Weather myths: fact or fiction?

Weather myths: fact or fiction?

We Brits love to talk about the weather. Which made us think: how much of what we think we know about the weather is actually true? Here are six of our favourite myths

By Evie Prosser

If you were one of the millions of people in the UK who woke up to deep snow recently, you’ll have had plenty to talk about over the weekend. Because if there’s one thing the Great British public likes more than anything else, it’s chatting about the weather.

    ...if there’s one thing the Great British public likes more than anything else, it’s chatting about the weather.  

Whether it’s the epic summer of 2018, the Beast from the East or last month's record-breaking high temperatures, we love a good natter about the elements.

That probably explains why there are so many myths about the weather. Check out our list to see how many you believe in.

1) Lightning can’t strike the same place twice

If you’re convinced this myth is true, consider the case of US park ranger Roy Sullivan. He was struck by lightning on seven separate occasions, and survived every one of them. The odds of this happening are about one in ten thousand, so Sullivan was one unlucky man.

According to reports, the Empire State Building in New York is struck by lightning an average of 23 times per year – and that’s in a city where thunderstorms are rare.

So there you have it: lightning can strike twice. You have been warned. 

2) There’s more chance of a white Easter than a white Christmas

This is a tricky myth to debunk, in as much as it looks like a myth-buster itself. Most people would expect snow to be more likely in the chilly winter months than in March or April, when Easter falls.

But meteorologists say that snow is statistically more likely in March than December. According to Met Office reports, there are an average of 4.2 days of snow in March, and just 3.9 days in December.

Alas, the story doesn’t end there. The date of Easter moves from year to year, and sometimes slides into April, when there’s much less chance of snow than December. And, as it happens, there are fewer white Easters on record than white Christmases. According to one blogger who’s looked into it, by the bookies’ definition there have been five white Christmases in the last 30 years, and just two white Easters.

So, is the myth true or false? Hard to say – but a fascinating talking point, nonetheless.

3) If swallows fly high, tomorrow be dry

This is a classic old wives’ tale, uttered by old soothsayers on warm summer evenings. As with many such dictums, there is a grain of truth in it, as this Guardian report makes plan. When the weather is warmer, insects on which swallows feed are pushed higher into the atmosphere. In consequence, the birds are forced to fly higher to secure their supper.

Likewise, when the weather’s cooler, the insects are found lower down, so the swallows swoop at lower altitudes.

Not a failsafe method of predicting the weather, therefore. But there is some wisdom behind it, nonetheless.  

4) Cows lie down when rain is coming

While it may be the case that cows lie down to keep warm, thereby prefiguring the arrival of cooler air and a rainstorm, it is very hard to demonstrate any real connection between the position of cows and the prevailing weather.

According to The Daily Mail, 61 per cent of the population believe this weather myth. Which just goes to show: if you tell people something often enough, they’ll almost certainly think it’s true. 

5) If it’s too cold, it won’t snow

Many a household will have repeated this on an evening: “It’s too cold for snow.” And many a household has seen it proved wrong with the liberal covering of snow enjoyed the following morning.

The truth is hard to pin down. It is the case that air can become too dry for snow, and this is often associated with very low temperatures. But in places where there is at least some humidity and relatively mild temperatures, including the UK, it’s highly unlikely that it will ever be too cold for snow.

In short, opinion is divided on this weather myth. So there’s probably no harm in continuing to spread it… if only for the joy of being proved wrong.  

6) Our bodies give a clue to bad weather

In his book about sailing around the world, the adventurer Pete Goss MBE tells the story of a crewmate with a head bump that swelled up whenever a storm was due. This reflects a common belief that our bodies can augur poor weather, perhaps through aching joints or heads.

The truth is that there’s very little evidence to support the notion that our bodies can foretell a storm. Cold weather may exacerbate conditions such as arthritis, but that’s different from a flare-up telling you a storm is due.

That’s not to say Mr Goss was wrong in his assumption. After all, he came to use his friend’s head as a helpful indicator of poor conditions. And since they ended the trip in one piece, it would be churlish to dismiss their weather-forecasting technique.

Published: 10 June 2020

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2020

If you liked this article you may like to read: Ten of the most common "neuromyths"

You may also enjoy: EACH's chaplain - finding strength through weakness

Jobs currently available

New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site

Requirements:

  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more
New job
Legal Secretary (Part-Time)
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: Up to £11.00 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910868
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting an established business, based in Witham looking to add a highly-skilled secretary to their long-standing team.

The role will involve, audio typing, preparing documents, answering the phone, dealing with enquiries and assisting colleagues as well as directing queries as needed.

Key responsibilities to include:

  • Audio typing – dictation
  • Preparing letters and drafting documents
  • Handling diaries and booking appointments
  • Answering the phone and dealing with queries
  • General secretarial and office-based duties

As well as having experience in a secretarial position, you will have audio typing experience and excellent typing skills. The role requires you to have a good level of IT literacy, experience of Word (essential) and Excel would be useful. You will take pride in your work and have a caring and sympathetic nature.

Please note this role is part-time.

This is a great opportunity, offering a good pay rate and company benefits.

Read more
Accounts Assistant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £9.50 - £10.00 per hour
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910867
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Sudbury.

They are looking to add an Accounts Assistant with payroll experience to their team.

Key duties include:

  • Responsible for weekly and monthly payroll’s on Sage and all related duties (holiday forms etc.)
  • Knowledge of Xero accounts
  • Purchase Ledger
  • Sales Ledger
  • Chasing payments
  • Exporting mail-order invoices and credit notes from Magento to Xero
  • Assist Bookkeeper with any accounts duties
  • Assist Bookkeeper with HR Duties as needed
  • Reconciling Braintree payments to Mail Order invoices
  • Assist with stocktaking and valuation

Knowledge of Xero and Microsoft Office would be advantageous, although Sage experience would be considered. Attention to detail, good time management skills, accuracy, approachable and reliability is a must.

Free parking is available on site, offering a competitive hourly rate and an excellent working environment.

Read more