A man from Devon is considering taking legal action against the Met Office for their "overly pessimistic" weather forecasts this summer.
Rick Turner, who runs an animal tourist attraction called The Big Sheep in north Devon, has contacted lawyers with a view to sue the forecasters for damages. He says their bad weather predictions threaten his business. He said:
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.
Mr Turner says the Met Office predictions over the August bank holiday weekend were particularly disastrous for his business. He complained:
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. This will have cost the tourism industry here in the South West millions of pounds and my business thousands.
The Met Office defended their pessimistic predictions by pointing out that this year's summer is one of the worst on record, and the wettest for more than 100 years.
A spokesperson said they were not responsible for stopping the rain:
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.
We have to tell the weather as it is, and it has been very hard to find someone who hasn't found this summer very disappointing. No one, not even the Met Office, is able to get it right 100% of the time. But the UK is lucky enough to have one of the best weather forecasting services in the world.