Seasons in the sun - weather and climate front-page news stories in Europe’s rainiest city, Bergen
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This paper is a portrayal of aspects of weather and climate as front-page news in Europe’s rainiest city, Bergen, Norway. It descriptively explores the coverage and different contextualization of weather and climate. By asking the simple question of what actually constitutes a good or bad weather day in Bergen, short-lived weather descriptions in the news are compared with climatological data. The study reveals a complex picture with different annotations of good and bad weather depending on the season. It is found that while the amount of sunshine is important for defining a good weather day during winter, it is temperature that determines a good summer day. In spring, holidays and the anticipation to the summer result in a lower sunshine threshold for what to call a good weather day. The conspicuousness of rainfall is shown by both the amount of articles and the various contexts in which bad weather is presented in the newspaper. It is suggested here that it is not the amount of rainfall that creates headlines, but rather the context of the surrounding event, as well as the weather of the previous period. Human perceptions cannot be read off meteorological stations. Nevertheless, they can strengthen measurements and therefore, have a value in themselves. As a result, perceptions of seasonal or daily weather anomalies may well play a role in how society in Bergen will think about and experience a probable climate change with a projected increase in rainfall.
This is the peer reviewed preprint version of the article. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.