Yellow alert: a hot weather front approaches
How’s it possible to write the same weather story over and over? Try it yourself with this handy guide
Cliche 18: ‘Enjoy the weather while you can. Rain will be returning next week.’ Photograph: LOSW/Getty
It has been an exceptionally warm and sunny week in Ireland – except, as the northern part of the country has been reminded far too often for its liking, in the northern part of the country. It has meant an early exhaustion of hot-weather cliches. So if you’re stuck for what to say, combine any or all of the following into a handy never- fail heatwave report that will last all summer long. Longer than an Irish heatwave, at least.
1 Met Éireann issuing a colour-coded weather warning, even though most people are unsure what colour represents what. We assume that blue means cold, and red means hot, but the rest are on a gradient in between that could mean anything from “wear extra sunscreen” to “don’t sit on leather while wearing no clothes”.
2 Something, something, something “since records began”.
3 A comparison of Irish temperatures with those of countries crowded around the Med, as if it’s a league table we briefly top – and feel the need to crow about, because this is the greatest little country in the world in which to get sunburn.
4 Animals and plants being confused by the weather.
5 Photographs of young men jumping from tall things.
6 Photographs of young women in bikinis giggling and hugging on the beach while maybe running from the water.
7 Never, ever a photograph of young men giggling and hugging on the beach while maybe running from the water.
8 A satellite photograph of Ireland with no clouds over it – which could, for all we know, be an old satellite photograph of Ireland with no clouds over it.
9 A paragraph about sales of all or any of: ice cream, barbecues, fans, cider. And a line about a fight breaking out at B&Q over the last paddling pool in stock.
10 A water-shortage warning, usually the day the rain returns.
11 Postweekend stuff about a festival at which “revellers” enjoyed themselves and the Garda says they were well behaved, with only a small number of public-order arrests.
12 A journalist trying to fry an egg on a car/pavement. Failing.
13 Gardaí manning beaches that have been over-run by drunken young people. Social media getting the blame for that. 14 Warning not to leave your pets in hot cars, although no one ever seems to warn about leaving goldfish in boiling water.
15 Farmers welcoming the warm weather.
16 Farmers becoming concerned about the hot weather.
17 Farmers saying that any more hot weather will be a disaster for the rural economy.
18 “Enjoy the weather while you can. Rain will be returning next week.”
19 Picture of office workers sunbathing in Phoenix Park, not realising that they’re going to end up in the national papers having told the boss they were going to a meeting.
20 Every report on the weather obsessed with how long this is going to last. Always anticipates the worst.
21 Forecaster Evelyn Cusack interviewed at her desk, which she now wishes she’d tidied.
22 A list of temperatures in towns and cities around the country, which are invariably five degrees lower than what locals had declared them to be.
23 The New Zealand bloke who forecasts the weather a year in advance by looking at the width of sheep’s nostrils or something, and who always turns up to say he was right.
24 “Is this a result of global warming?”
25 Snarky piece about whether Irish men should wear shorts, to what length, in what pattern, with socks or without, and with what shoes or sandals, but never Crocs, and at what age they should stop trying to pretend they’re young. All of which is calculated to make middle-aged Irish men feel terrible about themselves. But they wear the shorts anyway.
26 A picture of the entirety of Hill 16 shading their eyes from the sun.
27 “How did Met Éireann get it so wrong?”
28 Online lists of nine things you always see in an Irish heatwave.
29 Online lists of nine things you remember from 1990s heatwaves.
30 Columnist doing a list of weather-related cliches because it’s too hot to do any proper writing.