Met Office ends season forecasts – no more “BBQ summers”

BBC NEWS

Met Office (SPL)

The Met Office says its short-term forecasts are "extremely accurate"

The Met Office is to stop publishing seasonal forecasts, after it came in for criticism for failing to predict extreme weather.

It was berated for not foreseeing that the UK would suffer this cold winter or the last three wet summers in its seasonal forecasts.

The forecasts, four times a year, will be replaced by monthly predictions.

The Met Office said it decided to change its forecasting approach after carrying out customer research.

Explaining its decision, the Met Office released a statement which said: “By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look.

Tricky forecasts

“Although we can identify general patterns of weather, the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather.

“As a result, ‘seasonal forecasts’ cannot be as precise as our short-term forecasts.”

It said the UK is one of the hardest places to provide forecasts for due to its “size and location”, making it “very hard to forecast much beyond a week”.

However, it said its short-term forecasts are “extremely accurate”.

The Met Office, based at Exeter in Devon, added that it would work towards developing the science of long range forecasting.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/8551416.stm

=============================================

I see this more as an insurance policy than one of admission of lack of skill. Though they are right, beyond about a week, entropy and chaos kicks in. About all anyonecan forecast seasonally with accuracy is:

Spring will be warmer than winter

Summer will be warmer than spring

Fall will be cooler than summer

Winter will be colder than fall

We’ll so how well they do with short-term monthly forecasts that are “extremely accurate”.

h/t to WUWT reader Robert of Ottawa

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163 Responses to Met Office ends season forecasts – no more “BBQ summers”

  1. PeterB in Indainapolis says:

    So basically they are willing to admit that their 3-month forecasts are highly inaccurate due to the lack of understanding of all of the variables involved once the forecast period gets beyond about 5 days.

    But… they still expect us to believe that their forecasts of what is going to happen climate-wise 5, 10, 25, or even 100 YEARS from now are valid forecasts.

    I am sure there are some people that see no problem with that.

  2. Charlie Barnes says:

    The Met Office

    “Although we can identify general patterns of weather, the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather.”

    But they and others like them are happy to forecast a century or so ahead!

  3. Sean Peake says:

    “… By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look.” Really? So they can’t nail 3 months out but 100 years is a lock?

    “… the UK is one of the hardest places to provide forecasts for due to its “size and location”, making it “very hard to forecast much beyond a week”. Tthe UK is tough but the rest of the globe is easy?

    “… short-term forecasts are “extremely accurate”
    Direct proof that the Met has windows.

    Unbelievable. I guess they don’t want to expose themselves to any more ridicule, if that were, indeed, possible now.

  4. Johnny Canuck says:

    “The Mets new short term forecasts are EXTREMELY accurate”
    Here is today’s forecast:
    CLOUDY OTHERWISE CLEAR.

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    Anthony: I believe you’ve got a typo, Should the last sentence “We’ll so how well they…” actually be “We’ll see how well they…”?

    BTW, I’ll miss their forecasts.

  6. Henry chance says:

    How is that new massive computer douing at the Met Office? It was purchased to do better and higher quality forecasts.

  7. Harold Ambler says:

    I predicted this. I also predict some funny comments on this thread.

  8. TanGeng says:

    LOL.
    Did they really put scare quotes around “extremely accurate?”

    That’s funny.

  9. Lance says:

    Tonight Dark, Tomorrow – light, and temperatures are expected.

    Ok, now am I on the list to receive a Met Office Bonus for accurracy?

  10. John Wright says:

    Will they be putting their new super-duper “Deep Black” computer out on a skip in the near future?

  11. wws says:

    Don’t be so harsh that you miss the rather amazing admission they have just made – they just publicly admitted that AGW is useless as a forecasting tool. And I believe they did this knowing what that means – their failures have been so public and so outrageous that they’ve now got to scramble to keep their funding and their own jobs. Ideology goes out the window when survival is on the line.

    The cognitive dissonance between what they’ve just said and any claim of what climate will be in 50 or 100 years is so great that those claims are now discredited by the Met Office’s very own words. And they can’t walk them back, now that they’re out there.

    All in all, another pretty significant nail in the coffin of Global Warming.

  12. Paul says:

    So for local weather forecasts max 5 days for accuracy (with a success rate well inferior to 100%, it would be interesting to find out just how accurate they are), a general idea going out as far as one month, but up to 100 years for the globe is sound science? It beggars the imagination.

    And before anyone mentions that there is a difference between climate and weather, that argument would go further with me if those same folks weren’t filling the media with cries of global warming every time there was a hurricane, snowstorm, warm spell, cold snap or earthquake.

  13. ScottB says:

    As I said on Bishop Hill, this is a bad move. Basically, they don’t want to make forecast within a timeframe that can be verified because it’s bad PR for their green agenda. The sad thing is, seasonal forecasts that can be verified add to our knowledge because we can learn from the errors on each forecast and improve on them in the future. Global warming forecasts only serve to scare the public because they will be entirely outdated by the time verification can be made.

  14. Ian E says:

    “The Met Office is to stop publishing seasonal forecasts, after it came in for criticism for failing to predict extreme weather. ”

    Not really, it was criticised for being PLAIN WRONG time after time after time …
    (And always in the direction of extra warming).

  15. CarlNC says:

    This is progress. They have admitted that their models are pretty much worthless beyond a few days. The lack of ability to forecast weather should lead to the conclusion that they don’t know enough about the science to forecast climate. Or maybe not. They are a stubborn lot.

  16. TerryS says:

    From this BBC news story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8462890.stm

    The Met Office has now admitted to BBC News that its annual global mean forecast predicted temperatures higher than actual temperatures for nine years out of the last 10.

    This “warming bias” is very small – just 0.05C. And the Met Office points out that the variance between the forecast and the actual temperature is within its own stated margins of error.

    An annual warming bias of 0.05C is equivalent to 5C/century. This is the same software that they told the parliamentary committee validated their climate model predications of significant warming on a century timescale.

  17. Rebivore says:

    Met Office: “… the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, …” But Piers Corbyn (http://www.weatheraction.com/) forecast that January and February would be cold cold cold back in October. He was wrong – the snow started just before Christmas, so he was a whole week out. Dear me! But then, back in October the Met Office was forecasting the warmest winter on record (or something like that). So the science *does* exist to produce much more accurate forecasts than the Met Office can achieve – if not “exact”. I wonder what kind of forecasting technique the Met Office uses? Could it be the same models that the IPCC uses?

  18. John Wright says:

    I can imagine Piers Corbyn at the moment shaking with inward mirth – or rage – or a combination of both.

  19. channon says:

    If it gets fuzzy after a week, just how hazy does it get by 2050 or whenever the glaciers are supposed to have melted by, the sea levels risen and London underwater?

  20. MattN says:

    It is NOT for failing to predict extreme weather. It is for failing to have any clue about how to do anything. This winter was NOT extreme weather. It was weather. And they had no clue. For the Nth time in a row….

  21. ScientistForTruth says:

    Note how weather forecasting and climate projections interact in the Met Office. Apparently, according to Julia Slingo, seeing whether the daily weather forecast was OK is a good enough check on the models used for climate projections for 100 years. What does the fact that the Met office can’t get seasonal projections right tell us about the model?

    She is the Met’s Chief Scientist and she says they use the SAME model for weather and climate. So her ‘testing the code twice a day’ for climate prediction verification amounts to nothing more than running the Met’s supercomputer twice a day to produce the daily weather forecast. If the daily weather forecast is sort of OK, then that means the model is OK for climate projections 100 years ahead. That’s all that’s needed for verfication!

    Anyway, she can hang herself in her own words:

    “I think what people find difficult to understand is what is this thing that we call a model? Well, it’s a huge computer code and it’s about solving the very fundamental equations of physics which describe the motion of the atmosphere, the motion of the oceans, how clouds form, how the land interacts with the sun’s rays, how it interacts with rainfall and so on and so on.

    So what these models are is hundreds and thousands of lines of code which capture and represent our best understanding of how the climate system works. So they are not in a sense tuned to give the right answer, what they are representing is how weather, winds blow, rain forms and so forth, absolutely freely based on the fundamental laws of physics.

    How do we know that they’re good? Well we continually test them against observations of the current climate in lots and lots of ways. At the Met Office we use the same model to make weather forecasts as we do to make our climate predictions, so every day we are testing the model and saying, ‘how well did we do with the weather forecast?’ We know that on many occasions our weather forecasts are incredibly skilful and that’s increasingly giving us confidence that the science in our models is fit to do this ‘crystal ball gazing’ into the future to say what will happen to our climate as we go really into uncharted territory. Because we are taking this planet to somewhere where it has never been before, or at least for millions of years.”

    Incredible.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/in-depth/ask/julia-slingo.pdf

    See how this woman, President of the Royal Meteorological Society, has completely changed her tune with respect to regional climate projection to be ‘on message’ with government propaganda since she joined the Met Office:

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/met-office-fraudcast/

  22. NickB. says:

    But… but they were incorporating long term trends from the GCMs!

    The GCMs, I thought they said they were ROBUST

    How can this be?

    /sarcasm off

  23. John of Kent says:

    I agree, as the Met office had admitted that their computer models do not work for seasonal forecasting, they should admit that these same models do not work for forecasting the weather for the next century either!!

    By the way, Piers Corbyn and his Solar weather technique has been far better at seasonal forecasting than the Met office has- and with increasing precision. This winter he;-
    1. Correctly forecast the snow and cold weather at the Copenhagen conference in december.
    2. Forecast the heavy snow for Dec and Jan in the UK.
    3. Forecast that the snow would return in Feb (it did).
    4. Also forecast the current sunny “warm” (for March!) weather.

    interestingly Piers has also forecast that the cold weather and snow will return by the middle/end of March for the UK. We will see about this one. All these forecasts were carried out 1 month, or more in advance, and his last five seasonal forecasts have all been correct.

  24. son of mulder says:

    “The Met Office is to stop publishing seasonal forecasts, after it came in for criticism for failing to predict extreme weather.”

    I saw a Professor Slingo, Professor and Director,Centre for Global Atmospheric Modelling, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading , telling the Parliamentry Science and Technology Committee regarding the code for climate modelling that the same code is used for weather prediction and is tested twice per day.

    Interestingly they seem happy for the code to predict extreme weather in 100 years time. Or maybe they’ve just not had long enough to test it or maybe just that they know none of us will be here to ridicule them in 100 years.

  25. Indiana Bones says:

    ” no more “BBQ summers”

    Great. What am I to do with my BBQ grill??

  26. Charlie says:

    As a farmer, I am regularly astonished at how bad the much vaunted 5-day forcasts are – but I’ve never got round to analysing them.
    For February, however, I printed off the 5-day forecast for Winchester every night (starting the project on 28th Jan) , and also the ‘observations’ data for that day. When i get round to it, i’m going to compile a little record of just how bad they were! And they were awful.

  27. ScientistForTruth says:

    Oh, I forgot to include the most hilarious quote from Dr Vicky Pope at the Met Office:

    “Much longer predictions are run, typically…predicting the next 100 to 1,000 years.”

    And that was in 2007, before they got their new supercomputer.

    So, 1000 year runs are ‘typical’, but anything more than a month ahead is just too tricky.

    I’ll tell you what – I’ll do you a prediction for climate 1000 years hence. Exactly what value that would be to anyone, I don’t know. And if things didn’t seem to be going in the right direction over the next 30 years I can always run the argument that decadal changes are irrelevant: get back to me after a couple of centuries to see whether we’re on track and the model is holding up.

  28. Simon says:

    To be fair, there are some phenomena which are more easily forecasted on a large scale than a small scale.

    Nevertheless, the Met Office has shown itself to have a “warm” bias and it is unfortunate for the Met that reality has to interfere with its wonderful understanding of climate.

  29. Brian Johnson uk says:

    Their 5 day forecasts are a joke. Unless the 5 day period is with a really stable zone centered on the UK their forecasts change daily. Here is one sequence I recorded a few weeks ago.

  30. Ben says:

    The Met office has failed to identify even general patterns. No one expects confidence from a prediction of rain on August 3rd made on April 13th. However, if you say “this will be a hot summer” and it is a cold one, then that just makes people angry. If you cannot even make sweeping, hand-waving predictions that are correct, don’t make any at all.

    This is the correct decision. We may ridicule the overconfident imbecile who started the seasonal forcasts and management who allowed it to continue, but whoever gave the order to end it at least has their head partially in the game.

  31. quatermass says:

    Which makes this all the more bizarre… and suspicious:

    Climate change human link evidence ‘stronger’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8550090.stm

    Exactly how much faith can anyone have on their pontifications? Based on what data? What analysis? Is there an agenda that they’re not telling us about? How can this be so when all the evidence points to exactly the opposite conclusion?

  32. supercritical says:

    But hasn’t Julia the Supermodeller just blown a squillion on a megawatt processor array of 200,000 PCs, to do just this thing, with her ‘robust’ code?

    And this article on the Beeb website, too?

    I tell you, the wheels are falling off, bigtime.

    ( PS; If I ask Julia, do you reckon she’d let me have one of those redundant PCs? )

  33. John Douglas says:

    I thought they even screwed up some short term forecasts this past winter when they missed some big snows. I’m not even certain their short term forecasts are very precise either. I thought the Met Office came under heavy criticism for that and was one of the reasons the BBC was looking to an Australian company to provide its forecasts. I must have misunderstood given that the BBC doesn’t dispute the claim that the Met Office 5 day forecasts are “extremely accurate”.

  34. Rick says:

    Let’s see…I’m going to look out the window, and it will be sunny. Bullseye! It is sunny out! I still have extremely accurate weather forecasts.

  35. Ray says:

    With all the tools they have and their new Super-computer, if they can’t forecast a season ahead then why should they keep it opened? The Farmer’s Almach does a better job at forecasting. They should give the money to the farmers instead.

  36. kadaka says:

    Edit note, at the end of the post:
    We’ll see how well they do with short-term monthly forecasts that are “extremely accurate”.

    No more seasonal forecasts? Such a tragic loss of such a great source of humor. I shed one tear.

    However, it said its short-term forecasts are “extremely accurate”.

    They can look out the window, see it is raining, and predict with better than 50% accuracy that some form of rainfall will continue over the next hour. Now who can possibly want anything better than that?

  37. Mike Haseler says:

    Global warming is essentially the science of climate forecasting. So, I’ve always wondered why I seem to be the only person I’ve ever seen who has checked these forecasts and found them wanting (i.e. rubbish).

    It doesn’t help that these removed all their forecasts from their website, but I suspect there may be a copy on http://www.climatemice.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Profiles.MetOfficeForecasting

  38. RickA says:

    To be fair to the Met – there is a difference between predicting the weather and predicting the climate.

    We don’t know what the temperature will be at 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 21st 2100 – but that is different than predicating what the average annual temperature may be in 2100.

    I don’t think any of our climate models are accurate enough to do either type of prediction. But they are different types of prediction.

  39. brian says:

    If I want to know what the weather is NOT going to be like in 3 days time I look at the Met Office forecast.

  40. John Mackie says:

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

    You can be absolutely sure there are thousands of warmists ON THEIR KNEES in the church of AGW, positively WILLING that dark blue line to go down.

    Sickening hypocrisy.

  41. Keapon Laffin says:

    Funny that this came out the same day.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8550090.stm

  42. Slowjoe says:

    What ScottB said.

    I have noticed that you can translate “1C” in tonight’s forecast to “OC or less” this winter. And this is in today’s forecast, for a small town called London.

  43. Colin Porter says:

    I have a great admiration for your superior knowledge in matters of climate science and weather forecasting, but on this one I have to make a correction.

    “Autumn is cooler than summer.

    Winter is colder than “Autumn.”

    At least in the UK, the jurisdiction of the Met Office.

    “Forever Fall” and “Fall Leaves” just don’t portray the same feelings

  44. Sean Peake says:

    Meanwhile, the Met states that the link between human activity and climate change is even stronger. This comes from an exhaustive study of 110 papers and fully supports the IPCC’s 2007 findings and is published in Wileys latest Climate Change Journal (has anyone seen this?). OK, now the science truly is settled. Phew!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8550090.stm

    (My God, these guys don’t know when to stop)

  45. geo says:

    Being “highly inaccurate” is of course never good. Being highly inaccurate always in the same direction leads to people giving you the squinty eye about your biases waving in the wind for everyone to see.

  46. zt says:

    Peculiar – I wonder if Prof Slingo knew about this when she tried to convince the parliamentary inquiry that the climate models were accurate because the MET office runs the same code used to make climate predictions and to make weather forecasts?

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/uc387-i/uc38702.htm

    (on errors in forecasts)

    “Q210 Graham Stringer: You do not always get it right though, do you?

    Professor Slingo: No, but that is not an error in the code; that is to do with the nature of the chaotic system that we are trying to forecast. Let us not confuse those. We test the code twice a day every day. We also share our code with the academic sector, so the model that we use for our climate prediction work and our weather forecasts, the unified model, is given out to academic institutions around the UK, and increasingly we licence it to several international met services: Australia, South Africa, South Korea and India. So these codes are being tested day in, day out, by a wide variety of users and I consider that to be an extremely important job that we do because that is how we find errors in our codes, and actually it is how we advance the science that goes into our codes as well. So of course, a code that is hundreds of thousands of lines long undoubtedly has a coding error in it somewhere, and we hope that through this process we will discover it. Most of the major testing is very robust.”

    (always good to work in a ‘robust’)

  47. JDN says:

    Well, if the MET has vacated their space in the business of seasonal forecast, this is an exciting business opportunity. If Piers Corbyn is so good, let him fill the gap and claim the money (whatever it’s worth). This isn’t a swipe at him. The goal of a revolt is to replace the authorities. This is the opportunity.

  48. zt says:

    Should have included this as well….

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/uc387-i/uc38702.htm

    “Professor Slingo: Yes. Around the UEA issue, of course, we did put the code out at Christmas time, before Christmas, along with the data because I felt very strongly that we needed to have the code out there so that it could be checked. If you think about the sorts of codes that we use in climate modelling, we are literally talking of hundreds of thousands of lines of code – I know because I have written some of them – and of course, there will be errors in them. At least for the UK the codes that underpin our climate change projections are the same codes that we use to make our daily weather forecasts, so we test those codes twice a day for robustness.

    …emphasis added…

  49. Robert Morris says:

    HAHA! A certain Anthony Watts just had his email about the waste of cash represented by the Met Offices big shiny supercomputer read out on the BBC’s PM radio show.

  50. David, UK says:

    “By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look.”

    Unless, that is, when your predictions are beyond the lifetime of anyone around today, like say, 100 or so years. Then the predictions – oops sorry, *projections* – are, ahem, robust.

  51. Peter Ward says:

    On the radio it was mentioned that they will actually continue with their 3-monthly forecasts for those who need longer-range predictions for commercial reasons.

    So this is spin. The forecasts will continue but they won’t publicise them — unless they happen to be right, of course, when they can point to them and gloat.

    I wonder also whether this approach will allow them to charge for the 3-monthly forecasts, so generating more income now their AGW consulting must be waning a little?

  52. David Wells says:

    I have written to Julia giving here a receipe for a bacon sandwich that I always manage to screw up and it would seem to be so simple, two slices of bread four rashers of bacon (unsmoked) and three squirts of tomatoe sauce but what I dont have of course is a £35 million super computer and I am sure that it would make a difference. It must be because I havent removed the fat you know that 0.117% of the atmosphere that cause and of course the tomatoe sauce the equivalent of 0.066% that is our methane. Well I have just had a large Thai current so what out for thunder over the weekend, fart induced anthropomological global cockup that we are all paying for!

    Maybe we should blitz Iraq again with depleted uranium just tomake sure it causes birth defects like three heads (Balls, Mandelson and Campbell) each with six fingers and 11 toes all poking Browns …….. the MET office is a complete farce but Gore God bless him has just won another doctorate doesnt that just make your Tennessee heart run over with the milk of human kindness, Gore we luv U!

    David Wells

  53. Chris says:

    Until recently I had the local Met Office forecast on my computer toolbar. I soon realized that the forecast was changed almost daily, presumably to fit in with what actually happened, so that it was virtually useless.I decided to try Accuweather and the difference is astonishing. I would estimate it is 75% right at least.

  54. lowercasefred says:

    “By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look.”

    And, by their nature, scientists become less accurate the more blinded by bias they are.

  55. Roy says:

    Obviously I regret we won’t be able to start conversations in the pub by asking “How’s that barbecue summer working for you?”, or better still, while we were snowed-in a few weeks ago, “I see it’s turned out to be a barbecue winter too”.

    I don’t know if it was hubris or simple leaden stupidity that made them think they could do three month forecasts, but they really shouldn’t have tried. The irony is that by eliminating a hopeless forecast they will be able to show they have increased their skill, and will probably encourage us to believe their climate forecasts are also skillful.

  56. Gosport Mike. says:

    I’m sure that I read in someone’s blog that the BBC Pension Fund had £8 billion invested in Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. Is it possible that the Met Office has money in the same place?

  57. richard says:

    It’s frankly astounding that the Met Office have admitted that their seasonal forecasts are pretty much crap but still expect us to believe they can tell us what the climate will be like in 50-100 years.

    I rather suspect this sudden concern about their accuracy is far less about their maintaining their credibility in AGW circles and far more to do with the suggestion that they might lose their BBC franchise.

  58. A Robertson says:

    The MO claim their weather forecasts are accurate up to 5 days and that their long term climate forecasts are accurate. How accurate are their 10 year climate forecasts?
    From the Met Office Aug 2007:-
    Climate scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre will unveil the first decadal climate prediction model in a paper published on 10 August 2007 in the journal Science. The paper includes the Met Office’s prediction for annual global temperature to 2014.
    Over the 10-year period as a whole, climate continues to warm and 2014 is likely to be 0.3 °C warmer than 2004. At least half of the years after 2009 are predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record
    These predictions are very relevant to businesses and policy-makers who will be able to respond to short-term climate change when making decisions today. The next decade is within many people’s understanding and brings home the reality of a changing climate.

  59. mercurior says:

    when they say it will be sunny the next day i carry an umberella. if they say its going to rain i get out my shorts and tshirt..

    if they state one thing i get ready for the opposite.

  60. Mikkel says:

    I wish the Danish Meteorological Institute would do the same. Their seasonal forecasts has not even been close once, during the last two years.

    Luckily, they erase them quickly, with absolutely no follow-up, so no-one ever notice the errors.

    During the last year, the focus on AGW on their site has also been less obvious. It is now much more balanced and subtle.

    It could be damage control, and soon the will announce that they never believed in AGW. Funny world.

    /Mikkel

  61. R. de Haan says:

    I am sure Joe Bastardi and Accu Weather are delighted to hear this decision.

    It provides AccuWeather with a competitive edge on the weather market of the UK, Scotland and Ireland.

    Bravo

  62. Alan the Brit says:

    I am fed up to my back teeth with the Met Office continually claiming weather is not climate, so why use exactly the same model to predict weather AND climate?

    As others have said & I have before, the 5-day forecast is a bit of a joke, because it virually changes on a daily basis, albiet very slightly but changes they are!

    As we are just outside Pantomime season:-
    Peter Stott, dressed in black with big black cape, wraps it around his body, does an evil laugh, & exits stage right! Enter Piers Corbyn, dressed in hero white, stage left!

    Salt in wound time I think!

    HAGWE everyone!

  63. son of mulder says:

    ” NickB. (08:39:18) :

    The GCMs, I thought they said they were ROBUST”

    No I think they said “Rob us”

  64. Jim Clarke says:

    While I agree that seasonal forecasts will never be as accurate as short term forecasts, I do believe we can do seasonal forecasts that have some value. However, we can not do them they way the met office attempted to do them. We can not do them with deterministic computer models.

    They key to seasonal forecasting is pattern recognition and the key to that is studying patterns and how they relate. That is very much different than what computers do.

  65. rbateman says:

    Format two AGW petafloppers, and call me in the morning.

  66. Claude Harvey says:

    Let me paraphrase: “We’ve been scamming you guys for years. You’ve finally stuck your heads out the window and noticed something amiss. We now admit that any prediction past five days into the future was a non-scientific, highly speculative guess based in large part on religious belief in AGW theory. We promise to now confine ourselves to near-term forecasts for which proven science exists and we expect you to keep funding us as lavishly as before you caught us faking the science. We’d also like to keep that big, thumping, super-computer you bought us, even though it adds squat to those five-day predictions.”

  67. Steve Goddard says:

    By 2080 the climate (of Dorset) may resemble that of present day Portugal.

    http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2009/310309.aspx

  68. A C Osborn says:

    Brian Johnson uk (08:47:58) :
    I like that, I have noticed it quite a few times, perhaps we should start this as a permenant feature to disprove their Reliability for 5 day forecasts as well.
    Just to embarass them a bit more.
    How did you get those Scans, form the newspaper?
    They don’t seem to be on their website.

  69. geronimo says:

    The Met Office has been taken over by environmentalists, its weather forecasts have been twisted to support AGW. It’s time it went back to forecasting the weather and the environmentalist working there told to go and do there advocacy elsewhere.

    As for the Stott papers they ‘ve just put out, pure propaganda, not an iota of science trying to get a proper relationship between CO2 in the atmosphere and temperture.

  70. George E. Smith says:

    Well I just Googled my way through dozens of pages looking for “Climate Sensitivity” and “Steven schneider”, and definition of CS, and inventor of CS, and basically it seems that every single climate scientists has defined CS for himself, in terms of everything from CO2, to glaciers, and whatever. There seems to be as many definitions of climate sensitivity, as there are estimates of its value.
    But I did find one paper that unequivocally defined it as the permanent increase in the mean global surface temperature due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 abundance. And the concensus seems to be that it’s exact value is 1.5 to 4.5 CO2 doubling^-1, which thereby establishes the 3:1 universal climatology fudge factor.

    Maybe The Met Office can use the 3:1 fudge factor in their monthly weather predictions; excuse me, projections, to improve their batting average.

  71. Bruce Cobb says:

    Indiana Bones (08:41:54) :

    ” no more “BBQ summers”

    Great. What am I to do with my BBQ grill??

    I’d keep it handy. Could be useful in staving off the likely cooling for the next couple of decades (or more).

  72. P Wilson says:

    Its now into March and the temperature in London is predicted to go down to -3C for the next two nights, which is exceptional. Winter simply won’t go away.

  73. Tom T says:

    If that doesn’t work, maybe they could go to just forecasting what the weather will be in the next minute.

  74. P Wilson says:

    Charlie Barnes (08:11:10)

    Quite. I predict that I might trip on the way home over the next two days, but that I shall not do so for the next 35 years thereafter, so robust is the prediction

  75. James F. Evans says:

    Boy, if that isn’t a slap-down of the MET, I don’t know what is.

    And, since the MET was making it’s four times a year predictions based on an AGW assumption & framework, by extension, it’s a slap-down of AGW, too.

    When it rains, it pours and it’s pouring buckets — AGW is all wet.

  76. climatebeagle says:

    A C Osborn > perhaps we should start this as a permenant feature to disprove their Reliability for 5 day forecasts as well.

    Why not get the MET office to do it? Have them publish on their website the statistics they already must be gathering to make the claim they are accurate, after all they are funded by the taxpayer, right? If this doesn’t happen, just send FOI requests to get their accuracy records, assuming they didn’t hand them over to the CRU to “lose”.

  77. P Wilson says:

    Sean Peake (08:13:18)

    Its the easiest place to determing fairly accurate seasonal – long term forecasts. At the margin of a continental climate and an atlantic climate, Given the state of the PDO, I predict 20-30 years of cool winters and fairly cool/wet summers

  78. R. de Haan says:

    Here we go again:
    After review of science, evidence of human influence climate more clear!
    Let’s have the data!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8550090.stm

  79. P Wilson says:

    addendum to the above re: Charlie Barnes (08:11:10)

    “By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look. ”

    100 years hence is an awfully long way ahead compared to the inability to predict the next season by rapport to the next few days

    that’s certainly a paradox.

  80. Rifleshooter says:

    I’m studying Global Climate Change as a grad student this semester and have been really put off by the email issue. The British Met Office has recognized it’s lost credibility. Our own Met department hasn’t a clue when the snow will come, nor how long it will stay.

    The more I study this stuff, the more I am convinced that the Change folks are far too certain of their data (which turns up incorrect often enough that it ought to concern them) for their own good.

    I still believe that the globe is warming, and I still think that some of the issue is man-made… but every thing I investigate has the smell of advocacy – not science – behind it.

    Which makes me SUSPICIOUS.

  81. ScientistForTruth says:

    geronimo (10:30:47) : “The Met Office has been taken over by environmentalists, its weather forecasts have been twisted to support AGW.”

    Quite right, from the top down, ex-WWF eco-imperialist Robert Napier, who praised the Met’s seasonal forecasting (“During the last year I have been impressed, but not surprised, by our accurate forecasts…for the…season ahead”).

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/eco-imperialism-every-environmentalists-dream/

    Napier stated “The Met Office delivered in its two core roles — weather forecasting and climate change research. I’m delighted therefore that we hit nearly all our Key Performance Targets…the Met Office’s new supercomputer has been really important, as it will allow us to run forecasts at a much higher resolution of 1.5 km. This will strengthen us as the only facility in the world to offer seamless prediction from tomorrow through the next 100 years.”

    Not to be outdone, the Met’s Dr Vicky Pope (who has tried to temper exaggeration) declared as far back as 2007, before the new supercomputer:

    “Much longer predictions are run, typically…predicting the next 100 to 1,000 years.”

    Then there’s Met Office Chief Scientist, Julia Slingo (also President of the Royal meteorological Society)

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/met-office-fraudcast/

    Difficult to believe anything she says now: it’s just government propaganda.

  82. R.S.Brown says:

    The Met Office said it decided to change its forecasting
    approach after carrying out customer research.

    Translation:
    Earlier this year the BBC threatened to drop the Met Office as
    their source for daily weather reports and near-term
    forcasting.

  83. DirkH says:

    “Simon (08:46:46) :

    To be fair, there are some phenomena which are more easily forecasted on a large scale than a small scale.”

    This can only be true for systems in which small scale phenomena do not have an influence on large scale phenomena. Weather doesn’t belong to these systems; clouds are small scale phenomena. So high frequency small scale phenomena do influence the large scale system through what climate scientists call feedbacks (in my view, these are negative feedbacks, but then again i don’t have truckloads of dystopian books to sell like Hansen).

  84. mrjthomas says:

    They do seem to be in trouble. Correct me if I am wrong but:
    – Met Office confirmed that all of their forecasting uses the same models (daily, 5-day, monthly, annual, 100 year …)
    – Met Office confirmed that their annual forecast has a warm bias of 0.05C (or 0.5C per decade, or 5C per century)
    Game over for the Met Office, surely?

  85. Robinson says:

    These insensitive clods in the Met Office have just taken away the one reason I had to look forward to a rainy summer.

  86. Gary Hladik says:

    So let me get this straight: The Met Office has admitted they can be replaced by a weather rock?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=%22weather+rock%22

  87. OceanTwo says:

    I believe when this statement was made, it was on the understanding that everyone had forgotten about the millions spent on a ‘super’ computer…now everyone just has to being that up….oh look over there! a squeaky toy !

    Unfortunately, they will have to go back to predicting extremities: would you feel happy about paying millions for a computer which keeps on telling you that it’s ‘business as usual’? No, it has to ‘do’ something apart from consume great quantities of electricity.

  88. Ken Harvey says:

    This will surely come back to bite them – the very next time that they make a pronouncement that goes beyond five days. I can’t wait.

  89. Steve says:

    They’ll need more of your tax dollars anyway to fund their massive salaries in order to incorrectly predict warming that can only be stopped with even more of your tax dollars.

    Carry on.

    Cheerio.

  90. Stephen Brown says:

    From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8550090.stm (referred to above) comes the following:

    “The analysis, published in the Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change Journal, has assessed 110 research papers on the subject.” and “We started writing this paper a year ago.”

    How many of those 110 “papers” have the same blighted pedigree as those found to be ‘grey’ literature in the IPCC reports? The concoction of this new farrago began BEFORE Climategate effectively gave lie to a lot of what the IPCC was spouting at that time and which was being believed by many.

  91. JM Hanes says:

    In re the Baltic shutdown, I just want to register a vote, and a huge note of thanks, for the fresh content Watts Up provides day after day!

    Sorry for the consequent O/T, but I also wondered Watts Up with the “fabled” Northeast Passage these days. Should we be nominating Beluga Shipping for a Premature “Mission Accomplished” award? If anyone is pondering Russian interest in mitigating AGW, see: Arctic, Gazprom. The ironies just keep on coming.

    http://aqviva.dk/2009/09/challenge-northeast-passage-mastered/

  92. Thomas J. Arnold. says:

    The bigger the computer the more inaccuracies produced, does this mean that all their ‘near’ 10 year or 20 year divinations are also on the scrapheap?
    Have they no sense of irony?
    On hand tells it “we are very exact for 5 days.”
    on the other hand “we cannot predict for 3 months.”
    But we are telling you – it will in 20 or 50 years do this and that and be 2/3/5 degrees warmer………….. .
    Once more the power of speech fails me.
    Apologies for obvious repetition but it beggars belief, or belief needs to be suspended and a leap of faith is required, bring out the Shaman and the bones.

  93. Jeff L says:

    “the Met Office released a statement which said: “By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look.”

    And we are supposed to believe forecasts 100 years out ?????

    Priceless!!

  94. 1DandyTroll says:

    “Although we can identify general patterns of weather, the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather.”

    Apparently, and considering the less then precise short-term forecasts as well, and not to be too cheeky, or even gloat, Bastardi seem to know his stuff and, for the past few month’ that I have followed him, he’s rather good at long term forecasting whereas met comes of as complete morons. How can one, and apparently to some testo, sceptic get it so right when so many and their supposedly superior super climate and weather computer get it so wrong?

  95. TonyB says:

    It would be useful to actually know which papers have been reviewed so we can see the strength of the evidence. According to the BBC;

    “The analysis, published in the Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change Journal, has assessed 110 research papers on the subject. …”

    As far as I can see the Met Office-funded by the UK tax payer- has used its researchers-funded by the UK tax payer- to write a document-funded etc etc- and then put the whole lot behind a pay wall so we can’t gain access to the report without paying for it.

    Anyone got any access rights and can let us know just what has been reviewed??

    tonyb

  96. Pascvaks says:

    The only thing the British Government can do now is to replace the head of the Met. Office with someone of unimpeachable character who has a steel trap mind for details and numbers.

    I believe each of you are well aware of the World renouned ‘scientist’ of whom I speak. I understand he is currently on paid leave from his current position while his office is being remodeled and repainted.

    We can simply not afford to hire ignorant, sloppy, untrustworthy people for such important positions.

  97. Doug in Seattle says:

    “The Met Office said it decided to change its forecasting approach after carrying out customer research.”

    Kinda makes you wonder what their research tells them about their even longer term forecasts.

  98. Dave N says:

    R. de Haan (10:48:45) :

    From the article:

    “And all these different aspects of the climate system are adding up to a picture of the effects of a human influence on our climate.”

    I’d like to know how they make the distinction from natural variability. If I see the number of sunspots “change”, I could say it adds up to the effects of human influence.. doesn’t mean I’m right, though.

    Since there’s no link to a published study, and no data, I’ll give the story the credit it deserves: none.

  99. David Alan Evans says:

    I make better predictions looking at the sky & watching the direction the clouds are blowing.

    They were coming from due North today, so I guess bloody cold is a fair guess.

    The South of England will get it worst.

    DaveE.

  100. Don B says:

    Over at Small Dead Animals, Kate has mentioned the changed Met position, and then remarks about climate models, “accuracy increases with the distance from the target.”

  101. rbateman says:

    When the bottom line start to sink into the red ink, you dump off the things that aren’t working for you. Public money has to be tight these days.

  102. Neil says:

    “We test these codes twice a day for robustness” – Julia Slingo.

    I have just spent my working day testing software. And, as it happens, yesterday I was asked by the client for a list of all the tests I had performed on an earlier phase of the project. (I had already prepared most of it, of course).

    Let’s see your list of tests that you do twice a day, Ms Slingo. Which parts of the code do you check on Tuesday mornings? Go on, give us a list.

  103. Billy Liar says:

    mrjthomas (11:12:43) :

    They do seem to be in trouble. Correct me if I am wrong but:
    – Met Office confirmed that all of their forecasting uses the same models (daily, 5-day, monthly, annual, 100 year …)
    – Met Office confirmed that their annual forecast has a warm bias of 0.05C (or 0.5C per decade, or 5C per century)
    Game over for the Met Office, surely?

    Boy, the oceans must really be boiling in their 1,000 year forecasts – 50C bias!

  104. roger says:

    For some reason this thread has failed to attract the Trolls! Peaceful innit?

  105. Steamboat McGoo says:

    They were not criticized for “failing to predict extreme weather”.

    They were criticized – and justifiably so! – for failing to predict extreme weather ACCURATELY. And I agree with their response: they need to stop it until they can do it with some minimum degree of accuracy – and absent the Warmist bias that appears to pervade their recent prognostications.

  106. Dave N says:

    I think I found the answer:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/03/met-office-claims-to-have-found-agw.html

    There’s apparently no study and/or data, someone suddenly just “knows”.

  107. Andy says:

    Funny that this came out the same day.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8550090.stm

    Even funnier on the news before I left for work at 05:45 on the BBC this story was followed by the ferry being ice bound off the coast of Sweden. Irony is a wonderful thing

  108. David Alan Evans says:

    Rifleshooter (11:00:43) :

    Perhaps you can be one of the next generation of HONEST climate scientists. :-)

    DaveE.

  109. Philip Thomas says:

    If the Met Office are cutting back on their functionality, does that mean the Government can cut back on their funding? Can’t expect to get paid the same for less work, can they?

  110. stephen richards says:

    I have been monitoring their monthly forecasts for years. At one time they stopped them because of poor accuracy and they are still rubbish. They have little skill what so ever beyond 3 days. Their 5 day forecasts which they claim are extremely good, are average. Sometimes quite useful other times totally useless. What has become clear to me is thay their models only work well when the atmosphere is stuck in a mode. Either stong westerlies accross the atlantic or strong blocking anticyclones to the north of europe. Otherwise, useless.
    The best seasonal forecasts in recent times have come from accuweather/Joe B and more recently weatheraction piers C.

  111. stephen richards says:

    Rifleshooter (11:00:43) : “I still believe that the globe is warming, and I still think that some of the issue is man-made… but every thing I investigate has the smell of advocacy – not science – behind it”

    A good scientist DOES NOT BELIEVE!! A good scientist gets the data, test it, looks for the assupmtions and caveats and decides how much accuracy there is in the answer, defines that accuracy in terms of the issues not understood and publishes ALL OF IT.

    I hope that’s what you mentor is telling you. If he/she isn’t ditch them and find another. Belief is not part of the scientific method.

  112. Pascvaks says:

    Breitbart has an interesting article about some who ARE making BIG EUROs off Poor Ol’Jones and the Bad Ol’Met Office’s incompetence. There is a silver lining in, and pot of glod at the end of, the ‘Mannmade’ Global Warming Rainbow.

    EU’s ‘carbon fat cats’ get rich off trading scheme: study
    Mar 5 12:05 PM US/Eastern

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.6a237570be4660439e371341ae8452d5.a41&show_article=1

  113. Tim Clark says:

    Don B (12:10:10) :
    Over at Small Dead Animals, Kate has mentioned the changed Met position, and then remarks about climate models, “accuracy increases with the distance from the target.”

    Which is, of course, fundamentally correct. I predict the mean annual temperature of the earth will be .625 degrees warmer in 2110. Prove me wrong.

  114. Paul Vaughan says:

    Corbyn’s SLAM (Solar Lunar Amplification Magnetic) process explains hadCRUSST (Hadley Centre / University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit Sea Surface Temperature):

    More here:

    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/VolcanoStratosphereSLAM.htm

  115. Kitefreak says:

    WeatherAction’s Piers Corbyn’s UK March Weather Forecast:

  116. Snufflegruff says:

    Steve Goddard (10:27:58) :

    “By 2080 the climate (of Dorset) may resemble that of present day Portugal.”

    Great. Nice beaches in Dorset and it’s only a couple of hours on the train. Maybe we could even get home-grown vinho verde…

    A few years back I was on a walking holiday in NW Scotland. According to the BBC weather forecast (provided by the MO) it was already raining, and I could expect non-stop rain, thick cloud, etc etc. Which was strange as at that moment the sun was beating down. It continued to do so all day… Fact: in Scotland, MO cannot forecast weather the same day.

  117. allergy says:

    The real reason for this change by the Met Office:

    Shorter period for forecasts = greater accuracy = bigger bonuses.

    Follow the money!

  118. Cold Englishman says:

    Actually, forecasting weather for the UK is comparatively easy. We lie on the end of The Gulf Stream, with a south westerly wind flow, hence the term for wet weather clothing for seamen “Souwesters”.

    Since the advent of sattelite photo’s we have been able to see into the Atlantic Ocean, and seee the fronts moving towards us, and at 30 – 40 mph, it’s schoolboy arithmetic to be able to predict rain at lunchtime tomorrow.

    There are two exceptions to this pattern.

    In winter the jet stream can force a high pressure zone to move south from Iceland and sit right on top of us, which is what happened this year. It can sit on us for weeks, and during that time there is little wind, so windmills are useless, just when they are needed. When last year a windmill iced up and a blade snapped off, it was blamed on a UFO (I’m not making this up-and this is the land that produced Newton)

    In summer, a high can move up from France, and similarly it can get trapped on us for weeks, 1976 comes to mind. Again the days are listless, so once again, windmills are useless for taking AC loads. Eventually the high breaks with very heavy thunder storms, and local flooding.

    So when the MET say they are very good at forecasting, they should be, anyone can do it, the only times they get it wrong, are in the two descriptions above, which just shows that, looking out the window to the west, is as good a way as any to forecast UK weather.

  119. John Trigge says:

    Does anyone else see the disparity in Prof Slingo’s remarks?

    “Professor Slingo: No, but that is not an error in the code;…”

    and, in the same waffling, statement:

    ” So of course, a code that is hundreds of thousands of lines long undoubtedly has a coding error in it somewhere, and we hope that through this process we will discover it.”

    Also, she has a habit of stating that there are ‘hundreds of thousands of lines (of code)”, sounding like an appeal for sympathy and understanding for the plight of climate ‘scientists’ who have to such a heavy burden of having to work with such large numbers of code lines.

    Perhaps they should get rid of their supercomputers with terabytes of memory and give them 1970’s systems with limited memory that forces minimalised and accurate code.

  120. Mooloo says:

    and was one of the reasons the BBC was looking to an Australian company to provide its forecasts.

    Actually, I think this is confused. There is a New Zealand company supplying its visuals. Not quite the same thing.

    (BTW weather forcasting is easy for the Aussies. I can provide an accurate five-day forecast for Australia: hot – hot – hot – hot – hot. In Queensland and West Australia: very hot – very hot – very hot – very hot – very hot. Provided “hot” is defined relative to Hamilton, NZ.)

  121. Britannic no-see-um says:

    The Metoffice finally gives up seasonal forecasting in the face of a well-deserved kicking from nature. And the British will lament at their passing- a traditional source of immense amusement to all, the worse the prediction bombed the better it was.

    The Metoffice’s only consolation remains the pieces of silver… oops, huge performance bonuses they got, despite failing miserably, for toadying up and at least trying hard to be on message.

  122. At the risk of repeating myself from the bottom of another thread…
    When the principals of an action are fully understood, the causes and outcomes of those actions become understandable and predictable.

    The well known fact that weather models break down rapidly, shows that they DO NOT reflect the real drivers of global circulation. Building climate models based on some of the same principals, and just throwing in a hand full of other variables, DOES NOT HELP!

    The understanding of what drives the weather, has been so politically regulated by the accepted experts maintaining a name for them selves, that the resultant “knowledge base” has become flawed by political opinions, defended as gospel, from way before climate science was born of energy/carbon agenda parents.

    When the real truth is revealed about what is driving the global circulation that results in the weather, and how the trends in those cyclic patterns as they interact results in the variations in the climate, become known the resulting increase in forecasting skill using these methods will extend the current 3 day skill levels out past 10 years of daily forecasts.

    The resultant sudden drop in the left over noise will leave little doubt about the influences of trace gasses, and man’s almost nonexistence of real level of influence on the scheme of things. I await the net results of these revelations with baited breath. If the alarmist are having problems maintaining false vintages now, just wait till the fog clears.

  123. RichieP says:

    @ Johnny Canuck (08:13:45) :
    ‘“The Mets new short term forecasts are EXTREMELY accurate”
    Here is today’s forecast:
    CLOUDY OTHERWISE CLEAR.’

    As I type, I am still wiping the tears from my eyes at this. This could describe almost any day in the British year. Stunningly insightful and perceptive forecasting, although Old Moore’s Almanac manages just as well without a supersupercomputerer.

    “Old Moore’s Almanac has been published for nearly 2½ centuries and does not reveal its methodology. ”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1119/1224259108486.html

  124. Annei says:

    “By their nature forecasts become less accurate the further out we look”. What a surprise! So how come they think we should believe their computer-modelled predictions for 50 and more years ahead?

  125. pyromancer76 says:

    Anthony, thanks for the amazing variety of posts and your wry humor. I had noticed that some comments about typos were getting “picky” or “pedantic” instead of helpful (reference to last post). I had always assumed that those who noticed “errors” were simply being helpful so you did not have to hire an editor as you sped your way not only to producing the best science blog but a blog of amazing quality — always presenting another perspective, always educating. The commenter-crew you have developed over the years is spectacular. Where is there any better collaboration?

    Get some rest — you deserve it. Your son is very fortunate. Tomorrow is another day.

  126. Paul Vaughan says:

    When Corbyn forecast the Cumbria UK floods from 100 days out, that got my attention. As I’ve dug into his work a little more & then a little more as I’ve had time, it has become clearer & clearer that he knows things the mainstream has COMPLETELY missed.

  127. Alexander says:

    Some UK supermarkets use a NZ weather forecasting business so that they can co-ordinate seasonal produce purchase and merchandising; the BBC have allegedly been looking at the same business to do their public forecasting.
    The fact that a NZ computer graphics business did the BBC TV visuals is almost a secret as the Met office seems willing to take the credit for something that works! The visuals on TVNZ weather reports are far superior to the UK version, however, in that the ‘flyover’ is incredibly realistic, similar to a high-altitude flight simulator.
    During WWII, the Axis forces struggled with weather forecasting as the Allies had a more global and thus more successful picture of evolving weather conditions.
    I, too, have bee singularly unimpressed with the met office’s forecasts and my basic peasant logic tells me that if they can’t forcast weeks ahead, no way can they even pretend to do longer range stuff. If their models have a consistent margin of error as the seasonal works, the arrival of another ice age would be predicted as warming.

  128. Paul Vaughan (15:31:07) :

    When Corbyn forecast the Cumbria UK floods from 100 days out, that got my attention. As I’ve dug into his work a little more & then a little more as I’ve had time, it has become clearer & clearer that he knows things the mainstream has COMPLETELY missed.
    My reply;
    I think Corbyn still has some to learn about the lunar declinational periodic repeating patterns utility, he could add more detail out further from the analog data base it generates.

    I have attempted to contact him and got a nice “thank you we will pass this on note” but I suspect he is busy with the processing of how to respond to the alarmists BS. as the higher priority, as it should be, if he wants copies of my process, and codes He can have them, if he bothers to ask.

  129. biddyb says:

    “Charlie (08:41:55) :

    As a farmer, I am regularly astonished at how bad the much vaunted 5-day forcasts are – but I’ve never got round to analysing them.
    For February, however, I printed off the 5-day forecast for Winchester every night (starting the project on 28th Jan) , and also the ‘observations’ data for that day. When i get round to it, i’m going to compile a little record of just how bad they were! And they were awful.”

    Spot on, Charlie. I wish I had done that too. I have watched/checked the 5 day forecast and confidently discussed the forecast with friends (as we weather obsessed Brits do), only to discover THE SAME DAY that the whole forecast has changed. Having booked my outdoor tennis lesson on the basis of the forecast predicting clear weather, we then find it’s rained off. Bloody useless.

    And as for that BBQ summer last year and the completely stupid decision I made to stay at home and enjoy the warmth and the sun……………Never again. Well, I can’t now anyway. What a rubbish service and what a complete waste of taxpayers money – and this lot reckon they can forecast AGW. Huh!

    On that note, I’m going to bed. I’m supposed to be waking up to cloudy skies tomorrow and bright sunshine on Sunday. We’ll see – I’m planning to do some gardening…………..

  130. Green Sand says:

    Two announcements in the MSM from the UK Meteorological Office, both incorrect and neither having anything to do with meteorology, just the sort of thing that makes you proud to be British?

  131. mikelorrey says:

    This is quite odd, my Farmers Almanac has been right about everything this winter. How is it some hayseeds are so much better than some oxbridge edjumicated perfesshunals?

  132. mikelorrey (17:08:36) :

    Maybe because the academics set standards of education practices by the results of the winners of political infighting between schools and departments.
    What gets pushed as true is the viewpoint of the winners, by the time they have been haggling for the past 100 years the truth has been lost somewhere.

    Where up poor old hay seeds keep what works, and add more things that work as we find them.

  133. Roger Knights says:

    Ray (09:01:06) :

    With all the tools they have and their new Super-computer, if they can’t forecast a season ahead then why should they keep it opened? The Farmer’s Almanac does a better job at forecasting. They should give the money to the farmers instead.

    Or Phil.

    Pauxsutawney Phil.

  134. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Richard Holle (15:52:40)

    Richard, thanks for the note. I’ve been following your notes at tallbloke’s [ http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/ ].

    Piers Corbyn is a pretty busy guy. He’s not sitting on a fat, guaranteed, tenured university golden-handshake – and he faces fire on several fronts — all of that on top of wrapping his mind around complexity where all before him have failed.

    I encourage you to condense your most-key insights into a single page. That may sound like a tall order, but I think this is very important. Maybe think of it as developing bait to attract more curiosity. One strategy is to leave your audience hungry for more …so they will ask for more. (Establish value and create desire.)

    Please let me know when you have something potent & succinct — I’ll keep an eye for a note at tallbloke’s – (I might miss it here due to the volume).

  135. ROM says:

    Cold Englishman (14:16:00) :

    There is a story, possibly apocryphal, about a UK weather observer during WW2.
    This observer was stationed in a remote location in far western Ireland and acquired a considerable reputation for being able to accurately forecast the expected weather for the UK over the next couple of days.
    A couple of weather experts were sent out to the remote location to check on his methods.
    Simple he said!
    When it gets near sunset I go out onto the high promontory over there and if I can see the sun setting in the far west I know that the next day or two will be fine here and over England.
    If it is bad visibility and cloudy and I can’t see the sunset at all and it is looking rainy out to the west, I know that the weather will be poor to bad here and over the mainland for the next couple of days.

  136. Pete H says:

    Picture of Piers Corbyn rolling around the floor laughing comes to mind!

    Now, Met Office people, can you also stop Louis Gray spouting your AGW nonsense in the UK papers? Oh by the way, can we please have our money back that you have wasted on your bad predictions? Oh and by the way, can we have the original raw data and the codes? Oh and by the way…..enough for ou to be going on with for now!

    Anthony, hope you are recovering and nuts to the sphelling police ;=)

  137. Pete H says:

    oops above should have been you not ou, before someone jumps on me!

  138. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Well that is no fun.

  139. Richard says:

    The Met Office can no longer forecast the weather one season ahead. However their forcasts for a century and half a century ahead is still “robust”.

    Their logic – it is easier to forcast a century ahead than just one season, which arrives too quickly and can quickly be be verified.

    Another example often given, we cannot tell if a particular day will be warm or cold, rainy or dry, but we can forecast the seasons very well, winter will be colder than summer.

    They have verified this by means of their complicated GCM’s and supercomputers, without which we would never have known.

  140. Patrick Davis says:

    “Alexander (15:52:38) :

    The fact that a NZ computer graphics business did the BBC TV visuals is almost a secret as the Met office seems willing to take the credit for something that works! The visuals on TVNZ weather reports are far superior to the UK version, however, in that the ‘flyover’ is incredibly realistic, similar to a high-altitude flight simulator.”

    I believe these sorts of visuals were derived from technology with I think was originally developed in NZ for the America’s Cup yacht race called Virtual Spectator.

  141. Steve Goddard says:

    Strong evidence on global warming, says study

    By Clive Cookson in London

    Published: March 5 2010 02:00 | Last updated: March 5 2010 02:00

    The case for man-made global warming is even stronger than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change maintained in its official assessments, according to the first scientific review published since December’s Copenhagen conference and subsequent attacks on the IPCC’s credibility .

    An international research team led by the UK Met Office spent the past year analysing more than 100 recent scientific papers to update the last IPCC assessment, released in 2007.

    Although the review itself preceded the sceptics’ assault on climate science over the past three months, its launch yesterday in London marks a resumption of the campaign by mainstream scientists to show that man-made releases of greenhouse gases are causing potentially dangerous global warming.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2832934a-27f6-11df-9598-00144feabdc0.html

  142. David says:

    Julia Slingo, head of the Met Office, giving evidence recently to the Government Inquiry into the leaked CRU e-mails, stated that the nature of weather was – in her word – ‘chaotic’.
    Which kinda makes you wonder if ANY computer modelling can possibly indicate what the climate will be like in 20, 30, 50 years time..!
    A side issue which NO-ONE has brought up. Between 1947 and 1962, the USA, the Soviets and others (the UK and France to name but two) let off literally HUNDREDS of massive nuclear devices more or less for the fun of it – alright, to test them of course – but with no concern whatsoever about the effect on the atmosphere.
    Unless I’m mistaken, there basically wasn’t any measurable effect.
    However – these days if you’ve got an SUV you’re personally reducing the planet to a crisp.
    Comments, anyone..?

  143. David says:

    And another thing (to pinch the title of one of Jeremy Clarkson’s books)….
    Artic sea ice – firmly predicted to be disappearing as fast as in a g&t.
    The daily-updated graph on the right – produced without drama or comment by JAXA – shows that the 2010 trace is EXACTLY in the middle of the spread for the last nine years (or, as the alarmists would have it, ‘since records began’).
    Its a bugger isn’t it, when the facts don’t accord with the predictions..?

  144. Calnorthern says:

    So our energy companies in UK rely on these Met office predictions. I mean pay for them? And then winter in UK is, as now, NOT Scorchio. Suddenly such companies need to pay big market bucks at the last minute for gas supplies because reserve is inadequate (add panic phrases). Does China need a large dump of super computer scrap? Probably NOT!

  145. David says:

    Patrick Davis/Alexander – sorry, guys – but I have been lobbying the Met Office (obviously with nil effect) since the ‘flyover’ was introduced on the UK weather map in 2005, because I makes me feel nauseous. I have to look away until they’ve stopped it to do the regional forecasts. You know – the super-accurate ones…

  146. Ulric Lyons says:

    Purely from predicting the solar signal, my score for weekly temperature departures from normals through 2009 was 49/52. The same weekly departures from normals could be seen to be occurring in Australia as well as most North Hemisphere locations. The warmer periods were; mid March, most of April, the last week of May, June 21st for 3 weeks, most of August, the last week in September, the last week in October, the middle 2 weeks of November (which I missed, but have found the cause since), and a week around Christmas.

  147. Zeke the Sneak says:

    I do wish the Met Office the best of luck in this strange new world of “customers,” weather prediction, taxpayers, and in its seeming attempt to provide some kind of service. Don’t expect to much of yourself at first.

    Zeke the Sneak

  148. Katabasis says:

    A number of people have mentioned that the new “review” cited by the Met Office should be in the public domain, and I quite agree. At the moment it is only easily accessible from academic facilities.

    The key part of it of course is the list of references. I have got hold of a copy and pasted the referenced papers into a document you can download here:

    http://www.mindfunk.net/temp/stott_paper_refs.rtf

    I’m unsure of the legalities involved here so will not share the full “review” – I think providing the list of references is fair use however.

    I am currently going through the “review”. That’s in quotation marks because the entire document is a 20 page puff piece, four pages of which are the list of references.

  149. TonyB says:

    Katabasis

    Stott is citing an awful lot of his own papers. As far as I can tell on a quick check many of the references are also for pay wall material so the amount of checking that can be done seems limited. You sound as if you have access to the material. Can you post your results here or email me via my web site here?

    http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

    Thanks

    Tonyb

  150. Katabasis says:

    Tony – I’ll be more than happy to send you my comments. I, unfortunately, don’t have time to chase up the individual papers cited. I should also add the caveat that, if I have specialist areas, they are computing, epistemology and political philosophy, so I’m not sure how useful my own thoughts on this paper will be.

    I’m currently half way through it and two things are already clear however:

    i) the comments made in this paper bear little resemblance to the alarmist claims in the BBC article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8550090.stm

    It’s chock full of caveats that give a substantial air of uncertainty and allows for a lot of other forcing factors other than just plain old CO2. If anything, it gives the distinct impression that the human impact is *less* certain.

    ii) the basis of the entire paper’s analysis is the HadCRUT data, and Mann’s hockey stick. Someone kill me please.

  151. denverthen says:

    I always enjoy your posts (and your comments) on this heroic blog, Steve Goddard. But I do wish you’d deploy your apostrophes a little less eccentrically.

    (Sorry, I’m an English teacher, and a Brit, to boot, so I guess you can understand that sometimes I find it quite hard to switch off :)

  152. D. Patterson says:

    David (00:33:27) :
    [....]
    Unless I’m mistaken, there basically wasn’t any measurable effect.
    [....]

    Doing this quickly, so corrections to the calculations are welcomed:

    U.S. atmospheric tests = 137 megatons = 5.73208e+17 joules = 9.553466667e+15 Watts = 9,553,466,667,000 KW

  153. TonyB says:

    Katabasis

    Look forward to your further comments.

    Your remark’ ‘It’s chock full of caveats’ gave me a certain sense of deja vu-most climate science seems to be so chock full of caveats its virtually pointless but alarmists proclaim it as certainties.

    tonyb

  154. David says:

    TonyB/Katabasis/et al – re the Met Office ‘analysis’ as reported by the BBC..
    I notice that one of the indicators they cite is the ‘reduction’ in Arctic sea ice. Er – obviously they don’t look at the JAXA graph – see my previous comment – so where are they getting their information..? From the cruise ships stuck in the Baltic ice, perhaps..?
    Also – they talk about an increase in ‘humidity’ – now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always been under the impression that water vapour is a FAR more potent greenhouse gas than poor old carbon dioxide. As I have been banging on about for months elsewhere (you have been spared) – Kyoto specifically talked about reducing CO2 EQUIVALENT – NOT CO2 itself..!
    Anyway – precisely how have they made the leap of faith between an increase in humidity and human activity..? Is it a case of: ‘We can’t find another cause, so it MUST be due to man’..?
    ‘Evidence’, then…

  155. DirkH says:

    “D. Patterson (14:47:05) :
    [...]
    Doing this quickly, so corrections to the calculations are welcomed:

    U.S. atmospheric tests = 137 megatons = 5.73208e+17 joules = 9.553466667e+15 Watts = 9,553,466,667,000 KW

    google says:
    5.73208e+17 joules = 5.73208 × 10^7 watts seconds
    5.73208e+17 joules = 1.59224444 × 10^14 watt hours
    5.73208e+17 joules = 159 224.444 gigawatt hours

  156. DirkH says:

    “DirkH (03:03:34) :
    [...]
    google says:
    5.73208e+17 joules = 5.73208 × 10^7 watts seconds

    Sorry, mis-edit:

    5.73208e+17 joules = 5.73208 × 10^17 watts seconds

    Google was right, but i had to insert the ^ after pasting and accidentally overwrote the “1” of the exponent.

  157. DirkH says:

    “Met Office Chief Scientist Juila Slingo talks about the link between climate change and building houses at the Grand Designs Live Show. Plus a tour of some of the Eco-Houses at the show.”

    Welcome to the dark ages.

  158. David says:

    DirkH
    Funny – I didn’t spot Al Gore’s house amongst these ‘pods’ and ‘yurts’….

  159. Katabasis says:

    OK – here is my take on the paper:

    http://i-squared.blogspot.com/2010/03/met-office-review-climate-change-human.html

    It is an angry and personal piece. I won’t apologise for that. Like so many others I’m sure, who come here (not least Anthony himself), I’m sick of having to spend my weekend to do the reading and the analysis that we trust our idiot quisling media, elected officials and scientific establishment to do.

  160. TonyB says:

    katabasis

    Good stuff.

    This thread is getting to the end of its life-why don’tr you place your link together with the context up on tips and notes and ask if its worth a thread in its own right? These stories get the headlines and it is important to rebut them when appropriate.

    best regards

    Tonyb

  161. Although The Met hasn’t had a very good track record for seasonal forecasts, Piers Corbyn has enjoyed an 85% success at forecasting weather for specific areas one year in advance.

    What is Piers doing that the Met isn’t?

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