Felixstowe: Don’t blame the weather – it’s those forecasters!

STOP turning tourists away!

That was the claim from a seaside holiday park today, who say customers are staying away from the Suffolk coast because of exaggerated weather forecasts.

Owners of two parks in Felixstowe say often the weathermen are to blame – rather than the weather itself!

Tony Clish, director of Park Holidays UK, believes that weather reports have become increasingly alarmist, with the forecasts talking down the weather and exaggerating flood risks, causing some holidaymakers to stay at home.

The company owns Felixstowe Beach Holiday Park, Walton Avenue, and Suffolk Sands Holiday Park, Carr Road, which together have more than 700 caravans.

“Just last week we were told that all caravan parks in southern England were on flood alert, and this simply wasn’t the case,” said Mr Clish.

“Some parks in Wales did flood recently, but that’s no reason to suggest that caravans in Suffolk would soon be bobbing around on parks which have never flooded before.”

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Mr Clish believes weather forecasters are afraid of being caught out after burning their fingers in recent years with inaccurate predictions of a barbecue summer.

This leads them to try to cover all eventualities in their forecasts – but he warns their gloomy outlooks could pose a threat to Suffolk’s vital tourist trade.

He said often a single large cloud or rain symbol will be placed over an entire region on a weather map, just because there is a possibility of a shower affecting a small area.

“Coastal holiday parks in Suffolk often stay dry when it is raining inland, yet forecasters frequently tarnish the whole county with a single wet-weather symbol,” said Mr Clish.

“We’re not asking them to bend the truth, but just to be more careful with phrasing. For example, they could say that while inland areas may have showers, coastal areas are expected to be dry.”

A spokesman for the BBC said: “BBC weather aims to present the forecast as clearly as possible with regular updates.

“We are confident that we are using the best source of forecast data, which we obtain from the Met Office.

“UK national forecasts can’t go into detail for every single place – they focus on giving general indications of the most important weather. However, local and regional forecasters and presenters do go into more detail and we offer post-code driven data online.”

? Has a wrong forecast spoiled your day? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or email starletters@archant.co.uk

? Sunshine... then the rain!

THE weather has been glorious in the past few days – and people in Suffolk have certainly taken the opportunity to top up their tans as temperatures edged just over 20C yesterday.

And the warm weather is set to continue today with the mercury expected to hit the 20C mark again, with forecasters saying there will be plenty of sunny spells.

But the weather is set to change for the rest of the week with a few days of rain and thundery showers set to batter much of the county.

Jim Bacon, a forecaster at Weatherquest, said we can expect rain and some thundery showers on Thursday and into Friday.

He admitted it is unclear when there will be a period of consistently warm weather yet as he expected the current weather trend to continue.

He said: “We will get good days interspersed with unsettled days.”

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