Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Viewpoint: We’re under the weather

What is to be made of the weather?

The rain was of near-Biblical proportions in places yesterday.

Parts of the province were battered by freak storms; winds in excess of 50mph swept in, accompanied by 30mm of rain and unseasonably cold temperatures.

There was flooding in Antrim and Down, and children taking part in a sailing competition on Belfast Lough had to be rescued by the RNLI.

In late June, for goodness sake!

Not that we were alone, with the Republic and Great Britain being battered by the same storms.

So, what is going on?

Optimists will say it's merely spring working out its final, squally vestiges. Pessimists, on the other hand, warn of a re-run of last year: a gloriously sunny May followed by three months of rain-soaked misery.

Last summer, readers will remember, was a total washout, possibly the worst in living memory.

The rainfall was incessant, flooding was severe and people even had to be rescued by boat in Belfast housing estates.

Those same pessimists will blame global warning.

Sammy Wilson, the climate-change sceptic now in charge at the Department of the Environment, may want to commission a study of it all to see whether anything is blowing in the wind.

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