When people throw their arms in the air and scream at the TV, football – or another sporting activity – is usually behind it.

With me, it’s the Weather forecast. I don’t usually pay it much attention, but at this time of year, with two parties within a week of each other, both involving gangs of girls camping in the garden, I’m desperate for sunshine.

So I avidly watch the weather, checking websites, the TV and the newspapers.

Now, after two weeks of this, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no such thing as a weather ‘forecast’ and that so-called experts only ever get it right on the day itself – and sometimes not even then.

They claim to use state-of-the-art satellite technology, but I don’t believe a word of it. I reckon they do little more than look out of the window.

Days that were meant to be washouts turned out fair, and vice versa.

On the morning of one party, my eldest daughter and I celebrated after the weather map showed sunshine across the north of England. Yet an hour later it showed dark clouds and rain.

Neither was correct – it was lightly overcast, windy and dry. And one day midweek it was meant to bucket down, yet it was sunny all day.

Forecasts contradict one another.

Even the same website can contain conflicting information – BBC Weather claimed last Saturday would be dry in the North, yet their weather map for that day showed a bright blue circle (heavy rain), centred on Yorkshire.

For the month, the Meteorological Office predicted fine, settled weather, while Positive Weather Solutions – who made headlines earlier this year by predicting a scorching summer – forecast unsettled conditions ‘with rain and wind very much in evidence.’ Last year’s prediction by the Met Office of a barbecue summer was way off the mark.

I reckon they guess, like seaside fortune tellers who ‘predict’ that you’ll marry a man with a ‘D’ in his name. Yet we all make plans around the forecast.

I almost cancelled a bouncy castle for one party – yet the monsoon that was meant to come did not arrive.

I’m going for the natural approach to predict the weather.

One of the most reliable of all natural indicators are pine cones, which open out in dry weather and close up in damp conditions – alarmingly, the ones in our garden are shut tight.

And our ash tree – traditionally late to bud – is showing signs of life, which in weather lore isn’t a good sign: ‘If the oak flowers before the ash, we shall have splash. If the ash flowers before the oak, we shall have a soak.’