Met Office Summer Forecast Drowning Again?

By Steven Goddard
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3038/2561441359_fe95b5c355.jpg

For the third straight summer, the UK Met Office has forecast hot weather using their state of the art computer models.  Summer 2007 and 2008 were complete washouts, ranking as two of the most miserable, rainy summers on record.

31 August 2007

Summer 2007 – a wet season

This summer looks set to have been the wettest since UK rainfall records began in 1914, Met Office figures revealed today This summer looks set to have been the wettest since UK rainfall records began in 1914, Met Office figures revealed today . .

Wet summer could end with a bang

29 August 2008

Forecasters at the Met Office are predicting that that final day of the summer could end with heavy rain and thunderstorms affecting some parts of the country this weekend … … Within the UK some local rainfall records have been broken, especially across parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland where flooding severely affected road and rail transport. Provisional rainfall figures show that Northern Ireland had its wettest August since 1914 .

The current summer isn’t looking much better. Here is the forecast from UK Weather Online.

Do you want summer?

Issued: 0900hrs Friday 5th June 2009

Duty forecaster: Simon Keeling & Captain Bob

If you’re requiring rain you’ll be in luck, if you’re wishing for summer, then perhaps don’t hold your breath!

It has now been 1,047 days since London made it to 30C.
I admire the persistence of The Met Office in getting their global warming message across to the public.  Perhaps their new £30 million computers will do better with their actual predictions?
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KW

Suppose may be if they forecast ‘persistence’…eventually one summer will turn out right.

rbateman

Once again I am reminded on the Homeland Security’s Orange and Red Threat Lights, which were never Green, yet nothing ever happened.
Poor drenched UK. All those merchants stocking up on hot weather apparel and goods are out once again. 3rd time a charm? Don’t bet on it.

rbateman

That could be 2 or more solar cycles or an AMO flip down the road, KW.
Eventually, if you buy enough lottery tickets, you’ll win something. Your pocketbook, however, may be empty before then.

James Allison

Maybe Met Office forecasting uses the same thinking as punters when they choose lotto numbers. If I keep using the same numbers – say my child’s birthday – eventually I’ll get a win.

Mark Smith

Perhaps the people at the Hadley Centre are simply being bamboozled by their own technical wizardry.
Every brit knows perfectly well that the chances of a hot summer are 1 in 4 at the very, very most, and that would hold even if the rest of the world was on fire..
Then again, every brit expects weather forecasts to be comically wrong – the Met Office’s pronouncements on this are part of a long, and much loved vaudevillian tradition.

They will eventually be correct, 50/50 chance each year. Reminds me of the coin flipping in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. 92 is the magic number.
Here in Canada the Agency Environment Canada simply make a prediction of above and below average, they have a 50% accuracy rate, which is the same as guessing.

King of Cool

1047 days since London made it to 30 deg C?
Watched the FA Cup Final 30 May 2009 played in over 40 deg C:
http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/fitness-lifestyle-guru/2009/06/were-chelsea-more-hydrated-tha.html
Have I got something wrong here or is the new Wembley Stadium a greenhouse?

Bernard

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. If they keep predicting the same weather, year after year, at some point, they are going to get it right.

Richard deSousa

Not this year. With Mt. Redoubt’s eruption the climate in the northern hemisphere will be a little cooler.

H.R.

Shhhh… Everbody promise not to tell. I hacked the password to the Met Office forecast program.
It’s “Hope4iT”.

Deanster

King of Cool …
That was likely the temp on the court. I’ve watched a bit of tennis myself, and have always noticed that the temp in stadium is higher than the ambient temp. I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet I’m right.

gt

Yeah… where does the 1,047 days number come from? It does sound extraordinary.

Harold Ambler

Wunderground has London’s high temperature as 74 degrees Fahrenheit on May 30th (23.3 Celsius).

Dan Lee

Wishcasting at its finest. Right up there with those hopeful predictions of a 1998-style super El Nino.

I do wish that North Dakota snow was here. North Carolina has been very hot since mid May, although the humidity has been unusually low for the 90 degree days. A high of 95 on Monday, which is cooler than last year when we had 5 days of 100 temperatures. It is not abnormal, but it is hot.

Adam from Kansas

Speaking of El Nino Unysis still doesn’t show an El-Nino forming which solidifies points made by posters here
http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
+Negative PDO (basic cold phase setup visible) and it’s obvious where the AMO is. Interesting that this map is very different from the NOAA maps and that’s not because of color choice.

maz2

“Good morning. Here is the weather forecast.
For today until midnight.
First the general situa-cion.”

Frank K.

Only slightly OT…
From the “I wonder if they’re going to ask for a refund for those computers” file:
http://www.icecap.us/
“Jun 08, 2009
Climate Skeptics Party Beat Labour in EU Elections
BBC News, 8 June 2009
The UK Independence Party has finished second in the European elections, ahead of Labour, on an impressive night for the Eurosceptic party. It performed strongly in the East of England, where it won two seats and its total vote went up, and also picked up seats in Yorkshire and London. ”
The money quote…
“As far as Britain is concerned, the Labour government and its green agenda is finished. Let that be a warning to President Obama and other would-be salvationists. Britain’s next government will have to carefully reassess all green and climate policies that pose a heavy burden on millions of struggling families and businesses. Otherwise, it will face the same popular revolt that is now bringing down the Brown government. ”

£30 million for weather/climate modeling computers, eh?

Steven Goddard

Met Office Summary for May, 2009 says that the UK’s warmest temperature was 26.9
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/
A maximum temperature of 26.9 °C was recorded at Solent (Hampshire) on the 31st

Jooge

>Deanster (18:55:34) :
>King of Cool …
>That was likely the temp on the court. I’ve watched a bit of >tennis myself, and have always noticed that the temp in stadium >is higher than the ambient temp. I don’t know for sure, but I’d >bet I’m right.
You are correct on one hand (that the temp is higher at pitch level) but wrong on the sport. The FA Cup is of course a major football cup in England and has nothing to do with Tennis beyond the fact that Wimbledon FC suck. =) That goes for Arsenal and Spurs too.

Bruce Foutch

Just to add to Adam from Kansas (18:06:33) :
According to Long Range Expert Joe Bastardi, areas from the northern Plains into the Northeast will have a “year without a summer.”
http://www.accuweather.com/news-story.asp?partner=netweather&traveler=0&zipChg=1&article=9

don't tarp me bro

In science thy try to call this an observation error? I like the cool weather. The extremists claim their models 20 years out are more accurate than a current thermometer reading.
I am sure the price of carbon indulgences will be low.

Just Want Results...

H.R. (18:32:56) : ..password .. “Hope4iT”.
No, it’s “don’t*bet*Piers*on*it”.

Leon Brozyna

*yawn*
Whether it’s the UK MET Office or NOAA’s NWS, they have in common one significant attribute — they’re supported by taxpayers. If they get it wrong, the money still comes rolling on in, a luxury not shared by private sector meteorologists {Anthony might know something about that concept}. So, unsurprisingly, forecasts are usually wrong more often than in the private sector.
But then there’s the rest of the story…
As we’ve seen here on WUWT, whether it’s NOAA or GISS, they might not even know what the weather was (at least in the temperature department), what with all the adjustments that keep being made to the record.
My rhetorical question of the day…
Now, tell me again, why do we keep paying for such poor quality?

John F. Hultquist

I understand going with a super-computer for weather, say out to a week or ten days. You are starting with a major amount of data and need to process it rapidly, for it makes little sense to forecast the weather for next Wednesday on the following Saturday.
All those data points probably won’t do much good after 15 to 30 days because you will need nearly 100% accuracy, say for day 15 if you want to have hope of being close on day 30. I don’t notice them doing that. Even a week out they have to waffle -– 20 % chance of rain – and it does rain somewhere within the forecast area partly because they have closed enough small services and expanded the size of the “local” forecast area.
Point is climate predictions need a better understanding of long term processes and not massive empirical manipulation.

It’s really quite simple.
Ashes series against the least powerful Australian team for decades = guaranteed rain.

Other than some general patterns… like spring, summer, fall and winter… isn’t weather pretty much a random event?

E.M.Smith

Well, I can relate… It’s 58F on my patio at a time when it ought to be 80F + and sometimes a whole lot more plus… Oh, and much more cloud / overcast that ought to exist in summer here. “Normally” (i.e. in the 30 years I’ve lived here … gee only one PDO phase… maybe “30 year climate” is an oxymoron) it has always been stark clear blue sky in the hot months. The California coastal mountains stop the fog from reaching here (toward Mt. Hamilton).
The Garden
I know one thing for certain, I’m changing the rest of my garden plan for this year and will for years to come. I’m going to be dusting off my “cold climate” planting calendar.
More peas, kale, spinach, carrots, turnips, radishes. A whole lot less corn, green beans, anything that needs heat. I’m also going to completely give up on my ‘heat marginal’ plants (like southern peas “Black Eyed Peas”, high temp tomatoes (Siberian and related only for a while…), soybeans. I’m also going to focus my onions onto some cool temp shallots (that have done well for me) along with allium fistulosum (a perpetual green onion) and give up on the “Stockton Reds” and Texas onions that were temperature and day length marginal anyway.
So far I’ve harvest a couple of “8 ball” squash, some beets, green onions, and a bit of kale & collards. Not exactly what I was expecting… Ought to be tomatoes and green beans by now. Last year I was canning the excess green beans already. This year I have had 2 flowers so far. I think I’m going to dig out my “English seeds” archive. Runner beans are cool tolerant…
I do have a couple of “chayote” that are going great guns. They evolved in a higher elevation cooler and shadier mountain environment and don’t seem to mind the “cold spell” at all.
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/1492/chayote.html
Volcanos & Rain
The 1914 in the article caught my eye… Again with the same date range when we had a lot of global cooling and again with multiple active volcanoes that have been quiet until now, some of which are now active again. Just hope Mt. Lassen, that erupted in 1914 -1917 or so, doesn’t decide to wake up again and join the crowd… These folks:
http://groups.google.com/group/sci.geo.earthquakes/browse_thread/thread/ac0718ff0ab1c99a
say it’s been having some quakes but not to worry, it’s within normal ranges, whatever that might be.
From:
http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/
per TUNGURAHUA Ecuador
The last major eruption took place from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925
presently erupting
The IG reported that Strombolian activity was seen at night from Tungurahua during 26-28 May, followed by nighttime incandescence at the crater through 1 June. The Washington VAAC reported that during 27-29 and 31 May thermal anomalies were seen on satellite imagery. IG also stated that explosions, “cannon shots,” and roaring noises were occasionally reported
From: http://www.intlvrc.org/news.htm
As of the 4th of June, the Japanese Meteorlogical Agency (JMA) has reported that based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 30 May an explosion from Sakura-Jima produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. On 31 May, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. The next day, eruptions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.1-3.4 km (7,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. Some plumes drifted S.
Sakura-Jima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow was associated with the formation of the 17 x 23-km-wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The construction of Sakura-Jima began about 13,000 years ago and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu’s largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.

And: http://www.volcanolive.com/colima.html
erupted in 1913 and again in 2002-8 having been on something of a 10 year plan it is doing a lot more recently.
This one: http://www.volcanolive.com/karthala.html
Has been burping about every 10 to 20 years since an eruption in 1918, but has had eruptions in all three of 2005, 2006, and 2007…
And I’ve seen a couple of others as well. That 191x time period was high in volcanic activity. And a fair number that were active then are making noises…
I can’t say anything about the statistical validity of the observation (my “data absorber” doesn’t provide a stat package 😉 all I can say is that I’ve seen 191x A Lot in the context of wandering through current volcano reports…
Chaiten, in particular, is worrying since it has the potential to be really big. These folks:
http://geology.com/volcanoes/chaiten/
show an aerial picture with the nearby Minchinmávida Volcano that erupted in 1834-35.
2009 – 1918 = 90.
1918 – 1834 = 84.
Solar cycle 88 years?
Does seem just a bit weird…
From:
http://www.seablogger.com/?cat=22 per Chaiten
I have not seen explosions or collapses in the time lapse, just strong, continuous emission. With seismicity remaining extremely elevated for months on end, it is hard to avoid thinking that something a lot more dramatic will happen one of these days.
So I’m left looking at that “North Ireland wettest since 1914” and it pushes some interesting “connection” neurons inside the old hat rack…

E.M.Smith

maz2 (19:21:18) :
“Good morning. Here is the weather forecast.
For today until midnight.
First the general situa-cion.”

Priceless! I must pause now and go make a cup of Red Rose Tea in honor of all my relatives in The Isles (British and Irish); also I resolve to stop bitching about my garden weather, which is clearly near ideal for Great Britain!
Yes, that’s the ticket, curl up with a fine English Gardening Book and a cuppa Red Rose…
As soon as I stop laughing and giggling … 😉

John F. Hultquist

Alternative Energy (21:50:26) :
“Other than some general patterns… like spring, summer, fall and winter… isn’t weather pretty much a random event?”
Answer: No.
You need to think about this some. Time scale? Number of possible outcomes? Places in the world that have weather? Probability that tomorrow’s weather will be much like today’s? What does random mean to you?

With the Cosmic Gamma Rays just maxing out now, the summer is likely to be more cloudy all over the NH. At the end of 2008, the Oulu Neutron Monitor was at the highest level ever, but now it is significantly higher and this would suggest to me that the solar minimum cannot have happened prior to April 2009 when we have 44 consecutive days without sunspots. Note, the level has a step up that corresponds to the years since summer 2007 where we’ve had cool summers.
http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=1965/01/01&starttime=00:00&enddate=2009/06/09&endtime=03:16&resolution=Automatic choice&picture=on

Neil Jones

Newspapers in the UK have switched from reporting temperatures in Celsius to Fahrenheit as it sounds hotter.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/5417554/Hottest-day-of-year-as-Hampshire-hits-81F.html
Maybe they are beginning to get the message “It’s getting cold out there.”

Alan the Brit

H.R.;-)
Oh yeah? I hacked into the Met Office’s post-forecast inquest programme, the past word…….[snip]!
As to the Euro elections, remember the EU Parliament is merely a talking shop, it has no real power to legislate, only to cede more power to Brussels! Boy Cameron has to tolak the talk & walk the walk on his last pronouncement on Europe when he actually sounded like he was going to kick backside. Only time will tell! Fingers crossed.

gacooke

Here in NE Washington State the cherry crop is late, but there were no killer freezes. My rasberry crop is late and it looks like there will be few sunburned fruit (a significant problem here where we should have had several 100 F days by now).
don’t tarp me bro (20:38:24) said: “……….I am sure the price of carbon indulgences will be low.
“carbon indulgences” I like that! Too true!

Aron

Don’t forget their predictions for last winter failed and they are predicting that this summer will be a heatwave – definition: wave goodbye to heat

C.O.Toogood

Come on Steve aren’t you getting confused between weather and climate? 🙂
The Met Office yesterday predicted temperatures in London would regularly be 41C(106F) by 2080.
At the last bank holiday in the uk they predicted Bournmouth would be thunder and rain. The beaches were half empty on the hottest day of the year?
Our Gav has been pontificating on the UK Guardians web site same article at RC. Can one of you statistic boys do an assessment and the chances of one site having fully positive comments and the other probabaly evenly balanced?
In Rubgy Union we have a term for players who can’t take it. Squealers.

C.O.Toogood

Antonio and Stevie
I understand if you cut the last two paragraphs mustn’t sink to the level.

stephen richards

Sorry if someone has already said this.
Temperatures for London are/were measured on the roof of the london weather centre of which there were two, Bracknel (which is outside London but still called London) and the London weather centre itself. All official temps are of course in the shade. For example, in 2003 road temps here in France were 54°c and shade temps were about 40°C. Hence all the work that AW has been doing to regularise the surface stations.

Rhys Jaggar

We had a run of about 20 years of hotter summers than normal from around 1976 onwards, just like the US had the dustbowl years in between the two wars.
Now we’ve reverted to more normal ones.
Nothing too sinister in that, I hope?

Mae

The funny thing about Met Office forecasts is that anybody I talk to here takes it as a given that the summer will be a washout if the Met Office says it’ll be a scorcher. We’ve already had a plethora of informative and hysterical articles in the press and reports on TV of how to cope with the promised – sorry, I mean life threatening – heat waves, absolutely laughable for somebody who grew up with real summers and who spends every summer in Scotland longing for some heat.
The UK doesn’t really have four seasons – as far as I am concerned we have 3 – 4 months of winter, a pretense of spring and summer and 7 – 8 months of autumn!
We had beach weather last holiday weekend and there is such a hilarious sense of desperate enjoyment whenever the weather turns warm in Scotland – anybody you chat to says the same thing: MUST enjoy the sunshine (it’s basically a crime not to) as this is probably all the summer we’ll have.
What I enjoyed the most when our family lived in New England for a while was proper spring, proper summer, proper autumn and proper winter. After living in Scotland for 15 years though it was maybe a bit too much humidity with too much heat in the summer and too much cold with too much snow in the winter!
I live in an area which seems to get far less rain than normal in Scotland – maybe a slightly milder microclimate – and I had been looking forward to planting some fruit trees and fruiting plants as well as roses, even the lavender was doing well for a while but my garden seems to be running a bit late this year.
E.M.Smith – any resources online where I can check out good dwarf varieties for fruits/tomatoes/roses that can cope with the wind here and the lack of sun hours and maybe the colder weather heading my way?

Henry Galt

Do not expect situations like this (which has been far worse this very week):
http://mapcenter.hamweather.com/shortterm/day1/highsdeparture/us.html
to last all year. Or for the next few years. Depending on standard forecasts is akin to believing politicians. Just say no.
August, UK – scorchio!
Aron + Fatbigot = lol x T.

H.R.

@Alan the Brit (22:46:36) :
“H.R.;-)
Oh yeah? I hacked into the Met Office’s post-forecast inquest programme, the past word……..[snip]!”
LOL!
(I think that is the actual program and not the password.)

Wade (19:10:43) :
…North Carolina has been very hot since mid May, although the humidity has been unusually low for the 90 degree days. A high of 95 on Monday, which is cooler than last year when we had 5 days of 100 temperatures.

Sorta depends upon where in North Carolina. Where my family lives in the Piedmont, (Clemmons) we never hit 100 all year last year.
This past May wasn’t hot in Clemmons. Warmest day only hit 86 on 9 May. Average high for the month in the Piedmont was 77.
June hasn’t been anything unusual actually below average (first 8 days averaged 81). Forecast for the next 10 days is around 86 which is right about average.
North Carolina’s geography makes for some wildly varying temps across the state.

Aron

Yes, British weather forecasting will soon resemble this if it doesn’t already

And I eagerly await the remake of a Clint Eastwood movie but this time starring Al Gore as the short ugly man. The movie? A Fistful of Carbon Credits
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/3461/fistfukofcc.jpg

tallbloke

I checked the BBC website, and as far as I can tell, the June snowfall in Northern England and Scotland didn’t rate a mention, despite being a once in 34 years weather event.
Weather Denial if ever I saw it.

Peter Plail

CO Toogoods mention of “our Gav” prompted me to have a quick peep at RC.
On the home page was this gem:
“Alert readers will have noticed the fewer-than-normal postings over the last couple of weeks. This is related mostly to pressures associated with real work (remember that we do have day jobs). In my case, it is because of the preparations for the next IPCC assessment and the need for our group to have a functioning and reasonably realistic climate model with which to start the new round of simulations. These all need to be up and running very quickly if we are going to make the early 2010 deadlines.” (my emphasis).
Does this mean that the previous models were neither functioning nor reasonably realistic? Perhaps someone should tell those people who are planning to spend trillions of our money on the basis of what they forecast!

Julie

@tallbloke.
You know that the north of England & Scotland don’t really exist in BBCworld, don’t you?
The closest I could find to a mention is from the newspaper roundup (at the bottom of the page):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8086731.stm

Chris Wright

Even the strongly pro-AGW Daily Telegraph has shown some scepticism. When it first reported the Met Office forecast for a hot and dry summer, it did say maybe we should take it with a pinch of salt. Yesterday it reported on the MO’s nonsensical forecasts for 2080. Its editorial was refreshingly sceptical. With a heading “What a shower”, it says “How preposterous of the Met Office, therefore, to issue a weather forecast for 71 years hence when it cannot guarantee getting it right 71 hours from now”.
.
The MO forecast was for June, July and August, I believe, so it’s only just kicked in. The last six days, including today, have been cold. Right now I’m wearing a sweater and my feet actually feel a bit cold. The last few nights I’ve had the electric fire on. Of course it’s still early days, but I have a nasty feeling we’re in for another cold summer.
.
What a joke. After getting the last two summers completely wrong their forecast for the past winter was not just wrong: it was spectacularly wrong. If they were random errors then some forecasts would be too warm, others too cold. But every one is too warm, so there is probably a systematic error. It’s not difficult to guess what it might be. Is it possible that their quarterly forecasts are affected by their touching faith in AGW?
.
I know it’s not scientific, but my impression is that the English climate has been on a cooling trend for at least the past five years:
1. The last heatwave was five or six years ago.
2. We have had snow for the last five or six years.
3. We have had two cold summers and right now this summer is similar.
4. We just had a very cold winter.
.
I like it to be warm – within reason – and I find it completely bizarre that so many people seem to be afraid of a very mild warming over the last century. They’re afraid of a slightly warmer climate and yet they will prefer to take their holidays in countries such as Spain where the climate is *much* warmer.
.
Sadly it is quite possible that the global climate may be entering a cooling phase that will last for the rest of my life. If so, it will mean colder summers and much colder winters. And millions may die from starvation. That’s the kind of climate change we should be worrying about. And yet governments around the world are proposing to spend trillions of dollars on trying to cool the world. Sheer, unadulterated lunacy. I don’t want a colder world. But at least maybe a significantly colder world will at last bring this lunacy to an end. Or will it?
Chris