Northern Ireland

Snow joke: Craigavon PSNI issue wanted poster for BBC News NI's Barra Best

Barra wanted poster Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Have you seen this man? Police in Craigavon are seeking Barra Best

The plight of the weather forecaster is not an easy one.

Blamed for the bad weather they've warned us is coming, or pilloried for not warning us when that bad weather strikes.

The BBC's Michael Fish was never able to forget his reassurance that no hurricane was on its way to south east England, hours before the Great Storm of 1987.

Now BBC News NI's Barra Best is the latest weatherman to talk his way into trouble.

This time, however, the problem is that the snow forecast for the end of last week wasn't as widespread as expected.

In County Armagh, that, according to the PSNI in Craigavon, destroyed the dreams of both the area's schoolchildren and police officers.

A wanted poster for Barra has now appeared on the PSNI Craigavon Facebook page, with police saying: "We're keen to track this man down, Craigavon's new most wanted!

"Whilst initially we thought that, as with most things, the lack of snow would be blamed on us, in the last 24 hours we have had new information.

Image copyright Alan Porter
Image caption While snow did hit some parts of Northern Ireland, such as Eglinton, County Londonderry, the schoolchildren of Craigavon were left disappointed

"The fact that there was some bloke on TV skiing in Coleraine, whilst in Craigavon we had to have a whip round to make a snowball is the fault of...THIS MAN!!

"Barra you may hand yourself in now. We will find you. We know there are many front rooms across Craigavon you'll be making an appearance in over the coming days. You broke our snow craving hearts. Craigavon is after you!"

A reward - two doughnuts - has been offered for information leading to his capture.

However, the intrepid weatherman isn't going down easy.

He responded defiantly to the appeal: "You better get the Feds and Interpol involved. I'm snowwhere to be found."

That, in turn, led to a more conciliatory message from the police: "Barra there is another way out of this. If you mark 'Roundabout F', Craigavon on your next weather map, we'll consider downgrading the offence to simple possession of class A hopes and dreams.

Image copyright Cecilia Daly Twitter
Image caption Not all of Barra's colleagues have stood by him

"That move would be appreciated by all in Craigavon. Roundabout/Roundabend F is our main tourist attraction."

Instead the BBC man has gone on the run, posting on his Facebook page: "I've fled across the border with [UTV weather presenter] Frank Mitchell."

So far Frank Mitchell has not commented on the controversy, but it seems treachery is afoot among some of Mr Best's colleagues, as Cecilia Daly has offered to turn him in if the reward is raised to six doughnuts.

Other people who responded to the police appeal have hinted at an RHI scheme-type aspect to the controversy.

Whatever happens, one thing is clear - it's snow joke being a weather presenter.

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