Met Office April Forecast: “…drought impacts in the coming months are virtually inevitable.”

UPDATE: Forecast humor on steroids, here

You can’t make up FAIL like this. First this story in the BBC Today:

Now let’s have a look at the official Met Office forecast for April, issued on March 23rd, 2012:

Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: April – June 2012 Issue date: 23.03.12

SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION:
The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months. With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April-May-June period. The probability that UK precipitation for April-May-June will fall into the driest of our five categories is 20-25% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 10-15% (the 197-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).

CONTEXT:
As a legacy of dry weather over many months water resources in much
of southern, eastern and central England remain at very low levels.
Winter rainfall in these areas has typically been about 70% of average,
whilst observations and current forecasts suggest that the final totals for
March will be below average here too. The Environment Agency advises
that, given the current state of soils and groundwater levels in these
areas, drought impacts in the coming months are virtually inevitable.

Read the entire forecast here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/p/i/A3-layout-precip-AMJ.pdf

Saved copy here: Met_Office_A3-layout-precip-AMJ

Obviously, the power sucking supercomputer they recently put online needs to be bigger.

It is capable of 1,000 billion calculations every second to feed data to 400 scientists and uses 1.2 megawatts of energy to run – enough to power more than 1,000 homes.

computer

GIGO me thinks. This isn’t the first time this has happened:

Red Faces At The Met Office

Met Office admits they botched snow warning

And then there’s the BBQ summer fiasco, which prompted replacement of the seasonal forecasts with the shorter term one you see above:

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

Maybe they should stick to DART (Digital Advanced Reckoning Technology) which  can do the job of making forecasts equally well, using less power, less space, and less money:

h/t to Charles the Moderator and Adrian Kerton over at CA in comments.

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215 thoughts on “Met Office April Forecast: “…drought impacts in the coming months are virtually inevitable.”

  1. My daughter in England has mentioned the copious rain (my iPhone tells me it’s raining there now, as a matter of fact), I’ll have to make sure she sees this so she can roll her eyes too. Heh.

  2. “Obviously, the power sucking supercomputer they recently put online needs to be bigger.”

    I doubt it is the computer’s ability that is the problem. GIGO, SSDD.

  3. As soon as the met office announced a drought, we knew what would happen.Same thing last summer.Anything past three days out, your better off with a pine cone!

  4. LOL ! The British Met Office must have taken its cues from the Australian BoM and Tim Flannery.

    Back to basic for these nincompoops, no supercomputers just an abacus to keep them busy. You have to have a loot of time on your hands to come up with the rubbish that they do.

    Must be very embarrassing for the MO section that is trying to engage at Bishop Hill, Dr Betts et al, to have to deal with such guff.

  5. The long range forecast from netweather said April was likely to have above average rainfall this year.

  6. JustMEinT Musings says: “Last I read the British were in for water rationing what the heck happened?”

    Given the UK Warmist oligarchy, somehow rationing will still be deemed necessary, if only to keep the proles in their place. This will all turn out to be “the wrong kind of rain.”

  7. If they just reversed their long term predictions they’d be right every time, however they always go for the warmer scenario (2007 was another classic where they warned of a drought coming and it rained all Summer). Basically colder conditions bring dryer Winters and wetter Summers as the influence is from the north not the west (as normal).

  8. A friend of mine has an old Commodore 64 stuffed away back in a closet somewhere that he would possibly be willing to sell to the Met Office for a reasonable price. Probably doesn’t use quite as much power as their whopper of a teraflopper. Probably wouldn’t flop as badly in its prognostications either.
    Anyone know Met Office’s purchasing contact info?
    /snark

  9. LOL, the drought that will never end here in Australia is so bad I cannot get my lawn mowed for all the rainwater laying about.

    Honestly, these days if the BOM says something, I tend to say, “its almost garanteed it will be the exact opposite to what they say”. Perfect example was the floods we recently had here, everything was lining up almost exactly the same as 74, so I told my wife, we needed to prepare for the possiblility of floods, the BOM on the other hand only figured it out as the dams overflowed and the flood happened.

    but at the end of the day, they do give me a good laugh, they are my version of the clowns and the circus.

  10. Richard says:
    I understand that Tim Flannery has been in Britain recently. Perhaps this is another manifestation of the “Flannery Effect”:

    Its much simpler that that: The two conditions for rain are to have a hosepipe ban at the start of the cricket season. Works every time:-)

    Oh, and its still raining in Sussex as I type this.

  11. I bet they still get their bonuses! This mob should be privatised, we would see how long they continue to operate then. By the way, bet you can’t guess what the weather is doing in Sheffield this morning.

  12. I rarely watch BBC TV news, and a but short but fruitless wait for some heartening news that David “Murdoch” Cameron was actually going to do something other than mash his gums, confirmed I’m justified. One of the studio “reporters” informed an assumed gullible audience that basking sharks have been drawn to UK waters in larger-than-usual numbers because of the “warm spring we’ve had”. Wait, what? WHAT???

    Minutes later I see a reporter in gumboots standing alone on a bridge, above brown foaming waters informing that same gullible public that the flooding in the West Country was severe because “rain runs off dry hard ground”. Wait, what? WHAT??/ After the wettest April in living memory? Encompassing the West Country also? He also blamed the still rising waters on rainfall over the previous 24 hours, when it at least that for the run-off to accumulate in tributaries and reach the lower, flatter area he was standing in. Wait, what? WHAT???

    It had stopped raining hours earlier, and he said the worst might come over the next 12-24 hours, accurate for once, and in fact contradicting what he’d just said. He’d called the flooding an “unfolding disaster”, whose dreadful consequences included that some horses had needed rescuing from a flooded field, and that some motorists had difficulty getting to work. Declare a National Emergency! Does the Beeb think we’re all stupid, or do they employ just anyone these days? Don’t wait, just exclaim WHAT???

  13. As stated above I think this might be the Flannery Effect. The Gore Effect is well known so is only fair that another leading crackpot have an effect named after him.
    If both of them turn up together I imagine you get a snowy blizzard. If Ove Guldberg turns up as well you get a snowy blizzard which results in unprecedented coral growth. If Robyn Williams (Australian ABC Science Show) comes along you can expect a wet snowy coral blizzard with falling sea levels etc…

  14. It always works. In the two weeks since the drought order came in where I live, we’ve had 7inches of the stuff.

  15. It gets worse. Over here we are still in “drought” as this is the wrong sort of rain. Apparently the rain is too dry and runs away into the sea, which luckily is wet.
    May is going to be worse (according to Piers – coldest for 100 years 85% confidence), lets hope the rain (or snow?) that falls will be wetter.

  16. how was this for the weather in the mining State of Queensland, Australia on the day the ABC showed their ridiculous “I Can Change Your Mind About Climate” propaganda (26 April). you can imagine the jokes that were going around:

    26 April: News Ltd: Br-r-risbane: Record-breaking cold snap
    A RECORD-breaking cold snap hit northwest Queensland yesterday, as the beef town of Camooweal in the far northwest recorded its lowest daytime temperature in 29 years…
    Overnight, the mercury plummeted to 1.6 in Oakey, which was officially the coldest spot in the state. Warwick was 2.8.
    It dropped into single figures in Brisbane, with the airport recording a low of 9.8C. Amberley was 4.6….
    And we can expect chilly mornings to continue after the state recorded its coolest temperatures since October 4 this morning.
    Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michael Knepp said cloud-free skies contributed to this morning’s snap.
    “There’s a lot of dry air coming into the atmosphere and there’s a little less cloud in the sky, which is making things a little colder,” he said.
    “But these temperatures are pretty typical of this time of year – there’s really nothing out of the ordinary.”
    Frosts are expected in the southeast interior and southern Queensland this morning…

    http://m.news.com.au/QLD/fi1173478.htm

  17. “The coldest or near coldest May for 100 years”- that’s the prediction from the eminent astrophysicist and long range weather forecaster Piers Corbyn for the coming month. More people should listen to him.

  18. actually increased rainfall can only come from increased global heat. seeing it is heat that creates evaporation. drought or flood both mean the planet is warming. worst rain in a 100 years? gee the planet is warming up faster than i thought

  19. JustMEinT Musings says:
    April 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    Last I read the British were in for water rationing what the heck happened?

    They got a triple ration…perhaps.

    I couldn’t help but noticing the “WeatherBell” ad next to the first few comments. I wonder what Joe spent on his computer…

  20. By the way, under Australian Government Naming Convention we don’t refer to it as ‘water’ anymore.
    It is ‘hydrogen pollution’.

  21. The problem is a number of factors have come together at once to create floods during an official drought. Firstly there is the low level of rain fall over the last two years. Every few decades there are periods like this. This dry spell coincides with a big increase in population in the south east and an increase in the amount of water using appliances compared to the last comparable dry spell in the 1970s. This means that the water table in the south east has become depleted, causing the drought.

    Set against this is a large increase in housing and roads in the south east, building on flood-plains, with new flood management schemes and this significant change in land use means that heavy downpours are more likely to create floods, which run off into streams, rivers and on to the sea. So less rainfall makes it down into the water table.

    All these things combine to create a real drought (due to a low water table) with floods if it rains heavily.

    As for the Met office’s prediction of a drier than Normal April, when it was the wettest in a century? That is fair criticism.

  22. A warmer climate, with its increased climate variability, will increase the risk of both floods and droughts (Wetherald and Manabe, 2002 ] . As there are a number of climatic and non-climatic drivers influencing flood and drought impacts, the realisation of risks depends on several factors. Floods include river floods, flash floods, urban floods and sewer floods, and can be caused by intense and/or long-lasting precipitation, snowmelt, dam break, or reduced conveyance due to ice jams or landslides. Floods depend on precipitation intensity, volume, timing, antecedent conditions of rivers and their drainage basins (e.g., presence of snow and ice, soil character, wetness, urbanisation, and existence of dikes, dams, or reservoirs). Human encroachment into flood plains and lack of flood response plans increase the damage potential.

  23. I noted this also. One wonders why these fools listen to climate astrologers, aka scientists, instead of meteorologists. Who hit it spot on, by the way.

  24. Yep, it’s fair to say that the UK is currently experiencing the wettest drought on record. Luckily, I always did appreciate surrealism.

  25. Two years ago I was trying to lay a flat roof after building work.
    So, I checked the weather forecast the day before and as it looked fine for working I got ready and …. just in case put a tarpaulin over the roof (it already had the undercoat).

    Next morning I awoke to snow … not just a bit, but enough to strand people for 8 hours on a short stretch of the major Scottish motorway between the two principle cities. It didn’t help that the police refused to let people get out of their cars … it being a motorway … although no one was moving … it could be a dangerous place … who knows why.

    So, of course I was quite looking forward to listening to the Met Office spokesperson squirming as to why they did not forecast it.

    So, imagine my absolute disgust when this guy comes on and says: “we did forecast it”. It was never actually clear when they did finally “forecast” it, but I suspect it wasn’t until the snow started falling in parts of Scotland and anyone with even a basic knowledge of weather patterns could have seen what we were in for. But, the point was, it wasn’t a forecast. OK, if they had said “a risk of heavy snow, keep tuned” during the previous day – I’d have let them off with that. But as I said, I checked the forecast at the end of the previous day(light).

    The real problem with the Met Office is that they aren’t even honest with themselves. They used to make bold forecasts (based on the evidence) and when they got it wrong (which is was far less than now), they made a bold apology … and we liked them for it.

    Now, they try to hide their timid “forecasts” in a sea of non-sense graphics and then, even when their timid forecasts are shown to be carp … they get some spokesperson to lie … perhaps not technically, but certainly for the average person, they did not forecast the weather and that is what they had the gall to state openly on TV.

  26. I find it amusing that a UK drought means about 3 weeks with no rain. It’s still green but there are hosepipe bans because of no (major) water storage – its not normally needed.

    Hosepipe bans in the UK are nothing new – I remember them from visits in the late 1970′s and late 1980′s. And from the news as a young child.

    If you want a drought, go to Australia or Africa. 7 years with no rain is a drought. 3 weeks is a big stink about nothing. Get over it!

  27. Late season rain/snow has saved Northern California’s reservoirs (which means all of CA water consumers) this year. All of the largest northern CA reservoirs including Shasta, Oroville, Trinity and Folsom are between 95% and 100% capacity. And we still have some spring snow melt to come. These reservoirs are being managed (inflow/outflow) with incredible skill. Southern CA reservoirs are at 75%-80% capacity range.

    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/getResGraphsMain.action

    The early dry winter sent fears of draught and water was retained, not released. This apparently has led to a very successfully managed reservoir strategy when the late season storms allowed them to fill without threat of flooding. We should give these engineers a high five for extraordinary work this year!

    From a weather perspective, I have to say that we benefitted from the weather fluctuation this year. Last year we had incredible snows throughout the season, but I recall that we ended up with lower storage than this year.

  28. Datacrash …. like a car crash, the vehicles departing from their required line, heady off out of control with no one being able to do anything about it.

    But a datacrash, is where a hypothesis is used to predict the future, and slowly slowly, like watching a very slow car crash in action, the data goes no where near where the prediction put it.

    Watching datacrashes It’s a bit like watching rally car racing,… except in climate “science” it’s more like stock car racing.

  29. The Met Office seems unable to do anything except extrapolate more of the same. The hype about drought has been going on for months. And now it is the wrong kind of rain. Prats.

  30. There’s been a fairly lively discussion on Bishop Hill for the last few days on the issue. Poor Mr. Betts has been reduced to repeating the Met O standard disclaimer out of loyalty to his employers. Most of us have been there at some stage in our professional careers. Netweather are more honest, carrying the message that”…it is important to bear in mind that forecasting at this range is is still in it’s infancy so can be effectively be considered experimental. Anyone with experience of Northern Europe weather’s chaotic patterns can empathise with this. If the Met. claimed less skill and admitted to more experimentation, they would attract far less unfavourable comment.

  31. The Met Office Outlook for April, May and June was not issued on March 12th, it was issued on March 23rd (less than nine days before the start of what would become a record wet April).

    In hindsight, perhaps they should have waited until April 1st to issue that fateful outlook.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  32. The problem here folks is that you are too impatient and are looking at the raw data. You have to wait for it to be adjusted. Once that has been done, you’ll find that the predictions were quite accurate. (and never you mind those folks that lived in that area at that time and say different, that’s just anecdotal stories)

  33. BOM predicted an above average cyclone season for Queensland with 5 cycones expected with at least two to make landfall. Actual number: Zero. My mother used a pin with her eyes closed to pick Melbourne Cup winners. She was right most years. Pity she passed on two years ago, the Met Office could have done with her skills

  34. The AO and NAO have been very difficult to predict, and with the unusual jet stream patterns thrown in it is near impossible to predict with certainty a future weather pattern down to the country. The MET office has failed miserably again showing the futility. With solar output and UV so low we are seeing patterns not seen since 1800.

  35. Here in Australia we have a new unit of measurement for rainfall well in excess of the average. It is known as the Flannery, equivalent to the old style inch.

  36. I too heard the basking shark story – the scientist present did at least counter the suggestion of the sharks being drawn in earlier – simply not true and more likely we are just noticing more. The epic fail of assuming global warming = always warmer = don’t need to look at real world to know what is happening outside always makes me laugh…

  37. Instead of buying a new supercomputer, they should delete their current weather- and climate model and use the available money to start building a new model from scratch.

    On the other hand: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” (Napoleon)

    And this is very applicable for the Met Office:
    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
    It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” (Mark Twain)

  38. It’s been a real North/South divide, southern & eastern England’s had little rain (until April!) for the last 18 months, 17″ down on the average, IIRC. We’ve lacked winter rainfall, so the ground water hasn’t recharged properly. What’s falling now, is absorbed by vegetation or is just running off the sodden upper layers of ground.
    My in-laws, near Blackpool, have had nothing but rain for months. The reservoirs in the Pennines & northwards, are full to overflowing, but rather than building a national water grid, we’ve got plans for £36 billion, to be spent on a railway line from London to Birmingham, to save commuters 20 minutes!

  39. Based on historic fact, if you want rain in the UK the just get some dumb stupid official to declare a Drought. In 1976 a Minister of Drought was appointed, it only took a few weeks for him to be declared the Minister of Floods. Strangely for all the money flooding into the MET Office they forget about the past, reading a few old newspapers would not go amiss.

  40. So what. Even in April, there was the threat of water rationing looming; they were contemplating shutting down the fountain at Trafalgar Square (didn’t follow up whether they actually did in the end).
    A few years ago, London, i.e. the south, was so dry, Hyde Park looked like the Sahara, while at the same time, the north of England was flooded. Did it occur to you that “drought impacts” can be regional and don’t have to be nation-wide? You know, it is some 1500Km from the south to Scottland – why wouldn’t there be a drought in some places but not in others?

  41. Yep. Only in the UK can we have a hosepipe ban and flood warning s in the same places at the same time.

  42. What you must realise is that Climate change became the UK’s new State religion to replace the Church of England. In political terms it has been the final stage of post-Imperial fascism, the transformation of the allegiance of the elite from the Empire to its replacement, subservience to international Marxism.

    The same has been happening in the USA and Australia, though not in Canada, so there’s something underlying it in common. It is the replacement of the WASPs the Masonic group who controlled the Empire for good, with Marxists, some like Obama apparently being of the very deep penetration variety.

    And this new religion has to have at its core the illusion at least of being able to predict the future. Otherwise how would its leaders be considered omnipotent? So the European Marxists, some called Fabians, set up the replacement for freemasonry, which is Common Purpose, and used the fake IPCC science as part of its indoctrination. Obama’s probably CP.

    Starting with Ken Lay, the money men bought into this with carbon trading. And as the UK has since the 17th Century been the centre of World banking, it was intended to be the centre for carbon trading to underpin the new World currency which was to be the Euro and Amero. Remember that Blood [ex GS] and Gore settled into London for their ‘$billion-earning’ business.

    Thus it is that the Met. Office has set out to invest in its version of ‘Deep Thought’ [Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy], having been conned by Hansenkoism. But they did not realise that they had been misled by scientific shysters. The IPCC climate models can’t predict climate. Indeed, the warming bias caused by the greatly exaggerated [at least a factor of 10] CO2-AGW means the models have learnt heuristically to predict the atmospheric conditions of another planet than ours, one in which the laws of physics are very different.

    There may be such a planet in a parallel universe: it’s certainly not ours.

  43. “… and uses 1.2 megawatts of energy to run – enough to power more than 1,000 homes.”

    That’s about a kilowatt per home.
    Microwave oven -1200 watts, steam iron -1100 watts, space heater -1500 watts, oven -2500+ watts, range – 1500 to 3500 per burner, central air – 3500 watts, electric clothes dryer – 4000 watts.

    Maybe homes in Romania.

  44. This has been a cold wet April in the UK. But the water shortage in Southern England and some of East England and the Midlands is real. The rest of the UK is just fine. The water shortage stems from two dryer than usual Winters and the unprecedented immigration permitted over the past few years which has raised demand, especially in the South. This latter reason is a political question that has no place on this blog suffice to say that the water shortage has arisen not so much through ‘climate’ as through political bumbling.

  45. What the BBC, MET and Environment Agency are parrotting is that the ground is so so dry that it will take years to get wet?
    That explains why the Badminton Horse Trials were cancelled due waterlogged ground. Train journeys in drought areas delayed due to flooding.
    What did those two guys in the gallery of the Muppet Show say?
    Get the bums outta here. :-)

  46. I hope I’ll be able to compare here the forecasts of Piers Corbyn and any other “cyclomanics” who by Leif’s standards AFAICT should fare no better than the Met. on average. Should be interesting to see, and worthwhile for the sake of science, because it’s simply evidence, whether or no they are better.

  47. I remind you that our friend Mr Hansen was in Edinburgh at the start of April to pick up some gong or other. It snowed. Since then it has been unseasonably (even for us) cold and wet. Is there some sort of enhanced Gore / Flannery effect we need to divert some research dollars to investigating?

  48. Solution for the MET office:
    Oak before the Ash in for a splash
    Ash before the Oak in for a soak.

  49. “Back to basic for these nincompoops, no supercomputers just an abacus to keep them busy.”

    ..hanging from a mobile above their cribs. No touch honey.. BAD for you! I know Piers Corbyn is violently shaking his head at their predictions, in danger of whiplash..

  50. The day before it started raining, there was an extension of those areas considered to be in drought, to encompass much of the Midlands and south-west. Newspapers were running stories saying it was now a worse drought than 1976, and predicting that our hosepipe ban will remain in force at least until next year.

    I took the dog for a walk on Sunday, and after having to turn round when one of our normal footpaths was underwater (next to but usually 2-3ft above the small river), I walked back round what is usually a field but which had water coming up to the (boxer) dog’s knees and over the top of my boots. I wasn’t technically in the river, but I wouldn’t have been getting any wetter had I been.

    Yesterday’s weather was OK until the evening, and then we’ve had heavy rain all night forecast to ease in a couple of hours and then a decent afternoon. Rest of the week is forecast to be a mix of sunshine and showers with one day of more persistent rain. And then we have a Bank Holiday weekend…

    As others have said, it’s the wettest drought ever.

  51. Those metrological folk and their lying machines
    The tempreture goes Up, Tiddly, Up, Up.
    And never Down, Tiddly, Down, Down.
    They enchant Poloticians and steal all the scenes
    With their temperatures Up, Tiddly, Up, Up
    And never Down, Tiddly, Down, Down.
    Up! never Down! lying around.
    Bluffing the bluff and defying the crowd.
    They’re all, frightfully mean
    Those metrological folk and their lying machines

  52. There’s an ancient country saying :

    On hearing the first cuckoo
    And seeing the first swallow
    Hosepipe ban sure to follow.

    Sitting in my garden in Austria. Bank Holiday and thanks to a strip of high pressure, it’s 30deg here !

  53. The April rain and cold in the UK was a recoil effect from the March incident solar flares. The UK was dry warm and sunny in March due to the flares. Perhaps that’s why the Met office is so useless, because it ignores the major influence of the variabilty of the sun.

  54. Do you suppose that this will count as an ‘extreme weather event’ and therefore further evidence of dangerous man-made global climate change?
    Will we be told that it’s happening because the planet’s warming and there’s more water in the air? Or is it just the English weather, unpredictable as always?

  55. Many times watching the Met Office weather forecast on tv they actually don’t get right the current weather situation for where I live. So if they don’t what’s happening now how the heck can they tell us what is going to happen in the future!

  56. No wonder the Met Office got out of public, long-range seasonal forecasting.

    It makes me think about the Australian projection for ‘perpetual drought’ when state governments listened to these climate fools and spent billions planning and building desalination plants then the Biblical floods came. They are learning about climate change – because that’s what it does but just doesn’t follow their agenda. See also “snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

  57. In my part of England – North Yorkshire – we have a BBC weather forecaster who usually gets it right on the short forecast and is very pragmatic about the long. He is also very circumspect when it comes to making comments on climate change, which is an essential trait when working for the BBC.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson
    In the meantime when northerners can look on the southern draught with schadenfreude

  58. We’ve had rain here on every single day since the drought was announced. Annoying but not really a disaster.

    There is some concern about the poor folk on that newish Watermoor housing estate in Tewkesbury. Although the name was a clue they don’t want to get hit like five years ago.

    It’s nowhere near as bad as the great flood of 2007 when we had the Mythe water treatment works knocked out and no tap water for a month.

    The hosepipe ban stays in place though as we’ve stopped using the local expensive Dowdeswell reservoir and only take the water from the Severn and boreholes. A false economy it seems.

    Ironically, the hosepipe ban doesn’t save much water directly. The idea is to make people think about saving water and not wasting it. Yet, right now, no-one is thinking of watering the garden anyway.

    Even the ducks look depressed.

  59. Surely also worth a mention is that we have had two exceptionally dry winters in a row (one very cold) when the official AGW line from them is that we would have warmer wetter winters.
    tonyb

  60. Here is the Met Office outlook for the month of May.

    Outlook for Thursday to Saturday:
    Rain in the far north and south on Thursday; bright spells elsewhere. Colder on Friday and Saturday with rain in the south and east, and snow in the far north.
    Updated: 0357 on Tue 1 May 2012

    UK Outlook for Saturday 5 May 2012 to Monday 14 May 2012:
    Largely dry across northern parts of the UK through the weekend with some bright or sunny spells, but it will be rather cold with overnight frost. There will be wintry showers in places, possibly giving snow accumulations over higher ground. Further south, remaining predominantly unsettled with rain or showers, with a threat of hill snow across Wales on Saturday. Breezy at times and feeling cold in the wind and rain. The remainder of the period looks likely to stay unsettled across the UK. Heavy rain is possible in places, turning wintry across higher ground in the north. Daytime temperatures remaining mostly below normal with the risk of night frosts. Towards the end of the period, southern parts may see more dry and bright periods whilst it remains unsettled further north.
    Updated: 1159 on Mon 30 Apr 2012

    UK Outlook for Monday 14 May 2012 to Monday 28 May 2012:
    Changeable weather is likely for much of this period. Showers or longer spells of rain are likely to affect most parts of the UK although rainfall totals are likely to be close to the seasonal average. Between the rain and showers, there should also be some drier and brighter interludes with sunshine levels also close to the May average. With winds often from a north or northeasterly direction, temperatures are likely to be close to or just below the seasonal average, but they could be a little above in any sheltered western areas at times.

    Updated: 1241 on Mon 30 Apr 2012

    Source: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_weather.html

    Now that’s how I remember UK weather, highly changeable. :-)

  61. Not the “wrong type of rain”, but the “wrong type of ground”.
    Nothing’s ever “right” in AGW Land-particularly when there is a computer forecast involved.

  62. Yes folks, soon power prices will ensure it’s far to expensive to run supercomputers programmed to agree with policy makers! It’s back to haruspex and entrails, a considerably more cost effective, future divination technique, and one that carries with it the added advantage of diminishing the methane producing headcount. Must surely get the eco-warriors approbation.

  63. All I can say is that it’s a good thing there was no such thing as super computers when the D-Day landing were being planned on 6th of June 1944.

  64. Similar thing happened in Spain.

    40 days ago people were complaining about not raining at all and of course, they blamed it on climate change.

    Now they are complaining about the rain.

  65. All I can say is that it’s a good thing there was no such thing as super computers when the D-Day landings were being planned on the 4th and 5th of June 1944.

  66. Stephen Parker; of course you would be better off with a pine cone!! That’s the certain way to make the temps go up sharply, like a…errr…hockey stick?!!

  67. If after having a soaking throughout April we were to have a warm dry summer then I could live with that. As it is, this year is starting to remind me of the summers of my youth in the 60′s & 70′s when it seemed to rain all the time, just about the same time they were getting worried about a coming ice age.

  68. @JustMEinT
    RE: Last I read the British were in for water rationing what the heck happened?

    We have water problems rather than a lack of water over here. I live in the north west of England and it’s been a very moist month. Over in the east and south east they’ve had a much drier time over an extended period. This is compounded by our population being skewed towards the south and south east in particular (i.e. London).

    The issue is getting the water from the wet regions (we have and will not have any restrictions on usage) to the dry ones. It’s certainly nothing new nor caused by excessive changes in rainfall patterns. It’s caused by mismanagement and underinvestment.

  69. So, 121mm of rain in a month in England constitutes a devastating drought……. Bluddy hell, no wonder people complain about England’s weather….. A man ‘ud need a snorkel ta walk th’ dog….;-)

  70. People living here simply can’t go for an hour without discussing the weather, and some feel the need for an authority to lead these discussions. There will always be a demand for long-term predictions, however futile the effort seems to be. And it is bound to be futile because there is just not enough data to work with; the turbulence over land is mind-boggling at all scales, and there is not enough land to let things settle enough to be predictable; this country has maritime weather everywhere, subject to influences from very far away and from all directions. This may seem strange to the inhabitants of large continents, who typically enjoy reliable two-day forecasts. I can only remember maybe a couple times in 15 years when the next-day forecast for Northern Illinois was egregiously wrong, being right on the money most of the time. I don’t think such quality of forecast is technically possible in this country. Temperature predictions are reasonably robust (although I did see the next-day forecast adjusted by more than 10C just recently), but precipitation is really not predictable at all.

    City buses in Cambridge still carry ads asking everybody to donate 20 litres of water to a drought fund.

  71. Due to a lack of knowledge and understanding as to how the weather system works coupled with Chaos, it is not yet possible to predict weather. Skeptical minds question whether the prediction of climate is any better.

    Climate change is being used in the UK to cover up bad management. We are constantly being told that droughts will become more common due to climate change and water rationing will become more prevalent.

    However, the UK, which is a small island surrounded by sea, is a very wet country and due to its topography, it always wil be. There will be no shortage of water in the UK. All that is required is proper managment of resources, since rainfall will always be plentiful in Scotland, North England/Lake District and Wales.

    The reason why there are water shortages, mainly in the South East is all due to poor management. We have aging infrastucture which is leaking to the hilt. Little is being done to prevent these leaks. In the South East there has been a massive increase in population these past 30 years due to immigration (most immigrants setttle in the South East) so the demand for water has increased dramatically. However, during this period, not one single new reservoir has been built. There is no new storage capacity in the South East, so it is not surprising that it has diificulty in smoothing over periods between low rainfall and high rainfall.

    Negligently much new building has taken place in flood plains. Hence when we get a little extra rainfall, we are bombarded with images of homes under water and this is blamed on climate change. However, these areas were flood plains because in the past nearby rivers were prone to flooding when it rained. They are flood plains for a reason.

    The problem of building new houses in these areas is that the cost of home insurance has increased for all (everyone has to share in the costs of rectifying the damage) and for some propertuies the premium costs are so prohibitive that home owners cannot afford home insurance.

    All of these problems could have been avoided with sound management, but I guess that it is a sign of times including that no one carries the can for this sytemic failure, instead the liberals and political elite deflect attention blaming climate change and the evils of humanity in emitting CO2. .

  72. Met Office April Forecast: “…drought impacts in the coming months are virtually inevitable.”

    The Environment Agency advises that, given the current state of soils and groundwater levels in these areas, drought impacts in the coming months are virtually inevitable.

  73. To forecast tomorrow’s weather the MET Office requires an accurate forecast of today’s weather. The reason for this is that the model is so complicated and requires so many variables (millions) that the seed data cannot come from observations but only from a previous forecast.
    To this end, the MET office requires a huge computer so that it can try to generate enough forecasts that one of them is close enough to the actual weather that they have something to forecast forward from. In other words, they spend computer time trying to forecast today’s weather.
    Who gets to choose the winning forecast?

  74. Ken Hall:

    Words matter. It is Orwellian Newspeak to claim the word “drought” means other than it does. And there is no drought in England.

    However, the untrue assertions of such a drought enable nonsense such as that from ‘david brown’ who says at April 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm;
    “A warmer climate, with its increased climate variability, will increase the risk of both floods and droughts (Wetherald and Manabe, 2002 ] .”

    His clear implication is that the “drought” in England is an expected effect of AGW.

    There is no drought in England, but at April 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm you assert;
    “All these things combine to create a real drought (due to a low water table) with floods if it rains heavily.”
    NO! A drought is a physical impossibility in a region which is flooded.
    “All these things combine to create a” shortage of stored water, but that shortage is not a “drought”.

    The government has imposed an “Official Drought” to impose the hosepipe ban. But that does NOT mean there is – as you claim – “a real drought”. It only means the Ministry Of Truth has made a declaration.

    The Free Dictionary defines drought as follows:

    drought (drout) also drouth (drouth)
    n.
    1. A long period of abnormally low rainfall, especially one that adversely affects growing or living conditions.
    2. A prolonged dearth or shortage.

    You admit that;
    “Firstly there is the low level of rain fall over the last two years. Every few decades there are periods like this.”

    So, clearly you admit there has NOT been a “long period of abnormally low rainfall” and the “dearth or shortage” has not been “prolonged”. Indeed, a “shortage” does not yet exist and the ‘hosepipe ban’ has been imposed in attempt to avoid such a “shortage”.

    A shortage of stored water for the now-existing population in Southern England has resulted from increasing the population while failing to build any additional reservoirs since 1975. This shortage could be overcome by providing connection of water supplies available in the North and West of England (e.g. by renovation of existing canals and using them to provide the connection).

    Words matter.
    Southern England has a shortage of stored water as a result of factors which have nothing to do with altered weather and/or climate.
    Importantly, Southern England does NOT have a drought.

    Richard

  75. The Met Office and the hysteria from government agencies are a national embarrassment. We were told to expect up to 60,000 deaths from bird flu the winter before last by our Chief Medical Officer. The water companies have been telling everone in the South that they could have water rationing with things geing so bad that people will have to take containers to stand pipes to fill them with water like some third world country. We have police and firemen who won’t save the lives of people due to health and safety (apparentlythey need special equipment and training to deal with someone left to drown in three feet of water!!). Our once great country has been reduced to a laughing stock.
    Christopher Booker in his excellent Sunday Telegraph column says that the reason the Met Office keep getting it wrong is because they have factored in global warming into their computer program. Since global warming stopped over 12 years ago their forecasts are going to be wrong until they remove that factor

  76. Not too sure the Met office got it wrong. They said drier than average but it all depends on how they calculate average.
    If they used historical figures then clearly they messed up but perhaps their baseline starts in 2100 with their computed projections!

  77. Meanwhile here in Scotland on the 1st of May, the ski slopes are still open with excellent conditions – see

    http://www.cairngormmountain.org/

    Excerpt -
    Last Updated on: 01/05/2012 10:41
    HIGH AVALANCHE RISK ON THE CORONATION WALL AND HEAD WALL.
    PLEASE STAY CLEAR NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING IT LOOKS.
    It also remains very cold up here for the time of year, but the BBC weathermen say it is to warm up this week. GIGO there then!
    Me? I prefer to use the French website linked below which I found over a year ago and which, although it most often contradicts the MET office forecasts substantially, is almost always correct.

    http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/gfse_cartes.php?&ech=180&mode=1

    I think a cold May is in the offing for the UK at least, but we can rely on the MET office to falsify the CET record as usual so as to conform with and confirm their religious beliefs.

  78. The MET office used to be a respected organisation when it was based at Bracknell. Then it moved to Exeter, was given a massive budget, super computers and a political agenda. It has been downhill ever since.

  79. Every time i try to point out the general failure of weather prediction in my house, i am met with a general acceptance that it is perfectly fine for them to be completely wrong. Of course, then i try to point out that the only career close to the accepted level of failure displayed by meteorology/climatology is politics which is then met with the reasoning that that is ok because we vote for them. …….and people wonder why i have little hair left.

  80. Grumpy Old Man says: May 1, 2012 at 1:07 am

    This has been a cold wet April in the UK. But the water shortage in Southern England and some of East England and the Midlands is real. The rest of the UK is just fine. The water shortage stems from two dryer than usual Winters and the unprecedented immigration permitted over the past few years which has raised demand, especially in the South. This latter reason is a political question that has no place on this blog suffice to say that the water shortage has arisen not so much through ‘climate’ as through political bumbling.

    Although it doesn’t alter the drought conditions it should be pointed out that …

    The total amount of water leaked by water firms in England and Wales – 1,226billion litres – would fill Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, four times a year.

    Thames Water being the biggest culprit

  81. From the BBC online article:-

    “Tewkesbury, which suffered severe flooding five years ago, is among the areas affected by heavy rain, with flood alerts in place for every river in Somerset.”

    I can only assume that the extract above is the usual slip-shod slap-dash reporting that substitutes for journalism these days. For the benefit of my colonial cousins, Tewkesbury is in fact a beautiful historic town in the county of Gloucestershire, (pronounced Glostersheer), geographically speaking, from a UK viewpoint, it is nowhere near the county of Somerset, unlike the implication in the paragraph! An excellent example of ratchet reporting of a non-event of AGW!

    “The figures up to April 29 show the amount of rain which has fallen is almost double the long term average for April of 69.6mm, in records dating back to 1910.”

    So what evidence do they have that this hasn’t happened before then? 102 years / 4500, 000,000
    x 100/1 = calculator can’t reproduce enough decimal places but it is 2.2666 x 10^6% of the Earth’s existance! Wow, I’m really losing sleep over this one, not!

  82. I think they are using a dart board but then think how well some darters can throw after a pint or two

  83. @Nick Stokes. Clearly you didn’t read my comment-
    Not the “wrong type of rain”, but the “wrong type of ground.

    Or to put it another way “rotten” rain/ground, just like “rotten” ice.

  84. What gets me about Auntie Beeb’s (BBC) reporting of this flood drought is that they show footage of the Somerset Flats (that’s flood plain) flooded. Why are people surprised when flood plains flood?

  85. We have a Met Office who cannot accuratelyforecast the weather more than 24 hours in advance. According to the excellent Sunday Telegraph column written by Christopher Booker, the reason the Met Office get it wrong is because they have factored AGW into the computers programming. The assumption that the country is a few tenths of a degree warmer than it actually is, is bound to make forecasting incorrect
    I am writing this while on holiday in the Costa del Sol, today the sun is shining, yesterday we had rain, hail and thunderstorms all accurately predicted by Accuweather. In Summer here, the swimming pools are full, there are irrigated communal areas with plants and grass, this is where rain is a rarity from June to October.
    Hysteria seems to be the main driving factor in what once was our great country. Whether it is floods, drought, AGW, smoking, alcohol, sunbathing, health and safety, we are subjected to continual diatribes from so called “experts” who do not have a clue what they are talking about. As a nation we are costantly bombarded with doom laden prophecies that have no bearing on reality.
    If an individual told me that floods were forecast and we were in the middle of a drought and having an unwashed car was a sign of pride, I would think they should be referred for a psychiatric examination, but the population believe this drivel because an “expert” told them that it is so.
    The UK has gone mad!

  86. david brown (April 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm): “A warmer climate, with its increased climate variability, will increase the risk of both floods and droughts (Wetherald and Manabe, 2002 ]”

    I read your reference. It shows that in England there will be more precip in DJF and less in MAM, the opposite of this year. Also figure 4 shows a similar width of model ensemble results as the average precipitation increases which implies a decline in variability, not an increase.

  87. Alan the Brit says:
    May 1, 2012 at 3:47 am
    Quite right.

    I can assure you that my Tewkesbury colleagues are exasperated at the media coverage of the flooding. It’s actually not that bad for Tewkesbury at the moment. The town was built on the confluence of the rivers Avon and Severn and so it floods almost every year.

    It’s only considered bad if the abbey floods (which was built on higher ground centuries ago) or if it’s your house that leaks.

  88. in australia the MET has computers but they don’t no how to use them they instead look out the window and still get it wrong , they are all told what the long range forcast will be by the global warmest gooses

  89. I have a theory regarding that supercomputer and why it keeps getting things so wrong…

    First off, the degree of accuracy in the short term is related mostly to the ‘significance’ of what you are measuring. Basically number crunching fewer yet more significant measurements has a higher degree of inherent accuracy than processing many insignificant measurements; as they fundamentally hold less individual information value wrt reality.

    Now there is only going to be a finite amount of significant measurements yet an infinite number of insignificant measurements for any given system being monitored…

    The practical end result of this is that there is a point beyond which throwing more processing power at modeling a system defined with more now insignificant measurements actually results In a progressive degrading in the value of the whole modeling exercise…

    So using bigger and bigger computers with more and more insignificant measurements ends up with garbage always as the output. The ‘noise’ in the system has won…

  90. As one lark said of the recent widespread flooding in Oz after the usual doom and gloom suspects had been banging on about the long drought- I’m having a wee bit of trouble clearing away all this water so I can see the drought underneath.

  91. Where but in the UK – where we have the Met Office and its £60m computer ‘Deep Black’ (should actually called ‘Deep Sh*t’) – could you get hosepipe bans and flood alerts in the same areas..?
    And these guys reckon they can predict the climate eighty-odd years hence..?

  92. A bunch of Hanrahans the lot of them-http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/obrienj/poetry/hanrahan.html

  93. “Now let’s have a look at the official Met Office forecast for April, issued on March 12th, 2012:

    Met Office 3-month Outlook
    Period: April – June 2012 Issue date: 23.03.12″

    Anthony: that’s not March 12, 2012, it’s March 23 2012, which makes it MUCH worse – a little over a week before April started!

  94. I fully expect the government to mandate that all homeowners to do their bit and store the excess rain in their basements by having their downspouts flow into their houses and sealing all windows and doors in case water levels reach the main floor

  95. In fairness to the MetOffice, their prediction probably turned out correct in their computer model land.

  96. The rooks got it right-built this years nest lower down in the trees! Past years have been right in the tops.

  97. A few things to say:

    1. There has been a dry spell here for 2 years – that’s true.
    2. The forecast was rubbish but Piers Corbyn also said the SE would be very dry – he got that bit wrong too, so don’t simply rubbish the BBC without context – those who disagree with them were also not perfect.
    3. Here in the UK our strange water system doesn’t self-right itself with a few good dousings – we aren’t like the US or Australia where the water storage areas come from huge run-off areas. So although we have now righted our soil issues, it will take longer for the groundwater- and reservoir supplies to replenish – they are right about that.
    4. What’s ridiculous though is that the water companies were privatised, sold on to foreign owners who only care about profits and hence some of the reservoirs were sold off, dried out and used to build houses, which of course reduces our water supplies precisely in the areas most in need of them.

    What is actually a scandal, more than this pathetic weather forecast, is the state of british planning for water security. We are a nation blessed with a climate which should mean we have little problems, but due to abominable planning, lax education and wasteful usage, we are short.

    That’s not the Met Office’s fault, nor the BBCs!

  98. I live in Epsom Surrey.

    Unitl the water companies were privatised there was a filtration plant in the town and one of the first action was to destroy it, not mothball, as it was not needed. This has happened in several areas. This means that not only has there been no action taken to increase water storage there has also been a reduction in treatment. Double whammy less water more polution Trebles all round in the boardrooms though

  99. The main difference between the north of the UK and the south east is that the SE mainly uses underground aquifers which are replenished by groundwater seepage, whereas the rest of the country mainly uses reservoirs. A sudden downpour will refill a reservoir but not an aquifer.

  100. Stop Press! Latest Met. Office Long Range 30 Day Forecast.

    The whole country should prepare for variable periods of wet/dry, cool/warm and calm/windy weather.

    This forecast was compiled using expert interpretation of computer weather simulations and some old pine cones.

  101. Which shows again that the GCM models are useful only to forecast several days in advance but are missing the real drivers for long term forecast – not to talk about regional climate or global.
    Interesting to see that Piers Corbyn does a much better job using solar-lunar drivers.
    Here his analysis of the April forecats:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9528

    Lets see if his May forecast comes as precisely true as many other did before, I understand he has an accuracy of 85%:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9461&linkbox=true&position=9

  102. I’d laugh. But it’s my taxes supporting these half-baked, half-witted morons at both the Marxist Broadcasting Corporation and Met Office.

  103. The key, of course, is dams and engineering. Brits used to be the supreme masters of civil engineering, now they’ve completely forgotten.

    Makes me thankful for FDR’s foresight, and for the continuity of agencies like TVA and Bonneville in preserving FDR’s legacy despite the encroachments of “green” power and the murderously anti-scientific “”””Endangered”””” “”””Species”””” laws.

    Also thankful that America didn’t privatize its local water systems, which is part of Britain’s present problem.

  104. Awww, don’t disrespect weather forecasting supercomputers. It’s not their fault. Really, they just do what they are told. In the case of solving problems like this, well, they are hard problems — chaotic problems, in fact. But it may well be a case of GIGO as well — the weather modellers are having a hard time dealing with the 7% increase in global bond albedo. That’s a 7% increase in daytime cloudiness, which makes it both cooler and wetter (on average) on the ground. If they set their assumptions for cloud formation incorrectly, of course they will get precipitation wrong.

    This is actually an interesting point, one possibly worth pursuing. The failure of even short term weather models like this one (which is hardly a “global climate model”) to even get the sign right on comparative April rainfall let alone predict an extreme event should be a warning flag that the model being used is either flawed from the beginning or, more likely, incorrectly parameterized in some way. A very real question is then: what values of the parameters (set back in March) would give you the right forecast for April? Would they give you better overall hindcast or forecast results?

    Personally I think weather forecasting and reporting is one of the most valuable services provided by any government. Everybody has a bet on the weather, if only whether or not their fishing trip over the weekend will come off. Farmers bet far more, and our food supply depends on the accuracy and utility of forecasts and reporting. IIRC, Anthony himself is in the business, as is Roy Spencer. So let us not disrespect forecasters or weathermen (or their computers!) in general, let us simply gently speculate on the importance of fixing the models after a spectacular fail like this one, or at the very least investigating what went wrong and determining if it is a chaos-related fluke (a vagrant high pressure center that locked down unexpectedly) or if it is a systematic error.

    rgb

  105. The MET are just an embarrassment. Most of us in the UK have been aware of this forecast against the reality for some time, we were just too ashamed to tell you. After all it’s our taxes which pay for it, why should we show you our data, when you only want to find fault?

  106. Lew Skannen says:
    April 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm
    By the way, under Australian Government Naming Convention we don’t refer to it as ‘water’ anymore.
    It is ‘hydrogen pollution’.
    ——————
    It’s dihydrogen monoxide. In it’s more dangerous form, when it collects in large doses it is called Hydrogen Hydroxide, it’s a major pollutant and kills thousands each year.
    There is a US movement on to ban dihydrogen monoxide. For our children. For our world. For our future. Please donate.

  107. @Paul Martin “A sudden downpour will refill a reservoir but not an aquifer.”
    I would have thought so too. But apparently not.
    This from “The Times”.
    “Water companies insist that the downpours have failed to fill reservoirs (and aquifers)”

    So the obvious question is “Why not”?
    Is it because they are more concerned with paying their “fat cat” CEO’s and overseas investors large sums of ££££, whilst failing to expand infrastructure?

  108. It’s what I love about “random walk” phenomenon. I imagine there are hundreds of minds at work right now trying to figure out how to have predicted this downpour so they do a better job “next time”. Does anyone else get that it is a fool’s bet to predict “random walk” phenomenon? Many here predicted “cold” due to a quiet Sun. Others on AGW leaning blogs predict warmth as CO2 continues to climb. Put them all in a single room and I would not know how to tell solar theorists from CO2 theorists.

  109. My wife and I went to a friends wedding in Belfast many years ago, our friend was a met officer working at an RAF station in Scotland and marring a local girl. I asked him on the morning of the wedding what he thought the weather would be like, he stood and looked out the window for a couple of minutes and then he covered just about everything strong breeze, rain showers, snow flurries and sunny spells. And he was right the wind blew all day, the sun shone as we arrived in church, it rained heavily whilst we were in church, the sun came out as we left the church and we had a short snow fall as we drove to the reception ready for the sun to make another appearance as we arrived at the venue and it did a full resume during the do for it to clear for the departure of the happy couple.
    My admiration of his abilities was immense.

    James Bull

  110. So, if the supercomputer is programmed to factor in increasing warmth due to Co2, and it’s forecasts (predictive value) are incorrect, ……

  111. david brown says:
    April 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm
    actually increased rainfall can only come from increased global heat. seeing it is heat that creates evaporation. drought or flood both mean the planet is warming. worst rain in a 100 years? gee the planet is warming up faster than i thought
    ————————————————————-
    That’s why it’s always raining in the desert.

    If these scientists were real they would admit their prediction wrong, state why they predicted drought in the first place and then revisit their modeling program to see where they went wrong, eventually making all of this public with the goal of better predicting.

  112. Anthony – the forecast you refer to was not issued March 12, 2012 but March 23, 2012, which makes it MUCH worse – a little over a week before April started!

    REPLY:
    Typo fixed, thanks – A

  113. Did Gore visit the Met offices? That would explain it. But looking back at the track record of “asleep at the switch” in the UK we see the regulatory failure behind the Titanic life boat count when the size of the ships tripled and the life boat regs did not and then there was the mad cow disease where other nations banned the use of ground up diseased brains as animal feed and the regulators went along asleep at the switch again until reality bit. In this case the train wreck of taking no action when incompetent conditions call for it will lead to lower nation wealth attainment and more costs of policy disfunction related to Met advice. In summary, stop eating the mad cow and do some real reform!

  114. Does it help that the Met Office supercomputer provides both Climate and Weather predictions? Does the warming bias programmed in for climate predictions lead to warming bias in weather predictions?
    It seems that weather forecast accuracy is measured considering all predictions. If a weather forecast was set to always predicting average conditions a forecaster would no doubt claim that their forecast model is accurate – most of the time average conditions happen!

    Surely weather forecast accuracy should only be measured on the success of the forecaster predicting major deviations. After all, we generally are looking at forecasts to provide warnings of extreme weather. The evidence suggests the Met Office fail rate on predicting major deviations is very high – so the value of their forecasts would seem to be minimal.

    The Met Office are lobbying the government to provide more funds to build a new super duper climate / weather computer. Surely the warming bias has to be addressed before these funds are released?

  115. Pamela Gray says:
    May 1, 2012 at 6:31 am
    Once again, go ahead and explain it all to us then, …..

  116. I gotta say, these posts are a hoot! Funniest ever.

    Nice way to start the day off here in S. California, where we have drizzling fog, aka “May Grey.”

  117. polistra says:
    May 1, 2012 at 6:01 am
    “The key, of course, is dams and engineering. Brits used to be the supreme masters of civil engineering, now they’ve completely forgotten.
    Makes me thankful for FDR’s foresight, ”

    Hydropower was just the panacea of that age after Tesla and Westinghouse managed to build the power plant at the Niagara falls. Technocracy, founded in 1932 by Scott and M. King Hubbert, was all about hydropower.
    There was a guy in Germany at the same time, Soergel, promoting a dam at the Gibraltar straits to lower the Mediterranean sea level and extract 100 GW continuously. Google “Atlantropa”, (h/t Ulrich Elkmann).

    From the 50ies on, nuclear power became the new panacea, and at the moment it’s wind and solar. Like Atlantropa, the big wind and solar visions will be forgotten as soon as the next panacea arrives, which will probably be LENR.

    Even though the big utopian visions are never achieved, all of those technologies contribute something to today’s energy mix.

  118. Is predicting the weather based on recent past weather forecasting or backcasting?

    I played darts in the UK once and lost but the beer was good.

  119. Mike McMillan says:
    May 1, 2012 at 1:07 am

    “… and uses 1.2 megawatts of energy to run – enough to power more than 1,000 homes.”

    That’s about a kilowatt per home.
    Microwave oven -1200 watts, steam iron -1100 watts, space heater -1500 watts, oven -2500+ watts, range – 1500 to 3500 per burner, central air – 3500 watts, electric clothes dryer – 4000 watts.

    Maybe homes in Romania.

    And you run your microwave for what, about 5 minutes a day?

    The average household in the US (which uses a lot more energy than the EU/UK per capita) uses about 24 kwh/day. That works out to be 1000w, which is the typical metric used when calculating the number of homes supported by a given generation capacity.

  120. When will Meterologists and Climate Scientists admit that they can’t predict the weather nor the climate. Weather prediction even a couple days out is a crap shoot. Just this last weekend in my town they predicted mostly sunny, no precip. That was less than 24 hours out. On Saturday it ended up being mostly overcast and drizzly. Their Sunday forecast jusr 12 hours out was still mostly sunny and no precip. It was raining when I got up on Sunday morning, the sun only poked through for maybe an hour before the day turned completely overcast by afternoon. Complete fail.

  121. After a month of heavy rain we still have the muppets from the met office saying the ground is too hard, it’s the wrong type of rain, blah, blah blah.
    Either they got it wrong and misinformed the water companies, who would never have issued drought warnings if they knew that all this rain was coming, as it is making them look like money grabbing monopolies, or they are in collusion to drive water prices higher…
    Which is it?

  122. It’s a drought Jim, but not as we know it!

    The “drought” that allegedly exists, is not comparable to the drought of 1976. Then, the UK suffered an entire summer under a heat wave and zero precipitation, and the result of the drought was everywhere to be seen – river beds cracked dry and brown, desicated vegetation. Wildlife suffered greately.

    What we have today, is a technical water supply problem. As Richard Courtney pointed out earlier, there is insufficient water stocks to service the growing population and growing industrial needs. Nature, however, is doing just fine. Look around – the earth is water saturated and the vegetation is lush green.

    Yet, I am disturbed by some of the propaganda emanating over the airwaves. On a BBC news program (where else!), a water expert proclaimed that the problem is, “people aren’t behaving in the way they should in a semi-arrid country”. Say what? England is a semi-arrid country? Well, colour me skeptical, but if the UK is semi-arrid, then where does Spain fit into the scale? Seems like someone is trying to rewrite the rule book.

    So, she goes on about the need to change our behaviour. Something along the lines of all new buildings to incorporate mandatory water recycling such as bathwater into the toilet flush, and devices to recycle rain water from the roofs, and retrofited into existing buildings as well.

  123. As soon as the met office announced a drought, we knew what would happen.Same thing last summer.Anything past three days out,

    Actually I have three sites that I look at and if the wind is easterly the met does best for our area in Wiltshire while otherwise “The weather channel” or “Accuweather” do better. All three don’t do that badly up to five days.
    From my window I can look over a field and see grass where yesterday there was over a foot of water in the same field. We actually while not having rain before this deluge, had a very long period where we had non stop fog and extremely heavy morning dew so the ground while not wet was just ready for the rain.

  124. During my visit to Great Britain in June of 1997 it was termed the hottest, driest June in history. When I was there in the second half of the month it was the coldest, wettest June in history. And it was the same month. British weather is always volatile, and that has nothing to do with AGW.

  125. To be fair, the Met actually meant the UK would suffer excess “dry rain” not the “wet rain” they actually got. Anyone could have made that little mistake [sarc]

  126. Don’t count them out yet:

    “The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.”

    If May and June are wetter than April, they will have gotten the second part right.

  127. M Courtney says:
    May 1, 2012 at 4:08 am
    ‘… Tewkesbury at the moment. The town was built on the confluence of the rivers Avon and Severn and so it floods almost every year. It’s only considered bad if the abbey floods (which was built on higher ground centuries ago)’

    Those medieval folk were well aware of the flood plain they lived on and built their church accordingly and in the spirit of the Wise Virgins. But then, they didn’t have the Met Office to advise them, only the Almighty.

  128. Ah now the BBC/Met office reckon the flooding is due to the ground being saturated, that happened quickly…

  129. Well, as everyone has gone for the jugular, here goes with the Met Office’s general climate predictions. Some areas will have more rain, some areas will have less rain. Some areas will have more drought, some areas will have less drought. Some areas will be warmer, some areas will be cooler. You get the picture?

  130. The problem here is not an unusual degree of incompetence, but an unusually hard job. Making predictions for the UK more than a couple of weeks in advance is pretty much impossible because there’s almost always a good chance of opposite types of weather depending on how much larger weather patterns develop. The quote below illustrates this perfectly:

    “The probability that UK precipitation for April-May-June will fall into the driest of our five categories is 20-25% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 10-15%”

    There’s almost no difference in the chances of it being dry or wet. As the timescales get shorter, the difference in probabilities becomes much larger, and the forecasts get more accurate. For what it’s worth, the onset of the rain was correctly predicted about a week in advance, and the subsequent break in the weather also by about the same margin.

    The reason predicting the weather in the UK is so hard is that there are many well-defined patterns which bring easily predictable results, but until the weather actually starts to show one or another, it’s next to impossible to tell anything other than that a change is coming.

  131. stephen parker says:
    April 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm
    As soon as the met office announced a drought, we knew what would happen. Same thing last summer. Anything past three days out, your better off with a pine cone!

    Your own institutionalized Gore Effect! How wonderful. :-/

  132. “Always remember what the phrase ’50 percent chance of rain’ actually means – that 5 out of 10 forecasters have guessed that it will rain.”

  133. The Met Office is just the gift that keeps giving. . .however, their timeless comedy stylings would be more appreciated if they weren’t so expensive to produce.

  134. Kozlowski says:
    April 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    At least they get the wrong answer faster with the newer computers. Thats good, right?

    ———————————

    Yeah, like, thanks a lot, Dude; I was in the middle of one of those exciting meetings with a project committee, and had to morph my guffaw into a cough while pretending to be reading a 30-page-plus proposal on my laptop.

  135. Dave says:
    May 1, 2012 at 9:44 am
    The reason predicting the weather in the UK is so hard is that there are many well-defined patterns which bring easily predictable results, but until the weather actually starts to show one or another, it’s next to impossible to tell anything other than that a change is coming.
    —————————–

    Someone finally understands. That’s what I tell my wife too when she asks me to look out of the window and guess what the weather will be. I don’t make nearly as much as the Met, though.

  136. Dave says:
    May 1, 2012 at 9:44 am
    ‘The reason predicting the weather in the UK is so hard is that there are many well-defined patterns which bring easily predictable results, but until the weather actually starts to show one or another, it’s next to impossible to tell anything other than that a change is coming.’

    And yet they can predict 50 years into the future …
    You couldn’t make it up (though *they do).

  137. James Bull says:
    May 1, 2012 at 6:32 am

    > My wife and I went to a friends wedding in Belfast many years ago, our friend was a met officer working at an RAF station in Scotland and marring a local girl.

    Really? I hadn’t realized that was still legal. :-)

  138. AJB says:
    May 1, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Well if you build on flood plains and close down reservoirs, what do you expect …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/drought/9236909/Thames-Water-accused-of-mismanagement-by-closing-two-dozen-reservoirs.html

    With all due respect, the story does say in regard to ‘storage reservoirs’ the following:

    A Thames Water spokesman said many of the sites “were not storage reservoirs at all” and only stored “small amounts” of treated water. He said: “They did not store raw water and were shut when improvements to our water supply network made them redundant.

    And since the ‘storage’ aspect has been addressed, we can address treatment as cited by Andy who writes:

    Andy says on May 1, 2012 at 5:10 am:

    Unitl the water companies were privatised there was a filtration plant in the town and one of the first action was to destroy it, not mothball, as it was not needed. This has happened in several areas. This means that not only has there been no action taken to increase water storage there has also been a reduction in treatment.

    Don’t know about the ‘filtration’/treatment plant specifically, but conjecturing now if those facilities were on the order of +sixty years old they may not have been economical to repair, the supply and return ‘mains’ running to and from may have required inordinate repair and maintenance (leaks, ruptures etc.) and the treatment functions taken up by new facilities now in operation and on line …

    It would be nice if an informed opinion or two would comment on the actual upgrades that have been made to various water supply systems.

    .

  139. Thames Water is the company that supplies London and the South East. They have sold off 23 reservoirs as building sites over the past 20 years. In the meantime demand has grown greatly as population has risen, fuelled by opening the gates wide to the whole of eastern Europe. So Thames Water do very little to actually collect water when it rains but have made a lot of money which goes to their senior executives as ‘bonuses’. They seem to have forgotten that their purpose in life is to supply water and they should be building reservoirs, desalination plants and also fixing leaks as they lose more from leaky pipes than they supply to people. But it doesn’t seem to matter as the government run Environment Agency does all the PR work for TW and tells everyone that although it has been raining hard for about 3 weeks now and we have flooding all over the place we must not expect the drought to be over before Christmas at the earliest. I visited East Devon last week which is in ‘severe drought’ the River Axe has flooded acres of farmland near Colyton and the same with the River Otter near Honiton. This country is gripped by madness.

  140. So, the alarmists were right after all? It’s droughtflood … soon to be followed by warmcold and cloudshine.

  141. “a loot of time on your hands” Was that a Freudian slip? Pretty accurate. 400 scientists and all the computing power you can want …… What excuse will they have now?

    Oh Dr Corbyn! We have a job for you and you have your choice of any of these 400 recently vacanted offices to choose from.

  142. And in the year 2014 the IPCC’s skynet system became self aware! Feed the budget beast for now and ask questions later.

  143. “Making predictions for the UK more than a couple of weeks in advance is pretty much impossible”

    So why they do impossible things and present them as non impossible?

  144. “Does the Beeb think we’re all stupid”
    heh. yes. got any evidence to contradict them?
    ‘they are my version of the clowns and the circus’ so glad you find it so amusing. john wayne gacey was another terrific clown you might equally enjoy.

  145. I’m scared.

    Re-read that forecast again. First: “…slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months…”

    If the wettest April in 100 years was predicted as the DRIEST of the three months, then watch out for May and June.

    You thought that Kiribati was going to disappear?

    Wait until the British Isles goes under…

  146. Frank Luxem says:

    May 1, 2012 at 8:10 am

    During my visit to Great Britain in June of 1997 it was termed the hottest, driest June in history. When I was there in the second half of the month it was the coldest, wettest June in history. And it was the same month. British weather is always volatile, and that has nothing to do with AGW.

    The first half of June 1997 was no where near as warm as 1976 and the month was nowhere near the coldest. You must have been watching the Met Office weather program on the BBC.

  147. This sums it up,

    “Drought” /drowt/ n. the continuous absence of rain; dry weather. [Old English} – droughty adj.

    - source Oxford English Dictionary.

    Drought and the shortage of water have two different meanings with various causes in case of the latter.

    The wettest place on Earth could have a shortage of water if it had to keep alive all the humans on the planet. Still doesn’t mean that there is a drought and yet heard this word mentioned numerous times over in the UK after and during flooding.

  148. There is a town south of Calgary, Alberta called “High River”. People there were surprised when the river over flowed its banks and flooded the town in spring. Can’t make this stuff up.

  149. According to provisional figures for the Central England Temperature (CET), April is likely to be more than 1 degree C colder than March. Since the series began 350 years ago, April has been colder than March 13 times, but only twice has it been more than 1 degree C colder. These were in 1780 (1.6 degrees), and 1938 (1.5).

  150. There are many planning considerations which make it difficult to build reservoirs in the UK. (Not In My backyard)
    The UK has indeed has many dry winters and this means that all the spring summer rain just runs off and rivers flood. Most water in the South East is pumped from deep aquifers. This rain still leaves a water shortage.

    The Met office forecast though is still a joke.

  151. My April forecast, based partly on an astronomical analogue year, indicated below normal temperatures for the period overall. Detail gave slight warming from the 6th and 10th (it was warmer from the 11th), and a cooler wetter week or so from the 18/19th, which is exactly when we had most of the rain. It concluded with warming from the 26th, and in the high teens °C in the S.E. by the end of the month. That was based purely on heliocentric angular calculations, and could be done one or ten years out, it makes no difference.

  152. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

    The Beeb & Met Office apply Hunpty’s rule at all times.

    “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    I’m with Alice on this one. Clearly our national institutions and politicians, including the aforementioned BBC and Met Office, the Royal Society, The RSPB (wind turbines don’t kill birds), Chris Huhne (Energy and Climate Change minister) who thinks nuclear power is “unproven technology”, and fracking is “untried technology”, PM David Cameron (who doesn’t think), deputy PM Nick “I’m still a Liberal at heart” Clegg (where’s Clegg?) all expect us to be like the White Queen, and believe even more “impossible things” before, during, and after breakfast.

    “Alice in Wonderland” was written in England, and all UK citizens are living it right now. Rebekah Brooks is clearly the Red Queen (Through the Looking Glass), and James & Rupert Murdoch are Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but who’s the “Mad Hatter” in your opinion?

  153. _Jim says, May 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

    With all due respect, the story does say in regard to ‘storage reservoirs’ the following: A Thames Water spokesman said …

    So you’re willing to take that at face value then Jim?

    And since the ‘storage’ aspect has been addressed …

    Really, how does a revised distribution network increase storage?

    http://www.abingdonreservoir.org.uk/latestnews.html

    You can read more here:

    http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/latest_news/600m_gallons_reservoirs_closed.aspx

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/corp/hs.xsl/5392.htm

    In the latter case start with the Main Report; the one that now has highlighter all over it. See how many times you can count words like Carbon, Climate Change, Sustainability, Habitat, etc. Interim shortfall due to advance asset conversion doesn’t get much mention unfortunately. I wonder if that’ll be in the next plan due in 2014?

  154. Haven’t they learned yet that since weather always averages over time… when a season is dry expect a raiiny season soon, when deluged for a month expect a soon drought.

    Oh… I forgot… the MET’s billion$ super-computer is incapable of computing in reverse!

  155. It means overall that the Met office didn’t account as to where the April rain would come from, rather than where they though it would not, ie; the westerlies, which have all but gone. That is also why it has been so cold out of the sun. In N.Ireland there has been little rain, clear or cloudy skies, but little rain. Simple answer, though controversial, is that the gulf stream and upwards has been severly affected, the Met may know this, they will certainly be thinking about the westerlies but they never mention it or the gulf stream, to the unwashed. May and June are the ones to watch for, temperature wise.

  156. Ha! The UK Met Office’s forecast has, so far, fitted NZ’s weather a lot better and we’re on the other side of the globe from them! We’ve had a beautiful indian summer with more than sufficient rain between the anticyclones to prevent drought. It’s now May and although temperatures have now dropped, it’s a still, cloudless day again and this could last for another 3-4 days more.

    Given the UK MetOffice’s penchant for sharp, accurate predictions over the last four years, I think I still prefer NZ’s MetService forecasts—for New Zealand of course—their record is quite superior—maybe because our guys look out the window more often, because our supercomputer is much smaller than the MetOffice’s supercomputer ….

  157. Sue Smith says:
    May 1, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Average Winter Rainfall 1960 – 1989 for South East England is 190 mm (or so my Excel spreadsheet says)
    Rainfall for Winter 2011 was 185.5 mm
    Rainfall for Winter 2012 was 160.8 mm
    So it was not really “very dry” for the past 2 winters. I make it about 8% less rainfall than average.
    Source http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/data/download.html

    Is that ALL? Here in Portland (Oregon) that would be called a drought! (at least for the winter time-summer we can go over a month without rain and not call it a drought) It is not unusual at all for us to get that much in the month of December alone (more than normal and we’d grumble about it but not that unusual). I thought that England was a whole lot wetter than the Beaver State.

  158. AJB says: May 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the links – the GMB one is especially revealing.

    I recall back in the 80s when the “Iron Lady” privatised the water boards, reading that one of their first actions was to reduce staff by about 25%. The first to go were the”out all day” workers who maintained run-off channels on hillsides, meaning that as these silted up and became overgrown water ran off the surface onto grazing and other farmland, and into streams and rivers rather than the reservoirs.

    Perhaps the “Iron Lady” was afraid of rust tarnishing her image?

  159. A wonderful book which I found recently is ‘The Weather of Britain’ by the late Robin Stirling (ISBN 1-900357-06-2). There’s plenty of fascinating data and analysis using records going back to the 1800s and earlier, and it’s a welcome relief from the AGW brigade’s relentless propaganda showing fraction of a degree increases and modelled data purporting to show the danger we’re all in from CO2.
    Buy this book for a refreshing injection of reality!

  160. Kozlowski says:
    April 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    At least they get the wrong answer faster with the newer computers. Thats good, right?

    ———————————
    The problem is that it also allows them to produce more wrong answers in the same amount of time. :)

    Seriously though, it is less widely recognised that modern computers allow the much faster production of scientific “data” without the trouble of spending time and money doing real experiments. And not just in Climatology.

    More ‘in-silico’ results leads to more publications leads to more funding leads to more students cranking out more results…. the virtuous cycle that can leave experimentalists trailing behind.

  161. - The environment minister was just on the radio : “If we get a 3rd dry winter in a row then there could be standpipes in the street next summer” … Do I have to deconstruct why a preoccupaion with possible, but unlikely catastrophe far in the future is daft ?
    - Also on today’s radio : “one driver has died in the floods”. In Goole a local potato farmer said “this flooding has cost me £60,000″
    So “Why is she talking about next summer ? We could possibly get another dry winter, but then we could also get a wet summer (as usual, & summer rainfall is higher than winter normally anyway), This is the UK, it almost certainly rain enough to sustain normal life even if there are occasional “droughts” where it doesn’t rain for 6-7 weeks. The only issue is bad water management. Odds on when droughts break it will turn out authorities will have been overcautious & that there are many months of water in the reserves.
    - SOME NOTES : The aquifer argument waterbank.com “Ground water contributes to some 30% of the overall supply of fresh water for public supply in England and Wales another said 35% – ” The groundwater resource is replenished by rainfall, primarily in the winter months when the amount of water lost from the surface of the ground as a result of evaporation and uptake by plants is at a minimum. Groundwater droughts are therefore caused by relatively dry winters rather than by dry summers, although the latter do, of course, contribute.”
    “The groundwater level under London is rising rapidly””The UK Groundwater Forum, in partnership with the NERC Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme (WSKEP) is holding its annual conference on drought issues and will be followed by a WSKEP workshop on ‘Improving drought prediction, communication and impact assessment’. The conference and workshop will be held on 13-14th June at British Geological Survey, conference centre, Nottinghamshire”
    - As ever the speakers are in COMPLEXITY DENIAL : “this rain makes no difference to the drought..past 2 years etc. ”
    No, 30% of supply comes from groudwater, the other 70% is pretty much OK.
    The Groundwater supply is the issue not the the other 70%
    - and 1. Even for the groundwater : The fact that the “resource is replenished by rainfall, primarily in the winter months” doesn’t mean we can say trhe April rains make no difference; it is reasonable to expect that a lot of that excessive April rain will overtime go into the groundwater.
    2. Presumably we don’t have to take 30% from groudwater anyway. We could probably cut it to 20% & take another 10% from surface water.
    - The River Pang Trick – I noticed the authorities were taking reportewrs to the River Pang “look this river is still dry”
    I checked the River Pang is not a normal river. Most say 80-99% of rivers get their water from rainwater flowing off the land, the River Pang is different it is a The spring-fed chalk stream : it gets it’s water from the watertable spreading up through chalk and when I check the info check the info for it all those special conditions the media churn-out apply to it. It’s says stuff like “The River Pang is a chalk stream that starts north of the village, the exact starting … are mainly replenished by rain that falls during the Autumn and early Winter”
    .. BTW Yes it’s easy to show the River Pang dry as it’s a very shallow river it’s only 20cm deep normally & 35cm is considered a flood enviroments Agencies own graphs for River Pang. It sometimes dries up randomly in normal years anyway.

  162. The Met Office cannot forecast its way out of a paper bag even with their supercomputer.

    Piers Corbin at WeatherAction with his laptop runs circles around these blokes forecasting 3 months in advance with 85% accuracy.

  163. Drought/flood.
    Good forecast.
    Colour me surprised.

  164. - Last night on The BBC Inside Out : a set of regional Drought Special progs
    - The BBCNews-eco-activists must have been crying when in the middle of them making their DROUGHT PORN special we got the highest April rainfall ever (in our area)
    – Thank God our local weather forecaster Paul Hudson ended the prog with “So many people ask me after this 18 month to 2 year dry spell ‘Is climate change to blame?’ Well since it predicts wetter winters and drier summers I suspect that it’s highly unlikely”
    …… he then went onto say they’ll be more heavy rain next week.
    - our shed roof has a 1200L water butt which I have emptied 3 times this year (twice this month), I don’t think I am worried about conserving water.

  165. There’s an old computer saying “Garbage In, Garbage Out” meaning that if the information that the computer gets is garbage then likely the conclusions are going to be garbage as well. And if there one thing that socialists produce in mass quantities it’s garbage.

  166. SNIP. You are not Michael Mann and the e-mail address you submitted is false. If you want to comment here follow site policy or get lost. -REP

  167. [SNIP: You can post this after you’ve learned some manners and learn to obey site policy. -REP]

  168. The fact that the “resource is replenished by rainfall, primarily in the winter months”

    But that is based on the simple fact that the rainfall is usually primarily in the winter months and the water evaporates and in used in the summer months. Rainfall in the summer months falls on hard baked dry ground and runs off into rivers and the sea. Again this is not true in the current early summer rainfall as the localised flooding was relatively minimal compared to to other years in spite of some really high levels of rainfall.
    Interestingly this is what was predicted by some of those in the acid rain campaign group of the late fifties. They claimed that over cleaning the air would return to the more natural conditions of less frequent and heavy rainfall as there would not be the artificial particulate base for cloud formation we think of as natural because it has been the state for some generations.
    There seems to be too much emphasis on the theoretical and not enough on getting out at the real world for a reality check.
    As for the water shortage I wonder if the six projects where the building was on drained flood plains each of which drained into the rivers instead of storing a ten KM by one KM area half a metre deep might just have a teeny bit to do with it. About ten trillion litres or so might just help a little.

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