for quite a long time, but not ever. “It was the wettest June across the UK in the series from 1910 (wetter than June 2007), and the equal-wettest June in the England and Wales series from 1766 (shared with June 1860).”
  • There were also lots of storms. “An unseasonably stormy day across southern England and south Wales on the 7th resulted in difficult driving conditions… Persistent heavy rainfall across mid-Wales during the 8th and into the 9th resulted in significant flooding in the Aberystwyth area… Further prolonged heavy rainfall across south-east and central southern England on the 11th resulted in localised flooding of roads and properties and disruption to sports events… A further stormy spell on the 14th and 15th brought some disruption to ferry routes… Rainfall on the 21st caused waterlogged ground at the Isle of Wight rock music… Persistent, and often heavy, rainfall for much of the 22nd caused significant flooding across parts of Lancashire, Cumbria and West Yorkshire… Perhaps the most widespread and serious flooding occurred following thunderstorms and torrential rain on the 28th. Areas affected included the Midlands, NE England and parts of Northern Ireland and southern Scotland.”

JULY 2012
BRITAIN FACING FLOOD MISERY – TWO MONTHS OF RAIN IN NEXT 3 DAYS (5th/M)
SORRY THERE’S NO MIGHT ABOUT IT… IT WILL RAIN TILL SEPTEMBER (7th/M)
CHEER UP… SUMMER WILL START NEXT WEEK JUST IN TIME FOR THE OLYMPICS (17th/S)
95F. FORGET THE RAIN… BRITAIN’S SUMMER STARTS THIS WEEKEND (20th/M)
UK BASKS IN TROPICAL SUNSHINE (23rd/S)
83F. BRITAIN IS BAKING… AND IT’S GOING TO GET HOTTER (24th/S)
BRITAIN BAKES ON THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR (26th/S)

Met Office Report (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2012/july.html)

  • It didn’t rain continuously till September, as the headlines show themselves. In fact the report says “Almost all areas were duller than usual, particularly Scotland where it was one of the dullest Julys on record.”
  • As for that heat a”maximum temperature of 30.7°C was recorded at St James’s Park (London) on the 25th. A minimum temperature of 0.0°C was recorded at Resallach (Highland) early on the 2nd. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on the 7th, 74.9 mm of rain fell at Slapton (Devon). A wind gust of 62 mph was recorded at Needles Old Battery (Isle of Wight) during the 16th.”

And finally… AUGUST 2012
90F! A BURST OF SUMMER AT LAST (6th/S)
60MPH STORMS TO LASH BRITAIN (14th/S)
104F. BRITAIN TO GET REALLY HOT AND STEAMY TOMORROW (16th/S)
BANK HOLIDAY SET TO BE A TOTAL WASHOUT – SUMMER WILL END WITH ‘DREADFUL’ WEATHER (20th/M)

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

If you liked that read my other newspaper articles…

EU! Stick You, Your Momma Too – According to their headlines, all the reasons why the Daily Express hates the European Union

A Year of Daily Star Front Pages - According to the Daily Star, what were the important talking points of 2011?

Also follow me on Twitter @scottygb

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6 comments
  1. Robert said:

    Reblogged this on Robert Grant's stats blog and commented:
    Excellent and hilarious piece of work from Scott Bryan, demolishing sensational weather headlines in the Express. Since the departure of the Giles cartoons, it hasn’t had a redeeming feature.

  2. Ian Williams said:

    Excellent piece, the Express is a joke! Please have a read through our thread on this joke newspaper

    http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/90592-express-alert-express-alert/

  3. j hynes said:

    It’s as if someone is trying to sell climate change for profit. Surely that couldn’t happen?

  4. G Robertson said:

    The stories by Nathan Rayo are pathetic enough but why does the excuse of an editor, Roger “witless” Whittow allow them to be published?

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