From the London Times, signs that the Met Office might need a refresher course in basic forecasting skills and bonuses revoked. While I’m often critical of NOAA’s climate issues, the forecasts from NOAA put The Met Office to shame in terms of accuracy and detail. And, NOAA staffers don’t get bonuses, period.
Excerpts from the Times article by Steven Swinford
BUFFETED by complaints about its inaccurate weather forecasts, the Met Office now faces being dumped by the BBC after almost 90 years.
The Met Office contract with the BBC expires in April and the broadcaster has begun talks with Metra, the national forecaster for New Zealand, as a possible alternative.
The BBC put the contract out to tender to ensure “best value for money”, but its timing coincides with a storm over the Met Office’s accuracy.
Last July the state-owned forecaster’s predictions for a “barbecue summer” turned into a washout. And its forecast for a mild winter attracted derision when temperatures recently plunged as low as -22C.
Last week the Met Office failed to predict heavy snowfall in the southeast that brought traffic to a standstill. This weekend a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times reveals that 74% of people believe its forecasts are generally inaccurate.
By contrast, many commercial rivals got their predictions for winter right. They benefit from weather forecasts produced by a panel of six different data providers, including the Met Office.
Despite criticism, staff at the Met Office are still in line to share a bonus pot of more than £1m. Seasonal forecasts, such as the one made in September, are not included in its performance targets.
John Hirst, the chief executive of the Met Office, insisted last week that recent forecasts had been “very good” and blamed the public for not heeding snow warnings. He received a bonus of almost £40,000 in 2008-09.
Metra already produces graphics for the BBC, including the 3-D weather map that made some viewers feel sick when it was introduced in 2005. Weather Commerce, Metra’s UK subsidiary, has already usurped the Met Office in supplying forecasts to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.
The Met Office was bullish, though, saying: “We have always been in the strongest position to provide the BBC with accurate and detailed weather forecasts and warnings for the UK.”
h/t to many WUWT readers