New weather service blows cold and wet


THE man from WeatherLive, the independent Irish Weather Service's live personal weather forecasting service, was proving remarkably tolerant despite considerable provocation.

The service, which offers farmers, builders and holidaymakers the chance to receive a customised weather report from a real live weatherman for £1 a minute, was officially launched yesterday. According to the Mr Tom Higgins, chief forecaster with the IWS, there had been a "huge demand" from callers so far.

Pound in hand, your correspondent gave WeatherLive a try. "I'm looking for somewhere warm for the weekend, somewhere a bit sunny where I won't have to bring my coat," I mused, trying to narrow the options down as much as possible for him. "I was thinking, maybe, Amsterdam." Amsterdam, it should be noted, is currently languishing at a balmy 7 Celsius, with rain.

"Well, it won't be very warm, I'm afraid," he said regretfully. "It would be fairly cold."

Oh dear. How about Luxembourg (6 Celsius, bit of a nip in the air), then? Is that warm? I've always wanted to see Luxembourg.

"Basically all that part of Europe is pretty unstable," said the man, his composure admirably unruffled. If I wanted some sun Spain would be nice, he suggested, or perhaps North Africa or the Eastern Mediterranean.

I'm sorry, I said, I like the idea of Amsterdam or Luxembourg because they all speak English there. I don't want to go anywhere foreign.

"I actually prefer Greece for that reason," he said.

"But I wouldn't go there this weekend," he concluded, dashing any hopes of a moonlight rendezvous by the Parthenon. There is snow on the hills of Greece, he warned ominously, like the ancient seer advising Caesar to mind how he goes on the Ides of March.

Might as well stay at home, then, I responded huffily, if he could not find somewhere sunny in northern Europe in February. He took it on the chin but he forecast that Ireland would be breezy tomorrow with some rain later in the day.

WeatherLive is available by dialling 1570222 111.