I'm sure many 'learned' people with extensive geographical knowledge will tell me that I am being perhaps too cynical and simplistic when I suggest that, judging on recent poor performances, long-range weather forecasting seems to be akin to gazing into a crystal ball.
As you may remember in October past, the Met Office boldly predicted Britain would have a mild winter - this in spite of the inaccuracy of its previous 'barbecue summer' forecast after heavy summer rainfall saw the wettest July for almost 100 years.
Interestingly, in an article in the Belfast Telegraph (December 14), Glenfin valley postman Michael Gallagher, who is renowned for predicting the weather using signs in nature and the behaviour of animals to make his forecasts, insisted Ireland was definitely heading for a white Christmas. So who got it right?
To the Met men who predicted a mild winter, my brother in Edinburgh tells me Scotland is down to -10C and falling. It is -3C in Gilnahirk and I can't go for a walk because of the black ice.
To Michael I say, 'good man yourself.' I'd just as soon put my faith in your methods than all those sophisticated boyos in the Met office with their fancy, expensive equipment.
My dad could do something the same as you and, unlike those Met men, you do not cost us millions for the privilege of your expertise and you probably get it right far more often.
T J McCLEAN