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Fact-Checking a 1947 British Weather Report

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In June of 1947, British Pathé visited brothers John and Dennis Bartlett, professional weather predictors who claimed to be "80 percent accurate" and to have known all about the famously cold winter of 1947. Here, they are enlisted to find Britain's "proverbial one-week summer."

There's something decidingly un-British about their cockiness, but mamma Bartlett didn't raise any fools.

Or did she?

You talk a big game, Bartlett brothers—but can you back it up? You're about to get fact-checked, 67 years into the future.

Bet you didn't see this coming, chaps.

July:

Bartlett Brothers Prediction: "The first week of July, thunderstorms. The middle two weeks, fine and sunny. Two thunderstorms. And the last week will be bright and fairly decent again."

Actual Weather: "July 1947—A rather warm month, with a cool spell 5th-11th; frequent, and at times severe, thunderstorms...Thunderstorms occurred rather frequently, mainly on the 1st, 8th-9th, 11th, 14th-19th, 22nd-23rd and 28th-29th. Those on the 15th-16th and 28th were widespread and severe locally." (Monthly Weather Report of the Meteorological Office)

Those middle two weeks were anything but "fine and sunny," Bartlett bros. You blew it. I'm sure there are some sopping wet holiday-goers on Brighton Beach who'd like to have a word with you (assuming they are still alive, which is unlikely).

August:

Bartlett Brothers Prediction: "Well, it's going to be very very disappointing. Heavy downpours of rain. Thunderstorms. It's going to be typical for this month. I don't think it's going to be a very good month at all, August. Very disappointing. That's the best way to sum it up."

Actual Weather: "August 1947—An exceptionally hot, dry and sunny month....In England and Wales it was the driest August on record." (Monthly Weather Report of the Meteorological Office)

"The month was unprecedented (for fine weather) for over 75 years over practically the whole of the British Isles — only surpassed by August 1995." ('Weather,' February 2013)

It's easy to sit in a sunny meadow and draw ovals on maps for the camera, Bartlett bros., but when the storm of truth comes rolling in, it rains all over your parade. Doubt you brought an umbrella. Sorry to steal your thunder. When it rains it pours, huh? Maybe you should've kept your heads out of the clouds. And so on and so forth.

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Henrik Djärv, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
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Weather Watch
It's So Cold In One Part of Russia That People's Eyelashes Are Freezing
Henrik Djärv, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Henrik Djärv, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Oymyakon, a rural village in the eastern Russian region of Yakutia, is one of the coldest inhabited spots in the world. While some schools in the U.S. cancel classes as temperatures approach zero, schools in Oymyakon remain open in -40°F weather. But recently temperatures in the region have dropped too low even for seasoned locals to handle. As AP reports, the chill, which hit -88.6°F on January 16, is cold enough to break thermometers and freeze eyelashes.

Photos shared by residents on social media show the mercury in thermometers hovering at -70°F, the lowest temperature some are built to measure. When thermometers fail, people in Oymyakon have other ways of gauging the cold. Their uncovered eyelashes can freeze upon stepping outside. Hot water tossed in the air will also turn to snow before hitting the ground.

To Oymyakon's 500-odd citizens, the most recent cold snap is nothing out of the ordinary. Temperatures are perpetually below freezing there from late October to mid-May, and average temperatures for the winter months frequently reach −58 °F. On Tuesday, residents were advised to stay inside and stay as warm as possible. Of course, that directive wasn't enough to stop some adventurous locals from sneaking outside for selfies.

[h/t AP]

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Animals
The Simple Way to Protect Your Dog From Dangerous Rock Salt
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Winter can be a tough time for dogs. The cold weather usually means there are fewer opportunities for walks and more embarrassing accessories for them to wear. But the biggest threat to canines this time of year is one pet owners may not notice: the dangerous rock salt coating the streets and sidewalks. If you live someplace where this is a problem, here are the steps you need to take to keep your pooch safe until the weather warms up, according to Life Hacker.

Rock salt poses two major hazards to pets: damage to their feet and poisoning from ingestion. The first is the one most pet owners are aware of. Not only do large grains of salt hurt when they get stuck in a dog’s paws, but they can also lead to frostbite and chemical burns due to the de-icing process at work. The easiest way to prevent this is by covering your dog’s paws before taking them outside. Dog booties get the job done, as do protective balms and waxes that can be applied directly to their pads.

The second danger is a little harder to anticipate. The only way you can stop your dog from eating rock salt from the ground is to keep a close eye on them. Does your dog seem a little too interested in a puddle or a mound of snow? Encourage them to move on before they have a chance to take a lick.

If, for some reason, you forget to follow the steps above and your pet has a bad encounter with some winter salt, don’t panic. For salty feet, soak your dog's paws in warm water once you get inside to wash away any remaining grit. If your dog exhibits symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and disorientation and you suspect they’ve ingested rock salt, contact your vet right away.

Even with the proper protection, winter can still create an unsafe environment for dogs. Check out this handy chart to determine when it’s too cold to take them for a walk.

[h/t Life Hacker]

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