First Person - with Debbie Clarke

Debbie Clarke
Debbie Clarke

RAINDROPS keep falling on my head … and it looks like they are set to continue falling for the rest of the summer.

The question everyone wants to know is: when will it ever stop?

Apparently the jet stream and its path is the cause of the non-stop rainfall and flooding which has made summer 2012 in the UK one of the most miserable.

According to a report, this jet stream is understood to have been discovered by Japanese researchers in the 1920s and experienced firsthand by American aviators in WW2.

The stream usually passes along a steady path from west to east across the Atlantic - sometimes a bit to the north of us, sometimes a bit to the south.

But because Britain is relatively small - bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Europe - the exact location of the jet stream is very important to us in terms of weather and at the moment we are on the wrong side of it.

Normally what happens is the jet stream sits to the north of the UK in summer, pushing areas of low pressure north but this year we are on the northern side of its flow resulting in the UK experiencing cooler and wetter conditions.


We should expect the pattern of the jet stream to keep shifting and for its shape to switch every few days which would see our weather change … but so far this hasn’t happened.

I feel sorry for those, like me, who have had to holiday at home this summer and for the school kids who won’t have been able to get out and about as much because of it.

I was looking forward to my fortnight’s holiday and it was good to have a break. But the weather was awful. I had about three or four days where the sun did come out but the rest of it was miserable. As a result I am even debating whether or not to take my summer holidays in June or July ever again!


We all expect a bit of rain and cloudy weather, but to have constant rain is just depressing. It didn’t stop me from visiting some nice places across Fife and shopping over the Forth in Edinburgh, but it just would have been nicer had I not had to duck indoors every so often to avoid getting soaked!

Of course it isn’t just people having staycations who are affected, it’s probably worse for the organisers of major summer events and galas. I noticed a sign the other week informing people that Thornton Highland Gathering had been cancelled, probably due to the weather and a few weeks ago, Burntisland Civic Week activities had to be moved indoors as a result of the poor weather.

So much hard work goes into preparing for these events months in advance and all of that can end up going to waste if the one day chosen for your event is washed out. It’s probably a good idea to start holding galas and Highland Games later in the year in August or September instead as the chances for good weather appear to be slightly better.

It’s the same for those getting married in the summer. I felt so sorry for the bride and her bridesmaids who were getting photographed outside a local hotel a few weeks ago. It was pouring down and the group was having to take shelter under the hotel entrance.

Once again, so much hard work goes into planning a wedding - you would think there would be a good chance of sunshine by opting for a date in June or July. But not this year.

All we can do is keep our fingers crossed this heavy rain stops sometime in the near future allowing the sun to come out and cheer us all up again!