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10/28/2013

Stormageddon! (Or, it's windy and raining in London)

Stormageddon
Keep calm and drive on.                                                                          (AP Photo - Lefteris Pitarakis)

Oh, the humidity!

Okay. There is no denying that Our Friends In Britain are experiencing some weather. Hurricane force gusts of wind; rain rain rain; general unpleasantness.

The power has failed in places and falling trees have badly injured, perhaps killed, people. This, "the worst storm in the last five years," according to the BBC, is making Monday a very nasty day to be out and about. 

As awful as it all is, there is little that gets Britain as fired up as a good storm. (Some of my friends and colleagues in the U.K. have been talking about this incoming patch of weather since last week.) Alas, there is also little that divides Britain as much as a good storm. I was up quite early this morning listening to the BBC's "Today" program and though there were important discussions on sectarian violence in Iraq, short-term-high-interest loans and the death of Lou Reed, the weather seemed to get an awful lot of airtime.

Evan Davis, one of the team of presenters, worked valiantly to keep up with what he termed the "anti-storm backlash" by reading out comments sent in by clearly irked listeners. One termed the storm simply "ripples in my teacup." Well, quite. But then came the "anti-storm backlash backlash." "No storm? My house is shaking!" one listener in Faversham reported.

Someone else asked the presenters to stop talking about the south of England and tell them what the weather would be like in the north - Manchester, specifically, please and thank you. (The answer was rain.)

After all this, Davis turned back to his script and sighed.

"This is the point when we tell you the weather," he said. "It hardly seems necessary this morning."

Jennifer Quinn is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter at the Star. As a journalist with the Associated Press, based in London, she wrote extensively about British politics (and talked a lot about the weather.) Follow her on Twitter @JQStar.

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