Willis on why Piers Corbyn claims such a high success rate

(elevated from a comment on the Putting Piers Corbyn to the test thread ) Willis Eschenbach says:

Martin Gordon says:
July 15, 2012 at 5:31 am

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 storm, hail, and tornado reports for those two days …

Very little happening there at all, certainly no concentrations of thunderstorms, either in his forecast areas or anywhere.

- 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

I’m sorry, but a single report of 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 shown above. I gotta give him credit, though … he has used other people’s warnings and claims that thunderstorms are “possible”, and also 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.

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214 thoughts on “Willis on why Piers Corbyn claims such a high success rate

  1. The day that a weather forecaster gets it right more then chance is when weather stops being weather. Luckily we can predict climate decades away. /sarc

  2. The Seattle to Portland Bike event is this weekend, so I have special interest in this weekend’s weather.

    The official forecast, up until Friday was “sunny, highs of 76-80.”
    As of Friday, the forecast changed to “cloudy, cool, showers” and a thunderstorm came
    through areas last night. Lots of drizzle areas, etc.

    So, right now, for the Seattle/Portland area, “cool, showery, some thunder” predicted 2 weeks out stomps on the weather service and is about as close to describing what is happening as you can get with the English language. Go check the traffic cams.

  3. The FAA has a web site set up with web cams placed at airports so pilots can see real time weather plus include a briefing forecast. However, the weather changes and varies from the forecast and the pilot ends up diverting or returning. Point is that weather forecasting is predicting a chaos picture that has probabilities beyond our capacity.
    From weather forecasting is easier when it is happening just down the road and you are the next target moments away. However, the long range forecasts even in general are “chance” driven. I think people are often too enamored with the sensationalism and drama in weather forecasting and presentation.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I am glad to see that even AGW skeptics like Piers Corbyn get the critical analysis they deserve.

    Piers claims to have a secret exclusive technique to be able to forecast the weather well ahead of anyone else and furthermore regularly trumpets the accuracy of their predictions; he deserves Willis’ scorn.

    Like those who claim exclusive insight into the affects of CO2 and man-made global warming catastrophes or those who scream about the “sun” and the coming maunder minimum, both extremes largely make unsubstantiated claims based on far too many assumptions!

    It is so sad that the lamestream media reports such unsubstantiated nonsense regularly when it comes to the environment.

    Modern society is clearly no better than the Iron or Medieval ages (characterized as periods when nonsensical superstitions abounded)!!!

  5. For clarity here is the summary forecast from Piers’ forecst.

    ”JULY 13-15 A change in circulation. Low pressure in North part of West USA, so showery Vancouver & NWP coast. Major thunderstorms, with large hail, tornados and local flooding in lower mid-West, south of Lakes and in north central parts of USA. Forest fires in S/W re-ignite Standard meteorology in this period will substantially underestimate levels of precipitation and strengths of thunderstorms, tornado risk, hail and winds.”

  6. I remember being taken to the circus in Chicago when I was about 4 or 5 (1947 or 48) and being greatly impressed by the clowns who my father knew personally. After the performance I was sitting on the dressing table when his friend pulled off his big red nose. I began to cry but I also learned something about entertainment and role of clowns in it.

  7. My wife is a great fan of Piers, which might be a source of some friction, as I consider him a snake oil salesman, but, luckily, I am a great fan of my wife

  8. The map is sufficiently general as to be useless in most places. Take the OR-WA region. It is often cool and showery with some thunder somewhere within this diverse area in mid-July. There are sea level communities, coastal mountains, the Olympics, the Cascade Range, high volcanoes, and a lower elevation interior. Then to predict “hot” in the USA’s southwest in mid-July is an easy call. Likewise winds off the Gulf of Mexico into the middle south.

    Then again, “giant” hail in the upper-Midwest versus only “large” hail in the OH-PA-NY region might be worthy of confirmation.
    My idea of large hail would be, say, larger than ¾ of an inch (~2 cm).
    Giant hail would be, say, larger than 2.5 inches (~6.5 cm).

    Again, these are big regions and typical weather (“climo”) will include storms with hail. So, where was the “giant” hail? Where was the “large” hail?

  9. Piers’ long range forecasts should be compared to other long range forecasts, not Willis’ hindcasts. Where are Willis’ long range forecasts for comparison? Willis: Go head-to-head with Piers for one year of long-range forecasting and see how you do. See if you can even beat random forecasts. Piers has nailed everything for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from 15 days out (first 2 weeks of July 2012) while the long range forecasts people commonly use on their cell phones here have been completely wrong. He predicted exactly when there would be changes in circulatory patterns and we experienced concordant weather pattern shifts. Willis, all you seem to have to offer is negativity & criticism; how about offering something constructive http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png instead of destructive?

  10. The sole basis upon which the legitamacy of AGW theory hangs is the premise that long term weather is even easier to predict than short term weather. That is why skeptics see Climatology as being baseless.

    The climatism of the weather fearmongers has evolved to the point now where it has the credibility of earthquake prediction science. The official `science’ of the global warming alarmist community is simply to pray for catastrophe and then point. The only real `consensus’ that exists, now that Bush is gone, is to simply blame capitalism whatever Nature brings our way.

  11. Well Willis, ain’t that a howdy doo. While we are chanting one day/week/month is not gorebull warming you come along and highlight ONE specific forecast of Piers’ and Weather Action and proclaim him close to fraudulent.

    Ahem, he CLAIMS about an 80% I believe. Wouldn’t about 10 forecasts be needed to even BEGIN deciding whether he is full of it or not???

  12. Nice, Willis!

    Whatever side one takes, there are always idiots and charlatans on the along for the ride or for their own benefit. In this argument, it is good to see that the skeptical side deals equally with allies and foes. The warmist side, from the IPCC to Gore to the EPA, uncritically parrots anything that furthers its cause.

  13. How about a comparitive summary against other forecasters, here in the UK he beats the Met Office hands down whose accuracy increases markedly if you invert their long range forcasts.

  14. Seems to be valid from looking here http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120713_rpts.html
    Hail Reports (CSV) (Raw Hail CSV)(?)
    Time Size Location County State Lat Lon Comments
    2121 150 SILVER LAKE MCLEOD MN 4490 9420 OFFICER IN SILVER LAKE REPORTED QUATER TO PING PONG BALL SIZED HAIL. (MPX)
    2233 150 3 WNW MENDOTA HENNEPIN MN 4490 9322 (MPX)
    2249 100 4 WNW FARIBAULT RICE MN 4433 9335 (MPX)
    0022 100 6 NW BANCROFT KOSSUTH IA 4334 9431 TIME ESTIMATED FROM RADAR. (DMX)
    0032 175 3 W BANCROFT KOSSUTH IA 4330 9429 GROUND COVERED IN GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL STONES. TIME ESTIMATED FROM RADAR. (DMX)
    0032 100 2 SW FROST FARIBAULT MN 4356 9396 (MPX)
    0042 100 5 NE BRICELYN FARIBAULT MN 4361 9374 SIGNIFICANT CROP DAMAGE REPORTED FROM LARGE HAIL. (MPX)
    0044 100 4 S BANCROFT KOSSUTH IA 4324 9423 (DMX)
    0045 100 2 NNE BRICELYN FARIBAULT MN 4359 9379 (MPX)
    0100 125 4 S ALDEN FREEBORN MN 4361 9357 HAS BEEN ONGOING FOR 10 MINUTES. (MPX)
    0123 100 1 E MANCHESTER FREEBORN MN 4372 9343 (MPX)
    0130 100 1 S WHITTEMORE KOSSUTH IA 4305 9442 (DMX)
    0135 200 WHITTEMORE KOSSUTH IA 4306 9442 HAIL SIZE ESTIMATED FROM PHOTO SENT INTO KCCI WEBSITE. TIME ESTIMATED FROM RADAR. (DMX)
    0210 100 3 SE WEST BEND KOSSUTH IA 4293 9442 (DMX)
    0335 100 8 SE DIXIE WALLA WALLA WA 4606 11804 RECEIVED MOSTLY NICKEL SIZED HAIL WITH SOME STONES QUARTER SIZED. ALSO HAD 50 TO 60 MPH WINDS AND HEAVY RAIN. BELIEVES THAT LOCAL WHEAT CROP WAS DAMAGED BY THE HAIL. (PDT)

  15. Right now (14:45), in Chelsea QC, just north of Ottawa, I can hear the sound of thunder happening. The date is Sunday, July 15, 2012. There is at least a thunderstorm going on in the area called “south of Lakes” on the map for July. I don’t know if it is just south of the Ottawa area, that there is something going on that look like ““thunder, tornados, and large hail”, in red meaning extreme warning, for the Great Lakes and eastward”. Since the north fringe of the area covered by Piers, the circle include the Ottawa area.

    By the way, we didn’t had any rain for several weeks now. And not much is planned for the comming days. Maybe it’s just a “chance” that some of its prediction comes through.

    Papy Boomer

  16. Why are we not allowed to check Corbyns past predictions of weather without having to pay and if we do pay there’s restricted access? Using astrology to predict weather and you folk give him the oxygen of publicity? You’re so funny. A science web site?

  17. Anyone who could give a forecast more than 50% of the time close (not accurate) to what follows is doing reasonable job. In my experience both Dr. Corbyn and the British Met Office are above the line.
    Dr Corbyn emphasizes his successes because he has to earn living, Met Office ignores their failures since they have to earn their living too.

  18. See below:
    Jim R says:
    July 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Why are we not allowed to check Corbyns past predictions of weather without having to pay and if we do pay there’s restricted access? Using astrology to predict weather and you folk give him the oxygen of publicity? You’re so funny. A science web site?

    Why do you bother to post this? There is no such thing as a free lunch. Astrology? ASTROLOGY? Waterstones, or even Tesco sell dictionarys, please buy one.

  19. Whatever else one might throw at (C)AGW skeptics in the way of criticism, one should acknowledge that their attempts to undo “over-baked science” is indiscriminate – friend or foe beware.

  20. Ummm … the eastern half of Texas from Houston to the Red River has not been very hot, rather, we have had seasonable weather. Here in North Central Texas temps have been in the low to mid 90s with 70 deg dew point which is par for the course here … also we have had and are having afternoon T-showers in the area … Take a look at the present WV satellite imagery for this period, note the low that moved from LA to TX in the last 24 hrs; this has contributed to our conditions the last couple days …

    .

  21. Hmm.

    ice doesnt look too well

    I wonder if we will get significant ( visible by sensor from space ) open water inside the
    85n line. extent is dropping by big rates…2007 record could get crushed.

    the right weather… and we could hit ‘ice free’ ( 1 million sqkm in area) this year.
    or not.

  22. As far as the Vancouver forecast mentioned by Paul Vaughan, Environment Canada was 48 hours ago calling for sun and clouds on Sunday and sunny with a few clouds for the next five days. This morning they offered thunderstorms and rainy until Thursday. Thunderstorm indeed occurred over the lower Mainland… So Piers was spot on for this week end in southwest BC i.e. a 100km north of Seattle.
    Instead of this highly questionable post and the previous one, why not invite Piers to write a detailed post on his forecast?

  23. If northern hemisphere’s temperature oscillations both land and SST are direct result of the solar activity,

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm

    do not see reason why the same solar output can’t be associated with the weather.
    Dr. Corbyn’s skill appear to be in forecasting local conditions, which obviously has to do with the trajectory of the polar jet-stream.
    The Arctic polar jet stream is a strange beast, result of interacting of solar wind with ionosphere, stratosphere and troposphere, even NASA acknowledges the fact:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972

    and more here.

  24. When someone can predict how all the variables in a 9 horse race play out, I will take notice.
    Until then, can’t we just fix the timing of traffic lights ?………

  25. He COMPLETELY missed the Southeast/mid-atlantic in the July8-12 timeframe. He calls for hot and sunny and reality was cloudy, unsettled, cooler than normal, and rain. We’ve only gotten back to normal temps in the last two days or so here in NC.

  26. Mosh, I was thinking same thing. If we get the wind we got in ’07, we could shatter the 2007 record low. And you think the howling from the left was bad then???

  27. Paul Vaughan says:
    July 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Piers’ long range forecasts should be compared to other long range forecasts, not Willis’ hindcasts.

    The point of the article is not the accuracy of Piers’ forecasts. The point is that he claims that some of his forecasts were accurate when that does not seem to be the case.

  28. Steven Mosher says:
    July 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    Hmm.

    ice doesnt look too well

    Don’t forget that the 2007 low was aided by strong winds that flushed a good proportion of the ice including some multiyear ice, out through the Fram Strait. Without similar wind conditions, it is less likely to “crush” the 2007 record low. Also, ice loss slows significantly after the easy “southern ice” of Hudson’s Bay, Bering Sea, etc is gone. Regarding the 85N circle, the 65/70 days of above zero is half over:

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Anyway, we won’t have long to wait.

  29. Over here in the UK, thirty years of farming has taught me that ‘tomorrow will be the same as today’ is accurate 66% of the time.

  30. Until then, can’t we just fix the timing of traffic lights ?………

    Good question. But why have traffic lights timed to meet traffic flow and miss out on all those tax dollars generated by stop and go traffic?

    Smart (smart for the tax man) lights will stop 100 vehicles to allow for one vehicle to enter the congestion.

  31. I don’t know… He made a forecast in early april that central europe and especially northeastern areas would be having the coldest may for 100 years. May wasn’t especially cold, but it has been the coldest june for 84 years in Sweden and not much warmer in Finland. Nobody else I know came even close of predicting the weather like he did. BBQ summer, they said…

    So I would not discredit him so easily. He does have some skill (or incredible luck) in predicting long term weather.

  32. Steven Mosher says:
    July 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Hmm.

    “the right weather… and we could hit ‘ice free’ ( 1 million sqkm in area) this year.
    or not.”

    ————————————————————-
    Que?

    Genuine question, are you suggesting that http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2012/july is that far out or am I getting lost between area and extent or are we into a new metric “ice free in the circle”?

    If we are into a new metric do we have access to comparable historic data?

    Regards

  33. The reality is simply Piers Corbyn works on commercial basis if he keep getting it wrong then people will not pay him and he goes out of business, in other words if his ‘bad ‘ its self correcting.
    On the other hand government and national weather forecasts get incomes no matter what , they in fact can’t lose and even better if they fail really badly they can call for further funding while telling us they need yet another multimillion dollar supercomputer so they can improve their forecasting . In other words if their ‘bad’ outside of public mocking its not self or otherwise correcting .

  34. His placement of low pressure over the Upper Midwest was and is still accurate. As far as the weather goes, there was one confirmed EF1 tornado in the Grand Forks, ND area on July 12. No giant hail, but lots of quarter sized hail or smaller reports, along with storm winds and heavy rains. This was from the front that moved through 12th-14th. Another low affecting the region today, but nothing bad happening yet. This one will move through the next couple days, 15th -17th. So we’ll see if the giant hail forecast comes true. I’m assuming we’re talking in a range greater than golfball size (greater than 2″). It’s rather normal for hail to be up to 2″, which is bad enough. Golfball hail is very dangerous.

    Storm report links.
    Aberdeen, SD

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=ABR&product=LSR&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0

    Grand Forks, ND

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=FGF&product=LSR&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0

    Sioux Falls, SD

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=NWS&product=LSR&issuedby=FSD

    Twin Cities, MN

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=MPX&product=LSR&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0

    Duluth, MN

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=NWS&product=LSR&issuedby=DLH

  35. I forecast a “possibility of hail” and the weather service forecasts the “possibility of hail” then I was accurate in my prediction of a “possibility”. I would be willing to bet that I can make forecasts that are nearly 100% accurate using that method. We know where various weather tends to happen. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that there is a “possibility” of a tropical storm in the Caribbean sometime this year.

  36. Of course Piers does not get it right every time: nobody does. Of course his presentation skills (in my, and it seems others’ opinions) needs some work, but isn’t the important question; is he “more correct” than the standard long range forecasters? The answer seems to be yes, most of the time.

    IMHO Willis has a bias against any extra-terrestrial influence on the weather (e.g. against Scafetta, N&Z, Corbyn) and determines to close the minds of others in the process.

  37. Confirmation bias aside, screwing with a man’s livelihood is dangerous.
    Ask anyone in politics.

  38. A bit unfair to highlight Peirs like that, why mot UKMO who are paid by the taxpayer, rant all day long about global warming and yet make a three month forecast on the 23rd March this year and getting on the bandwagon of drought (nasty AGW you know) they forecast the precipitation for April May and June all being drier than average with May being the driest http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/p/i/A3-layout-precip-AMJ.pdf

    Well we all know what happened to that forecasts with April and May being drenced in the UK and June breaking the 100 years record. So why Willis and Anthony start looking down your noses at Peirs what about the bigger target UKMO . At least Piers has to earn his money.

    Bad form I’m afraid and ratehr petty and nasty.

    • What’s up with you and your red herring UKMO? Willis’ post was about Piers Corbyn, not the UK Met Office – and his criticism of Corbyn is correct.

      It would have been far more polite to simply ask Willis for his opinion of the UKMO, rather than to cast aspersions at his reasoned analysis of Corbyn’s performance and accuse him of pettiness. The bad form is not Eschenbach’s, but your own.

  39. Harriet. He put “very hot” over Texas in mid-July. I mean, really? No one else saw that coming?

  40. You’d think predicting “Hot” for the Phoenix AZ area for mid July would be a safe bet. But actually, July 13-15 has been cooler than usual and rainy across much of Arizona. Our “Monsoon” season has kicked off. Today the high is about 15F lower than a typical July day.

  41. Herkinderkin and Willis
    You are failing to compare the other products on the market with WeatherAction output. If all products are extremely poor and WeatherAction is only moderately poor then it is the best long range forecast and although you can (and have) nitpicked – it may remain the best. So let’s compare some forecasts.
    Here is the UK Met Office forecast for the important Olympic period in UK:

    UK Outlook for Monday 30 Jul 2012 to Monday 13 Aug 2012:

    It is most likely that the weather will remain changeable. The south is most likely to see the best of any dry, bright, and at times warm weather, particularly at first. Some rain is likely at times but overall, conditions are unlikely to be as bad as we’ve seen so far this summer. However, a lengthy spell of hot, sunny weather does look unlikely. This outlook gives a broad description of the type of weather that is likely to affect the UK as a whole, including significant changes in the type of weather [it does??] and an indication of how it may differ from what you may normally expect. As the Olympics draw closer the Met Office will have local forecasts so that everyone can make the most of the Games experience.
    Updated: 1303 on Sun 15 Jul 2012

    Well there you have it a professional tax payer funded long range forecast – hardly meets the specificity of Piers forecast for Vancouver does it?

    But of course we should also look at the professional diagrams for long range forecasts from the Met Office they are bound to be better than Pier’s brash graphics and be more specific…..aren’t they?

    Here they are: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/specialist/seasonal/probability/glob_seas_prob.html

    Go on – see if you can make out if its Arizona or Colorado that will have fires or if there will be severe storms in Indiana – not that they are mentioned.

    To me the fact that Piers and WeatherAction go out there and actually provide specificity in their forecasts albeit in a florid graphic, is far better than other forecasts. But perhaps Herkinderkin and Willis, you can get together and beat Piers – its obviously extremely easy to create these forecasts scattered with mays, coulds, likely toos and changeables. Although, the forecasts from Piers tend not to be so vague. But have a go we can all sit in the peanut gallery and watch the masters show how easy it is. ;-) ;-)

  42. If the UEA can call the climategate inquiries a “vindication”,…

    Should we treat one data point the same as an ensemble? Obviously not, we expect the average from the greater ensemble of data to be more reliable than one data point.

    Should we treat a small organisation with the same expectations of a larger?

    If we want to have diversity in weather forecasting & climate forecasts (and not just a few monolithic “it can’t be the sun” organisations), then we have to be tolerant of the independent “single data” point not always being as accurate or slick as the “biased ensemble” … but that doesn’t mean we should tolerate bias or not strive to improve accuracy.

    As the UEA would have put it “this is an absolute 100% total vindication of Piers Corbyn … the man walks amongst the angels, indeed his is an angel. Never in the field of human endeavour has there been a more perfect person”. (In other words, a slap on the wrists) … but do it again, and again and again, and lie a bit more … and you’ll only get a vindication!

  43. I spoke with a person in northern Ohio a few hours ago. That is, near Lake Erie and smack in the middle of the triple highlighted danger zone on the opening map. She complained of warmth and humidity and a sameness to that over the last few days. So I checked the 3 day history on the Cleveland/Burke Lakefront (KBKL) page of the NWS. The weather notes there are mostly “Partly cloudy” to “Fair” to “A Few Clouds” but including just one “Light Rain”. Yes, this is just one small site in a big area. Still waiting for reports of triple highlighted weather doom from within that big area though.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Jim R says:
    July 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    Why are we not allowed . . .
    ” and so on

    Maybe you did not intend to start with a puzzling question and then end with a criticism of WUWT. Worthy of note, however, is the following, found in the WUWT masthead:
    Commentary on puzzling things in life, . . . and so on

  44. Good weather forecasters have very high risk intelligence which they share with horse-race handicappers, bridge players and expert gamblers, according to psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2012/05/risk_intelligence_how_gamblers_and_weather_forecasters_assess_probabilities_.html

    This is their test:

    http://www.projectionpoint.com/

    Personally I think forecasting the weather accurately must be one of the most difficult things to do.

  45. Green Sand.

    1. open water above above 85 north, is just a proposition bet nothing more or less.

    2. Minimum area: satilite record is 3. “ice free” is 1million sqkm. seems weird
    but that is what folks mean by “ice free” < 1million sq km in sept.

    As for times before 1979? it doesnt really matter one way or the other. world is getting warmer, you can expect expect less arctic ice..
    'ice free' before 2050.. maybe as soon as 2016. volume is getting destroyed.

  46. This isn’t about Piers Corbyn directly. He strikes me as the “Music Man” of forecasting. This is more about weather forecasters in general. It’s easy to bash them. It’s a tough job because it’s so easy to see right now whether or not they were right. Chance of precipitation is probably the most common and obvious forcast by which they are judged. A couple of years ago I asked someone at the NWS via email why there was such a difference in the forecast when the week before said something like a 90% chance of rain and that morning’s said only a 10% chance. The answer he sent me (You weather forecasters out there please correct me if I misunderstood his answer.) basically said that the long range chance of precipitation (4 to 10 days out) referred to the chance of it raining anywhere in the forecast area. The short range forecast referred to the percentage of the forecast area that would get rain. In other words they may not be as off as is percieved. (But then again, 100 year forecast are always spot on.)

  47. Very large sums of money are risked speculating on the weather. Weather derivatives alone are $5 billion a year industry. Markets for weather affected products, natural gas, electricity, wheat, even beer run into the trillions on a global basis.

    Its typical of these markets that those who forecast better than the other fellow, keep the way they do it secret. Otherwise, their edge is lost. But, I’m curious as to how those who do it succesfuly predict the weather weeks or months ahead.

  48. This is becoming a “get Piers” commentary. Must be heaps of other long range forecasters you can pick on. In comparison. Piers wipes the floor with his UK forecasts against the MET office and their supercomputers. What weather forecaster can claim a 100% success rate? He seems to make a living out of his forecasts and not on the government gravy train, so that must count for something.
    Sure he has an ego, is eccentric and a pommie, but fair crack of the whip mates, give the man a go. Try picking on big Joe Bastardi for a change. I dare you!

  49. I live near Vancouver. We went from hot to cool in 1 day — today and lightning/thunderstorms were predicted for last night and we got rain. I didn’t hear thunder overnight. But I was asleep.

    Good forecast if it was made on June 29th.

  50. I found a good quote the other day from Pinker’s Better Angels of Our Nature: social scientists should never predict the future, they have enough trouble predicting the past.

  51. “As for times before 1979? it doesnt really matter one way or the other. world is getting warmer, you can expect expect less arctic ice..
    ‘ice free’ before 2050.. maybe as soon as 2016. volume is getting destroyed”

    What looking only at statistics does…

  52. John says he expects to arrive home between around 6pm & 6.15pm with probably a copy of the New York Times. He arrives at 5.55pm with the Washington Post. His friend Miss Right says “Well your estimate of what you said you would do is wrong so as far as I am concerned you are not even here”. He says “What’s up with that? ah, I forgot your first name was ‘Always’ ! ”

    Firstly the innuendo conveyed by Willis’ title “Why Piers Corbyn claims such a high success rate (for this period ~13-15th).
    1. What success rate did I claim? Tell me? Come on? What ‘rate’ and why ‘Claim’?
    Answer: I didn’t claim any specific rate, I noted some events which confirmed our forecast. What’s Up with that? Of course your innuendo implies something doesn’t it? To what end?
    2. Trickery from WE / Martin Gordon – portraying a chat on Facebook about one part of USA as ‘The assessment’.
    Please get real and even fair. We have plenty more to say about the forecast on our website and more which we deal with internally. Why do you have to be so misleading?
    3. Fortunately plenty of readers are not as stupid as W.E. etc appear to assume.
    4. No forecast is entirely right and some will be more wrong than others. For this period the three main thunder areas were all confirmed – see that Accuweather video – in the approx times and regions forecast (Pacific NW, North Centre and N/E). As a comparison of a forecast one might make by random choosing of past pressure maps I looked at all the past maps for 1-15th July 2011 and none resembled what happened as closely as our forecast. What does that tell us?
    5. Thank you Tom Rude, Brian D and Ian W and others for pointing out verifications of some specific events / regions around the US. One has to ask what is the chance of getting these three main thunder areas verified by luck , (along with any misses)?
    6. What we get from W.E. is constantly flying to detail (hail size, precise locations, timings..) as a way of making us wrong – and we have some comments on that on our web:
    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=472&c=5
    He shows a crass misunderstanding of our long range forecasts and their purpose (and note we define that not W.E.) and what others* say about them and worse still an unwillingness to learn. [*success measures come from users and auditors not us].
    If W.E. really wants a short range forecast he only need look out of the window and not complain that I cannot can tell him two weeks ahead what detail he will see.
    We have gone OTT with hail sizes in some areas (and UTT in Seattle but we have a reason) but SO WHAT? The point is
    (i) We got the thunder regions and there was some hail.
    (ii) There was even some large/giant (??) hail I don’t know how giant, certainly ginormous by English standards, in Seattle, described as the biggest ever in the region! – see the pic on

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No33.pdf

    And note us NOT saying ‘there would be hail’ there is NOT us saying ‘there would be none’. These are NOT forecasts of all possibilities, read the title: “USA Key Developments & Extremes forecast July 2012″. Detail at this stage is lower priority and skill, which is why W.E chooses to “assess” it.
    I am pleased by our NW success here because while we have had tremendous success with eg NE blizzards in eg 2010-2011 these NW thunderstorms are more unusual than many other parts of USA and we have had difficulties in the past with getting to grips with the West / NW. So, subscribers who have asked for more there will be pleased; not that I expect W.E cares a damn about advancing forecasts. [What is WUWT for I wonder?].
    For those who are interested: We did decidedly under-forecast this event in the PNW, true, that is because I decided to tread gingerly there in view of the hurdles we have had to overcome to get here. Nevertheless so far, so good, or as they say in Tesco ‘Every Little helps’
    (iii) We have been expecting more large hail around the world as opposed to small hail in line with our climate forecast of moving towards a new Little Ice Age and this greater prevalence of large/ giant/ enormous / big / whatever hail around the world has been well confirmed.
    7. W.E. a) Do you deny that this forecast period has skill – ie it is better than a random forecast?
    b) Do you deny that all objective assessments of our forecasts (taking a long enough period) in UK, Europe. USA, specific world events… show we have significant skill?
    c) Are you going to examine the whole season Tropical storm forecast 2011 which I sent Anthony last year, and users described as a game changer.
    8. Now to the bigger picture starting from ‘The top’ Please look at:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No33.pdf

    Our SLAT (Solar Lunar Action Technique) – yes “Nostradamus!” to you too but citizens are you going to get serious on this blog or join the dustbin of history? For What it’s worth my opinion of the WUWT set-up here has dropped, on a scale of ten, from 9 to 1 in the last few weeks). Yes, Our SLAT is about predicting events on the sun, their intermediate Solar wind / ionospheric / geomagnetic effects and then jet stream and frontal activity and pressure pattern changes and finally weather in regions. Look at the pdf:
    1. Our prediction of Earth-facing (significant) solar activity around (just preceding) the R4 period 13-14th or so – CONFIRMED (no apology for the caps) by X flare / AR 1520.
    2. Proton flux hit (eg) and various other parameters – massive aurorae and upping of geomagnetic activity (also about the coming R5 17-19th – WATCH IT!) – CONFIRMED
    3. Three thunder regions in USA – CONFIRMED
    4. APPROX pressure pattern USA – CONFIRMED
    5. Various detail USA – NOT CONFIRMED (and some parts confusing, USA is large).
    6. Widespread thunder FLOODS UK – CONFIRMED (with ‘brilliant’ timing) and I note in comments on WeatherAction a doubter has become a ‘backer’.
    7. Approx pressure in Britain & Ireland – WELL CONFIRMED
    8. Met Office having to upgrade a yellow to an amber warning (a change we predicted) – CONFIRMED (although this is not Long Range forecasting it is ‘end-gaming’ like our correcting the hurricane tracks of standard models one day ahead – see our 2011 ATS work, enquiries to piers@weatheraction.com)
    9. Jet Stream south of Britain – CONFIRMED
    10. Thunderstorms etc N/W Europe – CONFIRMED
    11. Tornado events N/W Europe – CONFIRMED although the very significant tornado wave in Poland was east of what we expected, however there may have also been events in Germany.
    12. General circulation Europe – ESSENTIALLY CONFIRMED but the penetration of thunderstorms got into Russia ending (much of) their heat (for now) early.
    13. Up ticks of frontal activity compared to standard Met in New Zealand – these are consistently monitored but we issue no specific forecasts of circulation. – CONFIRMED
    14. Very extreme events compared with normal (not specific forecasts) in various parts of world – Enormous floods in West Russia and South Japan for example and unusually cold blasts in South Africa. – CONFIRMED
    General point. The solar and frontal action in this R4 was probably a bit above what we expected, in some respects – towards an R5.

    Piers Corbyn, WeatherAction

  53. Dr Eschenbach

    If Her Britannic Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had had the prescience to obtain a long-range forecast from Weatheraction in March 2012 as to the dangers to the UK economy of a third year of drought, they would be have been told that there was a very good likelihood that drought conditions would disappear before summer was out.

    We entered April 2012 with rivers historically low, reservoirs historically low and groundwater at historic lows, on a par with the great drought of 1976 after 18-24 months of broadly below average rainfall.

    Now, in mid July, all water restrictions have been lifted by all water authorities, all reservoirs are either full or at normal levels (with about one exception), rivers are unusually high and, with the exception of very slow-responding sandstone areas (a small percentage of areas dependent on groundwater supplies in the UK), groundwater levels have shown a highly unusual increase during summer and are now well within normal range in most areas of the UK. You can confirm this by visiting the UK Environment Agency website (just type that into Google and it comes up at the top of the search results) who have a ‘weekly water report’. Their weekly drought updates have now been stood down to fortnightly, to reflect the reduced pressures and risks remaining.

    As other bloggers have noted in this thread, the Met Office’s prediction was a drier than normal spring. Something all UK gardeners will confirm is about as full of veracity as some of President Clinton’s declarations concerning his sexual activities…….

    Dr Corbyn’s forecasts are by no means perfect but they are certainly not ‘astrology’, they are certainly not ‘unscientific’ (whether the method is a Newtonian mechanical approximation to the true situation, a quantum mechanical one or something more complex, only Piers will know) and they certain have skill, albeit imperfect ones.

    I would suggest that, in common with many other areas of life, for some reason there is a need to destroy a British person who has just had staggering success in his July 2012 prediction of extreme weather events globally.

    Do go and have a swim in Japan – there’s plenty of water for you to swim in there. Do go and bury some dead in Krasnodar – there is a business opportunity for gravediggers right now. Do come and enjoy our floods in the UK and try sleeping out in Portland, Dorset: you’ll enjoy that to be sure – you might catch pneumonia from the saturated ground which will seep into your sleeping bag or tent. Do go and get a suntan in Edinburgh – you’d have enjoyed a spanking 1.5 hrs sunshine total in the first 14 days of the month at a latitude where days will still be 18 hrs long. Do bail out the apple farmers in the UK – they could do with your charitable munificence this year after the spring destroyed the potential for a reasonable crop. All the animal farmers could do with you sending them a few million bales of hay too if we don’t get a dry spell soon, because all the hay in the fields will start rotting soon if the rain keeps up.

    The UK folks all got told by the Met not to worry about any of that. Nature told them the hard way that the MO were spouting bullshit.

    Piers has not submitted you a scientific paper for review by the way. Hard for you to understand that? He has shared a forecast from his business operations. He’s not seeking your approval or your consent as you are neither his bank manager nor his customer.

    Most importantly, if you don’t like Piers’ forecasts, don’t buy them.

    But do state if you have any financial interests from competing weather forecasters, from any media outlets who request that you speak as you have or from any political heavyweights who want to shut this London maverick up for rubbishing their AGW pseudo-science in the run-up to the 2012 Presidential Election………WUWT might like to add that rider to articles such as this also……..

  54. “Steven Mosher says:
    July 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    As for times before 1979? it doesnt really matter one way or the other. world is getting warmer, you can expect expect less arctic ice..
    ‘ice free’ before 2050.. maybe as soon as 2016. volume is getting destroyed.”

    Hey if we were back in the Late 1940s to early 1960s. The Arctic Ice cap could have been obliterated years ago. If some of the Science Proposals to melt the Arctic Ice cap to improve the climate were carried out. That included nuking it!

  55. kuhnkat says:
    July 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Well Willis, ain’t that a howdy doo. While we are chanting one day/week/month is not gorebull warming you come along and highlight ONE specific forecast of Piers’ and Weather Action and proclaim him close to fraudulent.

    Ahem, he CLAIMS about an 80% I believe. Wouldn’t about 10 forecasts be needed to even BEGIN deciding whether he is full of it or not???

    See the other thread, this is far from the first claimed success of his that is bogus.

    My problem is not that the forecast is wrong … my problem is that he is claiming that it is right. And for that, I don’t need “10 forecasts”.

    w.

  56. _Jim says:
    July 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Ummm … the eastern half of Texas from Houston to the Red River has not been very hot, rather, we have had seasonable weather. Here in North Central Texas temps have been in the low to mid 90s with 70 deg dew point which is par for the course here … also we have had and are having afternoon T-showers in the area … Take a look at the present WV satellite imagery for this period, note the low that moved from LA to TX in the last 24 hrs; this has contributed to our conditions the last couple days …

    And yet another part of his forecast has problems …

    w.

  57. I have recently put together a proposal for a change to the way a dictionary describes the word “Eclipse” in the hope that the penny will drop as to how Piers puts together his monthly forecast using Solar activity with the position of the Moon.

    I believe Piers is onto something very important in the way the Lunar Phase’s play a part in changes to our climate…http://climaterealists.com/?id=9934

    Re-Inventing the word “Eclipse”

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/eclipse?s=t dictionary.reference.com

    The generic astronomy term for an “Eclipse” is used for a crossing of a shadow from the Moon to the Earth or the Earth to the Moon i.e. during these two episodes, one of the said objects passes in front of the Sun casting a shadow on the other.

    It has become increasingly obvious to regular readers of Piers Corbyn “Red Warning” forecasts that he is onto something very important with the forecasting of “R” periods, in that, there is more going on between the Sun, Moon and Earth then shadows crossing.

    The “R” periods have supported and demonstrate there are climatic as well as geological changes during these periods on our world and that seems to be an enhancement by a physical change to the Earth. i.e. the development of Hurricanes and Typhoons seem to “power up” when there is a lunar phase in combination with Solar Activity as well as an increase of erupting Volcanoes and Earthquakes.

    The research and investment needed to conclude such a statement as being scientifically plausible will be difficult to find as grants for Climate Research seem totally bias to projects that bolster “Man Made” climate change.

    That is not to say someone or an institution will come forward to fund this very important work. Afterall there have been Trillions invested in the spurious and very silly idea that “man” has changed our climate only to have found NOTHING of ANY significance.

    Investing in research that show REAL physical changes in the Earths climate from the Sun and Moon is not such a crazy request to make, and if you are involved with institutions that would benifit from this research drop Piers a line at WeatherAction.com

    In honour of the work of Piers Corbyn I will try to re-invent the Dictionary term “Eclipse” to incorporate:

    “Eclipse”: A monthly or weekly astronomical event between the Sun, Moon and Earth, whereby the passage of the Solar Wind during a Lunar Phase is seen to make physical changes to the Earth’s Climate.”

    You never know, in the process of time, this may well be a change to the Dictionary that our children will see.

    Good luck Piers, keep up the great work

  58. TomRude says:
    July 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    As far as the Vancouver forecast mentioned by Paul Vaughan, Environment Canada was 48 hours ago calling for sun and clouds on Sunday and sunny with a few clouds for the next five days. This morning they offered thunderstorms and rainy until Thursday. Thunderstorm indeed occurred over the lower Mainland… So Piers was spot on for this week end in southwest BC i.e. a 100km north of Seattle.
    Instead of this highly questionable post and the previous one, why not invite Piers to write a detailed post on his forecast?

    I’ve invited him to write a detailed reply regarding his questionable claim of success for his forecast for six typhoons in the central/western Pacific in July of 2008. This is a forecast that was supposedly verified by his independent auditors … since there were only two typhoons in the area during all of that July, I’ve asked him to give us the names of the typhoons that verify his forecast.

    He has not replied, but it is early days yet, so there is hope.

    Again, the issue is not that his forecast was wrong. It is that he is claiming success on a forecast that didn’t come true in any sense.

    w.

  59. Almost a Laplander says:
    July 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t know… He made a forecast in early april that central europe and especially northeastern areas would be having the coldest may for 100 years. May wasn’t especially cold, but it has been the coldest june for 84 years in Sweden and not much warmer in Finland. Nobody else I know came even close of predicting the weather like he did. BBQ summer, they said…

    So I would not discredit him so easily. He does have some skill (or incredible luck) in predicting long term weather.

    First, please, folks, don’t do this. If you are going to discuss one of his forecasts, provide a link to the forecast. Otherwise, it’s just an anecdote that has no specificity. If you have a cite, Laplander, I’d love to see his forecast.

    Second, are you serious? You say that in April he predicted that May would be the coldest in 100 years … and then you say May “wasn’t especially cold”.

    Then you go on to claim that is a huge success in forecasting?

    Sorry, AaL, but there is a name for a prediction of the coldest May in 100 years when May turns out to be not especially cold.

    The name for that kind of prediction is a FAILURE. I don’t care if it was warm in June. If he had predicted a cold June, I’d congratulate him … but according to you, he didn’t predict that, instead he made a 100% incorrect prediction about May.

    Folks, I’m not buying the “he got it close” excuse. It doesn’t matter if he got it close. A hit is a hit, and a miss is a miss. Earlier he predicted fires in New Mexico and Arizona, and claimed success for fires in Colorado. Again, that is a failure. If the Met Office predicts a clear, sunny weekend and it rains on both your Saturday barbecue and your Sunday wedding, are you going to credit the Met Office with a successful prediction because it was clear on Friday?

    Well, neither am I …

    w.

  60. Willis,

    First you claim that he is boosting his claimed accuracy by lying then respond to me saying that this post is only about his lying??? Running back your claims huh?? I guess guess the Nick Stokes syndrome is spreading. Is that how you want to be known??

  61. KnR says:
    July 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    The reality is simply Piers Corbyn works on commercial basis if he keep getting it wrong then people will not pay him and he goes out of business, in other words if his ‘bad ‘ its self correcting.

    And I suppose that if astrologers get it wrong people will not pay them and they will go out of business?

    You underestimate people’s ability to find one correct item in a dozen and call it all a success. You also underestimate Piers’s ability to claim success for failures.

    See those two big areas on the map where Piers said there would be thunderstorms, giant hail, and tornados?

    There were ALMOST NONE OF ANY OF THOSE IN THE SHADED AREAS, so his largest, most important, printed in bright red claims were a total flop … but he is claiming success, and people are lapping it up, on the basis of one report of hail in Oregon and a thunderstorm in the Northwest. The temperature in Texas wasn’t hot, the forest fires didn’t “re-ignite”, and yet people here are passionately defending the “success” of his forecast.

    w.

  62. Harriet Harridan says:
    July 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Of course Piers does not get it right every time: nobody does. Of course his presentation skills (in my, and it seems others’ opinions) needs some work, but isn’t the important question; is he “more correct” than the standard long range forecasters? The answer seems to be yes, most of the time.

    My problem isn’t that he gets it wrong, which he does, and so does every forecaster. My problem is that he inflates his statistics by claiming a success when there is none. For example, he forecast a 50% chance of a typhoon … then claimed success because there was no typhoon. Of course if there had been a typhoon that would be a success as well …

    Or in this case, he forecast huge areas of storms, hail, and tornadoes that didn’t happen … but he’s still claiming success.

    IMHO Willis has a bias against any extra-terrestrial influence on the weather (e.g. against Scafetta, N&Z, Corbyn) and determines to close the minds of others in the process.

    That’s absolute nonsense. I’d love nothing more than to show an extra-terrestrial influence on the weather. My problem is that I am a scientist, and I simply haven’t seen the evidence. Not that I haven’t looked. I corresponded at some length with Ted Landscheidt trying to understand his method, without success. I’ve run correlation comparisons of dozens of weather phenomena against the solar cycles … and found almost nothing.

    So you have it exactly backwards—I am biased in favor of a solar influence on the weather. I just haven’t found it yet.

    w.

  63. Piers Corbyn’s forecast for the Olympics has just been quoted by London mayor Boris Johnson as follows –

    “We’re very confident that there will be a lot of rain – a deluge, really – during the entire Olympic period, and we are 80 per cent sure that the Opening Ceremony itself will feature heavy rain, including hail and thunder.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/9402260/To-avoid-the-Olympic-weather-forecast-please-look-away-now.html

  64. I can’t help feeling that this post of WUWT is rather like a pedigree dog suddenly deciding to gnaw at its own tail….

  65. Willis Eschenbach says:
    I’d love nothing more than to show an extra-terrestrial influence on the weather.

    Natural climate oscillations are result of the sun and Earth acting in concert, oscillation of the Earth magnetic field is one of the best proxies around.
    I am still waiting for Steve Mosher to publish his spectral analysis:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/comparing-ghcn-v1-and-v3/#comment-1016189

    It appears he found something ‘interesting’, I hope it is what I call ‘geo-solar oscillation’which I think I may have identified already.

  66. dp says:
    July 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    “Piers – show your work.”

    Ask CokeCorp and KFC while you are at it. Maybe Pirelli and Pfizer would be more apt?

  67. Willis Eschenbach I suggest you check out who he does business with , its not the man in the street but commercial organisation who care about facts , so your astrologers idea falls flat.
    He is not claiming to be always right and indeed his gets it wrong , the difference between him and government based weather forecasting is the later does not lose if they keep getting it wrong indeed they can benefit through demands for more cash to improve forecasting , while if he keeps getting wrong he goes broke, that is hell of a difference in the bottom line.
    .Add to that the way some officials sources have bought so much into climate doom that it taints their forecasting, the UK MET office as long track record of this , while its worth remembering forecasting is really about taken what you know , what you think you know and making a educated guess, so its wide open to personal psychology and issues such has peer pressure.

  68. “My problem is that I am a scientist, and I simply haven’t seen the evidence. Not that I haven’t looked.”

    Where has Willis looked? Why doesn’t he take a subscription to Piers for a year, then compare it with the UKMO the USA govt funded weather service and the actuals and let us know what the result is along with the criteria used. That would be an excellent ‘look’.

    Is this not the evidence, his qualifications seem pretty good?
    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.
    Note BSc (Bachelor of Science)
    PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
    FRMS (Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society)
    Research Interests: regional climates, long-period instrumental series, climatic change and historical climatology

    Has Willis looked at this paper?

    “I’ve run correlation comparisons of dozens of weather phenomena against the solar cycles … and found almost nothing.”

    Well Piers obviously did a better correlation. He doesn’t get income from the taxpayer so the only way that he exists in business must be that overall, his forecasts are accurate.

    Never mind the method focus on the results. If they are good then research why they are good.

    I expected a better article on this from WUWT.

  69. Piers

    I suppose the issue here is whether or not you can prove that your forecasts are indeed better than simple stochastic simulations (rather than just stating it). Of course you’d have to weight your stochastic model spatially according to geographical patterns. Far be it for me to tell someone as accomplished as you what you shoud do, but would this not be a useful experiment say for extreme rainfall:

    1) Run a stochastic simulation that honours the regional pattern in order to account for geographical trends (sequential gaussian simulatior would be a good one). Make say 100 runs, look at the upper 10 percentile for each grid node from your suite of SGS runs and populate grid.
    2) Grid your model.
    3) Compare with observation.

    Then we could score how well you’ve done. Otherwise both you and Willis are trying to prove/disprove something based on qualitative assessment. Or, and probably more likely, I’m using the worng approach.

  70. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 16, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I corresponded at some length with Ted Landscheidt trying to understand his method, without success.

    You have trumpeted this poor example a number of times and yet when I offered to take you through the theory so you can understand, you go quiet. You are no scientist and are swayed by your prejudices and refuse to look at the detail with an open mind. Who do you think you are kidding.

    The fact that you are allowed to continue to post content on this site unfortunately backs up what Piers is stating.

  71. Willis
    I do believe you should have a go at say the general weather in a week’s time see how much skill there is in your forecasts.

    I have worked operationally with forecasters at airports, some gave me a forecast that was mealy mouthed to the point they almost forecast every eventuality; others would throw the synoptic chart onto the plotting table and say – “there’s the chart – you tell me!”; still others would look at the chart and say “that’s what the computer says but I don’t believe it – it’ll be more like this”. And I had to assess what crews would remain on or not snow clearance teams or not etc.
    Even short range say 6 hours, is not easy. Changes in the jet stream over the Atlantic not forecast correctly just 12 hours previously can cost every aircraft crossing more than a ton of fuel.
    Measuring the ‘skill’ of a forecast is not as black and white as you try to make it either. The air traffic systems in the US make a lot of use of forecasts of convective weather at this time of year. Every forecaster from every airline and the aviation weather forecasters get together in a large teleconference every day pooling their thoughts – this is REAL MONEY to every airline. So they forecast that there will be a belt of severe convective weather 40 miles wide and 100 miles North South overhead St Louis MO at midday. At midday the belt of weather is 40 miles wide and 100 miles North South but is overhead Kansas City MO. What was the ‘skill’ in that forecast Willis? You would presumably say abject fail – but getting the size and shape and motion of ‘popcorn thundershowers’ correct is VERY VERY difficult even only 6 hours out. Assessing the skill of weather forecasts is not simple and people at Boulder CO spend a _lot_ of time working on those skill assessments. .

    So Piers – a few weeks previously – forecast thundershowers in an area that climatology would say thundershowers don’t happen in July and those thundershowers happened in that area. From my perspective that’s like flipping a quarter over my head and getting it into a tin cup 50 feet behind me – twice.

  72. and then… say that the sun has no influence on earth’s weather, or that Piers Corbyn has no skill when he clearly DOES! but those that doubt his abilities/work are clearly not doing their homework watching what is happening around us and further a field in space really helps you get a clearer picture of the relationship between the two, even I have learnt a lot recently from watching both of these things and how the effects have transpired into some really horrendous weather here on earth after just a few days from a solar flare being ejected from the sun we have had some really extreme weather and you can say what you like about your theories but I am sticking to mine and fully believe Piers Corbyn has a proven skill and knows what he is talking about and I fully admire him and his work it’s just a pity that some people are so petty minded and instead of understanding the work Piers is doing try to disrespect him and his work without knowing or seeing the skill he has in advance forecasting/warnings and just choose to base opinion on just one forecast rather than the overall picture.

  73. I like KnR’s argument. Let the market decide. It does seem likely that if Piers were talking pure BS he would be out of work now. People don’t tend to put throw good money after bad.

  74. Willis it would be really interesting to know if you have actually taken anytime to look at Pier’s work or whether you just don’t want to believe and would rather knock the forecast rather than see the bigger picture, it certainly would be very interesting to see you do the same to other Meteorologists you are doing with Piers through this article even though they make more mistakes than anyone.

  75. Several injured after lightning hits Ontario festival

    http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/several-injured-after-lightning-hits-ontario-festival-1.879615

    ” Seventeen people were taken to hospital [...] severe thunderstorm [...] panic”
    Piers warned of this weeks ago.

    Waterfall-like rain eases in Japan but danger remains

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/waterfall-like-rain-eases-in-japan-but-danger-remains-1.880178

    B.C. landslide search crews find human remains

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/b-c-landslide-search-crews-find-human-remains-1.879434

    Mudslide forces evacuation at B.C. Fairmont resort

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/mudslide-forces-evacuation-at-b-c-fairmont-resort-1.880277

    ==================================
    Solar-Coronal-Holes-Ozone-Wind-Neutrons

    Total-Ozone-Solar-QBO

    Compare with integral of Southern Annular Mode = SAM and…

    Solar-Proton-Flux-Ozone

    Solar-Terrestrial-Climate-Weave
    http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png (from LOD via Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum, Central Limit Theorem, & Thermal Wind Relation)

    Heliospheric-Current-Sheet-Earth-Crossings

    Heliospheric-Current-Sheet-Earth-Crossings-Integral

    (Note changepoints ~1945 & ~1976. Much more detail on this forthcoming after July ends…)

  76. This is a nasty post,almost a vendetta.What did the man do to you and Anthony to deserve this?You say he’s a fraud,I say so what business is it of yours?it is obvious the man relies on his results,he wouldn’t have a business if he didn’t have some success.First time I have been disappointed in this website,It feels like I have wandered into a nasty left website.You should send this article to the Huffington Post,so all the readers can sneer at Mr Corbyn.

  77. “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.”

    MN/IA border: 12 hail reports, one at 2 inch+

  78. Rhys Jaggar says: If Her Britannic Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had had the prescience to obtain a long-range forecast from Weatheraction in March 2012 as to the dangers to the UK economy of a third year of drought, they would be have been told that there was a very good likelihood that drought conditions would disappear before summer was out.

    Really? Here’s a video of Piers in March forecasting a dry April. April 2012 was the wettest April on record.

  79. no one seems to have mentioned a tiny point here…
    Piers is giving longrange forecasts with pretty damned HIGH success rates, NOT just for some state of bloody country but the entire Globe!
    Now you guys can talk stats and chart and all sorts,
    what matters is, to us who live On the land especially is at least the warnings he gives, if he is wrong then NO HARM at all os done what so ever.
    However with NO warning at all, ie the usual low class local state etc weather shows..then animals die , feed and hay is ruined and people die.
    so damn what of he didnt get everything correct for the almighty usa..he probably did better from the other side of the world than your local fellas did anyway.!
    said it last time, he warned of flooding in aus inland after the flooding rains had been- there was no sign, everything was mild and dry,
    I warned all my friends inland to check gutters rooves and feed to be dry and off ground., and did the same myself.
    they were sceptical but as above..what harm was there in being prepared?
    none
    and they were damn happy when totally unforecast by the people we taxpayers fork out for got it entirely WRONG as usual.!!
    supposedly it was going to be rather dry again..
    Piers isnt taking anyones money that doesnt want to spend it…
    hell he even gives some info for nothing, and he sure oesnt have to do so.
    .UNlike the conmen in govvy agw biased departments.
    for what is after all a rather small outlay for advice that may save thousands, and lives.
    He is NOT setting himself up and scaring the crap outta kids, making peoples lives damn near impossible to live aka the IPCC and the agenda 21 IMF Millenium Iclei scumbags do.
    he doesnt demand .7% of anyones GDP as they want either.
    not one single person has to pay or decide to consider his advice..
    When he has gone public, doing a service to all, he got trashed, yet? he was right..did they apologise? nah. what they did was use his info, with not even a hat tip let alone a thank you
    willis I have appreciated so many of your articles, but mate, on this..youre looking pretty damn nasty and petty.
    Piers has always admitted what hes doing is a work in progress, and whats More important he Does! admit errors. more than anyone else does..they remove their screwups ie the met mob,
    and then deny deny just like the rest of the “believers” when caught out .
    how about you stop sledging him and YOU find someone to give a global forecast thats even right for one place..let alone multiple countries -even in part..
    I won’t be holding my breath.

  80. It’s worth watching the whole of Piers’s April video. In it he discusses (at 1:30) why his forecast for an extremely cold December 2011 in the UK was correct after all (despite it being so warm), as it was cold, in Eastern Europe, some three months later!
    If anyone can make head or tail of what his 13 year hiccuping cycle is (discussed at 3:25) please let me know. It appears the sun made some spots on his birthday which it then repeated to do exactly to the day (minus the “extra leap-day” obviously) every 13 earth years later (only it didn’t – hence the hiccup) and this causes high pressure to arrive over East Anglia in the Unitied kingdom. Wow.

  81. It would seem the Met Office have once again got all hot and bothered and are saying that summer starts as early as next week “Hot weather on the way at last… but try telling that to these swans!”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2174328/Hot-weather-way–try-telling-swans.html#ixzz20niBbmoh

    I’m not putting my rain coat away or getting the BBQ out just yet as they are renowned for making such headline claims which have proved to be wrong in the past, so will take this as a pinch of salt.

  82. My problem is that he inflates his statistics by claiming a success when there is none. For example, he forecast a 50% chance of a typhoon … then claimed success because there was no typhoon. Of course if there had been a typhoon that would be a success as well

    That should be:

    My problem is I suspect that he inflates his statistics by claiming a success when there is none. For example, he forecast a 50% chance of a typhoon … then claimed success because there was no typhoon. Of course if there had been a typhoon that would be a success as well unless there is some justification I haven’t thought of.”

    My problem with your analysis Willis, is that you are not separating the methodology from the hype, the science from the commercial interests. Your 2 examples is one fail and one partial success (a storm arriving later than predicted) and that’s much too small a group on which to judge either Piers OR the methodology. And as such you are potentially missing the really big and important point.

    What if this methodology had been devised by a more sober drier and dispassionate person? Then it might be easier to establish the skill level of the technique. Think of it as someone has who has built a really fast car, but maybe cuts corners here and there when they drive it. No way to tell if it is a fast car just by the lap time, but no way of telling if it isn’t either.

    And the way you’ve gone about it has lead to the predictably confrontational response from the protagonist, since there is no polite ‘benefit of doubt’ approach that good scientists generally use when challenging peers using phrases such as “….but it doesn’t look as though you have” or “…this doesn’t look right, sorry. What have I missed.”

    You underestimate people’s ability to find one correct item in a dozen and call it all a success. You also underestimate Piers’s ability to claim success for failures.

    The problem is what you are defining a ‘success’ to be. You seem to think that missing the time frame of significant low probability event by one day from a prediction one month in advance, or that the event didn’t have exactly the same predicted characteristics as a failure. You are blaming the car AND the driver for cutting the corner. On the other hand you are right to become suspicious of claims that predicted events have been confirmed when it looks like they have not actually occurred. I would have thought asking for clarification and only then becoming critical if the justification doesn’t satisfy is the way to assess the driver. The way to assess the ‘car’ is to see how far in advance any low probability event occurred.

    I think a much larger sample is needed, I think some method of assessing skill wrt the amount of time in advance a prediction is made and whether anyone else is able to come close. This ‘right/wrong’ approach is far too simplistic for my taste especially when it comes to long range forecasting. And I do not think Piers should be taken ‘at his word’. He has a commercial interest in promoting his business, so it is only natural that his views will be biased. Perhaps a better place to start would be with the ‘independent’ auditors. What justification do they have for agreeing that a forecast has been ‘confirmed’?

  83. Willis cant get his head around Piers it seems,everything is black or white in his world.
    Bit of a low point for WUWT from where i am standing,the tone is all wrong.

  84. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    John says he expects to arrive home between around 6pm & 6.15pm with probably a copy of the New York Times. He arrives at 5.55pm with the Washington Post. His friend Miss Right says “Well your estimate of what you said you would do is wrong so as far as I am concerned you are not even here”. He says “What’s up with that? ah, I forgot your first name was ‘Always’ ! ”

    He is certainly there, but his estimate of what he said he would do is wrong,

    Firstly the innuendo conveyed by Willis’ title “Why Piers Corbyn claims such a high success rate (for this period ~13-15th).

    1. What success rate did I claim? Tell me? Come on? What ‘rate’ and why ‘Claim’?
    Answer: I didn’t claim any specific rate, I noted some events which confirmed our forecast. What’s Up with that? Of course your innuendo implies something doesn’t it? To what end?

    So you are going to start out with distortion? The title of the piece is

    Willis on why Piers Corbyn claims such a high success rate

    not

    Why Piers Corbyn claims such a high success rate (for this period ~13-15th)

    While you may have inferred that I was talking about this period, I did not imply it, nor did the title. In fact, I was referring to your claimed success rate of 85% which you made here, saying

    Of 49 extreme events Trial forecast statements March to Sept 2008 The WeatherAction SWT forecast was confirmed on 42 occasions and there were forecast errors on 7 occasions (See Table for details)
    Success rate 42/49 = 86% (ie better than 85%)

    That was the context of the title.

    2. Trickery from WE / Martin Gordon – portraying a chat on Facebook about one part of USA as ‘The assessment’.
    Please get real and even fair. We have plenty more to say about the forecast on our website and more which we deal with internally. Why do you have to be so misleading?

    Piers, you are the one who claimed success based on a Facebook report. It is certainly valid to object to that kind of claim.

    3. Fortunately plenty of readers are not as stupid as W.E. etc appear to assume.

    I assume our readers are the brightest of the lot, well educated, and thinking for themselves, and I am rarely disappointed.

    4. No forecast is entirely right and some will be more wrong than others. For this period the three main thunder areas were all confirmed – see that Accuweather video – in the approx times and regions forecast (Pacific NW, North Centre and N/E). As a comparison of a forecast one might make by random choosing of past pressure maps I looked at all the past maps for 1-15th July 2011 and none resembled what happened as closely as our forecast. What does that tell us?

    Piers, I fear that predicting “thunder” is meaningless. I’ve heard thunder when I couldn’t even see the clouds. Thunder is so common that it is not even reported in the severe storm reports.

    5. Thank you Tom Rude, Brian D and Ian W and others for pointing out verifications of some specific events / regions around the US. One has to ask what is the chance of getting these three main thunder areas verified by luck , (along with any misses)?

    Tom Rude? I find no trace of a “Tom Rude”. Brian D reports one lonely tornado the day before your forecast. Ian W. said nothing about the US, just about the UK.

    Piers, I would hold up that last paragraph as a good example of how you claim success based on … well … nothing. That does not verify the “three main thunder areas” in any way, particularly since you also forecast “giant hail” and tornados.

    6. What we get from W.E. is constantly flying to detail (hail size, precise locations, timings..) as a way of making us wrong – and we have some comments on that on our web:
    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=472&c=5
    He shows a crass misunderstanding of our long range forecasts and their purpose (and note we define that not W.E.) and what others* say about them and worse still an unwillingness to learn. [*success measures come from users and auditors not us].
    If W.E. really wants a short range forecast he only need look out of the window and not complain that I cannot can tell him two weeks ahead what detail he will see.
    We have gone OTT with hail sizes in some areas (and UTT in Seattle but we have a reason) but SO WHAT? The point is
    (i) We got the thunder regions and there was some hail.
    (ii) There was even some large/giant (??) hail I don’t know how giant, certainly ginormous by English standards, in Seattle, described as the biggest ever in the region! – see the pic on

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No33.pdf

    And note us NOT saying ‘there would be hail’ there is NOT us saying ‘there would be none’. These are NOT forecasts of all possibilities, read the title: “USA Key Developments & Extremes forecast July 2012″. Detail at this stage is lower priority and skill, which is why W.E chooses to “assess” it.

    No, you didn’t get the thunder regions. The numbers of storms in the midwest and the Great Lakes/Northeast was approximately zero. Your claim that you nailed it is a joke.

    No, you didn’t get the hail right. You claimed success for hail in Oregon, but you didn’t forecast hail in Oregon.

    You claim that you NOT saying there would be hail is not the same as there saying there would NOT be hail, because you are dealing with “extremes” … that makes no sense. If you forecast hail in Illinois and it happens in Oregon, you don’t get to claim that as a success. It particularly makes no sense if you are forecasting “thunder”, that is not extreme in many parts of the US in July, it is totally common and expected.

    I am pleased by our NW success here because while we have had tremendous success with eg NE blizzards in eg 2010-2011 these NW thunderstorms are more unusual than many other parts of USA and we have had difficulties in the past with getting to grips with the West / NW. So, subscribers who have asked for more there will be pleased; not that I expect W.E cares a damn about advancing forecasts. [What is WUWT for I wonder?].

    Success? Piers, you are claiming success because it rained in Seattle on July 15th. Do you know how common that is? Take a look at the historical record. On average, it rains one day in four in Seattle on that date.

    For those who are interested: We did decidedly under-forecast this event in the PNW, true, that is because I decided to tread gingerly there in view of the hurdles we have had to overcome to get here. Nevertheless so far, so good, or as they say in Tesco ‘Every Little helps’

    (iii) We have been expecting more large hail around the world as opposed to small hail in line with our climate forecast of moving towards a new Little Ice Age and this greater prevalence of large/ giant/ enormous / big / whatever hail around the world has been well confirmed.

    Piers, this kind of claim does your cause no good at all. Why? Because while it certainly may be true, without any kind of citation or backup, it’s just an anecdote. I know of no records to confirm your claim, although there may be some. But if there are, it’s your job to cite them in support of what you say.

    7. W.E. a) Do you deny that this forecast period has skill – ie it is better than a random forecast?

    Not my job. It is your job, since you claim it is better than a random forecast, to show that it is.

    b) Do you deny that all objective assessments of our forecasts (taking a long enough period) in UK, Europe. USA, specific world events… show we have significant skill?

    I know of only one “objective assessment” of your forecasts, which was of this forecast, although there may be more. In that forecast, you predicted 7 to 9 typhoons in the central/western Pacific in July 2008. In fact, your own citation said there were only two typhoons in that area during that time. You claimed 6 or 7 of those typhoon predictions as a resounding success, and whoever was doing the “objective assessment” was asleep at the switch and backed you up on the claim and said yes, it was a success.

    In the same forecast you also said there was a 50% chance of typhoons around 28-30 July in the same region, viz:

    Around 28-30 July
    (action but NOT named storms)
    Pacific active Tropical depressions likely but only 50% risk of developing into Typhoons forming (if they do) in west central North Pacific and headed NW/N towards Japan but probably veering away to NE

    You claimed success because there were no typhoons … but with a 50% forecast you could have claimed success if there was a typhoon.

    c) Are you going to examine the whole season Tropical storm forecast 2011 which I sent Anthony last year, and users described as a game changer.

    I’d be happy to, but I’ve never seen it.

    8. Now to the bigger picture starting from ‘The top’ Please look at:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No33.pdf

    Our SLAT (Solar Lunar Action Technique) – yes “Nostradamus!” to you too but citizens are you going to get serious on this blog or join the dustbin of history? For What it’s worth my opinion of the WUWT set-up here has dropped, on a scale of ten, from 9 to 1 in the last few weeks). Yes, Our SLAT is about predicting events on the sun, their intermediate Solar wind / ionospheric / geomagnetic effects and then jet stream and frontal activity and pressure pattern changes and finally weather in regions. Look at the pdf:
    1. Our prediction of Earth-facing (significant) solar activity around (just preceding) the R4 period 13-14th or so – CONFIRMED (no apology for the caps) by X flare / AR 1520.

    Let’s start with the fact that you are claiming success for a date (July 12th) for which the solar factor was “NSF”, which I assume means “No Significant Factor”. This is totally typical of you, you are more than willing to claim success for something you didn’t predict.

    How many periods of enhanced solar activity have you predicted this year, and how many of them were accompanied by giant solar flares? So far, just in July we’ve seen:

    R1: July 1
    R5: July 3-4
    R3: July 6-7
    R4: July 13-14.5

    Coming up, we have:
    R5: July 17-19
    R3: July 20-21
    R4: July 27-28
    R5: July 30-31

    So if solar storms are more likely when the solar factor is above say 3, that’s 15 days out of the month. But of course, you claim success even if there is no solar factor if it’s within a day of your forecast … so that ups the count to 24 days out of the month on which you would claim success if there’s a solar flare … and you think I should be impressed by that???

    2. Proton flux hit (eg) and various other parameters – massive aurorae and upping of geomagnetic activity (also about the coming R5 17-19th – WATCH IT!) – CONFIRMED

    Confirmed? What was confirmed? I don’t understand this forecast.

    3. Three thunder regions in USA – CONFIRMED

    Nonsense. There was less thunderstorm, rain, and hail in the Great Lakes Northeast and north central US than there was earlier in the month, almost no action at all.

    4. APPROX pressure pattern USA – CONFIRMED

    How does one CONFIRM an “approximate” pattern? Where is the data you used to CONFIRM it?

    5. Various detail USA – NOT CONFIRMED (and some parts confusing, USA is large).

    Same problem.

    6. Widespread thunder FLOODS UK – CONFIRMED (with ‘brilliant’ timing) and I note in comments on WeatherAction a doubter has become a ‘backer’.

    The UK? We’re talking about your predictions for the US, we don’t even have access to your predictions for the UK.

    7. Approx pressure in Britain & Ireland – WELL CONFIRMED

    I don’t have your UK forecasts, how would I know?

    8. Met Office having to upgrade a yellow to an amber warning (a change we predicted) – CONFIRMED (although this is not Long Range forecasting it is ‘end-gaming’ like our correcting the hurricane tracks of standard models one day ahead – see our 2011 ATS work, enquiries to piers@weatheraction.com)
    9. Jet Stream south of Britain – CONFIRMED
    10. Thunderstorms etc N/W Europe – CONFIRMED
    11. Tornado events N/W Europe – CONFIRMED although the very significant tornado wave in Poland was east of what we expected, however there may have also been events in Germany.
    12. General circulation Europe – ESSENTIALLY CONFIRMED but the penetration of thunderstorms got into Russia ending (much of) their heat (for now) early.
    13. Up ticks of frontal activity compared to standard Met in New Zealand – these are consistently monitored but we issue no specific forecasts of circulation. – CONFIRMED
    14. Very extreme events compared with normal (not specific forecasts) in various parts of world – Enormous floods in West Russia and South Japan for example and unusually cold blasts in South Africa. – CONFIRMED

    Piers, you can make all of the claims you want about things that we have never seen. You may be right, but there’s no way for me to tell, so why are you wasting electrons on the subject?

    General point. The solar and frontal action in this R4 was probably a bit above what we expected, in some respects – towards an R5.

    Piers Corbyn, WeatherAction

    Let me explain to you the general problem I have with your forecasts, Piers.

    1. Lack of specificity as to the event. If you forecast “thunder” in big red letters, I expect to see lots of thunderstorms. For you, if one man in the area reports hearing thunder, you claim success. If you claim “tornado swarms” and there is one tornado in the area, you claim success. If you forecast “giant hail”, even you admit that you don’t know what “giant hail” is, but any hail seems to bring forth a claim of “CONFIRMED”.

    2. Lack of specificity as to the timing. You break things into 3-4 day periods, and then you claim success if something happens outside of those periods. You say that’s OK because you are forecasting extreme events, viz:

    And note us NOT saying ‘there would be hail’ there is NOT us saying ‘there would be none’. These are NOT forecasts of all possibilities, read the title: “USA Key Developments & Extremes forecast July 2012″.

    With three day periods, if you include a day on either side, basically there’s nothing left. If you claim extreme events as a success in periods where you have note forecast extreme events, sure, you can get a CONFIRMED for the extreme events period … but you seem to forget that that very CONFIRMED means that your lack of a forecast for the extreme event when it did happen is a failure …

    3. Lack of specificity as to the location. You predicted hail in the north central and Great Lakes/northeast regions. I can’t find a single hailstorm in the indicated regions, although there may be one … meanwhile, you are claiming success for a hailstorm in Oregon.

    Look, Piers, let me be crystal clear about my opinion of your forecasting ability—I DON’T KNOW. You may very well be onto something, you may well be ahead of the pack. The problem for me is that your vague forecasts and your fanciful claims of CONFIRMED when it is not confirmed in the slightest and the general lack of citations for your claims and the lack of historical records of your forecasts makes it impossible to say if you are right or not.

    For example, do your R1 to R6 or however high it goes solar activity forecasts correspond to solar flares? I haven’t a clue, and you haven’t given us enough information to find out. Since we have good records on solar flares, and you must have good records of your back forecasts, it seems like that would be a no-brainer for you to check out. But I can’t check it out, I don’t have access to your past forecasts … and in that situation, the fact that you haven’t produced a chart to say “Look at how well the solar activity lines up with my forecasts” means that we have absolutely no way to judge the validity of your method.

    And that, in turn, makes your claim of success when a giant flare happens in a time when you’ve predicted no significant solar activity, but by gosh it’s close to an R4 period, less than impressive.

    In a nutshell, when even you don’t know what you mean by “giant hail”, saying “There was even some large/giant (??) hail I don’t know how giant, certainly ginormous by English standards, in Seattle”, how on earth are we supposed to assess the success of a forecast of “giant hail”? In the US, the weather service doesn’t even call hail “large” until it is over 2″, and they don’t have a category called “giant hail”, so how can we determine if there was “giant hail” or not?

    (Although to be fair, in this case it was easy, the two highlighted areas around the Great Lakes where you forecast “thunder, hail, and tornados” and “thunder, giant hail, and tornados” in red, and for which you are claiming CONFIRMED, had no hail at all, no tornados at all, and little thunder … confirmed? NOT.)

    w.

  85. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 16, 2012 at 11:16 am
    “(Although to be fair, in this case it was easy, the two highlighted areas around the Great Lakes where you forecast “thunder, hail, and tornados” and “thunder, giant hail, and tornados” in red, and for which you are claiming CONFIRMED, had no hail at all, no tornados at all, and little thunder … confirmed? NOT.)”

    Are you saying that these hail events were outside the highlighted area?

  86. Looks like 2 tornadoes to me on the 15th, not much hail anywhere but the wind damage I was expecting from the enhanced wind production from the recent flare and CME activity, is in the right area, hail is hard to forecast for, the NWS only does so when the radar suggests they should include it in the warnings.

    This whole packet of narrative forecasting is too hard to evaluate, so I just present the composite raw data from four cycles for others to draw conclusions about, it is a lot easier to evaluate detailed maps than narrative forecasts. But not all of the events that have happened in the past FOUR cycles will all happen this ONE cycle, it is a good learning tool and Piers is making the best of his to learn as he goes, it is called trial and error in the early stages for good reasons.

    Conditions were not as ripe for a repeat of the last flare CME / Derecho out break at the first of the month, the recharge times for repeat occurrences is part of the learning curve we are seeing, progress is slow in complicated undertakings.

  87. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    “(Although to be fair, in this case it was easy, the two highlighted areas around the Great Lakes where you forecast “thunder, hail, and tornados” and “thunder, giant hail, and tornados” in red, and for which you are claiming CONFIRMED, had no hail at all, no tornados at all, and little thunder … confirmed? NOT.)”

    Are you saying that these hail events were outside the highlighted area?

    http://i863.photobucket.com/albums/ab195/weschenbach/spcstormreport120713.jpg

    My bad, when I looked before I thought those few hail reports were just outside one of the areas, but some of them are just inside one of the areas. Are you saying that his forecast of “giant hail” was anywhere near correct?

    w.

  88. A review of Piers’ July 13 & 14 Forecast does not constitute a thorough analysis of his Solar Lunar Action Technique. It is a pin-hole examination.

    The fact that Piers is no longer allowed to enter into lotterys predicting the weather, because he runs circles around everyone else, speaks volumes about his accuracy.

    A two day analysis of Piers’ work, is the kind of science we have grown to expect from the agw crowd. Not Willis.

  89. Piers posted a link to a photo of a hailstone in Seattle, Washington, described as the “Biggest Hail in over 30 Years”. It looks to be about twice the size of a thumbnail, or about one inch or a bit more. Note that it is posed in a childs hand to make it look bigger. Piers described that as “ginormous” by English standards … I guess they must have wimpy hailstorms in England.

    I took a look at the 2011 severe hail reports. There are about 17,000 reports of severe hail in the US in 2011, or about 45 per day … so you can see that predicting severe hail is a mug’s game.

    In any case, more than half (53%) of the severe hail reports were in the range from one inch to an inch and a quarter … and one report from Washington had hail an inch and three-quarters in diameter. The biggest hail reported was six inches in diameter, and there were 164 reports of hail over three inches in diameter.

    So is 1″ hail “ginormous? Only in the UK, it’s about average for severe hail in the US.

    w.

  90. Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    July 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    A review of Piers’ July 13 & 14 Forecast does not constitute a thorough analysis of his Solar Lunar Action Technique. It is a pin-hole examination.

    I have been examining his claims for July as the month has been proceeding. I looked at the earlier parts of his July forecast in another post. I have nothing else that I can examine, that’s the only forecast that Piers has made public. If you don’t like the fact that I can only examine what Piers has made public, then bust Piers for not making his past forecasts generally available. Oh, wait, I did look at the one “audited” forecast of his. It was as bad as this one, see my comments above and on the previous thread.

    The fact that Piers is no longer allowed to enter into lotterys predicting the weather, because he runs circles around everyone else, speaks volumes about his accuracy.

    Well, that’s what Piers claims, at least. Given his propensity for doing things like claiming success in predicting 6 typhoons when only two occurred, I do not place much weight on his claims these days.

    A two day analysis of Piers’ work, is the kind of science we have grown to expect from the agw crowd. Not Willis.

    If you think I’ve only looked at two days, you’re simply not following the story. Get your facts straight before uncapping your electronic pen. I’d love to look at more of his work but guess what—HE KEEPS HIS PREVIOUS FORECASTS SECRET, so not only I, but nobody can do the kind of analysis you are asking for.

    Finally, in this post I am not examining whether his forecasts are correct. I am examining whether he claims success when his forecast is a failure … and for that, it turns out that two days is a reasonable sample. Plus, of course, his claim that the solar flare during a time when he forecast “no solar factor” shows that high solar factors lead to flares … all that might even possibly prove is that solar flares lead to high solar factors.

    In any case, stay tuned … July’s not over yet.

    w.

  91. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm
    “My bad, when I looked before I thought those few hail reports were just outside one of the areas, but some of them are just inside one of the areas. Are you saying that his forecast of “giant hail” was anywhere near correct?”

    I’m zooming the WA pdf forecast page to 400%, and (ctrl+) zoom on here:

    and I would say there are all within the shaded area, including the large hail event. I have no idea what Piers meant by giant hail.

  92. How Irish farmers forecast the weather: If you can’t see across the valley, it’s raining. If you can see across the valley, it’s about to rain. (From “The Last Resort” by Dan Binchy.)

  93. The fifteenth century prophet Nostradamus is said to have predicted several major world events many years or centuries in advance, such as the rises of Napolean and Hitler. What does one find when one looks at his written works – a HUGE volume of text – around 1000 prophetic-poetic works. Much of this is vague stream-of-consciousness.

    With such a large volume of rambling text, by statistical chance some passages will bear resemblance to future events. Vagueness and imprecision of language help to widen the “net”.

  94. Richard Holle says:
    July 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Looks like 2 tornadoes to me on the 15th, not much hail anywhere but the wind damage I was expecting from the enhanced wind production from the recent flare and CME activity, is in the right area, hail is hard to forecast for, the NWS only does so when the radar suggests they should include it in the warnings.

    This whole packet of narrative forecasting is too hard to evaluate, so I just present the composite raw data from four cycles for others to draw conclusions about, it is a lot easier to evaluate detailed maps than narrative forecasts. But not all of the events that have happened in the past FOUR cycles will all happen this ONE cycle, it is a good learning tool and Piers is making the best of his to learn as he goes, it is called trial and error in the early stages for good reasons.

    Conditions were not as ripe for a repeat of the last flare CME / Derecho out break at the first of the month, the recharge times for repeat occurrences is part of the learning curve we are seeing, progress is slow in complicated undertakings.

    forgot link http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120715_rpts.html

    Thanks, Richard, yes, I was just looking at the first two days. On the 15th there was a waterspout and an F0 (the weakest on the scale) tornado. These are preliminary reports, and often don’t survive closer examination … but let’s assume they are correct. Since on an average day in July there are four tornados in the US, I hardly think a waterspout and an F0 tornado justifies a warning in bright red of “Thunder, tornados, and large hail”.

    Finally, I don’t understand when you say

    This whole packet of narrative forecasting is too hard to evaluate, so I just present the composite raw data from four cycles for others to draw conclusions about, it is a lot easier to evaluate detailed maps than narrative forecasts.

    Where are you presenting it? What raw data? What am I missing?

    Many thanks for your comments,

    w.

    PS—You also say:

    Conditions were not as ripe for a repeat of the last flare CME / Derecho out break at the first of the month …

    The derechos were at the end of last month, on June 29th, not in this month. I can find no record for increased CMEs (coronal mass ejections) or flares prior to the derechos, but I might have missed it … what is the citation to the claimed flares/CMEs upon which you are basing your statement that derechos are related to the sun and its flares/CMEs?

  95. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I’m zooming the WA pdf forecast page to 400%, and (ctrl+) zoom on here:

    and I would say there are all within the shaded area, including the large hail event. I have no idea what Piers meant by giant hail.

    Thanks, Ulrich, your could be right, it’s a close call … but bear in mind that perhaps one of those are above average size hail, perhaps not, and that on an average July day there are 50 reports of severe hail in the US …

    I hardly see how that weather supports a claim of “thunder, tornados, and giant hail”, since there were neither tornados nor giant hail …

    w.

  96. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm
    “but bear in mind that perhaps one of those are above average size hail, perhaps not, and that on an average July day there are 50 reports of severe hail in the US …”

    The report states that the size of the largest hail was estimated from a photo, presumably with a scale reference. I would tend to bear in mind that large hail and tornadoes cluster on certain days, and the key issue here is whether that happens to be regularly on “R” days, e.g. the 339 hail events on the 1st July: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120701_rpts.html
    Even including the two tornadoes on the 15th that Richard Holle pointed out, it looks like the R period of the 13-15th July was weaker than one might expect for an R4. But given fair scrutiny of the weather observations, it’s definitely not a fail for timing of a large hail event (there is not large hail every day), or affected regions as you have been claiming.

  97. I’m wondering if any posts will be done on WUWT showing the times Piers Corbyn has gotten it right?

    This magnifying of things he has gotten wrong, or nearly right, is like “gotcha” journalism. And to read “my bad” when someone rightly points out an inaccuracy in this criticism of Corbyn’s work makes one feel disconcerted as to why this post scrutinizing him was even necessary. This is how Piers Corbyn makes a living. Would his critics like to have their livelihoods examined like this with such magnification of their errors? The MET, apparently, respects his work so much they wanted to stop losing money to him. Would there be any takers on wagers that pit his forecasts against ANY others forecasts?

    One should never expect 100% accuracy in predicting anything in the future—unless it is Jesus doing the predicting. As Yogi Berra said, “Never make predictions, especially about the future”.

  98. “Finally, I don’t understand when you say

    This whole packet of narrative forecasting is too hard to evaluate, so I just present the composite raw data from four cycles for others to draw conclusions about, it is a lot easier to evaluate detailed maps than narrative forecasts.

    Where are you presenting it? What raw data? What am I missing?”

    For the details of the how, why, what and when the data was gathered and processed see the about page; http://www.aerology.com/Home/About

    I have posted to the internet daily forecast maps for a two year period from May 2012 till April 5th, of 2014, compiled from the composite of the raw data from four past analog periods when the sun/lunar declinational effects were about the same as the “forecast day” date of the selected maps to view, the data for the csv files they were made from were tabled back in Sept-December of 2008. So the lead time on all of these maps is in excess of four years, which should satisfy the “long lead forecast” criteria. I do not do narrative interpretations of the presented data for just the reasons you are calling Piers out on.

    Where Piers method is very similar he approaches it from the solar activity and solar wind effects angle, which is very hard to predict longer than a couple of months. I look at it from the lunar declinational tides in the atmosphere which are much more predictable, but the injection of the solar variable effects are left out, so any strong effects show up as a transit passage of sudden impulses not seen in the past patterns, from this I am able to deduce which effects are solar out of the total noise and I learn things the standard method researchers cannot quantify. It is a great learning tool, and when I get enough data processed to add algorithms for the effects of solar impulses they “forecast” results will improve.

  99. July 13-15, forecast for storms in the Dakotas and MN. There were storms during this forecast period, no tornadoes, no giant hail (although one report in Iowa had 2″ hail on the border of your threat zone), but there was hail of smaller size.

    Piers, your forecast for storms was a hit, but you failed on the threat of tornadoes and on the hail size, too. Out east you did much better. You forecast storms with tornadoes and large hail. You hit with the storms and tornadoes, but not with the large hail. The PNW forecast was a hit as it was rainy with some storms.There were some storms in central and eastern WA and OR that made severe status, so you missed that aspect.

    An honest assessment of these regions shows a mix of hits and misses. Good in the NE region and PNW, but poor in the N central. I base my assessment on the forecast details for the 13-15th you gave and the weather that happened and not on any day before or after these days with a rating of excellent (all right), good (mostly right), poor (mostly wrong), or fail (all wrong).

    I would suggest when you forecast for svr wx, you use that wording just like the NWS uses. We know what that encompasses (hail and high winds) You can add the threat of tornadoes with that, too. Like “svr wx with the possibility of tornadoes” or “svr wx with tornadoes likely” depending on how strongly you feel about the tornadoes.

  100. Rhys Jaggar says:
    July 15, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Dr Eschenbach
    If Her Britannic Majesty’s …

    Clearly a corbyn fan boy, blind to objective criticism. Corbyn MAY be a little better than the met (we wont know because he doesn’t release old reports – presumably because they aren’t terribly accurate), but most of his successes aren’t successes, as clearly seen in these posts and seen personally when I did actually spend money and bought some of his reports (never again!). Furthur more, his obsessive self promotion ad nauseam, that is often at others peoples expense by talking them down is simply repugnent and hypocritical.

    CO2sceptic says:
    July 16, 2012 at 12:36 am

    I have recently put together a proposal for a change to the way a dictionary describes the word “Eclipse”

    Why not just use the english language as it is defined, instead of bastardising it. If Corbyn doesn’t mean the meaning of the word ‘eclipse’ then he shouldn’t use it, rather, he should explain exactly what he means.

  101. WOW: Some confusion going on in regard to the word “Eclipse”, as my note implied, “There is more going on then shadows crossing”.

    You have to move forward on this and take a closer look at what Piers is saying, if it was that simple it would have already been done, It hasn’t, and the Solar/Lunar method is all about the location/position of the Moon and Sun and what happens to the climate on Earth as a result of this influence.

    Cheer up:)

  102. In looking at the other regions that I didn’t cover in my previous comment, the forecast was not very good. The regions of the west, central, and southeast US experienced rain and thunder throughout the forecast period. The West has been experiencing its seasonal monsoons, Texas was wet, as well as the Southeast. I’d grade these as poor to fail. Your forecast for the US during the 13th-15th was poor overall. It seems you need a better grasp of the complex nature of US weather. Keep working at it, and better luck next time. Successful forecasts are great, but it’s the failures we learn from the best.

  103. “July 16, 2012 AP: BEND, Ore. — Hours into their lawn-chair balloon flight, two men made a hard landing after they were hit by hail and snow as thunderstorms swept into central Oregon. But their back-yard aircraft floated away.”

    One for Piers!

  104. Piers 80% sure that the opening of the Olympics will have rain!
    See much more in his latest forecast video

    This man has courage, confidence and nice hair!

  105. Lots of claims that Piers would go out of business if he wasn’t any good, but I see no evidence that this is a profit making business.
    Piers also mentions MetO upgrading their warnings from yellow to amber. This isn’t necessarily a reflection of increase in weather severity Piers, the warning system is on a matrix so as the likelihood increases (as you get nearer to the event usually) the warning colour can change without there being any increase in the weather impact.

  106. I notice Piers has added a new video on YouTube but, possibly because of all the “free speech” here, he has taken off all the comments on his previous video’s. Long live censorship hey Piers.

  107. In the video he said that he has raised his confidence in July being the westest EWP in the 247 year record from 60% to 80/90% – The record is around 7 inches of rain (in 1828).
    For this to happen we need the same amount of rain, we have already had,… again :-( :-(

  108. Perhaps if turned the bragging down a notch and spent a little more effort shaping his forecasts into coherent English he mightn’t get branded as such a chalatan.

    I followed his UK forecasts this season. They weren’t particularly helpful, despite hysterical ranting to the contrary.

  109. Willis have you heard the Met Office terms which are probability, uncertainty or plain don’t know? Today they have a Yellow Weather warning in place for Yorkshire and Humber region for rain yet it is sunny, dry with scattered clouds windy and warm here in York so if you want to be picky about exact areas/forecasts etc then try attacking the Met Office in the same way as you have Piers and his forecasts

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/

    http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/cgi-app/reports?ARCHIV=0&LANG=en&JJ=2012&MM=07&TT=18&MENU=210&FILE=w0012&DAY=199

  110. Rhys, KnR, CO2Sceptic, Ulric, Laurel… and many others thank you very much for taking the time to deal with some of the sad, churlish misinformation on this, WUWT, once proud site. I have had to concentrate on forecasting rather than combating misguided distortions so cannot spend the time here.

    ALL. I can easily miss things given the volume of comment so if you need a reply or information please email me piers@weatheraction.com or text +447958713320 . Also our latest Comment/news on weatheraction.com might be useful: http://bit.ly/OlTES7

    Johnny Hoperton says “…..I followed his UK forecasts this season. They weren’t particularly helpful, despite hysterical ranting to the contrary.”
    1. Tell us what ACTUAL forecast you followed (not someone’s incomplete or inaccurate rendering of a headline). You do not appear to be a paying subscriber or associate so I would like to know what you have seen and where you obtained it. Real subscribers have been very praising of the usefulness of our forecasts this summer.
    2. Give an example of “hysterical ranting to the contrary” (I understand that means from me) or withdraw this nasty comment.

    Tim Rude. Yes re typhoons – presumably verification of “Formation or Rapid Development” (FRD) time windows of such (Pacific) storm developments REPORT by monitors. I doubt they would miscount anything so suspect there has been some confusion as to what they have been counting because not all TDs, TSs or rapid developments turn into Hurricanes or Typhoons. THE MONITORS not me have to look and come back to me and if they consequently have to amend that part of that report I am sure they will do say and I will let you know

    Hail Willis!
    You have already been caught “cherry missing” hail events.
    [note I find your dismissal of our indicated approx storm areas - the pink shading on the maps - through childish argument about media terms giant/large/ hail etc, pathetic] such as indicated by Richard Holle (THANKS Richard, All power to evidence!) – who said; July 15, 2012 at 11:58 am “Seems to be valid from looking here http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120713_rpts.html Hail Reports (CSV) (Raw Hail CSV)(?) Time Size Location County State Lat Lon Comments 2121 150 SILVER LAKE MCLEOD MN 4490 9420 OFFICER IN SILVER LAKE REPORTED QUATER TO PING PONG BALL SIZED HAIL. (MPX) 2233 150 3 WNW MENDOTA HENNEPIN MN 4490 9322 (MPX) 2249 100 4 WNW FARIBAULT RICE MN 4433 9335 (MPX) 0022 100 6 NW BANCROFT KOSSUTH IA 4334 9431 TIME ESTIMATED FROM RADAR. (DMX) 0032 175 3 W BANCROFT KOSSUTH IA 4330 9429 GROUND COVERED IN GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL STONES. TIME ESTIMATED FROM RADAR. (DMX) 0032 100 2 SW FROST FARIBAULT MN 4356 9396 (MPX) 0042 100 5 NE BRICELYN FARIBAULT MN 4361 9374 SIGNIFICANT CROP DAMAGE REPORTED FROM LARGE HAIL. (MPX) 0044 100 4 S BANCROFT KOSSUTH IA 4324 9423 (DMX) 0045 100 2 NNE BRICELYN FARIBAULT MN 4359 9379 (MPX) 0100 125 4 S ALDEN.

    NOW MORE HAIL EVENTS – TODAY 18th July re our 16-19th period with R5 17-19th. The pink storm blob – for powerful low pressures / major thunderstorms etc (possibility of giant hail mentioned) Great Lakes, South of Great Lakes, lower mid-west which includes NY.
    See this FANTASTIC PIC of a giant deluge of hail 18th NY http://gaw.kr/PiUELF This is a truly amazing pic and I commend it to readers.
    [OOps, I am probably wasting my time with Willis because I don't know if this hail (the pic is of the storm not hailstones) is "giant" hail or just large or something else even if clearly giant in effect and I am nor privy to the one-sided process whereby hail media terms of forecast possible detail can arbitrarily be used to diss the whole event which millions felt]

    I take this event and a whole lot more very serious events and reports* in the pink indicated region as verification of that pink region warning of a serious storm event (ignoring all detail). (The pink areas are the most important part of each time window in this USA Key Developments & Extremes forecast and therefore the FIRST thing to be tested IRRESPECTIVE of detail.
    *Lists of some more parts and states which suffered in this – users say – superbly timed and geographically placed storm(s) forecasted to this region and date 3 weeks ahead, are on: http://bit.ly/OlTES7

    Piers Corbyn

  111. Willis Eschenbach (July 16, 2012 at 12:36 am) wrote: “I’ve invited him to write a detailed reply regarding his questionable claim [...]“

    I advise Piers to not get sucked in by bait.

    Willis wages tie-you-up-at-long-winded-committee campaigns that do nothing except suck precious time into black holes.

    Near the end of life, will (?) Piers think:
    a. I wish I would have spent more time engaging in useless long-winded exchanges with Willis Eschenbach.
    b. I feel satisfied that I used every possible free moment in my life to stay harmoniously healthy and take my research on solar-terrestrial relations as far as I possibly could.

    Piers: I wish you harmony, enduring health, & absolute efficiency.

  112. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm
    Why do you use flood alerts and warnings as ‘confirmation’ of flooding? They are just that, alerts and warnings or if you like, forecasts. You can’t verify your forecast with another forecast! There has been no significant flooding (and in fact I have yet to find any evidence of any flooding apart from Ulric Lyons local supermarket car park!) Certainly not the ‘major river flooding’ that you were expecting.

  113. Martin Gordon says:
    July 19, 2012 at 3:29 am
    “Piers didn’t forecast floods for Scotland in this period. Just England, Wales and Ireland.”

    The torrential rain warning in the forecast map covers the whole of the British Isles. He did indicate Scotland and Ireland less wet later, e.g. the 19th.

  114. @Martin Gordon

    Piers didn’t forecast floods for Scotland in this period. Just England, Wales and Ireland.

    http://twitpic.com/a4q45r/full

    16-19 July Torrential Rain, major river flooding, damaging hail, high tornado risk, thunder over England, Wales and Ireland. [b]W Scotland & Ireland less wet later.[/b]

    Are you saying that “less wet later” means W Scotland should not be wet at all? What about Ireland? That was included in the first sentence but will be less wet later?

    Or are you saying that Piers forgot to put in Scotland in the first sentence and is NOT less wet?

    It’s not the worlds greatest forecast granted, but it gives an idea of general weather conditions. If I were just 50 – 70 miles north of really bad weather, I wouldn’t be terribly confident that it wouldn’t hit me too, I have to say. Especially if the forecast was made many weeks prior to the event.

  115. @Agnostic.
    The forecast is clear. Extreme events will affect England. Wales and Ireland. Towards the end of the period the best of the weather will be in W Scotland and Ireland.
    Can you honestly say that forecast verified?

  116. @Marting Gordon

    The forecast is clear.

    Really? You reckon? Good on you for being so forgiving.

    Can you honestly say that forecast verified?

    In what way has it not? Or are you saying that the bad weather should be more explicit for Scotland? If so don’t you think that probably suggests the forecast could have been a bit clearer? That would fly in the face your first statement somewhat wouldn’t it?

    And if you do contend that the lack of clarity contributes to the forecast not being verified, don’t you think that is somewhat missing the point? There is not a huge distance between England and Scotland, so if the extreme weather hits just a bit further north, at the right time and predicted weeks in advance, it suggests that SLAT can detect the event well in advance at least – but only if it can do so fairly reliably. That Piers can claim the accuracy he does in regards to timing and location is another matter.

  117. @Agnostic
    It’s clear that the extreme weather was forecast for England, Wales and Ireland, otherwise it would have read as the previous forecast did: ” …over most of Britain and Ireland”
    I’m not sure how you’re determining accuracy? Do you just discount the major flooding that took place in the forecast ‘showery’ periods?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/09/flash-floods-hit-hebden-bridge?newsfeed=true

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-18768291

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-18796374

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-18753212

    I’m not sure how Piers is going to deal with the better weather coming up, maybe we’ll see the launch of SLAT 9?

  118. I’m not sure how you’re determining accuracy?

    Well that’s the big question isn’t it? What we are talking about are forecasts of weather well in advance of it occurring. Regardless of whether you think Piers can justify claiming that the detail of his forecasts have been “confirmed”, do you see weather, especially low probability extreme events occurring roughly around the time in roughly the right area? Especially when no one else can. What are the odds that you could pick the right weather that far in advance, and how far out would you have to be before it looks too much like guessing? I ask this sincerely not rhetorically.

    Do you just discount the major flooding that took place in the forecast ‘showery’ periods?

    But there was flooding forecast in the flooding period according to the links you provided. You have me confused….I don’t have to discount anything….unless you want to hold Piers and therefore SLAT to a really high standard of accuracy.

    My point is that you critics need to distinguish between what Piers claims, and whether the technique he is using has any skill at all. Picking out the right event, or an event very close to the right event, so close to the time forecast, and so close to the area forecast, so far in advance is pretty interesting, even if it is pretty out in terms of standard meteorology. It suggests that there is something to the technique, that he is “on to something”.
    Getting worked up about what Piers does and does not say is completely missing the point. I made the rather poor analogy; it’s like the mechanic who has built a really fast car, but can’t drive it very well. Don’t ignore the car just because the driver is dodgy!

  119. When using analog forecast methods, the greater the density of the recorded history of active stations, the better the location of the resulting forecast, the more detailed the input data the more detailed the output can be. If the only input you have is synoptic scale records with only a couple spots of detailed observations, you cannot exceed these limits with your forecast.

    Just as standard forecasting techniques improved with the advent of radar and satellite observations, when Piers can get access to all of the raw station data as well as the past radar images, then as the data base he can access increases then his forecast accuracy will improve as well.

    When he is limited in the input from past weather cycles, it limits what he can do with it, you can’t paint a whole house with a pint of paint. I think he does rather well with the limited resources he can access. I think if he had the resources of the met office he could do much better than they manage, better methods produce better results, and that is the bottom line.

  120. Agnostic says:
    July 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    “But there was flooding forecast in the flooding period according to the links you provided.”

    Was there??

    The first 2 links were to severe flooding in West Yorkshire on 9 July, the 3rd link severe flooding in the SW on 11 July, the 4th on flooding in Oxfordshire on 6 July.
    Here are Piers forecasts for those periods:
    “5-7 July Showery and breezy/windy in Scotland, North Ireland and North England. Showery with broken cloud in central parts, South brighter.”
    “8-12 July Mostly cloudy in England, especially East parts with showers at times”

    http://twitpic.com/a4q45r/full

    I notice also that Piers is still making a rookie error with the Met Office warning system. He concludes that changes from yellow to amber warnings imply that the weather was ‘underforecast’ and uses this to ‘confirm’ his forecast. Yellow warnings will often change to amber close to the event as an increase in ‘likelihood’ will also upgrade the warning even without any change in the expected weather impact.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/guide/weather/warnings

  121. @Martin Gordon

    So are you saying that the “Thunderfloods” predicted between 13-15 turned up in the period 8-12? Or are you saying that since they turned up late they didn’t occur at all? Or since they turned up a day late the prediction is a complete failure?

    The links I was looking at were the ones Ulric posted which showed the deluge occurring in the period 16-19 – which was posted first, and which did occur. I didn’t initially follow the links you posted somewhat later.

    Being charitable, I could say that Piers omitted including Scotland in the first sentence of the 16-19 forecast, since it was implied in the second sentence. Being uncharitable, I could say Scotland was not included and the forecasted event occurred but further north than predicted.

    With respect to the earlier period, it appears the forecasted event occurred, but a day later than the period forecast.

    It may be that Piers cannot claim an unqualified success. Your objection to claims of accuracy maybe well founded. But if these events are being forecast a month in advance, what is the chance that he could get as close as that by sheer guesswork? What is the chance of being able to pick those events at all so far out in advance?

    My view is that forecasts are not terribly well worded or clear, especially for the kind of examination they are being subjected to here. What absolutely is not disproved, to my mind, is that the SLAT method is not sensitive to being able to pick out future weather events – especially ones that are unusual. If it CAN than that is really interesting no matter that it is not as accurate as claimed.

    To work out if the SLAT method is at ALL sensitive, some form of subjective reasoning needs to occur to determine how much tolerance is allowed before its predictive value is essentially no better than guessing. For example, if it can pick a weather extreme like a major storm a month in advance, but it is 2 weeks late, and happens in the mid-atlantic and not in the vicinity of the forecast, then it is useless and not much better than guessing, since major storms happen somewhere most of the time.

    Think of it like this; if SLAT can predict a 1 in 100 years event, one month in advance, and states that it should occur between 5-7 of the month in certain location, but it actually occurs on the 9th 100 miles away, would you say that SLAT had no predictive power at all? In the light of that example, I would argue a reasonable person would say it does. But how far from the prediction do you go before you lose confidence in its predictive value and that the event merely happened by chance? Now apply the same thing and move the variables such as whether it is 1 in 100 year event or a 1 in 50, or a 1 in 10 year event. That might reduce the worth of the prediction. At what point do you reach before you feel that the SLAT method is not telling you much that is either useful or detecting anything at all?

  122. @Russ
    Well that’s 20 minutes of your life you’ll never get back!
    If you had read carefully you would have noticed that I was referring to the period 16-19 July when flooding was forecast by Piers in England/Wales/Ireland. The links you have provided are from earlier in July or are about Scotland, therefore not relevant to this part of the discussion.
    Thanks.

  123. @Agnostic
    I do understand what you’re saying and I do think there is some merit in the SLAT technique. I however have serious worries about the way the forecasts are verified. Many of them that are confirmed should not be. The fault mainly lies with the ambitiousness of the forecasts. A July forecast of a very wet month with torrential rain events leading to significant flooding with especial concern around (insert dates for R4/5 periods) would have been so much more successful and is perhaps where the strength of this technique currently lies.

  124. @Martin Gordon/Russ/Agnostic, Piers’ map for the 16-19 July has a line running from Lands End to John o Groats, the only difference between the wording on the east and west side of the line is that the west side says (additionally) ‘brighter later’.
    I wonder if a better way to test a forecast might be to come up with another forecast that is the antithesis and then compare the two; e.g one might be comparing, in this first half of July period; ‘dry warm and sunny’ against ‘wet cool and cloudy’ ?

  125. Martin Gordon..
    “If you had read carefully you would have noticed that I was referring to the period 16-19 July when flooding was forecast by Piers in England/Wales/Ireland. The links you have provided are from earlier in July or are about Scotland, therefore not relevant to this part of the discussion.”

    Date 17th of July and places listed: Worcestershire (pronounced Wu-stir-sher), Malvern, Tenbury Wells on the border between Wales and England.
    Also mentioned was the river Severns level gauge peaking, again on the England/Wales border.
    Langham is smack-bang in the middle of England, also on the 17th.

    Then this on the 20th.
    “The worst of the winds were across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England also felt the effects of the storm, with winds gusting as much as 80mph.”
    Aberdaron is in Wales on the Lleyn Peninsular.
    Hull is in northern England.

    “Piece them together and you get the sudden, explosive birth of a violent storm – exactly what hit the north of the UK yesterday.”
    Which would make it the 19th July.

    Regards
    Russ

  126. Oh dear Russ!
    The Worcestershire report may be dated 17 July but is summing up how the flood defences have stood up to recent bad weather. The flooding in Worcestershire took place following rainfall on the 13/14 July (Friday/Saturday)
    “A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We saw more than two inches of rain on Friday evening and Saturday morning in the south Shropshire hills. This led to high river levels in the river Teme with peak passing through the lower Teme on Saturday afternoon. ”

    http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/local/9818925.More_floods_in_Worcestershire_but_events_go_ahead/

    As for the Channel 4 report you linked to and quoted as confirmation of 19 July events…
    “Thousands of schools closed by lunchtime”
    “…road bridges closed and reduced or suspended rail and ferry services.”
    “Even though the storm moved away overnight, in its wake around 60,000 homes have been left without power.”
    “North Sea ferry The Pride of Hull, run by P&O, was unable to dock for several hours due to the poor weather conditions after completing its journey from Rotterdam to Hull.”
    “a violent storm – exactly what hit the north of the UK yesterday.”

    Sounds bad doesn’t it!!!!
    But wait, what’s this…
    “Today a much calmer day follows the storm, with sunshine and a few wintry showers.”
    “This weekend looks much quieter. It’ll be cold with sunshine and showers accompanied by frosty nights”

    Wow! Little Ice Age is here!!!
    Or maybe it’s just that the report is about a winter storm in 2011.
    Still you can use it to confirm the July weather forecast if you choose!

  127. From Piers’ long-range forecast issued 3 weeks ago:
    “JULY 20-23 [...] Solar Factors: R3 ~20-21st; R2 ~23rd [...] Turns colder near Vancouver. “ — p.8

    …And today I have the heat turned on in the early afternoon. Never in my life can I remember ever feeling cold enough to turn on the heat on a July 20. Yesterday it was shorts & fans. Not today.

    Piers has some aspects of the timing of circulation changes nailed. I suggest honest, competent judges & those of us struggling to catch up to him focus specifically on the timing of CHANGES in global-scale spatial pattern. The local details of circulatory-change fallout will be hopelessly beyond most of us (lurking-variable-dependent spatiotemporal paradox) UNTIL we at least (bare essential minimum for further progress) get a firm lock on the structure of the timing framework. When I investigate the COLLECTIVE impact of the event series Piers emphasizes, I get CLEAN solar-terrestrial coherence (see graphs I shared above). This is the power of Central Limit Theorem; Piers IS correct in the aggregate. Competing long-range forecasters could QUICKLY catch up to Piers if they abandoned oldschool “classical” spectral analysis methods in favor of variable-extent wavelets. Those with superior resources should be able to blow right past WeatherAction and leave it in their dust.

    So far Piers’ long-range forecast has been correct without exception about circulation changes affecting Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Piers has even been correct about long-range detail ~85% of the time. (A competing weather service here had forecast an endless string of sun with no clouds — something that often happens here in summer. Their long-range forecasts have been wrong about 8 times out of 10 this year; this reveals the method they are using.)

    Piers: I’ve had some discussions with locals about your work. Young ladies are interested in your forecasts to help them plan well-in-advance what to wear. I want to suggest that this could be a profitable market worldwide (although possibly also a very punishing & unforgiving one even if things go wrong 15% of the time) …Something to think about carefully. I know some very talented & affordable marketing people. Let me know (now or down the road) via private e-mail if this is something that might interest you as an avenue towards sales & revenue growth (…which becomes absolutely vital solar-terrestrial research money to circumvent our society’s severely corrupted research funding systems and help creatively compensate at a grass-roots-level for our society’s dependence on patently-hopelessly-incompetent leadership).

    Best Regards.

  128. @ Edward Rising (July 21, 2012 at 6:01 am)

    That’s a good trick — i.e. compare daytime high with average minimum (night).

    27day / 1 year / 22 year

  129. it was 16c when I read the live reading at both 5pm last night and when I made my last post which was 5am local time (I believe). So I was assuming it was the minimum. What was the maximum yesterday?

  130. Ok, the high yesterday was 18c., which was below average (23c) I grant you. Though as the minimum temp was higher than average and the maximum temp wasn’t that low and looking at the last 7 days there isn’t a clear dip in temperatures and the forecast (not Piers’) shows broadly average temperatures, I don’t think we can really say that it’s turning colder near Vancouver can we, honestly? http://www.weather.com/weather/pastweather/CAXX0518

  131. Piers claims that he used to make significant sums of money betting on the weather but now can’t because the bookies have banned him due to his success. (Although there is no evidence to support this claim)

    However, he may not be aware that there is a huge multi million dollar market in weather derivatives traded on the stock exchange. These are used by energy companies, farmers, the tourism industry etc. to hedge against lost revenue due to, for example a hotter or cooler than average month.
    Read more about this market here. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/optioninvestor/05/052505.asp

    If piers is as accurate as he claims, then this market seems to be the ideal way to verify the accuracy of his forecasts and also make him a very very rich man.

    Since (as far as we know) piers is not trading in this market then either 1) he is not confident in the accuracy of his forecasts. Or 2) he’s simply not aware that these markets exist that would give him a way to gamble on the weather again and prove his accuracy.

    If it’s the second then I wish him the best of luck and look forward to seeing his results.

  132. I actually live only a couple of miles from where Piers lives in SE London. No he doesn’t live like a very well heeled person in fact he lives in a delapidated soon to be pulled down local authority owned cheap 1960’s block. It would have been pulled down by now if Piers wasn’t such an active member of the tenants association. So any talk of him cashing it in with large bets and his business is not really obvious by the way he lives

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/sep/22/communities.uknews2

    The other thing about Pier’s is he bucks the trend where usually nutty lefty types usually go gung-ho for AGW, as it’s a way to attack western capitalism and the ‘bosses’. No piers who is very much left with his brother Jeremy still an active Labour Party MP.

  133. Halo, is that really the sun? Summer finally arrives as bright spells spread across Britain… and it’s going to hit 29C this week and next

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2176873/UK-Weather-Britain-set-bask-sunshine-warm-temperatures-summer-finally-arrives.html#ixzz21JDOp9az

    Let see how long Summer lasts and could the Olympics be a washout? as it would seem the weather is going to change by Friday 27th July the day of the opening Ceremony.

    Do you really want to know what the augur Corbyn foresees for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games? Brace yourselves. “We’re very confident that there will be a lot of rain – a deluge, really – during the entire Olympic period, and we are 80 per cent sure that the Opening Ceremony itself will feature heavy rain, including hail and thunder.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/9402260/To-avoid-the-Olympic-weather-forecast-please-look-away-now.html

    A vast dark gap in the sun’s atmosphere–a.k.a. a “coronal hole” –is rotating onto the Earthside of the sun. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the emerging structure on July 21st
    This coronal hole is perfectly positioned near the sun’s equator to create a geoeffective stream–in other words, the solar wind stream will hit Earth directly. ETA: July 27 or 28.

    http://www.spaceweather.com/

    The Olympics could see more media coverage than usual and not just for the event itself over the coming days/weeks as it looks like we are heading back into heavy rain, thunder and hail territory which had already been predicted 42 days ahead by Piers Corbyn and is only now being acknowledged by standard meteorologists 7 days ahead of the start of the Olympics.

    http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/cgi-app/reports?LANG=en&MENU=weekahead&DAY=20120721

  134. I get a kick out of these people trying to tell me what weather I’m experiencing (particularly when they equate climate & weather with only temperature — hint: HYDROLOGY). The weather here is bimodal. Cold downpour vs. hot sunny. We got the former. The “normals” are a joke since they represent a blend of 2 discrete states, each of which regularly gets stuck for weeks (or more). (sarc on) But don’t get me wrong gentlemen: debating whether 1+1=2 with you is a fine use of my time (/sarc off). http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png (from LOD via Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum, Central Limit Theorem, & Thermal Wind Relation) The graph should be a clue (CLT) as to why Piers wins money on weather bets. The level of discussion in this forum is really falling.

  135. I apologise for lowering the level of discussion on this scientific forum by quoting evidence. I should have stuck with your much more reliable temperature reading of “today I had the heat turned on”.

  136. I have to agree with Edward, deciding to put the heat on is not scientific proof of a drop in temperature!

  137. Martin & Edward don’t trust first-hand accounts that it was pouring rain and much colder than usual for this time of year (while SSTs are still low in the background) — understandable given the volume of politically-motivated comments on blogs and the difficulty in quickly assessing honesty.

    Maybe take a look at June weather records for some insight into how the summer has been shaping up in the PNW. Local whining about the cold & rain has been particularly fierce this year. Personally, I unconditionally prefer this refreshing weather pattern to the paralyzing heat that commonly locks in for much of summer.

    The challenge is to do better than Corbyn. Careful application of Central Limit Theorem makes it crystal clear that it’s worth trying:


    I suspect that analyzing the pattern of where & when WeatherAction fails & succeeds will be informative about systematic knowledge gaps — which will be key for competitors looking to take over domination of the long-range forecasting business.

    I expect a strongly nonuniform spatiotemporal pattern. I suggest that some academics secure funding to purchase ALL of WeatherAction’s archived long-range forecasts (along with a list of dates when new techniques were introduced). What I suspect they’ll find: nonrandom focal points or “sweet spots” in time & space where WeatherAction did much better than elsewhere/when.

  138. Paul V’..
    “strongly nonuniform spatiotemporal pattern”.

    In English Mira? How on earth is the casual reader supposed to understand that?
    Or are you simply showing off your PhD’manship??
    A doctor does not tell a woman that her husband has suffered a myocardial infarction.
    He tells her that he has had a heart attackl!
    I’ll bet that if I said that you were a grandiloquent ostentate, you would be fairly safe from the common man thinking ill of you. Minus 5 brownie points!

    Martin Gordon..

    I apologise for the 2011 blip in my research. I should have learned by now, never take a media date as being kosher until double checked. I thought it seemed odd the 80mph winds and all.
    The link ‘at page top’ didn’t appear as a link until I checked today. Just appeared as a title.
    The reason I am a little determined to find floods around the 16th to 20th is that I monitored the rainfall radar every day throughout that period and saw nothing but continued, indeed endless, rain in the form of very heavy prolonged showers and expected floods all over the UK. There were indeed reports of floods before and after but I’m struggling to find any for that specific time-frame.
    Limited time but the search goes on. This information is rarely found on national media but rather local media, which, by it’s very nature, is a highly time consuming effort.

    I may buy Piers forecasts but I still monitor them to gauge accuracy, sheerly for entertainment purposes. I am never disappointed. But then I treat them as a prediction of long range weather potentials, not as a physicists solution to Einsteins theorems! If you catch my drift? { : >)

  139. http://spaceweather.com/ on the 23rd of July.
    Have a peek at this. They mention the 14th to 16th of July as having a “geomagnetic storm”.
    This is what Piers describes as the precursor to weather events such as heavy downpours, floods and lightning. So his prediction for the 16th to the 20th came early by two days. But that is the nature of the beast. It is not an exact science. The variables are like soft, warm latex, and bend this way and that and have to be interpreted. You may not see the proof of it right now, but give it time, you will see eventually. Piers expects the solar hit to happen in the 16th to 19th window but it occurs 2 days early. This is innaccuracy NOT A FAIL.

  140. tc says:
    July 21, 2012 at 11:28 am
    “Piers claims that he used to make significant sums of money betting on the weather but now can’t because the bookies have banned him due to his success. (Although there is no evidence to support this claim)…………..”

    This statement that “…there is no evidence….” is lies and libel and I call on you, tc, to reveal your identity and you and the WUWT owners and organisers to withdraw and apologize for this untrue and gratuitously damaging statement. Please communicate with me directly piers@weatheraction.com as well as making a public withdrawal here. (NOTE I do not see everything here). Facts on this matter further below but first a general comment:-

    It’s a sad day when someone on WUWT (in a comment allowed by the site owners) resorts to falsity (and this is not the first one here) in order to discredit what I am doing. It is equally sad that this happens when the CO2 warmists are making a ‘Custer’s last stand’ with their delusionism – and what are WE doing? (or have I misunderstood the ‘WE’?). I note Anthony after referring in ‘off scale’ terms to his BS meter (pointed at me) said that (or words to that effect) ‘As a fellow sceptic I should be treated fairly’. I would first note that this is not the way Willis treats our work but that apart I DO NOT AGREE that I ‘AS a fellow sceptic or AS ANYTHING should be treated fairly’. My views and choice of fonts have ZERO to do with the ABSOLUTE Necessity for what I say or rather give evidence of, or ANYONE says/evidences to be treated objectively and fairly. If Al Gore turned up here there should be fair discussion. Evidence based science is the only science. Opinion-science is non-science, Anthony (I will avoid quoting your meter); but the way you made that remark and what you have been DOING is problematic.

    On evidence I want to thank among others, but just in the immediates above: Ulric, Agnostic, Richard Holle, Paul Vaughan, Russ. I am especially grateful to Paul V for direct reports on the NW. It has been hard to get the forecasts going there (our first USA efforts left it blank) and on dressing young ladies, well, never advise just say ‘yes’ but we are not a world operation yet – only covering from Vancouver to the Ural mountains.

    The betting successes were reported on a BBC QED documentary in an interview with Graham Sharpe of William Hill special bets dept and confirmed on various occasions by journalistic enquirers to William Hill and most recently confirmed in some conversations by a third party when William Hill backed off taking 4/1 against bets re rain on Olympic ceremony 27 July when they heard I was involved off stage – mentioning I was £14,000 ahead when they closed my account.
    Incidentally I didn’t hear from Willis as to whether he would take the bet that William Hill backed out-of. For information despite the MetO previous hopes for a fine start to the Olympics the standard models now agree with our 6 week ahead forecast that there would be a lot of rain around in England and Wales, including Southern England such as the Olympic stadium, on the day Friday 27th July. See:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No34.pdf

    There are some comment points of interest before the models changed on WeatherAction site see Readers comments and responses (me 20th July) at foot of:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=472&c=5

    Given what is forecast now I am not expecting you to take that bet now, Willis, but I am wondering what make-wrongs you will come up with re our forecast for England & Wales especially the SE and in particular the high risk of… (the Olympic ceremony). Here’s a short list:- “Rain but NO hail”, “thunderfloods but at Stratford (East London) centre not the stadium”, “thunderflashes, NO evidence we heard thunder but couldn’t see the flash” …. Ah and of course the hail wherever it might be it wasn’t measured so we don’t know if it was small, large, giant, enormous or in fact that spongy pseudo hail, so whole forecast ‘not verified’.

    ON England & Wales FLOODS ~16-20th Media have been getting flood weary so dont do so many pics and you have to go local but I don’t have time however I did mention before that Environment Agency (Scotland separate) on 19th July there were 23 river Flood alerts and 10 warnings no longer in force (in last 24 hrs). I printed off the report because they get rubbed out and I’ve no idea if they are archived. Also:-
    http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/local/9818925.More_floods_in_Worcestershire_but_events_go_ahead/ – a flood pic presumably on morning of 16th (given the way modern journo’s work) but might have been before, anyhow hell of a lot of water and it probably stayed around. The sheer amounts of rain also basically necessitated floods and we can get reports from insurance loss adjusters later anyway.

    Piers Corbyn

  141. 1 more try….

    @Piers:

    This statement that “…there is no evidence….” is lies and libel and I call on you,

    Piers, it’s the nature of the blogosphere that people will make unsubstantiated claims, or comments that are inflammatory, rude, or pointless. It is a waste of your time and ours for you to object to them, when a simple link or the context of a further argument is sufficient. The way you have objected comes across as advocating censorship or silencing of critics. Much of the objection to the way climate science has been conducted is the way it has objected to critics. Note that Michael Mann has done much the same thing recently against a publication describing his hockey-stick graphs as ‘fraudulent’. Don’t sound like you want to silence critics, use it as an opportunity to prove them wrong.

    In that same vein, Willis, your chief critic here, comes from a determination to be equally skeptical toward anything – be it supporting CAGW, or skeptical of it. The quality of the data, the reproducibility, and the auditing of claims, all gets checked carefully, and after all why should you be measured by a different stick than he subjects mainstream climatology?

    From the point of view of some here, including me, some of your claims look spurious. I maintain that it appears that you are able to determine weather characteristics pretty accurately, with varying accuracy in terms of space, time, and intensity, a long way in advance, that goes beyond the standard model of meteorology. If that is the case it means you have hit upon an understanding of weather and climate that is really significant and deserving of wider recognition, especially in the context of the CAGW debate.

    But one of the problems standing in the way of that is really robust way to verify your forecasts, and for the forecasts themselves to contain enough detail with regards to uncertainty, so that properly skeptical observers can disentangle what your SLAT has detected within the chaotic and unpredictable nature of a weather event. One possible way might be to say as well what you definitely don’t expect maybe. I don’t know….

    And you have to bear in mind that you are an interested party. You cannot possible be objective, because you have a commercial interest as well as a scientific one (and undoubtedly emotional as well!) in promoting your theory/technique. There is no way you can be unbiased, and therefore substantiating your claims is going to be much much tougher. The way to defeat your critics here is with relentless referral to evidence (3rd party that people can check), lots of links, and patient argument of your point. Expect a strong headwind, but the truth will eventually wear them down.

    Why should you bother?

    Because a lot of people do read this site, it is skeptical and critical, and if you can beat them here you can beat them anywhere.

  142. I’ll try it like this Part 1:

    @Piers:

    This statement that “…there is no evidence….” is lies and libel and I call on you,

    Piers, it’s the nature of the blogosphere that people will make unsubstantiated claims, or comments that are inflammatory, rude, or pointless. It is a waste of your time and ours for you to object to them, when a simple link or the context of a further argument is sufficient. The way you have objected comes across as advocating censorship or silencing of critics. Much of the objection to the way climate science has been conducted is the way it has objected to critics. Note that Michael Mann has done much the same thing recently against a publication describing his hockey-stick graphs as ‘fraudulent’. Don’t sound like you want to silence critics, use it as an opportunity to prove them wrong.

    In that same vein, Willis, your chief critic here, comes from a determination to be equally skeptical toward anything – be it supporting CAGW, or skeptical of it. The quality of the data, the reproducibility, and the auditing of claims, all gets checked carefully, and after all why should you be measured by a different stick than he subjects mainstream climatology?

    From the point of view of some here, including me, some of your claims look spurious. I maintain that it appears that you are able to determine weather characteristics pretty accurately, with varying accuracy in terms of space, time, and intensity, a long way in advance, that goes beyond the standard model of meteorology. If that is the case it means you have hit upon an understanding of weather and climate that is really significant and deserving of wider recognition, especially in the context of the CAGW debate.

  143. Well Piers: Your forceast for this Friday looks to be in with a shout and if it comes off and there is heavy rain affecting parts of the UK is looking very good considering you made over week ago as far as I can tell
    Even if it doesn’t make London, it would have been a remarkable forecast conidering the AGW loons at UKMO predicted a drier than average April, May and June on the 23rd March.

  144. ” despite the MetO previous hopes for a fine start to the Olympics the standard models now agree with our 6 week ahead forecast”
    The MetOffice never predicted a fine start to the Olympics (this is a lie and libel blah blah blah – honestly Piers your blind threats of legal action are so tedious!). Here is their press release from last Wednesday (18th July) about this week’s warm spell: http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/improving-picture-for-start-of-school-holidays/ In it you will notice it say’s “There is understandably a huge amount of interest in what the weather will be doing at the end of next week in time for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. However, it’s still a little early to give a detailed forecast for the Olympic Stadium for the big opening event.” This is hardly a “Double-or bust warmist ‘feel-good’ Olympic forecast” as described on your website.

  145. I agree with Agnostic and Edward Rising..

    I am willing to believe that Piers has hit on a new way of doing long term forecasting which has some value, what I object to are the spurious claims he makes regarding it’s accuracy, the hindcasting and cherry picking of good results, and the constant slagging off and attempts to discredit other forecasters. It smacks of immaturity and a lack of confidence in one’s own ability.

    As I mentioned before, if Piers has made money in the past betting on the weather it stands to reason he should be able to do it again on the weather derivatives market. Markets are available on average monthly or seasonal temperatures (Piers forecast “Coldest May in 100 years” for example) and also Hurricane strength, again either for the entire hurricane season or for specific named storms. (Piers also claims to be able to predict damaging hurricanes)..

    http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/weather/index.html

    The way Piers publicises his successes implies a level of accuracy that he should be able to make money trading these contracts… Or if he can’t be bothered to do it himself there are many investment banks out there that would make him an incredibly rich man to have access to his forecasts..

    As to my comment on the evidence of being banned from the bookies, I simply made that comment since I have not seen any evidence of this which was not attributed simply to Piers’ word that this was the case. If there are independent sources out there then I stand corrected.

  146. Very sensible comments from Agnostic, Edward Rising and tc. I hope Piers is man enough to take these on board.

  147. 1. I don’t accept that we should accept how the blogosphere is. Evidence-based science is a necessity.
    2. The question of derivatives trading etc is far from simple. a) Its not like walking into a post office with the answer to the lottery and writing the numbers down – many things are required. b) you don’t know what we have been doing so MYOB, c) Our ATS whole season forecast season 2011 was for specifics and it was sent to Anthony and not produced in a bawdy manner and was useful to subscribers I understand. IF ANYONE WANTS IT EMAIL ME piers@weatheraction.com I would prefer that than get it from Anthony because then i will know who you are. d) it is not appropriate to say more.
    3. I am still awaiting – I might have missed it nb I have an email – what ‘high’ success rate I am meant to have claimed? A success rate is meaningless without a chance rate (The ‘burn rate’ in insurance terms). If you place very narrow definitions of success then you get a low rate (Willis’ intention) which sounds ‘bad’ to the public. The public generally don’t understand statistics but they do understand gambling hence our use of it. Take a roulette wheel gambling on one number (chance success ~3%); being “WRONG 90% of the time” would be Willi’s report of us say, whereas such a rate is 3 times better than luck, clearly skilled and can make money until you get moved off the game!
    Forecast users have a practical approach and farmers surveyed came up with ~85% success rate meaning that 85% of our forecast periods were basically helpful rather than not (the rate on the same criteria must now be higher, or kept the same by a more detail/hurdles). Our confidence levels on each time window are that sort of concept. We quote the success rates found by users and try to ascertain what they mean and what else they need to know. What we do say – because that has been independently demonstrated in an objective way – is we have statistically significant skill which translates into ability to make money (real or imaginary) on weather bets at fair odds as an example. Getting someone to bet against is another matter. Some points on this were in pdf of notes on winter 2010-11 notional bets:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews11No6.pdf

    The role and attitude of Philip Eden (mentioned in there) and Willis have some similarities.

    Piers Corbyn

  148. What I also find interesting is Piers’ clear desire to be taken seriously by the establishment and secure some funding…

    In the olympics newsletter he mentions, “Will BBC & Govt give real science a chance?” and then goes into a rant about them not listening to his forecasts.

    I would say that the BBC and the Government do listen to “Real Science” and in fact would probably listen to Piers if he applied “Real Science” and proved his results scientifically and not through the ambiguous methods that have been discussed at length in this thread. The government is not going to give him any funding without having some scientific evidence to back up his work first.

    If Piers’ results are accurate then it shouldn’t be a problem to prove them as such scientifically. Once that happens people will actually start to pay attention to him rather than dismiss him as a crank, and he will get the funding and respect he desires.

  149. If Piers’ results are accurate then it shouldn’t be a problem to prove them as such scientifically. Once that happens people will actually start to pay attention to him rather than dismiss him as a crank, and he will get the funding and respect he desires.

    The problem is what “accurate” means. There is clearly some sort of accuracy – I mean to say, since I have been keeping an eye on his forecasts they have anecdotally been hand-wavily “about” 85ish% right. It’s pretty impressive at times.

    But as I tried to stress to Willis, from the point of view of long-range forecasting, what you deem to be accurate has to be a complex interaction of spatio-temporal weather characterization from before initial conditions suggest a likely outcome and against the probability of the event being predicted by chance. It’s pretty subjective. Right and wrong doesn’t cut it. it’s going to be mostly right or mostly wrong some or most of the time.

    Piers’ explanation of why “betting” makes more sense in terms of how to approach it. In this way, rather than say that any one event is right or wrong, you can take a view over time of whether the broad characteristics are right. It still means there has to be some sort of agreed parameters. If there were some way to agree to what they are and publish them, then you could probably have a fighting chance at assessing it’s success. I guess, critics should put their money where their mouths are: bet against Piers and see how well you do.

  150. I have been working with the local farmers in my areas for over ten years, the ones who use my long term forecasts to plan planting times, and year to year crop rotation strategies, (dry land to be planted in corn, soy beans, or sorghum [Milo], or even just wheat, choices, depending on dry periods in the coming years) Have stopped having near as many losses, by planting lower water requiring crops instead, and are running in the black out of debt, instead of close to bankruptcy like they were before.
    Later planted Milo has a better chance of producing a profit (although smaller than corn) if the corn crop would not make it through the past six weeks, decisions made based on their known experience with their own farms, has saved many a local farmer.
    I have a friend who farms and does day trades in the commodities markets, he started out with a $20,000 buy in early May, has since taken out $120,000 from the profits to pay off short term farming based debt, and still has $600,000 in the portfolio, he calls it ‘playing with house money’ at this point.

    I would rather see the front end producers getting the benefits, rather than the derivatives stock companies further sucking down the incomes of individuals when their current bubble pops.

  151. Published in Telegraph on 23rd July 2012
    “But the Met Office predicted that Friday’s opening ceremony might be hit with heavy showers after several days of dry conditions.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9421110/London-2012-Olympics-UK-to-swelter-in-hotter-weather-than-Hawaii.html

    Published in the Telegraph on 24th July 2012
    “The first detailed weather forecast for Friday evening suggests it could remain dry in the Olympic Park in east London, when the filmmaker will present his £27million spectacular to the world.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9422266/London-2012-Olympics-now-rain-may-need-to-be-faked-for-opening-ceremony.html

    What a difference a day can make Willis try and pull this one to pieces as you did with Piers Corbyn’s forecast but you won’t because you just like knocking the little guy while leaving the bigger fish alone!

  152. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    July 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm
    “I am especially grateful to Paul V for direct reports on the NW.”

    You nailed the whole 20th-23rd window.

    It was cold. The cold rains came – at times heavy – and it was more like late fall than summer. There was a brief bit of sun Saturday evening but it was still cold and there were still dense clouds out at sea & over the mountains.

    Your forecast timing for early July was impeccable.

    The only place you were off was in the magnitude of one mid-month regime shift, but what impressed me was that you nailed the timing of all the regime shifts. This is extremely useful.

    A handle on the timing framework is the very highest priority and you very clearly demonstrated that you have that. Meanwhile Environment Canada’s 4-day forecast keeps changing every time I look (and you’ve done better with a forecast you made in June).

    I would like to get very serious about helping you with the forecasting here. I also need to increase my computing power by orders of magnitude at this juncture because I’m developing exploratory methods that will go way beyond my current resources. If & when the political tide turns I will apply for funding. Until then my time & resources remain severely constrained and I remain restricted to contributing well below my potential. I’ll continue volunteering what I can, when I can, with what I have.

  153. @Malcolm
    Nobody has criticised anyone’s forecast. It’s the verification of forecasts that’s being questioned – and has been shown, with good reason.

  154. i must say that piers does stick his neck out by giving specific detail with his long range forecasts and that allows for a very close measurement of forecast accuracy. if, however, you review his forecasts with a wider “overview” he does quite well. i don’t know how to quantify it, but take a look at his usa july 24-28th forecast page and then go to the current usa “current weather” map from the weather channel site, specifically looking at the high and low pressure systems…..remarkably close! and, by the way, some of the details are right on for the northeast as well! i believe he also hit it the same way somewhere about the 18th or 19th.

  155. Annoyingly, vukcevic posted the following in a brand new post on polar bears, even though the referenced forecast had absolutely nothing to do to with polar bears. If I were a moderator, I’d probably reject just about all OT comments made on posts less than a day old, and when there are perfectly good posts where such comments would be completely on topic I might reject all of them.

    Excuse, time to get more coffee. I might be back once I get really cranked up. :-)

    vukcevic says:
    July 27, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Piers Corbyn got it right
    Piers rain warning from 42 days ahead for the Olympics opening.
    After one week of glorious sunshine and high temperature there was sporadic rain in London this morning.
    Congratulations to Dr. Corbyn at Weatheraction.com

  156. When I saw that WUWT was going to put Piers to the test for a month, I cringed for the very reason that we are seeing. For one thing you really have to read the reports. They come with a certainty figure. The meaning is that conditions will likely be right for the weather forecasted to happen. In the instance cited by Willis, apparently the weather people agreed on that day and that was the forecast. So it didn’t hail or rain. Piers cannot determine whether it will actually rain but he can predict whether it could likely happen. He commented in a post here that he “shines a lamp on the weather, not a laser”.

    I have talked to Piers on several occasions about his claims being too enthusiastic on the positive side. He is aware of that. Part of the issue is the AGW crowd does not want him to be correct. He is somewhat defensive about that. He doesn’t want to be left too exposed. I understand his dilema but he should more fully explain how and by what degree he was correct as he occasionally does.

    Piers does have skill in forecasting using his technique. The super snow storm that hit the midwest in March of 2008, he predicted a few weeks in advance at the Heartland Conference in NYC. He said it would be record breaking snowfall. He also predicted the path of the storm through the northeast including a line of sleet and freezing rain along the CT MA border. It all happened in the period he claimed and the location and the extent. The snow storms in the winter of 2009/2010 in the northeast were very un-normal but he predicted every one of them to the day and said they would be far worse than std meteorology would predict 1 to 2 days in advance. I had 4 feet of snow after the month of January was over which I hadn’t seen for at least 50 years. He predicted one at the end of January that went south of us. Right storm, wrong direction by a 100 miles.

    I recall another prediction where he claimed a hurricane would form. Turned out to be a short lived tropical storm but the conditions were there to form a hurricane. I wrote Piers about it. A shearing wind came up and tore the top off of it. It was a chance thing beyond his ability to predict.

    So pick on him all you want, he does have the skill. It is couched by a certainty, the conditions that could cause a certain event, and some events he does not mention because he does not have quite enough evidence to make a claim so things can happen and he makes no mention. In the end, Piers is just being Piers and that’s not all bad. He beats the crap out of who or whatever is in second place.

  157. Another great example today of Piers version of verification. After another apocalyptic forecast of deluges, thunderflashes and hail disrupting the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games he is (predictably) declaring a triumph after a brief shower fell before the start of the ceremony.
    The mendacity is compounded by declaring that the Met Office had “forecast NO rain 12 hours ahead”
    The Met Office forecast issued 12 hours ahead ( http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/opening-ceremony-forecast ) stated:
    “Although there will be showers through the day, these are likely to clear away through the evening. This will leave a mainly fine end to the day with just a low risk of a shower passing directly over the Stadium during the ceremony.”
    I feel Piers has lost any credibility that he may have had. Very disappointing.

  158. Martin Gordon

    No that’s not necessarily so. MO hedged thier bets as the week progressed even up until yestreday aftrernoon they decided the potential showers which they’d hummed and ahed about the previous week, were over

  159. Richard Holle says:
    July 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I have been working with the local farmers in my areas for over ten years, the ones who use my long term forecasts to plan planting times,….
    ___________________________
    Yes that is where you and Piers Corbyn’s forecasts really pay off. Farmers do not really care if the rain was on Tuesday instead of Friday, they only care that there IS RAIN and that there are no early fall frosts or late spring freezes to wipe out fruit buds or the ripening harvest.

    On a different note stores want to know if there will be a big demand for raincoats or ski jackets are going to be the hot item. Towns want to know if they need to lay-in a large supply of sand and salt.

    In all these cases pinpoint accuracy is not needed but what we do NOT NEED is the Met office saying children will not know what snow is before a very snowy winter or predicting droughts as the UK gets drown in “a bit of damp”

  160. Well, we’ve seen the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics, and the Brits have done themselves proud … except for Piers Corbyn. He famously claimed that there would be “disruptive downpour etc.” for the Ceremony. Then he said a friend had tried to place a bet for him, but had been turned down when they figured out that Piers was behind the bet. So Piers asked if anyone wanted to bet him on the question, viz:

    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 said sure, I’d be glad to bet with him, he just needed to spell out how much rain, where, and when. I didn’t want him claiming that rain the next day was “close enough”, or that a quick shower was a “disruptive deluge”. I wanted to know how much rain he was predicting, where it would be measured, and what the time period was for the measurement.

    I got no answer. So I repeated the offer.

    I still got no answer. So I repeated it again.

    I still got no answer. But when I repeated it again, Piers showed up all angry, like I’d been talking behind his back or something. He was all very definite about how I needed to apologize for “slur and innuendo” … but what he still neglected to do was provide the information about his prediction, as to what amount of rain, where it would fall, and when it would fall.

    I pointed this out, and reiterated my willingness to bet …

    I’ve gotten no answer since then, no further information.

    Now, the event has come and gone. After weeks of rain, it was a beautiful day. To be sure, there was a short shower at around 8 PM, hardly a surprise in London in August, but hardly a “disruptive deluge” either, folks took it in stride and it was over quickly.

    So Piers, your forecast was wrong, and I guess you were a wise man to avoid betting me on the question.

    I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First, of course, is that I was right, there was no “disruptive deluge etc.”, that’s hard to pass by without comment.

    Second, it shows the importance of accurate bounds on any forecast. I was not willing to bet on “disruptive downpours etc.” because I knew that any rain anywhere near the time and place of the Opening Ceremony would be claimed as a success … we’ve seen both Piers and his followers repeatedly claim that “close is good enough”. No, close is not good enough for a bet, either the forecast is right or it is wrong.

    Third, I bring it up to show that when push came to shove, Piers was unwilling to bet on his very own forecast, which hardly inspires confidence.

    There you have it folks, final score, Willis 1, Piers 0 …

    w.

    PS—Here’s a different statement about the forecast by Piers, emphasis mine:

    “We’re very confident that there will be a lot of rain – a deluge, really – during the entire Olympic period, and we are 80 per cent sure that the Opening Ceremony itself will feature heavy rain, including hail and thunder.”

    80% sure? He wanted me to give him odds on the bet, and yet he was “80 per cent sure”? Me, I’m 80% sure you could get a better forecast for the Opening Ceremony by reading the tea leaves … and in the event, a light shower, no hail or thunder reported, in other words a complete and utter failure of Piers’ forecast.

  161. Willis – this last comment from you is pretty ordinary. This doesn’t sound like a someone genuinely trying to find out whether Piers long range forecasting has any merit, it sounds like petty point scoring.

    I live in London, and while I think you would have won the bet had you taken it…(and this I don’t understand, piers offered it way back, it looks like it was you who had not taken it up) I can assure you it would not have been by much. After an amazing and very hot and dry week, the very day of the opening ceremony was suddenly much colder and overcast, and it did rain….though not very much. No deluges, no thunder and no hail….you win the bet….but the change in the weather did occur.

    You could dismiss this change in the weather as “tea-leaf” reading, or you can wonder at why the weather changed on time. 80% chance of disruptive rain and thunder….that isn’t the same as complete certainty is it? Do you think it means there is 4 chances in 5 of the exact weather conditions being matched, or do you perhaps think that 80% of the time, space and the characteristics should be matched? If its the latter then Piers gets a near miss, not a zero score!

    If you want to engage in schoolyard nya nya nya-ing, then fine, carry on. Just say that you are absolutely not interested in finding out whether the SLAT system has any skill, and by extension a physical and statistically testable mechanism tying the earths climate to the sun and the moon. I think skeptical scrutiny would be really good thing to subject SLAT and weatheraction to, but this ain’t it.

    A shame.

  162. The Stairway to Heaven…

    annual heliomagnetic field polarity at solar cycle (Schwabe) timescale:

    grey: phase anomaly
    red: power
    black: cumulative cycle length anomaly
    data: http://www.leif.org/research/spolar.txt

    Beyond shadow of doubt: 1970s terrestrial regime shift was of solar origin.

  163. As I understand it, Piers had forecast a dire month of weather for the UK with no respite, (though I don’t have the detailed forecast for the UK and refuse to pay!). Presumably uk farmers would have wanted to know when the fine weather in July would occur so as to time their haymaking. Piers did not forecast the fine, warm and dry weather last week (the metoffice did). His original forecast (for rain pretty much all month) included the opening ceremony for which he forecast more rain and misery. He then went quiet as the weather improved and it looked less likely that his forecast of torrential rain on the day would come true (presumably why he refused to bet with Willis). Then the MetOffice forecast “the chance of heavy showers” on the Opening Ceremony day. Suddenly Piers was back with his “I told you so” arguments. Furthermore he bemoaned the fact that the Olympic officials did not take him seriously. Now let us imagine they had. His “forecast” was for heavy deluges of torrential rain with giant hail and thunderstorms. With his 85% accuracy rate, I think the organisers could quite possibly have caused national and international embarrassment by taking this forecast seriously and cancelling or massively amending the event (no helicopters, fireworks or boat – just some indoor flag waving perhaps?) Thankfully no-one took Piers seriously. Long may this remain the case.

  164. Edward Rising (July 28, 2012 at 11:58 am) wrote:
    “Piers did not forecast the fine, warm and dry weather last week (the metoffice did).”

    Are you comparing a 1-month ahead long-range forecast with another 1-month ahead long-range forecast?

    Or are you comparing a long-range forecast with a short-range forecast?

    To be useful, a long-range forecast only has to do better than a random forecast & competitors on average. The challenge for productive forces is not to criticize but to DO BETTER. If you think one failure is too many in long-range forecasting, then pioneer a way to make no errors. That is how YOU can defeat the legendary Piers Corbyn.

  165. +++1 to everything Edward Rising just said…

    I find the wikipedia talk page on their Piers Corbyn entry interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Piers_Corbyn
    The general theme is a lot of bluster from Piers and various claims made, but a failure to provide any evidence in many cases when asked. Also, no evidence on that bookies betting ban..
    “Citable evidence needed: …
    A source that confirms your betting history or ban with Hill Samuel. Every source I have, is essentially repeating your description. I’d like something that is not just your word on it – not because of trust, but because as a matter of policy we cannot take a persons word for it as evidence, in any article we have. – Found, though evidence of ban still needed.”

    Piers’ Wiki page is the second result when you Google “Piers Corbyn” It’s massively in his interest that it backs up his claims on his methods. But he’s not been able to ensure that it does.

    I am starting to realise that the key with Piers is of course that he only makes noise and looks for publicity when there is a decent chance of him being right. So he makes his alarmist forecasts (privately, to paying followers only) and waits.. as time moves on he looks at conventional meteorology model output and sees the ones that have a decent chance of coming off and starts making a lot of noise about how he forecast them a long time ago. Not surprisingly, some of them he hits, and some of them he “nearly” gets.

    Of course what we never hear about are the ones that weren’t even close. the weather that would have been useful being missed. (Everyone would have loved to know this hot spell was coming a month ago, given the spring we’ve had, and as Edward said, Farmers especially, and also it’s come right at the start of school holidays.) and also false forecasts of armageddon and destructive weather that never materialise.

    Now the Olympic organises didn’t listen to him, but of course they might have paid him some attention if he could actually demonstrate some science behind his claims. The best way of course would be submitting his methods to scrutiny. I understand that he is unwilling to do this because he says it would allow competitors to use them and destroy his business and livelihood.
    But that’s not the case, if a peer reviewed journal published a paper which showed his methods had merit he would be assured of funding and be able to research developing his techniques even further. As I have mentioned many industries are sensitive to long range weather and the weather derivatives market is worth billions. Plenty of invenstment banks, insurers, energy companies etc. would be more than willing to throw some of that money piers’ way to get him on board for them and get the edge over their competitors.

    The last option of course is releasing a few years worth of old forecasts (therefore not of current commercial value) for analysis regarding their accuracy. Of course there will be arguments about how best to verify their accuracy, but I don’t see the downside for piers here. Yes, some may pick them to pieces because he didn’t get “exactly” the right location or “exactly” the right time, but people are doing that anyway with the limited information he does release. However, it should be possible to demonstrate how consistently he gets the weather events right within a certain radius (50 miles or whatever) and a certain time frame (1-3 or 4 days) the majority of the time, and he (and his supporters) would be able to point to that as evidence of his abilities and then people might start paying attention to him. Again, the insurance or energy industries would likely make him a very rich man.

    Given the huge upsides to publishing work regarding either his methods and/or their accuracy, it is telling that he refuses to.

  166. @tc (July 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm)

    Negativity & criticism accomplishes NOTHING. If you find that Piers Corbyn is failing 10% or 20% or whatever percent more of the time than you can tolerate, then the thing for you to do is pioneer superior methods. I see no evidence whatsoever that you or anyone else can do long range forecasting better than Piers Corbyn.

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/thread-1895.html

  167. @ Paul Vaughan
    “Are you comparing a 1-month ahead long-range forecast with another 1-month ahead long-range forecast?
    Or are you comparing a long-range forecast with a short-range forecast?”

    I’m comparing an inaccurate forecast with an accurate forecast. It really doesn’t matter how “long-range” an inaccurate forecast is – it is still utterly useless.

    “That is how YOU can defeat the legendary Piers Corbyn.”
    There is no legend; just a myth.

  168. Agnostic says:
    July 28, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Willis – this last comment from you is pretty ordinary. This doesn’t sound like a someone genuinely trying to find out whether Piers long range forecasting has any merit, it sounds like petty point scoring.

    I live in London, and while I think you would have won the bet had you taken it…(and this I don’t understand, piers offered it way back, it looks like it was you who had not taken it up) I can assure you it would not have been by much.

    This particular comment was about a particular bet. Why on earth would you think I was trying to find out about “long range forecasting”? Read my comment again, it is about a very specific bet that Piers offered and then backed out of. I discuss his long range forecasts elsewhere, like when he predicted seven, perhaps nine typhoons in July 2008 in the Central Pacific, and then he claimed long-range forecasting success when there were only two typhoons … perhaps you’d care to discuss that, I’d be happy to, but my recent comment was only was about the bet that Piers backed out of.

    As to your claim regarding Piers bet, that I had “not taken it”, that is total nonsense. I offered four times to take his bet, and Piers wimped out. Are you claiming I should have offered five times? Because now that I think of it, at the end I offered again … so I did offer five times to take his bet.

    And while I certainly would have won the bet, I don’t think I would have won it but “not by much”. He predicted thunderstorms, heavy rain, and hail would DISRUPT THE OPENING CEREMONY. The prediction was not that there would be bad weather the following day. It was not that there would be bad weather somewhere near London. It was that the weather would be bad enough to disrupt the Opening Ceremony itself.

    In fact, his prediction of “disruptive deluges etc.” never happened. The Opening Ceremony was not disrupted at all, I watched it, it was fine except for one brief shower, not a deluge in sight. So no, he was not even close.

    Finally, I am sick and tired of apologists like you saying Piers got it right and is a brilliant forecaster because something like what he predicted occurred somewhere not too far from where he predicted, at a time kinda near when he predicted. In the real world, that is called a “failed prediction”. Piers predicts fifty things, then he notes five things kinda like one or another of his predictions that are somewhere near in time and space to where and when he predicted, and then he declares success … sorry, but that won’t wash.

    That’s why I wanted him to bet, and I suggest that’s why he backed out … because in a bet, either it happens or it doesn’t, and saying “but it happened the day before” just gets you laughed at.

    w.

  169. Lawrence says:
    July 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

    If we use UKMO’s own criteria for bets on a white christmas then Piers did remarkably well-excellent in fact and would have won a bet if judged on this criteria -please see link.http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/16245847

    Another apologist for Piers heard from. Look, when you forecast “thunderstorms, heavy rain, and hail” and “disruptive deluges etc.”, a few drops of rain doesn’t win the bet or fulfill your forecast, no matter what the UKMO may say about a white Christmas.

    w.

  170. Lawrence says:
    July 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I don’t get it. To even forecast rain this week anywhere in the SE uK would have been some acheivment.

    Do your homework before proclaiming. Historically, there’s been about a 25% chance of rain in London on any given day in late August. That means that there is about 1 – 0.757 = an 87% chance of rain in London during the week … so predicting rain in London this week is no achievement at all, it’s an odds-on bet and a no-brainer.

    w.

  171. Paul Vaughan says:
    July 28, 2012 at 11:57 am

    The Stairway to Heaven…

    You certainly may be onto something, and I hope you are (just as I hope Piers is), but the data you link to is totally incomprehensible.

    In addition, correlation is not causation, so your claim is premature.

    w.

  172. tc says:
    July 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    … The last option of course is releasing a few years worth of old forecasts (therefore not of current commercial value) for analysis regarding their accuracy. Of course there will be arguments about how best to verify their accuracy, but I don’t see the downside for piers here. Yes, some may pick them to pieces because he didn’t get “exactly” the right location or “exactly” the right time, but people are doing that anyway with the limited information he does release. However, it should be possible to demonstrate how consistently he gets the weather events right within a certain radius (50 miles or whatever) and a certain time frame (1-3 or 4 days) the majority of the time, and he (and his supporters) would be able to point to that as evidence of his abilities and then people might start paying attention to him. Again, the insurance or energy industries would likely make him a very rich man.

    Given the huge upsides to publishing work regarding either his methods and/or their accuracy, it is telling that he refuses to.

    This is exactly what I suggested at the start of this discussion in the previous thread, but Piers has not done so. As you say, that is telling … because if I had a track record of successful forecasts, I’d be publishing them and advertising them with a bullhorn.

    w.

  173. Paul Vaughan says:
    July 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    @tc (July 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm)

    Negativity & criticism accomplishes NOTHING. If you find that Piers Corbyn is failing 10% or 20% or whatever percent more of the time than you can tolerate, then the thing for you to do is pioneer superior methods.

    Science is not built on feel-good, nor is it built on “superior methods”. It is built on falsification, which you seem to mistake for “negativity & criticism”. Falsification is a process wherein a man’s claims are examined closely to see if they hold up. You know, like I investigated Piers’ claim that he was successful in his prediction of 7, perhaps 9 typhoons in the Central Pacific, and I found there were only 2 typhoons during that period … falsification. His claims of success were not only exaggerated, they were entirely untrue.

    In other words, while finding a superior method would be a good thing, it is also valuable to find out if Piers has a good method … and so far I see no evidence of that.

    w.

  174. Willis

    I’ve never been a Corbyn fan or as you say apologist and I several years ago emailed and got a reply from Robert Felix of ‘Ice Age Now’ about quoting Corbyn who has never had a fantastic track record -in fact most weather enthusiasts thought him a bit of a joke. However he may have something of value and lucky or not it did rain just on the opening of that London 2012 ceremony. I first heard of Piers in a Daily Telegraph snippet (still got it somewhere) in Nov/Dec 1980/81 in which he predicted a very severe spell of cold weather for most on the UK into the coming winter. Of course it never happened-mind you next year winter was historically bitter starting from December 8th through to early January 1982. Coincidence? Anyhow I heard no more of him until I recognized him at the South Bank University in London in October 1996. He lives in a very run down social housing set up called the Heygate Estate where Charlie Chaplin was born the Elephant &Castle.

    However: Okay your main gripe is that that he’s claiming successs where success didn’t materialise.
    My main gripe with your gripe is, why turn on Piers so . If you prove Piers to be a total charlatan is that such a ‘big deal’ in the AGW debate. Piers has to feed himself and earn money out of what seems to have been ‘weather’ which apparently his enthused for since a young boy. Why not pick apart UKMO instead as this once trustworthy, understated arm of the ministry of defence has now turned into Pravda. On public funding this organisation pours out tripe everyday where AGW is concerned -if you look somewhere in their archives you’ll find their congratulations to Gore and Pachurri in winning the Nobel prize. In addition UKMO forecast and weather warnings pages when during a cold spell reads like something from the ‘Day after Tomorrow’. Just the whiff of a snow shower and they are plastering amber to red warnings all over Britain. Anyone following their daily forecasts from outside of the UK would be understandably concerned for our safety when in reality a couple of places had a snow flurry. I still don’t get your motivations as there are surely bigger fish to fry?

  175. This particular comment was about a particular bet. Why on earth would you think I was trying to find out about “long range forecasting”?

    What an exasperating comment! This is why it appears you don’t seem genuinely interested in ascertaining whether there is any merit to the SLAT system, and whether the physical mechanism that makes it work is plausible. You want to point score against Piers rather than dispassionately investigate the results to determine if SLAT can detect anything.

    In fact, his prediction of “disruptive deluges etc.” never happened. The Opening Ceremony was not disrupted at all, I watched it, it was fine except for one brief shower, not a deluge in sight. So no, he was not even close.

    Mate, I live in London. The weather was NOT fine. It was completely overcast the whole day, in contrast to the rest of the week. It rained up where I am which is only about 10 miles away. Don’t tell me what I could see with my own eyes was something else. And it was in distinct contrast with the rest of the week.

    You would have won the bet though. There was nothing like the kind disruptive weather Piers predicted, but by gee, it threatened. From the point of view of friendly a bet, you win, but from the point of view of science, and whether SLAT is able to detect anything, even if it is not 100% accurate or even as accurate as Piers says, it is utterly missing the point. Even if he had won the bet with the ‘expected’ disruptive rain, it would STILL not validate SLAT – it could have been arrived at by chance, but that is low enough chance for you to raise eyebrows and see whether he can do it again…
    Finally, I am sick and tired of apologists like you saying Piers got it right and is a brilliant forecaster because something like what he predicted occurred somewhere not too far from where he predicted, at a time kinda near when he predicted. In the real world, that is called a “failed prediction”.

    No mate – I am NOT an apologist for Piers. I just want to know if SLAT really can detect anything that says something about whether there is something to the physical mechanism that influences weather and climate that is NOT factored into standard meteorology and climatology. But the way you are going about it is not going to find that out. You are merely interested in whether Piers’s claims live up to the hype. You keep going after Piers, but I frankly couldn’t give a stuff about him.

    Since he is the originator of the method, all you have to go on is what he is predicting. But if you don’t acknowledge the human element of huge personal and commercial investment in his predictions and their validation, then you fail disentangle the science from the hype. You are just concentrating on the hype – utterly ignoring the science and that’s a shame.

    To really assess it’s value, you can’t use what is an inevitably biased validation approach promulgated by WeatherAction, even as you don’t disregard it entirely. But if something doesn’t exactly match your expectations you are dismissive, drawing defensive and hostile reactions from Piers and absolutely not finding anything useful out at all.

  176. Do your homework before proclaiming. Historically, there’s been about a 25% chance of rain in London on any given day in late August. That means that there is about 1 – 0.757 = an 87% chance of rain in London during the week … so predicting rain in London this week is no achievement at all, it’s an odds-on bet and a no-brainer.

    Seriously, Willis – I hope my previous post didn’t get lost in the ether, but it might be worth pointing out that it is not yet August, and being able to pick which day of a month is going to have rain in it (since this was predicted a month ago) is surely impressive, if not conclusive. Picking one day in a month to have rain is not an odds on bet – although this year – the wettest, coolest summer I have ever experienced here, it just might be. But you couldn’t possibly use history to determine that.

    [Sorry for the typo, obviously I meant late July. -.w]

  177. Agnostic:

    I confirm what you say as I live in Sydenham SE London and Friday was of a completely different type weather to the very dry and hot exeperienced in the previous 3 -4 days. It started with rain and UKMO via BBC said it could rain anywhere but clearing later, howevr it grew progressively cloudy throughout the afternoon so overcast I actually cheacked the UKMO rainfall radar as I thought surely it must be raining somewherein fact it looked like a storm was brewing and then around 8pm ish large hevy drops fell in Sydenham for abot twenty minutes-never a deluge but the feel it could at anytime . I thought Piers you son of a gun, however it became dry with the clouds breaking. I accept no deluge and it was only over the games themselves in east London , but myself an atheist I’m thinking blimey God is a AGW sceptic.

    By the way rain and some thunder here in SE London as I type.

  178. So many going on about how amazing it is to predict this pattern change etc Where did Piers mention the weather was going to change on the 27th? This is a perfect example of how you believe what you want to believe!
    His forecasts from the 13th July onwards have had rain falling over England
    13 – 15 July Thunderfloods, damaging hail and strong winds over most of Britain & Ireland
    16-19 July Torrential rain, major river flooding, damaging hail, high tornado risk, thunder over England, Wales and Ireland.
    20-23 July Thunderstorms, damaging hail and floods especially later.
    24-28 July England Wales & Ireland extremely wet.
    Now you don’t need me to tell you the weather in England has been nothing like this in this period, yet one shower on 27th and suddenly it’s an amazing forecast!
    If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny.

  179. Agnostic says:
    July 29, 2012 at 3:08 am

    This particular comment was about a particular bet. Why on earth would you think I was trying to find out about “long range forecasting”?

    What an exasperating comment! This is why it appears you don’t seem genuinely interested in ascertaining whether there is any merit to the SLAT system, and whether the physical mechanism that makes it work is plausible. You want to point score against Piers rather than dispassionately investigate the results to determine if SLAT can detect anything.

    Oh, get off your high horse. As I said above, I’ve discussed Piers’ long range forecasts elsewhere and in excruciating detail. My comment above was about him running away from his proposed bet.

    Also, I can’t determine “whether there is any merit to the SLAT system” because we don’t know what the SLAT system is, and because Piers hasn’t published anything but carefully chosen forecasts.

    In fact, his prediction of “disruptive deluges etc.” never happened. The Opening Ceremony was not disrupted at all, I watched it, it was fine except for one brief shower, not a deluge in sight. So no, he was not even close.

    Mate, I live in London. The weather was NOT fine. It was completely overcast the whole day, in contrast to the rest of the week. It rained up where I am which is only about 10 miles away. Don’t tell me what I could see with my own eyes was something else. And it was in distinct contrast with the rest of the week.

    So what? Piers predicted all kinds of bad weather, hail, heavy raid, and disruptive deluges, and you want to tell me that it was cloudy with a few sprinkles? So what?

    You would have won the bet though. There was nothing like the kind disruptive weather Piers predicted, but by gee, it threatened.

    Yes, I would have won the bet, and if Piers had predicted “threatening weather” he would have won the bet. But he didn’t, and the SLAT system in this case failed completely.

    From the point of view of friendly a bet, you win, but from the point of view of science, and whether SLAT is able to detect anything, even if it is not 100% accurate or even as accurate as Piers says, it is utterly missing the point. Even if he had won the bet with the ‘expected’ disruptive rain, it would STILL not validate SLAT – it could have been arrived at by chance, but that is low enough chance for you to raise eyebrows and see whether he can do it again…

    Fortunately for science, “if he had won the bet” is as meaningless a statement as “if you were a billionaire”. You’re not one, he lost the bet, we don’t have to “raise eyebrows”, get over it.

    Finally, I am sick and tired of apologists like you saying Piers got it right and is a brilliant forecaster because something like what he predicted occurred somewhere not too far from where he predicted, at a time kinda near when he predicted. In the real world, that is called a “failed prediction”.

    No mate – I am NOT an apologist for Piers.

    Yes, mate, when you go on about how the weather was threatening, and want to discuss what would have happened if he won the bet, you ARE an apologist for Piers.

    I just want to know if SLAT really can detect anything that says something about whether there is something to the physical mechanism that influences weather and climate that is NOT factored into standard meteorology and climatology.

    I, like you, would absolutely love to have the answer to that question. But unfortunately, Piers refuses to publish his past forecasts that would let us determine if his system does have value.

    But the way you are going about it is not going to find that out. You are merely interested in whether Piers’s claims live up to the hype. You keep going after Piers, but I frankly couldn’t give a stuff about him.

    Well duh, of course my method won’t find that out. Nothing will find that out until Piers either releases his past forecasts or explains his methods or both.

    Since he is the originator of the method, all you have to go on is what he is predicting.

    And despite that, you don’t want me to discuss his failed prediction of disruptive deluges for the Opening Ceremony. Make up your mind, please.

    But if you don’t acknowledge the human element of huge personal and commercial investment in his predictions and their validation, then you fail disentangle the science from the hype. You are just concentrating on the hype – utterly ignoring the science and that’s a shame.

    What science are you mumbling about? Piers, to my knowledge, has never revealed the science (if any) underlying his method. I’d love to concentrate on his science, but WHERE IS IT?

    To really assess it’s value, you can’t use what is an inevitably biased validation approach promulgated by WeatherAction, even as you don’t disregard it entirely. But if something doesn’t exactly match your expectations you are dismissive, drawing defensive and hostile reactions from Piers and absolutely not finding anything useful out at all.

    If something doesn’t “exactly match [my] expectations”??? My expectations are meaningless. I am looking at whether the outcomes match Piers’ expectations, like for example he expected disruptive downpours on the 27th … and that is a useful finding.

    Look, all I have to examine are a small subset of his forecasts. Not the science, we have no idea what that might be. So I look at the forecasts we have to see if they came true … and immediately folks like you start complaining that I should be doing something else.

    OK, smart guy … give me your take on it. I’ve analyzed a number of his forecasts so far, and most of them have been either failures or abject failures.

    So where is your “science based” analysis of Piers’ forecasts, Agnostic?

    Sheesh …

    w.

  180. @Willis Eschenbach (July 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm)

    Consider doing some of the heavy lifting instead of running for light housekeeping chores.

    I suggest you redirect your focus from naively-upheld romantic notions of airy politically-motivated “science” (today’s “science” hinges on insanely elaborate frameworks of untenable assumptions) to plain & simple exploration, the exact same way you would if confronted with the need to learn a new landscape on foot.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/26/climate-change-off-in-the-ozone/#comment-1044963

    The 1970s climate shift is beyond all shadow of a doubt of solar origin. The synchronization is TIGHT across the whole spectrum of variables.

    I explore summaries that integrate across strings of events. The problem I see with today’s public solar-based weather forecasting from what I’ve learned about global constraints on spatiotemporal collections of weather (concert of Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum & Central Limit Theorem) is that while one would be guaranteed to be right more than half of the time based on the current extent of human solar-terrestrial knowledge, one would also be EXACTLY wrong more than expected by chance. Humans typically don’t handle paradox gracefully; the confusion on Corbyn’s work isn’t surprising. Sensible capable minds with infinite patience are needed to further careful exploration.

    Importantly it’s robustly coherent with the mainstream-bridging Tsonis coupled synchronization framework. (Willis you mentioned you find the data incomprehensible. The website proprietor has supplied no read-me file, but fortunately a 5 minute web search gives all the info needed for interpretation.)

    There’s much, much more to say (links with D-O, Bond, annual LOD, & QBO), but the audience isn’t ready.

  181. Paul Vaughan says:
    July 30, 2012 at 6:19 am

    @Willis Eschenbach (July 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm)

    Consider doing some of the heavy lifting instead of running for light housekeeping chores.

    This is too good. In addition to insulting me, you want me to do your heavy lifting for you.

    I suggest you redirect your focus from naively-upheld romantic notions of airy politically-motivated “science” (today’s “science” hinges on insanely elaborate frameworks of untenable assumptions) to plain & simple exploration, the exact same way you would if confronted with the need to learn a new landscape on foot.

    I suggest that if you want that done, you do it yourself. I have far more interesting things to do. I gotta admire, however, the nerve of a man who wants to tell others what they should be doing …

    One thing I’ve learned in writing for the web is that, no matter what I write, no matter what I might be focusing on at any given moment, there’s always some jerkwagon who will jump up and tell me I should be focusing on something else and writing about something else. I pay no attention to any of them, yourself included.

    w.

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