Putting Piers Corbyn to the test

I’ve been given a link in email today to a public forecast page for July by weather prognosticator Piers Corbyn, which you can investigate in full yourself here. I find his web pages and forecasts hard to read, and even harder to accept any more, because in my opinion, he presents them like a carnival barker with overuse of  exclamation points, bright colors, over bolded texts, random font changes, and fantastic claims. It tends to set off my BS meter like some tabloid newspapers do. Here’s his USA forecast for July:

[UPDATE: 7/8/12 – The full USA forecast has been made available by Mr. Corbyn and is available here for your inspection: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/usa-1207-july-inc-public-summary-news-page-full-fc-key-usa-maps-and-extremes-slat8a-prod-29jun.pdf ]

Some people say however, that despite all that unnecessary gaudiness, he makes accurate predictions. Because he’s made a public forecast and advertised its availability, urging “people to pass the links on”,  here’s a chance to find out if he demonstrates the skill that is claimed.

He made this bold claim yesterday:

“Terrible weather is coming the world over this July so WeatherAction has issued free summary long range forecasts for USA and for Europe…”

He sounds like Joe Romm or Bill McKibben talking about “climate disruption”. Of course, it could just be another July in the northern hemisphere. Here’s the rest:

The USA pdf link is issued today on July 4th to go with the Europe link issued the day before. We urge people to pass the links on.

“We also expect very serious near simultaneous solar-activity driven deluges and stormy conditions around the world during our top Red Warning R5 and R4 periods. Any communication of the forecasts must acknowledge WeatherAction”

- Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist WeatherAction long range weather and climate forecasters

WeatherAction Free Summary Forecast for July USA:-
“Could it get worse? Yes!” – Extreme thunderstorms, giant hail and ‘out-of control’ forest fires’
pdf link = http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No32.pdf

(or no links twitpic = http://twitpic.com/a3y28b/full )
WeatherAction PUBLIC warning Europe July 2012 “Off-the-scale” Flood & Fire extremes likely (WA12No31)
pdf link = http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No31.pdf
(or no links twitpic = http://twitpic.com/a3p7pm/full )

The USA forecast map he provides is a bit hard to read, since it seems he scanned it in from print…note the dot patterns in the graphics. I present it here from his PDF page.

Here’s his forecast page for Europe:

He lists “off scale” weather in NW Europe is one of the claims. I wonder how one should define “off scale” weather.

As Carl Sagan once said:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

So now that Mr. Corbyn has put forth some extraordinary claims, we can catalog here the evidence to support those claims, and revisit the results at the end of the month. I urge readers to continue to post both pro and con evidence here as the month progresses. I’ll put a link to this thread in the WUWT sidebar so readers can add information that might be relevant.

Since Corbyn is a fellow climate skeptic, let’s give him a fair but factual evaluation to find out if these claims hold up, of if he’s simply following the path of some prognosticators of the past, such as Jeane Dixon, who made claims so broad that even a small kernel of happenstance occurrences after the fact were used to justify confirmation of the prediction. According to the Wikipedia page on Dixon:

John Allen Paulos, a mathematician at Temple University, coined the term “the Jeane Dixon effect,” which refers to a tendency to promote a few correct predictions while ignoring a larger number of incorrect predictions.

I don’t know that is what is going on here with Corbyn or not, but since he’s put out an open forecast, let’s find out. Inquiring minds want to know.

UPDATE: here’s a video of Corbyn explaining his methods:

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415 thoughts on “Putting Piers Corbyn to the test

  1. Anthony, I’d encourage readers to post their own hyperbolic forecasts — and then verify all of them at the end of the month. Winners could be paid in gold pressed latinum.

    In terms of the Urban Heat Island effect and record high temperatures: I propose we stop fiddling with the current data. Just accept it as 100% truth. Go back and adjust the older temperatures upwards instead. That’s the standard practice in climate science anyways.

  2. To answer the question, posed I presume to an unthinking audience, “Could it get worse?”, of course it can and of course it will. Nature breaks records non-stop. This is tabloid weather at its worst. Reading past the headlines sucks knowledge from your skull – avoid it.

  3. I would assume the “‘Out of Control’ Forest Fires” in the US for July would not include the ones already burning?

  4. The Jeane Dixon effect:
    I used to go to point-to-points in Hampshire, England with someone whose ability to have money on the winning horse was legendary. Some years later, someone tailed him as he placed his bets. He worked his way round all the bookies, backing every horse.

  5. Well, what I can say from watching the weather here in Austria, it doesn’t seem to be any different than every other July before. It’s hot, pretty much as hot as it gets in the local climate here in Vienna, with occasional thunderstorms. They’re not yet cooling anything, since it’s July. They usually start having a lasting effect in August (and tend to be more severe too.)

    As for the flooding that he expects, those wouldn’t be anything new, really. Every so and so many odd years we get hit by one of the big ones. And in endangered areas there are floods every year. Some regions here are even more prone to floods and massive thunderstorms with hail. For example, the areas south-eastern and southern Styria are well known to have massive hail every year, and that goes back as far as I can remember. I remember as a kid, in the early 80s, my family almost got into such a storm with dad’s new car. I expect business as usual for local fire brigades and rescue services. There will be damages, but honestly, I don’t think they’ll be extremely off the average of the past decades.

  6. When Piers made a set of very definite predictions about the extreme weather we would experience in May, I decide to pay for May’s forecast and see if I could check it’s accuracy.

    My thoughts on it – http://mrsean2k.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/weather-action-reports-8/ – include some samples from the more quantitative portions of the report without the hyperbole.

    Note that the portions of the report I show are from public domain examples, not from the paid version, in keeping with the terms and conditions.

    I came to the same conclusion WRT it’s presentation – in dire need of improvement – but more problematically, I just couldn’t see how the way he makes his claims can be evaluated in a consistent and objective way.

  7. Piers said that May in the UK was going to be the coldest on record. It wasn’t!

    I think he said 80% chance it would be coldest ever and 90% chance it would be a top 5 cold May. It was cool early in the month, but warm for the last 10 days or so, which meant we never got close to even a top 5 cold month. He is to be comended for putting his forecasts out there, but I haven’t yet seen him put his hand up and say, ‘I got that one a bit wrong’. But then who does!

  8. As an Englishman who has followed this site for a while, and never posted, let me just say that Piers is what we call lovably eccentric. However; it seems to me he is always more on the money than any Met office guess. Lets see, shall we.

  9. If the jet stream holds current position, Piers will look golden. If it moves, he’ll be the goat.
    .
    .
    I like Ryan Maue’s suggestion. We can amuse ourselves while waiting to see how Corbyn’s predictions pan out.

    I predict FROGS FALLING FROM THE SKY possibly in the midwest or thereabouts and possibly Algiers or Machu Pichu. At any rate, I’m sure they will be falling somewhere according to my general multichaotic nonlinear cat-circulation model (GMNCCM). My climate model is built on accurate observations of the general circulation of my 2 purebred Ragdoll cats as they nap, prowl, chase each other up, down, and all around as they beat the hell out of each other before passing out in a heap together. So far, it’s been remarkably accurate in forcasting hairsballs upchucked on the carpet and is consistent with rainy days.

  10. We experienced record temperatures in several southern Ontario cities yesterday. Temperatures not seen since 1955. So what does this tell us? That its been at least this hot on July 4 in 1955 here. Big whup. That since 1955, the land mass of the cities in question have tripled(or more) in area of urban development, the bulk of which has been large scale urban/suburban residential and light industrial mix, acres of tar roofs and asphalt parking and roadways, including boxing the airport at which the readings are taken with square miles of heat entrapping materials. That the airport itself has had a probable increase of 10 fold in air traffic volume over its template. That the area committed to vehicular traffic and high speed highways mirrors the development of the airport.
    So the likeliest conclusion? It wasn’t as warm yesterday as it was in 1955, in terms of climate driven temperature. Do we see UHI driven local convective activity? You betcha. Do we have more buildings to blow over and knock down? You betcha. Do we have more people to be affected and notice it all? A REALLY BIG you betcha.

  11. To be fair, I think Piers said that it was possible that May would be the coldest “ever recorded”. I note also that the Met Office rounded up May with temperatures “around normal” for the time of year, requiring them to used every scrap of warmth in the last few days of that month, & probably night time temperatures as well to make it so! We shall see what develops, if he wasn’t any good at it he would have gone out of business by now!

  12. Brian@ 8:47 am has it right. Mr. Corbyn should be judged not by the pure accuracy (or not!) of his predictions, but whether they are MORE accurate than the next best thing. So that is now the question: Who else will throw down an alternative?

  13. Lets be fair and critical at the same time!
    Ive followed Piers for many years now and I am very certain in my conclusions that Piers has some prediction skills far beyond standard meteorology. But hes a pure disaster when it comes to structure management and communication and is in desperate need of support ´with an organisation that mirrors his ambitions. Im very glad that he gets the attention that his SLAT method deserves and on WUWT we all get the fantastic access to knowledege and scrutany in an fantastic forum. Piers has really stuck his neck down in a snake pit and his claims is very controversial in both parts of the sceptic camp as well in the CAGW one. And I m sure Piers will be here to comment as well.

    The last “Coldest May in a hundred years” has been critizised and Im trying to find any forecast that was better than Piers….. has anyone who did? Met office?? lol!!

  14. Imagine you are a climate scientist (with access to modern computers , satellites, and other modern analytical procedures, etc) and you are experiencing the 30th year of the mini-ice age that the earth experienced a few hundred years ago.
    You run some fancy schmancy computer analyses, etc etc and you proclaim with utmost certainty;
    “there is simply no doubt that given the advance of the arctic ice sheets and below average – and remarkably consistent below average temperatures- over the last 30 years, we can expect much of the Northern Hemisphere to be covered in ice sheets in 20 years. In fact, there is simply no doubt that we are in the very early stages of a new ice age that should last at least several thousand years. Canada and the northern USA will be buried under ice sheets at least 5000 feet thick, as will much of Russia.
    Of course, this climate scientist would have been totally wrong.
    Extrapolating recent trends of the last 10 or 20 or 50 or even100 years always assumes that the future will unfold as the past. Yet, the earth’s climatic history has been shown to be unpredictable. A forthcoming ice age does not in fact become an ice age just because it has been cold for 50 or100 or 200 years. . A period of warming ends in cooling, not hotter and hotter climate and ever higher and higher CO2 levels.
    If CO2 causes warming, than previous very hot periods that lasted thousands of years should have produced ever higher and higher CO2 levels that , literally, should have burned off our atmosphere. But it did not. In fact, all these really warm periods ended in global cooling or in an ice age.

  15. Isn’t that forecast map from June and for June29th-July 1st?
    It is in the pdf for the July outlook for the US, but seems to there to prove the June forecast was correct (see the arrow to the picture of the fire).

    The actual July forecast seems vague, “searing heat will grip West/South” for where I live. How can you evaluate that, if only some areas have searing heat, if Arizona is hot will that count, even though it usually is?

  16. It’s right and proper that WUWT should scrutinise Piers’s predictions with the same scepticism applied to the AGW religion.

    The Hockey Team ‘keep the faith’ with each other in sordid collusion, never contradicting each other, keeping the Global Warming Gravy Train running.

    True science is what’s left when all attempts at falsification fail. Good on you Anthony for holding Mr. Corbyn to the same standards as The Team. The truth is indivisible.

  17. On the question of record heat/cold. One should expect that as our historical record data base extends with time the frequency of record highs and lows should diminish. If we had a set of weather records extending back 1 billion years, a series of closely spaced high or low termperatures might mean something. Unfortunatley the relative “abundance’ of headline weather extremes is simply indicative of a data base that is short in length, relative to the entire possible population of temperature measurements and therefore is essentially useless for determining the relative severity of a weather event(s).

  18. Bastardi has the same over the top, ego driven style, though not as extreme. I really dislike this style of forecasting as it gives the impression of rooting for catastrophe. I’ve been following Bastardi for many years now, and there’s no question in my mind he roots for damaging weather events as a means to showing what a good forecaster he is. PLus, he just finds it exciting.

    That said, he is good. One of the very best. So that’s the bottom line. I’m less familiar with Corbyn’s record.

  19. Hello, I think we are returning to 1950-1970 climate conditions. The planet is cooling again, and extreme weather will be back like that times. Is very likely that we must live hard times in the next decades.
    The more clever warmists knows that, and they are playing the game (more frequent weather extremes, blá, blá). This is the new challenge to sceptics. How explain this to ordinary peoples that have no memory about ? I think is good start to explain right now. Call Goddard!!! :)

  20. For the USA, I agree with the prediction of “out-of control’ forest fires.” What else should we expect, after the Obama Administration gutted the U.S. Forrest Service’s aerial firefighting capabilities? Eleven months ago the Obama Administration abruptly cancelled the contract for the U.S. Forest Service’s best firefighting aircraft, “the backbone of the aerial firefighting arsenal.”

    But the hand that taketh away also giveth: President Obama offered hugs and money to the victims.

  21. 1. Piers admits he got the last 10 days of may wrong and has learnt from it.

    2. His method is to develop a form of expert system into which he puts solar/lunar data. his present predictions are based on the low magnetic field of the sun making weather similar to the early years of the LIA.

    3. His visceral hatred of the IPCC/Met. Office modelling scam is based on the dilution of standard meteorology in favour of an imaginary CO2 effect. The Met. Office meteorologists are fighting back against the dumb modellers but have clearly been forbidden from bringing Piers into the fold.

  22. For the UK, I predict seagulls with speeds up to 30 mph in coastal areas, with the possibility of ice-cream later.

  23. Canadian weather forecasters have predicted a warm and dry summer for Central Canada .Personally I see this extra warm weather extending all the way to September possibly. A similar pattern existed in 1949. So all the erratic weather events associated with extra warm weather are a real possibility especially at the boundary areas between the warm and colder regions . Some of these erratic events have already happened to date in June like extra rain and heavy floods in some areas, hail, high wind and tornadoes , power black outs, etc. Europe often gets some of its weather from across the Atlantic as can be seen via the current jet stream patterns . Some of this western warmer air is going to get to Europe like the heat from El Nino events does but slightly lagged . So some of Corbyn’s predictions are no surprise. I am not surprised at his predictions . They may not all happened to the degree he states but he quite rightly is waving a flag of a threat that may be real for some parts of Europe and North America.

  24. I agree, it’s a shame that Piers behaves the way he does. His site is appalling and his forecasts over sensationalised. However, his forecasts, which are based on betting methods, do appear to be better than the standard Met off (which appear to be useless).
    I’m on holiday in SW england from france and have watched carefully all this weeks forecasts. I give the Met Off 0/10. This is where their HQ is. We saw rain where they forecast sun and cloud and rain in lieu of cloud. Not one day correct.

  25. I agree with everyone else about Piers’ graphic design – not the easiest on the eye. But it’s a bold move and (while not looking forward to the predicted weather) I wish him well with it.

    I think an appropriate response to people who point out that (for instance) it wasn’t the coldest UK May in a century is to point out that Piers, like any forecaster, updates his prognosis later if things start deviating from his forecasts, but also improves his model. The first three weeks of May fitted his prediction very well, and I recall from watching the charts at the time that during the fourth week there were a couple of shonking great lows which sat to the west of us all week. Assuming that Piers’ original assessment was that those lows would be over the UK in the fourth week, he would likely have been spot on for the whole month – and from a darn sight further ahead than the Met Office would try. As it was, he revised his theory and came up with a newer version which (presumably) tried to build in whatever blocked those lows from reaching us.

    But as Alan the Brit says, if he wasn’t any good at it he wouldn’t still be in business. FWIW, the Met Office promised us torrential downpours here in the Midlands only this morning; as I write it’s a shade over 26°C and 21% RH outside, with the sun out most of the afternoon. Now, I’m off to re-wax my jacket!

  26. Chris Hope says:

    July 5, 2012 at 9:05 am
    I analysed Piers Corbyn’s prediction for May in the UK at http://www.chrishopepolicy.com/2012/05/how-cold-is-may/

    Short answer: He was wrong. I will be interested to see how wrong he is in July

    So where is it that you work, Chris? His forecast was 75% correct. It was far more accurate than the “above normal temps, below normal rain of your met off. Don’t expect too many people to ask for your analyses techniques. They are abysmal.

  27. Thank you Anthony for taking a measured, cool, truly scientific look at a hot, sometimes-inspired guy. Your points are well made.

    Slabadang says: July 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Lets be fair and critical at the same time!
    Ive followed Piers for many years now and I am very certain in my conclusions that Piers has some prediction skills far beyond standard meteorology. But hes a pure disaster when it comes to structure management and communication…

    This looks like a considered statement, thanks. My own impression is that Corbyn used to win overall (not every time) at the betting shops on his forecasts, and they had to stop him betting. I also seem to remember that Boris the Mayor of London listened to him rather than the Met Office and thereby London was prepared for the freak snow and ice we had December 2010.

  28. “Off-scale” rain, thunder-floods, giant hail, gales & tornado damage likely in NW Europe

    A starting point is to check the measurements of July rain and see if any of those are off-scale. I look forward to the thunder-flood measurement graphs. I think the giant hail might depend upon the current beanstalk crops. Crystal Gale’s tour schedule does not list Europe at all, so damage is not likely from her; I don’t know how many other gales will be there.

    RyanMaue: +1

  29. I think it’s a tad disingenuous to take one set of predictions and grill the guy if it does not completely materialize, just as Chris Hope did in his pubescent blog. So the last ten days of May changed the forecast… big deal: 20 days were miserable and the switch occured one week earlier.
    Yes Corbyn appears quite a character but do we truly believe that if he was making no waves his work would be noticed?
    Finally comparing him to McKibben, Romm is totally unfair.

  30. Since Corbyn is a fellow climate skeptic, let’s give him a fair but factual evaluation to find out if these claims hold up,…

    Whether right or wrong his claims are testable unlike the CAGW cheerleaders.

  31. I don’t understand how I’m supposed to tell if Piers is right or not. He only makes four “forecasts” that are so vague that Nostradamus would be proud of them:

    • Waves of major thunderstorms, tornadoes and giant hail continue mainly in N/E parts.

    • Searing heat will grip West / South parts with extremely dangerous ‘out-of-control’ forest fires especially later in month.

    • Frequent low pressure over Great Lakes / N/E

    • Variable band of high(er) pressure from NW to SE parts divides USA through July

    As far as I can see, not one of those is specific enough to be falsifiable. How hot is “searing”? How many fires? Just how high is a “variable band of high(er) pressure”? How “frequent” will the low pressure be, and how low does it have to be to count?

    I like Piers, and I’ve corresponded with him. But I keep waiting for him to make an actual verifiable checkable falsifiable forecast. Perhaps he’s made one, I haven’t checked them all, but the ones I have looked at have been the equivalent of these, vague claims about “searing” heat and “frequent low pressure”.

    My own forecast is that we will continue to have waves of thunderstorms, tornadoes, forest fires, and frequent instances of high and low pressure, particularly over the NE, SW, NW, and SE parts of the US.

    w.

  32. His site has some design elements in common with http://timecube.com/ . His prediction style is getting a little “alarmist” and shot-gun style – I’m sure in the barrage of shouty assertions on those pages (I didn’t have the mental stamina to wade in very far) SOME of those predictions will stick.

  33. My cynical view is that this “open public release” is nothing more than a marketing ploy. Even if none of his predictions eventuate, he’ll have generated traffic to his site and maybe sold a few subscriptions.

  34. Just my twopenneth
    1) ALL forecasting of specific weather over a period of greater than say, a week, is fairly fanciful – and anyone who feels it is not is dreaming IMHO.
    2) Thus, it follows that any such forecasting must be ‘speculative’ and must be described in fairly broad terms. So, I don’t think it’s fair to pick on Piers’ textural context too much! (though his site and hyperbole is indeed excruciating!). But my first thought was to recall the quatrains of Nostradamus and the inumerable events ascribed to his drivelling writings!
    3) Our resident comedians at the UK MetOffice are no better – in fact probably an awful lot worse (but that would require lots of analysis to demonstrate!), especially when they talk about weather ‘probability’ – things like 33% chance warmer, 33% chance colder and 33% chance of ‘average’ – LOL – and I’m sure their computer cost a darned lot more than Corbyns’??
    4) My counter argument to Piers’ claims of accuracy and ability would be to demonstrate his method(s). If they are shown to be valid, even 80% of the time, they would be worthwhile to know? Only then, perhaps, would his apparent eccentric and egotistical behaviour become somewhat more acceptable to us general skeptics!

  35. In March Piers gave two low probability predictions for the UK April/May.
    Winds from East and colder East coast but warmer west.
    Much higher than average rain.
    Both predictions were against the usual UK pattern.
    The UK met office predicted a drier than usual period and thus supported the hosepipe ban being introduced.

    Piers was proved uncannily correct.

    In May for UK June Piers predicted cold wet and large hailstones.
    The reason he said was the Jet stream moving south and blocking.
    UK met office predicted usual weather for period.

    Piers was proved uncannily correct.

    The final irony was in late June the UK met office came up with a reason for the unusual wet cold weather
    The reason was the Jet stream moving south and blocking.

    So in LATE JUNE the BBC showed the recently updated theory from the met office with a graphic that was almost an exact copy of Piers graphic produced in MAY.

    Talk about a clear embarrassment for the establishment.

  36. A good post Anthony. I agree Corbyn’s presentation and communication skills are bizarre, eccentric and very possibly unhinged at times. He lets himself down with how bad it is. I also think his forecasts(I bought December 2011′s forecast) are too hard to follow to be of use. As far as how accurate his predictions are…

  37. I think mentioning Piers Corbyn here is far to much honour for this guy. Piers Corbyn made himself ridiculous in NW Europe around 2009. His forecast were all extremely incorrect and to attract more attention he came with the wildest forecasts (superstorms), which again were also correct.
    Europeans start to grin when they hear his name

  38. As far as the UK is concerned, the Met Office say :-


    The probability that UK precipitation for July/August/September will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 20% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is also around 20% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/6/3/A3-plots-precip-JAS.pdf

    Instead of a £300 million computer, perhaps we should have given them a coin to toss.

  39. Hi

    I support and promote Piers Corbyn at ClimateRealists.com, and you are right that he makes claims that are wrong some of the time, but in general he IS right MOST of the time in the way the weather unfolds during a month. The Met Office issue a “higher then” or “lower then” average temperature forecast along with “dryer” or “wetter” then average that is little of use and they have millions of tax payers funding to do this.

    Piers is way ahead of the MO but as he does not support “man made” climate change, he has no funding, instead he has real customers who want real result, and they are happy with what he does.

    I posted the recent Front page news article about his 100 year cold UK May prediction issued in the “Daily Express” in MID APRIL it went wrong for the last ten days of May due to a huge Sunspot going off later then Piers or anyone else had forecast and it threw this prediction out for 10 days by changing the jet stream location to a higher track. After ten days of the jet stream resumed its original location and the UK reverted to having a much cooler June then the MO or anyone else had forecast. What im trying to say is Piers has a very good way of forecasting weather patterns in advance using the predictable solar events on the Sun. But if the Sun does something unexpected then as we noticed in the UK at the end of May, the forecast kicks in again!

    Take a look at this link from ClimateRealists.com and you will see what i am saying:

    http://climaterealists.com/?id=9746

  40. Re Ryan Maue: \”Anthony, I’d encourage readers to post their own hyperbolic forecasts.\”

    Here are my predictions for July:

    Searing burgers, steaks, and sausage will dominate the West. Consumption of massive quantities of slow smoke barbecue and beer will cover the South East and South West. There will be an epidemic of children nation wide playing in pools, streams, and lakes. Summertime pandemonium will ensue across the land. Young lovers will seek cool shady and private places, people will get sunburned, fatso\’s (like me) will wear inappropriate clothing and cause laughter. Massive groups of teenagers will gather in public places and hang out. There will be copious quantities of cotton candy, funnel cakes, kettle corn and other questionable food items consumed at county and state fairs. A bunch of tweakers will set up camp next to you and blast heavy metal music all day and night.

    (I wish I had the skills to change text size, font, boldness, and italics in all of the above.)

    It is going to be another long and horrid summer.

  41. I’m more intrigued by how his SLAT technique is reputed to work. Solar wind + lunar position used to lookup conditions in the past giving forecasts months ahead. Doesn’t that mean Piers must be able to predict solar flares and coronal holes? I’d love to know how he does that.

  42. Just by looking at the spacial daily temperature and how it’s been changing over time, versus the ENSO… I’ll throw out a “July will be milder and gentler, temp and weather wise respectively, than June for the central and eastern continental United States. The Pacific NW will warm versus July averages relative to June.”

    Let’s see how well an almost totally random prediction like that will work relative to his!

  43. Does anyone have an old copy of the Magazine ‘Analog” from about 1962? It carried a fact article that if I remember properly was entitled “Is Astrology Bunkum?” The magazine used weather forecasts from the planetary positions and compared them to the USA weather bureau and predictions by roulette wheel. The planets one hands down. I lost my copy in a house move.

  44. So, it’s that he thinks we’re headed for another Ice Age. So it just has to be one or the other.

  45. Looking at the Hadley Centre records going back to 1766, summer rainfall (J/J/A) for England & Wales, which averages 196mm for 1971-2000, exceeded 300mm thirty times, or about once every 8 years.

    However since 1958, the only occurrence was 2007, which suggests we have been in a run of unusually dry summers in recent decades. The wettest years were 1879 and 1912.

    If July and August come out on average this year will be around 290mm.

    I’ll post up in more detail tomorrow.

  46. Piers is better than the Met Office, which admittedly is not saying much.

    The Met office stopped their quarterly forecasts because they were hopeless. Can anyone remember their infamous “barbeque summer” farcecast?

    However, the Met Office are about to get a new computer (£42,000,000). I am not building up my hopes that forecasts will be better, but at least they will be quicker.

    Currently we have from the Met Office for where I live:-
    “Issued at – 05 Jul 2012, 13:47
    Valid from – 05 Jul 2012, 14:00
    Valid to – 05 Jul 2012, 23:55

    Scattered heavy showers or thunderstorms are likely at times on Thursday, particularly during the afternoon and evening, with the potential for some torrential downpours in places. Southeastern areas of England are at less risk than areas further north, with any showers there tending to clear later.

    The public should be aware that these showers, where they occur, may lead to surface water flooding.”

    Actual weather – bone dry.

  47. Anyone thinking that SLAT must involve a lag between incoming solar wind conditions + lunar position and resulting weather forecast should note this post from Piers in the “Biggest solar storm since 2005″ thread in late January:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/biggest-solar-storm-since-2005/#comment-874936

    Great stuff. This is the driver of our current top level (on the scale 1 to 5) ‘R5′ red warning of solar-weather effects and increased major earthquake (trial) risk ~25-26 Jan. It is on time

  48. Alan the Brit says: We shall see what develops, if he wasn’t any good at it he would have gone out of business by now!

    False logic. Have the Met Office gone out of business?

  49. Anthony: You do not have to wait you can check Piers record historically. Presumably past weather is recorded in detail so all you have to do is obtain his forecasts and check them against the actual wearther, Earth Quakes etc. Also to be fair you should do the same with the Met Off and a U.S. weather forecasters. I look forward to the results.

  50. As I sit here in Derbyshire, England, we’ve just been visited by a downpour extreme in both intensity and duration. The Met office never forecast this. Latest forecast at 18:00 was for rain to move into England from the West by dawn tomorrow.

  51. For a fairer assessment would it not be better to pay for the full 9 page forecast? Seems this 1 page taster is designed to get people to do just that! If my business depended on the weather I would subscribe for Piers forecasts, I find them much more accurate than the MO for the longer range, the May forecast put out in the middle of April saved me a ton of work replanting seedlings. However the forecasts are too expensive to justify for a hobby weather watcher like me, so I make do with the rather ambiguous free summaries.

    Looking at the warm spot in the North Atlantic SST anomaly map pointed out by Mr. Tisdale the other day, coupled with the Southerly track of the jet-stream viewable on the stomsurfing model [1], I think it is safe to assume the UK will be getting above average rainfall for the next couple of weeks.

    [1] http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display_alt.cgi?a=glob_250

  52. Anyway, what Piers predict can’t be worse than the long range weather forecasts we hear sometimes from the multimillion dollar/euro computer programs of the different Meteorological Services (you know the notorious “soft winters without snow” forecasts of the UK Met Office…). A few months ago, the different programs were tested on their predictions and the skill was about 50%, as good as what the average fortune teller would do. With a crystal ball at a fraction of the price of the computers…

  53. From a graphic design point of view, I think Piers’ website looks fantastic. In an age of overly-polished, off-the-shelf, formulaic, WordPress-style dull conformity, it is refreshing indeed to see a website governed more by its proprietor’s enthusiasm for his work than by a preoccupation with the vagaries of fashion which one normally associates with a high street teenage boutique.

    The web needs far more websites like Piers’. And it is a lesser place without them.

  54. Co2Sceptic says:
    July 5, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Hi

    I support and promote Piers Corbyn at ClimateRealists.com, and you are right that he makes claims that are wrong some of the time, but in general he IS right MOST of the time in the way the weather unfolds during a month.

    As I pointed out above, his forecast for July is so vague as to be useless. If you ask believers, they’ll tell you that astrology IS right MOST of the time … but again, that’s just because the prognostications are vague and can apply to just about any result.

    Is Piers more accurate than the UK Met service? Near as I can tell, most astrologers are more accurate than the met service, but hey, that’s just me …

    w.

  55. P. Solar says:
    July 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Alan the Brit says:

    We shall see what develops, if he wasn’t any good at it he would have gone out of business by now!

    False logic. Have the Met Office gone out of business?

    False logic. The Met Office is supported by the government and loses nothing if it is wrong. Not only can it not go out of business, like most government agencies it is harder to kill than a Hydra.

    Piers, on the other hand, is running a private business that must sell its wares to survive.

    w.

  56. Piers has done an exemplary job with his forecasts. The weather we are experiencing is indicative of global cooling, not global warming. A cooler climate is more prone to severe droughts. As you have pointed out on numerous occasions, the sun is entering a dead phase, which will portend 30+ years of severe global cooling. We last saw this in the 17th through 19th centuries, when ice festivals used to be held on the River Thames and snow and cold would last from late fall into mid-spring in parts of North America.

  57. P. Solar says:
    July 5, 2012 at 11:16 am
    Alan the Brit says: We shall see what develops, if he wasn’t any good at it he would have gone out of business by now!
    False logic. Have the Met Office gone out of business?
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    The MO is not in business. It has a guaranteed income from our taxes.
    Piers depends on customers making a choice to pay for his forecasts. And they can stop if they don’t like the product.

  58. Perhaps rather than just report on Corbyns long range forecast (July), you should compare the Met Office long range forecast (Monday)?

  59. As an Englishman I find him an embarrassment. I’ve attended one or two meetings in the House of Commons committee rooms where he has made presentations and sadly I have to admit he fits the Steve Jones description of ‘Pratt’ (sorry US readers you may have to look that up somewhere). I agree with Anthony about his written stuff; fonts, colours and what have you – he hasn’t a clue. He’s on the right side, though I think he presents a wonderful target for the other side and his net effect is negative.

  60. Hi Willis Eschenbach

    When you mention:

    [i]his forecast for July is so vague as to be useless[/i]

    Have you see the FULL forecast? Or just the FRONT PAGE?

  61. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” is itself a subjectively defined requirement. By this means many can and do reject out of hand anything they feel like rejecting. I recommend that the requirement be stated objectively:
    “Fundamental conjectures require fundamental proofs.”

  62. I’m reminded of this. (Note: March 15th, 2011 was right after the Japanese earthquake.)

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: David Burton
    Date: Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 6:32 AM
    Subject: WeatherAction
    To: climatesceptics@yahoogroups.com

    I remember that when I received this email (March 4, 2011) I thought, “No way, Piers, that you can possibly forecast earthquakes from solar effects!”

    I’m less certain, now. Wow.

    Dave

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Piers Corbyn
    Date: Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 2:33 AM
    Subject: [Climate Sceptics] WeatherAction issues extreme (TL) weather warnings for USA & Philippines and gives subscribers MORE Forecasts for LESS + VIDS & NEWS


    After New Zealand quake Piers Corbyn warns: “Expect more earthquakes world-wide for two years”

    http://bit.ly/fAUnOO

  63. @ Bryan Hunt
    Well for the next best thing for NA? How about Farmer’s Almanac?

    This was posted at the Farmer’s Almanac site on April 16. I’ll let you decide whether they nailed it or not.

    This summer, we’ve predicted that unseasonably hot and dry weather will be on tap for the Rockies and Great Plains, as well as the eastern states, while the Pacific Northwest will see below-normal precipitation.

    On the other side of the coin, the Great Lakes and the Midwest could have above-normal precipitation, from locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. Across the Southeast it will be typical summer weather, complete with oppressively high humidity, very warm-to-hot temperatures and the ongoing threat of pop-up showers and thunderstorms, particularly in the late afternoons and evenings. The Southwest should also experience normal summer weather: hot and mainly dry, save for the seasonal monsoon showers and scattered thunderstorms over the deserts.

    For Canada, our long-range formula indicates unseasonably warm to hot-and-dry weather across eastern Quebec and the Maritimes from New Brunswick northeast into Newfoundland.

    Above-normal temperatures are also forecast for southern and eastern Saskatchewan, nearly all of Manitoba, and northern and western Ontario. Very dry conditions are anticipated for parts of southern Saskatchewan, all of Manitoba, plus northern and western Ontario. These very dry conditions could even spread north as into the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. British Columbia and Alberta should also see below-normal precipitation, though not to the extreme degree of the provinces farther east.

    Southern and eastern Ontario, including the Great Lakes and areas in adjacent western and central Quebec, could see above-normal precipitation, in locally heavy showers and thunderstorms.

    Look for a hot spell just about everywhere in late June, with temperatures soaring into the 100s in many areas, followed by stormy weather that will hopefully cool things down. The heat will remain turned up across North America in July, with unsettled conditions, thunderstorms, and another exceptional heat wave toward the middle of the month.

  64. Extremes are often caused by Rossby Waves in the Jet Stream. There are patterns of northern hemispheric pressure systems, temperature, and precipitation that are typical of positive and negative phases of this atmospheric oscillation and that can be used for weather pattern variation predictions. The Sun has nothing to do with exteme weather events.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/teledoc/nao.shtml

    RyanMaue: I agree completely. Often severe weather occurs at night.

  65. His style and website may look exaggerated, but I deeply respect Piers Corbyn for being the only one out there who gradually develops a technique for predicting weather 30 to 45 days ahead.

    Yes, he got it wrong sometimes, and he has admitted so various times, that’s why he has now arrived at SLAT (Solar Lunar Action Technique) version 8 last time I read it. His SLAT technique is work in progress.

    Basically his hypothesis is that solar activity drives the jet stream (with corrections for lunar influences), and the jet stream drives the large weather events. As far as I know he did correctly predict the large heat wave in Russia and the large flooding at the same time in Pakistan.

    I think his SLAT technique offers a lot more perspective on reliable long-term weather predictions that the multi-million dollar (or pound or euro) supercomputers. As Piers Corbyn in his somewhat over the top style complains “the Met Office gets millions from the taxpayers (for purchasing new supercomputers) to get it wrong quicker”, and I certainly think there is a lot of truth to that.

    Piers’ technique is based on actual physical phenomena, whereas the standard meteorological models so far leave out the variables that Piers takes into account. Past 14 days the standard meteorological models work with so many variables and chaotic possibilities as to become totally meaningless, whereas Piers’ technique seems to get it right quite a few times.

    Finally, please keep in mind that Piers has only recently begun turning his attention to predictions for North America. He is more experienced with Europe, as he has admitted various times.

  66. Jim says:
    “As you have pointed out on numerous occasions, the sun is entering a dead phase, which will portend 30+ years of severe global cooling. We last saw this in the 17th through 19th centuries, when ice festivals used to be held on the River Thames and snow and cold would last from late fall into mid-spring in parts of North America.”

    I for one am looking forward to it. There is nothing like a winter of seemingly unending ice, snow and cold. Just the thing to watch from the window while sipping a fine wine and nibbling on crackers slathered with Brie.

    A winter like that makes the warm weather, when it finally arrives, all the more welcome, and gives a certain frisson of anticipation to fall – laying in food and drink, prepping the generator, filling the oil tanks, saying goodbye for six months to the easy flow of life.

  67. @Brian says:

    “As an Englishman who has followed this site for a while, and never posted, let me just say that Piers is what we call lovably eccentric. However; it seems to me he is always more on the money than any Met office guess. Lets see, shall we.”

    Well that is the point, isn’t it? Forecasting weather is difficult, especially a month ahead. The Met Office has no skill at all one month out. Piers has some. It does not take long to find out.

    Above are many comments that if he was wrong for May (at leastly mostly/partly) then he has no skill. Yet he often correctly and publicly predicts major storms in the US as a favour to those who want advanced notice. People pay him every month for his analyses and predictions. Why?

    The bottom line is whose prediction would you pay $$ for if you had to choose: The Met’s or Piers’?

  68. P. Solar says:
    July 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Alan the Brit says: We shall see what develops, if he wasn’t any good at it he would have gone out of business by now!

    False logic. Have the Met Office gone out of business?

    False comparison.
    Met Office = public funds
    Piers Corbyn = private

  69. If he made these forecasts for record t-storms in the North East and huge wildfires between June 29th and July 1 in May then those who wish to deride Corbyn’s showmanship will have to wait for his next forecast and hope he gets that one wrong. Because he came as close to nailing that forecast as you can hope for in weather forecasting.

  70. P. Solar says:

    July 5, 2012 at 11:16 am
    Alan the Brit says: We shall see what develops, if he wasn’t any good at it he would have gone out of business by now!

    False logic. Have the Met Office gone out of business?

    PRAT !!!!!!

  71. I went to school with him and his brother Jeremy. Whether they are right or wrong headed, they were neither of them charlatans.
    As I understand it, even the Met Office short term forcast never betters 70% so if he, without the benefit of their budgets or computers can come even near to that, he deserves to be taken seriously.
    As for the bold type and exclamation marks, yes they are an irritation, but I didnt see any claim that it was a scientific publication.

  72. Our wonderful Met office now has the July CET at 0.0 despite the cold and rain that affected Wimbledon early in the week and despite the BBC interviewer and her interviewee at 9am on Tuesday morning at Centre Court wearing SCARVES and others wearing GLOVES in JULY!
    Liars!!!!!!!!!!
    No doubt when 2012 is over it will have been the warmest sunniest year evahhh!

  73. Also, I think it’s quite unfair to call some of Corbyn’s forecasts vague given that events like forest fires are not pinpoint predictions as you can never be sure where they will start, but when you predict extremely dry conditions for a large swatch of the Midwest it is safe to predict that some even will spark a huge forest fire there.

  74. MikeA – where’s your sense of humour and national identity? Gt Britain – note the description – is renowned for its eccentrics who carried cricket, cravats and Christianity all over the world. (Sadly cricket got transmuted into baseball in some of the colonies). The world would be a sadder and poorer place without these eccentrics.

  75. I’ve always liked Piers I do find his layout skills lacking. That said he has been right a lot more than the MET office with their hundred million dollar computer farm. I’ll cut him some slack but expect specific predictions.

    On the plus side he is making public predictions before not after the events. We’ll see how it goes for him this month.

  76. ” Willis Eschenbach says: July 5, 2012 at 11:32 am
    Near as I can tell, most astrologers are more accurate than the met service, but hey, that’s just me … ”

    Made me laugh. Good line, I’m going to use it.

  77. There’s something appealing to my essential ‘Britishness’ about Piers’ low tech, ‘Ms Word’ graphics. I’ve often thought that the British would be much more convinced of the fairness and impartiality of the National Lottery if, instead of the hi-tech machines, independent observers and glitzy showmanship, the draw was performed by a vicar’s wife and a tombola filled with raffle tickets. So it is with Piers’ newsletters- low key and proud of it.

  78. Piers is carrying on both in the style and apocalyptic tradition of “Old Moore’s Almanack” which has been published in Britain since 1697 and is still going strong. (It was written and published by Francis Moore, a self-taught physician and astrologer who served at the court of Charles II.)
    Like Piers it specialises in predictions that are too generalised to be either verifiable or falsifiable – eg “The will be earthquakes in the Far East in July”, and “A cruise ship will catch fire in late summer”.

  79. Co2Sceptic says:
    July 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Willis Eschenbach

    When you mention:

    his forecast for July is so vague as to be useless

    Have you see the FULL forecast? Or just the FRONT PAGE?

    Thanks, Co2Skeptic. I have not seen the FULL forecast, because I’d have to subscribe to his forecasts to do so, and I don’t have the $$ to do so. As he says:

    3) For Full forecasts
    Subscribe to WeatherAction’s game-changing forecasts
    - Do yourself a favor: Get ahead of the rest! Forewarned is forearmed …

    w.

  80. Co2Sceptic says:
    July 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Willis Eschenbach

    Unfortunately, both the US and the EU links are to front pages. So people here are doing the equivalent of trying to find the precise share price from a headline “DOW Dips” and comparing it to the FT pages. Not exactly a fair approach.

    I don’t know if the ‘florid advertising’ style is continued inside the professional site. Perhaps Piers would release last months pages? Indeed releasing pages published a few months ago if they are accurate would be an exceedingly strong advertisement.

  81. My prediction is that an eccentric (but possibly very clever) nutter will beat met office and CO2 alarmist predictions any day. But please don’t role him out in front of the cameras as alarmists love to do to make us all look like ‘pratts’. : )

  82. Just out of interest, what is a ‘Super Storm’?

    The Old Farmer’s Almanac

    http://www.almanac.com/weather/longrange

    Note: generally predicts the Midwest and Upper Midwest will be below average temperature and below average precipitation.

    Region 9: Upper Midwest
    Duluth, Minnesota
    JULY 2012: temperature 67.5° (1.5° below avg.); precipitation 2.5″ (1″ below avg.); Jul 1-7: T-storms, then sunny, cool; Jul 8-10: T-storms east, sunny west; cool; Jul 11-14: Sunny, turning hot; Jul 15-24: Scattered t-storms, seasonable; Jul 25-28: T-storms, then sunny, cool; Jul 29-31: T-storms, cool.

    Green Bay, Wisconsin
    JULY 2012: temperature 67.5° (1.5° below avg.); precipitation 2.5″ (1″ below avg.); Jul 1-7: T-storms, then sunny, cool; Jul 8-10: T-storms east, sunny west; cool; Jul 11-14: Sunny, turning hot; Jul 15-24: Scattered t-storms, seasonable; Jul 25-28: T-storms, then sunny, cool; Jul 29-31: T-storms, cool.

  83. The last time we hit the same phase on the 66-year cycle, with stuck jet streams forcing long heat in some places and long cold in others, UHI was insignificant. Low urban density, no air conditioner compressors.

    So we have the same phenomenon as the ’30s, but with temperatures a few degrees higher.

    As for the super forest fires, the actual Forest Service people are blaming lack of logging and insect infestation. In other words, the idiotic “Endangered” “Species” Act, and wind turbines killing bats.

  84. Piers Corbyn sounds a lot like a chap we have in New Zealand called Ken Ring who sells long range weather forecasts which appear more astrology rather than science. He developed quite a following, given that if you cherry pick his forecasts in hindsight you will get quite a few hits. His weather theory is based on the cycles of the moon and its gravitational pull, amongst other things. He does quite well with the sale of books giving daily forecasts for a year ahead for NZ Aus and the UK as well, if I recall correctly.

    He lost a lot of credibility when, following the Christchurch earthquakes, he extended out into earthquake forecasting, again based on the gravitational pull of the moon. Chch was having so many aftershocks that he was bound to be right but one of his forecasts caused widespread panic with all flights out of Chch full with people fleeing the city. He was roundly condemned for this and he went into hiding for a while because of threats.
    He will bounce back because there are always people who look at the occasional successes and belive he is on the mark while ignoring the role of chance.

    Problem is, like Piers, he is a strong global warming sceptic which adds to his attraction for many but I, along with many others, do not think he is the kind of advocate scepticism needs.

  85. Ross Lea says:
    July 5, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Anthony: You do not have to wait you can check Piers record historically. Presumably past weather is recorded in detail so all you have to do is obtain his forecasts and check them against the actual wearther, Earth Quakes etc. Also to be fair you should do the same with the Met Off and a U.S. weather forecasters. I look forward to the results

    I love guys like you, Ross. You’re all too happy to tell Anthony what he can do, rather than do it yourself.

    So how about YOU “obtain his forecasts and check them against the actual wearther, Earth Quakes etc. Also to be fair YOU should do the same with the Met Off and a U.S. weather forecasters.”

    I definitely look forward to YOUR results, Ross, but my guess is that it will be a below-zero day in the place of eternal damnation before you report back to us …

    w.

  86. And just to add some information from the UK Daily Telegraph 7:03PM BST 05 Jul 2012….

    Most severe floods of this summer expected
    You thought it was bad but this summer is about to get worse with the most severe flood warnings yet issued for most of the country.
    The Environment Agency warned households in central England, the North and East Anglia to be ready to evacuate their homes as two months of rain is expected to fall in 48 hours.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9379745/Most-severe-floods-of-this-summer-expected.html

  87. I hope it does get warm and dry where I am in the South. I’ve got several hundred board feet of primo lumber I’m trying to dry.

  88. Laurence Crossen says:
    July 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” is itself a subjectively defined requirement. By this means many can and do reject out of hand anything they feel like rejecting. I recommend that the requirement be stated objectively:
    “Fundamental conjectures require fundamental proofs.”

    Thanks, Laurence. First, other than mathematical theorems nothing can ever be proven in science, only falsified, so the proper quotation is “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence“, not “extraordinary proof”.

    Second, I don’t see that your statement is any less subjective than the original statement. How is the term “fundamental conjectures” any less subjective than “extraordinary claims”?

    w.

  89. Ian W says:
    July 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Perhaps Piers would release last months pages? Indeed releasing pages published a few months ago if they are accurate would be an exceedingly strong advertisement.

    You are correct that it would be an “exceedingly strong argument” to release your last month’s forecasts. If I were right as often as Piers claims that he is, I’d release my (presumably correct) forecasts every month, month by month, and point out just how right I was.

    The fact that Piers doesn’t do so is of interest …

    w.

  90. I’d like to point out something. People have looked at the forecast and gone yes, he sure got the forest fire thing correct, Colorado is about burned to the ground. And Piers shows a picture and gives a link to the extensive Colorado fires in his claim that he is correct. What’s not to like?

    If you are one of the people who said that, go back and look at his forecast … he NEVER FORECAST FOREST FIRES IN COLORADO. According to his forecast, Colorado was just supposed to be “sunny”, and the fires were supposed to be in Arizona and New Mexico … like I said, Nostradamus would be proud.

    w.

  91. Anthony:

    People like commodities traders and farmers pay Piers for his forecasts because he is consistently correct using only a laptop and makes them money. Meanwhile,The Met Office with its Supercomputer is consistently wrong and has people preparing for heat when there is cold.

    You are being obtuse in criticizing the presentation esthetics of Piers’ forecasts. The substance is what matters.

    For crying-out-load, he is on our side! Give him a break!

  92. The issue with weather forecasts – even for the five-day periods that we seem to believe get it pretty much right – is that the actual weather we get is usually only reported once (or sometimes not at all), but the forecast is given many many times. Watch a typical TV news program and you will see weather forecasts at least every 10 minutes so if they are saying “hot” or “cold” that is what gets fixed in your mind, Tune in again tomorrow and what do you get – the forecast for today (or tomorrow) every 10 minutes – but what about yesterday? Never mentioned unless it is some kind of record event and even then this is probably a report from somewhere else as there will always be a record somewhere.

    Therefore, the forecast is what people believe as opposed to the actual event. This is why media weather forecasters have become the front-line in arguments over CAGW – the way they present the forecasts drives the impression of what is happening.

    Of course, this doesn’t apply to the people reading WUWT because we are all nerds who actually look at the records to find out what did happen yesterday! However, the thing we all need to remember is that we are very small minority who do this – most people end up believing the forecast and only notice the actual weather when an extreme happens when it is not forecast (or vice versa). Then the general public is up in arms about the Met Office (insert your own weather bureau here), but the rest of the time they are quite happy.

  93. stephen richards says:
    July 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    PRAT !!!!!!
    Since you are safely out of arms reach, I bow to your obviously superior intelect, sir.

    To others who did not agree with my comment, my point was that “selling” weather predictions does not depend upon being right any more than selling horoscopes does.

    No disrispect to P.Corbyn., I think he has the right idea, although I don’t have enough information one way or the other to comment on his success rate. The fact that the terms of use seems to prohibit divulging the detailed reports, even after the fact, makes me a little dubios. The current “public release” which in fact does not release anything useful, is clearly a clever marketing ploy.

    I’m sure he could put out a couple of reports per month in less time than I spend reading WUWT, so the idea that he would “go out of business” if he was not getting it right, simply does not stand up.

    That is the point I was making. It appears I was crediting some of the readership here with a little more inteligence that was strictly justified. Sorry.

  94. One interesting point is that Ladbrokes, a large UK bookies, will not accept any bets on long range weather forecasts from Piers Corbyn. I doubt that anyone from the Met Office suffer this ban!

    He is trying to earn a living from this so he does have the ‘showman’ about his presentations. He does not get large amounts of public money thrown at him like the Met Office, he earns money by results.

  95. Pro Piers: His record is better than the UK Met Office
    Contra Corbin: He doesn’t publish his method
    Pro Piers: He’s Skeptic
    Contra Corbin: He’s a showman

  96. BTW Willis, what geographical accuracy is required to be a valid prediction? Colorado ain’t so far from Arizona and New Mexico.

    Someone said he should publish his detailed reports after the period they covered – this covers his commercial interest and would, presumably, be great advertizing.

  97. Southern Illinois in 2012 is experiencing 106F temperatures, but the same area in the cool cycle of 1967 had the same hot temperatures or greater. The thermometer under the tree in 1967 as we baled hay in the field read as high as 112F, while the thermometer in the barn loft under a steel roof read 132F as we put the bales of hay into the loft. Today, the people not yet born then find it hard to understand these kinds of heat waves have happened before in the same place.

  98. Nostradamus supporters also only reveal the quatrains were correct after the fact, whilst ignoring the wrong ones, oops, ones that haven’t come true yet.

  99. I can recall Piers on the news when i was a kid in the 70,s,the bookies were banning him from betting on the weather anymore.
    Over the years he has been right enough to make me feel he is onto something.
    From what i can gather he bases his forecasts on what has happened before,that sounds better than most the modelling the met office use.
    He may not be spot on,but im pretty sure he is on roughly the right track.
    But i can understand why you johnny foreigners get a bit shocked at his eccentric style.

  100. Dont know about May but in June it was unseasonably cold in the UK (it was supposed to be Summer) based on our frequent visits. Yes a few days of high temps but then cold. Perhaps rather than a month he should be given a statistical assessment over a year together with the predicions by the Met office to be fair.!

  101. Following Durotrigan’s lead , let’s all play the game:

    July : unusually wet even by UK standards , though since the world is not going to suddenly loose the heat it has accumulated since 1965, this will still be one of the hottest 15 Julys evah (on record).

    Expect flooding in the Calder Valley on a scale not see since the mid 60s.

    Flock of migrating geese in V formation fooled by bizarrely warm air currents gets mistaken for a hijacked stealth bomber causing British army to launch SAM’s sited on residential roof tops near Olympic stadium. Family of 27 killed at wedding party in East London by falling SAMs.

    August: almost as grey as July but slightly warmer. Also one of the hottest months of August on record. Especially wet and grey in the Pennines. Truely bizarre weather reported by BBC.

    September. A couple of nice weeks earlier in the month before temperatures drop sharply towards the end. One of the warmest Septembers on record.

    Overall outlook: there will be a 65% chance that this summer will be in the top 20% of the hottest UK summers on record with a 45% chance of it being in the hottest 10%. 5% chance of it being in the hottest 5%

    Arctic sea ice extent second only to low of 2007. Guardian’s Suzzie Goldberg erroneously reports Arctic ice 95% below normal. Trenberth says “told you so”.

    Piers Corbyn publishes a report highlighting the bits he got (very nearly) right.

  102. daveburton says:
    July 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I’m reminded of this. (Note: March 15th, 2011 was right after the Japanese earthquake.)

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: David Burton
    Date: Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 6:32 AM
    Subject: WeatherAction
    To: climatesceptics@yahoogroups.com

    I remember that when I received this email (March 4, 2011) I thought, “No way, Piers, that you can possibly forecast earthquakes from solar effects!”

    I’m less certain, now. Wow.

    Dave

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Piers Corbyn
    Date: Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 2:33 AM
    Subject: [Climate Sceptics] WeatherAction issues extreme (TL) weather warnings for USA & Philippines and gives subscribers MORE Forecasts for LESS + VIDS & NEWS


    After New Zealand quake Piers Corbyn warns: “Expect more earthquakes world-wide for two years”

    http://bit.ly/fAUnOO

    Dave, you are perfect example of humanity. We all love to find corroboration for our theories in the simplest of events. Pier’s claim, made on February 21st, 2011 was as follows (emphasis mine):

    “Prediction of individual Earthquakes is very hard but we are very confident of a continuing period of significantly enhanced earthquake and volcanic activity as well as extreme weather events for the coming one or two years, probably exceeding the levels of the most active extended periods in at least the last 100 years“, said Piers

    Here is the USGS worldwide record of all earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 and greater since the turn of the 21st century.

    SOURCE Note that I have doubled the figures for the first half of 2012 to give a rough idea of how many earthquakes there have been this year.

    As you can see, far from having earthquakes “exceeding the levels of the most active extended periods in at least the last 100 years”, we haven’t even exceeded the record for the last ten years … and despite that, you (and I suspect Piers as well) are claiming a “wow” factor …

    w.

  103. Robert of Ottawa says:
    July 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    BTW Willis, what geographical accuracy is required to be a valid prediction? Colorado ain’t so far from Arizona and New Mexico.

    Robert, you make my point exactly, there are no fixed boundaries. That’s one of the Nostradamus aspects of his prognostications, if they are anywhere near where he predicted it, he claims it as a win.

    Me, I’d settle for it occurring in the state(s) he actually specifies, rather than claiming success when there are fires in a nearby state.

    w.

  104. P. Solar says:
    July 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    To others who did not agree with my comment, my point was that “selling” weather predictions does not depend upon being right any more than selling horoscopes does.

    While that may be correct, it was not your point, which was that it was a “logic fail” because the Met Office hasn’t gone broke … which was palpable nonsense, so I can see why you are now disowning it and trying to change the subject.

    w.

  105. Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    July 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    … For crying-out-load, he is on our side! Give him a break!

    Absolutely and definitively not. If we were to “give breaks” to people because we happen to believe in them, or they seem to support our ideas or theories, we would no longer be engaged in science.

    Confirmation bias is already insidious enough, and because of it, in fact we need to investigate things we believe in harder than we investigate those we disagree with.

    So no, I will give Piers no more of a break than I give the Met Office. Sorry, but that’s science.

    w.

  106. WeatherAction do come highly recommended from an unlikely source – the Climategate Mails
    - in a fascinating exchange between an Agenda 21 Director and UEA

    email 2318

    to Mike Hulme at UEA from Julian Jones, Director Vision21 (Glos. C. C. Agenda 21)

    “I am very concerned by the strong correlations between UK Winter Rainfall and solar activity and the failure of the authorities to incorporate such data in their forward planning – we appear to be paying a bitter price for this here in Gloucestershire.

    Your rainfall data had been previously been published to illustrate increasing UK rainfall due to Greenhouse Gas emission led Global Warming – there would appear to be a strong solar component to this also.

    By failing to acknowledge this and incorporate this in our plans we are also failing to produce a cohesive argument for Sustainable Development – certainly as far as the petrol protesters are concerned!”

    Mike Hulme passes the mail on the Tim Osborne to respond,

    From Tim Osborne UEA to Julian Jones -

    “Mike Hulme asked me to reply to your email (copied above). The possible link between solar variability and winter precipitation intensity is very interesting – one of the scientific reviewers of our paper in fact asked us to add some comments about it to our original scientific paper. We declined to do so…..Nevertheless, as more observational data and improved statistical analysis techniques become available, it is becoming increasingly obvious that solar variations are important. For temperature, many scientists now feel that natural solar variations were the main contributor to the early 20th century warming that occurred between about 1910 and 1950. The dramatic warming since 1980, however, cannot be explained by changes in solar output. So, the role of solar variability is starting to be acknowledged, though it cannot explain all changes, and is much more uncertain than the greenhouse effect….”

    Julian Jones responds

    “….I have also asked Weather Action at SBU to provide longer time series
    correlations between solar activity and terrestrial weather related
    factors. We have used WA forecasts for planning the arable farming on 2500
    acres here in Glos for several years – and they have been of great benefit.
    They seem to achieve similar accuracy to conventional forecasts at 5 days
    range, yet are produced months ahead, and are usually best at showing
    overall trends, as well as extreme storm events. I appreciate such
    forecasts could be produced by purely mathematical means; but the WA people
    seem very sincere in their claim that these forecasts are produced by
    correlations with solar activity – and certainly those graphs I originally
    sent you would indicate (well beyond the chance of coincidence) that such
    links do exist….”

    This whole exchange was highlighted by E.M.Smith in an excellent post on the Climategate Mails and Agenda 21- well worth reading in its entirity – something of an eye-opener!!!

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/foia-agenda-21/

    So please let’s have a comparison between the performance of WeatherAction and the Met Office, I think it would be somewhat fairer!!

  107. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    [...]

    If you are one of the people who said that, go back and look at his forecast … he NEVER FORECAST FOREST FIRES IN COLORADO. According to his forecast, Colorado was just supposed to be “sunny”, and the fires were supposed to be in Arizona and New Mexico … like I said, Nostradamus would be proud.

    Arizona, New Mexico, close enough. Using CERN precision, 4-5 SD’s gets you in the ballpark. What’s not to like?

    /sarc

  108. “Putting Piers Corbyn to the test”…..
    Yes; put his forecasts to the test. Compare is past predictions with what has come to pass.
    Although this article does not attempt that, many comments have prejudged the outcome.
    Hopefully WUWT will present a follow up article where a range of Piers predictions are reviewed.
    And “yes” focus on the substance not the presentation.

  109. reminds me of a quote once on a NIWA website (New Zealand’s weather Bureau) that they get the weather right 50% of the time and that no one (in context, other weather bureaus) does better than that. I haven’t been able to find that quote again, and the NIWA website does get changed frequently to remove “offending” material. Of course, there are more than two possible weather states, so 50% is better than random, but not much better. If Piers is getting 75% he is doing well. The main points I took (from the video) was that he is at least searching for causal factors and that he acknowledges all theories (including his own) are inadequate.

  110. Willis, there’s something very strange about USGS earthquake counts which show far more 4.something earthquakes than 2.something and 3.something earthquakes. The counts of big earthquakes are probably correct, but the counts of small earthquakes aren’t. The less-than-magnitude-4.0 counts are certainly wrong, and the 4.something counts are questionable.

    Unfortunately, those are the only bars that are clearly visible in your chart.

    If we just look at the frequency of really big earthquakes (8.0 & up) it appears that Piers might well be onto something:

    2000: 1
    2001: 1
    2002: 0
    2003: 1
    2004: 2
    2005: 1
    2006: 2
    2007: 4
    2008: 0
    2009: 1
    2010: 1
    2011: 1
    2012: 2

    That looks pretty normal until you recall that:
    1) 2011′s magnitude 9.0 Honshu ‘quake happened just a few weeks after Corbyn’s prediction, and
    2) the two 2012 ‘quakes are just so far, in the first half of the year.

    So that’s three 8.0-or-larger quakes, so far, in the 15 months since his forecast, and one of them is ranked 4th largest since 1900. That seems to me to fit the definition of “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

  111. I have been watching Piers Corbyns weather forecasts for a few years and noticed a good forecast within +/- 200 miles,although not precise, generally correct.
    A remarkable achievement for a month in advance.

  112. Piers’ USA forecast, sent out June 1, 2012 included:
    June1-4. His little signs straddled the Utah and Colorado border: “Fires”,” Forest fires”. “Colorado very hot”.
    June 5-8. “fire” signs in both Colorado and New Mexico
    June 18-21 “serious fires” sign straddles the Utah, Arizona border
    June 22-24 “Hot” “Forest Fires” sign straddles Arizona and New Mexico border.
    June 29-July 1 “Very Hot” “Forest Fires” straddles the Arizona, New Mexico border.
    His July forecast, sent out July 1, 2012 includes:
    July 1-4 “Extreme thunder with giant hail, tornados and tornado swarms” in an area that has its southern border running roughly from northern Kentucky to Washington DC. That could be the derecho
    I understand that Piers uses his Solar/Lunar technique in conjuction with existing weather records to do his forecasting. With the USA, especially the western parts, not having very many years of weather records ( compared to the UK) and the size of the US compared to the UK, I think that Piers is pretty accurate in his long range forecasting. He does use percentages of confidence in his forecasting ie: 70% confidence, timing normally to one day.

  113. If Piers gets it right, or is perceived to have gotten it right, then he was vague enough to be counted right or we have a confirmation bias happening. If the Met Office gets it right, it is because they are established, orthodox analysts with a lot of technical work. If either of them get it wrong, they are both dummies for thinking they can forecast that far ahead in that detail.

    So far that’s my analysis of typical WUWT opinions on weather forecasters not in the standard weather forecasting business. Short-term, very short term.

    Credit goes to the status quo and those with status. IF there is any value to forecasting weather one month out, and again I am unsure anyone on this blog thinks so, then one of them should be more-right or more-wrong, as they approach their forecasts from different angles. If they are equal, then the approaches are equal to anothe “random walk” and we are back to “why bother” except that lots of people have jobs and computers through the desire to have somethingt that doesn’t exist.

    It is interesting that Piers’ predictions generate controversy, but those of NOAA and the UK Met Office do not. We’re asked to determine Piers’ statistical accuracy, but not do the same thing for the US national air service or that of the UK.

    As Penny says on Big Bang Theory (the TV show): crystals and stuff don’t work, but don’t mess around with voodoo! (We each have our real vs whoo-whoo! limits.)

    At WUWT, Piers seems to be out there with crystals. Are NOAA/MetOffice real or real-voodoo-real?

  114. And here’s my prediction for July’s weather in the U.S.: HOT.

    Bet I’m right.

    [Moderator’s Prayer: From your lips to God’s ear. I was afraid March was going to be the high point of the summer. -REP]

  115. Arggh! their there not there there, never mind, there therw. Sod it!

    [Fixed. I hate it when I do that. -w.]

  116. David Walton says:
    July 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

    . . . It is going to be another long and horrid summer.

    Thread winner! (Read the entire post.)

    /Mr Lynn

  117. I have met Piers several times at realists events such as our repealtheact meetings and he’s a really nice, if rather eccentric, chap. I’ve also bought a few of his forecasts and been extremely surprised at how accurate they have been even though they had been released several weeks before time. Obviously he’s not spot on all the time but he sure is a lot more accurate than the Met Office, for which we UK taxpayers are asked to fund to the tune of millions each year.

    The forecast you have is a tiny snippet of the actual downloadable forecasts. These are set out daily and are of the same % driven forecasts that the met office now also use i.e ’80% chance of rain on 25th July in ….’ except of course that the met office now only predict (guess) 5 days in advance and change their forecasts on the hour. It seems to me that their forecasts are more like having a person in every area looking out the window, and passing on the information to the met office on the hour; but even then they are usually wrong. Mind you their daily predictions are made on the same super (expensive) computer that predicts AGW.

    For instance today 5th July here in East Yorkshire we have had torrential rain all day complete with storms. The rain led to immense flooding in our local town and one building was hit by lightening and caught fire. Yesterday there was, according to the Met office, very little chance of rain here. By lunchtime today it had changed to weather warnings! I could have told them that hours before! Pretty pathetic.

    We have had so much rain over the last couple of months that I almost traded in my car for a boat, and yet this same met office super computer forecast a ‘much drier than average Summer, with drought conditions that would last until the Winter’ causing the Govt. to create hosepipe bans around the country and dire predictions that this was down to AGW.
    Within literally days of these pronouncements it started raining and has hardly stopped since, almost all of the bans have now been rescinded. We can now lay claim, as I like to state regularly to all who will listen, to the wettest drought in history!

    Without Piers’ proper downloadable forecast I really don’t see that this can be a proper test of his accuracy. Have you talked to him about this? Maybe he might agree to allowing you access so you can truly test his accuracy? Worth a try I would have thought and far better than snide remarks about something very few of you have had access to before!

  118. “Very Hot – Tx + NM”. In June. I guess he got that one right……

    Thunderstorms forecast issued on 31 May for June. He really went on a limb on that one. Duststorms on the other hand….. A Fail it seems.

  119. Doug Proctor says:

    July 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    “So far that’s my analysis of typical WUWT opinions on weather forecasters not in the standard weather forecasting business. Short-term, very short term.”
    —————-
    Thanks for your analysis, it might (yet) save ourselves from ourselves.

  120. It’s worth mentioning that Piers is pointing specifically to his R4/5 periods which often correlate to earth facing coronal holes. The weather is never unprecedented but will be more extreme during these periods – as a basic interpretation he is saying previous weather patterns tend to repeat on cyclical basis, based upon predictable solar/lunar patterns.

    The May forecast was never for the UK or England as a whole but Eastern parts (we may be a small Island compared to North America but contrasts can be massive – well for us). For 3 weeks it held well but he put his hands up when it veered away. The timing/change of patterns happened on cue but not as expected – jury is out as to what happened but even the models were struggling until this came into a reliable time frame. He did admit the prediction was wrong from around 20/21st when we had a lasting heatwave in the UK (more than 7 days) which threw the CET figures massively. I have not been able to pin down the regional breakdown as the HADCET does not appear regional for temps (precipitation is different). Philip Eden’s site http://www.climate-uk.com did show well below av temps until the 21st but by the month end it was ‘average’. It was anything but average with large rainfall and cold front loaded that month and then the dry & heat for the final third of the month. I appreciated the warning for the cold May start as I kept plants indoors – others who didn’t have suffered from lost crops.

    His forecasts are a guide and are never exact. They are designed to give warning in advance of the patterns to expect – primarily this is the movement of the jetstream and the blocking which has suddenly become the lexicon of forecasters the past few years (or this solar cycle to be more precise).

    To give you an example the Met Office have yellow/amber warnings close to my location for Fri/Sat. I mentioned this to a friend who extended the warning to our area knowing that the MetO mostly get this wrong. In the UK we have major problems with the CO2 asphyxiated Met Office. It really is as if the Jetstream magically does what it wants unless it’s extreme when CO2 is the be all and end all excuse (CO2 ate my hamster). Only last week we had no warnings despite most weather models showing a very high risk of thunderstorms. I watched the models for days and it wasn’t as if it didn’t show, but the Met Office were silent. Most people rely on the Met forecast (used by the BBC) as our weather guide. As it was we had very large hail in Northern areas and very heavy rainfall (for us – it’s wet here but not as wet as the Monsoon zone which I lived in). Due to Piers June forecast I had expected such an eventuality last week and that in a nutshell is why I have buy his forecasts.

    Piers works from a laptop, whilst the Met Office are massively subsidised (how market friendly is that?) yet have the perpetual begging bowl out for a better computer claiming they can predict the climate in 100 years but fail to get the short term (i.e. less than 24 hours), which what they are paid for, right. That is the big issue in the UK. We pay for the ideological crud the Met Office churn out – we have no choice in this. I choose to pay for Piers forecasts, But at least I have that choice.

    The July forecast therefore is for the extremes to be focused in/around the R periods not necessarily the month as a whole – a below av temp prediction is obviously for the month as a whole (or most of month) but he states 6/8 periods will be correct so forecasts are not a bible. If a forecast does not come to pass an R period often coincides with pattern changes and will be more extreme for wind and precipitation (as a general guide) +/- 1 day. That is why it’s useful. Despite the heatwave in late May we went back into cool wet weather (damn that CO2). I use his forecasts as an advisory for growing plants (which love the CO2), like knowing the early May cold meant I kept only frost/cold hardy plants outside – it worked. I gave up on the Met Office a couple of years back after using their guides and watching my plants die in droves. In this sense his forecasts are invaluable but I would agree they are not easy to read and Piers communication skills are anything but media savvy or accessible. Having said that the likes of Mann/Jones et al are Media Savvy and look where that’s taken us? Al Gore is great on TV but I’d trust a banker before him! (sorry UK joke)

  121. Reading the comments from the UK folks it appears that it really isn’t a question of how accurate Piers is… but how wrong the Met office is. I wonder how much the 21st OWS forecasts differ from the Met office.

  122. One comment, 9:51am 05 July:
    “FWIW, the Met Office promised us torrential downpours here in the Midlands only this morning; as I write it’s a shade over 26°C and 21% RH outside, with the sun out most of the afternoon. Now, I’m off to re-wax my jacket!”

    A second comment, 11.25am 05 July:
    “As I sit here in Derbyshire, England, we’ve just been visited by a downpour extreme in both intensity and duration. The Met office never forecast this. Latest forecast at 18:00 was for rain to move into England from the West by dawn tomorrow.”

    For those unfamiliar with UK geography, Derbyshire is technically in the east Midlands, though I’d rather more describe it as north Midlands. Anyway, my point is, why does one Midlander think the Met Office predicted rain and another think they didn’t? Thankfully someone has posted an actual forecast, though didn’t specify ‘where I live’:

    ‘Currently we have from the Met Office for where I live:-
    “Issued at – 05 Jul 2012, 13:47
    Valid from – 05 Jul 2012, 14:00
    Valid to – 05 Jul 2012, 23:55

    Scattered heavy showers or thunderstorms are likely at times on Thursday, particularly during the afternoon and evening, with the potential for some torrential downpours in places. Southeastern areas of England are at less risk than areas further north, with any showers there tending to clear later.

    The public should be aware that these showers, where they occur, may lead to surface water flooding.”’

    I’m tempted to conclude that our Derbyshire Midlander failed to comprehend the forecast, which clearly expected downpours in at least a few places, while the other two managed to stay dry on a showery day (FWIW I’m in the Southeast and there were no showers here, fine as I am in the ‘low risk’ area). What’s my point? Well, it’s mostly that I don’t think the Meto did a bad job today.

  123. daveburton says:
    July 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Willis, there’s something very strange about USGS earthquake counts which show far more 4.something earthquakes than 2.something and 3.something earthquakes. The counts of big earthquakes are probably correct, but the counts of small earthquakes aren’t. The less-than-magnitude-4.0 counts are certainly wrong, and the 4.something counts are questionable.

    Unfortunately, those are the only bars that are clearly visible in your chart.

    Hey, I just report them. That’s what the USGS says, and until you can come up with something more authoritative, your claim that they are somehow “questionable” is … well … questionable.

    If we just look at the frequency of really big earthquakes (8.0 & up) it appears that Piers might well be onto something:

    2000: 1
    2001: 1
    2002: 0
    2003: 1
    2004: 2
    2005: 1
    2006: 2
    2007: 4
    2008: 0
    2009: 1
    2010: 1
    2011: 1
    2012: 2

    That looks pretty normal until you recall that:
    1) 2011′s magnitude 9.0 Honshu ‘quake happened just a few weeks after Corbyn’s prediction, and
    2) the two 2012 ‘quakes are just so far, in the first half of the year.

    So that’s three 8.0-or-larger quakes, so far, in the 15 months since his forecast, and one of them is ranked 4th largest since 1900. That seems to me to fit the definition of “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

    Two things about that. First, the numbers of earthquakes in the largest category is far too small given the sample size to conclude anything at all.

    Second, once again we’re into the Nostradamus zone. Piers’s prognostications are so vague that you can almost always find something that fits. If the total number of earthquakes doesn’t go up, perhaps the number of quakes greater than magnitude four has gone up … and if not, we can look at the number of magnitude six quakes … then magnitude seven quakes … and so on. Color me totally unimpressed. Here’s a visual comparison of the numbers of earthquakes for the last 20 years. I see nothing remarkable about 2011-2012.

    SOURCE: USGS

    And of course, when Piers does make a specific prediction like “forest fires in New Mexico and Arizona”, both he and his followers say see, there were fires in Colorado, that’s definitely close enough …

    No, that’s not close enough. If we’re standing a couple hundred miles apart, me in Arizona and you in Colorado, and I predict lightning is going to strike me, and instead it strikes you, I doubt that your heirs would count my claim as a correct prediction.

    w.

    PS—Even by your terms, and assuming that we get two more quake greater than 8.0 this year, that would make 5 quakes of that magnitude in two years … which was exceeded in 2006-2007. So no, that is not “significantly enhanced earthquake activity”, particularly when he says earthquake activity will be “probably exceeding the levels of the most active extended periods in at least the last 100 years”. That doesn’t even exceed the last ten years, much less the last 100.

  124. Doug Proctor says:
    July 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    … It is interesting that Piers’ predictions generate controversy, but those of NOAA and the UK Met Office do not. We’re asked to determine Piers’ statistical accuracy, but not do the same thing for the US national air service or that of the UK.

    Interesting observation, Doug. There are several reasons for that. First, Pier’s forecasts tend to be very vague. Second, they are not available for retrospective analysis. Third, he does no such analysis himself, or at least none I’ve ever seen.

    Look, I like Piers, as I said I’ve corresponded with him, and indeed he may be onto something. But until he shows that he is, we’re justified in questioning him.

    Finally, as to the accuracy of the UK Met Office forecasts, we don’t have to wonder about them, because the Met Office regularly publishes the statistics showing just exactly how accurate their forecasts were at varying lead times … and Piers publishes nothing of the sort. If he did, his forecasts would likely generate a lot less controversy. Instead he claims something like “STUNNING SUCCESS” in red capital letters when he is right … and says little when he is wrong. That’s a guaranteed recipe for generating controversy.

    All the best,

    w.

  125. Please, everyone…

    Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions never have been, and never will be ‘weather’ events. There is no “butterfly effect” whereby atmospheric perturbations somehow cause movements in the lithosphere. Anyone who claims that climate influences earthquakes and/or volcanic eruptions is a witch doctor, not a scientist.

  126. Just as a comment, I instinctively like the man and find him credibly sincere in his opinions and scientific conclusions. Don’t be put off by his presentation style, lack of graphical skills, Billingsgate accent or disheveled, schoolmasterly appearance. You’re not looking at a slicko marketing job from Al Gore Incorporated here; you are looking at a genuine, intelligent human being, who does all his own work and is more concerned with the content than the medium.

    I have twice had the experience of introducing genuine scientific achievers from the mining industry, each on the cusp of a major ore body discovery, to stockbrockers who could have funded and massively profited from their efforts, only to have them laughed out of the room by such people, who could only be impressed by sophisticated marketing, silver-tongued conceit and the de-rigeur powerpoint presentation. The people who get it right in the mining industry are concerned with science, engineering, costings, facts, logic, hard work and precise technical details. They have no interest in doing anything that they see as unnecessary simply for the sake of appearances. Stockbrokers, conversely, are ‘prestidigitateurs’ – conjurers on a stage, with silk hankerchieves, top hats and tinselled, leggy assitants. They are only interested in the illusion of the moment, the take at the box office till and the applause of the crowd.

    Piers Corbyn’s presentational style and website graphics are irrelevant. It is the content that counts, as Anthony clearly realises in focussing on it and testing it.

    (The less overt marketing, the more the truth, marketing being lies by any other name: hence Gore)

  127. Sorry, I should have spell-checked that first! Wretched bifocals to not improve typing skills..

    Just as a comment, I instinctively like the man and find him credibly sincere in his opinions and scientific conclusions. Don’t be put off by his presentation style, lack of graphical skills, Billingsgate accent or dishevelled, schoolmasterly appearance. You’re not looking at a slicko marketing job from Al Gore Incorporated here; you are looking at a genuine, intelligent human being, who does all his own work and is more concerned with the content than the medium.

    I have twice had the experience of introducing genuine scientific achievers from the mining industry, each on the cusp of a major ore body discovery, to stockbrokers who could have funded and massively profited from their efforts, only to have them laughed out of the room by such people, who could only be impressed by sophisticated marketing, silver-tongued conceit and the de-rigeur powerpoint presentation. The people who get it right in the mining industry are concerned with science, engineering, costings, facts, logic, hard work and precise technical details. They have no interest in doing anything that they see as unnecessary simply for the sake of appearances. Stockbrokers, conversely, are ‘prestidigitateurs’ – conjurers on a stage, with silk handkerchiefs, top hats and tinselled, leggy assistants. They are only interested in the illusion of the moment, the take at the box office till and the applause of the crowd.

    Piers Corbyn’s presentational style and website graphics are irrelevant. It is the content that counts, as Anthony clearly realises in focussing on it and testing it.

    (The less overt marketing, the more the truth, marketing being lies by any other name: hence Gore)

  128. The challenge him to a bet he has to beat the UK met office or it’s US equivalent but in a manner acceptable to you both, make it a case of beer or wine or champagne. I’ve found found him to be more accurate than the Met. His most interesting claims however tie into earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and we shall see about that one.

  129. Willis Eschenbach says:

    daveburton says:

    Willis, there’s something very strange about USGS earthquake counts which show far more 4.something earthquakes than 2.something and 3.something earthquakes. The counts of big earthquakes are probably correct, but the counts of small earthquakes aren’t. The less-than-magnitude-4.0 counts are certainly wrong, and the 4.something counts are questionable.

    Unfortunately, those are the only bars that are clearly visible in your chart.

    Hey, I just report them. That’s what the USGS says, and until you can come up with something more authoritative, your claim that they are somehow “questionable” is … well … questionable.

    Well, how about the top of that very same USGS web page? Is that authoritative enough?

    It says there are an estimated 130,000 magnitude 3.0 to 3.9 earthquakes per year, but they only counted an average of 7,126 per year over the 12 year period 2000-2011.

    That doesn’t sound like a complete count to me, does it to you?

    It also says that there are an estimated 13,000 magnitude 4.0 to 4.9 earthquakes per year, but over the 12 year period 2000 – 2011 they counted an average of only 10,448 per year.

    That also sounds like an incomplete count, don’t you agree?

    Now, if you object to counting only 8.0 magnitude earthquakes, then I suppose you could get a more meaningful measure by counting all 5.0-and-up earthquakes, weighted by energy released. Does that sound reasonable to you?

    A 1.0 increase in magnitude corresponds to a 32x increase in energy released. So that one 9.0 earthquake in 2011, which occurred a few weeks after Piers’ prediction, was roughly equivalent to 32 magnitude 8.0 earthquakes, or 1000 magnitude 7.0 earthquakes, or 32,000 magnitude 6.0 earthquakes, or 1,000,000 magnitude 5.0 earthquakes. The USGS page says that in 2011 there were no magnitude 8.0-to-8.9 earthquakes, 19 magnitude 7.0-to-7.9 earthquakes, 185 magnitude 6.0-6.9 earthquakes, and 2276 magnitude 5.0-5.9 earthquakes.

    You do the math. It’s clear that, whether by luck or by skill, even if there were no more earthquakes at all in the next 9 months, you’d still have to conclude that Piers was right about the “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

    Dave

    Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions never have been, and never will be ‘weather’ events. There is no “butterfly effect” whereby atmospheric perturbations somehow cause movements in the lithosphere. Anyone who claims that climate influences earthquakes and/or volcanic eruptions is a witch doctor, not a scientist.

    True, Louis, but Piers has not made such a claim. Rather, it is my understanding that he believes astronomical events (e.g., the movements of Jupiter and Saturn) affect both climate and earthquakes (as well as “space weather”).

    That is not voodoo, it is quite plausible.

    Dave

  130. Re: Willis Eschenbach says:July 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm
    “Finally, as to the accuracy of the UK Met Office forecasts, we don’t have to wonder about them, because the Met Office regularly publishes the statistics showing just exactly how accurate their forecasts were at varying lead times … and Piers publishes nothing of the sort. If he did, his forecasts would likely generate a lot less controversy.”

    Sorry Willis but not particularly impressed by the Met Office statistics in the link you provided
    ” used to produce a percentage number of the times when the forecast is accurate to within +/- 2°C. This is based over a rolling 36-month period to smooth out extremes and give a representative average.”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts

    The fact is the Met Office consistently appear to show a warm bias and are more intent on pushing out “The key message .. that global warming continues.”

    These were the words uttered by Julia Slingo of the Met Office back in December 2010 during a particularly cold winter the Met had failed to forecast -

    “This is not a global event; it is very much confined to the UK and Western Europe and if you look over at Greenland, for example, you see that it’s exceptionally warm there,” she said.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/the-uk-may-be-cold-but-its-still-a-warm-world-says-met-office-chief-2165492.html

    The problem was if one looked beyond Greenland one found

    Australia swaps summer for christmas snow

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jv1dn_cAmrXQCkEWRMCZpKryjPpA?docId=CNG.fa1b2905c40572e9934b2e3a6b52d6f4.611

    After the southern United States was hit with a rare “White Christmas,” snowstorms moved north where the major cities were pelted with snow blowing sideways.

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE6BP1EW20101226?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

    Northern India remained in the grip of cold wave with mercury hovering around freezing point in several parts of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/123129/cold-conditions-continue-northern-india.html

    Thousands of livestock die in blizzard-hit north China county

    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7247130.html

    Not quite the ‘local event’ that Ms Slingo had preferred to portray!

    In the Climategate mails I linked to above the better WeatherAction forecasts over the Met Office had prompted an Agenda 21 Director to suggest
    “a joint UEA-EA-WeatherAction project to sort out the greenhouse vs. solar problem”
    way back in the year 2000, something the Met Office appear to have declined!

    http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/4803.txt

    • Piers differs from the broad sceptical position on the current weather.
      Most sceptics argue that e.g.the current spell of very hot weather in parts of the USA and the very wet cold May/June/July in the UK are not unusual.
      Piers argues that they are highly unusual and correspond to solar driven changes to the jet streams as we shift to a global cooling era.
      He predicted months ago the current weather for the UK.
      Last night the M77 was closed due to flooding.
      Today 18 flood alerts are in force for the UK with one months rain falling in the next 48hours.

  131. daveburton says:
    July 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm


    Well, how about the top of that very same USGS web page? Is that authoritative enough?

    It says there are an estimated 130,000 magnitude 3.0 to 3.9 earthquakes per year, but they only counted an average of 7,126 per year over the 12 year period 2000-2011.

    That doesn’t sound like a complete count to me, does it to you?

    Of course it’s not a complete count. That’s why they include the estimates, because as earthquakes get weaker and weaker, the odds of them being picked up by seismometers gets to be less and less … is this a surprise to you, that not all weak earthquakes are counted? It shouldn’t be, because on the same webpage, directly above the figures that I cited, it says:

    The USGS estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. Many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes. The NEIC now locates about 50 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year.

    As more and more seismographs are installed in the world, more earthquakes can be and have been located. However, the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 6.0 and greater) has stayed relatively constant.

    So no, Dave, this is not the count of the estimated several million earthquakes that happen each year. It is the count of the 20,000 or so per year that are actually measured.

    Now, if you object to counting only 8.0 magnitude earthquakes, then I suppose you could get a more meaningful measure by counting all 5.0-and-up earthquakes, weighted by energy released. Does that sound reasonable to you?

    Sure, that sounds reasonable. I suppose I should ask you to do it, but I’ll do it for you this time … I don’t have the data down to magnitude 5, but here are the counts for magnitude 6 and up, adjusted by energy released:

    Still not impressed, sorry. Even if there are two more 8+ magnitude earthquakes this year it still won’t beat 2007, and if there are no more 8+ magnitude earthquakes the game is over.

    Note again that none of this makes the slightest difference. We cannot either support or falsify Piers’s prediction, because his prediction is far too vague. So we’re off in Nostradamus land, whatever the numbers may show.

    w.

  132. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    …Finally, as to the accuracy of the UK Met Office forecasts, we don’t have to wonder about them, because the Met Office regularly publishes the statistics showing just exactly how accurate their forecasts were at varying lead times …

    Sarcasm, right?

    Look I’m not understanding why you (Anthony) are bothering with this?
    Piers receives no funding from anyone other than what he earns selling his forecasts. I dip in occasionally and, as I said last night, he was pretty accurate in the forecasts I bought. He is eccentric in his presentation but that’s actually a part of his charm. He’s not harming anyone, he’s not forcing people to buy his forecasts, unlike the met office who cost us UK taxpayers £170m a year and fail regularly:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/met-office-april-forecast-drought-impacts-in-the-coming-months-are-virtually-inevitable/

    If people trust Piers’ forecasts and want to invest in them then so be it, surely there are more important things to get excited about than this!

  133. Marion says:
    July 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Re: Willis Eschenbach says:July 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    “Finally, as to the accuracy of the UK Met Office forecasts, we don’t have to wonder about them, because the Met Office regularly publishes the statistics showing just exactly how accurate their forecasts were at varying lead times … and Piers publishes nothing of the sort. If he did, his forecasts would likely generate a lot less controversy.”

    Sorry Willis but not particularly impressed by the Met Office statistics in the link you provided
    ” used to produce a percentage number of the times when the forecast is accurate to within +/- 2°C. This is based over a rolling 36-month period to smooth out extremes and give a representative average.”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts

    Thanks, Marion, but that’s not enough information. What is it about their statistics that doesn’t impress you? Are you objecting to their methods? If so, what is your objection, and what method do you think they should be using in place of what they are using? If not their methods, then just exactly what is your objection?

    The fact is the Met Office consistently appear to show a warm bias and are more intent on pushing out “The key message .. that global warming continues.”

    I agree with that, and I don’t have a clue what that has to do with the statistics that I cited. I was answering the question about why Piers’s results “generate controversy”. So I gave that as an example, and as I said above, if Piers were to publish something similar, there would be less controversy surrounding his results.

    All the best,

    w.

  134. Mr Watts

    The BBC weather service is predicting up to 60mm of rain for Northern England and the Midlands today, July 6th 2012, which represents a whole month of rainfall in one day. Actually, in one morning.

    Given the summer we’ve been having this isn’t ‘off the scale’, but it is certainly enough to trigger plenty of flooding.

    We’d actually like your drought for about 2 weeks here!

  135. Marion says: July 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Woops – should have written “something the UEA EA appear to have declined!”

  136. ^ forecast maps in the new format since May, same data off of same tabled raw data, produces the same csv files, just more detailed graphics, now 8 nearest neighbors, with max search radius of 8 degrees, 3 mile grid squares, instead of the original maps with 32 nearest neighbors, a search radius of 70 degrees, on 60 mile grid squares. Much less smoothing and more local details visible. I pay all costs of production out of my own pocket, no commercial content or advertising, no narrative bluster, just the maps from raw data to stand or fall on their own.

    Maps for the next two years available for viewing today for all of North America, Canada, and now Australia. All the content viewable all the time for FREE!

  137. Corbyn’s Technique has been the subject of a peer reviewed paper.

    Early Weather Action (Solar Weather Technique) skill was independently verified in a peer-reviewed paper by Dr Dennis Wheeler, University of Sunderland, in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Vol 63 (2001) p29-34.

    Whilst I believe there is some skill in this, I think at times Corbyn can be his own worst enemy with the way he makes his claims.

  138. Carrie says:
    July 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    …Finally, as to the accuracy of the UK Met Office forecasts, we don’t have to wonder about them, because the Met Office regularly publishes the statistics showing just exactly how accurate their forecasts were at varying lead times …

    Sarcasm, right?

    Wrong. If you have an objection to their methods of analysis of the success/failure of their forecasts, as I said to someone else above, you’ll have to spell it out in detail. Simply dissing their results without reasons, citations, details, and specific objections is totally inadequate in the world of science.

    Look I’m not understanding why you (Anthony) are bothering with this?

    I can’t speak for Anthony, but for me, I think all claims should be examined closely and that we should attempt to falsify everything, including particularly my own work. This adversarial skepticism is at the heart of science. I’d also love to be able to show that Piers’ method was indeed more accurate than climatology …

    Piers receives no funding from anyone other than what he earns selling his forecasts. I dip in occasionally and, as I said last night, he was pretty accurate in the forecasts I bought. He is eccentric in his presentation but that’s actually a part of his charm. He’s not harming anyone, he’s not forcing people to buy his forecasts, unlike the met office who cost us UK taxpayers £170m a year and fail regularly:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/met-office-april-forecast-drought-impacts-in-the-coming-months-are-virtually-inevitable/

    If people trust Piers’ forecasts and want to invest in them then so be it, surely there are more important things to get excited about than this!

    Carrie, you seem to be the only one that’s excited here. For me, I’m curious about all parts of science. I’d love to see a dispassionate examination of Piers’s methods and predictions, but neither one is possible. The first is not possible because Piers (understandably) doesn’t want to release his methods, and as a businessman, he has every right to not release them.

    The second, however, is more problematic, in that (as far as I know) Piers has never given a public listing of his actual detailed predictions so his successes and failures could be examined and analyzed. And that one, he could do.

    But in either case I have no problem with him selling his forecasts nor with people buying them, and I wish him the best of success.

    w.

  139. There are several reasons for that. First, Pier’s forecasts tend to be very vague. Second, they are not available for retrospective analysis. Third, he does no such analysis himself, or at least none I’ve ever seen.

    Willis, my understanding is that his paid for forecasts are very detailed and he gives confidence ratings for them in percentage. His chief customers I understand are farmers and supermarkets and they seem to be pretty satisfied. He claims his prediction rate to be around 80-85% and in interviews he is a lot more circumspect than his somewhat tabloid-esque website newsletters which I agree with others are..err…eccentric to the say the least.

    It should also be pointed out that some of his predictions are uncannily accurate, with great precision well ahead of time (within a just a few days), while others are very vague and usually given with low confidence. He is also geographically more detailed at certain times and less at others. I suspect this is due to the nature of what he can determine using his technique, which I am personally intrigued by. Your suspicion that he may be ‘on to something’ is the general impression I get having kept a bemused eye on him for a few years,

    But I would encourage you to distinguish between the different types of predictions he makes; those that are very specific and those that are more general. It seems to me that the more extreme the weather event, the more accurately he is able to predict them. I have long been intrigued by his predictions, and idly considered trying to work out for myself just how accurate he is. It would great to see WUWT turn their skeptical attention to it and see if there really is something to his theory. Just don’t forget that details of his ‘theory’ are a commercial secret for him – in the same way the recipe for coke or KFC are for them.

  140. The second, however, is more problematic, in that (as far as I know) Piers has never given a public listing of his actual detailed predictions so his successes and failures could be examined and analyzed. And that one, he could do.

    I’d love to see a dispassionate examination of Piers’s methods and predictions, but neither one is possible. The first is not possible because Piers (understandably) doesn’t want to release his methods, and as a businessman, he has every right to not release them.

    Cross posting – I agree with this 100%

  141. Re: Willis Eschenbach says:July 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

    “just exactly what is your objection?”

    That when it comes to weather or climate for that matter, ‘averaging’ can be rather misleading in determining accuracy and that +/- 2C is a somewhat generous temp span here in the UK.

    My particular objection is that the Met Office is diverting large amounts of effort and funding into propaganda used to push a political agenda.

    One need only peruse their publications, including the top one which was issued just prior to Copenhagen

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/library/publications/climate-change

    I am sure Piers Corbyn could put Met Office resources to far better use!

  142. So, he predicts tornados in northern Europe? I live in the northern part of Europe and as far as tornados goes I think we’ve had one in the last hundred years that actually did some damage. Off-Scale rain I really can’t comment on since I don’t even know what that means, more than last year, more than the last ten years?
    Hail doesn’t happen a lot here either during the summer, in the autumn and spring it’s fairly common though.
    I will watch this with interest and hope for normal sunny and warm weather for July and August so my time off work won’t be spent inside looking at tornados, gales and hail.

  143. What these ‘forecasts / predictions’ dont show is the many weather modifications taking place – not just in america but globally- and therefore isn’t allowing for the interconnected nature of weather to be fully understood by those who use such ‘forecasts / predictions’ for their work and lives.

  144. Willis, there’s something very wrong with your weightings. You show 2007 and 2011 exactly tied on the magnitude 8.0-and-up bar. That’s not right. The bar for 2011 should be 3.3 times as tall as the bar for 2007.

    2011 had a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and 2007 had nothing close to that: just an 8.5, two 8.1′s, and an 8.0.

    A magnitude 9.0 earthquake releases:
    5.5x as much energy as an 8.5
    23x as much energy as an 8.1
    32x as much energy as an 8.0

    So, adding together all four of 2007′s “8.0 & up” earthquakes we get:
    (1/5.5) + (2/23) + (1/32) = just 30% of the energy released in 2011′s 9.0 earthquake.

    Obviously that qualifies as “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

    Piers was right. I don’t know whether it was skill or luck, but he was definitely right.

  145. I’m another UK reader who has sometimes paid for Piers Corbyn’s forecasts. As others have said, he is not always right – and, yes, he does admit it – but he certainly has a track record for getting his long term forecasts MUCH more accurate than the Met Office or any others I know about. I totally agree with the comments about his presentation, but have great respect for his ability and the way he makes his forecasts public.

    He has been banned from betting on the weather (presumably because he was consistently winning) and has frequently requested an impartial audit of his long range forecasts against others – and, as far as I know, no-one is willing to take him up on it.

  146. 2012 is also a big earthquake year. We’ve already had an 8.6 and an 8.2 this year!

    A magnitude 9.0 earthquake releases:
    4.2x as much energy as an 8.6
    16.5x as much energy as an 8.2

    So, adding them together we get:
    (1/4.2) + (1/16.5) = 30% of the energy released in 2011′s 9.0 earthquake = 100% of the energy released in all four of 2007′s 8.0 & up earthquakes, combined — and the year’s only half over!

    Now, as it happens, 2007 had a lot of 7.something earthquakes, too, including a 7.9 and a 7.8. So if we don’t get any more big earthquakes this year then 2012 could still end up with less earthquake activity than 2007. But there’s no question that, regardless of what happens the rest of this year, 2011+2012 will go down in history as a period of very high earthquake activity, much higher than any other two-year period in the last dozen years.

    In other words, Piers was right.

  147. FIO Willis Eschenbach

    “the three stage investment of up to £500,000 in weatherXchange, a joint-venture company set up between the Met Office and other investors in 2001…”. The company was placed in administration with a loss to the public purse of about £4.5 million in total.”

  148. Stu N – The rain has arrived overnight, though steady rather than torrential (so far). Actually, after June, I think most of us have learned to expect rain!

    An analogy occurs to me. Remember the good old days of sending pictures down slow phone line connections? The first few passes gave you a picture which became less ‘blocky’ with each pass, until eventually the full detail of the picture was shown after a few more passes. I’d suggest that Piers, with his astrophysical technique and ability to compare with similar situations in history, provides the first few passes: yes, there’s definitely a red bit here and a green bit there, storms here or drought there, give or take a day or two or a few hundred miles. Closer to, the Met Office style gives a much more detailed picture, but rather than starting from the outline detail from WA they use their CO2 warmist theories, a solid red background. Result, we get Piers’ picture, giving us an overall, modest resolution impression, and the MO picture which not only looks sort of reddish but, while pin-sharp, keeps flickering as a frisky Jet stream flips us some more rain or a (to them) unexpected blocking high, like bad digital TV reception.

    I’m always quite impressed how many plants Piers’ forecasts seem to save – moderate resolution is evidently of use there. And href=http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/05/putting-piers-corbyn-to-the-test/#comment-1025307>Marion – that is the comment so far, beautiful. Piers should put that quote about his forecasts right at the top of his site, with full attribution.

    Now, if we could just get the Met Office to work with a man who can quite obviously point their models in the right direction, we’d be getting there. Sir Piers Corbyn could direct the ongoing (and now available) research into how our solar system drives our weather, and we’d all know that rock festival next month was likely to be a mudbath, or that we’d be needing a lot of salt for the roads in January.

    Still raining. Wax is good.

  149. I don’t have access to Dr. Corbyn’s forecasts, but I know that the world of climate forecasting and the climate science would be much poorer place without him.

  150. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 6, 2012 at 12:45 am

    ‘I can’t speak for Anthony, but for me, I think everyone’s claims should be examined closely and that we should attempt to falsify everything, including particularly my own work. This skepticism is at the heart of science.’

    We’re talking about a man who produces weather forecasts, tons of people do the very same thing on both sides of the pond. What is there to be skeptical about, it’s hardly a scientific paper is it! If people choose to buy his forecasts fair enough, market forces prevail…if his predictions are wrong most of the time, he will go out of business. I guess I’m wondering why Piers?

    ‘Carrie, you seem to be the only one that’s excited here. For me, I’m curious about all parts of science. I’d love to see a dispassionate examination of Piers’s methods and predictions, but neither one is possible. The first is not possible because Piers (understandably) doesn’t want to release his methods, and as a businessman, he has every right to not release them.’

    I’m not excited Willis, I’m just uncomfortable with the fact that someone who obviously believes completely in his skills and has had some major successes is seemingly being singled out and in some cases derided. I don’t like it, this all feels a bit school playground’ish to me. Sorry I thought WUWT was better than this.

  151. Since Corbyn is a fellow climate skeptic, let’s give him a fair but factual evaluation…

    I’m sure it wasn’t the intended impression, but that line reads like one must be a fellow sceptic in order to qualify for a “fair but factual evaluation”. I’m sure we all agree that anyone who receives evaluation is entitled to a fair and factual evaluation.

  152. Down here in UEA land it started raining in the early hours and now some 9 hours later my rain gauge is showing 32mm. Looking at rainfall radar playbacks we haven’t had the worst, and a much heavier band of rain passed North of here – the lot heading for the Midlands by the look of it….

  153. It’s true Piers doesn’t have a 100% success rate, but I personally know several farmers and growers who prefer to pay hard cash to Weather Action, instead of using the “free” Met Office, because Weather Action has a higher success rate.
    For his customers to get their money’s worth, he doesn’t need to have a 100% success rate, just a significantly better success rate than the Met Office.
    The MO “prediction” for June and July was a continuation of the drought. It’s proved to be a very wet drought.

  154. LC Kirk, Perth says:
    July 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Sorry, I should have spell-checked that first! Wretched bifocals to not improve typing skills..

    Just as a comment, I instinctively like the man and find him credibly sincere in his opinions and scientific conclusions. Don’t be put off by his presentation style, lack of graphical skills, Billingsgate accent or dishevelled, schoolmasterly appearance. You’re not looking at a slicko marketing job from Al Gore Incorporated here; you are looking at a genuine, intelligent human being, who does all his own work and is more concerned with the content than the medium.

    I have twice had the experience of introducing genuine scientific achievers from the mining industry, each on the cusp of a major ore body discovery, to stockbrokers who could have funded and massively profited from their efforts, only to have them laughed out of the room by such people, who could only be impressed by sophisticated marketing, silver-tongued conceit and the de-rigeur powerpoint presentation. The people who get it right in the mining industry are concerned with science, engineering, costings, facts, logic, hard work and precise technical details. They have no interest in doing anything that they see as unnecessary simply for the sake of appearances. Stockbrokers, conversely, are ‘prestidigitateurs’ – conjurers on a stage, with silk handkerchiefs, top hats and tinselled, leggy assistants. They are only interested in the illusion of the moment, the take at the box office till and the applause of the crowd.

    Piers Corbyn’s presentational style and website graphics are irrelevant. It is the content that counts, as Anthony clearly realises in focussing on it and testing it.

    (The less overt marketing, the more the truth, marketing being lies by any other name: hence Gore)
    ===================================
    thank you, After seeing so many usa “characters” I really am amazed at the accusations hes a showman etc.
    hes an Honest chap . he admits errors . which is a damn sight more human and likeable than the rest of the weather crews are.
    ok so he charges for info that can and does give Farmers especially, a better chance of judging planting and crop damage possible.
    he warned of big wet in sth sthwest aus when , from the weather we were getting, and the Boms info it was going to be dry.
    I admit even I scratched my head thinking no way., from the weather we were having which was far warmer than it should have been standard at that time.
    well Piers was right, we copped flooding in large parts of the state, completely out of the norm ,and I had told people I knew and suggested they did plan for rain. and I also pre planned getting hay and wood up and dry. he saved my butt fodder wise, and that was only the free snips, as a pensioner, now with the added insult of rising power water and carbon scams, I cant afford his full charts., but i sure would if i could.
    you dont “like” his web page design?
    oh really. how precious of you….it isnt the presentation that matters FFS its the info!

  155. KM says:
    July 6, 2012 at 5:39 am

    From the URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10644550

    “Legend has it that he asked to be buried humbly outside Winchester Cathedral when he died but his remains were dug up in 971 and moved inside the building.

    The act was said to have coincided with 40 days and 40 nights of violent storms, indicating his displeasure at being moved.”

    Nowadays they just blame CO2 with a similar amount of correlation logic.

  156. Piers has a certain style. But, i think you should judge him by his major competition, that is the Met Office. here is the link, http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ The met office has come a cropper in recent years with their barbeque summers, which weren`t. On the subject of this May, Pier said it would be cold etc etc, and it was, i know, i live here. The dear old Met Office hedged it bets and said by and large it would be touch warmer than average. Asi t turned out i was bloody cold by may standards for three weeks, then we all got fried. Over all it was `average`, but it was actually nothing like average it was a tale of two extreme. On balance Pier was right.

  157. Willis wrote:
    “Carrie, you seem to be the only one that’s excited here.”
    There are 174 posts on this thread so far. It would appear that Carrie is not the “only one that’s excited here”. If Anthony is going to do a follow-up on Piers Corbyn’s accuracy, I presume that means he will be using Corbyn’s more detailed product and not just his teaser page. Is that true?

  158. Piers Corbyn was much more accurate than the MET office in the UK this year. In March this year there was concern regarding drought because of two successive dry winters. The MET office predicted dry April May and June with April the driest of the three. As a result, a number of water companies in the UK issued hosepipe bans on the 6th of April – by which time it had already started raining heavily. This led to the hilarious photo which WUWT blogged of an advert on a London bus about drought, while all the people waiting for the bus were soaked, in the middle of a downpour, holdng umbrellas. In contrast Piers predicted floods in April, a colder than average May and floods in June. The only bit he got wrong was that the last week of May was unusually warm, and so the statistics for the whole month looked very normal. I dont subscribe to his forecasts but from his webpage you could see that in May he predicted floods on the 6th and 7th June. He was out by one day – the flooding began on the 8th. I would say, give the guy a break. He is very interesting. He makes his predictions using a laptop, while the MET, who he outforecasts, are seeking ever more money for bigger computer systems.

  159. daveburton says:
    July 6, 2012 at 3:18 am

    So, adding together all four of 2007′s “8.0 & up” earthquakes we get:
    (1/5.5) + (2/23) + (1/32) = just 30% of the energy released in 2011′s 9.0 earthquake.

    Obviously that qualifies as “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

    Piers was right. I don’t know whether it was skill or luck, but he was definitely right.

    If Piers had said “If you calculate the actual energy released by the earthquake, and ignore the number of earthquakes, the energy released will go up” he would have been right.

    But he didn’t say that. Instead, he made a very vague Nostradamus prognostication, one which you yourself have already used three different methods to calculate. Now you’ve finally found one that agrees with him … sorry, Dave, but that’s special pleading. When Piers makes a falsifiable prediction, then we’ll be able to determine if he was right or not.

    But as it stands, it’s just like his other predictions of things like “searing heat” and “waves of thunderstorms” and “frequent low pressure”, none of which are anywhere near specific enough to be falsified.

    w.

    PS—You guys seem to be of the impression that I think Piers is a charlatan or a fraud or something. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think it’s great that he beats the UK Met Office (although that’s a pretty low hurdle). I think, as another poster said, that the world of climate forecasting would be much poorer without him.

    I just wish that he would a) be much more specific in his forecasts, and b) publish them with full details after the fact so that we could see how well he is actually doing, rather than just speculating. I say this last because his habit of trumpeting his successes and ignoring his failures, quite frankly, makes my urban legend detector start to ring … if I were as successful as he claims, I’d be retrospectively publishing every one of my forecasts, good and bad, in full detail so that I could rest on my laurels. He doesn’t do so … which as I said, makes my detector start to ring.

  160. Long term data from the Met shows that the wettest summers were back in the 18th and 19thC. After a trend to drier summers in the 20thC up to about 1970, the trend since has been to wetter ones since.

    DEFRA however project drier summers ( and wetter winters, which incidentally have been getting drier in the last few years). Either their models are wrong or we are getting colder.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/english-summer-rainfall-trends/

  161. I don’t know what to say about Piers, I like the connection with the magnetic fields of the Sun and Earth. He should expose his ideas more openly for the debate, show his formulas and graphs, not only the forecasts themselves.

  162. I have to agree with Willis, particularly as he ‘stole’ nearly every salient point I intended to make here already! :) :) :)

    I am a professional meteorologist responsible for forecasting operational threats to the electrical transmission and distribution system of a large eastern US energy company. Spring of 2011 I read several positive comments regarding Piers’ forecasts and thought that I would evaluate them (his US forecasts) for a year. My evaluation was done subjectively, noting on a calendar the various notable threats in Piers’ forecasts that could impact to our area and subsequently noting if they provided any useful signal of upcoming threats to our system.

    Apart from his forecast for Hurricane Irene (which I would count as a decent success even though Piers’ forecasts for the remaining entirety (June – November) of the 2011 Atlantic TC season was poor), his forecasts offered no beneficial signal regarding operational threats. In the real world of operational forecasting, a forecast of “Heavy rain turning to HEAVY Snow with thunder snow” across the Upper Great Lakes, Ohio River Valley, and Blue Ridge from a low moving out of the Great Lakes into the Canadian Maritimes for day X *does not count as a successful forecast* for a heavy wet snow from the northern Mid-Atlantic through New England from a nor’easter on day X-2; that at least was a ‘close’ forecast. There were *many* forecasts for significant events that never happened, and visa versa. Again from my operational experience (for the US at least) Piers’ forecasts are at best worthless.

  163. Richard Holle says:

    July 6, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Richard

    I read your aerology thesis sometime ago and still have it bookmarked. I found it very interesting and , as far as I could determine with very little info from piers, you and he are on the same track.
    Good stuff!

  164. A fair test for a fair and honest man
    Like a number of other UK commentators, I have bought and used Pier’s predictions. Sometimes he’s more-or-less spot on, other times he’s way out. By this I mean that he gets the weather around Birmingham, my home town, approximately right, sometimes, but certainly not always. I don’t mean I have done any careful statistical analysis of his predictions compared with what actually happened.

    I attended a meeting at Imperial College (Piers’s old alma mater) at which he, and other sceptics spoke in Autumn 2010. He had said that he would explain his method and ‘reveal all’. He didn’t go into detail but, from what I remember, as others have said, his approach is based on the belief that the Sun’s output of solar wind, radiation (and magnetic field??) influences the upper atmosphere and the movement of the jet streams. It appears then that he applies some kind of pattern recognition, and examines what happened last time the Sun’s output pattern of charged particles etc was similar and how the weather responded. Please excuse my vagueness but I am not knowledgeable, and he did speak in generalities. This sort of fits with the forecasts I have bought. Sometimes they predict the weather pattern uncannily. Other times they are completely wrong. It’s as if the pattern has repeated and is the same, and then it doesn’t repeat, although Piers was expecting it to do so i.e. he seems to get it either completely right, or completely wrong.

    Something like an objective comparison of weather predictions has been proposed by Roger Harrabin (BBC Environment correspondent) http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9699000/9699478.stm. But whether it is, and whether it happens isn’t currently clear.

    Willis argues that Piers should construct his own assessment of his prediction skill, and I agree that this would be a good thing to do. But it takes time and money to do this sort of work, and I am not sure that Piers has either. It would be a powerful marketing tool.

    I don’t think he’s a charlatan. I think he’s tried to develop and refine his method. He’s running a business from which he makes his living so he’s not going to give away his method. This is frustrating because it’s therefore not possible to independently and critically examine his theory and the strength of the evidence supporting it. All we see is the output, the forecasts, and we have to pay for them. As a number of people have pointed out, people including farmers and food businesses do pay for the forecasts which is suggestive evidence that Piers’s theories seem to have some validity. Having said that there are a lot of gullible people ‘out there’, but I don’t think of farmers and food retailers as naïve dupes, so maybe Piers’s onto something. The frustration for all of us, he won’t tell us what!

    His model is based, he believes, on physically plausible effects by the Sun, and the Moon, on the Earth’s atmosphere. This is, according to Piers, based on physically plausible, predictable mechanisms (which he won’t share). It’s on this basis that he predicts long-term weather patterns. The Met Office, as I understand it, uses CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to predict how the atmosphere will behave three, four or five days ahead. Because of the inevitable chaotic behaviour of the atmosphere it’s impossible, no matter how big or expensive the computer, to predict further ahead than, say, five days. The Met Office seems to have no theory of what influences weather outside of CFD. So it’s stuck in CFD land. At least Piers seems to deal with physical effects (from the Sun and Moon) i.e. he’s dealing with effects that are causal and influence weather patterns in a physically plausible way.

    I am with LC Kirk when he says:
    “…I instinctively like the man and find him credibly sincere in his opinions and scientific conclusions. Don’t be put off by his presentation style, lack of graphical skills, Billingsgate accent or dishevelled, schoolmasterly appearance. You’re not looking at a slicko marketing job from Al Gore Incorporated here; you are looking at a genuine, intelligent human being, who does all his own work and is more concerned with the content than the medium.”
    Piers isn’t slick. His presentations are amateurish, and opaque. He does look like an absent-minded professor, and he’s no media savvy ‘slicko’. He does tend to over-claim and he does overdo it with the !!!!! None of this matters if he’s right, and he’s onto something. The frustration is that he can’t, and won’t tell us more. Pity.

  165. No need to share the method, but as already stated, the fact that he doesn’t release out of date forecasts for evaluation says everything that you need to know.

    How many farmers, how many supermarkets -what size?

  166. You’re reneging, WIllis.

    I said, “if you object to counting only 8.0 magnitude earthquakes, then I suppose you could get a more meaningful measure by counting all 5.0-and-up earthquakes, weighted by energy released. Does that sound reasonable to you?”

    You replied, “Sure, that sounds reasonable.”

    But that was when you mistakenly thought that the calculation would put 2007 ahead of 2011 in earthquake activity.

    Now that you know that by that “reasonable” measure the earthquake activity of 2011 dwarfed 2007′s earthquake activity (and every other recent year), you’ve changed your mind.

    This is not a “special pleading.” This is a metric that you (correctly) agreed is reasonable. IMO, it is the only reasonable metric.

    Simply counting earthquakes is not reasonable. A 9.0 earthquake releases 1,000,000 times as much energy as a 5.0 earthquake. Equating them is like equating a 500 lb conventional bomb (explosive yield equivalent to about 210 lbs TNT) to a 105 kiloton nuke. (For comparison, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was 12-15 kilotons.)

    The fact is that Piers’ earthquake warning last year was absolutely right. I don’t know whether he was very smart or very lucky, but he was unquestionably correct.

    Dave

  167. BTW, what’s the secret for embedding those graphs in your messages, Willis? I can’t seem to make it work!

    REPLY: You have to have author privileges here to embed images – Anthony

  168. daveburton says:
    July 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    You’re reneging, WIllis.

    I said, “if you object to counting only 8.0 magnitude earthquakes, then I suppose you could get a more meaningful measure by counting all 5.0-and-up earthquakes, weighted by energy released. Does that sound reasonable to you?”

    You replied, “Sure, that sounds reasonable.”

    But that was when you mistakenly thought that the calculation would put 2007 ahead of 2011 in earthquake activity.

    Now that you know that by that “reasonable” measure the earthquake activity of 2011 dwarfed 2007′s earthquake activity (and every other recent year), you’ve changed your mind.

    This is not a “special pleading.” This is a metric that you (correctly) agreed is reasonable. IMO, it is the only reasonable metric.

    Well, duh, of course you think that it is the “only reasonable metric”, because it is the only metric by which Piers is right. Is it a reasonable way to measure earthquakes? Sure. Does it prove that Piers is right? No chance, because that’s not what he predicted.

    You don’t seem to have grasped my point, which I’ve been making all along. Piers’s prognostications, about earthquakes and in most cases about weather, are so general as to be unfalsifiable. As you have just shown, one earthquake metric supports his claim and one metric doesn’t … but you choose the one that supports his claim.

    This is only possible because his claim lacks the required specificity to be either falsified or verified, as you have clearly proven.

    So no, I’m not “reneging” on anything, I am simply reiterating what I’ve been saying since my first post on this thread—his predictions are like those of Nostradamus—they are pliable enough to twist them to mean whatever you want them to mean. And when they are not that pliable, people just ignore the fact that he said “New Mexico and Arizona”, and decide that they are “close enough”.

    w.

    PS—You are making the claim that Piers was right based on the fortuitous occurrence of one single large earthquake. Without that one earthquake, his results would show the opposite … do you know how many statisticians are rolling over in their graves regarding the foolishness of such a claim, based on a single occurrence?

  169. Willis wrote, “Well, duh, of course you think that it is the “only reasonable metric”, because it is the only metric by which Piers is right.”

    Wrong. There is no metric even marginally reasonable by which Piers isn’t right about this.

    You didn’t like considering just the really big earthquakes (8.0 & up), because it was obvious that Piers was right. So I suggested the most precise metric: summing the energy from all the earthquakes which are big enough to be reasonably counted (5.0 & up), which you agreed was reasonable. But by that metric, too, Piers is obviously right.

    That shouldn’t come as a surprise: There’s not really much difference between counting just the biggest earthquakes and counting all the earthquakes big enough to be reliably detected and counted, because because most of the energy released by earthquakes (and most of the destruction) is from the very biggest ones.

    2011′s magnitude 9.0 earthquake released the same energy as 32,000 magnitude 6.0 earthquakes. In the big earthquake year of 2007 there were only 2,074 earthquakes between magnitude 5.0 and 5.9, so the 5.something earthquakes are nearly negligible in their contribution to the sum.

    2011′s magnitude 9.0 earthquake released the same energy as 1000 magnitude 7.0 earthquakes. In 2007 there were only 178 magnitude 6.0-6.9 earthquakes, so the 6.something earthquakes are nearly negligible in their contribution to the sum, too.

    That’s why it is reasonable to ignore the small earthquakes, and just consider the large ones: because that is a good approximation of the correct metric, which is to sum the energy released by all the earthquakes big enough to cause damage or be reliably detected and counted.

    What’s not reasonable is equating earthquakes of wildly differing sizes, as in your bar charts.

  170. Willis wrote, “PS—You are making the claim that Piers was right based on the fortuitous occurrence of one single large earthquake. Without that one earthquake, his results would show the opposite…”

    Not really, Willis. Did you look at that list of biggest earthquakes since 1900?

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/10_largest_world.php

    The 4th largest and the 11th largest earthquakes in the last 112 years have both occurred in the 15 months since Piers forecast “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

  171. Willis,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m sensitive, as a skeptic, to anything that feels like an automatic rejection of the off-beat. As a professional geologist, I am very aware of the inherent questioning that comes of thinking outside the consensus box. Skepticism in climate science, of which I am a solid supporter as it now goes, does, at times, have an element of if-Hansen-says-it-it-must-be-wrong. Or a Piers, in this case: he is outside the social box, for sure, and that tends to generate a belief (in all of us) that he is outside the reasoning box.

    Piers, as others have noted, is a promoter. It is not in his professional interest to provide a baseball score, unless he is way beyond the curve. I get it. But perhaps Anthony and Joe would be better to discuss: how good is ANY prediction 1 month out?

    This is the delimema of both warmist and skeptic alike: how far can you reasonably predict ANYTHING? If a 3 month forecast is, historically foolish, how can you blame the 2010 Russian heatwave or the current American heatwave on anything? If you can’t connect forward, can you really connect backward? As a geologist I build internally consistent stories to explain the current geology, but I know that those stories are not necessarily correct, but only consistent as far as the data goes – or most of it. That is why geologists have a career: the stories we made yesterday are not as good as the ones we make today, and we’re prepared to be paid to declare thus.

    Thanks again.

    D.

  172. P. Solar says:
    July 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Alan the Brit says: We shall see what develops, if he wasn’t any good at it he would have gone out of business by now!

    False logic. Have the Met Office gone out of business?

    Has any publicly funded business ever gone out of business?

    DaveE.

  173. Dave, you still haven’t responded to my underlying problem with Piers’s claim, the vagueness that underlies all of his claims. He makes no mention of how we are to measure the earthquakes. There are three obvious possibilities–number, magnitude, and energy released. By two of the three measures, there is nothing unusual. By the third one, energy released, there is an anomaly, although it does not appear to be statistically significant.

    However, Piers didn’t say which measure he was talking about, so I’m sure if there had been a bunch more earthquakes you would have claimed victory as well. After all, he didn’t say that the earthquakes would be more energetic, as you keep claiming. He said, and I quote:

    As New Zealand is struck by Earthquake Piers says:-
    Expect more earthquakes world-wide for next two years
    • More Earthquakes near solar activity minima
    • Odd-Even cycle minima (like THIS one) probably worse
    • More Earthquakes associated with Solar proton events

    Note that there is not one word in there about “more energetic earthquakes”, Dave. Three separate times, he said “More earthquakes”. So for sure, if there had been more earthquakes, you would still be claiming victory even if they were not strong earthquakes. Since there weren’t more earthquakes, you now claim victory because there were some strong ones.

    And that is the problem. His forecasts are so vague as to allow a host of interpretations, and people can pick the most favorable.

    I thought that there might be a way out, in that it should be possible to test his related claim that there are “More Earthquakes near solar activity minima”. We have decent earthquake records of large quakes for a couple of solar minima. The problem, of course, is that 2011-2012 is not a solar minimum … the last solar minimum was in 2008, before that in 1996, and before that in 1986 … and I see no shred of evidence supporting his claim of “more earthquakes” in the record for those years.

    Of course, the problem once again is that Piers has left himself a way out, saying that there will be more earthquakes “near” solar minima … more Nostradamus vagueness, what does “near” mean? Within ± one year? Within ± five years?

    So go ahead, Dave. When Piers says “more earthquakes”, you are free to claim he is right because a couple of the ones that did occur were quite powerful … but PIERS DIDN’T PREDICT MORE POWERFUL EARTHQUAKES, HE PREDICTED MORE EARTHQUAKES. And guess what …

    There haven’t been more earthquakes. Period. There have been a couple more powerful earthquakes, but there have not been more earthquakes.

    w.

  174. Greetings to all Citizens of Science. There’s a lot here and I havn’t read it all. Some comments:-

    1. THANK YOU (Ok apols for caps) Anthony for posting these SUMMARY FORECASTS (and no apols for these caps).

    2. Please distinguish between forecast material and views you may have on type-faces etc.

    3. Anthony, I think you are partly confusing news pieces about forecasts – or forecast adverts – with the forecasts themselves which are not difficult to understand at all. In fact they are more precise than any around of more than a week ahead in terms of what and when (let’s say compared with UK Met0).

    4. Willis Eschenbach, I am ASTOUNDED (no apols for caps) at your remarks. In the old Climate Sceptics group you and I used to communicate quite a lot and I always found your contributions excellent and objective and helpful and when you report here I still do. However look please be real. You are treating a summary eye-grabbing (it was said) page on the month as all their is and being wantonly derisory of what is said there – which in fact is pretty unambiguous. It also makes clear the timings etc are in the full forecast.
    Our WeatherAction USA forecasts cover 10 pages and the whens and whats are spelt out.
    [Btw subscribers don't complain about color coding there, in terms of colors there is less use in Europe forecasts and less colour again for Britain+Ireland, but let's keep to content] .
    It is NOT (no apols for caps) the case that this forecast detail or summary could apply to almost any July. At the end of the month I invite you to compare our forecast with the last 10 July’s and see to which actual obs it is closest in term of
    (i) General development summary and extremes – ie summary page
    (ii) Detail in 8 corresponding date-wise weather periods through each of the July’s.
    And, (iii) If standard Met underestimated strengths of deluges etc in their one or two day ahead forecasts during our R5 and R4 activity periods.

    The usual warmist ‘assessment’ by listing of mistakes (and there will be some) is just dishonest. what has to be assessed is what was forecast against all the possibilities that might reasonably occur and against what others said (although that is often nothing)

    In order to do this I make available for publication on this site the FULL 10 pages of forecast for July USA as the pdf. I am aware this will upset some subscribers and will make it up to them somehow by extending their site download access by another month.

    5. There are a lot of subscribers in USA, Europe and Brit+Ire who subscribe again and again and rate our forecasts very highly and indeed ‘swear by them’ for usefulness allowing for stated uncertainties (and bear in mind these are one shot generally rather than UKM0 5 or more shots). Growers in Britain were VERY grateful for our May forecast which spelt growing problems and that is what they suffered. We get fantastic support from forecast users.

    6. The claim that we hadn’t admitted/discussed/ assessed the warm 4th week in May is totally false. I object to arrant falsity being posted on WUWT (Anthony it is libel). The consequences of public and private discussion has been SLAT8A (Solar Lunar Action Technique 8A) under which this July forecast is produced. USEFULNESS is our guide to forecasts rather than word games to be ‘right’ a la UK-There-will-be-some-weather-M0. Usefulness coupled with defined boundaries of uncertainty give us weather bets. so read on.

    7. For completeness this month we have NOW (6/7 July) also posted our EXTREME Warnings Brit+Ire JULY Forecast SUMMARY PAGE as issued 28Jun (very similar to ’45d’ forecast issued 15 June) http://twitpic.com/a4q45r/full
    On this we said that we had a 60% confidence that England+Wales will be the wettest of the 247 Julys since 1766 (and 85% confident in wettest 5%). NOW we estimate with 85% confidence that it will be the wettest out of 247 years of records and 95% sure it will be in the wettest 5%. Anyone care to bet?

    8. We – a friend known to be a proxy for me – attempted to place a bet with William Hill that the Olympic opening ceremony in London on 27th July will suffer disruptive downpours etc. The word came back from the new boy on the block that “Piers Corbyn was £14,000 ahead on his betting account with us before we closed it (in around 1999) so we errr…”. Anyone care to bet?

    8. Thanks very much Spartacus is Free, SteveC, Bryan and others for putting the facts.

    9. Our long range weather forecasts have proven significant skill – inc peer review stuff on UK gales and more detail since – see http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact45
    - especially the pdfs which cover our early USA trials. For information, not there, of the Accuweather extreme weather events listed in their annual summary for 2011, ALL of them were predicted by us. This success was not due to overforecasting (ie always saying, eg, there will be a hurricane tomorrow).
    We predicted Hurricane Irene formation to within one day from 12 weeks ahead and improved on standard Mets track forecast in special short range ‘End game’ forecasts:-

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews11No12.pdf

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews11No14.pdf

    Concerning one ignorant remark on bets etc:-
    (i) The peer reviewed report on gales forecasts years ago stated the success was not due to overforecasting but real significant skill, and
    (ii) ALL our month ahead etc bets were on the William Hill account which was £14000 ahead to me when they closed it. I had no other betting account.

    10. Our Earthquake forecasts are public TRIALS and being developed. They too have skill various observers have commented but they are still only trial status.

    11. Evidence-based science is the only science

  175. People are making a mountain out of a mole hill here. Piers Corbyn has done some very basic research science – something any astrophysicist could have done. He has gone back to basics: he has studied past weather patterns and looked for correlations between them and heavenly objects and their relative positions, particularly the earth, moon and the sun. It’s no big deal that it has unsurprisingly worked in part. The only surprise is that it appears to have worked better than would have been expected. His untested, hypothetical explanations are just that and obscure the simple process behind his predictions.

    The real take home lesson is that our theoretical climate science contains many even more untested theoretical hypotheses and they are failing miserably. He beats the UK BOM. I probably could too: just bet against every long term forecast they make. It is not so much a reflection upon him as a reflection of the mendacious pseudoscience that is promoted as climate science and the real world phenomena it neglects to consider and their unscientific methodology. Climate scientists probably are amazed to see real scientists so excited over how close CERN has got to the experimental confirmation of the Higgs Boson. To them it has been computer tested so it exists so finding it is no big deal.

    When one astrophysicist with a laptop does better than billions of dollars of research and equipment and thousands of so called scientists the guy with the laptop should be the least of our worries.

    • This morning on the BBC news channel the news team plus the Met team had an extended discussion about the series of severe flooding incidents affecting the UK.

      The poster of the UK with the Jet Stream south of the UK was produced.
      This poster was first shown by BBC less than a month ago.
      Its almost identical to Piers graphic shown almost 4 months ago

      All are agreed now that its a Jet Stream problem.
      The Met men said “lots of research going on” melting ice caps was mentioned as being a cause.
      Solar activity influencing the stratosphere was not mentioned.
      The Met men were trying to portray that the Met was ‘ahead of the game ‘.
      In reality the Met team seem to be predicting the past.

      Piers was not mentioned even though he and his forecasts are well known and in the public domain.
      The whole discussion carefully avoided the ‘Piers elephant in the room’.
      Is the BBC as an impartial broadcaster of weather/climate news?
      It stinks all the way to the stratosphere!

  176. I am not sure where my other post has gone, I know it takes time of course, but just on a couple of false statements
    (i) We DID say more powerful earthquakes or words to that effect
    (ii) Why are you going on about earthquakes, these are not the subject of the post and are trial forecasts only?
    (iii) We never said May would be ‘the coldest ever’
    If people have to make up false versions of our forecasts in order to prove them wrong we cannot advance.
    Come on citizens, science please.
    PC
    PS I am sending the full pdf

  177. Thanks Piers. Your forecasts are certainly more accurate than those of the crowd at the CBC in Canada.

    The Canadian Farmer’s Almanac used to be based on extra-terrestrial influences and I noted their very accurate blizzard warning for the NE US 3 years ago (February) – got it within 3 or 4 days, 5 ft of snow. Now they have a new computer with ‘proper science and spout warmist BS – quite a lot (lots of hot-cold-wet-dry). It turns out (I checked) that the blizzard warning was written the previous March.

    I believe their methods used to be very similar to yours though they said it included the position of Jupiter.

  178. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says: @ July 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm….

    Thank you for making the entire 10 page forecast available to WUWT. I for one have been dying of curiosity. We use Wunderground (Hubby’s decision) much to my disgust. The maps there are great but the forecasts So-So. I normally do my own “forecasting” based on the maps. For the last year or so that has been difficult because the Jet Stream has changed and the weather no longer routinely comes from the west as it used to. The change is messing up the forecasters too. Last week I saw the forecast change four times for the next day.

  179. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) (July 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm) wrote:
    “I make available for publication on this site the FULL 10 pages of forecast for July USA as the pdf.”

    Anthony? Moderators? I still don’t see any link.
    Thanks if you can find time to provide.

    Piers: Thanks for stopping by.

  180. Willie wrote, “Dave, you still haven’t responded to my underlying problem with Piers’s claim, the vagueness that underlies all of his claims.”

    I’m not talking about “all of his claims.” I’m talking about one specific prediction, which, when he made it, I thought preposterous… but which turned out to be spot-on.

    I’ve not paid any attention to his weather forecasts, and have no opinion about them.

    “He makes no mention of how we are to measure the earthquakes.”

    There’s really only one reasonable way, plus ways that approximate that one reasonable way.

    “There are three obvious possibilities–number, magnitude, and energy released.”

    Wrong. “Number” is not a meaningful measure. There’re millions of insignificant earthquakes every year. Nobody knows how many, they can’t be counted, and they don’t matter.

    Magnitude and energy released are really the same thing. The “magnitude” number is, very roughly, equivalent to a shorthand notation for the energy released by a single earthquake.

    Total energy released is how you sum the sizes of multiple earthquakes. It is the only reasonable way to do so.

    “By two of the three measures, there is nothing unusual.”

    The only measure by which there might be nothing unusual is the completely meaningless one: the count of insignificant earthquakes.

    As for magnitude of individual earthquakes: We had a 9.0 quake — only the 2nd in 47 years — just a few weeks after his prediction.

    As for total energy released: 2011 was huge, and 2012 is on track to be way above average, too.

    There certainly does appear to be some kind of cyclical element to the frequency of big earthquakes. In this USGS “top 17 earthquakes since 1900″ list:

    The 1950s & 1960s had 7 top-17 earthquakes, including the top 2 and 3 of the top 6.
    The 1970s through 1990s had none.
    The 2000s & 2010s have had 6 so far, including the other 3 of the top 6.

    “By the third one, energy released, there is an anomaly…”
    Translation: Piers was right.

    Come on, just say it.

    You can say that you think he was just lucky. But you can’t say he wasn’t right.

    “…although it does not appear to be statistically significant…”
    Justify that, please. If you can.

    “Three separate times, he said ‘More earthquakes’.”

    Sloppy language, granted, but it was obviously shorthand for “more big earthquakes” or “more earthquake activity,” because the total number of earthquakes is inconsequential and unknowable, and because he also used the synonymous but more careful phrase, “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

    “I’m sure if there had been a bunch more earthquakes you would have claimed victory as well.”

    1. Nonsense, because if there were we’d never know it. There’s no way to know how many earthquakes there are. They cannot be counted. Only big ones can be counted, and if you count them it only makes sense to weight them according to their sizes (energy released).

    2. It’s not my victory! I have no dog in this argument. Like Anthony, I cringe when I see Piers’ garish newsletters, and I really and truly believed he was nuts when he made that earthquake prediction. Nobody was more shocked than I was when he was vindicated.

    I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and in this case credit is clearly due. To my complete shock, and he was right.

    “Since there weren’t more earthquakes…”

    You don’t know that. There’s no way to know whether there were more or fewer insignificant earthquakes.

    “The problem, of course, is that 2011-2012 is not a solar minimum…

    You’re right. Since he’s showed up here, perhaps he’ll explain that.

    *** Piers, will you please address that question? ***

    “PIERS DIDN’T PREDICT MORE POWERFUL EARTHQUAKES, HE PREDICTED MORE EARTHQUAKES.”

    Shouting doesn’t make this very weak argument any stronger. You’re nit-picking his prose, and cherry-picking from it, too. The phrase I noted was “significantly enhanced earthquake activity.”

    THAT, we certainly got!

    “There haven’t been more earthquakes. Period. There have been a couple more powerful earthquakes, but there have not been more earthquakes.”

    Willis, in the trenches here in NC, I’ve been arguing about sea level with Climate Movement activists who are absolutely certain of things they can’t possibly know. I’ve come to expect that sort of nonsense from them. A few days ago a UNC Professor in the Biology Department even called my description of the principle of buoyancy (Archimedes’ Principle) “crazy logic.”

    But you are just about the last person in the world I thought would ever have that problem. So many times I’ve seen you carefully, and often very originally and entertainingly, analyze a problem, with open eyes and open mind. It’s almost your trademark! I’ve never before seen you defiantly proclaim as Revealed Truth that which you can’t possibly know.

    The number of earthquakes is determined almost entirely by the number of insignificantly tiny earthquakes, and they can’t be counted, because they can’t be reliably detected.

    The amount of earthquake activity is only reasonably quantified by summing the energy released by them, but it can be approximated by summing the energy released by just the largest earthquakes.

  181. Willis, w/r/t the good point that I thought you made (“2011-2012 is not a solar minimum”) I regret that I didn’t go back to Piers’ newsletter to check what he wrote. You quoted his headline; this is what he wrote further down (emphasis mine):

    …for solar drivers it appears that the odd-even minima, particularly the later part ie the rising phase of even solar cycles – WHICH IS WHERE WE ARE NOW (early Solar Cycle 24) – are the most dangerous.

    Willis, I hereby withdraw the “you’re right” that I addressed to you, and the “Piers, will you please address that question” that I addressed to Piers.
     

    Piers, you asked Willis, “Why are you going on about earthquakes,…

    Well, that’s my fault. I posed this, and Willis answered with this, and off we went.

  182. Wish people would remember that predicting the weather is not like predicting the outcome of a horse race. It is not binary. You cannot evaluate generate weather predictions with what happens locally.

    Weather is a chaotic system, you will NEVER get 100% accuracy.

  183. Thanks Piers, for putting up the entire 10 page forecast. You have always been fair and honest.

  184. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    4. Willis Eschenbach, I am ASTOUNDED (no apols for caps) at your remarks. In the old Climate Sceptics group you and I used to communicate quite a lot and I always found your contributions excellent and objective and helpful and when you report here I still do. However look please be real. You are treating a summary eye-grabbing (it was said) page on the month as all their is and being wantonly derisory of what is said there – which in fact is pretty unambiguous. It also makes clear the timings etc are in the full forecast.

    Piers, it is good to hear from you. Let me start by quoting what I said above:

    You guys seem to be of the impression that I think Piers is a charlatan or a fraud or something. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think it’s great that he beats the UK Met Office (although that’s a pretty low hurdle). I think, as another poster said, that the world of climate forecasting would be much poorer without him.

    Let me add that I find your work and your forecasts fascinating. My regret, as I said above, is that you have not made the whole of your past work public. I understand that you are running a business, and that you are wisely not exposing your business secrets. What I don’t understand is, once your WeatherAction News is no longer timely, once the date of the most long-range forecast in that issue is past, why have you not published that issue? That way, we could all see and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your forecasts.

    Now, it’s clear from your post you have problems with something that I wrote … but what? If you would quote what I said that you object to, I could respond to it. As it stands, I don’t have a clue what it is that I wrote that you are objecting to. All I know is that your are ASTOUNDED by it. The lack of details is an insuperable obstacle.

    You make vague assertions that I have somehow done you wrong, but you neglect to quote what it is that I said that you are objecting to.

    For example, I was clear (I thought) that I had not seen the entire forecast, just the summary. I said:

    Co2Sceptic says:
    July 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Willis Eschenbach

    When you mention:

    his forecast for July is so vague as to be useless

    Have you see the FULL forecast? Or just the FRONT PAGE?

    Thanks, Co2Skeptic. I have not seen the FULL forecast, because I’d have to subscribe to his forecasts to do so, and I don’t have the $$ to do so.

    Despite my making it perfectly clear (I thought) that I was only talking about the summary, you say that I am “treating a summary … as all their is”. I am not treating it as all there is. I am discussing what I have access to. I read you have published a full WeatherAction News, and I commend you for that.

    From my perspective, you said that

    “Terrible weather is coming the world over this July so WeatherAction has issued free summary long range forecasts for USA and for Europe…”

    For reasons of concern over the upcoming “terrible weather”, you’ve released a summary forecast. Presumably it contains valuable information. Presumably it has some substance. I am fully justified in dealing with your summary forecast as a summary, and pointing out any flaws it might have, just as I am free to comment on or point out flaws in the abstract of a peer-reviewed scientific paper. It’s all we have to discuss … so that’s what we discuss.

    So … in any case, I think it’s great that you have joined the discussion, it’s good to hear from you again. Again let me request that you quote what I said that you object to, my actual words, so that we can discuss it.

    w.

    PS—On another subject, you say:

    Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    (i) We DID say more powerful earthquakes or words to that effect

    Piers, you may well have done so … but I can’t find it anywhere, and your capital letters, while impressive in your newsletters, in this context establish nothing but your belief. A link to where you made the statement would put the matter to rest.

    (ii) Why are you going on about earthquakes, these are not the subject of the post and are trial forecasts only?

    We’re talking about earthquakes because the topic is your claims regarding forecasting the future, and you have claimed to be able to forecast earthquakes. Did you expect to make that claim and not have it discussed?

    PPS—You also said:

    8. We – a friend known to be a proxy for me – attempted to place a bet with William Hill that the Olympic opening ceremony in London on 27th July will suffer disruptive downpours etc. The word came back from the new boy on the block that “Piers Corbyn was £14,000 ahead on his betting account with us before we closed it (in around 1999) so we errr…”. Anyone care to bet?

    Depends. I’m a betting man, if only for the publicity … as a chance to discuss what makes a falsifiable forecast and what is vague handwaving. I got a hundred bucks US if the odds are right. What odds are you offering? But I’m not fool enough to bet on what you call a “disruptive downpour etc.” without first spelling out the “etc” in great detail.

    As examples. Are you just talking about rain falling on the Olympic Stadium itself? What if no rain falls on the Olympic Stadium, but it does fall on the ring roads and disrupts the Opening Ceremony? How much rain are we talking about? What are the time boundaries? Noon to midnight? Twenty-four hours? Just during the Opening Ceremony itself, and if so, what are the hours?

    For me to win the bet, I have to show that your forecast was false. If we don’t spell that stuff out in that detail and more, then your forecast is much harder to falsify. So give me the odds, and the time and place and amount of rain you are forecasting and which rain gauge will be used to measure it, whatever terms you want to put on it. Only then can I see if I want to take the bet.

    Looking forward to it actually.

    My best to you.

  185. I feel foolish asking, but Piers says “In order to do this I make available for publication on this site the FULL 10 pages of forecast for July USA as the pdf.”

    I feel foolish because I looked and looked and I couldn’t find the pdf, although a couple of commenters sounded like people had seen it … where is the link to the 10-page forecast? I’ll be fascinated to see it.

    Many thanks,

    w.

  186. Corbyn says:
    “For completeness this month we have NOW (6/7 July) also posted our EXTREME Warnings Brit+Ire JULY Forecast SUMMARY PAGE as issued 28Jun (very similar to ’45d’ forecast issued 15 June) http://twitpic.com/a4q45r/full

    According to the summary page:
    1-4 July Heavy rain with thunder, hail and floods over most parts of Britain and Ireland.
    Correct? No.

    5-7 July Showery and breezy/windy in Scotland, N Ireland and N England. Showery with broken cloud in central parts. South brighter.
    Correct? No.

    • Martin Gordon says for the UK
      “1-4 July Heavy rain with thunder, hail and floods over most parts of Britain and Ireland.
      Correct? No.”

      What planet do you live on Martin?
      This forecast was correct.
      I don’t know about the hail but the rest is spot on.

      “5-7 July Showery and breezy/windy in Scotland, N Ireland and N England. Showery with broken cloud in central parts. South brighter.
      Correct? No.”

      Again a reasonable forecast for this area with locally heavy showers at times.

  187. I have been following Piers Corbyn for about 5 years now and have bought a few of his forecasts.

    My judgement of him is this:

    1. Long-range forecasts are most accurate when predicting really extreme events, since these are most likely to be the things where cyclical footprints are likely to be identifiable in the historical databases. His predictions of cold in December 2010 and 2011, several months in advance, were spot on. His forecasts for later in those winters, often closer to the event, were less accurate but by no means completely wrong.
    2. I think you need to be realistic in how you evaluate his ‘predictions’. Let’s take May 2012: his predictions from 1st to 20th of very cold and wet were really accurate for the SE of England. However, we had 10 days of hot weather (23 – 27C) with no rain from 21st to 31st. That means that the monthly average was wrong, but the reality of what happened in the first three weeks of May was important for gardeners, farmers etc. Of course, the likelihood of getting the last 10 days right in advance is less than getting the first 20 days right. Isn’t it?
    3. His June and July forecasts have broadly said it was going to be wet and cool in the SE of England. So far, that’s exactly what we got and the BBC is saying that next week our top temperatures will be 17 – 19C with night-time temperatures decreasing to 11C. We’ve already had rain every day in July here in the SE and we avoided all the floods further north.

    I agree with other posters that Piers could do with a PR professional/marketing specialist to present his forecasts in a more amenable fashion. Entrepreneur mavericks often find that difficult to accept.

    I suspect also that Piers could do with some support staff to professionalise the retrospective analysis methods, the definitions of various forecasting outcomes (hot, cool, windy etc etc) and also, to be blunt, to churn out the standard forecasts. Piers would be best employed optimising the methods used and being the expert called upon when distributing particular forecasts of economic importance (in the UK, that is floods, widespread snow cover, frosts/cold temperatures for farmers and overall summer temperatures for certain crops).

    Not to put too fine a point on it, he needs a professional CEO for his business and he needs to be prepared to take commercial direction from them.

    Whether he wants to do that is up to him of course.

  188. Where were the floods in that first period Bryan? Remember, we’re not talking about our backyards but ‘most parts of Britain and Ireland’

    • The period June to present has been a series of heavy rain events causing severe flooding in the UK (where I live).
      Martin perhaps you live in Outer Mongolia but here is a flavour of our recent weather;
      ………………………………………………..
      Met office issued 4/7/2012
      July follows where June left off with more wet weather to come
      The theme of wet weather is set to continue this week – with particularly persistent and heavy rain affecting parts of the UK over the next few days.
      ………………………………………………
      Now Piers predicted this general theme months ago!

      The long range Met Office forecast on the other hand was for drier than average conditions.
      This led to hosepipe bans in several areas.
      Give Piers some credit for calling it correctly.

      In particular when he added that the net prevailing wind for this period would be East to West which is quite different from the prevailing South Westerlies which is the usual pattern for the UK.
      I don’t think that weather can be predicted to the accuracy of plus or minus a day months in advance.
      His prediction for May held for the first three weeks but also for the last few weeks of April .
      I would think that the weather pattern had merely advanced slightly quicker than he calculated.
      However he was not satisfied with that and he has made adjustments to his program.

  189. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you for joining in. I’ll be waiting for the end of the month to see how accurate you were. I’m not expecting hour-by-hour around-the-globe forecast perfection. Considering how far ahead you work, I’ll have give you a big thumbs up if you can come in at 60-80% correct.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be Binging every day to see if my forecast for raining frogs happens this month. I could get lucky :o)

  190. I often suspect with some of Piers forecasts is that sometimes the forecast is characterized correctly but the timings are wrong. For example, but for the last week of May, the forecast of May being the coldest on record would have been correct if May had started a week earlier. I wonder if July is looking like that too, with the characteristics correct, but the timing slightly out?

  191. @Rhys Jagger July 7, 2012 at 3:21 am

    This assessment is line with my perception as well.

    I would love to see a properly skeptical independent analysis done of his forecasting.

  192. Willis Eschenbach

    You say to him, “Now, it’s clear from your post you have problems with something that I wrote … but what?”

    The tone of what you said was a bit harsh. It sounds like you were part of those saying he’s just a quack that luckily gets it right now and again. You don’t speak, in word, as harshly as that. But in the tone, well, I think it’s safe to say you don’t sound friendly.

    And it could be you don’t realize you came across like that.

  193. Thanks Bryan, I was referring to a specific forecast for specific dates. I note that you were unable to answer my question,

  194. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    July 7, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Willis Eschenbach

    You say to him,

    “Now, it’s clear from your post you have problems with something that I wrote … but what?”

    The tone of what you said was a bit harsh. It sounds like you were part of those saying he’s just a quack that luckily gets it right now and again. You don’t speak, in word, as harshly as that. But in the tone, well, I think it’s safe to say you don’t sound friendly.

    And it could be you don’t realize you came across like that.

    Thanks, Amino (great screen name, by the way). I was quite careful (I thought) to be clear that I do not think he’s a quack. I said:

    You guys seem to be of the impression that I think Piers is a charlatan or a fraud or something. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    As to my tone, I fear that I am a plainspoken man. When someone forecasts fires in two states, and then claims success when fires occur, not in those two states, but in a neighboring state, I fear I may not treat such claims with kid gloves.

    However, as I pointed out, Piers has not said what it was I said that upset him, so I’ll wait for him to respond.

    All the best,

    w.

  195. Rhys Jaggar (July 7, 2012 at 3:21 am) wrote:
    1. “I agree with other posters that Piers could do with a PR professional/marketing specialist [...]“
    2. “I suspect also that Piers could do with some support staff to professionalise [...]“
    3. “Not to put too fine a point on it, he needs a professional CEO for his business and he needs to be prepared to take commercial direction from them.”

    My interpretation of this comment…

    (sarcasm on)

    Divert all the research money to:
    1. marketing.
    2. admin.
    3. CEO.

    To h*ll with ruthlessly prioritizing research almost no human can do.

    Cosmetics before substance.

    (/sarcasm off)

  196. Here’s an example of why it’s hard to judge whether Piers is correct or not:

    Martin Gordon says for the UK

    “1-4 July Heavy rain with thunder, hail and floods over most parts of Britain and Ireland.
    Correct? No.”

    What planet do you live on Martin?
    This forecast was correct.
    I don’t know about the hail but the rest is spot on.

    “5-7 July Showery and breezy/windy in Scotland, N Ireland and N England. Showery with broken cloud in central parts. South brighter.
    Correct? No.”

    Again a reasonable forecast for this area with locally heavy showers at times.

    Here’s the rainfall data for all English stations, and split by north and south:


    DATA SOURCE: WeatherOnline

    So … was Piers’ forecast correct? Overall, I’d say no in both cases. The period July 1-4 had less peak rains than either before or after. And the period July 5-7 was not “brighter” in the south than the north, the south was rainier both in peak rain and in total rain.

    In addition to the peak rains being higher before and after July 1-4, there was also more total rain in the four days before July 1-4 (1905 mm) and in the three days after July 1-4 (2191 mm) than there was from July 1-4 (1815 mm).

    My point here is not whether this specific forecast was right or wrong. It is that we have two people actually living in the area affected by Piers’ forecast, and they have come to very different conclusions regarding the accuracy. This is why it is crucial to compare the forecasts, not to whether someone says “Spot on” or not, but to the actual data.

    w.

    • Willis and Martin obviously don’t live in the UK
      For June and into July the UK news stations are carrying items on unusual flooding and very heavy rain.
      “Brighter” does not automatically mean more (or less) rain.
      We often have very overcast days with no rain.
      For this particular period April to July Piers has an outstanding record for accuracy.
      Its nit picking to say he was wrong on a particular day when the forecast was given months in advance.
      As several posters have pointed out he is well ahead of any other forecasting methods.
      What annoys certain people is that Piers says atmospheric CO2 extent is irrelevant for climate prediction.
      Perhaps your linked graph would make more sense if you included the long term UK average for June(9.8mm) and July(8.5mm)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_the_United_Kingdom

  197. David, UK says:
    July 7, 2012 at 10:33 am (Edit)

    @ Willis: I don’t think anyone could accuse you of being “plainspoken.”

    d.

    The dictionary says:

    PLAINSPOKEN: blunt, direct, frank, straightforward, open, explicit, outright, outspoken, downright, candid, forthright, upfront (informal), unequivocal

    w.

  198. Thanks for expanding on my post Willis. Like you I was looking at the forecast areas as a whole to make my assessment. Bryan seems to only refer to his backyard.

  199. Piers sent the file to Anthony at 10:50PM Pacific time Saturday.
    Anthony: Please check your e-mail.

    Best Regards.

  200. Thanks Bryan, I do indeed live in the UK.
    My post was in direct reference to a July forecast that Corbyn had posted. You say “Its nit picking to say he was wrong on a particular day when the forecast was given months in advance.” To be precise I was commenting on the forecast for the first week of July which was divided into two halves, the first half containing, widespread floods and heavy rain, the second half indicating more showery conditions. It was wrong. What is the point of issuing a longer range the forecast in detail ( periods of 3 to 4 days) if it then has to be defended that it’s unfair to expect it to be accurate because it was issued ‘months before’ Although I note it was actually issued on the 28th June!

  201. Martin says
    “I think your rainfall figures are a bit low Bryan!”

    Well look at the table I linked for England.
    Check your own figures and then contact Wiki

  202. Piers is at his best with the long range big picture of general trends for which in the period May to July he has a record of outstanding success.
    Traditional meteorology is quite successful with current 5 day forecasts.
    Apparently in Britain for longer term forecasts the Met Office are compelled to use the East Anglia CRU models based on IPCC science
    Their attempts at seasonal predictions are a standing joke.
    In fact it often seems (like present May to July) that they not just inaccurate but seem to be exactly wrong.

  203. Bryan whilst discussing rainfall you refer to the ‘long term UK average’ then give figures for England showing the average number of days with rainfall of less than 1mm.

  204. Farmer Charlie. said @ July 5, 2012 at 8:34 am

    The Jeane Dixon effect:
    I used to go to point-to-points in Hampshire, England with someone whose ability to have money on the winning horse was legendary. Some years later, someone tailed him as he placed his bets. He worked his way round all the bookies, backing every horse.

    Then there’s the David Walsh effect. Every time he walks onto the racecourse, the bookies’ odds shorten dramatically, so he (actually his syndicate) employs runners to place the bets. His winnings finance the largest privately owned art gallery in Australia.

    Please note that even though David’s syndicate wins more than it loses, the winnings represent a small percentage of their annual turnover of something north of a billion dollars per year. Similarly, for Piers to win at Ladbroke’s, he doesn’t need to win every single bet. The idea that he is “banned” from betting seems somewhat ludicrous given that Piers could do what David Walsh does: employ runners. I can’t imagine Ladbroke’s banning every single punter (turning away business).

    This being such a long thread I haven’t read all comments, but Piers’ forecasts were the subject of analysis in a peer reviewed paper some years ago that concluded his predictions were better than chance.

  205. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 7, 2012 at 11:17 am
    “So … was Piers’ forecast correct? Overall, I’d say no in both cases.”

    You need to refer to the “R” periods and not the forecast windows for the rain events. They were June 29-Jul 1, July 3-4 and July 6-7. The heavier UK rain was all within these impact periods. The indicated weather types are clearly what we are getting for the nation as a whole, but the regional disparity is no surprise considering what the NAO has been up to in the last week:

  206. Rhys, Bryan, thanks for your useful comments.
    I have to say I find it pathetic that some ‘mark’ our long range forecasts – on which it (eg for Brit+Ire) explicitly states “Likely possible weather map scenario…; +/-1 day and gives a confidence (B=75% in case of 1-4th July) – against final outcomes and say therefore we are ‘wrong’.
    Its like complaining a punter who got the winning horse right but didn’t get the color of the jockey’s socks right.
    By the standards these churls apply all forecasts are ‘wrong’ unless perhaps the UKM0 ‘warnings’ of events as they happen.

    The question is:

    a) compare us with whatever anyone else said that time ahead [and NO the July forecast was made 15th June and any changes very minor on 28th (issue meaning desk top publishing) re interpretation of maps already defined unless we changed SLAT procedure which we did not in this case. If there are changes we say so].

    b) compare with say the last ten years of July periods (eg 1-4th) July.
    To set up a competition between M0 one day ahead (or nowcasts) and our long range (which also include much longer ahead at times) is really deceitful.
    [And here I jest not; we experienced one smartie, years ago, judging our forecasts from weeks or months ahead against MO one day ahead (that being defined as what happened). He found the M0 one day ahead was closer to itself than we were to it! Wow]

    Just be clear WeatherAction forecasts are about getting the best long range picture for useful decision making and they work and win on scientific bets. Farmers use them to see around when is there a chance of dry time for harvest / rain for… etc
    In terms of the first week of July Brit+Ire we have had a useful few reports on this on http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=471&c=5 – readers comments and note many said 1-4th or 1-5th allowing one day was a very good forecast – see Louise Woods on facebook
    Facts:
    (i) There was hail
    (ii) there were floods – Barnsley (eg)
    (iii) there was a tornado on 5th in Yorkshire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcFhC18XK-4
    Did MO expect tornadoes?
    “Oh”, the standard Met nerds go on “ah youve given yourself one day” – from say 10 days ahead (or it might be months ahead) (and they give themselves more than 2 or 3 hours from one day ahead).
    Let’s be clear WE WRITE THE FORECASTS and DEFINE what we mean. We can give as many days uncertainty as we deem appropriate. People re-defining what we say and mean in order to denigrate is totally unacceptable.
    Principles
    1. Like must be compared with like.
    2. Any forecast must be considered as stated with all provisos and compared with all other reasonable possibilities.
    3. Betting style measures of skill are the most meaningful.

    Thanks PC

  207. @Martin Gordon says:
    July 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm
    “..the fact that he doesn’t release out of date forecasts for evaluation says everything that you need to know.”

    I spent a couple of hours yesterday to see how many long range forecasters have a forecast archive available on their site, I only found one that does: http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact46

  208. Ulric you might have a peek at my website ^ the maps posted for May, and June, are still there and if you use the way back machine you can find the past four years as well, (due to the upgrade of my site and transfer to commercial server past maps prior to May were no transferred over.)

  209. @ Paul Vaughan
    Not only does Piers need a CEO, he needs the services of an archivist. That costs both time and money. Difficult when you’re reacting to a constantly evolving situation.

  210. I had the pleasure of meeting Piers and Anthony on the same day in March of 2008. I was impressed by both individuals. Anthony’s presentation of his station site analyses was quite fascinating. Piers was not on the agenda but got about 15 minutes to make a short presentation quite apart from his forecasting skills. He did offer a forecast of a dreadful snow storm that would set all time records in the mid-west around the middle of the month with a +_1 day tolerance. That was in 2008 and he was spot on.

    I had received a few forecasts starting in December 2009. He forecasted a snow storm for New England the day after Christmas. He said it would be far worse that standard meteorologists would claim 1 to 2 days in advance. On Chrismas Eve, the forecaster’s predictions went up faster than Hansen’s Hockey Stick. Piers was 100% correct. We had not sen that kind of snow ever! During January, after telling several about the Christmas prediction, people were asking what is Piers saying? He was spot on for the next 3 super storms using the same description and each was on the day he said it would happen. My house in Connecticut was nearly buried by these storms. Very unique in my 65 years on the planet.

    I will say that he did forecast a 4th storm and it happened but went just south of us. Not a bad stretch.

    Since then I have occasionally seen his forcasts with some mixed results. Sometimes things happen and are not on his maps. I asked Piers about this. He told me that if there was a high uncertainty of an effect, he would just leave it out. The result is some severe weather that he does not predict. The idea of hisextreme forecasts is to identify those events that are most likely to occur. It does not mean that he will get them all. If he does not chose to forecast an event, he does not consider this a miss. He does use these occasions as learning moments.

    I have recommended to Piers on several occasions to acknowledge his “mistakes” and perhaps explain what happened, assuming he knows. I have noticed this happens more often these days.

    I just checked his forecast for a day in late June comparing the current satellite map to his forecast map. There was an uncanny resemblance of one to the other. The July weather forcast for the planet is pretty wild. It will be interesting to see if it happens. I read that one comment said he was at odds with the skeptics by forecasting extreme storms. He is forecasting events with an assigned cause. Solar activity. There was a piece on the news tonight of significant solar storms. That can’t be good. Warmers are making bold claims with non-specific information with no time frame. I would bet on Piers to get the big ones right. The rest doesn’t really matter.

  211. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 5, 2012 at 10:16 am

    “I don’t understand how I’m supposed to tell if Piers is right or not. He only makes four “forecasts” that are so vague that Nostradamus would be proud of them:”

    I would pay particular attention to the R periods. I’m not aware of anyone else connecting solar activities with the propagation of simultaneous weather events globally, and mapping these out months ahead to within a day. After seeing every UK forecast since July 2007, I would conclude that all meteorologists will be employing this method in the future.

  212. John Wright (July 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm) wrote:
    “Not only does Piers need a CEO, he needs the services of an archivist. That costs both time and money. Difficult when you’re reacting to a constantly evolving situation.”

    Last sentence: Yes.
    First sentence: With an infinite amount of resources: sure.
    But with a tight budget & small staff, it might not be wise deflecting resources to cosmetics. (I see your middle sentence.)
    Some might argue it would attract resources, but that sounds like a gamble that might clock Piers out, causing him to fail to reach his full learning potential during a finite lifetime.
    I’m sure Piers has a better sense than us of what might be best for optimizing the lifetime learning that he passes on. I wish him efficiency.

  213. Bryan says:
    July 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Willis and Martin obviously don’t live in the UK
    For June and into July the UK news stations are carrying items on unusual flooding and very heavy rain.
    “Brighter” does not automatically mean more (or less) rain.
    We often have very overcast days with no rain.
    For this particular period April to July Piers has an outstanding record for accuracy.
    Its nit picking to say he was wrong on a particular day when the forecast was given months in advance.
    As several posters have pointed out he is well ahead of any other forecasting methods.
    What annoys certain people is that Piers says atmospheric CO2 extent is irrelevant for climate prediction.
    Perhaps your linked graph would make more sense if you included the long term UK average for June(9.8mm) and July(8.5mm)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_the_United_Kingdom

    Thanks, Bryan. Always glad to have someone investigate my work. Here’s my previous graph recalculated as an average rather than a total.

    I couldn’t find the rain data at the link you gave, but it is available here. Here’s the data, comma-delimited, to cut and paste into a spreadsheet.

    Month, Max Temp [°C], Min Temp [°C], Air Frost [days], Sunshine [hours], rainfall [mm], rainfall [days], Days, rainfall [mm/day], rainfall [mm/day, rainy days only]
    Jan, 6.1, 0.7, 12, 44.6, 120.5, 15.7, 31, 3.89, 7.68
    Feb, 6.3, 0.6, 11, 65, 86.8, 12.3, 28, 3.10, 7.06
    Mar, 8.5, 1.9, 7.9, 97, 95.9, 14.3, 31, 3.09, 6.71
    Apr, 10.8, 3.1, 5, 141.3, 69.6, 11.3, 30, 2.32, 6.16
    May, 14.4, 5.7, 1.4, 184.6, 66.2, 10.9, 31, 2.14, 6.07
    Jun, 16.9, 8.4, 0.1, 169.4, 72.6, 11, 30, 2.42, 6.60
    Jul, 19.2, 10.6, 0, 174.3, 69.6, 10.5, 31, 2.25, 6.63
    Aug, 18.9, 10.5, 0, 166.5, 84.6, 11.4, 31, 2.73, 7.42
    Sep, 16.1, 8.5, 0.3, 123.6, 100.4, 12.5, 30, 3.35, 8.03
    Oct, 12.5, 6, 1.7, 91.6, 117, 14.3, 31, 3.77, 8.18
    Nov, 8.8, 3, 6.3, 58.7, 118, 14.9, 30, 3.93, 7.92
    Dec, 6.9, 1.5, 9.8, 38.4, 124.8, 15.3, 31, 4.03, 8.16
    Year, 12.1, 5.1, 55.6, 1354.9, 1126.1, 154.4, 365, 3.09, 7.29

    The last column is the average rainfall on rainy days.

    You also say:

    Its nit picking to say he was wrong on a particular day when the forecast was given months in advance.

    It doesn’t matter how far in advance he made the prediction. Regardless of when he made the prediction, he gave separate and distinct forecasts for the periods July 1-4 and July 5-7. I am treating them as forecasts for that time and no other. If he is really talking about “July 1-4 plus or minus six days”, he needs to say so. Until then, I will take him at his word that there is one forecast for July 1-4, and a separate forecast for July 5-7.

    I am aware that the forecasts are made months in advance. But he is the one specifying the dates of the forecast intervals, not me. If he wants wider intervals to be counted and included, he needs to specify them. You can’t claim them after the fact as you wish.

    As several posters have pointed out he is well ahead of any other forecasting methods.

    Perhaps he is, and I’d be overjoyed if that could be shown to be true. However as in this case, sometimes when we actually compare his forecast with the observations, they are wrong. In this case the intervals on either side of the forecast “Heavy rain with thunder, hail and floods” for July 1-4 were wetter than the forecast time of his previously predicted pluviation …

    And sometimes he claims successes when none are there, as when he has predicted wildfires in New Mexico and Arizona, and then taken credit for wildfires in Colorado.

    Look, I wish Piers well and I’d love to believe … but I don’t believe anyone until the results are checked. I checked this one. I’m not impressed with this particular forecast. What can I say? I just follow the observations.

    w.

  214. Piers Corbyn says (in reference to the forecast period 1-4 July)
    “Facts:
    (i) There was hail
    (ii) there were floods – Barnsley (eg)
    (iii) there was a tornado on 5th in Yorkshire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcFhC18XK-4

    I cannot find any flood reports for Barnsley for that period, levels on the River Dearne were below flood level.
    Having watched the video there is not enough detail to confirm it was anything more than a scud cloud.
    The forecast indicated that *most* of the UK would be suffering from heavy rain and floods.

  215. David.. “I haven’t yet seen him put his hand up and say, ‘I got that one a bit wrong’.”

    You’re not looking very hard David; yes he does!
    >
    >
    Pokerguy.. “I really dislike this style of forecasting as it gives the impression of rooting for catastrophe.”

    I suggest you borrow a dictionary and look up the word ‘catastrophe’ !
    Plenty of catastophes around the world due to flooding because of heavy rains right now. Hundreds of deaths, thousands of homes and businesses flooded out, millions of $$ worth of stock and furnishings destroyed. Millions homeless or without power for weeks. Thousands of livestock and masses of wildlife drowned. Is this not catastrophe?
    >
    >
    Lex.. “His forecast were all extremely incorrect….”

    I find that very strange, because I have monitored this past years forecasts and I found that they have been extremely(?) correct. Maybe Piers personal learning curve is shaped like a hockey stick!
    >
    >
    AJB.. “Doesn’t that mean Piers must be able to predict solar flares and coronal holes?”

    Yes it does, and he has the scary ability to do just that. I’ve been an active amateur astronomer for over 35 years and I am truly shocked at how Piers can predict periods of solar activity.
    >
    >
    P. Solar.. “False logic. Have the Met Office gone out of business?”

    The Met Office are paid £170 million a year by the government in compulsory tax payer donations.
    Where’s your logic?
    >
    >
    MikeA.. “I have to admit he fits the Steve Jones description of ‘Pratt.”

    Oh lord here we go with the ad’ hominem attacks. I knew the serene atmosphere of this thread couldn’t last forever.
    >
    >
    Pamela Grey.. “Often severe weather occurs at night.”

    …and? Are you saying that the sun switches off at night?
    >
    >
    Willis Eschenbach.. “..and I don’t have the $$ to do so..”

    What a cop out! For less than 3 gallons of gas/petrol for a whole months forecast? You have got to be kidding me? Buy a whole years forecasts and they work out to around 2 gallons per month.
    When we bought the full years 30 day forecasts they cost about the same as just one weeks supermarket food shopping.

    Also
    “..other than mathematical theorems nothing can ever be proven in science..”

    Water is wet and destructive…falsify that! (hehehe)

    Also
    “he NEVER FORECAST FOREST FIRES IN COLORADO”

    As I remember it, Colorado is joined at the hip to New Mexico.
    In the meantime:

    http://fires.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

    Click on Arizona and scroll down the pop-up, then read the date. Case Closed!
    >
    >
    Doug Proctor.. “Piers seems to be out there with crystals.”

    Nasty! Of course geologists have a complete understanding of their chosen subject don’t they Doug? Ahem!
    Is Richard Holle using crystals too, because using your logic he must be?
    >
    >
    Louis Hooffstetter.. “Anyone who claims that climate influences earthquakes and/or volcanic eruptions is a witch doctor, not a scientist.”

    Without having to re-read this whole thread, could you point out the post where this was proposed please Louis?
    >
    >
    Richard Holle..

    Well, you are certainly on the right track with your research Richard.
    >
    >
    Carrie.. “I don’t like it, this all feels a bit school playground’ish to me. Sorry I thought WUWT was better than this”

    I totally agree.
    Eccentric? Can’t build a fashionable website? I believe Einstein was called eccentric and was an awful cook, plasterer, bus driver and nanny!
    >
    >
    Pertinax.. “Again from my operational experience (for the US at least) Piers’ forecasts are at best worthless.”

    I found your post intriguing up to the point you said “Piers forecasts are at best worthless”. At that point I lost all faith in your credibility.

  216. It doesn’t matter how far in advance he made the prediction. Regardless of when he made the prediction, he gave separate and distinct forecasts for the periods July 1-4 and July 5-7. I am treating them as forecasts for that time and no other. If he is really talking about “July 1-4 plus or minus six days”, he needs to say so. Until then, I will take him at his word that there is one forecast for July 1-4, and a separate forecast for July 5-7.

    Willis, did you read Piers’ reply?

    I think it does matter how far in advance he makes these predictions. If he says a significant weather event will occur, and give a confidence level for when it occurs, I think it only fair to judge him on 1) whether the event occurred within a reasonable period of time and 2) the accuracy of the timing.

    If he is able to predict a significant weather event well ahead of time when no one else is, then it somewhat misses the point to use the accuracy of the timing as a way discrediting the forecast. If he says there is an 80% chance that the significant weather event will fall within this time frame, and you only look at one example, then you have a 1 in 5 chance of picking an event he will get wrong in timing.

    That’s not entirely fair I would submit.

    He is saying well ahead of time, expect shed-loads of rain with the risk of flooding at around about the period 1-4 July, and it turns up 5-7 instead, then you ought to be able to say that he predicted the event accurately but not the timing. From a real-world usefulness perspective, I think it still important to know that you are going to get a deluge and prepare for it accordingly, even if the exact period it occurs is slightly out. That he got the deluge correct in his predictions a month away is pretty significant IMO. He didn’t say ‘a bit of rain’ or ‘the possibility of rain’, he said it would effectively p-ss it down and it most certainly did.

    So if it transpires he is predicting these events well ahead of time, and despite other confounding factors and the possibility that timings may be off at times, then it stands to reason there is something to his methods. Like a lot of commentators I have a hunch that he is onto something. Some one like you would be ideal to take a serious look at his accuracy of his predictions, taking into account confounding factors such as the system he uses might not be perfect but still have interesting and useful skill that could be improved. If you were to throw yourself into a skeptical analysis, I’m pretty sure I would not be lone in following it with immense interest.

  217. Mr Watts, you are using cheap shots. Not difficult in this case, I know, but a pity.

    Corbyn is a member of the Royal Metereological Society and he called on that body to organise systematic trials of weather forecast skills. That is clearly the way forward. It will involve a clean definition of methodology and statistical analysis. Your once off test has no status. FWIW, I first started taking notice of Corbyn when he correcly predicted the tornado on Helgoland July 12, 2010. What does that prove? Nothing at all, any more than your ignorant and arrogant polemic.

    Regarding earthquakes, I have done a little work on this, and believe there may be a correlation beween deep quakes and the fast solar wind, modulated by the moon, as Corbyn predicts.

    However, there is a lot to do before that postulate can be confirmed.

    If you want to test Corbyn, please do it properly or not al all.

    REPLY: My goodness, you sound like one of the people that regularly defend Michael Mann. I don’t care if Piers is a member of the International Society of Dog Catchers, or a Noble Laureate, or Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx. If his work can’t withstand some scrutiny then it isn’t of much use to anyone. I’ve emailed Piers privately on many occasions that his presentation is subpar and tried to help him produce a more professional product. He’s ignored me. Personally, I think it looks like weather astrology the way it is presented. You are welcome to get your own blog and do/say/test whatever you wish. The post stands. – Anthony

  218. Agnostic says:
    July 8, 2012 at 6:03 am

    It doesn’t matter how far in advance he made the prediction. Regardless of when he made the prediction, he gave separate and distinct forecasts for the periods July 1-4 and July 5-7. I am treating them as forecasts for that time and no other. If he is really talking about “July 1-4 plus or minus six days”, he needs to say so. Until then, I will take him at his word that there is one forecast for July 1-4, and a separate forecast for July 5-7.

    Willis, did you read Piers’ reply?

    I think it does matter how far in advance he makes these predictions. If he says a significant weather event will occur, and give a confidence level for when it occurs, I think it only fair to judge him on 1) whether the event occurred within a reasonable period of time and 2) the accuracy of the timing.

    If he is able to predict a significant weather event well ahead of time when no one else is, then it somewhat misses the point to use the accuracy of the timing as a way discrediting the forecast. If he says there is an 80% chance that the significant weather event will fall within this time frame, and you only look at one example, then you have a 1 in 5 chance of picking an event he will get wrong in timing.

    That’s not entirely fair I would submit.

    Yes, I did read his reply. I also read his prediction, which is why I don’t have a clue what you mean when you say “If he is able to predict a significant weather event well ahead of time” … did you notice that his prediction was made on the 28th of June? That’s a whole three days in advance of the start of the period he is forecasting, which was July first to seventh.

    He is saying well ahead of time, expect shed-loads of rain with the risk of flooding at around about the period 1-4 July, and it turns up 5-7 instead, then you ought to be able to say that he predicted the event accurately but not the timing.

    No, in this case he is not saying anything “well ahead of time”. He made his prediction a mere three days before the start of his forecast period. From that distance, if you are out by three days in your forecast, it’s a joke.

    From a real-world usefulness perspective, I think it still important to know that you are going to get a deluge and prepare for it accordingly, even if the exact period it occurs is slightly out. That he got the deluge correct in his predictions a month away is pretty significant IMO. He didn’t say ‘a bit of rain’ or ‘the possibility of rain’, he said it would effectively p-ss it down and it most certainly did.

    A month away? A month? It was three days away, and he still got it wrong. Nor was it a “deluge”, it was one day of rain on the 7th which was about average for a rainy day in July, plus less rain on other days. In addition, the interval predicted for the “deluge” was drier than the period before and the period after. How you count that as a successful prediction is beyond me.

    So if it transpires he is predicting these events well ahead of time, and despite other confounding factors and the possibility that timings may be off at times, then it stands to reason there is something to his methods. Like a lot of commentators I have a hunch that he is onto something. Some one like you would be ideal to take a serious look at his accuracy of his predictions, taking into account confounding factors such as the system he uses might not be perfect but still have interesting and useful skill that could be improved. If you were to throw yourself into a skeptical analysis, I’m pretty sure I would not be lone in following it with immense interest.

    I am taking “a serious look at his accuracy of his predictions”, and I’m taking a lot of flak for doing so. Is there “something to his methods”? Quite possibly, as I’ve said from the start. It’s just very difficult to determine, for reason I explained above. One of these is his habit of claiming that close is good enough.

    You don’t seem to understand that if the Met Office says it’s going to be a nice weekend and it rains instead, nobody says “well, they predicted nice weather and it was nice on Tuesday, give the Met Office a break, they were close.” Why on earth should we not hold Piers to the same standards to which we hold the Met Office?

    Look, I’m willing to give Piers as much slack regarding the time interval as he asks for. But he has to ask for it. If he’s predicting someone for a four-day period, and then something else for the following three days, then that is what I will judge him on. He is the one that is setting up the dividing lines, not me.

    Now, as you point out, the further ahead you predict things, the less accurate they are likely to be. But that’s Pier’s lookout, not mine. If I predict right now, this minute, that there will be storms on July 3rd of next year and that the 4th of July will be clear and people can barbecue on Independence Day, then that is my prediction.

    And if it turns out that the 3rd of July is clear, and that everyone who set up their barbecues based on my prediction gets rained on, then my prediction would be wrong. Not close. Not “cut me some slack, I predicted it a year ahead and it was clear on the day before the 4th.” I would be wrong, and people who depended on my prediction would justifiably be upset.

    Look, if someone is foolish enough to make predictions for a three-day window two months from now, or one week from now, then that’s their business. And if they do so, then that’s what I will judge their results on. Those three days. If Piers want to be judged on getting it right within ± 3 days as you claim in this case, then he should have made it a ten-day window and not a 4-day window.

    It’s like Piers forecasting forest fires in Arizona and New Mexico, and then claiming success because there were forest fires in Colorado. Sorry, but if he meant “the American Southwest”, then he should have said so, and he would have been right. He didn’t do that, he said New Mexico and Arizona. If you do that, I don’t care if there are fires in Colorado, or Utah, or California, or Texas, or Nevada, or Oklahoma, all of which adjoin the predicted states. If the fires don’t happen in New Mexico or Arizona, you don’t get to say ‘oh, I really meant fires in those two states plus the six adjoining states, so I was 100% right’.

    Because once you start down that road with the nonsense about ‘he predicted a rainstorm in the period from the 1st to the 4th, and there was a windstorm on the 7th, that’s close enough, he was 100% right’, then just about any prediction is correct.

    Me, I assume Piers means what he says, and nothing else. If he says tornados, I assume he means tornados, not rain, not snow, but tornados. And if he says the first to the fourth of July, I assume he means July 1-4, not the 7th. If he wants rain on July 7th to be included as a correct forecast, then he needs to include July 7th in his forecast interval.

    That’s why, when Piers offered to bet on whether “the Olympic opening ceremony in London on 27th July will suffer disruptive downpours etc.” I said I’d be glad to bet US$100, but as part of the bet he had to specify exactly where and when and how much downpour there would be. I don’t want him claiming success because there were downpours the day before or the day after, or because it rained in Colorado, or because there was a mild rain on the Olympic Stadium. Predictions need to be specific to be falsifiable.

    w.

  219. … did you notice that his prediction was made on the 28th of June? That’s a whole three days in advance of the start of the period he is forecasting, which was July first to seventh.

    No mate – he made his prediction at the beginning of June and updated it on the 28th. Read his reply again. He made no major changes to the prediction he had issued a full month earlier. You could criticize him for not adjusting the exact time closer to the time, but I don’t think you can call him out for having gotten the prediction wrong within such a close period time so far ahead. And as I said sometimes he does get the timing right. Whether the exact period is correct or not is not as interesting as him making a specific prediction about a significant weather event. We aren’t just talking about a bit of rain on a day you might want to BBQ, we are talking a serious weather event that causes floods.

    Now, as you point out, the further ahead you predict things, the less accurate they are likely to be.

    What do you mean by accurate? If he had predicted snow, or a heat wave, or strong winds, then you could say he had been inaccurate. But he predicted deluges and they did occur albeit later than he thought. And you are looking at a very isolated period. I submit to you that whether he is accurate to within a week is not as significant as his being able to detect an event so far ahead of time.

    You are really good at skeptically looking into claims in scientific papers, and checking peoples sums and assumptions, but the big issue here is whether or not Piers can reliably detect significant weather events well ahead of time, and do it where others cannot. It seems to me anecdotally he might just be able to do that, and if he can then that’s really very interesting. I just getting caught up with how accurately in time he predicts them (within reason obviously) is missing the big point. Accuracy with timing is interesting too – but it should be looked at separately.

  220. @ Agnostic
    To be accurate, the forecast is an update of the forecast made on the 15th June.
    As Willis Eschenbach says, what is the point of including dates in the forecast if those dates can be ignored. Widespread flooding was forecast for 1-4 July from a forecast made 2 weeks before and updated 3 days before. Flooding actually took place on the 7th/8th July during a period forecast to be showery.

  221. Russ says:
    July 8, 2012 at 5:51 am

    David..

    “I haven’t yet seen him put his hand up and say, ‘I got that one a bit wrong’.”

    You’re not looking very hard David; yes he does!

    Cite?

    Lex..

    “His forecast were all extremely incorrect….”

    I find that very strange, because I have monitored this past years forecasts and I found that they have been extremely(?) correct. Maybe Piers personal learning curve is shaped like a hockey stick!

    Cite?

    AJB..

    “Doesn’t that mean Piers must be able to predict solar flares and coronal holes?”

    Yes it does, and he has the scary ability to do just that. I’ve been an active amateur astronomer for over 35 years and I am truly shocked at how Piers can predict periods of solar activity.

    Cite?

    Russ, you need to understand that this is a scientific site. As such, your claims that Piers is right and can predict solar flares and coronal holes are interesting but anecdotal. Do you have, for example, Piers’s last ten predictions of the “solar flares and coronal holes” so that we can compare them to the actual observations?

    Best regards,

    w.

  222. Agnostic says:
    July 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

    … did you notice that his prediction was made on the 28th of June? That’s a whole three days in advance of the start of the period he is forecasting, which was July first to seventh.

    No mate – he made his prediction at the beginning of June and updated it on the 28th. Read his reply again.

    Thanks, Agnostic. I read his reply correctly the first time. It doesn’t matter if it’s an update of a forecast from last year or last week. The actual forecast that we are looking at, the one that is quoted from and being discussed by a number of people above, was made just three days before the start of the forecast period.

    So it is not a long range or months-ahead forecast as you claim. The forecast we are discussing was written on June 28th. It was not written, as you keep claiming, a month in advance. That was a different forecast, one which we (or at least I) have never seen, and which is superseded by his later forecast.

    It’s the same with all forecasts. Here, the TV weather guy typically issues a forecast for the coming week. Then he changes the forecast as the time gets shorter and shorter. The most recent forecast should presumably be the most accurate, and it supersedes earlier forecasts.

    Now, that most recent forecast is, as you point out for Piers, an “update” of the TV guy’s earlier longer-range forecast … so what? The most recent forecast should be the most accurate because it was made most recently. The fact that an earlier longer-range forecast was made by the TV weatherman means nothing regarding his most recent forecast. Nor can the TV guy go back and say “well, I said yesterday that today would be sunny and it rained, but I’m still right because a week ago I said it might rain today”. The more recent forecast replaces the older one.

    Similarly, Pier’s most recent forecast, made three days before the start of the forecast period, should be the most accurate. Why? Because it wasn’t made a month before the forecast period, it was made three days before the forecast period.

    And since it was made three days before, a three-day error means that it is way wrong. If on Wednesday the Met Office says the weekend will be sunny, but it rains on the weekend and doesn’t clear up until three days later, you don’t say ‘the Met Office forecast for the weekend was right because it was sunny the following Wednesday and Thursday’ … so why are you saying that for Piers?

    If Piers wants to break out his earlier one-month ahead forecast, we can discuss that, but at present, all we have to discuss is the three-day ahead forecast.

    Finally, I say again that if Piers wants rain on the 7th to be counted as a successful forecast, he has to include the 7th in the forecast period. You can’t predict rain on the 1st to the 4th and claim success because it rains three days later, that way lies madness.

    w.

  223. Agnostic says:
    July 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Now, as you point out, the further ahead you predict things, the less accurate they are likely to be.

    What do you mean by accurate? If he had predicted snow, or a heat wave, or strong winds, then you could say he had been inaccurate. But he predicted deluges and they did occur albeit later than he thought. And you are looking at a very isolated period. I submit to you that whether he is accurate to within a week is not as significant as his being able to detect an event so far ahead of time.

    Look at the data, Agnostic. Here it is again:

    He predicted “heavy rain with thunder, hail, and floods over most parts of Britain and Ireland”. But nowhere in the data is there a significant heavy rain event. The largest rains in the entire period are just average rainy days, they are not deluges. They barely exceed the average July rainy day. And the rest of the days are, well, just above or below average for July. So I fail to see the “heavy rains” he predicted. The issue is not just the timing, as you keep saying. It’s that even the wettest day (July 7th) is just an average July rainy day … and even that didn’t occur when he predicted the “heavy rain”.

    w.

  224. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 8, 2012 at 10:35 am
    “… did you notice that his prediction was made on the 28th of June? That’s a whole three days in advance of the start of the period he is forecasting, which was July first to seventh.”

    Piers says:
    “[and NO the July forecast was made 15th June and any changes very minor on 28th (issue meaning desk top publishing) re interpretation of maps already defined unless we changed SLAT procedure which we did not in this case. If there are changes we say so].”

    Willis says:
    “Nor was it a “deluge”, it was one day of rain on the 7th which was about average for a rainy day in July,”

    Maximum was Leeds at 57.2mm, several locations had around 40mm, you know where the data is.

    Willis says:
    “If Piers wants to break out his earlier one-month ahead forecast, we can discuss that, but at present, all we have to discuss is the three-day ahead forecast.”

    No you don’t, he said in his own comments above that he made no changes to the 45 day ahead forecast.

  225. Chucked it down along the M3 in Hampshire yesterday, 7 JULY, used fog lights, headlights.
    I heard Silverstone was a touch wet as well, and there was localised flooding in Binstead and Ryde on the Isle of Wight. So Piers was right about that, was the Met Office? from the same distance?

  226. He predicted “heavy rain with thunder, hail, and floods over most parts of Britain and Ireland”. But nowhere in the data is there a significant heavy rain event

    Willis I realize you are trying to be hard-nosed and skeptical – just as you should. But I’ve got to say this made me laugh a wee bit. By “heavy rain and floods” I am taking that as “deluge” which is what we got just not exactly when he said it would be and he issued his prediction on the 15th of June NOT the 28th.

    And believe me – I am sat here in the UK experiencing or having experienced seriously heavy rain and flooding, and parts of the UK are practically underwater! Are you saying that your “data” is saying that we have just had a few drops of rain, that we shouldn’t believe the evidence of our own eyes? You might need some new “data” if that’s the case….

    But you are missing the point – he predicted this event waaay ahead – not just 3 days. And he has done this before. Even if he had gotten this perfectly correct with timing and everything, that might just have been a fluke. I would love for you take a serious look at as many of his long-range predictions and see whether or not over time he has really gotten it right or right enough to suggest there is something to his technique.

  227. @Agnostic
    How far ‘out’ of a forecast period would you still count a ‘success’ – a day, a week, a month?

  228. Willis says:
    “Nor was it a “deluge”, it was one day of rain on the 7th which was about average for a rainy day in July,”

    Well I saw you were confusing national average with local peak rainfall, but are you really suggesting that the average UK in July is nearly 10mm per day?

  229. I think he is a toptastic gizza.
    He is telling the truth in my opinion. But you appear to not want people to tell the truth.

  230. I’ve bought Piers Corbyn forecasts twice in the last couple of years, having been impressed that he predicted the extreme snow that no-one else predicted. The first one I bought predicted a “storm surge” in the North Sea, with flooding in Germany, Netherlands and Denmark, which didn’t materialize (there was a slightly higher tide in Bournemouth instead, if I remember rightly). The second predicted heavy snow of the sort we saw in 2010, for December 2011, and formed part of the prediction he made in parliament. That didn’t happen.

    I am not a farmer or running large outdoor events, I am an individual who was attracted by the idea of knowing and being able to plan for, exceptional weather. In both cases I was misled by the forecasts, and disappointed indeed that Mr Corbyn did not apologize and explain the misleading predictions. The point about long-range predictions is that they should enable you to plan. In my view they do not, as they are only sometimes accurate. He shouts about the accurate predictions and goes very quiet about those which are inaccurate. I didn’t find either worth the money I paid for them. As has been pointed out, parts of the forecasts are so vague they are very difficult to track and it is hard to know how they can be helpful in planning for anyone.

    The shouty graphics and colours remind me of the sort of brochures someone’s uncle who once did a desk-top printing course at the local women’s institute might produce. They do not help with readability or clarity.

  231. [guote] mybigidea says:
    In both cases I was misled by the forecasts, and disappointed indeed that Mr Corbyn did not apologize and explain the misleading predictions.[/quote]

    I can’t see why Piers should apologize? Does the Met Office apologize every time their predictions goes bad?

  232. @Martin Gordon

    How far ‘out’ of a forecast period would you still count a ‘success’ – a day, a week, a month?

    Well that’s an excellent question isn’t it? It seems to me to be 2 issues:

    1. The ability to detect a significant weather event.
    2. The ability to constrain a time period and location for any weather, significant or normal type of variation.

    In terms of ‘success’, if a prediction of a correctly characterized event comes well in advance and is able to reliably pick out an important event that is unusual, or unusually extreme then that shows some significant understanding of the climate system beyond the mainstream Met Office type approach. So if he detects an extreme event when no one else does, but it occurs earlier or later than predicted, then he has still predicted something significant and it is still useful. As to how much earlier later to be useful probably depends on the type of event and how far in advance the prediction. In the case of the recent deluges I’d probably go with partial success since they were within 1 week of the original prediction, and they were fairly extreme.

    So then there is the spatial temporal question; at what time and where? It’s not useful to get the right type of event but be completely out where and when. So if he gets the location right, the type of event right, and he is predicting well ahead of time, would it not stand to reason that if he got 2 out of the 3 right you could at least call it a partial success?

    And then there is the confidence of each prediction. If there is only 60% confidence on the period in question or even if it was as high as 80%, if you are looking at only one prediction then you may have happened on one where he got lucky or unlucky depending on how things pan out. And this follows to overall success rate: I believe I read or heard somewhere that Weatheractions claimed success rate is between 80-85%. That is, they are not claiming 100% success and looking at one isolated example is probably not informative of whether or not their technique is skillful.

    Somehow you need to balance how far in advance the prediction was made against the location, period, and characterization of the weather event and also weigh that against any competing predictions. I don’t think it is as simple as Willis has made it out here as simply looking at whether one prediction was ‘right’. In terms of trying to understand whether or not there is some validity to his approach it seems to me to be missing the bigger picture. I’d love for Willis or someone to really get into it in a more sophisticated way than he has so far. I’d be fascinated to know if there really is something to the technique.

  233. In both cases I was misled by the forecasts, and disappointed indeed that Mr Corbyn did not apologize and explain the misleading predictions

    Given they don’t claim 100% success is it possible you (and they) just got unlucky?

  234. Willis Eschenbach says,”Thanks, Bryan. Always glad to have someone investigate my work. Here’s my previous graph recalculated as an average rather than a total”.
    You are joking,have a look at this link http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/,how come your graph only shows just short of 10mm per day for July the 7th?.Should the Y axis be X10?.Where did you get your graph information from for the 27th june till 7th july?

  235. Agnostic says:
    July 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    “In the case of the recent deluges I’d probably go with partial success since they were within 1 week of the original prediction, and they were fairly extreme.”

    They heavier rain events were all within the solar weather impact “R” periods of June 29-July 1, July 3-4, and July 6-7. What we are looking at here is the most novel aspect of these forecasts, the ability to say which days heavy precipitation and/or strong wind will occur on, weeks and months ahead. And curiously they are the best performing element of the forecasts, and could easily afford the higher confidence level, and a maximum of +/- 1 day latitude.

  236. THANKS!

    Firstly thanks very much indeed for various objective points from users of our forecasts, without you what I do would have no meaning. I can’t list all points here but just mention Ulric. yes good point, our R5, R4 etc periods are indeed highest confidence forecast parts, are the core to what is going on and are used by people who live and die by forecasts. For those reasons they are ignored by those who have a less than objective agenda.

    Anthony Watts, Whats Up?
    1. PLEASE WHERE IS (NO APOLS FOR CAPS) our full WeatherAction 10 page forecast I sent you 6th July Pacific time – about 3 days ago as I write this – for posting to enable a potentially more objective assessment than some of your close associates and yourself appear to be aiming at.
    Could it be that it is going rather well and so merits repression?
    Maybe I missed something but it seems this is now a case of “Put up or shut up!” (Piers I received no such communications or forecast documents in either comments here or email AFAIK, but if you have a URL where you have/can upload it I’ll gladly link to it in the body of the post. You can type full URLs in comments here and they will be automatically linked. I welcome people having a more detailed look and I’m happy to post it. But, I can’t post what I don’t have. – Anthony)

    UPDATE: I’ve located it in my email SPAM folder, and have uploaded it to WUWT: It can be viewed here: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/usa-1207-july-inc-public-summary-news-page-full-fc-key-usa-maps-and-extremes-slat8a-prod-29jun.pdf I’m also adding it to the body of the post. Be sure to follow up with separate email as large attachments often get spam flagged.

    ANYONE WHO WANTS THE FULL 10 page USA JULY forecast pdf please email me piers@weatheraction.com with USA PLEASE or words to that effect in title bar (I don’t think we can temporarily change the USA price to zero in the on-line forecast shop without upsetting the system)

    2. Anthony, Please explain why you hacked out and displayed alone the END OF JUNE forecast on our News + July forecasts summary page and describe it as “The USA forecast map….” when it is nothing to do with the July forecast which contains 8 maps. It was reportage. I find it particularly deceitful how you use that image – with arrows and red encirclement of no apparent purpose because these indicators are now cut-off from the picture verification of that end of June forecast period to which they led – simply to support your side-show complaints of gawdiness.
    Readers may find our full forecast in un-mutilated form not as ‘gawdy’ as you deceitfully portray, nor as colorful as Accuweather (and I like their presentations) and actually EASY (no apols for caps) to follow. Btw we do use a touch larger print than many in the field (pun intended) because some farmers and forestry workers are hard of see-ing and these forecast maps get passed around under conditions where small print is not helpful. Our forecasts are not produced for the amusement of fault-finding churlish self-important short range forecasters and luke or other warmists but for useful LONG RANGE decision making. If real users want different forms and formats we will oblige but otherwise ‘MYOB’ (Mind Your Own Business) and stick to content. (I simply repeated the email content that was forwarded to me, AND I linked to the full document on your server in the first part of the story, saying: “…which you can investigate in full yourself here.” Thus, I think you’ll have to retract your claim of “deceitful” when I make the full document available. If you have something else, feel free to link it here. My opinion as to the gaudiness stands, and is echoed in other comments here. I think you do yourself and your subscribers a disservice with the way you present it. I offered you help in a series of emails about two years ago, but you never responded – Anthony)

    3. Anthony; There are plenty of users and objective studies which show our WeatherAction forecasts have significant long range skill – ahead of all others – and really it is not our forecasts but your objectivity which is now being put to the test. (So name and link here a couple of “objective studies” – don’t just say they exist. Until you do it’s just talk – Anthony)

    4. On users assessment I would like to report the tragic death of our longest standing (about 20 years) UK farmer subscriber Geoffrey Philpott. I attended his funeral along with 600 others at St Lawrence College Ramsgate on 2nd July and met many who use the forecasts for planning and improving their bottom line. His son Geoffrey Philpott jnr said “My father used the forecasts all the time, and so do I, we want to keep on having them”. He was a great and visionary man in many many ways. Without his and other subscriptions we would not be here for the entertainment of churlish jerks cynics. (Piers, I’m sorry about your friend, but that context is irrelevant to the issue of the forecast skill, and certainly doesn’t help your case when you refer to the readership and myself as “churlish jerks”. – Anthony) UPDATE: Piers asked that the word “jerks be corrected to cynics in a follow up comment – Anthony

    5. I do not see how what misrepresentation of what we say on earthquake TRIALS has any bearing on the supposed subject of the original post – assessing USA forecasts – other than to change the subject.
    Nevertheless obviously this work is about major quakes above defined high levels (as rightly pointed out – and not about total numbers which are uncountable) and there has been plenty of objective assessment discussion on http://climaterealists.com/

    Thanks, Piers Corbyn

  237. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Willis says:

    “If Piers wants to break out his earlier one-month ahead forecast, we can discuss that, but at present, all we have to discuss is the three-day ahead forecast.”

    No you don’t, he said in his own comments above that he made no changes to the 45 day ahead forecast.

    Piers did not say that he made no changes. He said “any changes very minor on 28th (issue meaning desk top publishing) re interpretation of maps already defined”. That means nothing to me, I still have nothing to discuss but the three-day ahead forecast. It’s not that I don’t trust Piers, it’s simply that my motto is “Trust … but verify.” I can’t discuss a forecast I’ve never seen.

    w.

  238. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Willis says:
    “Nor was it a “deluge”, it was one day of rain on the 7th which was about average for a rainy day in July,”

    Well I saw you were confusing national average with local peak rainfall, but are you really suggesting that the average UK in July is nearly 10mm per day?

    You are right, re-examining my figure above it was somewhat above average for a rainy day in either June or July, which average about 6.6 mm per rainy day. Average for all days in June/July is about 2.2-2.4 mm.

    But in any case, that’s not when he predicted the heavy rain, that was the 1st to the 4th.

    w.

  239. Mr.D.Imwit says:
    July 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says,

    ”Thanks, Bryan. Always glad to have someone investigate my work. Here’s my previous graph recalculated as an average rather than a total”.

    You are joking,have a look at this link http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/,how come your graph only shows just short of 10mm per day for July the 7th?.Should the Y axis be X10?.Where did you get your graph information from for the 27th june till 7th july?

    I got my information from the link that I gave with the graph, D.Imwit. Yes, there were some areas with heavy rain … but there were also areas with no rain, and your link didn’t give those. Here’s the full list:

    Station, Precipitation July 7
    Baltasound, 0
    Lerwick, 0.2
    Fair Isle, 0
    Kirkwall, 0.2
    Wick, 0.4
    Stornoway, 0
    Aultbea, 0
    Lossiemouth, 0.8
    Loch Glascarnoch, 0
    Kinloss, 0.6
    South Uist Range, 0
    Skye/Lusa, 0
    Aviemore, 1.6
    Aberdeen/Dyce, 0.6
    Aboyne, 0.2
    Tulloch Bridge, 0
    Inverbervie, 3.4
    Tiree Island, 0
    Leuchars, 10
    Strathallan, 5.2
    Edinburgh Gogarbank, 16
    Glasgow Bishopton, 6.2
    Islay/Port Ellen, 0.8
    Drumalbin, 19
    Charterhall, 38
    Prestwick, 7
    Machrihanish, 12.2
    Boulmer, 19
    Eskdalemuir, 9.2
    Redesdale Camp, 13
    Ballypatrick Fst, 15
    Magilligan, 5
    Spadeadam II, 15.8
    Albemarle, 18
    Carlisle, 4
    Portglenone, 1.6
    West Freugh, 7.2
    Dundrennan, 8
    Lough Fea, 7
    Loftus Samos, 16.2
    Belfast/Aldergrove, 4
    Keswick, 0.2
    Castlederg, 2.2
    St Bees Head, 2
    Warcop Range, 5
    Shap, 3
    St Angelo, 1
    Fylingdales, 10.2
    Glenanne, 5.6
    Leeming, 4.4
    Topcliffe, 4.2
    Dishforth, 4
    Walney Island, 1
    Bridlington, 6
    IoM / Ronaldsway, 6
    Linton-On-Ouse, 4
    Leconfield, 0
    Leeds Bradford, 22.2
    Church Fenton, 6
    Bingley, 13.2
    Crosby, 12.2
    Scampton, 2
    Valley, 9.4
    Raf Mona, 14.6
    Rhyl, 12
    Hawarden, 6
    Waddington, 3.6
    Leek, 6
    Capel Curig, 7.4
    Coningsby, 3
    Wainfleet, 0
    Cranwell, 1
    Nottingham/Watnall, 5
    Weybourne, 1
    Bala, 4.2
    Holbeach, 6.6
    Shawbury, 7
    Aberdaron, 7.4
    Lake Vyrnwy, 13
    Marham, 3
    Wittering, 0
    Coleshill, 13
    Church Lawford, 6
    Trawscoed, 0
    Shobdon, 16.4
    Bedford, 3
    Pershore, 18.4
    Aberporth, 7
    Hereford/Credenhill, 8
    Sennybridge, 11.4
    Andrewsfield, 4.2
    Little Rissington, 8
    Brize Norton, 10
    Pembrey Sands, 30
    Milford Haven, 11
    High Wycombe, 6
    Benson, 8.4
    Mumbles, 29.8
    Shoeburyness Landw., 0
    Northolt, 4.2
    Filton, 12
    London St James Park, 1.6
    London Heathrow Airport, 8.4
    Lyneham, 13.6
    St Athan, 38
    Manston, 1
    Kenley, 1
    Farnborough, 3.2
    Odiham, 10
    Larkhill, 33.6
    Boscombe Down, 29
    Middle Wallop, 22
    Charlwood, 2.4
    Liscombe, 36
    Chivenor, 24
    Yeovilton, 31
    Dunkeswell Aerodr., 57
    Shoreham, 2
    Thorney Island, 17
    Herstmonceux, 0
    Bournemouth, 30.4
    St Catherine's Pt, 26.2
    Isle of Portland, 60
    Cardinham, 29
    Plymouth MtBatten, 37.6
    Camborne, 38.2
    Culdrose, 32.2
    Scilly St Mary, 10.2

    In any case, Piers didn’t predict heavy rain on the 7th, he predicted it from the 1st to the 4th.

    w.

  240. Anthony,
    If you really do believe in what you publish on your website and have serious concerns about the warmist agenda, shouldn’t you be supporting Piers instead of trying to catch him out? You’re supposed to be on the same side but you appear to be more interested in mocking Piers and his work and trying to make out that he is unscientific. It doesn’t do much for your credibility.

    REPLY: On the contrary. I think Piers forecasts have too much hype for their supposed accuracy. I’ve never seen a good test of them. Now we can put them to the test. I’ve called out what I’ve considered to be subpar science before, such as the “slayers” skeptic book. Lets find out if Piers forecast have skill since he’s made them available along with some brash claims. – Anthony

  241. You’re entitled to your opinion Anthony but a little respect for Piers and his work would be helpful. You are a former meteorologist, Piers is an astrophysicist so obviously the two sciences are different. What is important is that the public are informed of exreme weather events before they occur. This can save lives and help ensure that the food supply continues. Sadly standard meteorolgy repeatedly fails dismally in forecasting extreme events, Piers on the other hand has a high degree of accuracy – if you analyse his work correctly.

  242. Piers, thanks for making your full forecast available. Let me start by looking at July 1-4. Your prediction says:

    JULY 1-4 A band of low pressure from the Gulf to North and then (deeper) Great Lakes and South thereof to East. High pressure over Florida and West Central parts (Rockies). Extreme thunder, giant hail and tornado swarm events mostly South of Great Lakes. Dangerous Foest fires expand in SW. Standard meteorology in this period will substantially underestimate levels of precipitation and strengths of thunderstorms, tornado risk, hail and winds.

    I searched Google News July 1-4 for “extreme thunderstorms”, “giant hail”, and “tornados”. I found no reports of any of those. I found reports of thunderstorms and hail, but both are common as dirt in the summer in the Midwest. For example, here’s number of days with reported hail damage by state:

    State, Days in July with hail damage
    Illinois, 25.6
    Indiana, 19
    Iowa, 28.2
    Michigan, 4.6
    Minnesota, 28.2
    Missouri, 14.9
    Nebraska, 28.9
    Ohio, 13.8
    South Dakota, 29.7
    Wisconsin, 13.4

    SOURCE

    I may have missed a hailstorm with big hail or a report of tornadoes during that period, but I definitely did not fid “giant hail” or “tornado swarms”. And if there had been “extreme thunderstorms”, we would have seen extreme rain. Here is the precipitation for the four-day period of the forecast:

    Precipitation July 1, 2012

    Precipitation July 2, 2012

    Precipitation July 3, 2012

    Precipitation July 4, 2012

    SOURCE: NOAA

    Not a lot of thunderstorms for the time of year, and none of them are very strong—the maximum rainfall is only about a half inch on any of the four days. In addition, there is no concentration of storms “South of Great Lakes”.

    Next, you forecast “a band of low pressure from the Gulf to North and then (deeper) Great Lakes and South thereof to East”. Here is your pressure chart:

    And here is the actual outcome.

    Barometric Pressure July 1, 2012

    Barometric Pressure July 2, 2012

    Barometric Pressure July 3, 2012

    Barometric Pressure July 4, 2012

    SOURCE:As above

    As you can see, none of these look anything like your description. There is no “band of low pressure from the Gulf to the North, nor “thereof to East”. In addition, the situation changes day to day, there is no common thread that lasts even from one day to the next. This is typical for the US, fronts are constantly sweeping across and varying the pressure. Despite that, your forecast for the next two periods says that the pressure will be the same, viz:

    JULY 1-4 A band of low pressure from the Gulf to North and then (deeper) Great Lakes and South thereof to East. High pressure over Florida and West Central parts (Rockies).

    JULY 5-7 A band of low pressure from the Gulf to North and then Great Lakes to East. High pressure over Florida and West Central parts (Rockies).

    JULY 8-12 Similar general pressure situation to previous 2 periods, …

    The pressure over the US rarely does that. It would be very unusual to see the same pressure pattern remain in place for 12 days. As you can see in the four days shown above, the pressure differs day to day, and does not stay the same for two days, much less two weeks. The only thing you got right was the high pressure over Florida, you missed on high pressure over the Rockies. It varied there from high to low in the four days.

    So overall, I can’t say that I’m much impressed with your forecast for the 1st to the 4th of July …

    w.

  243. On what scale will we assess the accuracy of a months forecast? What is the recorded mean for the selected parameters? What sigma accuracy for all the forecasters invited to take part?

  244. W,

    Re Above I don’t quite see why you have reproduced the forecast map for the end of June(+July1) issued at end of May for looking at July 1-4. That is NOT our forecast for July 1-4th

    I presume you will look at our actual forecast sketch map for July 1-4 (+/- one day) and suggest you not only compare reality (+/-1 day) with that but also compare it with what happened in say the last 4 years of 1-4th(or5th) of July – as random potential forecasts and see which of the 5 or 6 is closest to outcome or indeed put them in order of closeness and see where our forecast comes. These are broad brush forecasts and do not purport to be right in detail. Your approach will just say ‘all forecasts are wrong’, whereas what is fairer is to say “Well there was thunder in such and such a region, did the forecast say that? Did the random forecasts say that? and so on.
    In terms of weather bets when they were allowed we would under these sort of circumstances have a series of bets
    a) some thunder or to take the case of wind ‘wind above level 6 in the area’
    b) ‘wind above level 7′
    c) wind above level 8′ (gales)
    So if it was windy we would win something depending on odds and stakes and if very windy we would win more. So winnings as % of stakes would be a measure of forecast power. In the absence of lists of potential bets looking at random slots of past weather is a fair approach.

  245. beenzontoste..
    “Chucked it down along the M3 in Hampshire yesterday, 7 JULY, used fog lights, headlights”

    Off topic so apologies are due but I have to say this.
    Fog lights should only be used in fog. (source police)
    You could face a $50 on the spot fine for leaving them on. I know a bloke who was stopped and fined for this.
    But,
    I too think they should be used in heavy rain, because visibilty in heavy rain can be terrible even using Rainex.
    The police say not becasue it can cause dazzle, especially at night. Surely, dazzle from a 21watt fog light isn’t going to break any records, but it may prevent a few broken vehicles.

    mybigidea..
    “He shouts about the accurate predictions and goes very quiet about those which are inaccurate.”

    Piers states quite clearly in every single forecast period the likelihood of events as a percentage. His highest is usually only 85% and low probabilities are more on the order of 60%. Apologise? Why would he feel the need to apologise? He did nothing wrong? I can accept his theories weaknesses and a 5 or 6 correct out of 8 forecast periods result, because it’s head and shoulders above anything the Met Office can muster with all their staff, support from hundreds of experts, hardware, software, purpose built headquarters complex etc. Yes he’s made some big errors but with a result probability of mainly 65% to 85% these errors are already factored in. He doesn’t claim to have cracked it, to have all the answers, to have a perfect theory, to have a provable working model or 100% accuracy. As for shouting about the accurate predictions, every successful business that I’ve seen SHOUTS as big and loudly as they possibly can to get potential customers attention. Do you see something wrong with that?

    Note to everyone:
    Lets try and get this accuracy thing sorted because it seems to be a major stumbling block with most posters on this thread.
    Piers predicts extreme weather events and more general weather changes.
    He does not predict whether or not it will drop 23.7mm of rain on Torquay Town Hall at 2pm tomorrow.
    That’s what the Met try to do and fail miserably for obvious reasons (which they admit).
    If I am wanting a week away walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path, the last thing I need is persistant heavy rain.
    With the Met Office forecast it’s a completely hit & miss affair at anything more than 7 days out. They can still get it completely wrong just 2 days out. This is of no use whatsoever in planning 3 or more weeks ahead. Piers can tell me that there is a very high probability of winds and rain 3 weeks ahead say, from 1st to the 4th. Now I know that I cannot take that as 100% gospel that it will start raining heavily at 6am on the 1st and not stop until midnight on the 4th.
    Nobody would be foolish enough to expect that. Instead, I do what Piers suggests, that from the 31st to the 3rd or 1st to 4th or 2nd to 5th (+/- 1 day) that I can expect the weather to change to wind and heavy rain. If that’s what you call a vague weather prediction then I think you need to get out more into the real world and see just how vague everything and everyone is out there. This is what I would call remarkably accurate often from as much as 5 weeks ahead. And I’ll bet Paul Hudson wishes he could predict heavy rain 5 weeks ahead just using his laptop and a yellow highlighter.
    Piers doesn’t have to apologise or hide because he made errors. He’s forecasting the weather which every single meteorologist in the world will tell you is extremely difficult to predict. Piers has found an algorithm which works much better than standard wind-wafting theory used by everyone else. Its not perfect but then he doesn’t profess it to be so. He knows his forecast limitations and spells that out in every forecast quite clearly. We have people rubbishing his presentation skills while at the same missing all that vital probability information which is clearly there for all to see in black & white, and yellow, oh and pink, and sometimes blue! When you read his forecasts every month like we do, you find that the colour coding is a brilliant way of drawing your attention straight to the information you need. The format doesn’t change either, so a quick glance before you dash out to catch the train is all you need to have a decent grasp of what the month holds in store for you weather wise.

    So can we drop all the accusations of innacuracy because it’s meaningless to keep pursuing it. We don’t need the scientific method to understand Piers forecasts. Just try reading his own explanation on his forecasts about how to interpret the information and I’m sure you’ll see the bigger picture. Stop getting all hung up on whether he said Monday or Tuesday because it really is irrelevant.
    The important thing to remember though, is that even his worst errors, like getting a whole month not wrong, but inaccurate, like being very cold but dropping lots of rain instead of snow, pale into insignificance when compared to the Met Offices barbecue summers, and drought predictions.
    You don’t need to give piers a break, just stop reinterpreting his forecasts into your own preconceived standards of expectation before making judgments on his skill.

    willis..

    I apologise for my unscientific anecdotes but I haven’t had reason in the past to catalogue detailed comparisons of Piers forecasts versus realtime weather. I simply read his forecasts then monitor the weather. I don’t suffer from Alzheimers (yet) and can remember enough detail to know whether he was right or wrong for my own satisfaction.
    If he was as bad as some people on this site are proclaiming then I wouldn’t buy his forecasts. I’m not stupid nor do I have money to throw away.
    I will endeavour to ‘cite’ whenever I can.

    Best regards reciprocated

  246. As you can see, none of these look anything like your description.

    and..

    It [hi pressure over rockies] varied there from high to low in the four days.

    I don’t understand why you are saying that. It does look like his description. He has the Low pressure system tracking from the top of the chart to the right and the lows circulating along the lines of his arrows. You have one very simple chart from Piers reflecting the behaviour of several charts over the period.

    You could argue that that could have been achieved with standard meteorology, or that it is too vague to be useful, or that the extent of predicted weather extremes did not eventuate, but the general pattern looks accurate.

    So overall, I can’t say that I’m much impressed with your forecast for the 1st to the 4th of July

    …and therefore all his forecasting is rubbish? This isn’t the incisive ‘big-picture’ kind of thinking I was hoping for in an analysis of Piers’ work. I was really hoping for a comparison to reality versus long-range prediction over a large enough sample of predictions to be able to independently assess how skilful or not they are.

    One thing we can agree on – I think Piers tends to hyperbole, which I don’t like either. It raises skeptical hackles. But I really don’t think your analysis is quite doing justice to the nature of Piers’ efforts just yet.

  247. Oh – one other thing – take a look at his confidence ratings when you make a judgement on the forecasts worth. And also take into account competing forecasts from standard meteorology. How did they do?

  248. Try measuring the accuracy/frequency of the Met Office forecasts/warnings before taking pop shots at Pier’s Corbyn at least he has more thought for the general public than the Met Office seem to have who’s forecasts are updated more times than going to the toilet. Piers Corbyn can do Long Range weather forecasts which give plenty of warning weeks in advance of any severe/extreme weather event and are understandable warnings which again is something I have pulled the Met Office up on many a time recently plus on other weather related things as well. I have also seen for myself by checking space weather.com and earthquake activity websites and whether you believe it or not Piers has been spot on with his forecasts especially the extreme/severe flooding and frightening thunderstorms etc that have caused so much damage over the past few months, also with his earthquake trial forecasts recently with M6+ Earthquakes happening somewhere in the world within the periods/dates stated. One thing Piers doesn’t have is a £33 million pound Super Computer, 1,500 staff and an expensive solar paneled building unlike the Met Office who has all that plus £170 million a year budget and still get it wrong! So surely he can be forgiven for minor errors unlike the Met Office who make big blunders and never apologize but only make excuses,use smoke screens, or blame global warming to cover their mistakes. How many men does it take to produce weather forecasts ONE, Piers Corbyn!

  249. Have WUWT time and skills to investigate Piers abilities scientifically?
    So far, I’m not so sure. Too much chit chat – do your research – and then return!

    And remember – no one buys his abilities – to see, if there is a cloud here or there!
    or whether it is written in black or white!

    Piers has repeatedly predicted an unusual event, long time in advance!
    It is these skills, that can mean life or death to people, and their business!
    Whenever extreme events occur – he warns the public!
    If mistakes, he examines and corrects his technique!

    He has passion and style!
    Give him respect – make him a decent review!

  250. Also Piers map 29th June to 1st July shows a strong band of high pressure from Oregon diagonally across the states finishing just above Florida. The pressure map you showed for 1st July shows the same strong band of high pressure in exactly the same place.
    How can you call that a fail?

  251. WUWT I have a fair test for you, PUT THE MET OFFICE TO THE SAME TEST! make them do their forecasts the same way Piers Corbyn does! without the Super Computer, 1,500 strong man power, 170 million a year budget etc. That’s a fair test!

  252. AW,
    Just seen your post / commented bits.
    1. I wasn’t aware of whatever you sent me 2 years ago, if I didn’t reply that was because I wasn’t aware – spam folder, computer crashes don’t know.
    2. Glad you have now posted the actual forecast, thank you. Without that this activity would have been ‘deceitful’, which is why I used the word. So fair enough, that no longer applies. As it stands I find what you did with our reportage of the end June forecast misleading whether intentional or not, and indeed Willis E. appears to have been misled and is using it as forecast for July!
    3. Measures of our skill. I reported these in other posts but again
    a) look at (espec pdfs) http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact45 and subsequent confirmation re bets of me being £14,000 ahead with William Hill before they closed the account (about 40% average monthly profit on stakes placed I think)
    b) Checkable by anybody that All the extremes in the Accuweather annual report of 2011 were predicted by us. All our past forecasts for 2011 are available in archives to subscriners at least and these matters were often news reports in our news pdfs
    c) Our six 3 month ahead public forecasts of extremes around world issued October 2011 scored 5/5 and one non-runner:-

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No5.pdf

    d) Loads of what users say, internal reports to them.
    4. The 45d and 30d forecast of B+I are normally word for word the same and if different that is stated. ‘Getting colder’ was added onto ’30d’ map for 1-4th (+/-1day) and routine tabulation of wind etc also added.
    5. In terms of skill that is pretty independent of look ahead in the month, it not depending on standard meteorology prognoses. In terms of A B C level Dennis wheeler (early forecast of some, not all, gales) did find A and B were better than C.
    6. Please ask people to calm down a bit on detail. They are largely broad brush forecasts and that is spelt out in them and indeed exactly how Geoffrey Philpott – eg – described them last January in a farmers’ meeting. They of course, nevertheless, have more reliable detail than when he started. We are going as far as we can in possible detail but it wont all be right, what we are stating is reasonable possibilities. Forecasts have to be assessed against all reasonable past possibilities eg question 1. which is closer to obs (i) the forecast (ii) the ‘opposite’ of the forecast; 2. Then look at random past years over same periods and compare.
    There is really no point in anyone concluding we are not something we don’t claim to be and isn’t ‘written on the tin’.
    We are a light bulb, concluding we are not a laser gun would be churlish. Concluding we are better than a candle would be true.

    Thanks PC (Btw I havnt met Nostradamus does he live in America?)

  253. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm
    “Piers did not say that he made no changes.”

    This the second time I have quoted what he wrote in comments above, read it again:

    “a) compare us with whatever anyone else said that time ahead [and NO the July forecast was made 15th June and any changes very minor on 28th (issue meaning desk top publishing) re interpretation of maps already defined unless we changed SLAT procedure which we did not in this case. If there are changes we say so].”

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm
    “But in any case, that’s not when he predicted the heavy rain, that was the 1st to the 4th.”

    On the graph section of the forecast it states *heavy showers* for the R period 6-7th. If you were to say that the 6-7th R period turned out wetter than indicated, and the 3-4th R period not as wet as indicated, I would go along with that.

  254. Dear Willis,

    I second Russ, Søren Bundgaard, Agnostic and all the others. Please give Piers a break. Let us see how the remainder of July pans out. I really enjoy all your musings, but trying to hammer Piers down like this does not seem to be your usual style.

    Niels.

  255. @Willis,
    With the rainfall data you have been using from weatheronline for your graphs, are you selecting e.g. 01:00am on the 8th July for the nearest 24hr total to the 7th July ?

  256. beenzontoste..
    “Chucked it down along the M3 in Hampshire yesterday, 7 JULY, used fog lights, headlights”

    Off topic so apologies are due but I have to say this.
    Fog lights should only be used in fog. (source police)
    You could face a $50 on the spot fine for leaving them on. I know a bloke who was stopped and fined for this.

    i Know this is off topic, but. I am in the UK, if you are referring to the Police in the UK, and they stopped you. (only use in Fog) you might gently refer them to the highway code and refuse the ticket, choosing to argue your case in a court, where you would be aquitted. Unless the magistrate was awkward of course. (Sorry m`lud) Law source: The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 SI number 1796 part 3 sections 25 – 27.

    My point is, that the visibility was about 50 metres, It was very heavy rain, (from Dorset) persistent rain, which lightened up approaching Farnborough, and by Heathrow was not raining.
    This is bourne out by the met office rainfall chart displayed earlier. Piers, broadly, got it right.

    As for the Science, yes, it needs testing and analysing, but also measured against the other forecasters skill, measuring the same thing. Not measuring apples and pears, so to speak.

  257. This page is already loading too slowly due to clutter. People will stop visiting.

    It’s crystal clear Piers won’t get a fair trial.

    Willis: I suggest conciseness — orders of magnitude reduction in your word-count is easily feasible without any loss of substance.

  258. Anthony,

    How about opening a new thread with just the video of Piers and the full July forecast. Then we can discuss each period as it comes along. Would be nice if the thread could be accessed from the right margin.

    Niels.

  259. It is true that Piers long term forecasts are better then Met’s office long term forecast. Piers’ forecast is based on the moon-solar drivers, the Met office on models.
    And I think there is more to the story then at first sight:

    Met’s office forecast gets regularly off, forecasting too warm weather. It never goes both way wrong: warm and cold. This is an anomalous deviation.
    I think the Met office would love to get a more accurate forecast as this would show that the models are right – as the Met’s office says they use the same models for short and long term forecast.

    The fact that the forecasts are warm biased is a model problem, it does not reflect the Met’s office warm weather desire, but the models are warm biased. This shows repeatedly at each and almost every long term forecast.
    It is this warming bias that makes the models be so inaccurate on medium term forecast and it definitively shows that the models are wrong.
    The models work ok for several days or a week, the warm bias does not show up so fast, but the longer term they forecast, the longer the warming bias is evident. If the warm bias shows already in a quarter forecast, it is obvious that years and centuries forecasts are way out there in the meteorology nirvana.
    The models are not even wrong, they have a warming bias, they are designed wrong.

  260. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 9, 2012 at 1:40 am

    W,

    Re Above I don’t quite see why you have reproduced the forecast map for the end of June(+July1) issued at end of May for looking at July 1-4. That is NOT our forecast for July 1-4th

    Thanks, Piers. You are 100% correct, my bad, moving too fast. I have replaced it with the correct forecast map. It makes no difference to my conclusions.

    I presume you will look at our actual forecast sketch map for July 1-4 (+/- one day) and suggest you not only compare reality (+/-1 day) with that but also compare it with what happened in say the last 4 years of 1-4th(or5th) of July – as random potential forecasts and see which of the 5 or 6 is closest to outcome or indeed put them in order of closeness and see where our forecast comes.

    I don’t have a clue what you are calling “random potential forecasts”, how they would be identified, or where one would find them.

    These are broad brush forecasts and do not purport to be right in detail.

    I can heartily agree with that … but that makes the forecasts pretty useless when it comes time to test them. If people find something wrong with your forecasts, you just need to say that you never claimed that they were “right in detail” … so if they are wrong in detail, at what level are they right, and how can we tell that level from “detail”? Is “giant hail” a detail, or a broad brush? It sounds like the old song about “she could easily pass for 43, in the dusk with the light behind her” … details and broad brush strokes depend on the light and the eye of the beholder …

    Your approach will just say ‘all forecasts are wrong’, whereas what is fairer is to say “Well there was thunder in such and such a region, did the forecast say that? Did the random forecasts say that? and so on.

    I’m not clear here. Just what “random forecasts” are we referencing here? And no, I didn’t say “all forecasts are wrong”. I said, for example, that you got the high pressure in Florida correct, but that you got high pressure in the Rockies wrong.

    In terms of weather bets when they were allowed we would under these sort of circumstances have a series of bets
    a) some thunder or to take the case of wind ‘wind above level 6 in the area’
    b) ‘wind above level 7′
    c) wind above level 8′ (gales)
    So if it was windy we would win something depending on odds and stakes and if very windy we would win more. So winnings as % of stakes would be a measure of forecast power. In the absence of lists of potential bets looking at random slots of past weather is a fair approach.

    You predicted “extreme thunder, giant hail, and tornado swarms” in the period July 1-4 south of the Great Lakes. Near as I can tell, none of them happened. So it’s not clear what all of the above discussion of betting means. Are you saying that if you predict “giant hail” you should get partial credit if there is hail? Because in that region of the US, hail falls somewhere about 25 days out of 31 in July … so I’m not up for giving partial credit for a forecast of hail.

    w.

    PS—I’m still waiting for your reply to my taking up your offer to bet on rain disrupting the Opening Ceremonies for the London Olympics … if we can agree on the details of the bet, I’m not betting on a “broad brush” forecast.

  261. Agnostic says:
    July 9, 2012 at 2:24 am

    … And also take into account competing forecasts from standard meteorology. How did they do?

    Thanks, Agnostic. I’m trying to find out if Piers is right or wrong in his forecasts. At present, I don’t care if he does better or worse than some random fool with a computer, I want to know if Piers’s forecast is accurate.

    Once I can figure out if a given forecast of his is right or wrong (difficult at the best of times), then I may look to see how others have done. But I only plan to do one thing at a time, and first things first.

    w.

  262. Russ says:
    July 9, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Also, after 15 minutes of faffing about I found this. I think Indiana to the southern mid Atlantic on the correct day is near enough for a weather event as extreme as this, to call it a success.
    Or is it just me being too blasé?

    http://www.examiner.com/article/deadly-storm-on-june-29-2012-was-a-derecho-700-miles-of-straight-line-wind

    So your claim is that a storm that occurred two days before the forecast period (July 1-4) should be counted as a rousing success? I can see why you folks think Piers is right all the time … his forecast was published on the day of the derecho, June 29th, so no, I’m not going to count that at all. Nice try, though.

    w.

  263. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 9, 2012 at 2:50 am

    b) Checkable by anybody that All the extremes in the Accuweather annual report of 2011 were predicted by us. All our past forecasts for 2011 are available in archives to subscriners at least and these matters were often news reports in our news pdfs

    No, that’s not “checkable by anybody”, it’s only checkable by your subscribers.

    In addition, I find nothing titled the “Accuweather annual report of 2011″ or anything like that, so a citation to the document in question would be useful … but not all that useful since we don’t have access to your past forecasts. In short, your claims are not “checkable by anybody”, that’s just more of your hyperbole.

    w.

  264. Niels says:
    July 9, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Dear Willis,

    I second Russ, Søren Bundgaard, Agnostic and all the others. Please give Piers a break. Let us see how the remainder of July pans out.

    Thanks, Niels, but “give Piers a break”? Give me a break.

    This is not patty-cake. This is science. Either he is right or wrong. He forecast “tornado swarms” for the period July 1-4 south of the Great Lakes. There were exactly two tornadoes in the US during that period, one in Nebraska and one in Florida …

    So how should I “give him a break” on that? Ignore it? Pretend it didn’t happen? The forecast was 100% wrong, should we just look the other way because Piers is a good guy?

    Yes, Piers is a good guy, and yes, presumably he is on the side of the angels … but that’s all the more reason to look hard at what he says. Read up on “confirmation bias”, it’s lethal.

    w.

  265. “Thanks, Niels, but “give Piers a break”? Give me a break.”

    Oh dear, Willis. Allright then, I’ll give you a break.

    ;)

  266. Willis..
    “So your claim is that a storm that occurred two days before the forecast period (July 1-4) should be counted as a rousing success?”

    I was posting that link in response to the WA map you posted 29th June to 1st July (in error), where Piers said there would be an extended area of thunder, large hail with tornados. There was thunder across an extended area, pushing further south than Piers orange blob over the Great lakes, and in my first link about the canoeist he mentions large hail punching holes in something or other, also on the 29th. The only thing which didn’t happen was tornados, but the amount of damage the storm did was even greater than a tornado swarm, with people stating that it was like a land bound hurricane! Tornado swarm or hurricane, same result, people dead, cars flipped, trees snapped, houses trashed.

    This link does mention Fridays storm but is mainly about Sunday 1st July storm with “strong wind, large hail and flooding rain”, their words.

    http://blogs.woodtv.com/2012/07/01/watch-for-a-small-part-of-sw-michigan/

    Then this third link reports storms on the 4th July;
    “Dangerous lightning, large hail and strong winds are the main threat through tonight.”

    http://web.live.weatherbug.com/StormCentral/Page/StormCentral.aspx?lid=SC2&&story_id=13743&zcode=z4641&zip=20002&Units=0&rnd=070220122233-13743

    The continuation of extreme thunder, large hail, and possibilty of further tornado type threats is what Piers forecast 1st to 4th July. Thats what happened. I’m sure you can find plenty more links if you have the time.

    I don’t know if you are suffering from the heatwave Willis but 500 miles north of us in northern Scotland it was 48F yesterday, but they are expecting their own mini heatwave over the next three days at 52F. You could almost shed a tear!

  267. USA forecast 1-4 July
    “Extreme thunder, giant hail and tornado swarm events”

    Report from the National Weather Centre:
    1/7/12
    Tornado 0
    Wind Report/Hi 521/6
    Hail Report/LG 212/18
    Total reports 733

    2/7/12
    Tornado 0
    Wind Report/Hi 99/3
    Hail Report/LG 36/1
    Total reports 135

    3/7/12
    Tornado 1
    Wind Report/Hi 200/2
    Hail Report/LG 46/0
    Total reports 247

    4/7/12
    Tornado 0
    Wind Report/Hi 222/0
    Hail Report/LG 78/5
    Total reports 300

    Source: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120701_rpts.html
    Location was about 50% accurate with wind/hail events extending much further south than forecast map. The 1 tornado was out of the tornado forecast area.

    The 29/6 and 1/7 are the top 2 Severe Weather Days (*by number of events*)of 2012 in the USA (up to 4/7/12)

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/archive/event.php?date=20120702

  268. Why are his claims “extraordinary” and “bold”? His predictions are based on the behaviour of the sun(somewhat similar to Abdussamatov) and have been 85 percent accurate for years. His predictions are invariably right and the alarmist AGW met office claims invariably wrong. I see nothing extraordinary or bold about them

  269. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 9, 2012 at 11:34 am
    “The forecast was 100% wrong,”

    Your derecho/hurricane was on the 29th, on the first day of the R4 period (29th Jun-1 Jul), the same day we had heavier rain in the UK. OK Piers may have made that R period a little too long, but no way is that 100% wrong. The last page of the US map for June is on the article at the head of this page. The next R period is 3-4 July, and the US July forecast map shows the weather risk slightly further south, as the next line of serious storms were:

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/severe-weather-hotspots-for-th/67532

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/live-blog-fastmoving-storms-for-pittsburgh-dc/67513

    That is not 100% either.

  270. Thanks, Agnostic. I’m trying to find out if Piers is right or wrong in his forecasts.

    The problem is Willis, I think you have defined what constitutes “right or wrong” far too narrowly for this type of endeavour, where we are dealing with probabilities and risk within a chaotic system. You also need to take into account how far in advance a prediction is made, and whether anyone else got anything anywhere near as close. You need to say what is ‘reasonably right’ and ‘demonstrably wrong’.

    You are dwelling on whether or not ‘tornado swarms’ occurred but missing that the prediction was for a major storm type event in a particular area at a particular time. Surely that there were no tornados is missing the point that conditions meant there was a risk of them. You are further taking too narrow a view of one particular weather forecast which have less than 100% confidence using a system that gives less than 100% accuracy.

    You need to define what a reasonable match in weather characteristics would be between the prediction and reality. If the prediction states gentle breezes, freezing temperatures, and a flurry of snow, then you can pretty much say that the prediction is wrong. Likewise, he didn’t predict fine sunny days, with the chance of late afternoon shower. He predicted extremely thundery stormy weather, with hail, heavy rain, and possibly tornados. If the tornados didn’t turn up don’t you think its missing the point to say “Ah – well he got that wrong!” I think you are simply asking too much of one individual prediction!

    Then there are the temporal and spatial errors. Sometimes these may be wrong by a few days but the very specific event occurs. Don’t you think it is still saying something that such an event can be detected so far ahead of time using a novel technique? Even if they were regularly wrong in terms of time and location (he seems to get these right quite often too), but accurate in terms of characterization, then it’s still interesting but clearly an imperfect method. How would he know to expect such an unusual event so far ahead of time albeit not exactly when he thought it would be? These aren’t vague typical weather patterns – we are talking about big storms or significant events such as the Russian heat wave or the Pakistan floods. Did he just get lucky? He gets very lucky quite a lot then. Really lucky.

    What I am interested in, is the physical basis for how he makes these predictions….this SLAT thing. I’d really like to know if there really is something to it. With a system as chaotic as the Earth’s climate there is bound to be significant uncertainty in any prediction, but if he really has developed a reliable way to devine significant climate events so far ahead of time then it deserves greater recognition than it currently gets.

    I should stress – I am agnostic on this too. I have followed, but not analysed seriously his efforts for the last few years, which leads me to think there is something to them worth investigating. But it would have to be a reasonable investigation taking into context the nature of the beast – not a ‘right or wrong’ black or white judgement.

  271. Flash flooding hits Yorkshire towns after a downpour
    Once again Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire has been flooded for the second time in two weeks by flash flooding Met Office have a yellow (be aware) warning for the region, my opinion on this would be a higher amber warning (be prepared) should have been issued and this seems to be the case with the M/O with warnings they underestimate the severity and leave people unprepared for severe/extreme weather.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18775080

  272. Russ says:
    July 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    The continuation of extreme thunder, large hail, and possibilty of further tornado type threats is what Piers forecast 1st to 4th July. Thats what happened.

    No, that’s not what happened. He forecast “tornado swarms” for the first to the fourth. There were two tornados in that time span, one in Nebraska and one in Florida. Neither were in the area where he forecast “tornado swarms”.

    Look, I’m more than happy to give Piers credit for correct forecasts, but at the same time, I will point out when, as in this case, his forecast was 100% incorrect.

    He also did not forecast “large hail”, he forecast “giant hail”, and I found no reports of that either. Sorry, but I have to go with the observations.

    w.

  273. Agnostic says:
    July 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks, Agnostic. I’m trying to find out if Piers is right or wrong in his forecasts.

    The problem is Willis, I think you have defined what constitutes “right or wrong” far too narrowly for this type of endeavour, where we are dealing with probabilities and risk within a chaotic system. You also need to take into account how far in advance a prediction is made, and whether anyone else got anything anywhere near as close. You need to say what is ‘reasonably right’ and ‘demonstrably wrong’.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Agnostic. I have defined nothing. Piers is the one who is doing the defining. He said “tornado swarms” in the area “south of the Great Lakes” on the first to the fourth. There were two US tornados during that time, neither one in the area where he forecast it. I’m sorry, but that forecast is wrong no matter how it is defined.

    If Piers wants to increase the areas or increase the width of the forecast periods, that’s up to him, not me. He is setting the parameters. If it doesn’t come within his parameters, you can’t just say ‘close is good enough’. It’s not good enough. A miss is as good as a mile. As I said before, if the Met Office says the weekend will be sunny and fine and it ends up pissing down rain on your Saturday barbecue and raining on your Sunday wedding, nobody says “well, it was sunny on Thursday and Friday before the weekend, that’s close enough”. Surely Piers needs to be held to the same standards as the Met Office.

    Finally, you talk about how far in advance the predictions were made. According to his 10-page full forecast, the forecast for July 1-4 was made on June 29th, two days before the start of the forecast period … so it is not an issue.

    But you still seem to be missing the point on the long-term forecasts. Once again, if Piers wants more latitude on his long-term forecasts, then he is the one that needs to enlarge the areas or widen the time-spans of the forecasts. He is the one making the claims, and I can only evaluate them based on his parameters. If his long-term forecasts are less accurate as to time or area (as one would assume they might be), then he should increase the times or the areas or both.

    w.

  274. Martin Gordon says:
    July 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    USA forecast 1-4 July
    “Extreme thunder, giant hail and tornado swarm events”

    Report from the National Weather Centre: …

    Egads, sire, you are giving results for the entirety of the US. What on earth does that have to do with his predictions for the area “south of the Great Lakes”? Take a look at the number of events in his predicted area, and see if they are more intense than the events outside his predicted area. Me I see lots of thunderstorms in the Midwest/NE during that time, we expect that, but I don’t see the extreme thunderstorms south of the Great Lakes that he is warning of.

    Bear in mind that

    a) there are lots and lots of thunderstorms in the Upper Midwest/Northeast in the summer. He’s not just predicting thunderstorms. He’s predicting extreme thunderstorms.

    b) there is very frequent hail damage reported in many states (upthread), with the number of days of reported hail damage, not just hail but big hail, damaging hail, averaging over 20 days in the month of July. Average. In the average July, Iowa averages damaging hail reports on 28 of the 31 days of the month. So when Piers talks about “giant hail”, he’s not talking about the stuff that happens 28 days out of the month. He’s talking giant hail … I saw no reports of that.

    c) Only one tornado in the entire US during the period, in Nebraska

    Let me see if I can lay it out more clearly. From the source you cited and the source I cited:

    First of July


    The forecast area from Piers’s prediction is outlined in red. There is a small band of thunderstorms across the bottom of his forecast area. If any place should have had a heavy rain warning, it was south Texas.

    July 2


    Thunderstorms in Mexico and the Southeast. Little in the forecast area.

    July 3


    Most of the prediction area shows little action, there’s a storm in upper Michigan. Tornado reported in Nebraska. Scattered wind and hail reports.

    July 4


    A couple of lines of thunderstorms move through the area, as they do on many summer days. Some reports of hail and wind accompany the thunderstorm lines.

    I’m sorry, but I’m just not seeing ““Extreme thunder, giant hail and tornado swarm events” in the forecast area. Instead, it’s just summertime weather in the US, some wind and some hail and bands of thunderstorms drifting across the landscape.
    w.

  275. @ Willis E
    No, I didn’t see ‘Extreme thunder, giant hail and tornado swarm events’ inside or outside the forecast area either. I was presenting the data objectively and it showed that there were plenty of ‘events’ in the forecast *period* but none were out of the ordinary, there was 1 tornado (out of area) and 50% (approx) of activity took place outside the forecast area.
    As a forecast of specified extreme weather for a specific area (or even no defined area) it did not validate.

  276. We only need be concerned as to whether or not Piers is better than the MO, at forecasting the weather.

    I think we can all agree that he is better by along way.

    This is a reflection upon the MO and not on Piers.

    End of story.

  277. Some of you may be interested in my assessment of a Piers Corbyn forecast – which he claimed was a success – for the UK in November 2009 when Cumbria and parts of Ireland experienced record rainfall and flooding:

    http://weatherearthnews.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/19th-november-flooding-in-britain.html

    btw another typical Piers ploy is to predict severe weather events around the world during a given time period – and afterwards list those events that occurred just as he said they would, proving the veracity of his forecast. But forgetting to mention that as many or more such events occurred in the period before and after ……. There are, of course, severe storms and floods somewhere in the world every week, just as there are thunderstorms somewhere in the US most days in spring and summer. Forcasting them in general terms is like correctly predicting that the Kentucky Derby will be won by a horse ….

  278. Oh, I forget to mention – earlier in this thread a few people were asking whether anyone had forecast the weather in Britain in May better than Piers. Well, I don;t do long range forecasts, but in response to his original forecast of it going to be the ‘coldest May for 100 years’, I said:

    “I have a feeling the second half of May will see a change in weather patterns bringing some warm weather in and overall the month will end a little above average both regards temperature and rainfall. We’ll see who’s right!”

    http://weatherearthnews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/20th-april-todays-news-no-it-wont-be.html

    So who was right? I admit the change occurred a few days later than I predicted, and it was even warmer than I had thought it would be. And I wouldn’t claim I made an accurate LRF. But I think I did better than Piers?

  279. Hi Ulric

    Interesting list, which includes some events which were not particularly publicised in western media, but also, for example, misses the floods we’ve had in Britain this year.

    Any comparison is likely to be selective to some extent (what do we count as ‘severe weather’?) but if no-one has yet done so, might be worth looking at say one particular month and listing all the severe weather events reported that month and seeing if there is indeed grouping around the dates Piers highlights :)

  280. Much as I admire the WUWT website, the ‘Putting Piers Corbyn to the test’ is a bit like having a go at your favourite maiden aunt – not really worthy, and brings more than a little shame to the ones doing the ones doing it. It would be better to celebrate a great British eccentric who gets its right more times that the Met does with its supercomputers. The world is better for WUWT, and yes, Piers Corbyn too. Kiss and make up please,life is too short and there are bigger dragons to slay which you both do wonderfully well. Best Regards.

  281. Steve says:

    “Much as I admire the WUWT website, the ‘Putting Piers Corbyn to the test’ is a bit like having a go at your favourite maiden aunt – not really worthy, and brings more than a little shame to the ones doing the ones doing it. It would be better to celebrate a great British eccentric who gets its right more times that the Met does with its supercomputers. The world is better for WUWT, and yes, Piers Corbyn too. Kiss and make up please,life is too short and there are bigger dragons to slay which you both do wonderfully well. Best Regards.”

    I say: Shame on you Anthony if you don’t follow this advise. Please think again and follow up on actually giving Piers a chance. We need a thread to eveluate the remainder of July.

  282. Andy Mayhew says:
    July 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Of the 59 flood events on my link above, 7 are not close to an R period, 8 are within 1 day, and the remainder are all within R periods. There are a number of R4 and R5 events with no flood events on that list, notably in the warmer parts of March and May.

  283. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    n.b. the R period coinciding with the start date of the flood episode.

  284. Steve Ratcliffe says:
    July 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Much as I admire the WUWT website, the ‘Putting Piers Corbyn to the test’ is a bit like having a go at your favourite maiden aunt – not really worthy, and brings more than a little shame to the ones doing the ones doing it. It would be better to celebrate a great British eccentric who gets its right more times that the Met does with its supercomputers. The world is better for WUWT, and yes, Piers Corbyn too. Kiss and make up please,life is too short and there are bigger dragons to slay which you both do wonderfully well. Best Regards.

    Niels says:
    July 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I say: Shame on you Anthony if you don’t follow [Steve's] advise. Please think again and follow up on actually giving Piers a chance. We need a thread to eveluate the remainder of July.

    As Hal said, … “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”.

    The day that we cease testing the claims of someone simply because he is a notable eccentric, or give someone else an easy pass simply because we agree with her claims, or because we would like to see them both succeed, is the day that this website would die.

    Science only works because nobody’s claims get the easy treatment. Everyone is treated to the same harsh inquisition, including my own work, and that’s how it has to be for science to succeed.

    Or to look at it another way, we object when Mann and Trenberth and Jones get their work published because they have gotten what has come to be called “pal-review” instead of getting a proper peer-review. We cannot object to that and then subject Piers to “pal-review”, if we did that we would lose all of our credibility.

    But it’s not a case of “kiss and make up”, I have no beef with Piers, I bear him no ill will. Like you, I think he’s a great eccentric, and I’m glad he’s doing what he is doing. As I said above, in fact as I said above twice, the world would be a poorer place without him.

    However, I will also investigate his work with the same skeptical attitude I bring to the work of the worst of the AGW alarmists.

    w.

  285. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Andy Mayhew says:
    July 10, 2012 at 3:45 am

    “There are, of course, severe storms and floods somewhere in the world every week,”

    I see distinct clustering: http://floodobservatory.colorado.edu/Archives/MasterListrev.htm

    Humans have an amazing ability to see patterns where none may exist, it is a valuable survival trait. Here’s the list from the archive you cite, by month:

    Maybe you see “distinct clustering” in that, but I see nothing of the sort.

  286. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm
    “Of the 59 flood events on my link above, 7 are not close to an R period, 8 are within 1 day, and the remainder are all within R periods. There are a number of R4 and R5 events with no flood events on that list, notably in the warmer parts of March and May.”

    That is meaningless if you don’t know how many days in those statistics are forecast to be ‘R’. Looking at June 2012, 60% of days are forecast to be ‘R’. If you include ‘R within 1 day’ it rises to a whopping 90%!
    This is why it’s so easy to get misled.

  287. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    “Science only works because nobody’s claims get the easy treatment. Everyone is treated to the same harsh inquisition, including my own work, and that’s how it has to be for science to succeed.”

    But the choice of targets is yours.

    Regards.

  288. Thanks for your thoughts, Agnostic. I have defined nothing. Piers is the one who is doing the defining. He said “tornado swarms” in the area “south of the Great Lakes” on the first to the fourth. There were two US tornados during that time, neither one in the area where he forecast it. I’m sorry, but that forecast is wrong no matter how it is defined.

    Willis, if you were standing next to your hail damaged car, would you smugly point out that there were no tornado’s and thus Piers’ prediction was wrong?

    You ARE defining what constitutes right or wrong because you are using an ancillary weather effect and inaccuracy in timing to discount the prediction. Imagine a bell curve, where the prediction that the event will occur lies over one and a half weeks with the period they think is most likely to occur is during the period 1-4. That means the event is most likely going to occur at that point but could still occur earlier or later. It’s massive missing of the point to examine a precise period for a prediction that was made more than 2 weeks earlier and say there was nothing unusual. It’s like saying ‘I’ve looked behind the sofa but I couldn’t find the fire in the room.’

    Also, do not keep insisting that the prediction was MADE on the 28th of June. That was when the forecast was updated and published, but initially the prediction was made well before that. From the point of view of determining whether there is anything significant about the SLAT methodology ignoring this not useful.

    If a prediction comes out and says a specific type of event (severe storm in this case) is going to occur in early July probably between 1-4, but in actuality between 5-7 I still want to know how it was that such a specific type event could be predicted so far in advance.

    How did they know that type of event was going to happen, Willis?

    Was it just chance? Does he just make a whole bunch of random predictions and hope that a few of them will be close enough so that he could say ‘see we got that right’ as a commenter suggested recently. That’s possible.

    That’s why YOU need to say what YOU consider to be reasonable accuracy especially in the context of long range forecasting, or at least agree something with Piers. Otherwise your just saying ‘He said there would be severe storms with tornados, but there weren’t any tornados so he was wrong.’ and ‘He said there would be severe storms between 1-4 July but they didn’t happen until 5-7 so he was wrong.’

    And finally, he does get it wrong at least 15% of the time so this example may fall within that. But is the success rate really 85%? What are you going to consider a success? In my opinion, the more extreme the event or the more specific the characteristics, and the more confident the prediction (in percentage terms) the more you can determine ‘right or wrong’. Maybe a marking system whereby you judge the amount of time in advance the prediction was made, the accuracy of the characterisation, the accuracy of the timing and location. Then some sort of comparison with standard meteorology ought to be made. You could take ‘marks off’ if the initial conditions suggest that type of event was likely anyway, unless the location and timing were very specific. For example, a hurricane in hurricane season, or a snow storm in winter during a La Nina.

    I absolutely agree that you should NOT give Piers or SLAT an easy ride. Why should you? But you do need to analyse in the context of the type material you are looking at in order to see whether there is anything useful with the SLAT approach. Right or wrong is NOT going to cut it. From the point of view of long range forecasting, the most useful prediction is severe weather or characteristic weather. For example, The MetOffice predicted a very mild winter 2010 and Piers predicted the coldest winter in 100 years. We know how that turned out.

  289. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    “Maybe you see “distinct clustering” in that, but I see nothing of the sort.”

    We are discussing daily clustering of flood events, one cannot see any daily detail whatsoever on monthly totals.

    p.s. The ability to see patterns that do exist, is a valuable survival aid.

  290. @Martin Gordon says:
    July 11, 2012 at 12:23 am
    “That is meaningless if you don’t know how many days in those statistics are forecast to be ‘R’. Looking at June 2012, 60% of days are forecast to be ‘R’. If you include ‘R within 1 day’ it rises to a whopping 90%!”

    R days this year to date are close to 50%, June and July had a lot more than average. 75% of flood start dates on that list are on R days. I’ll go back through it and see how many flood start dates are 1 day after an R period rather than 1 before, considering that river floods take time to build, and I’ll see how many are on the higher rated R periods.

  291. Willis.. “Maybe you see “distinct clustering” in that, but I see nothing of the sort.”

    So where are the R4 and R5 periods on that graph Willis?

  292. Willis..
    “No, that’s not what happened. He forecast “tornado swarms” for the first to the fourth.”

    No swarms but there was one tornado reported, just not confirmed in Ohio at 6:20 EDT.
    Piers warned people to expect extreme weather with thunder and hail. That’s what they got.
    He forecast tornados (extreme destruction) they got a Derecho (extreme destruction).
    Do you think that it matters to the people who lost loved ones whether it was a tornado or a Derecho that killed them? It was extreme weather and Piers forecast warned of

    this.

    Willis
    “He also did not forecast “large hail”, he forecast “giant hail”, and I found no reports of that either.”

    I’m not letting you get away with that one. Large or Giant? By who’s definition? Totally subjective unless someone carries a tape measure, then measures the hail, then tries to

    find a definitive scale to plot the sizes against, then reports it.
    What’s your definition of giant hail Willis?

    His forecast was not 100% incorrect as you stated. It only had a couple of errors.

    Piers forecast; “Just south of Great Lakes”.
    Storm track? Just south of the Great Lakes.

    Piers forecast; “Extreme thunder”.
    Storm? Severe Thunderstorms.

    Piers forecast; “Large/Giant hail”. Word choice dependant on news bulletin or forecast. Large or giant he means BIG hail.
    Storm? Large hail.

    Piers forecast; “Thundery deluges and local floods including New York state and probably NY and Washington DC.
    Storm? The last hours of the storm, tracked across both Washington DC and New York, missing New York state by probably inches!

    Piers forecast; Public bulletin – WeatherAction 12 No 32 stated clearly 29th June to 1st July “Extended area of thunder + large hail, North Central to NE USA” showing the

    track across the southern Great Lakes region. Confidence 75%. Timing normally to one day.
    Storm? Severe thunderstorms with large hail across the region shown on the dates shown. Derecho subsided over NY at 4am 30th.
    Several thunderstorms followed across the region over the next few days as per Piers 1st to 4th forecast.

    I do note however, that I haven’t traced any reports of local floods, so you could add that as a fail I suppose.

    From your own posted NOAA maps I see reports of large hail, eighteen on the 1st, one on the 2nd, none on the 3rd and five on the 4th.
    How many reports of large hail do you need before you’ll believe that reality agrees with Piers forecast Willis?

  293. Russ says:
    July 11, 2012 at 7:54 am
    “I’m not letting you get away with that one. Large or Giant? By who’s definition? ”

    Piers knows the answer to this one it seems.

    He did indeed forecast ‘giant hail’ for the period 1-4 July.
    He forecast ‘hail’ for 5-7 July
    There’s a forecast of of ‘large hail’ for 13-15 July
    We’re back to ‘giant hail’ on 16-19 July
    ‘Hail’ for 20-23 July
    ‘Large hail’ 24-28 July
    Finally we have ‘massive hail’ for 29-31 July

    So the Corbyn scale of hail has at least 4 sizes.

  294. The importance of the work of Mr. Corbyn is, that he – as an astro-physicist – is trying tp translate the longterm in-and-outs of the astronomy (and specially of the sun and the moon) in terms of day-to-day meteorology.
    Many other astro-physicists investigate the sun and its periods of changing sunspots and solar-flares and their influence on the climate on earth during centuries and decades. Mr Corbyn is trying to fill-in these decades in years, months and weeks for areas on the world.
    Doing so, it is not important that there are differences with the reality of the day-to-day weather and it is logic that he afterwards picks up the many good predictions and ignores the bad ones. He now use method 8.A and I am sure that method 10.B will be better.
    The huge importance of his work is that he explains climate change (and the weather from day to day) as a NATURAL process, influenced by the sun and the moon, and he ignores all that nonsense of ‘climatology’ of some particles CO2 more or less in the atmosphere.

  295. Jaap de Vos says:
    July 11, 2012 at 10:19 am
    “The huge importance of his work is that he explains climate change (and the weather from day to day) as a NATURAL process, influenced by the sun and the moon, and he ignores all that nonsense of ‘climatology’ of some particles CO2 more or less in the atmosphere.”

    Absolutely. You’ve hit the nail on the head. That’s why we should avoid cutting the grass from under his feet.

  296. Willis said “Maybe you see “distinct clustering” in that, but I see nothing of the sort.”
    Fourier -he say;
    Significant frequencies p<0.01:
    12 to 22 years (the peaks ~13 years and ~22 years)
    6 years
    1 year

  297. Agnostic says:
    July 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Thanks for your thoughts, Agnostic. I have defined nothing. Piers is the one who is doing the defining. He said “tornado swarms” in the area “south of the Great Lakes” on the first to the fourth. There were two US tornados during that time, neither one in the area where he forecast it. I’m sorry, but that forecast is wrong no matter how it is defined.

    Willis, if you were standing next to your hail damaged car, would you smugly point out that there were no tornado’s and thus Piers’ prediction was wrong?

    Surely Piers’s projections don’t depend on whether or not I have a car or whether it is hit by hail …

    You ARE defining what constitutes right or wrong because you are using an ancillary weather effect and inaccuracy in timing to discount the prediction.

    I looked for extreme thunderstorms in the predicted area during the predicted time. I found none. I looked for “giant hail” in the predicted area during the predicted time. I found none. I looked for “tornado swarms” in the predicted area during the predicted time. I found none.

    Not sure how you turn that into a successful forecast, Agnostic.

    Imagine a bell curve, where the prediction that the event will occur lies over one and a half weeks with the period they think is most likely to occur is during the period 1-4. That means the event is most likely going to occur at that point but could still occur earlier or later. It’s massive missing of the point to examine a precise period for a prediction that was made more than 2 weeks earlier and say there was nothing unusual. It’s like saying ‘I’ve looked behind the sofa but I couldn’t find the fire in the room.’

    First, if Piers is making predictions on a “bell curve”, then there is no way to falsify it. Even if it is a month out, the bell curve is not at zero, so he could claim success.

    Second, Piers has said when these events are going to occur. You have never replied to my question about whether you count a Met Office forecast for a sunny clear weekend as a success if the weekend is rainy and stormy, but Monday and Tuesday are clear. Me, and everyone with a barbecue or a wedding on the weekend, will call that forecast a failure … and they will laugh in your face if you try to bullshit them with your nonsense about bell curves. A forecast is a forecast, made for a specific place and time.

    Also, do not keep insisting that the prediction was MADE on the 28th of June. That was when the forecast was updated and published, but initially the prediction was made well before that. From the point of view of determining whether there is anything significant about the SLAT methodology ignoring this not useful.

    I have no information, no data, and no documentation of any prior forecast. So I don’t have a clue a) if there was an earlier forecast, b) what it might have said, or c) how it differed from the current forecast.

    If a prediction comes out and says a specific type of event (severe storm in this case) is going to occur in early July probably between 1-4, but in actuality between 5-7 I still want to know how it was that such a specific type event could be predicted so far in advance.

    How did they know that type of event was going to happen, Willis?

    Well, when you start claiming that everything is a success even if it is a week or two outside the forecast interval, I’d say there’s no way to tell if it was just a lucky guess.

    Was it just chance? Does he just make a whole bunch of random predictions and hope that a few of them will be close enough so that he could say ‘see we got that right’ as a commenter suggested recently. That’s possible.

    That’s why YOU need to say what YOU consider to be reasonable accuracy especially in the context of long range forecasting, or at least agree something with Piers. Otherwise your just saying ‘He said there would be severe storms with tornados, but there weren’t any tornados so he was wrong.’ and ‘He said there would be severe storms between 1-4 July but they didn’t happen until 5-7 so he was wrong.’

    Not only no tornados, but no giant hail and no extreme thunderstorms either … he missed on all three, and somehow you want to declare him “THE WINNAH AND STILL CHAMPEEN!” …

    But no, I don’t need to say what I consider to be reasonable accuracy. That’s up to Piers. If he can only hit it within ± 1 week, as you seem to be saying, then he should widen the boundaries of his forecast so that they read “± 1 week”. And if he doesn’t do that, then you can’t count it as a success.

    And finally, he does get it wrong at least 15% of the time so this example may fall within that. But is the success rate really 85%?

    We don’t have a clue what his success rate is. If a cyclone in late July is a “success” when he predicted it in the first week of July, as you are strenuously arguing, he could be having a very high success rate.

    What are you going to consider a success?

    In forecasting, a “success” is when what you say is going to happen actually happens when and where you forecast it. Anything else is a failure. If you forecast a nice weekend, then if it turns out sunny on Monday and rains on the weekend your forecast is a FAILURE. If you forecast floods in New York on Thursday and it floods in Boston on Thursday, that is a FAILURE. What I consider a successful prediction is what anyone (except evidently Piers and his followers) considers to be a successful prediction—the predicted event happens when and where you said it would, within the specified uncertainty bounds. Not the next week. Not in the next town over. When and where you said it would ± uncertainty.

    In my opinion, the more extreme the event or the more specific the characteristics, and the more confident the prediction (in percentage terms) the more you can determine ‘right or wrong’. Maybe a marking system whereby you judge the amount of time in advance the prediction was made, the accuracy of the characterisation, the accuracy of the timing and location. Then some sort of comparison with standard meteorology ought to be made. You could take ‘marks off’ if the initial conditions suggest that type of event was likely anyway, unless the location and timing were very specific. For example, a hurricane in hurricane season, or a snow storm in winter during a La Nina.

    Noted. For me, I don’t care when the forecast is made. Either it is right or wrong no matter when it was made. Certainly, if it is made a year in advance and is right, that’s more impressive that if it is made a week in advance. But no matter when the prediction is made, the rules are the same—if it happens when and where you said it was, it is a success, and anything else is a failure.

    I absolutely agree that you should NOT give Piers or SLAT an easy ride. Why should you? But you do need to analyse in the context of the type material you are looking at in order to see whether there is anything useful with the SLAT approach. Right or wrong is NOT going to cut it. From the point of view of long range forecasting, the most useful prediction is severe weather or characteristic weather. For example, The MetOffice predicted a very mild winter 2010 and Piers predicted the coldest winter in 100 years. We know how that turned out.

    That’s a perfect example, if it actually happened like that. If so, then what Piers forecast came to pass where (England, or perhaps the UK) and when (winter 2010) he said it would happen.

    But if he actually predicted a freezing bitter cold November and December and a mild January and February, and they happened the other way around, it would be a failure.

    For a forecast to be valid we have to be able to call it a success or a failure. Your method, which seems to consist of “let’s give Piers the benefit of the doubt in all situations”, doesn’t allow that. I take Piers at his word. If he says a massive tornado will happen from the 9th to the 12th ± one day, then if it happens outside that interval it is a FAILURE as a forecast. If Piers wants me to consider a tornado on the 7th as a success, then he needs to forecast it from the 8th to the 12th ± one day, or from the 9th to the 12th ± 2 days. If he doesn’t, then his forecast is wrong. He made the rules, he set the dates, he specified the uncertainty … so he has to live with that and nothing else.

    w.

  298. Russ says:
    July 11, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Willis..

    “No, that’s not what happened. He forecast “tornado swarms” for the first to the fourth.”

    No swarms but there was one tornado reported, just not confirmed in Ohio at 6:20 EDT.
    Piers warned people to expect extreme weather with thunder and hail. That’s what they got.

    No, he warned people to expect “giant hail” and “tornado swarms”. They got neither.

    And predicting “thunder and hail” in the Midwest in the summer??? That happens almost every single day, that’s like predicting that water will be wet.

    w.

  299. Chas says:
    July 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Willis said

    “Maybe you see “distinct clustering” in that, but I see nothing of the sort.”

    Fourier -he say;
    Significant frequencies p<0.01:
    12 to 22 years (the peaks ~13 years and ~22 years)
    6 years
    1 year

    First, he had claimed that he could see “distinct clustering”, not reveal it through sophisticated mathematical methods. I was responding to his claim that there were visible clusters.

    Second, I just ran a fourier analysis of the data and didn’t find the peaks you describe. Perhaps you could provide us with details of your data and your methods.

    w.

  300. July 4th storm report:
    0640 PM TSTM WND GST 5 E STAPLETON 41.48N 100.42W
    07/04/2012 E60 MPH LOGAN NE PUBLIC
    DIME SIZE HAIL ALSO REPORTED.

    0315 PM TSTM WND DMG SWANTON 44.92N 73.13W
    07/04/2012 FRANKLIN VT TRAINED SPOTTER
    LARGE TREE LIMB DOWN ON A POWER LINE

    0418 PM HAIL 1 W WALDEN 44.45N 72.25W
    07/04/2012 M1.00 INCH CALEDONIA VT PUBLIC
    ESTIMATED 70 MPH WINDS BLEW A GRILL OFF A DECK AND
    DOWNED MULT LIMBS AND POWER LINES… 1 INCH HAIL AS WELL

    0422 PM HAIL 1 SSW WALDEN 44.44N 72.23W
    07/04/2012 M1.00 INCH CALEDONIA VT TRAINED SPOTTER
    POWER OUT AND 1 INCH HAIL REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

    0424 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 WNW WEST DANVILLE 44.42N 72.22W
    07/04/2012 CALEDONIA VT PUBLIC
    15 TO 20 TREES DOWN ON CARS AND ACROSS N SHORE DRIVE.
    SMALL BOATS FLIPPED IN JOES POND.

    0430 PM HAIL WEST DANVILLE 44.41N 72.20W
    07/04/2012 M0.88 INCH CALEDONIA VT PUBLIC
    MULTIPLE TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN

    0449 PM TSTM WND GST BARNET 44.30N 72.05W
    07/04/2012 E60 MPH CALEDONIA VT TRAINED SPOTTER
    TRAINED SPOTTER

    0724 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 E SOUTH BURLINGTON 44.47N 73.15W
    07/04/2012 CHITTENDEN VT TRAINED SPOTTER
    UTILITY POLE FELL ONTO A SMALL AIRPLANE

    0729 PM TSTM WND GST BURLINGTON 44.48N 73.21W
    07/04/2012 E70 MPH CHITTENDEN VT TRAINED SPOTTER
    KING STREET IN DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON FLOODED

    0730 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 NNW BURLINGTON 44.48N 73.22W
    07/04/2012 CHITTENDEN VT PUBLIC
    MULTIPLE TREES DOWN ON N. CHAMPLAIN DRIVE

    0734 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 SSE SOUTH BURLINGTON 44.46N 73.17W
    07/04/2012 CHITTENDEN VT PUBLIC
    TREES DOWN

    0756 PM TSTM WND DMG SOUTH BURLINGTON 44.47N 73.17W
    07/04/2012 CHITTENDEN VT BROADCAST MEDIA
    FOX44 REPORTS A TREE DOWN ON I-189 IN SOUTH BURLINGTON

    0803 PM FLOOD SOUTH BURLINGTON 44.47N 73.17W
    07/04/2012 CHITTENDEN VT BROADCAST MEDIA
    STREET FLOODING ON SOUTH WILLARD ST IN SOUTH BURLINGTON

    http://forums.accuweather.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=29788&view=findpost&p=1566546

  301. Willis “Perhaps you could provide us with details of your data and your methods.”
    Using the .xls dataset from 1985;

    http://floodobservatory.colorado.edu/Archives/

    I turned the start dates into months using EOMONTH – produced a column monthly counts of events with a pivot table and then dropped the counts into ‘PAST’ (which is free software)

    http://folk.uio.no/ohammer/past/

    and ran a spectral analysis (Time -> Spectral analysis )
    I then copied the frequency:power data from PAST into excel and turned the frequencies into periods [1/frequency*12] and selected the the periods that had a power of >11.1 .
    Maybe too crude, as it contains the pattern of the number of days of each month?
    What did you get?

  302. In my – totally unprofessional – opinion, any forecaster who is willing to stick out his neck and go out on a limb to predict anything else than the standard national forecasts of “50% rain/50% sun” is worth at least some serious attention. Furthermore, nitpicking about a tornado being off one day probably is less hazardous than NOT predicting a tornado, at least for those directly concerned. At least people are being made aware of the chance of a touchdown, right? If I were a professional climatologist/weather person, and I was confronted with somebody who manages to at least score a very good percentage of indicating when certain weather types are most likely to strike, I for one would probably really like to know which method was used for these percentages, and explore it further. Why all the status quo quarrels? Why not join forces and see if everybody involved can come up with a combined system that finally guarantees (to a certain extent) that folks like me – who only know which way the wind is blowing by simply sticking our finger in our mouth and holding it up – can be told whether we can get out out bathing suits or need to shore up the house because of floods? I live in an agricultural area. Farmers don’t give a hoot about a deluge coming on either the 22nd or the 23rd. What they do care about is knowing if the month of July is going to be wetter than usual. Once rain is coming, they are perfectly capable of “feeling it in the air” and by watching how nature behaves around them. They care about being told whether winter is going to be hard and long (no pun intended) or short and sweet. They care about being able to take into account whether the potato harvest is going to be normal this year, or whether they need to financially take into account that their crops will be slow this year. You see, it’s not about ‘who’s right and who’s wrong’. It’s about direct consequences for the public in general. So gentlemen, please get off your high horses and get down to basic facts. Share information. Who knows, you might even learn something from each other :-)

  303. I’ve been a subscriber to Weather Action forecasts for years. His ability to predict extreme weather events is almost astounding. Admittedly, and even he will admit that he does not get it right all of the time, but definitely more so than the Met Office who actually gave up long range forecasting because they were so bad at it.

    In the past, when the MO have predicted their ”BBQ global-warming summers”, Piers’ has belly-laughed at them and then even more so when MO are proven wrong. The same goes for the last few bad winters when MO were predicting ”our children will not know what snow is’. If is great fun to be a witness of this too. You could also look at the older winter predictions for USA, the tornado season, heat waves and other weather events.

    Many people think that they are badly odd, but the ‘thing’ with Piers’ forecasts is learning how to read them. Sometimes they do seem to go out of kilter, but looking at the weather fronts on a standard met map you can estimate for example if nothing seems to have come right, then you can determine if the events are still going to come, or where they are if they missed the predicted area.

    We use ours on a ‘monthly weather trend’ basis, but we do monitor the individual periods and make plans accordingly, especially in Winter where things can become very problematic overnight.

  304. Not sure how you turn that into a successful forecast, Agnostic.

    By looking at whether that type of wether event occurred close to the period.

    In forecasting, a “success” is when what you say is going to happen actually happens when and where you forecast it. Anything else is a failure.

    Wrong.

    You can say it is a failure if you are talking about whether the weather is sunny or or cloudy a week in advance, but if you are predicting severe weather a month in advance, and you are able to do that more than 50% of the time then you clearly can detect something standard meteorology cannot. I don’t know why you can’t see this. Your position it is utterly unreasonable in my opinion, and it is a great shame. You are a well respected climate science auditor and when you put your mind to something you turn out really interesting analyses. But you seem to be to willing dismiss the SLAT methodology in an imprecise science presumably because Piers presentation doesn’t conform to your sense of scientific impartiality.

    You seriously throwing the baby with the bath water here.

    First, if Piers is making predictions on a “bell curve”, then there is no way to falsify it. Even if it is a month out, the bell curve is not at zero, so he could claim success.

    Rubbish. But at least you have started to narrow the time frame – clearly a month out is too far out for the prediction to be useful. But if it misses by a few days it’s not….?

    You have never replied to my question about whether you count a Met Office forecast for a sunny clear weekend as a success if the weekend is rainy and stormy, but Monday and Tuesday are clear. Me, and everyone with a barbecue or a wedding on the weekend, will call that forecast a failure … and they will laugh in your face if you try to bullshit them with your nonsense about bell curves. A forecast is a forecast, made for a specific place and time.

    This is where it is clearest you are missing the point of what Piers is doing (or doing apparently because at this stage I am not sure). My reply to the question about the MetOffice, is that they often predict sunny weekends that turn out to be stormy (or get a near time forecast wrong) but I don’t then dismiss every subsequent forecast they make! Further more they have a very poor record at long range forecasting which is the point of interest in this discussion!

    The SLAT thing is about long range forecasting. On the BBC website they explicitly say “The weather beyond about a week ahead stretches even the most experienced weather forecaster.” Yet Piers – apparently – is able to forecast accurately from longer than that. That is what the whole fuss is about. And by accurately, the further back you are forecasting the greater the range of error you have to allow surely…? But then you say:

    For me, I don’t care when the forecast is made. Either it is right or wrong no matter when it was made.

    Whaaat? So supposing someone makes a prediction that there was going to be a severe storm that rains frogs 1 year before it happens and it occurs a few days later or earlier and rains tadpoles instead – that is going to be of no consequence or interest to you? And they were able to make those kinds of predictions 85% of the time? That is meaningless is it?

    From a societal point of view, if this SLAT method is able to detect (eg) flooding events 1 month ahead of time and be able to say roughly when and where, I think that is extremely important! But you are caught up in the ‘…but he said…’ nonsense. Maybe he is exaggerating his claims, maybe he is not and this is a rare miss. Maybe there are extenuating circumstances. I don’t know and neither do you. I was just really hoping you’d find out.

    That’s a perfect example, if it actually happened like that. If so, then what Piers forecast came to pass where (England, or perhaps the UK) and when (winter 2010) he said it would happen.

    It did happen! Here is Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London’s take on it:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/8213058/The-man-who-repeatedly-beats-the-Met-Office-at-its-own-game.html

    FWIW his position is pretty much the same as mine here. I want to know more – is he on to something or is he just a fluke artist? But your approach is NOT going to find that out.

    But if he actually predicted a freezing bitter cold November and December and a mild January and February, and they happened the other way around, it would be a failure.

    Yep and fair enough. And he did predict a cold January and February this year which did not eventuate. He got the December cold snap right, said it would turn milder and then much colder at the end of Jan, but it stayed relatively mild. So he does not always get it right. He even, cagily, admits the errors. But understandably he does not advertise them too much because he has an interest in emphasising the successes – it’s his business.

    For a forecast to be valid we have to be able to call it a success or a failure. Your method, which seems to consist of “let’s give Piers the benefit of the doubt in all situations”, doesn’t allow that. I take Piers at his word.

    So much wrong here. For a long range forecast we need to be able to say whether a severe whether event occurred close enough to the predicted time (what constitutes close enough? I don’t know) close enough to the predicted area, or that the general weather conidtions (for example the very cold May in the UK) actually come to pass. It’s an imprecise science and your pleading for precision is NOT reasonable. My method is NOT to give Piers the benefit of the doubt and it’s ridiculous to suggest that – my method is to try to determine whether or not the SLAT method has any ability to detect severe weather that could impact on society or whether it can detect conditions reliably such as the 2010 big freeze – which it apparently did.

    And if you were taking Piers at his word, then you should read again what he wrote up thread regarding worrying about the jockey’s socks when the horse he picked won the race. But I don’t think you SHOULD take him at his word – that is the whole point. He has a vested interest in establishing his method as a success. It needs independent and objective evaluation. I’d have thought you would be ideal at doing this – but maybe not. It probably needs someone who doesn’t mind getting a bit down and dirty with probabilities and statistics. It may not be ‘cut and dried’ enough for you – no shame in that.

  305. Is Weather Action actually a business or a hobby that makes a little money? All this talk of ‘it must be successful because he’s still in business’, yet I can’t find it listed anywhere.

  306. Agnostic says:
    July 12, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Not sure how you turn that into a successful forecast, Agnostic.

    By looking at whether that type of weather event occurred close to the period.

    So if on Wednesday the Met Office says the weekend will be gorgeous, and you plan your barbecue, and it is fine on Thursday and Friday but it rains heavily all weekend with giant hail and tornado swarms, that’s a success because that type of weather event occurred close to the period … I’ll keep that in mind next time you start telling me that the Met Office is a failure.

    Do you realize how crazy that is, to call a forecast “successful”, not because it was a success, but because you missed it by an unspecified amount?

    In forecasting, a “success” is when what you say is going to happen actually happens when and where you forecast it. Anything else is a failure.

    Wrong.

    You can say it is a failure if you are talking about whether the weather is sunny or or cloudy a week in advance, but if you are predicting severe weather a month in advance, and you are able to do that more than 50% of the time then you clearly can detect something standard meteorology cannot.

    Hey, if every time I get it close you count it as a success I can be right more than 50% of the time, that’s easy. Here’s why.

    If I simply predict what has happened in the past, the nature of averages says I’ll be right a good chunk of the time. But if my forecast is counted as being right when it’s only close, I can be right much more of the time.

    Here’s an example. Suppose it rains one day out of three on average. Suppose further that I always forecast clear bright sunny days. Since the odds are quite large that there will be a clear bright sunny day within ± 2 days of the rain, and you say that we determine my success by “whether that type of weather event occurred close to the period”, virtually every one of my forecasts will be a “success” … as you define success.

    I don’t know why you can’t see this. Your position it is utterly unreasonable in my opinion, and it is a great shame. You are a well respected climate science auditor and when you put your mind to something you turn out really interesting analyses. But you seem to be to willing dismiss the SLAT methodology in an imprecise science presumably because Piers presentation doesn’t conform to your sense of scientific impartiality.

    You seriously throwing the baby with the bath water here.

    I’m not “dismissing the SLAT methodology. As I have pointed out numerous times, I don’t have anywhere near enough evidence to dismiss anything. I’m simply pointing out that when a man says there will be “tornado swarms” in a certain area during a certain time span, and not only are there no “tornado swarms”, there’s not one tornado in the whole region during the whole time, he’s wrong and his forecast was a failure. How tough is that to understand?

    First, if Piers is making predictions on a “bell curve”, then there is no way to falsify it. Even if it is a month out, the bell curve is not at zero, so he could claim success.

    Rubbish. But at least you have started to narrow the time frame – clearly a month out is too far out for the prediction to be useful. But if it misses by a few days it’s not….?

    The question is not, and has never been, whether Piers’ forecasts are useful. Heck, if he were wrong 100% of the time they would be very useful, just bet the other way. The question is not whether they are useful but whether they are correct, and how often.

    You have never replied to my question about whether you count a Met Office forecast for a sunny clear weekend as a success if the weekend is rainy and stormy, but Monday and Tuesday are clear. Me, and everyone with a barbecue or a wedding on the weekend, will call that forecast a failure … and they will laugh in your face if you try to bullshit them with your nonsense about bell curves. A forecast is a forecast, made for a specific place and time.

    This is where it is clearest you are missing the point of what Piers is doing (or doing apparently because at this stage I am not sure). My reply to the question about the MetOffice, is that they often predict sunny weekends that turn out to be stormy (or get a near time forecast wrong) but I don’t then dismiss every subsequent forecast they make! Further more they have a very poor record at long range forecasting which is the point of interest in this discussion!

    My question was whether you would consider the Met Office forecast a failure. You have expended a lot of words in not answering the question. Is such a forecast a success because that “type of weather event occurred close to the period”, or not?

    I’m not “dismissing every subsequent forecast” of Piers, what on earth gives you that impression.

    The SLAT thing is about long range forecasting. On the BBC website they explicitly say “The weather beyond about a week ahead stretches even the most experienced weather forecaster.” Yet Piers – apparently – is able to forecast accurately from longer than that. That is what the whole fuss is about. And by accurately, the further back you are forecasting the greater the range of error you have to allow surely…?

    I agree. The further back in time Piers is forecasting, the greater the range of error that PIERS has to allow. But if he doesn’t allow a greater range of error, if he specifies it to within three days, then that’s what I’ll judge him on.

    But then you say:

    For me, I don’t care when the forecast is made. Either it is right or wrong no matter when it was made.

    Whaaat? So supposing someone makes a prediction that there was going to be a severe storm that rains frogs 1 year before it happens and it occurs a few days later or earlier and rains tadpoles instead – that is going to be of no consequence or interest to you? And they were able to make those kinds of predictions 85% of the time? That is meaningless is it?

    Come back and ask me when Piers can predict a rain of frogs one year out 85% of the time. Until then, that is idle speculation.

    From a societal point of view, if this SLAT method is able to detect (eg) flooding events 1 month ahead of time and be able to say roughly when and where, I think that is extremely important! But you are caught up in the ‘…but he said…’ nonsense. Maybe he is exaggerating his claims, maybe he is not and this is a rare miss. Maybe there are extenuating circumstances. I don’t know and neither do you. I was just really hoping you’d find out.

    I’m trying to find out. The only way to find out is to look at the accuracy of his forecasts, using some kind of criteria. Your criteria seems to be “well, it was kinda close, it’s a success”. This is science, Agnostic. The concept of science might be easier for you if you think of it as a bet.

    If I bet you the weekend will be sunny, and it’s pissing down rain, who wins the bet?

    You do. Duh.

    Can I claim that I won the bet because Friday and Monday were sunny?

    No way, that wasn’t what we bet on.

    Do you see how this “science” thing works now, Agnostic? Either what you bet on is right or it is wrong, and “close” doesn’t count.

    That’s a perfect example, if it actually happened like that. If so, then what Piers forecast came to pass where (England, or perhaps the UK) and when (winter 2010) he said it would happen.

    It did happen! Here is Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London’s take on it:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/8213058/The-man-who-repeatedly-beats-the-Met-Office-at-its-own-game.html

    FWIW his position is pretty much the same as mine here. I want to know more – is he on to something or is he just a fluke artist? But your approach is NOT going to find that out.

    Agnostic, perhaps you think the Mayor of London is some holy referee to settle the question. For me, the only way to settle the question would be for Piers to make public his past forecasts, so we can determine if they were right. Not ask the Mayor of London if they were right. Determine scientifically and objectively if they were right. I’d like nothing more than to do that … but a) Piers hasn’t released the forecasts, and b) Piers, you, and his followers claim that every forecast thats sorta kinda right is a resounding success.

    But if he actually predicted a freezing bitter cold November and December and a mild January and February, and they happened the other way around, it would be a failure.

    Yep and fair enough. And he did predict a cold January and February this year which did not eventuate. He got the December cold snap right, said it would turn milder and then much colder at the end of Jan, but it stayed relatively mild. So he does not always get it right. He even, cagily, admits the errors. But understandably he does not advertise them too much because he has an interest in emphasising the successes – it’s his business.

    But wait, you said if the event occurred close to when he predicted it, it was a success. If he predicts “cold December, warm January” and the reverse happens, by your terms both forecasts should be counted as a success. Now, you say they are a failure … please make up your mind.

    For a forecast to be valid we have to be able to call it a success or a failure. Your method, which seems to consist of “let’s give Piers the benefit of the doubt in all situations”, doesn’t allow that. I take Piers at his word.

    So much wrong here. For a long range forecast we need to be able to say whether a severe whether event occurred close enough to the predicted time (what constitutes close enough? I don’t know) close enough to the predicted area, or that the general weather conidtions (for example the very cold May in the UK) actually come to pass.

    Yeah, that’s what I said, your method is ‘lets count failures as successes if they are close’.

    It’s an imprecise science and your pleading for precision is NOT reasonable. My method is NOT to give Piers the benefit of the doubt and it’s ridiculous to suggest that – my method is to try to determine whether or not the SLAT method has any ability to detect severe weather that could impact on society or whether it can detect conditions reliably such as the 2010 big freeze – which it apparently did.

    While the science is certainly imprecise, the outcomes are not—either the weekend is sunny, or it rains. That’s the part you seem to be missing.

    And if you were taking Piers at his word, then you should read again what he wrote up thread regarding worrying about the jockey’s socks when the horse he picked won the race.

    Oh, please. It is obvious that I meant that when Piers is making a forecast I take him at his word as to the boundaries and nature of the forecast. If he wants to talk about the meaning of life or the color of his jockey shorts, or if he wants to claim his forecast is a success, no, I don’t take him at his word for any of that.

    But I don’t think you SHOULD take him at his word – that is the whole point. He has a vested interest in establishing his method as a success. It needs independent and objective evaluation. I’d have thought you would be ideal at doing this – but maybe not. It probably needs someone who doesn’t mind getting a bit down and dirty with probabilities and statistics. It may not be ‘cut and dried’ enough for you – no shame in that.

    Oh, enough with the insults, it makes you look spiteful.

    As I have said before, Piers is setting the boundaries on his forecasts, and I take him at his word about those boundaries. If he says there will be floods in California, I assume he is not talking about Nevada. If he says the floods will happen the 4th to the 7th of June, I assume he is not talking about the last week in May. He makes the forecasts, and he sets the parameters. If he wants Nevada included, he needs to say so. If he wants the last week of May included, he needs to specify that. I am merely trying to see if the predicted outcomes fit within the boundaries that he himself has set.

    But then you come along and say hey, Arizona is close to California. And hey, the last week of May is close to the first week in June … so his forecast of floods in California in June is a resounding success because it flooded in Phoenix, Arizona in May! Another amazing win for the SLAT method!!

    I’m sorry, but that is not science, that way lies madness. If he meant Arizona, he should have said so. If he meant the last week of May, he should have said so. The only way to objectively analyze his forecasts is to see if they were right or wrong under his specified terms of the forecast, not to see if something similar happened in Phoenix in May.

    w.

    PS—Let me remind readers again that after Piers asked if anyone wanted to bet on rain for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, I said I was interested and asked him what the odds and the terms of the bet were. Since then … just the sound of crickets.

  307. OK, again being totally unprofessional – so not sure whether you guys even read my comments – but even I have been able to link predictions having gone wrong (be they by Piers or any other climatologist) to the times when the sun kicks into overdrive activity wise. For example, in September and October many more weather people besides Piers were predicting that we would have a horribly cold November/December. Until the sun blew out a few good ones around November 27th (if I remember correctly). We even saw polar light displays in our neck of the woods (being the northern part of The Netherlands). To me this whole discussion is starting to sound like a joke I once heard: “The water is cold!” “Yeah, and deep, too.” Is that what this is about? Sure, if your BBQ gets rained on you’re mad because the prediction was for the weather to be good. Which leaves me to wonder if people these days are still able to read certain signs themselves, like swallows flying low due to increased low pressure (you know, bugs, etc) or cattle starting to group together, or certain flowers closing during the day. But what really has me stymied is the mention of “predictions based on past weather”. Past weather?? What use would THAT be?! Farmers here are all talking about the fact that the weather has NOT been the same for more than three years running! Crops coming up much later than usual, the wind remaining easterly for much longer than normal (resulting in soil drying out), and the pattern of these past few years of one short, warm period early in spring, followed by long extended periods of rain, rain, rain. If everybody in both the camps of Getting Warmer and Getting Colder agrees on the one fact that the climate is changing, where does past weather come into this all? A good test – if that is all you folks care about, instead of understanding this changing weather pattern – would be to venture a guess at what this coming winter will be like. And I mean predicting whether there will be long, extended periods of frost, turning the soil rock hard, so tilling it won’t be possible until somewhere in March or thereabouts; or predicting short cold spells with intermittent periods of rain or milder temperatures, so tilling can start at the end of January. See? That;s what counts these days. Whether farmers will be able to produce large crops or whether food prices will soar even further because both seeding and harvesting is late. Again. And of course the sun’s influence needs to be taken into account. Like I said before, if that big golden globe in the sky decides to interfere, all bets are off. Anyone who then starts needling “the other guy” for being wrong really doesn’t understand how things work. Seems that, ever since computers came into being, man’s own ability to reason and understand the world around him has been thrown out the window. Shame, really.

  308. So if on Wednesday the Met Office says the weekend will be gorgeous, and you plan your barbecue, and it is fine on Thursday and Friday but it rains heavily all weekend with giant hail and tornado swarms, that’s a success because that type of weather event occurred close to the period … I’ll keep that in mind next time you start telling me that the Met Office is a failure.

    No that’s a failure because the prediction was made close to the event. If the Met Office (or anyone else) said they expect severe storms 1 month down the line on that specific weekend, but it misses by a few days, I would count that as a success, albeit not as successful as if it had actually hit on the exact dates specified.

    If they predict a bit of rain 1 month in advance of the period in question, I would think ‘big deal’ – rainy days happen, and if they got it exactly right, I would still think ‘big deal’ they got lucky. If they get that right all the time then I’d be impressed but not overwhelmed – I can at least plan my BBQs 1 month in advance. What you keep missing is the very specific characteristic of the weather – namely a severe weather event – something out of the ordinary. If someone is picking that 1 month or more in advance I think that’s pretty impressive.

    Here’s an example. Suppose it rains one day out of three on average. Suppose further that I always forecast clear bright sunny days.

    I am aware of this, but the problem you are missing is we are not talking about ‘ordinary’ weather. Not a binary rainy or sunny day, but specific features; extreme cold, extreme heat, extreme wind, snow, hail, very heavy and prolonged rain, etc etc. Take a mark off for not getting ‘tronado swarms’ and another for the weather turning up late, but give him some marks for picking the right kind of weather event so far in advance.

    The question is not whether they are useful but whether they are correct, and how often.

    Well for goodness sake, if he is getting them correct then they are useful. If they are not correct then how can they be useful? But by correct, all I am saying is that it is not binary – right or wrong. If he detects an extreme weather event well in advance – outside of the norm some credit needs to go toward that – it is still useful, just not as ‘useful’ if the weather had obligingly turned up right on time. So the unusualness of the weather counts toward success of the prediction. How often he gets it right or ‘right enough’ to have credit IS as you say the big question.

    But if he doesn’t allow a greater range of error, if he specifies it to within three days, then that’s what I’ll judge him on.

    I still think you are too worried about ‘judging’ him. HE is the author of a methodology and frankly Piers, as a scientific dispassionate character, does not fill me with enormous confidence. And I mean no offence to him – he’s an eccentric. It’s the methodology I’m intrigued by. So I really don’t think you should give a damn about what Piers says but look at whether or not the forecasts are sufficiently correctly characterised, whether they are sufficiently accurate in location and time, whilst weighing up the unusualness of the event or weather against the time in advance the prediction was made. Make your own mind up about how accurate or not the forecast is given those variables, but it could never be a completely binary decision. Obviously, if he predicts a massive storm at a given period of time, and nothing turns up anywhere close to the period – that’s fail. Even if the exact period is a bit rainy – that does not constitute a storm. But if he predicts a massive storm, for a certain period and falls just outside of that, then SLAT seems to be detecting something more than the normal weather variability – and that’s what I am interested in.

    This is science, Agnostic. The concept of science might be easier for you if you think of it as a bet.

    Precisely what I have been encouraging you to think long range forecasting as!

    My question was whether you would consider the Met Office forecast a failure.

    Yes a failure. It wasn’t an unusual weather event and the forecast was only a few days ahead. That’s a fail.

    Agnostic, perhaps you think the Mayor of London is some holy referee to settle the question

    No mate, I was merely trying to point out it was prediction occurred and at the same time pointing out the other societal consequences of being able to get long range forecasting to a useful level – I was killing as many birds with one stone as I could. I could link you to the Richard Black article if you would prefer.

    While the science is certainly imprecise, the outcomes are not—either the weekend is sunny, or it rains. That’s the part you seem to be missing.

    No – the part YOU are missing is I am talking about unusual low probability events picked well in advance and well in advance of standard meteorology. Hopefully I have made that clear now?

    But wait, you said if the event occurred close to when he predicted it, it was a success. If he predicts “cold December, warm January” and the reverse happens, by your terms both forecasts should be counted as a success. Now, you say they are a failure … please make up your mind.

    No – Willis please – try to at least to see what I am saying. If you are wondering why I would need to make up your mind maybe you are missing the point. Piers – apparently – correctly predicted, well in advance, the cold snap and the following mild weather, but then predicted that the weather would return to being very cold and possibly snowy. He got the timings of the cold snap, and the mild weather right, but it stayed mild rather than returned to being cold. What do you make of that? Right or wrong? So he predicted accurately unusually cold conditions and the timing of it changing warm. Stop right there, and he was right. But then he said it would turn cold again, which it didn’t – so was he wrong?

    Oh, enough with the insults, it makes you look spiteful.

    My apologies – I was dinkum, but re-reading it it does sound goading. I just got the impression that this area might have been too ‘woolly’ for your taste – that’s all.

    I’m sorry, but that is not science, that way lies madness. If he meant Arizona, he should have said so. If he meant the last week of May, he should have said so. The only way to objectively analyze his forecasts is to see if they were right or wrong under his specified terms of the forecast, not to see if something similar happened in Phoenix in May.

    This is the precise area where I disagree. But I think I have understood why. You are simply examining what Piers claims, you are not examining whether the SLAT method can detect something useful. That is why I think you are missing the point.

    Last year in Australia there were severe floods in various areas in the eastern states. I remember reading that Piers had predicted a specific flood event for Queensland. He got the timing right to within a few days, and the type of event, but he was out geographically. He was expecting the floods to hit Queensland, primarily, but they hit further to the South in Southern Queensland and Northern NSW. At the time I was impressed about the timing, and felt that the event was sufficiently close for it to be counted as a success in terms of detecting that the event would occur. But it was further south than expected. From the point of view of society, knowing well in advance that floods are imminent, is really important. Knowing that there is going be a whole pile of snow on the way is really important.

    Even with the inaccuracy, if people had known such an event was coming they could do more to prepare. If SLAT was mainstream perhaps it could be developed further so that inaccuracies could be improved. What I want to know is if there really is anything to the methodology. If the physical basis behind the method is proven, then it would be extremely interesting in the context of the climate change debate.

    In your position as a noted auditor, I have no doubt that your polite request for past predictions that you can check against the records will be met enthusiastically – eventually. He has been audited before so I don’t see why he wouldn’t again.

  309. Man Bearpig says:
    July 12, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Willis, there was an independent study done. The results of it are on Piers’ website here:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact45

    That’s it? No investigation as to whether the “independent study” is valid? You definitely need to jack up your skepticism level, MBP.

    Me, I’m not that foolish as to believe some random “study”. So I took a look to see what was happening. I picked a forecast at random, I looked at his forecast for typhoons in July:

    Around 5th July
    One or two typhoons 80% probable to form – most likely in mid Pacific & heading in curved track NW->N->NE with 30% chance of Japan hit. Listed as “NO”, meaning the forecast events didn’t occur.

    Around 14th July
    Two typhoons likely similar tracks to 5th July Forecast, 80% likely; with 30% risk of a Japan hit. Listed as “YES”, meaning that the forecast was correct.

    Around 18th/19th July
    Two typhoons 80% likely to form which will hit Philippines &/or Taiwan &/or mainland China. Listed as “YES”.

    Around 24-26 July:
    A Typhoon Generation- likely spell in West (Tropical) North Pacific. 2 or 3 Typhoons could form quite likely to East of or near Philippines with PHILIPPINES / TAIWAN or CHINA hit likely. Listed as “YES”.

    Now, that’s a total of seven typhoons forecast in the Western North Pacific by Piers, some of which are supposed to make landfall in China, Japan, Phillipines, or Taiwan, plus two more listed as likely … and out of those, six (plus one) typhoons are listed as “YES”, meaning that they actually occurred. All of those findings were “verified” by WeatherNews.

    Now that’s pretty impressive, part of what Piers claims is a stunning rate of success.

    It gave the reference to verify the claims as being here. So I looked there to see about the typhoons.

    Care to guess how many typhoons there were in that region, according to the listed reference? Remember that Piers has claimed success on predictions of six typhoons (plus one more likely typhoon), and has said he missed on only one prediction (plus one more listed as likely) … so how many typhoons do you think actually occurred in the region according to their citation?

    Two … look it up. Two typhoons occurred in the area in July, and he is claiming success for forecasting six (plus one).

    This is a recurring problem that I find with Piers’ claims … when I examine them, they simply don’t hold up. Truly, folks, you can’t just blindly trust anyone’s claims. Go to the sources and check for yourselves.

    w.

  310. Willis.. “You have never replied to my question about whether you count a Met Office forecast for a sunny clear weekend as a success if the weekend is rainy and stormy, but Monday and Tuesday are clear.”

    Irrelevant as the Met don’t make detailed forecasts 4 weeks ahead Piers does.

    W’.. “A forecast is a forecast, made for a specific place and time.”

    And if that forecast is not a guaranteed forecast but is given parameters and a confidence level, then you would stick to that description would you Willis?

    “A forecast is a forecast” is untrue. All forecasts are different, and come from dozens of different meteorologists all using the same sets of data, and all coming to different conclusions as to what type of weather is most likely to occur.

    W’.. “And predicting “thunder and hail” in the Midwest in the summer??? That happens almost every single day, that’s like predicting that water will be wet.

    This disagrees with your statement. Precipitation across the board at around 10 days per month.

    http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/indiana/fort-wayne/

    http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/illinois/chicago/

    http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/ohio/cleveland/

    But you also said;
    W’.. “I looked for extreme thunderstorms in the predicted area during the predicted time. I found none. I looked for “giant hail” in the predicted area during the predicted time. I found none.”

    Now you are specifying stipulative definitions again. By using the word ‘extreme’ in looking up reports of thunder or hail or storms, how likely is it that an American reporter is going to use the word ‘extreme’ or ‘giant’?
    How likely is it that they would use the term ‘giant’ hail?
    You are searching for something which, by definition, you are not going to find.
    I think the correct English term would be, barking up the wrong tree’!

    I think Piers is going to learn a lot from this test, and one thing he must take on board is that the terminology he uses must fit with the terminology used in the nation to which his forecasts apply.
    American reporters use the word large when reporting hail larger than a ‘quarter’ generally which is about the size of a UK 10p.
    In the UK we rarely see hail that large, so I would think of large hail as being bigger than a blueberry, because that’s about the largest I’ve ever seen. So ‘large/giant hail’ has different definitions in different parts of the world.
    You are using the term as if it were a universal constant which it is not.

    W’.. “I agree. The further back in time Piers is forecasting, the greater the range of error that PIERS has to allow. But if he doesn’t allow a greater range of error, if he specifies it to within three days, then that’s what I’ll judge him on.”

    His margin of error does have an extention to the number of specified days. That’s where Piers 65% – 85% confidence level comes into play. He first specifies the most likely days, then gives a confidence level. An 85% confidence level tells you to expect the hit to be pretty much on one of those days. A lesser 65% level clearly widens those parameters to ‘at least’ +/- 1 day. So if he predicts an extreme event like a big thunderstorm on 2nd to 4th but with 65% confidence 4 weeks ahead, then the 65% would cause me to immediately widen the hit zone to +/- 1 day making it 1st to 3rd and 3rd to 5th at the outside. I would still be confident that the big storm would hit but unsure of the precise day. I would then watch the nations rain radar to see when and where the storm was developing and where it was likely to track.
    This I would call less accurate not wrong, because he stipulated the accuracy as a confidence rating. It would only be wrong if the storm didn’t occur.
    Piers doesn’t have the mountain of expensive kit and caboodle that the Met have at their disposal so cannot give more accurate detail, even nearer the event.

    I agree his forecast was slightly innacurate in it’s details at the beginning of July, because there were no tornados to speak of, or tornado swarms or floods. He predicted giant hail, and the terminology, although it may be open to question is not wrong!
    Maybe he should have simply stated, “nail down everything, there’s a storm coming!” and left it at that?
    Personally I don’t care how he describes the hail, beit large, giant, big, huge, scary, dime sized, damaging, painful, I know big hail is a high probability so keep the car under cover.
    My father used to refer to large snowflakes as resembling dinner plates. I didn’t expect to stick my head out of the window and see flakes a foot across wafting around. He wasn’t wrong, he was just exaggerating.

    I stick to my original claim that he got most of the forecast correct apart from the tornados and floods. The storm began building like any big thunderstorm but then developed into a Derecho, which is virtually impossible to predict, even short range, which nobody did by the way.
    He predicted thunder and hail on the 29th to 1st (public bulletin) which are always associated with storms and one of the worst storms in NE American history occurred on the 29th with thunder and hail. Nobody knows how bad one of these storms is going to be, or whether it will turn into a Derecho, but nobody else forecast that storm two weeks ahead either. Not even the local meteorologists would stick their neck out and predict large/giant hail, because they know that it can occur just about anywhere without a moments notice, and can hit one side of town yet not the other. If you asked them to predict large/giant hail on the 29th two weeks ahead they would just laugh at you.
    And you are debating the use of the word giant? Sheeesh!

    W’.. “Piers is setting the boundaries on his forecasts, and I take him at his word about those boundaries.”

    But you aren’t! You are taking only part of his description and leaving other parts out. You hang on to the word giant as if it might get you a lottery win, then completely ignore the real parameters which are the confidence levels. These are the parts of Piers description which enable you to get a idea of the likelihood of an event occurring in a specific period. This cannot be ignored as it is an essential and intrinsic part of the forecast.

    W’.. “so his forecast of floods in California in June is a resounding success because it flooded in Phoenix, Arizona in May.”

    I see you have a good grasp of exaggeration Willis. So using your explanation above, if Piers predicted a blizzard in northern New Mexico on the 30th of September say two weeks ahead, but the blizzard actually missed this area and hit 50 miles to the north in Alamosa, Colorado at 2am on the 1st of October, then you would call that a failure would you? Only 2hrs out with the date and a mere 50 miles out in location. Yet these are the parameters you stated above and called them a failure, although I did notice that you picked Phoenix which lies in a more central position, and so makes your analogy a little more bullet proof.

    I’ve not looked at typhoons yet because I live in the UK; no need. I will when I have the time.

    regards

    Russ

    PS “fourier analysis” ahh you mean wavy graphs : ^ )

  311. Martin Gordon.. “Amazing how Piers managed to create so many typhoons out of just two!”

    Here we go again with the word games!
    Dictionary definitions:
    Typhoon_ A violent tropical storm
    Typhoon_ A violent tropical storm or cyclone, especially in the China seas and W Pacific
    Typhoon_ A tropical cyclone
    Cyclone_ A violent tropical storm

    I thought you lot at WUWT were above all this?
    You are simply creating ficticious errors in the hope of bolstering your own argument.

  312. I’m sorry Russ, you need more than your schoolyard definitions here! A Tropical Storm is not a Typhoon by any other name.

    Modified Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS) for the Western North Pacific.

    For Tropical Depression and Tropical Storm:
    Category A Maximum sustained Wind (MSW): 30-49 mph (26-43 kt) and peak gusts 40-64
    mph (33-56 kt)
    Category B MSW: 50 – 73 mph (44-63 kt) and peak gusts 65-94 mph (57-81 kt)

    For Typhoon:
    ONE MSW: 74-95 mph (64-82 kt) and peak gusts 95-120 mph (82-105 kt)
    TWO MSW: 96-110 mph (83-95 kt) and peak gusts 121-139 mph (106-121 kt)
    THREE MSW: 111-129 mph (96-112 kt) and peak gusts 140-164 mph (122-142 kt)
    FOUR MSW: 130-156 mph (113-136 kt) and peak gusts 165-198 mph (143-173 kt)
    FIVE MSW: 157-194 mph (137-170 kt) and peak gusts 199-246 mph (174-216 kt)

    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/directives/sym/pd01006004curr.pdf

  313. More trickery from W
    I saw this above:

    “PS—Let me remind readers again that after Piers asked if anyone wanted to bet on rain for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, I said I was interested and asked him what the odds and the terms of the bet were. Since then … just the sound of crickets.”

    Now I have not seen this note until now let alone ‘again’ so all I can say you are being deceitful, W; and I note others have pointed out such tendencies in your ‘assessments’.
    It reminds me of the newspaper trick. Denounce a politician, look for them in a way to not get hold of them and say they “were not available for comment”.
    I have received no question on the matter and if I had received it I would have responded.

    So W, I suggest you apologize for slur and innuendo.

    As to what is going on her is the information. We were going to get odds of 4/1 against (ie put down $1 and we win $4 if it rains. At that point when they found I was involved, as I understand, they cut the odds to 1/1. My friend said we want longer odds and left it. If you want to bet at what we were expecting as reasonable before then fine. ie I place a notional 1$ and if it rains (I am not sure what they have defined as period and where but presumably that exists) you owe me $4. If its dry I would owe you $1.

    As far as the loads of stuff up there I want to thank Russ and ManBearPig and many for comments. The word churlish comes to mind to describe a lot of the hostile comments as well as misrepresentation and malevolent. Note the extreme events accuracy reports on the WeatherAction site were independently assessed so I don’t quite follow all this argument about (mis)counting typhoons or Tropical storms. The report is the report and we are well ahead of luck. I suspect there is some mis-leading going on here (not by us) and maybe what was being assessed was formation of things which reached TD or TS level in the time periods said but not necessarily reaching typhoon or hurricane. The organisation that looked at this would have been very consistent with application of any rules (since they work for insurance companies) and I object very strongly to the slurs and innuendo directed against them and me.

    Anthony was sent our full 2011 ATS seasonal forecast last year which impressed users. If you want to assess such that makes more sense anyway than older stuff since it is a more complete set of something and our technique advanced a lot for TS in 2011.

    The first question needed for assessing along range forecast is did anything like that happen? Our forecast users say generally yes and yes again, including for USA now and recently, AND USE THE FORECASTS TO INCREASE THEIR BOTTOM LINE. Starting off by seeking out ‘wrong’ detail much of which we know WILL be wrong – we are doing ‘likely possible scenarios’ after all – is churlish and childish and says more about the ‘assessors’ than the forecasts.

    Piers C

  314. I’d ask for your money back from the assessors Piers – there is a 50mph+ difference between a TD and a Typhoon!

  315. MG.. “schoolyard definitions” .

    tut tut….actually they are dictionary definitions but maybe you missed that in your rush to dis me!
    Well it’s back to school for you I’m afraid!
    This is just one example but the web is a huge place and I’m sure you’ll find more if you spend at least 3 minutes searching.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon

    I guess we are going to get hung up on wind speeds now are we?

  316. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    More trickery from W
    I saw this above:

    “PS—Let me remind readers again that after Piers asked if anyone wanted to bet on rain for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, I said I was interested and asked him what the odds and the terms of the bet were. Since then … just the sound of crickets.”

    Now I have not seen this note until now let alone ‘again’ so all I can say you are being deceitful, W; and I note others have pointed out such tendencies in your ‘assessments’.

    It reminds me of the newspaper trick. Denounce a politician, look for them in a way to not get hold of them and say they “were not available for comment”.

    I have received no question on the matter and if I had received it I would have responded.

    So W, I suggest you apologize for slur and innuendo.

    Piers, you offered to bet on July 6th, saying:

    8. We – a friend known to be a proxy for me – attempted to place a bet with William Hill that the Olympic opening ceremony in London on 27th July will suffer disruptive downpours etc. The word came back from the new boy on the block that “Piers Corbyn was £14,000 ahead on his betting account with us before we closed it (in around 1999) so we errr…”. Anyone care to bet?

    I responded, here in this same forum where you made the offer, on the following day, saying I was interested.

    I repeated my offer on July 8th.

    I repeated my offer again on July 9th.

    Finally, I repeated it (as you quoted above) for the fourth time on July 12th.

    That is four separate times I discussed it over a space of five days, openly and clearly. At no time did I accuse you of anything, I just noted that you had not responded.

    So you can take your nasty, spiteful allegations that I am being “deceitful” and engaged in “trickery” and stuff them up your fundamental orifice. If you are not following the story, that’s your business, but it is a slimy, ugly move to accuse me of trickery just because you are not paying attention.

    w.

  317. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Note the extreme events accuracy reports on the WeatherAction site were independently assessed so I don’t quite follow all this argument about (mis)counting typhoons or Tropical storms.

    I don’t care if they were independently assessed by God herself, I’m skeptical of her results as well. You claimed success on predicting six (plus perhaps a seventh) typhoons in the central/western Pacific in July 2008. According to your own cited reference, there were only two typhoons in that area during that time.

    If you can explain that, you’d better get on it ASAP, because right now it looks very much like neither you nor the independent assessors were able to count typhoons, and that your forecast of six typhoons, far from being verified, is totally wrong.

    w.

  318. Wait a minute, when did a tropical depression blow onto the stage?
    Who mentioned depressions?
    This is getting surreal. You are assessing a weather forecast here not proving Al Gore should stick to gardening!
    I’m getting a real holier than thou feeling about this site which I didn’t realise existed. Not nice!

  319. @Russ
    Are we going to get hung up on wind speeds? Only if you want to be scientific and objective, but from what I’ve seen so far it seems thereabouts, nearly, and sort of, are the guidelines.

    Thanks for the link, it just reaffirms what I posted above – a typhoon has distinct and measurable features that allows it to be differentiated from a TS and TD.

  320. Willis.. “Since then … just the sound of crickets.”

    That is rather rude. You make it sound like he’s running scared or hiding from you. This gets more like a schoolyard by the hour.
    Piers is a very busy man, not having hundreds of staff to do his bidding, and it does sound as though he caught up reading this thread today. So maybe ‘you’ should be a little more patient before repeatedly asking Piers why he hasn’t responded? That’s the only reason I can see for his vociferous remark. Maybe if everyone was just a little more patient before telling people they have a schoolyard intellect, or they’re a scaredy-cat, we might just move forwards, don’t you think?

  321. Russ says:
    July 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Willis..

    “Since then … just the sound of crickets.”

    That is rather rude. You make it sound like he’s running scared or hiding from you. This gets more like a schoolyard by the hour.

    I responded to his bet proposal the following day, and ended up making the offer four separate times over a five-day period. All I got was the sound of crickets. If you don’t like that, I’m sorry, but that’s the facts of what happened.

    w.

  322. MD.. “Thanks for the link, it just reaffirms what I posted above.”

    A Pacific typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone….. (source Wikipedia)
    I’m just defining the word Piers used in laymans terms. Folk aren’t interested in maximum wind speeds when their roof is cartwheeling down the street. They don’t sit around moaning about Piers saying that he forecast a typhoon, and look what happens, it’s just a tropical cyclone. My roof went and landed on 50 metres away but a typhoon would have taken it at least 200 metres and smashed it. I’m not buying his forecast again if he’s going to get his storms in a muddle and tell fibs.

    By the way Willis, Piers has only two days left before he releases the August 45 day forecast.
    So don’t you go upsetting him or he may make some errors and I’ll end up getting rained on hehehe!

  323. Russ says:
    July 13, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Martin Gordon..

    “Amazing how Piers managed to create so many typhoons out of just two!”

    Here we go again with the word games!
    Dictionary definitions:
    Typhoon_ A violent tropical storm
    Typhoon_ A violent tropical storm or cyclone, especially in the China seas and W Pacific
    Typhoon_ A tropical cyclone
    Cyclone_ A violent tropical storm

    Actually, Russ, as a long-time seaman I can assure you that a typhoon (also called a hurricane or a cyclone, depending on where it is located) has a very specific definition for both seamen and meteorologists alike. It depends on the speed of the wind. To be called a typhoon, the sustained winds have to be over 64 knots (74 mph, 33 ups). Otherwise, it’s not a typhoon, it’s something lesser like a “tropical storm” or a “tropical depression”, both of which have exact numerical definitions as well. To be called a “tropical depression”, for example, sustained winds only have to be over 30 knots (35 mph, 15 ups).

    While that may not sound like a lot of difference, the missing link is that the energy in the wind goes up approximately by the cube of the wind speed … so a typhoon has winds nearly ten times as strong as a tropical depression.

    So no, they are far from being the same. They have exact definitions, and if someone forecasts a tropical depression and it turns out to be a typhoon, there’s gonna be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I am sure that Piers, being a meteorologist, is well aware of the exact definition of a typhoon.

    I’m getting a real holier than thou feeling about this site which I didn’t realise existed. Not nice!

    So go play elsewhere, it’s your choice. However, it’s not “holier than thou”. It’s just science, and science is a contact sport.

    Here we do science, which means we don’t just wave our hands and say ‘well, Piers forecast six typhoons, there were only two, so let’s count tropical depressions as if they were typhoons’. We look at exactly what it was that Piers forecasted, and we see if it came to pass … I’m sorry if you don’t like that, but that’s one of the things that scientists do. Science is built around falsification, which is the process I just described—scientists look at other scientists’ claims, and see if they can be verified by real-world observations.

    A Pacific typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone….. (source Wikipedia)

    All that shows is how foolish a person is if they trust Wikipedia. Tropical revolving storms with winds over 64 knots are called either “hurricanes” if they occur in the Atlantic, “typhoons” if they occur in the North Pacific, or “cyclones” if they occur in the South Pacific. So no, a cyclone is not a baby typhoon …

    w.

  324. Russ says:
    July 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Piers is a very busy man, not having hundreds of staff to do his bidding, and it does sound as though he caught up reading this thread today.

    From the time when I made the offer to bet him and when I said I gotten only “crickets”, Piers made no less than 5 posts responding to comments in this thread, including one that was responding directly to me … so no, your excuse won’t wash.

    w.

  325. Can anyone tell me how Piers is doing so far with his U.S.A. forecast please,Is it way off?close?spot on? (+/- 200 miles).
    I ask this because I think he is good at long range weather forecasting here in Europe,all-though not precise,generally correct.

  326. No-one takes Piers Corbyn seriously. It’s fairly obvious that he has been hired by the MetOffice to make us climate skeptics look stupid.

  327. Well, I’m leaving all the scientific stuff well alone, but being “foolish for trusting Wikipedia” ?? First thing I learned from Wikipedia tonight was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon#Intensity_classifications Am I foolish to use this information to learn about the difference between typhoons etc. ? Or maybe semi-intelligent for using a stepping-stone to extend my knowledge about subjects I never read up on? How about this link, is that information not valid either? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts_%28blogger%29
    Scientists checking other scientists sounds like a good idea to me, but please bear in mind that any observation made and interpreted also depends on the observer and the manner in which then information is interpreted. If you want to find a stick to hit a dog …
    Discussing facts and results keeps people sharp. It may prompt them to improve their methods, tweak their results. As long as checking is done with the intention of honing the end results, not debasing the other person.

  328. Paul Vaughan says:
    July 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    CORBYN LONG-RANGE FORECAST ASSESSMENT
    for the first 2 weeks of July 2012 for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:

    SPOT ON.
    I’m here observing it live. Piers has been correct without exception so far.

    Until you post the actual forecast, not a paraphrase but the actual forecast, and we can take a look at it, that’s just more cheerleading.

    Willis, do you get paid by the word? That’s my only theory for why you avalanche so many words to convey almost nothing.

    Paul, one thing I’ve learned in writing for the web. No matter what I write, be it short and concise or long and detailed, there’s always some jerkwagon who will pop up to tell me that I’m doing it all wrong, and that they know the right way to go about what I’m doing. They then proceed to tell me that I should make my writing shorter / more personal / longer / more intense / denser / simpler / more interesting / less intense / less personal, somehow they always know just exactly what it is that I should do to make my writing better.

    Meanwhile, my work has attracted close to a million page views per year for the last three years … and yours?

    w.

  329. Saskia Steinhorst says:
    July 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Well, I’m leaving all the scientific stuff well alone, but being “foolish for trusting Wikipedia” ?? First thing I learned from Wikipedia tonight was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon#Intensity_classifications Am I foolish to use this information to learn about the difference between typhoons etc. ?

    Saskia, the problem is that there is both good, solid information on the one hand, and absolute nonsense on the other hand, on Wikipedia.

    Which is why you are foolish to trust it, unless you have the knowledge or the experience to tell the difference. I use Wikipedia, but I don’t trust it in the slightest. It is most valuable to me as a source of citations to further information.

    In particular, it is useless for anything regarding which there is active passionate debate … which covers a lot of things that you wouldn’t think people would debate passionately, and some that you would, like climate. “Revert wars” are a daily occurrence in the pages that refer to the climate debate.

    All the best,

    w.

  330. Well, for the record, and having strenuously pressed my case to make sure Willis looks at weatheraction reasonably, I do think he is correct regarding the typhoons in the period he looked at – unless someone from weatheraction or weathernet can explain it. It would have been nice if Piers had when he popped up, but he didn’t.

    The one thing I would say, is that he didn’t predict 6 typhoons, many of the predictions were “1 or 2″. So it could be argued he leaves himself with wriggle room, but the timing and locations were accurate. One thing I don’t understand is that it seems that weathernet is only agreeing with weatheractions assessment of whether the event occurred or not. I am slightly confused by that…

  331. That’s it? No investigation as to whether the “independent study” is valid? You definitely need to jack up your skepticism level, MBP.

    Me, I’m not that foolish as to believe some random “study”. So I took a look to see what was happening. I picked a forecast at random, I looked at his forecast for W

    ouch!! shoot the messenger by all means but make sure you miss your foot whilst doing it.

    It is clear that there is more than one definition as the debate on this topic diversifies. You may have your preferred definition and others may choose theirs one does not make the other wrong. It is clear that there needs to be some form of standardization of categories of storms, however the point is the storms (tropical. hurricane, tornado or otherwise) are all events that diverge from normality, the occurrence of these may or may not be significant, but they did occur at or around the time predicted – perhaps it was this that the auditors acknowledged.

  332. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon#Intensity_classifications

    Are Japanese and Hong-Kong classifications different to NOAA’s classifications ?
    We are well into the depths of semantics ”mine is bigger than yours attitude.”

    Then you say this
    ”Meanwhile, my work has attracted close to a million page views per year for the last three years … and yours?”

    You mean like a consensus sort of thing ? Is the consensus right this time ?

  333. Willis, is it just a matter of scale?
    The met office breaks the day into 8 periods, Piers breaks the month into 8 periods.
    One cannot falsify the met office ‘system’ by saying it didn’t rain here between ten and one, as they forecast.
    Sometimes they can forecast the weather here and sometimes they can’t: if it a large mass of rain heading my way, then they might get it right. On the other hand if the rainfall is in smaller parcels, it might rain 40 miles away but not here. If one is being charitable, one might say they aren’t too far wrong.
    The methodology by which they judge their successes for rain:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts

    (i.e. it rained in about 60% per cent of the places we said it would) Even seems to be in line with the way Piers’ judges himself in his headline claims.

  334. Man Bearpig says:
    July 14, 2012 at 2:21 am
    “It is clear that there needs to be some form of standardization of categories of storms”
    Meteorologists have been using these for many years!
    JMA uses the same criteria as NOAA for classification of a Typhoon – MSW of 64kts +

  335. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm
    “Russ says:
    July 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    Piers is a very busy man, not having hundreds of staff to do his bidding, and it does sound as though he caught up reading this thread today.
    ——————————————————–
    From the time when I made the offer to bet him and when I said I gotten only “crickets”, Piers made no less than 5 posts responding to comments in this thread, including one that was responding directly to me … so no, your excuse won’t wash.”

    Willis, I fear I see some rant and emotions instead of a discussion down to facts.
    Maybe it is a preconceived opinion that some people have on Piers work on one or the other side.
    I did not go into detail, as the weather generally is for me not so relevant, it is just weather – but as far as I understand Piers forecast is based on a combination of history and solar and moon position and solar activity combined with actual atmospheric/ocean situation.
    It is a different approach to the standard meteorology approach which is based on models and actual atmospheric ocean status and does not give a damm on history and moon/solar status and solar activity. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    So to my understanding the question is if based on solar activity and moon status + history we can get an understanding of the weather patterns? Such forecast, especially a long range forecast will have its different range of errors as well in time as in location as explained a couple of times in the blog by Russ and others to a short time forecast for tomorrow.

    So when we put Piers forecast to the test I understand many would expect no emotional and dismissive approach, but a scientific approach, fair discussion, fair error range and maybe comments about the weather pattern that is developed. Did he recognise correctly the weather pattern or not?
    Are there recognisable weather patterns that are linked to the solar activity and moon position? Did Piers find some correlation that helps to make a better forecast? I think this is what most of the people would be interested to understand from this test.
    This are my 2 cents.

  336. @Willis – Well, I also did say “Or maybe semi-intelligent for using a stepping-stone to extend my knowledge about subjects I never read up on?” meaning that I use info from Wiki as a starting point. As a former research journalist, I abide by the “religious practise” of checking sources and source materials :-)
    Maybe when people reach a certain level of expertise and experience within a specific field, the criteria by which “rights” and “wrongs” among competitors are scored at such fine points that it seems like nit-picking to “we the people”. Like, did it rain before or after 5PM? Was the hail the size of golf balls or pigeon eggs? Were there 6 typhoons or 2? In the latter case, I’m sure the people who were actually the victims of ANY of those typhoons didn’t give a hoot about how many there were. Naturally those that didn’t suffer the effects were pretty darn happy. But all were warned about the likelihood of such events.
    What I’m saying is, even at the scientific level, everything depends on the person interpreting the facts. Take (stepping on slippery ice here) the bible for instance. How many interpretations are there? And doesn’t the one group claim they have The Truth, as opposed to the other group? In effect, however, the basic facts remain the same. As in predicting the weather. If 2 people predict that the month of July will be a wet one, it doesn’t really matter whether it rained 20 days or 25. Whether it started on July 3rd or July 7th. In the end, it matters that we were afloat much of the ,month. It becomes a different story when one person predicts loads of sunshine, and the other person predicts the rain.
    I have seen two totally opposed interpretations of ice reduction/growth of the polar ice caps for exactly the same period. Both by “scientific” institutes. Excuse me if I have doubts even when scientists proclaim to “have the truth”. It all boils down to the eye of the beholder. On where the comma is placed. I’m sure that (for example) in the case of the sentences “We’re going to eat Grandma” and “We’re going to eat, Grandma”, the subject – being Grandma – is much happier with the 2nd variety. And in this case the use of a comma makes all the difference.
    Am I making sense?

  337. Agnostic says:
    July 14, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Well, for the record, and having strenuously pressed my case to make sure Willis looks at weatheraction reasonably, I do think he is correct regarding the typhoons in the period he looked at – unless someone from weatheraction or weathernet can explain it. It would have been nice if Piers had when he popped up, but he didn’t.

    The one thing I would say, is that he didn’t predict 6 typhoons, many of the predictions were “1 or 2″. So it could be argued he leaves himself with wriggle room, but the timing and locations were accurate. One thing I don’t understand is that it seems that weathernet is only agreeing with weatheractions assessment of whether the event occurred or not. I am slightly confused by that…

    Thanks, Agnostic. When Piers forecast “1 or 2″ typhoons I counted it as “one plus one”. By that method he forecast “seven plus two” typhoons. They agreed that one plus one of them didn’t happen, leaving six plus one that they say did happen. So yes, they did forecast six, plus one.

    In the event, there were two real typhoons … plus zero. Like you, I was hoping Piers might explain that, and he still might do so. I’m a patient man. I just want to know the names of the six typhoons that he claims occurred, I won’t bug him about the “plus one”.

    w.

  338. Man Bearpig says:
    July 14, 2012 at 2:21 am

    That’s it? No investigation as to whether the “independent study” is valid? You definitely need to jack up your skepticism level, MBP.

    Me, I’m not that foolish as to believe some random “study”. So I took a look to see what was happening. I picked a forecast at random, I looked at his forecast for W

    ouch!! shoot the messenger by all means but make sure you miss your foot whilst doing it.

    Man Bearpig, I have grown weary of people finding some random “fact” and posting it to show that I’m wrong, without doing the slightest investigation to see if it is true. But you are right, I was overly harsh on you, my apologies.

    It is clear that there is more than one definition as the debate on this topic diversifies. You may have your preferred definition and others may choose theirs one does not make the other wrong. It is clear that there needs to be some form of standardization of categories of storms, however the point is the storms (tropical. hurricane, tornado or otherwise) are all events that diverge from normality, the occurrence of these may or may not be significant, but they did occur at or around the time predicted – perhaps it was this that the auditors acknowledged.

    That is absolute nonsense and total hogwash. The category of storms variously named (depending on location) as a hurricane, a cyclone, or a typhoon, is very clearly defined, and has been for decades. It is the same as “Force 12″ on the Beaufort scale, which has been around since 1805. To be named a hurricane/cyclone/typhoon, a storm has to have sustained winds that are over 64 knots (force 12).

    Period.

    Your hand-waving claim that “there is more than one definition” is totally incorrect. Piers, as a weatherman, is well aware of the definition. He is aware that there are only a certain number of typhoons per year. When he forecasts a typhoon, he is not forecasting a tropical depression—there are many more of them than typhoons.

    And if the auditors counted tropical depressions as typhoons, then shame on them.

    w.

  339. Man Bearpig says:
    July 14, 2012 at 3:01 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon#Intensity_classifications

    Are Japanese and Hong-Kong classifications different to NOAA’s classifications ?
    We are well into the depths of semantics ”mine is bigger than yours attitude.”

    Did you read your own citation? It says:

    Once the system’s maximum sustained winds reach wind speeds of 64 knots (74 mph; 119 km/h), the JMA will designate the tropical cyclone as a typhoon—the highest category on its scale.[6]

    And no, this is not semantics of any kind. The definition is crystal clear. Sustained winds over 64 knots means it is a typhoon.

    Sheesh …

    Then you say this

    ”Meanwhile, my work has attracted close to a million page views per year for the last three years … and yours?”

    You mean like a consensus sort of thing ? Is the consensus right this time ?

    Oh, please. I am saying that despite his claim that I should write a different way, that my writing is very popular the way it is. If you can’t tell the difference between a question of the popularity of a writing style, and a claimed scientific consensus, go back to school.

    w.

  340. Chas says:
    July 14, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Willis, is it just a matter of scale?
    The met office breaks the day into 8 periods, Piers breaks the month into 8 periods.
    One cannot falsify the met office ‘system’ by saying it didn’t rain here between ten and one, as they forecast.
    Sometimes they can forecast the weather here and sometimes they can’t: if it a large mass of rain heading my way, then they might get it right. On the other hand if the rainfall is in smaller parcels, it might rain 40 miles away but not here. If one is being charitable, one might say they aren’t too far wrong.
    The methodology by which they judge their successes for rain:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts

    (i.e. it rained in about 60% per cent of the places we said it would) Even seems to be in line with the way Piers’ judges himself in his headline claims.

    No, that’s not how Piers judges himself. Take the current example being discussed. Piers forecast 6 typhoons (plus perhaps one more) in July of 2008. There were two. Not six. Two.

    Despite that, Piers claimed this as a resounding success of his method. So no, it’s not a matter of scale, it’s a matter of exaggerated claims of success.

    w.

  341. Could I recommend a read of this. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/28/its-not-about-me/
    Willis certainly puts his heart, and brain I think, on his sleeve to help us understand the person behind the typeset. You have my respect Willis for being such a powerful debater, but the fact that you are self-taught doesn’t belittle you in any way shape or form in my rule book. I find some of the most beligerant and blinkered views from peer acclaimed experts, who have more letters after their name than I have in my home address. I think you deserve even more respect for learning all that you have without the use of university facilities.

    Willis..
    “There is an important saying that Zen is not the moon, it is just the finger pointing at the moon. Complaints, arguments, and discussions about the finger miss the point – the subject of importance, the subject worthy of discussion, is the moon.”

    So if we take the moon as representing (the weather), we have a finger pointing at it (the wind), we have rockets landing on it (the typhoon), we have meteorites striking it (lightning), and it has large temperature gradients (heat-wave & snow). We shouldn’t get too hung up on descriptions of the different parts explaining the moon, otherwise we may lose our ability to remember what the moon actually is.
    For instance. A typhoon covers a very large area; there is no such thing as a baby typhoon remember. It has high wind speeds, but so does a tropical cyclone. In fact the difference between them is not 19mph but zero mph. Only the difference between the maximum wind speeds is 19mph. So we can imagine setting up 1000 buoys with accurate wind-gauges fitted, and equidistant from one another. What are the chances of more than 50% of the buoys recording a higher wind speed then 74mph as the tropical storm passes by?
    I would say that a calculation is impossible because the storm is not linear and is constantly changing even on the small scale. It’s not a great analogy because the swell of the ocean would change the height of the buoys constantly so the readings would then have to be averaged.
    Oh buoy!(sic) Not the dreaded mean average! In the same way a mean average is of no use in describing a monthly temperature trend, it is of little use in measuring oceanic wind speeds either. A month could have 25 days of cool abnormal weather, but if the last 5 days are exceptionally warm then the mean average will show that the month had an above average temperature trend. This doesn’t explain why our spring crops were detroyed by frost when we get back from holiday, in fact it just confuses the hell out of us because the average temperature makes it seem as though the month had mild and stable weather. Even using modern satellites to measure storm wind speeds, there will be innaccuracies, anomalies like radar doppler reflections and so the measurments must be averaged to get a result. The Met Office has a basic description of rain radar technique for anyone wanting to brush up on how it works.
    So my next question for you Willis is this. Can you say with any certainty that no part of any of those tropical storms in question reached higher wind speeds than 74mph?
    The weather is such a complex and chaotic system when it blows a storm that I believe a 100% accurate description using just two definitions is impossible. A certain amount of averaging has to be used.
    It’s like the single snowflake crossover point at the UKs Met Office which states that, ‘if a single snowflake is observed to have settled on the roof of the Met Office building on the 25th of December, then it will be deemed to have snowed on Christmas Day’.
    Yet no one in their right mind would count that one flake as being snowfall in the usual sense
    (one swallow does not make a summer?).
    I’m not trying to help Piers worm his way out of getting something wrong. I’m not making excuses for him. I’m trying to find clearer definitions to describe certain aspects of the weather without having to resort to finite mathematical points. The winds only had to rise to 75mph and be recorded as such for the storm to technically be classified as a typhoon. Any margin of error in the satellite data would absorb this. So the max speed would probably have to hit 76mph or higher to be absolutely sure of a more accurate result.
    So Piers may well have gotten 3 or 4 or even 5 correct. Only if there was a fairly hefty margin of error would I admit he got a wrong call. Because with the weather, guarantees are hard to come by.

    Using the same logic, if the NE USA Derecho didn’t happen and there were a few small thunderstorms, some hail and one flood, then I would put that down as a complete fail, but where the weather is concerned, to get the main aspects correct, storm, thunder, hail, but miss a couple of variables tornado, floods, I think that level of accuracy is something which most weather agencies would be proud of.
    If the Met Office said that a storm would hit NE USA on the 29th bringing possible tornados, floods, thunder and large hail, but the tornados and floods didn’t happen, then they would be jumping up and down celebrating a huge success. I know that from a scientists point of view they were only 60% right but nobody could call that an outright fail. Neither would anyone call them on the size of the hail they predicted if it had dented their car.

    If Piers forecast is going to be scrutinised for every single point which could be construed as an error, then I believe his entire forecast is going to end up being called a failure.
    The science of weather is the finger, the rocket, the meteorite, the temperature gradient, but the weather itself is the moon. (no cheese involved!)
    Don’t let the science blind you to the efficacy of the descriptors which Piers uses in his predictions. Weather is not a black & white science, well not yet anyway.

    Kind regards

    Russ

  342. Lars P. says:
    July 14, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Willis, I fear I see some rant and emotions instead of a discussion down to facts.

    Did he recognise correctly the weather pattern or not?

    Lars, the facts are these. Piers forecast “swarms of tornados” and “giant hail” and “extreme thunder” (whatever that is) for July 1-4 south of the Great Lakes. None of that happened.

    Piers forecast 6 typhoons (with perhaps one more) in July 2008. There were exactly two … and despite that Piers claimed his prediction was a resounding success.

    Now, if you have some comments on those facts, bring them on. Am I passionate and emotional? Sure, it’s the nature of the beast. But that doesn’t change the facts, and I have presented a whole heap of those.

    I do find it interesting that despite you saying that what are important are the facts, you don’t mention a single fact about Piers’s forecasts in your comment …

    w.

  343. Saskia Steinhorst says:
    July 14, 2012 at 6:57 am

    @Willis – Well, I also did say “Or maybe semi-intelligent for using a stepping-stone to extend my knowledge about subjects I never read up on?” meaning that I use info from Wiki as a starting point. As a former research journalist, I abide by the “religious practise” of checking sources and source materials :-)
    Maybe when people reach a certain level of expertise and experience within a specific field, the criteria by which “rights” and “wrongs” among competitors are scored at such fine points that it seems like nit-picking to “we the people”. Like, did it rain before or after 5PM? Was the hail the size of golf balls or pigeon eggs? Were there 6 typhoons or 2? In the latter case, I’m sure the people who were actually the victims of ANY of those typhoons didn’t give a hoot about how many there were. Naturally those that didn’t suffer the effects were pretty darn happy. But all were warned about the likelihood of such events.

    So your position is that the people were warned? Warned by what? There are typhoons every year, so for someone to say “there will be typhoons this year” is not a warning of any sort.

    And for Piers to say there will be seven typhoons in July, plus maybe one or two more, when in fact there turned out to be only two? By your lights, that’s all to the good? He’s giving them a warning, so they should be grateful?

    You sure you understand how this “science” thing works, Saskia? Someone makes a falsifiable prediction. If it comes true, their theory is supported. If it doesn’t come true, it counts against their theory.

    But in no case do scientists say gosh, thanks for warning of things that didn’t happen, thank goodness that at least people were warned that there might actually be typhoons.

    Nor is this “nitpicking” or “fine points”. If the Met Service says the weather will be beautiful for your friends’ weekend outdoor wedding, and it pours down rain all weekend, you’re not going to say “well, the weather was clear and fine on Monday, the Met Service were close, we should give them credit for being close, don’t want to be nit-picking about the exact day, we don’t want to focus on the fine points” …

    w.

  344. I’d like to add, the area of science behind your most successful debates, CO2, global warming etc, ‘is’ black & white, and measurable accurately by experiment. Although it depends who is doing the experiment. Some science guys end up looking like fools trying to prove the greenhouse theory because their experiments are flawed. But with atmospheric gases there is much documented proof of their characteristics so it is easier to prove a point accurately.
    The size, weight, heat transfer characteristics etc, of gas molecules cannot be debated because they have been measured very accurately. But if we put those gas molecules back into their natural environment, we have to start describing them in different ways because their behaviour is not the same as it is in a sealed labratory flask. You wouldn’t describe gas movement in a flask as ‘wind’ or precipitation as ‘rain’. These are terms which enable descriptions in the atmosphere.
    So there is a very clear dividing line between the absolute science behind different aspects of the weather, but when they are all brought together in an atmospheric setting then the goal posts change. The individual characteristics don’t change but the overall characteristic of all the aspects working together does. This is what the weather is, but although words can be chosen to describe the behaviour of individual aspects of the weather, it’s a completely different ball game to try and fit a description to the whole lot working together as it is with a typhoon. There has to be an overlap of descriptions because that is what weather is. Lots of different aspects all overlapping one another and creating new aspects, but ones which are very difficult to measure accurately.

    So although we have a useful scale of windspeeds and their associated terms we should not lose sight of the fact that the weather itself has no such boundaries. We don’t have to interpret 74mph but we do have to interpret the difference between a typhoon and a tropical storm.
    But because the dividing line is infinitely small, any margin of error is naturally going to invade it’s neighbouring descriptor. So what looks like an accurately measurable characteristic to a scientist (windspeed), is in fact immeasurable accurately, due to constantly changing characteristics (gas temperature changes and density causing different windspeeds across a large area). The only way to describe these merged characteristics is using words (or averages), as no useful scale could be realistically applied. I know a line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere to make descriptions somewhat useful, but that doesn’t negate the application of descriptors which cover two or more characteristics at once, bypassing the absolute scale for simplicity of understanding.

    Rain is a major part of what a storm is, but is it still a storm if it doesn’t rain?

  345. Looking again at the ‘audit’ ( http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/data/WAaudit.pdf )this is the sort of thing I find disturbing:
    Forecast:
    “Around 28-30 July
    (action butNOT named storms)
    Pacific active Tropical depressions likely
    but only 50% risk of developing into
    Typhoons”
    This was then confirmed and the forecast outcome labelled as a success.
    “Confirmed – No named typhoons or
    TS formed in this window”

    However there was a 50% risk stated of typhoon development, so presumably if a typhoon had formed that too would have been a ‘success’.

    [No TD's (or TS's) formed in this time period, including +/- 1 day yet the forecast itself was still labelled as a success.]

    This is often a feature of Piers forecast wording and evaluation, there is sometimes no chance to be wrong and I fear that his much trumpeted success rates are very misleading, especially to the casual observer.

  346. He used to teach statistics at university level so I wonder if he is subconsciously using words which will give him a better chance of success, but not consciously doing so?
    When you have been trained to think a certain way for long enough, you can find it difficult to break free of the mental shackles.
    I think this quote from George sums it up.

    “‘blackwhite’
    Applied to the Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.”
    George Orwell, ’1984′

  347. Martin Gordon says:
    July 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Looking again at the ‘audit’ this is the sort of thing I find disturbing:

    Forecast:
    “Around 28-30 July
    (action but NOT named storms)
    Pacific active Tropical depressions likely
    but only 50% risk of developing into Typhoons”

    This was then confirmed and the forecast outcome labelled as a success.

    “Confirmed – No named typhoons or
    TS formed in this window”

    However there was a 50% risk stated of typhoon development, so presumably if a typhoon had formed that too would have been a ‘success’.

    Lovely find, Martin. Forecast a 50% chance of typhoons, and claim success because no typhoons formed.

    Truly, that’s forecasting genius at work there, that’s one for the record books. You can see how he can claim an 85% SUCCESS RATE and the like …

    w.

  348. For those who wonder why I haven’t followed up further on a possible bet with Piers, I’m still waiting for him to tell me when and where he is forecasting how much rain.

    To recap the bidding, Piers said he predicted that “the Olympic opening ceremony in London on 27th July will suffer disruptive downpours etc”, and asked if anyone wanted to bet on it.

    I said I was interested, if he’d spell out the details, viz:

    But I’m not fool enough to bet on what you call a “disruptive downpour etc.” without first spelling out the “etc” in great detail.

    As examples. Are you just talking about rain falling on the Olympic Stadium itself? What if no rain falls on the Olympic Stadium, but it does fall on the ring roads and disrupts the Opening Ceremony? How much rain are we talking about? What are the time boundaries? Noon to midnight? Twenty-four hours? Just during the Opening Ceremony itself, and if so, what are the hours?

    For me to win the bet, I have to show that your forecast was false. If we don’t spell that stuff out in that detail and more, then your forecast is much harder to falsify. So give me the odds, and the time and place and amount of rain you are forecasting and which rain gauge will be used to measure it, whatever terms you want to put on it. Only then can I see if I want to take the bet.

    Looking forward to it actually.

    My best to you.

    See, a bet has to have a definitive yes/no answer. Either a team won or they lost. Either your frog jumped further than the other guy’s frog, or it didn’t. With a bet like this one, to have a definitive yes/no answer we need to know three things:

    1. How much rain is he forecasting?

    2. Where is the rain gauge that will be used to measure it?

    3. What is the time period for the measurement?

    So I asked for that information. He has now come back to say:

    As to what is going on her is the information. We were going to get odds of 4/1 against (ie put down $1 and we win $4 if it rains. At that point when they found I was involved, as I understand, they cut the odds to 1/1. My friend said we want longer odds and left it. If you want to bet at what we were expecting as reasonable before then fine. ie I place a notional 1$ and if it rains (I am not sure what they have defined as period and where but presumably that exists) you owe me $4. If its dry I would owe you $1.

    Well, I’m still interested, but I won’t offer him 4 to 1 odds. That’s a sucker’s bet, rain falls about one day in two in London on August 27th, the day of the opening ceremonies.

    But the real problem is, I still can’t even think about a bet until he says how much rain, measured over how much time, where. I’m still where I started.

    So I’m still willing to bet, I’m just waiting for Piers to tell me what his exact forecast is for the “disruptive downpour” he is so confident about—you know, something like “I, Piers Corbyn, hereby forecast that there will be more than 12 mm of rain falling between noon and midnight on August 27th, as measured by the Heathrow rain gauge”.

    This lack of specificity is a recurring problem with Piers’s forecasts, and it is compounded by the chorus of people saying “close is good enough”. Close is not good enough. Forecasting is a game, but a game has to have black-and-white rules. You can’t play soccer and then one day say “well, the ball didn’t go in the net, but it was a tough shot from a long ways away, and it hit the post, so we’ll award the Spanish a half point.” That way lies madness … not to mention lots of fistfights with the Italians.

    The same is true with forecasts. You can’t say “well, he didn’t get it right, but it was a tough forecast from a long ways away, we’ll award Piers a half point”. Piers picks the dates of his forecasts, and he picks the things he is going to forecast. And I’m sorry, but if he forecasts a hurricane in the Atlantic on June 5th, a tropical storm on that date doesn’t even begin to qualify as a success. If he wanted to claim tropical storms as a success, he should have forecast a tropical storm on June 5th. If he didn’t, that’s his lookout, he’s still wrong.

    w.

  349. We’re moving along through July, so here’s a bit more of Pier’s forecast for the month, for the 13th and 14th of July:

    Solar Factors
    R4 ~ 13-14.5 (mid-day 14th)

    During R5 and R4 period Thunder, (L) Rain, tornado and giant hail risk
    and severity significantly enhanced compared with short
    range TV forecasts

    Major thunderstorms, with large hail, tornados and local flooding in lower mid-West, south of Lakes and in north central parts of USA

    OK, so the “Solar Factor”, whatever that might be, is rated “R4″ from the 13th to mid-day on the 14th. According to Piers this means greatly increased “rain, tornado and giant hail risk”. So how did that pan out? From here:

    I’m scoring this one as a total failure. Not only was there nothing happening in the forecast areas, there was uncharacteristically little storm, wind, or hail anywhere in the US on the days on which he forecasts “Major thunderstorms, with large hail, tornados and local flooding”. Even the folks playing at “close is good enough” have nothing to grasp onto here, Piers wasn’t even close with this one.

    To be continued as the month progresses … In passing, I note that Piers has not attempted to defend his claim of success in forecasting six typhoons in the central/western North Pacific in July 2008. Since there were only two typhoons that July, it would be hard to defend, but I would think some kind of explanation would be called for.

    w.

  350. I note that Piers is declaring this period (13/14) a success on the Weather Action website.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=472&c=5

    Three things are being used to confirm the forecast:
    i) A Facebook conversation about storms in Seattle – the forecast does mention ‘some thunder’ for this area.
    ii) A very misleading headline “BIGGEST hail for 30 years” The link leads to a posting by a resident of Everett who had never seen hail of the size shown, the photograph shows a not very large piece of hail in the hand of a young boy.
    iii)Finally a couple of Severe Thunder Warnings are used to confirm the forecast. I see no evidence that these warnings materialised into actual storms.

  351. Martin Gordon says:
    July 15, 2012 at 5:31 am (Edit)
    I note that Piers is declaring this period (13/14) a success on the Weather Action website.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=472&c=5

    Thanks for the link, Martin. I hope folks are starting to see why Piers claims such a high success rate. Here’s his map for the period:

    OK, so what are the important parts of his forecast? Obviously, it’s the shaded areas where he predicts “thunder, tornados, and giant hail” in the north central region, and “thunder, tornados, and large hail”, in red meaning extreme warning, for the Great Lakes and eastward.

    Here are his claims that he says “verify” his forecast.

    R4 period 13-14 July extreme events verification:
    => USA
    - Sev Thunder events Seattle ~13-14th http:fb.me/23Zp3jkkI CONFIRMS WeatherAction long range specific warning for 13-15th on USA Maps forecast 13-15 July + Piers discusses on fb

    Let me echo Martin’s amazement that a single comment on Facebook is taken as a verification of his forecast. Anyhow, here’s the Facebook comment (emphasis mine)

    Severe Thunderstorms Possible In Seattle (1:10PM PDT 7/13/12 -Charchenko) Hello everyone, after those exciting thunderstorms arriving earlier than usual through the seattle metro area. Were in a break in the weather right now up and down the I5 corridor but storms are still rumbling around port townsend and sequim areas. We are under a slight risk for severe thunderstorms west of puget sound which is extremely rare and usually only happens once every 5 years. We could see some large hail around 1″ and damaging winds possible, we could even see a few supercells! We will continue to update throughout the day monitoring these storms!

    To which Piers replies:

    Thanks for informative posting. VERY INTERESTING. Our WeatherAction long range forecast issued June29th [Free this month, email piers@weatheraction.com with ‘USA PLEASE’ in title bar] predicts thunder in Pacific NW ~ WA, OR, ID, MT for 13-15th July (and did not predict any for July prior to that). Thanks, Piers

    I suppose you could claim that someone on Facebook saying “severe thunderstorms possible” is a verification of the forecast, but take a look at the actual weather service reports for those two days …

    - 13 July BIGGEST hail in 30yrs http://www.king5.com/your-news/162444096.html WA NW USA
    - Sev Thunder Warning Union+Wallowa Co OR 14th till 3:00pm PDT. #orwx CONFIRMS WeatherAction long range thunder specific forecast for OR 13-15th

    No, hail in Oregon absolutely does not confirm a forecast of hail in the upper midwest, or Great Lakes/New England. Piers forecast said NOTHING about hail in the Pacific Northwest, this is totally bogus.

    - Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of the area in ID until 11:00pmMDT/10:00pmPDT. ‪#idwx CONFIRMS WeatherAction long range thunder specific forecast for ID13-15th

    Again, there may have been a “severe thunderstorm watch” for Idaho … so what? Take another look at the actual storms (above). I gotta give him credit, though … he has used other people’s warnings and claims that thunderstorms are “possible” and thunderstorm watches, in other words other people’s forecasts, as confirmation of his own forecasts. This is sheer forecasting genius, right up there with claiming that a forecast of a 50% chance of a typhoon was verified by no typhoons.

    Finally, take another look at the map of his forecasts, and compare it to the storm reports. The few places that there actually was hail in the US were places that he did not forecast hail. The places he gave the strongest forecast for extreme thunderstorms, hail, and tornados saw only a couple scattered thunderstorms, not a single report of hail, and no tornadoes.

    And yet he is trumpeting these results as a verification of his forecast? I gotta say, “verification” must mean something very different on his planet.

    w.

  352. Se astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, as the international guest speaker at – The Greenest Event – South Africa – 5. June 2012

  353. A few more discrepancies in the audit
    Forecast:
    “Around August 1-2.
    Similar to 28-30 July for Typhoons but
    less likely to hit anywhere if formed.
    Atlantic / Caribb/ Gulf”
    Scored 1 ‘YES’
    I’m not sure what the locations referred to as these aren’t typhoon areas. However there were no typhoons in the period 31 July – 3 August, there were no hurricanes in this period either. I would give this 0 marks.

    Forecast:
    “Around 9-11 August
    1 or 2 Typhoons likely to form in Central west
    north Pacific; heading most likely NW-N-NE
    No Landfall”

    Awarded 2 ‘YES’s’

    Tropical Storm Phanfone was active in this period but never reached typhoon status. No typhoons 8th – 12th August. 0 marks

    Forecast:
    Around 15-16 August
    Typhoon formation likely in central west
    north Pacific with
    JAPAN hit likely. At end of this period
    typhoon more likely with landfall possible in
    Philippines/ Taiwan/ CHINA in following days”

    2 YES’s awarded.
    No typhoons in the period 14 – 17 August. 0 marks.
    Typhoon Nuri did form just after the period and made landfall in the Phillipines, so 1 mark.

    Forecast:
    “August 19-25 especially 23-25
    2 or 3 typhoons likely to form in Central
    West North Pacific Taiwan/Japan hit likely.”

    This scored 2 ‘YES’s’
    Nuri reached typhoon status on the 18th after starting as a TD in the NW Pacific. It made landfall in the Phillippines and Hong Kong. With number and landfall incorrect I would only be awarding 1/2. maybe 1 mark, not 2.

  354. Willis there’s a typo
    “Since Corbyn is a fellow climate skeptic, let’s give him a fair but factual evaluation to find out if these claims hold up, of if he’s simply following the path ………”
    —————————above you wrote “of if” > maybe it’s “or if”?
    cn

  355. Paul Coppin says:
    July 5, 2012 at 8:50 am
    “So the likeliest conclusion? It wasn’t as warm yesterday as it was in 1955, in terms of climate driven temperature. Do we see UHI driven local convective activity? You betcha. Do we have more buildings to blow over and knock down? You betcha. Do we have more people to be affected and notice it all? A REALLY BIG you betcha.”
    —————–
    and will it cost a whole lot more? you betcha.

  356. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

    thanks Willis, I found this post down to earth, factual and instructive!

  357. Torrential rain in the UK today in North England and Scotland. My local supermarket car park in Somerset was a lake a foot deep, I have not seen it flood before in over 2yrs of living here. N.E. USA is getting some heavy weather today too. Piers gave the 17-19th as an R5, my calculation for this hit was the 18th. We have slightly different methods of timing for the weather hits, but I was largely in agreement with the dates for July, except I had an extra hit on the 11th.

  358. <20mm rain in a few parts of N England. Did you have a blocked drain in the car park? Yeovilton recorded only 10mm in the 24 hours to 7pm…
    Scotland had a bit more at around 55mm. It hasn't been anywhere near as severe as the Corbyn forecast for the period predicted.
    "Torrential rain, major river flooding, damaging hail, high tornado risk, thunder over England, Wales & Ireland. W Scotland and Ireland less wet later"

    http://twitpic.com/a4q45r/full

  359. Martin Gordon says:
    July 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm
    “Yeovilton recorded only 10mm in the 24 hours to 7pm…”

    It was a heavy local downpour, I’m not in Yeovilton, and I’ll ask them about the drains.

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