Defraging the Year

9 Dec

You may be aware that Scotland has a lot of weather. A lot of weather. We don’t just have North Sea oil wealth, we are also rich in rain, hail, sleet and snow – although, contrary to popular belief, we do get some of the more pleasant kinds of weather, too.

The trouble with weather in Scotland is not so much the type or the quantity, it’s the distribution. We can and do get snow in June, warm sunny days in November, and rain just about anytime with only a few minutes’ notice.

This year has been a particularly apt example of the uneven distribution of Scotland’s weather, which led some colleagues and me to a helpful conclusion: you could make a perfectly good year of weather out of 2011 if you could just rearrange it, so what we need is a defragmenting machine.

In computers, you use a defraging (defragmenting) program to rearrange things stored on the memory into a more sensible pattern, in order to save space. We could do the same for weather, moving all the sunny days together to make a decent summer and putting all the snow and sleet in deepest winter where it belongs. If we can only work out how to defrag time we will have four defined seasons full of perfectly acceptable weather. But I think ‘Hurricane Bawbag’ could go straight into deleted items.

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