The UK’s chief weather service has warned southern Britain that it’s in for a windy pounding on Sunday night as moderately gusty weather ambles lazily towards these shores.
The severity of the storm, currently named ‘St Jude’ for reasons best known to nobody and which make the impending doom sound like a nice slice of cake, is such that the Met Office have felt compelled to issue the dreaded ‘amber warning’ across large swathes of England and Wales.
The Met Office warning system is a classically British affair: it has three levels of severity, two of which are a state of mind and another which contains needlessly vague direction. The current amber warning tells us to ‘be prepared’, taking the nation to the same level of readiness as the Scout Movement. It’s a step up from the less severe ‘be aware’ yellow warning, although quite what the difference is between the two is up for debate. It seems difficult to be aware of wind but not be prepared for wind – and studies have shown that mental acceptance of wind does not lessen the effect of wind.
Quite how much more prepared it is possible to be for wind and rain in a country which is a study in wind and rain is unclear; the best advice for avoiding flooding and storm damage would be to avoid building on floodplains and not use ropey roofing materials, in which case we’re several hundred years too late.
It would also be useful to not have a drainage system which somehow floods even in scorching sunshine, but alas.
In short, the official line is ‘good luck’.
However, if simply hoping for the best just doesn’t cut it for you, here is a short 5-point survival guide on how to bravely ride out a storm that any other country would barely notice:
- Buy a kite. Because you aren’t going to get better weather to pull off some sick stunts.
- Move your house closer to unstable trees. If one comes down on the property, you’ve got free days off work. If you don’t live near trees, scatter some B&Q wood around the front garden.
- Live in a first floor flat. The ground will be wet, anything above first will be blustery.
- Get a gun. You never know when you might need it, and you’ll look cool, especially if you also have a kite.
- Panic buy lemons. Because just once I’d like to see that happen.
Follow that plan, and everything will be fine. Probably.
And even if it isn’t, you’ll still have a fuck load of lemons. And a kite.