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October 4, 2012

UK 'tourist attraction' boss to sue Met Office over 'pessimistic' weather forecasts!

     London: A tourist attraction boss in the UK is considering legal action against the UK Met Office after "a series of overly pessimistic" forecasts, which he says, is threatening to bring the tourist industry to its knees. Rick Turner, who runs The Big Sheep animal attraction in north Devon, said he has contacted lawyers with a view to possibly suing the Exeter-based Met Office for damages. "My issue is about the medium-term forecasts the Met Office have been doing always being incredibly pessimistic. Over the August bank holiday weekend I remember they forecast a whole weekend of rain with heavy rain on the Saturday. We did not have a drop and were enjoying sunshine and blue sky all day," the Daily Star quoted Turner, as saying.

"This will have cost the tourism industry here in the South West millions of pounds and my business thousands. I have been seeking legal advice and am looking to get a group of other tourism businesses to go with me in taking a group action against the Met Office for losses incurred as a result of their pessimistic forecasting," he added. Turner said his business, an all-weather tourist attraction, fared well when it rained but said the South West's tourist industry suffered as a whole when visitors were put off from travelling to the South West by "negative" medium-term forecasts. "The Met Office do a fine job for their short-term forecasts, which are usually spot-on. But there have been a number of disastrous bank holiday weather predictions which have not been accurate and I will look to take legal action," he said.

However, a Met Office spokesperson said that officials are helpless, and have to forecast whatever is predicted, regardless of it being suitable or unsuitable for anyone. "Devon is one of the wettest counties in England , and the Met Office cannot stop it raining. What we have been doing is providing really good forecasts on our website. No one, not even the Met Office, is able to get it right 100% of the time. Over 87% of the time we are getting it right which is phenomenal," the spokesperson said.

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