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Ashes outlook even brighter

Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

Friday 30 May 1997


ENGLAND'S hopes of winning the Ashes are growing and they will have greater substance if an expert long-range weather forecast proves to be correct.

Unsettled weather is predicted for the first three Test matches, which would suit the home bowlers and prevent, perhaps, a repetition of the cycle of dry pitches, big scores and turning surfaces on which Australia triumphed so comfortably on their last two tours.

The Met Office in London no longer chance their arm with three-month forecasts but last year the BBC programme QED unveiled the successful technique developed by Piers Corbyn, of Weather Action, based on the effects of magnetic and particle activity from the sun.

Weather conditions could make all the difference so I asked Corbyn for specific forecasts for the first three Tests at Birmingham next week, Lord's in mid-June and Old Trafford in the first week of July. He expects a certain amount of thundery rain in each. His detailed predictions are:

1st Test, June 5-9: Generally very unsettled with thick cloud and heavy rain or thunderstorms at times. Last day probably the best.

2nd Test, June 19-23: Generally very unsettled with variable skies and heavy thundery showers at times, especially around the middle of the match.

3rd Test, July 3-7: Generally very unsettled and dull with heavy, thundery rain in the first half of the match. The last two days probably much finer.

Commercial obligations prevent Corbyn from extending his forecast for the remainder of the season but as the Australians felt a hot sun on their backs for the first time at Bristol yesterday they might have been deceived into imagining that British weather never changes. On the other hand, of course, weather forecasters sometimes get it wrong.


Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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