Another guy with a laptop outforecasts the Met Office

Piers Corbyn in his swank office

Piers Corbyn, while seemingly a bit eccentric, has the distinction of being the only man to have this headline:

The man who repeatedly beats the Met Office at its own game

Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets it right again and again.

Well, now he has competition from New Zealand with yet again another guy armed with a laptop and public data, as Jo Nova reports below:

Laptop beats Met Supercomputer: SOI index (at record high) scores a win.

Back on August 6, 2010, when the UK BOM was predicting a warm winter, and every Met Agency in the West was already declaring that 2010 would be the hottest year ever, Bryan Leyland predicted (on a global scale) that before the end of the year, there would be significant cooling. As you can see from the chart, this is exactly what happened.

The UK Met Office has a gigantic supercomputer, 1,500 staff and a £170m-a-year budget, but a retired engineer in New Zealand armed only with Excel and access to the internet and with the McLean is et al 2009 paper, was able to get it right.

Parking the SOI index (the blue line) 7 months into the future suggests things may get cooler still as the temperature (red line) often follows the trend. (Click for a larger image.) Note, the SOI is shifted 7 months forwards in time, and the scale is inverted. 

Before anyone scoffs that the El Nino’s are usually followed by cooling, and the SOI indicator is well known, ponder that the well fed agencies of man-made-climate-fame weren’t telling the public that a big-chill was on the way and they ought to stock up on salt and red diesel. (And maybe take their own deicing fluid to the airport.*)

Read it all here

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76 thoughts on “Another guy with a laptop outforecasts the Met Office

  1. “ponder that the well fed agencies of man-made-climate-fame weren’t telling the public that a big-chill was on the way”

    Unless you are to believe the coalition government hating, climate alarmists at the BBC. They are assuming that the Government ordered the Met office to cover up and keep secret the alleged forecast for extreme cooling.

    After all, they cannot accept that the computer models are wrong and biased towards warming. They cannot accept that the Met office could be so wrong so often in their seasonal forecasts and they cannot accept that the real earth is not obeying the projected behaviour of the Met Office’s models, so it must be that nasty tory/liberal coalition’s fault

  2. Come on … out forecasting the Met Office on global temperatures is hardly a fair test when they always forecast high!

  3. One more proof that really independent and intelligent brains, even if acting alone, can beat huge government bureaucracies which have zero independence from politics and government political agenda.

  4. But as Julia Slingo says, if only they could have another 20 million pounds they would be able to produce even BETTER forecasts. Can I therefore propose that in the spirit of international cooperation that WUWT start a (very small) fund for the purchase of a suitable piece of equipment that will help their forecasts?

    After extensive research I am pleased to suggest we obtain the item described in my link. This tried and tested method has been used for centuries to forecast the weather.

    Fortunately I live close to the sea shore and the Met office and could deliver a suitable speciment- together with a card from all here- expressing our appreciation of the quasi (or is that crazy?) scientific entertainment they provide to us all.

    Perhaps Anthony would also like to donate one of his small weather stations-suitably inscribed?

    Tonyb

  5. Free enterprise, can’t beat it. At some point in time the Met and BOM will fall on their swords, or they’ll just morph into something else and try to forget their embarrassing past.

  6. To be fair the Met Office press release said that 2010 would be the warmest if there was no volcano or large La Nina. There was and is no way way of predicting the size of the current La Nina (and therefore the impact on global temps) even if you could look at the SOI and see the potential – but far from certainty – of an evolving La Nina. Remembering that the correlation of SOI with GTTA in the McLean is 70% – the most you can realistically say is that there is a chance of a La Nina and cooler global temps. To quote the Australian BOM – ‘Sustained negative values of the SOI often indicate El Niño episodes’ – and vice versa. So if you want to toss a metaphorical coin and make a prediction – don’t let me stop you. And the depth of the UK winter has little to do with ENSO – but much more to do with the state of the Arctic Oscillation.

    To show that I am not quibbling in hindsight – I have an article from some months ago here – http://sciencefile.org/SciFile/articles/articles-earth/2297-how-the-pacific-ocean-influences-global-climate-a-review-of-the-physical-evidence-

    Global surface temperature records are not by any means the critical climate change indicator. It is true that temperatures in 1998, 2005 and 2010 are statistically indistinguishable and thus there has been no rise in surface temperature for more than a decade. But the planet as a whole has been warming according to NASA’s Clouds and Earths Radiant Energy System (CERES) satellite program. This is caused by an energy imbalance – more energy coming in than going out. The so called ‘missing heat’ should be found in the oceans primarily.

    The ARGO project is a network of 3000 odd probes measuring heat and salinity in the oceans. Admittedly – 4 out of 5 analyses of ARGO data show ocean cooling from the start of of the program in 2003. The 5th analysis integrates the data to 2000m rather than 700m and shows warming. If true, and it is consistent with CERES, then it shatters preconceptions about how heat is distributed in the oceans.

    The critical thing about the CERES data is that it shows most change in outgoing shortwave frequencies. Reflected visible light declined markedly between 2000 and 2008. The record for infrared radiation (the wavelengths influenced by greenhouse gases) shows fluctuation but no obvious trend in the period. The results reflect changes in cloud cover – and once we accept that cloud cover does change the obvious question is why? In good part at least, it turns out to be an El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) feedback. More low level cloud is formed over cool ocean water in a La Niña than over warm water in an El Niño. John McLean is wrong in saying that the ENSO influence is a result solely of energy transfer between ocean and atmosphere. This would have absolutely no relevance to the global energy budget and no affect on global warming and cooling. Notably, decreasing reflected shortwave and increasing longwave out radiation can be seen in the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP-FD) and the Earth Radiation budget experiment (ERBE) data from the late 1970’s to the late 1990’s. These earlier records are consistent with each other and – if real – show a predominant role for clouds in recent warming.

    Once you get your head around that – turn to the implications of Earth climate as a complex and dynamic (chaotic) system. To quote from the recent Royal Society climate summary. ‘In principle, changes in climate on a wide range of timescales can also arise from variations within the climate system due to, for example, interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere; in this document, this is referred to as “internal climate variability”. Such internal variability can occur because the climate is an example of a chaotic system: one that can exhibit complex, unpredictable internal variations even in the absence of the climate forcings.’

    There are obvious and potentially serious risks from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in a chaotic climate – even if these are unpredictable. To begin addressing the risks I am calling on both sceptics and warmists to take a deep breath and step up to a more complex and nuanced understanding of the climate system – rather than tediously repeat (from both sides) nonsense and insults. I won’t be holding my breath.

  7. First Piers Corbyn, now Bryan Leyland from the antipodes, and isn’t there Richard Holle in the States too?

    How long before WUWT has its own Global Longterm Weather Forecasts page? (modifications being allowed up to a week BEFORE but not later than that)

    Well, I realize that Piers has to make a living and the Met Office are not offering him a job although as we all know they should. Yet OTOH the science behind his work needs to become public, just as we ask of CRU. Moreover, by steady trickle that is surely going to happen anyway.

    Could someone here develop a business plan that could enable Piers to be justly compensated while enabling a transition of the astrophysics-linked forecasting “science” into the public realm – at least into WUWT? I put “science” into inverted commas because we don’t understand the mechanisms. But I am confident that if the method works, the understanding will follow.

  8. Anthony,

    Good one! Question about the wording though:

    “…but a retired engineer in New Zealand armed only with Excel and access to the internet and with the McLean is et al 2009 paper, was able to get it right.”

    Can you please clarify?

    Thanks.

  9. In australia we had Inigo Jones and lennox walker long range forcasters and they are ledgions, they forcasted all the droughts and floods in Australia in there time 1920s till 1960s using the sun spots the moon and past records + more NO computer used in those days , please look into them you will be supprised., also we are in a very bad flood at the very moment and it looks like it is going to be a disaster for Australia

  10. Piers Corbyn is one of the most prominent (probably the most prominent) Climate Realist in the UK. Sort of like the British Anthony Watts (both being weathermen by profession). He is an interesting character, and having met him at last years “Climate Fools Day” a very nice chap as well!

  11. Piers Corbin in his swank office

    Candelabra lighting on the wall. Truly swank.

    In modeling a non-linear, mathematically chaotic system, a supercomputer has no advantage over a laptop, or for that matter, a pair of dice. I predict we have twenty more years of mostly cold left in this 30-year half cycle that began with the peak of 1998. Unless 1998 was the end of the Holocene (hedging my bets)

  12. How to beat the Met. Office at weather prediction:-
    1) Cut up five pieces of card of equal size.
    2) Write one of the following on each card: snow; rain; sun; fog and frost.
    3) Shuffle the cards and select one.

  13. Is this the same British weather office that General Eisenhauer relied upon to send the Soldiers of Democracy across the Channel into Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe?

  14. Is that graph notation correct? It seems to be showing three days on the lower scale, not three months.

    .

  15. Ralph says:
    January 12, 2011 at 3:23 am (Edit)

    Is that graph notation correct? It seems to be showing three days on the lower scale, not three months.

    No, what you are interpreting as “days” (Jan 08, Jan 09, Jan 10, Jan 11) are the month and year. Good eyes for seeing it and questioning it, so thank you for asking.

  16. Lucy Skywalker says:
    …………….
    Could help if you monitor Stratosphere. First serious ‘break in’ of this winter happened 2 days ago. What does it mean? No idea.

  17. Sorry, I’m as disappointed with the Met Office as anyone living in the UK, but as I have said here and elsewhere many times before, a prediction that cannot be recognized as prediction until after the fact is no predition at all.

    It really doesn’t matter that Piers Corbyn or Bryan Leyland once made a claim about the future and it later happened that way. What would matter is if they do it repeatedly and much more often than chance. I’m not seeing any evidence presented here that they do (though that evidence may exist—in which case let’s see it).

    We don’t (and shouldn’t) let climate alarmists retrospectively claim after the fact that one of their multiple widely differing “predictions” was correct. The same goes for everyone else. You have to be right time and again before you can say you are predicting.

  18. @ Roy, January 12, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Piers Corbyn runs a weather forecasting business, where business customers, needing precise forecasting, are paying for his service. That’s how he makes his living, and he’s been doing it for some time, not just since this winter.

    I’d think hard-headed business managers would not be willing to shell out for his service if he didn’t come up with the goods, again and again.

    So no, he’s most certainly not a one-day wonder.

  19. We’re really stuffed when a guy with a low-cost theory that is repeatedly confirmed (and anyone — or almost — can try at home) is ignored in favour of a load of guys with extremely high cost conjectures that failed every test so far.

  20. Robert Ellison
    The various oscillations, the La Nina and El Nino and so forth are likely to be only secondary reactions.
    Stephen Strum has demonstrated that global temperature follows the length of the sunspot cycle with, (Ithink) a 13 month lag.
    There is a theory, as yet unproven, that the fluctiating magnetic force between sun and earth control the incidence of cosmic rays reaching the lower atmosphere and through that clouds and temperature.
    There is an experiment going on at CERN which may go some way to proving hard evidence.
    There is growing evidence that the incidence of UHI is alone sufficient to explain most or all of the observed temperature increase since recorded global temperature began.
    There is some evidence that feedbacks are negative rather than positive, throwing some doubt on the CO2 theory.
    There is a gaping gap in the that theory anyway, from the point when heat is absorbed and readmitted within the CO2 molecule , to the big wide world of the atmosphere.

    If you would like to debate why increasing amounts of CO2 emissions are not related to the periodic floods and droughts in Australia, I will oblige.

    However, it may well be more productive to just sit back and observe for the next decade or so.
    Mother nature is in the process of giving us a demonstration of which theory is right and which is wrong.
    I am old but can go a few steps down that road with you, if you so choose.
    Then you must preoceed further, alone I fear.
    And being alone in the dark is quite worrysome I hear.

  21. As a poster above pointed out by May 2010 the La Nina conditions were evident and just about all meterological institutions that made any public predictions were forcasting colder, wetter weather around the Pacific rim as a result.

    The problem with these ‘independent’ forcasters is that they rarely present their past predictions in full so that the success rate can be measured.
    Piers Corbyn, Jonathon Powell of PWS and this forcaster do not provide all their past predictions, and tend only to mention the times they are correct.
    But without full disclosure of their actual hit rate they may be no better, or worse, that tossing a coin.

  22. Robert Ellison says:
    January 12, 2011 at 2:00 am

    To be fair the Met Office press release said that 2010 would be the warmest if there was no volcano or large La Nina. There was and is no way way of predicting the size of the current La Nina (and therefore the impact on global temps) even if you could look at the SOI and see the potential – but far from certainty – of an evolving La Nina.

    I think you’re being too fair to the Met. They made their claim in October. Now lets look at the ENSO reports from the Aussie BoM.

    Issued on Wednesday 21 July 2010 | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO
    Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures continued to cool over the past fortnight, and are now approaching levels typical of a La Niña. Similarly, other ENSO indicators are also at or exceeding La Niña thresholds. As computer models predict the central Pacific will continue to cool over the coming months, it is now highly likely that the Pacific is in the early stages of a La Niña event, and that 2010 will be considered a La Niña year.
    Signs of an emerging La Niña event have been apparent in the equatorial Pacific for several months. Pacific Ocean temperatures have cooled steadily throughout the year and are now more than 1°C cooler than average in some areas on the equator. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has increased in value and is currently around +14, trade winds continue to be stronger than average and cloudiness has remained suppressed over the central Pacific. All of these key indicators are at levels typical of the early stages of a La Niña event.

    And

    La Niña strengthens in the Pacific
    Issued on Wednesday 1 September 2010 | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO
    A La Niña event is now well established in the Pacific Ocean. All computer models surveyed by the Bureau suggest Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) will remain above La Niña thresholds through the southern hemisphere spring, with the majority indicating the event will persist into at least early 2011.
    All key indicators of ENSO are at levels typical of a La Niña event. The central Pacific has cooled significantly over
    the past two weeks, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) remains well above La Niña thresholds, cloudiness over the central Pacific remains suppressed and trade winds continue to be stronger than the long-term average in the central and western Pacific.

    And

    La Niña event expected to continue through 2010
    Issued on Wednesday 29 September 2010 | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO
    A La Niña remains well-established in the Pacific. Given the current strength of the event and the outlook from long-range models surveyed by the Bureau, this La Niña is expected to persist into at least early 2011.
    All indicators remain firmly at La Niña levels. The central Pacific Ocean is cooler than the long-term mean both at and below the surface, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) remains strongly positive, trade winds are stronger than normal and cloudiness over the central tropical Pacific continues to be suppressed. Such consistent signals indicate the tropical atmosphere and ocean are now clearly reinforcing each other.

    So, the Met should have, nay must have known about this strong La Nina well before their infamous prediction in October.

    No need to be fair to them at all IMHO.

  23. Roy,

    Piers Corbyn runs http://www.weatheraction.com/

    His accuracy is 85% and he earns his living by selling his forecasts. If he were a flash in the pan he’d be skint. He ain’t, so he isn’t. There’s the evidence you requested, although I am surprised you were not able to do the search yourself. It’s really quite easy, but I suspect your post was about casting aspersions. Apologies if I am not right.

  24. orkneygal says:
    January 12, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Is this the same British weather office that General Eisenhauer relied upon to send the Soldiers of Democracy across the Channel into Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    orkneygal, good one. Now, all we need is to reverse the process, send in the soldiers of democracy back to the UK, to the Met Office to be exact, and liberate us from the cli-myth shamans. They should be in prison right now, paying for their lies, damned lies and cooked weather predictions that caused thousands, millions of Britishers to suffer, some even die of the cold due to the unpreparedness of whoever should have been prepared for the biggest freeze-over ever recorded in UK history.

  25. Robert Ellison says: “There are obvious and potentially serious risks from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in a chaotic climate ” followed shortly by “rather than tediously repeat … nonsense”

    You would do well to heed your own advice. There are no more “serious risks” from a warmer climate than from what is normal. In fact, I think the risks are much less. Instead, you claim the “serious risks” are “obvious”. How about showing proof instead of waving your arms and essentially screaming … the sky is falling.

  26. Mike McMillan says:

    I predict we have twenty more years of mostly cold left in this 30-year half cycle that began with the peak of 1998. Unless 1998 was the end of the Holocene (hedging my bets)

    I’m more of the opinion the previous 30 year half cycle ended in 2005. The 1998 El Niño disguises the fact that the warming continued for a few more years, just as the 2010 El Niño disguises the current cooling trend that began 2006. That gives us even more years of cooler temperatures to look forward to.

  27. [Another] Roy wrote:

    “It really doesn’t matter that Piers Corbyn or Bryan Leyland once made a claim about the future and it later happened that way. What would matter is if they do it repeatedly and much more often than chance. ”

    I must disagree with my namesake. If Piers Corbyn had said something along the lines of “I think it is going to be a rather chilly winter” that would not have been very impressive (even though it would have been more accurate than the Met Office’s “barbecue summer” forecast of a couple of years ago) but what he wrote was:

    Winter Dec to Feb inclusive in Britain and Europe will be exceptionally cold and snowy – like hell frozen over at times – with much of England, Germany, Benelux and N France suffering one of the coldest winters for over 100 years.

    Weather forecasting is not an exact science yet and it is possible that the rest of the winter might turn out very mild. However Corbyn was certainly right about December which was the coldest in Britain for a century.

    What are the chances of getting that right by chance?

  28. “I’m as disappointed with the Met Office as anyone living in the UK”

    At a 170 million pounds your share would be a pound per year? Yeah, no more than your support for a half-wit Prince of Wales, but a fraction of your contribution to wind-generated power, and a mere pittance in comparison to your support of the PIIGS and a failed EU.

    We are humbled in witness to your wisdom.

  29. I am normally just a reader and not a poster but as an Economist I can relate this article to similar predictive schemes in my field. By the end of the 1970s large scale complex economic forecasting models were the rage. However, a simple seven equation reduced form model developed by the St. Louis Federal Reserve bank to predict key policy variables consistently out performed the big models.

    Complexity is not accuracy particularly when there are more unknowns than knowns and your equations are approximations to begin with. Most forecasts degenerate after a few time steps anyway as you go outside the sample data. When I ran an analysis shop I used to ask prospective analysts if they believed their model results. If they said yes they didn’t get the job. Models are merely tools to help us understand phenomena. The rarely give real answers.

  30. December 2010 in the UK was not only the coldest month since Feb 1986 but had 39% more sunshine than average.

    Meanwhile in Newfoundland….

  31. Robert Ellison says:
    January 12, 2011 at 2:00 am
    There are obvious and potentially serious risks from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in a chaotic climate –
    CHAOS IT IS ALWAYS IN THE MIND OF THE BEHOLDER….”GOD DOESN’T PLAY DICE”
    If we do not recognize general laws, it means simply WE do not know them, we are ignorant of them, or perhaps we have been deceived by a fanatical “creed”.

  32. Lucy Skywalker says:
    January 12, 2011 at 2:00 am

    the science behind his work needs to become public

    I have always appreciated you Lucy. You bring out things that show you have valid questions, and you are thinking. I like what you do, so, I hesitate to say this, but it seems unfair to Piers Corbyn that he should have to reveal how he does his work. It is as unfair as to have asked Colonel Sanders what his 11 herbs and spices were. I guess anyone who wants to know how he does it, like the Met, should start their own study and figure it out instead of expecting him to just tell. The Met has that super computer and a pretty building to work in. They should be able to do it.

    The Met building:

  33. although I give credit to the forecaster, I must point out that anyone with a dartboard could outpredict the Met Office.

  34. Sorry, but I can’t handle the term “SOI index”. That’s redundant. Reminds of when an actor in the part of a scientist says “RPMs”. Drives me nuts.

  35. Let us assume that I wish to come up with a method of finding 7% of any number, which I will call N. If I divide N by 100, this will give me 1% of N. Now, if I multiply this 1% of N, which I’ve just found, by 7 this will give me 7% of N.

    Having come up with this delicious solution, I decide to let my computer do the arithmetic. I translate the exact sequence of instructions into a computer language and now have a program which can find 7% of any number.

    If however, I thought the correct method was to divide N by seven and multiply the result by 100 and program it accordingly, the computer will simply come up with the wrong answer faster than I could. Computers have absolutely no sense, common or otherwise. All they do is blindly obey instructions input to them by humans. You can run the same faulty program on a bank of Raptor class supercomputers and they will still come up with the wrong answer.

    If you fundamentally do not know how to solve a problem, no computer, no matter how powerful, can help you. This is precisely the situation the Met Office are in.

    Pointman

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/

  36. The Met Office wanting new and better computers reminds of 10 year old boys who swear that with their new sneakers they can race across the parking lot faster. We would all smile and think they’re (Met Office) cute except for the devastating economy/human progress thing.

  37. The power of that pattern matching computer in Piers head is truly amazing.

    I don’t know how the Met office can stand it. Constantly being shown up by one guy with a laptop. Now if I were in their shoes I’d hire him and see what he and his algorithms can do with some serious computing power.

  38. Not much bang for the buck. Is it wishful thinking, repetition or a script that guides the MET office forecast.

    Compare it to a Stradivarius violin. Anyone with enough money can own one but you cannot wish it to produce good music and not everyone can play it properly. If however, the right violinist is hired to play it the music will be more than worth the cost.

    Reply to orkneygal, the answer is no, General Eisenhower did not base his decision to go on wishful thinking. And no one would have dared give him that kind of forecast. And they had a lot less to work with except their knowledge, work and integrity.
    Reply to WyattH, RPMs, its not necessarily the actor but the script writer. Although, the actor probably would not notice or care. His or her job is to deliver the lines in a convincing manner. RPMs less or more than an hour.

  39. It would be nice if Brian mentioned that he was doing spreadsheets for Kristen Byrnes comparing SOI and global temps years before the McLean paper

  40. orkneygal says:
    January 12, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Is this the same British weather office that General Eisenhauer relied upon to send the Soldiers of Democracy across the Channel into Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe?

    He had three weather groups, the MET, the US Army Air Corps and the Navy, reporting to Group Captain J.M. Stagg who briefed him.

  41. With respect to Piers et al and recognising their need to earn a crust, they do need to publish their methodology if they are to be Scientifically credible.
    If not their methodology, then at least all their forcasts.
    As it stands, we hear of their successes but possibly not their failures.
    The Met Office often gets it right that is taken by many as an expectation and a given but they really cop the flack when they get it wrong.
    I suggest that they (Piers et al) supply a daily, monthly and quartely forecast under an NDA to a disinterested stakeholder for release a rolling year later so that a true evaluation of the worth of their methodology can be established.

  42. I seem to have irked a number of people.

    To all you folk eager have it known that Piers Corbyn’s forecasts are significantly more skilfull than the Met Office’s: I have actually paid for his services myself in the past. If you have done the same then I will be pleased to hear about it. As for the self-published testimonials, all I can say is I’m a skeptic. I want extraordinary evidence to back extraordinary claims, no matter who is making them.

    But my point was not to criticise maverick self-employed forecasters. My point is that establishing predictive skill takes evidence than Jo Nova hasn’t presented. Her claim is premature, outright hogwash, or there is a genuinely interesting story still not being told. I hope it’s the latter.

  43. Vuk etc. says:
    January 12, 2011 at 3:46 am
    Lucy Skywalker says:
    …………….
    Could help if you monitor Stratosphere. First serious ‘break in’ of this winter happened 2 days ago. What does it mean? No idea.

    That is called sudden stratospheric warming:

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=sudden+stratospheric+warming+&hl=en&sa=2

    Ther is evidence that Coronal Mass Ejection’s (CME) cause them. Piers Corbyn showed one last year on his site that reversed the polar vortex. There was one that hit earth earlier this week and another one forcast for january 14th. Bottom left of this page:

    http://spaceweather.com/

  44. I visit the Weather action website occasionally, but I really don’t know what to make of Piers. He is an eccentric with an apparently unique technique for forecasting weather.

    I would love it though if he got sponsorship and was able to make everything public. His ‘technique’ would seem to be an obvious candidate for a research grant. I mean wouldn’t be great if a forecaster could tell the people of Brisbane they were going to be flooded years before the floods arrive!

  45. Alex the skeptic says:
    January 12, 2011 at 5:47 am

    orkneygal says:
    January 12, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Is this the same British weather office that General Eisenhauer relied upon to send the Soldiers of Democracy across the Channel into Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    orkneygal, good one. Now, all we need is to reverse the process, send in the soldiers of democracy back to the UK, to the Met Office to be exact, and liberate us from the cli-myth shamans.
    ————————————–
    I was thinking we could send in Pamela and her ‘christmas present’…

  46. While fun, this post is essentially meaningless. If I asked 50 people what tomorrows temperature would be a percentage of them would get it right. Does that mean they are better than the weather service at forecasting. No! Out of all the people out there trying to beat the met office, a percentage will be more accurate even if they are all just guessing. Does that mean they are better forecasters? No, again.Until someone has a long term recored and an understandable methodology, getting 1, two or three winter forecasts right doesn’t tell us much.

    And I am a strong skeptic but I know a bit of propability.

  47. jknapp,

    You are correct – for any one year. But for every consecutive year the MET Office gets it wrong, while PC gets it right, the probability increases that the former is due to incompetence and the latter has figured out something that others haven’t.

  48. Well, Piers is way wrong with his Jan forecast for the UK (so far). He predicted (with the usual hyperbole) bitter cold and in fact it’s very mild and looks like it will continue that way for some time.
    I can’t my head round his method (something to do with the moon?), but whatever it is, it ain’t working this month.

  49. WyattH says:
    January 12, 2011 at 7:42 am
    Sorry, but I can’t handle the term “SOI index”. That’s redundant. Reminds of when an actor in the part of a scientist says “RPMs”. Drives me nuts.
    +++++++++++
    Is it because ArsePeeEmm sounds rude? ;-)

    Completely agree with you, by the way.

  50. Sam Hall says:
    January 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

    orkneygal says:
    January 12, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Is this the same British weather office that General Eisenhauer relied upon to send the Soldiers of Democracy across the Channel into Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe?

    He had three weather groups, the MET, the US Army Air Corps and the Navy, reporting to Group Captain J.M. Stagg who briefed him.
    ======================================================

    Yep and none of them used a computer or computer model with built-in CO2 warming.

  51. @Roy, With expectations on that level, this is a job for Superman!
    I cannot afford his services but I find this method based on solar influence related to past cycles and events infinitely more interesting than those based on models of the effects of greenhouse gasses and the inbuilt assumption that the earth is warming (whatever the euphemism the warmists may concoct – climate change, disruption, etc – it always means global warming, doesn’t it?).
    Having said that, nobody should expect miracles and WA’s 85% claimed success rate also implies at least a 15% failure rate or not seeing all some events coming. I for one have no problem with that; what interests me is the approach.
    But I am interested to know what precise services you ordered from WA and whether you were satisfied with them. — If not, why not?

  52. Hey, I know where the UK can cut a quick £170m-a-year from their budget!

    I’ll only charge them a 1% finders fee for the advice!

  53. People see ‘chaos theory’ and don’t recognise that it is not just a word – but one of the three great ideas of 20th Century physics along with relativity and quantum mechanics. I don’t know about God not playing dice – but abrupt and nonlinear change is simply maths.

  54. Yarmy says:
    January 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Well, Piers is way wrong with his Jan forecast for the UK (so far). He predicted (with the usual hyperbole) bitter cold and in fact it’s very mild and looks like it will continue that way for some time.
    I can’t my head round his method (something to do with the moon?), but whatever it is, it ain’t working this month.

    IIRC Piers said that it would be very cold at the end of the month, and that’s more than 2 weeks away from now. And it may have been mild where you are, but where I am in Scotland we still have snow from November (which has been covered by numerous December and January falls). January has not been so cold as December (when the average anomaly was -6C) but it has still been below average.

  55. lapogus says:
    January 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    Yarmy says:
    January 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Well, Piers is way wrong with his Jan forecast for the UK (so far). He predicted (with the usual hyperbole) bitter cold and in fact it’s very mild and looks like it will continue that way for some time.
    I can’t my head round his method (something to do with the moon?), but whatever it is, it ain’t working this month.

    IIRC Piers said that it would be very cold at the end of the month, and that’s more than 2 weeks away from now

    I saw his forecast on video. He said there would be respits from the cold in small areas at times. Yarmy is likely in one of those areas. Corbyn doesn’t get 100% accuracy. But 81 to 85% is higher than anyone I’ve heard of. If we kept track of the nightly weather would we end up with 85%?

  56. Robert Ellison says:
    January 12, 2011 at 2:00 am

    To be fair the Met Office press release said that 2010 would be the warmest if there was no volcano or large La Nina.

    We can fix this perception of yours given that the SOI and ENSO lead climate by 7 months. So the SOI was already well in decline when they made their very wrong predictions.

    So is the problem that they don’t trust the SOI/ENSO correlation or that they don’t trust the ENSO/Climate correlation? Either way, they have the same access to the same data that Leyland and Corbyn did and they still got it wrong.

    No excuses.

  57. It’s always Marcia, Marcia says:
    January 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    lapogus says:
    January 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    Yarmy says:
    January 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Yarmy is likely in one of those areas. Corbyn doesn’t get 100% accuracy. But 81 to 85% is higher than anyone I’ve heard of. If we kept track of the nightly weather would we end up with 85%?

    I don’t know where the 85% comes from. What does it mean? Who is measuring? The statements are too vague. “Some places will get a respite”. Which places? What’s a respite: a 5C daily high or a 10C daily high? I’m sorry, but it’s snake oil to me.

  58. All of the forecasts that I have made for the past three years are still viewable on my web site, as well as the next three years of daily forecast for the contiguous USA. I receive no monies from my efforts, and I personally fork over the money for all operating costs of my forecast endeavors.

    I am now close to the end of the Beta stage of development of my ideas, and will be further extending the processes I use in the next year to develop an even better product, with international coverage outside the USA.

    Got an email from Eric Floehr from Forecast watch asking for the raw data to process to evaluate my over all forecast accuracy.
    “” I would love to get Aerology forecasts into ForecastWatch and learn more about your process.””

    Sent him the data on a flash drive, he will let me know when he has the past 6 months processed, and I will post the news of it here post haste.

    Pattern recognition is the skill that gets the job done! Ike had an independent forecaster producing the “D day” forecast, Irving Krick who like Piers based his forecasts on repeating patterns in the weather due to Lunar and solar magnetic strength impulses.

    The process I use is based on a repeating pattern of Lunar and solar magnetic interactions with the orbital periods of the inner planets to generate an analog set of three cycles like this one to combine to get the map results. Piers uses several other cycles with a look back time of about 132 years, I suspect 130.2, 132, and 133 years to get the past patterns of solar activity in relation to past weather data then extrapolates the differences from then to now to get the finished product.

    Like Irving Krick’s work, the technique takes skill and a natural talent for pattern recognition. Along with a greater detailed understanding on how the interaction between the solar wind and the orbital periods of the solar system are inter related, further study into these relationships is where the answers will be coming from.

    Richard Holle

  59. By the way I do not have a laptop;( what I am using is a HPmodel a6750t with, Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7500 @ 2.93GHz 2.93GHz
    with 6.00GB of ram, running a 64-bit Operating System MS Vista.

    Cost about $2,000.00 +SQL Server software, and a couple of graphing packages.

  60. orkneygal says:
    January 12, 2011 at 3:21 am
    “Is this the same British weather office that General Eisenhauer relied upon to send the Soldiers of Democracy across the Channel into Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe?”

    No! Back then they had real people, both on land and at sea, supplying accurate and unadulterated pressure and temperature readings!

  61. Here’s an idea, maybe Piers Corbyn gets it right, because he’s using sound science rather than wishful thinking and a bogus theory!

  62. You don’t even need a laptop to beat the Met Office at their game. Here’s a small model that weighs less than an ounce and fits in a film can. I carry it with me all the time in case I need a quick forecast. One time I even correctly “predicted” that 1934 was the USA’s warmest year using this model. A version of the model is located here:

  63. Enneagram says:

    CHAOS IT IS ALWAYS IN THE MIND OF THE BEHOLDER….”GOD DOESN’T PLAY DICE”

    Wrong and wrong.

    Chaos isn’t in the mind of the beholder. There is a very precise mathematical definition of when a dynamical system is chaotic and that definition (rather than some vague everyday sense of the word) is what is being referred to here.

    It was Einstein who very famously said “God doesn’t play dice” when referring to quantum mechanics (not chaos). However he was very famously wrong when he said it. You are quoting one of his most memorable mistakes.

  64. @Roy says:
    January 12, 2011 at 6:10 am
    “Weather forecasting is not an exact science yet and it is possible that the rest of the winter might turn out very mild. However Corbyn was certainly right about December which was the coldest in Britain for a century.”

    I was looking at higher solar wind speeds well into January, and a return of south westerlies giving temp`s around normals, which is where we are at currently this month; http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cet_info_mean.html
    Feb should be well below normals, in the second half particularly.

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