JournalismPakistan.com July 14, 2012
LONDON: Just. Stop. Raining.
That was the unusual plea published in an editorial in The Times of London on Saturday, a measure of Britons' growing frustration with months of miserable weather.
"Let us make our position crystal clear: We are against this weather," the venerable newspaper wrote in an unsigned opinion piece. "It must stop raining, and soon."
The UK is slogging through some of the wettest conditions in recent history. Nearly every day seems to bring showers, sprinkles, drizzles, or downpours.
On Saturday alone, England's Environment Agency registered some 75 flood alerts and warnings across the country, including the west England county of Shropshire, where fire and rescue officials received an anguished phone call from a woman who found herself waist-deep in water overnight.
Area manager Martin Timmis said he was seeing flash floods almost every week as storms dumped more water on the already-saturated ground of a country not unused to wet weather.
"What's unprecedented is that this is becoming a regular occurrence," he said in a telephone interview. "The rain comes down and it's got nowhere to go."
In its editorial, The Times lamented that the country was full of discounted swimwear, unsold garden furniture, and unused barbecues. It even said that the country's potato harvest has been affected — pushing up the price of chips — or fries, to Americans.
"When the proverbial cheapness of chips comes under threat, The Times says enough is enough," the editorial said.
"The British climate is supposed to be unpredictable," it continued. "At the moment, it is anything but. If sustained sunshine is too much to ask for, most of us would settle for a little bit of fickle."
Met Office spokeswoman Sarah Holland was apologetic, saying in an email that while the weather was disappointing, "unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it."
Holland said that "some more pleasant conditions" were forecast over the next month, when the Olympic Games get underway, although there was little sign of that in London on Saturday, where the skies were a threatening whitish grey.
Holland added that Sunday "will be a much brighter and sunnier day than today," but then she added, "with only light showers at times."- AP
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