Weather guru Ring still causing storm
HERE is the Ploughing Championships' weather forecast from Ken Ring: "Showers are expected on the 24th (today), but then skies should clear until the 29th. Maximum temperatures are expected to be around 17-19C, with overnight minimums under 13C."
Looking ahead, the New Zealander predicts that "this autumn may be looked back on as a mild one. Frosts should be relatively rare in both September and October. Widespread frosts are expected between November 4-8, and 18-21, followed by a downward plunge into sub-zeros in the last few days of November. December frosts are unlikely before the third week.
"October may be generally wet and windy with little or no useful dry spells. Most rain may be around the 5th, 11th, and 24th. Wettest conditions may be in the southeast and southwest and Dublin may be the driest. November is likely to be wet in the first five days, followed by mainly dry weather until the 14th, then more rain between the 18th and 24th. The first serious cold spell is in the last few days of November with the possibility of widespread snow on or near the last day."
It's a forecast that will have the staff in the Met Eireann tent at the Ploughing Championships raising their eyes to the heavens.
Few people annoy meteorologists, scientists and sceptics as much as Ring. The Kiwi forecasting maverick is regularly denounced as someone who indulges in bad science to peddle his almanacs and online forecasting services.
The standard line from Met Eireann and other scientists when confronted with evidence of Ring's apparent prescience is that it is impossible to accurately predict the weather more than a few days ahead; two weeks is the outside limit for long-range forecasts.
Every self-appointed long-range weather guru is bound to occasionally get it right, say the scientists. They add that Ring's forecasts are based on arcane theories completely at odds with the science of meteorology developed over the past 150 years.
Ring's supporters argue we should not mind the methods, but judge the man by his results.