meteors, fireworks, clouds - how can you tell?
There's a long tradition of talking up astronomical events: comets are particularly prone to hype. Meteor showers, too. However all these "spectacular" events, with their fireballs and what-not assume that the observer lives somewhere with pristine, dark skies - not a streetlight in sight. They also assume that the sky will be moonless (which, to be fair it is for this particular event) and that it will be cloudless. The promoters of this stuff also make the assumption that their readers give a damn.
Sadly, in the UK hardly any of these conditions are ever met. We have terrible light-pollution (inevitable when you get large groups of people living close together and demanding the "safety" that streetlights offer) and even worse cloud-cover. Couple this with the fireworks that are a certainty for the next week or so and you have impossible conditions for seeing anything in the sky. The only possible exceptions are late-night flights and police helicopters - though hopefully the latter have the sense to steer well clear while fireworks are available!
So far as giving a damn goes, maybe the first few times that a comet, or nova, or meteor shower gets mentioned, but after freezing your bits off, looking for apparitions that simply don't appear, most people give up and develop a skepticism for astronomical events that kills off any credibility the scientists and/or enthusiasts making these claims might have had.
What we need is a bit more honesty from these folks, enthusiasm is nice, but a realistic appraisal of what you might see is better.