A Meteorological Survey of Guinness, 1958

A Meteorological Survey of Guinness, 1958

 Is this what the British are actually talking about when they discuss the weather? 

Is this what the British are actually talking about when they discuss the weather? 

This fun ad appeared in the British comic magazine Punch in November 1958. It plays off the language of Met Office weather reports. This language would have been widely recognizable to British readers, thanks to broadcasts like the Shipping Forecast on the BBC.

Many of the allusions remain familiar, reflecting the continuity of language in the public communication of forecasts. An exception is the reference to “a rise and fall of the glass,” a way of talking about changes in barometric pressure that today might resonate mainly among readers of Napoleonic naval fiction. The middle section, describing “A Guinness Experiment,” suggests popular accounts of observational experiments conducted as part of the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958).

Finally, I was interested to see a reference to a weather proverb, a genre of natural knowledge that seems to undergo periodic reassessments in meteorological texts. 

Image Source:

Punch, November 12, 1958, p. iii. Image scanned from a paper copy in my personal collection. 

Space Weather Enterprise Forum, 2017

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The National Climate Program Act, 1978

The National Climate Program Act, 1978