12th December 2019 07:51

Election Day forecast - Unsettled December day but ignore the weather Fake News

Every day seems to bring five horror stories about the UK weather from certain newspapers. It’s never just “as you would expect for the time of year” the weather is crashing, battering, UK being hit, 3 feet of snow, extreme cold, monster gales or torrential rain.

It is Polling Day on Thursday 12th December 2019. Nick wrote about December weather and previous winter elections back on the 3rd when a NW flow looked likely which would have resulted in wintry showers from the northwest.

The current forecast is still for the risk of wintry showers, with snow over the highest ground of the UK but otherwise it will be unsettled with blustery winds and rain moving in from the west during the day. So, it won’t be a gloriously sunny, crisp winter’s day but also not the winter storm that some articles are claiming.

Express snow story UK December

The ongoing barrage of clickbait weather stories that make forecasters despair is one thing but this fake news for such an important day is quite awful. Getting people to actually vote is hard enough without putting them off with heavy widespread snow rubbish, For the 2017 general election, voter turnout was 69%, so still 31% nearly a third of the population not voting. It hadn’t been this high since 1997.  Then other media outlets just copy the text and re-publish it, churnalism.

With the Express readership being mainly Conservative, it is something of a surprise that they are going with the horror weather for election day. You might assume the threat of snow would put elderly people off most.

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Could these stories be aimed at people who are wavering, the mysterious floating voters? Or those who know that they should vote but on the day might not bother; thinking I'll not worth it where I live, too busy, it’s raining, looks horrible out on the way home, I'm a bit late anyway don’t want to be delayed if the weather is going to get worse.

Election day rain UK

Whatever the reason for these incorrect representations of the weather for the 12th Dec, here’s a look at the forecast for Thursday.

Early birds, polls open at 7am. Eastern parts of Britain will be sunny, cold with the risk of ice in places. There is a Met Office warning for inland Scotland overnight.

Icy patches and wintry showers may lead to travel disruption. Icy patches are likely to develop as showers, wintry above 200 metres elevation, continue. Met Office warning

Ice warning UK election day snow

Showers will already be working in from the west as rain and hill snow. For the Scottish mountains, Cumbrian Fells, tops of the Pennines. Approaching from the SW will be a band of frontal rain which will quickly be over Northern Ireland. As this comes up against the colder air there could be snow for the hills of Antrim and Down and over Snowdonia even a little wet snow to lower levels but nothing much, the air isn’t cold enough.

The rain is quicker than forecast from Wednesday. Cardiff and Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester already become blustery with outbreaks of rain. For the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales there is the risk of wintry weather for the higher levels routes across the hills. By mid/late morning this risk of sleet and hill snow moves over the Pennines and Southern Uplands then in the afternoon over more of highland Scotland and across to the North York Moors.

Rain Thursday afternoon UK

During the day heavier bursts of rain move across England with some easing for Wales and SW England in the afternoon as milder air tucks in, the polls close at 10pm. In the evening, the main rain band have cleared from eastern England, with a curl of heavy showers over NW England, SW Scotland and more into Wales. It will be an unsettled day but with windows of better weather and any lying snow will be over the higher ground of northern Britain

There are still some flood warnings in place from the wet and windy weather earlier this week. Wales and SW England will have quite a wet spell so there could be localised surface water issues. It's winter, the weather was never going to be great but it could be a whole lot worse. And remember #DogsatPollingStations to cheer everyone up. 

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