Downbeat weather forecasts 'hitting trade' at East coast attraction

An aerial view of Clacton Pier

Clacton Pier in sunshine - but why do weather forecasters get it wrong? - Credit: Kevin Jay

An East coast pier believes it's getting a raw deal from weather forecasters wrongly predicting rain.

Clacton lies in one of the driest parts of the county, but the owner of the town pier says visitors have been put off coming because of predicted rainfall which never arrives.

Clacton Pier director Billy Ball says the tourist spot has been hit by the problem a number of times this summer - and it's affected takings.

“Clacton has its own microclimate which means while it can be pouring down up the road, but we stay dry or just get away with a short light shower,” he said.

“The driest place in England is St Osyth which is a neighbouring village to us and that just shows how it can be very different along our coastline.

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“The town was promoted as ‘Sunny Clacton’ for many years for a reason and we need to get that message across.”

Published forecasts are more general as they have to cover a wider area, he said, but the situation can be very localised.

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“This is something that those in the leisure and hospitality trade have felt strongly about for a long time,” he said.

“The number of times that the forecast says it will rain all day and then it clears up after an early shower and the sun breaks through is incredible.

“It happened again this weekend and it is very frustrating – I would just urge people look at what the weather is actually doing in Clacton, and not what the forecasters predict for the area in advance.”

When it does rain, the pier also contains a number of all-weather indoor attractions such as adventure golf, soft play, bowling, arcades and a seaquarium.

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