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  Midge Forecast launched - Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Launched last week, the Midge Forecast for Scotland predicts the abundance of midges for 5 areas within Scotland. From the site:

The midge forcast for Scotland is based on live data collected from specific sites. Midge data collection points have been set up throughout Scotland.

Collection data is linked to the general forecast using data from the nearest Met Office station to predict the occurence of midges.

Digging a little deeper, it appears the site's main function is to promote the Midgeater insect trap manufactured by Calor:

Developed by a team of University of Edinburgh based scientists, led by leading midge expert Dr Alison Blackwell, the forecast uses actual midge catch data recorded using Scottish made Midgeater insect traps and weather data from the Met Office. Part funding for the development was provided by Calor Gas and Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothians.

In extensive trials conducted in 2004 and 2005 the forecasting system has proven to be as accurate as other established forecasts such sun and pollen indexes. The forecast accuracy is dependent on weather forecast accuracy.

As the forecast uses historical midge catch data - which is continuously verified with catch data from a Scotland wide network of collection traps - we can forecast midge activity for any part of Scotland as far ahead as weather forecast data is available.

Nevertheless, it could prove to be a useful site for walkers and climbers.

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