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The D-day landings - the fate of 2.5 million men, 3000 landing craft and the entire future of Europe depends on the right weather conditions on the English Channel on a single day. A team of Allied scientists is charged with agreeing on an accurate forecast five days in advance. But is it even possible to predict the weather so far ahead? And what is the relationship between predictability and turbulence, one of the last great mysteries of modern physics?
Wallace Ryman has devised a system that comprehends all of this - but he is a reclusive pacifist who stubbornly refuses to divulge his secrets. Henry Meadows, a young maths prodigy from the Met Office, is sent to Scotland to discover Ryman's system and apply it to the Normandy landings. But turbulence proves more elusive than anyone could have imagined and events, like the weather, begin to spiral out of control.
One of the women giggled. It was Gwen, the thin brown-haired one, whose cheeks were rather drawn in. This gave her a look of passionate austerity. Joan, meanwhile, was fair and broad, Germanic or Scandinavian in appearance if one had to put a label on it, but with dark eyes. With her blonde hair and freckles, the combination was also rather striking. Whybrow waved a dismissive hand at the Waafs. “Give us a minute, will you.” He gestured peremptorily at the red balloons on the ceiling. “Send up
if she had never seen them before. “I’m so sorry,” I finally gasped. “I just stepped in here…I’m fascinated by your husband’s work. The number—” “Number?” “I mean the equations,” I struggled. “I wanted to see some. The box said number.” “The box said number?” Slowly, incredulously, as if there were gaps between them, she repeated my words. I took a step back. Flailing a hand behind me, searching for the box file, I knocked over the display of pivoted rods. They fell to the floor with a
the last person she would want…And I…would not want to see you. I might not be able to control myself. Wallace and I worked together here. You are not welcome…” His voice trailed off, as if extinguished by its own anger. “I am sorry to hear that,” I said—and I was sorry. “But the fact remains, for military reasons, that I must have access to the wind tunnel, and it must be tomorrow.” “That’s another matter,” he said abruptly. “I will leave instructions that you are to be permitted entry. But
at such short notice.” Via an intercom, he instructed Miss Clements not to disturb us as I sat down, opposite him at his desk. There was a loud bong! The room was filled with antique clocks and as the hour turned they all started sounding, slightly out of synchronisation. Once the noise had subsided, Vaward spoke. “You are probably wondering why I asked you here.” A tall clock with a man-in-the-moon face gave a valedictory plink. He paused, studying me carefully. “Before we begin, I must ask
letter out of her pocket. “My father did not want me to come here today. He refused to bring me. I had to drive myself. He was very fond of Wallace. He holds you entirely to blame for his death.” I felt nausea in my stomach and a rising whirling in my head. “And for your baby’s, I gather. I’m so sorry, Gill—if I had thought…” She shook her head. “That was not your fault, though obviously Wallace’s death did not help. But I have miscarried on many occasions previously. The rhesus factor—which is