The UK Met Office appears to have ‘disappeared’ their winter forecast

Guest post by Steven Goddard

https://i0.wp.com/www.metoffice.gov.uk/about/images/contact_us/logo_250x170.jpg

On July 23, 2009 the UK Met Office issued their infamous winter forecast, ahead of the coldest winter in 50 years. It read:

“…Early indications are that winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. For the UK, Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder *(and wetter) than last year “.

This was recorded by Piers Corbyn at Weather Action and several other sites on July 23.
Source:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/creating/monthsahead/seasonal/2009/winter.html (released 23 July)

I remember reading the article on the Met Office web site at the time.   But something funny happened on December 30, 2009.  The Met Office over wrote that link with a new article titled “Forecast for the rest of Winter 2009/10” which has no mention of the original prediction. It now reads:

…for the rest of winter, over northern Europe including the UK, the chance of colder conditions is now 45%; there is a 30% chance of average and a 25% chance of milder conditions.

Their original warm winter forecast seems to have been scrubbed from the web site, and there are no longer any press releases dated July 23.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/index.html

Other sites which noted the July 23 Met Office article and link include:

http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3758

http://climateresearchnews.com/2009/07/weather-action-met-office-winter-forecast-2009-10-reckless-misleading-nonsense/

According to The Independent, the winter forecast seems to have been updated on September 29, but the Met Office no longer has any press releases with that date either.

The Met Office came under tremendous fire as a result of their disastrously bad winter prediction

The Big Question: Should the BBC drop the Met Office as its official weather forecaster? By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

And this lead them to drop their seasonal forecasts, which have been notoriously poor in recent years.  What could have motivated them to destroy their original winter forecast?

http://documentshredding.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/document-shredding.jpg

======================

[From AW– Note: unlike government services in the USA, the UK Met Office gets bonuses, see their benefits package:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/recruitment/benefits.html So, this might be an incentive to remove poor work products.

The Times did a story about it last August after the BBQ summer fiasco: It’s raining bonuses at the Met Office

And the Met Office Chief, despite botched forecasts, got a 25% pay increase in January 2010, according to this Telegraph story:

Met Office chief receives 25 pc pay rise

The head of the Met Office, the national weather service which has been heavily criticised for getting its forecasts wrong, is now paid more than the Prime Minister, after receiving a 25 per cent pay rise.

]

======================

———————

For the record, here are a few of of their other classic mis-predictions:

2007 – forecast to be the warmest year yet Wrong – la Nina hit and temperatures plummeted.

Met Office forecast for Summer 2007 Hot summer – Wrong – it was the wettest summer on record with cold daytime temperatures.

A typical British summer 2008 Wrong – it was the second wettest summer on record with cold daytime temperatures.

Trend of mild winters continues 2008 Wrong – it was the coldest winter in 15 years.

Summer forecast 2009 “Barbecue Summer” 2009 Wrong – another miserable washout of a summer.

Warming could push Greenland ice sheet beyond ‘tipping points’ Complete nonsense

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120 thoughts on “The UK Met Office appears to have ‘disappeared’ their winter forecast

  1. Good catch, Steve. Does this mean they don’t have a summer projection? What good are they?

  2. That will teach em:

    Never make forecasts six months out because you will be proven wrong.

    Only make forecasts 20-30 years out because it will take so long to be proven wrong, everyone will have forgotten about it by then.

  3. Well, as long as we have Joe Bastardi, we dont need any long range forcasts from the Met Office. Maybe just as well forget about them, too.

    Just like the very long range forecasts, like, for 2100….

    hehe

  4. “…ahead of the coldest winter in 50 years. It read:”
    Was it really 50 years? Worse than 1963?

    I think you mean 30 years. That’s what I read everywhere else.

  5. Ahhhhh The infamous Ministry of Silly Forecasts.

    Just down the hall from Silly Walks.

  6. http://heritage.scotsman.com/scotland/Coldest-winter-for-half-century.6149211.jp

    Coldest winter for half century (as you may have suspected)

    Published Date: 13 March 2010
    By Jenny Fyall
    SCOTLAND shivered this year in the second-coldest winter ever recorded.
    Met Office statistics reveal that only the winter of 1963 was colder than the temperatures in Scotland between December 2009 and February 2010.

    And for northern Scotland it was actually the coldest since records began in 1914.

  7. http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=66&c=1

    WA News No 48 – 23rd  July 2009

    Met Office winter ‘forecast’ 2009-10 attacked as ‘reckless misleading nonsense without scientific basis or skill’.

    “It should be ignored absolutely. The opposite to whatever the Met Office says in long range has been what happened for the last three years!”

    Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist of WeatherAction said today, 23 July:    “The Met Office long range forecast attempts at seasonal and world developments totally failed• to predict ANY of the 5 notable weather developments since 2007. They predicted the opposite to what occurred

  8. Don’t make any weather predictions for time less than a lifespan starting with the predicting day. That way it’s pretty safe no one will hold you too it. Like maybe start with only 100 year predictions or longer. Plenty of time for revisions in the last ten years.

  9. I feel bad for historians 50 years from now. Sending stuff down the memory hole is a lot easier in the internet age. Books and print media OTOH were far harder to eliminate.

  10. Can’t put a finger on what might happen in a few months but we have incontrovertible settled science that tells us what will be happening over the next hundred years by gum.

    I’m guessing there is consensus that Mr. Hirst knows which side his bread is buttered on, what other tricks can he do?

  11. I wouldn’t trust them to accurately predict yesterday’s weather. Why are these buffoons continually allowed to suckle at the tax payers’ teat?

    Of course our Bureau of Metereology in Australia is just as political in their climate assessments, but they don’t seem to be as grotesquely incompetant as the Met Office. With the BoM it is more about what they don’t say than what they do… and the dodgy surface temp stations, of course.

  12. Everyone knows that when nothing is on the line, the models are notoriously inaccurate, but when trillions of dollars of carbon credits must be traded, they can predict doom with ease.

    Looks like we are doomed to endure these falsehoods for a while yet.

  13. I think the BBC folks want their pension money back from Al Gore.
    All the Met Office could do was start over with a clean sheet, sorry clean web page!

  14. The Met office is a disgrace. They couldn’t forecast the first massive blizzard of the winter until it was on the way.

  15. “People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”

    “If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”

    “Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”

    “In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for ‘Science.’ The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc.”

    George Orwell, 1984.

    it will only get worse.

  16. Dear MET Office,

    I hear that a certain Major League NYC baseball team is looking for offices in London due to plans to expand into the UK sports market. Is yours available now that you are retreating from the weather forecasting business? The prospective buyer is attracted to your property because they will not need to change the sign out front (very much) or the stationary. They can just add an ‘S’.

    HeHeHeHe

    John

  17. From Wikipedia:

    A memory hole is the alteration or outright disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts, or other records, such as from a web site or other archive, particularly as part of an attempt to give the impression that something never happened.

    Origins

    The memory hole is a small chute leading to a large incinerator used for censorship in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four:

    In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston’s arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.(pp. 34-35)

  18. As a UK citizen I will greatly miss their ‘seasonal predictions’ as a regular excuse to LMAO. For more fun, this from Director Magazine, Jan 2010, in an interview by David Woodard with Met Office chief exec, John Hirst:

    “Climatologists must be objective and honest, says Met Office chief executive John Hirst, but they are also human

    John Hirst is talking, with admirable patience, about the summer that never was. The now infamous Met Office press release, which declared the UK was “odds on for a barbecue summer”, came back to haunt the forecaster when wet and blustery weather turned July into a washout. And there was further embarrassment to come. The Met Office projected a “milder than average” winter, before Britain suffered one of its coldest, snowiest spells in memory, with temperatures almost stooping to South Pole levels.

    Hirst, the organisation’s chief executive, says the “barbecue summer” press release was carefully “couched in probabilities” and was designed to discourage the media from colouring the forecast with inaccurate descriptions. Normally the newspapers tend to reach for their own superlatives, “scorcher” being a popular choice when prospects are good, but these interpretations are sometimes “completely conflicting,” says Hirst, “so [with ‘barbecue summer’] we were aiming for consistency.”

    The phrase proved a gift for headline writers. “It was well reported,” agrees Hirst, “but when we got to July, which was very wet, all that deep understanding went out the window.” It’s worth noting, he says, that both the summer and winter forecasts were seasonal, a more inexact process than daily forecasting. Although the organisation has been providing seasonal forecasts for the last five years, says Hirst, “it’s not part of our operational suite.” It is, he says, a “developing science”.

    This of course begs the question: why is an experimental, unproven forecasting method being used as the basis for a national press release? “It’s there as a point of interest. We do try to couch it carefully in probabilities. Sadly those probabilities get lost in the headlines.” In any case, adds Hirst, the summer forecast was more or less right. “Objectively, we said ‘warmer than average, drier than average’. The whole of the summer was warmer than average, it was just massively wetter in July than we had anticipated 120 days before.”

    It may be of little comfort to anyone who rushed out to buy a barbecue, but making seasonal forecasts in other parts of the world is often much easier. “We got the late onset of the monsoons in India, the number of hurricanes in north America, [and] the heavy rain that led to mudslides in northern Brazil. [The UK is] one of the most difficult areas in the world to forecast,” says Hirst. “We sit on an island against a major continent, up against a massive ocean. The disruption that comes from the patterns in the weather is really quite complex.”

    Despite its success as a global forecaster, the Met Office’s long-term forecasting has been severely criticised by rival weather companies and climate change deniers who claim that the organisation is attempting to make a case for global warming by consistently projecting warmer weather. Although this is an accusation it strongly denies, earlier this month the Met Office admitted to BBC News that its annual global mean forecast predicted higher than actual temperatures for nine years out of the last 10.

    Does Hirst feel an obligation to make a case for climate change? He says it’s not the Met Office’s job to influence opinion. “We support people making policy on these things, but we don’t design policy.” Hirst says it’s the organisation’s role to “make sure the science is robust, clear and understood. And then people can draw their own conclusions.” But, he adds, “if people are using inappropriate or faulty data we try and correct that.”

    Hirst is not above making his own view clear. “When I came to this job, I was sympathetic to the possibility of climate change, but not really understanding of it. Having seen the science displayed to me, and the professional impartiality of the scientists at this organisation, I have no doubts about climate change and of man’s contribution to it, because that’s what the science shows.

    “Some people say to me, do you believe in climate change? Climate change is not a religious conviction. It is not a philosophy. It is not a question of metaphysics. It is a geophysical phenomenon that we observe scientifically.”

    The Met Office works closely with the University of East Anglia to record global temperatures, which are used in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although recently leaked emails from the university’s Climate Research Unit seemed to suggest an evidence bias towards climate change, Hirst strongly rejects the accusation that his fellow scientists manipulated the data.

    “A scientist has an obligation to be objective and work with high integrity at all times,” he says, adding: “Scientists are human, like everybody else. And they aren’t perfect in their use of language. Somebody hacked in to some personal exchanges. We don’t always, all of us, work on the basis that everything we say or write down is going to be made public and examined in fine detail. Otherwise none of us would say very much to anybody at all.”

    Climate change deniers often target the Met Office’s seasonal forecasting as evidence of its inability to accurately predict changes in climate. But they are two separate issues, explains Hirst. Seasonal forecasts predict a specific outcome over the long term, whereas climate is about predicting an average over the long term. “When you move to climate, you’re talking about general weather patterns on a very broad scale. In climate, you are not able to say that in June 2052 the weather will be like this, but you can say over the decade of the 50s it will be broadly this kind if shape. Some people say to me ‘you can’t get the season right so how can you get the climate right’, but it’s a different problem.”

    Hirst is keen to highlight the commercial benefits of accurate forecasting. Weather predictions can be used to make operations more efficient and more profitable, he says. “Look at fresh and chilled foods: quite a lot of that demand is influenced by the weather patterns. But not many people make sophisticated use of the forecasts to make them more efficient. What it needs is a bit of investment to establish the correlation between demand and weather patterns.”

    But what if retailers stocked up on barbecue items ahead of a rainy summer, or lighter clothing ahead of an unexpected cold snap? “If you are Starbucks and planning your next week’s pattern of purchasing, knowing the next week’s weather is pretty helpful, you don’t need a seasonal forecast. At M&S they have a six-day, two-day and six-hour decision point on their lettuce provision: that’s well within the very accurate [short-term] forecasting parameters.”

    As a government trading fund, required to operate on a commercial basis, the Met Office offers an enormously wide range of services, from advising utilities companies—”Some of the power companies’ profits can swing up to £600,000 a day depending on whether they can forecast the temperatures correctly”—to North Sea operations—”if you’re towing an oil rig you need a three-four day window of calm weather”—to health services, such as its partnership with primary care trusts that helps sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. “The disease is aggravated by cold weather,” explains Hirst.

    Hirst accepts the regular criticism that comes with the job as a function of our national fixation with the weather. When there’s “a lot of weather about”, he says, “our press [officers] are hoarse by the end of the day. People ask me, why did I take this job? Well the answer is, I’m British and by definition obsessed by the weather.”

    He says the strain of being “under the microscope all of the time” is tempered by the knowledge that his organisation is providing a “fantastic” service. “Most private sector [companies] would kill for the scientific understanding and intellectual property we have in this organisation. You have to take the bumpy bits along with the joy of doing something really meaningful,” he says.”

    I wish there was more….

    January 2010: Director Magazine

  19. Robert E. Phelan (16:28:16) :

    Yes, the Met Office says they have discontinued their Ministry of Silly Forecasts. Not to worry though, fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2010/mar/22/sizzling-summer-uk-weather-forecast

    UK set for sizzling summer (possibly)
    Online forecaster Positive Weather Solutions predicts Britain will have a summer to match or exceed that of 1976

    which means put on your Wellies

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/apr/08/weather.theobserver

    The Observer, Sunday 8 April 2007

    Britain set to enjoy another sizzling summer after new evidence from the Met Office suggested above average temperatures for the season.

  20. Bureaucrats must simply hate the internet.

    A single individual can copy an entire press release and then re-release it after the original has expired, erased, expunged.

    No wonder people wired into the ‘official’ views of things hate websites like this.

    I really am glad I can sit down and with a few clicks of a keyboard or mouse, uncover what governments would prefer stay hidden.

    The Chinese government wants to control the flow of information via Google. Google has said no. Good for them. This is not surprising when coming from a dictatorship such as the Communist Party ruling from China. After all, the Nazi’s, another dictatorship did not want certain embarrassing details coming out either. They failed.

    To have the benefits of open markets, which China wants, you must have open communications. If the price of rice is going down somewhere, people must have access to this information, or they simply cannot make the trades that make sense for them; good bad or indifferent.

    Open and free communications mean exactly that. If the government agency for weather predictions screws up, they screw up. It is obvious to all observers. Same for any other predictions.

    But governments do not care to have their failures openly discussed. So, the Met, on a much smaller scale than the Chinese, are endeavoring to control information.

    Right here in the United States, the home of the free press and all that other posturing for free flows of information, we cannot get the thermometer readings of a variety of weather stations from years gone by. Why is that?

    Suppose, for pure reasons of sentiment, I want to know the lows of Fraser, Colorado from fifty years ago, untainted, unmanipulated, and in their pure, virginal state, how come I can’t get those readings?

    It’s because someone does not want me to have that information.

    It sounds like that someone needs to be removed from office.

    Is this an unreasonable position?

  21. Is that Winston Smith with the shredder?

    This reminds me of 1984, the novel, not the year. Mr. Smith’s job was to modify past newspapers. Kinda the job some people at the Met Office seems to have.

  22. Last year, I went to my daughter’s graduation in Dec. in Glasgow Scotland. Based on averages, and my husband’s testimony, I didn’t take the down coat, etc. I froze in the snow and ice. So I went shopping!! Sounds like this year has been even colder.

    PS Sir Muir Russell presided over the graduation. Maybe he remembers how cold it was then.

  23. Ahhhh the Met Office rewriting history. Double plus good!

    Thankyou Al for inventing the interwebby thing.

  24. Hide the decline
    Hide the sloppy forecasts.

    How Inconvenient.

    Didn’t The Met Office tell us their snazzy new computor would be so accurate and fast?

  25. I’ve always wondered where Met Offices get their probabilities. I assume if there’s 10 guys in the office and 3 say it will be raining, there’s a 30% chance of rain.

    What is peculiar with forecasts several days ahead, I’ve often seen increasing likelihoods of rain but decreasing forecast amounts … until on the day, there is a 100% certainty of rain but the amount is zero …

  26. The wonderful thing about the internet is that by placing many years of mistakes side by side a bias is easily exposed. Now if only they would be honest this whole thing would go away.

  27. Jon Jewett (17:01:12) : Re Orwell quotes. “There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science.” Orwell, G, “1984”.

  28. Well, is the Met susceptible to an FOI request for documents related to the decision and process of changing the winter forecast web page? A British citizen would have to do it, if there is one who wants to know why such a decision was made. If there is no documentation for such a decision, then there are other questions about why the government is paying to have random, unapproved, stuff put on public web sites.

  29. So was this the sequence:

    Prediction from computer modeling effort posted in July.
    Prediction was apparently quite wrong in December.
    Post-diction web pages published in January.
    Bonuses all round in March

    ?

  30. The Big Question: Should the BBC drop the Met Office as its official weather forecaster?

    So, are they going to go to Piers Corbyn and Joe Bastardi instead? Many of us here know they are more accurate, far more.

    more from Piers Corbyn on video about ‘The Met’, he gives his views on co2 and climate also

  31. Maybe the rewrite of history is why they need the giga watt super computer.
    With 7500000000000000. That’s the amount of floating-point operations (or calculations) the Met Office’s supercomputer makes every minute in its … Wow think of the accuracy? They can clean up any mess they make with perfect hind casting.

  32. Piers Corbyn talking about these same things in this post:

    “….and they (i.e., The Met) will be wrong again for the winter of 09/010. Our forecast shows it’s very likely to be generally cold, or even very cold…in
    Briton and in Ireland…..”

  33. The met folks must be the ones that had no job offers at graduation. This stuff is not hard. Subscribe to Piers Corbyn service and you would be geniuses. You would only have to spin the cold weather as AGW. Which is easy with the average college grad. Most electrician, plumbs, trades men don’t by it. Just the 6 figure California Hp type believe.

  34. WUWT, ClimateAudit, et al could get together and sponsor a forecasting service runoff, and the winning competitor is in first place for public recommendations to receive forecasting contracts….

  35. TerryBixler (19:15:02) :

    Clyde Tombaugh spent ten years doing the math to discover the planet Pluto. That same math could now be done in a tiny fraction of a second.

    Disappearing web pages can also be done very quickly on computers, and NASA has even demonstrated skill at making planets disappear (Pluto.)

  36. Seasonal forcasting is built on statistics and based on those it can give a liklyhood of for example a warm, avarage or a cold winter. But weather is chaotic and every year is unique. This makes it very difficult to make a forecast. Also the amount of years with historic statistic data is limited. If we had 1000 years of data the forcast would be better, but we will still only end up with a distribution of the liklyness of cold, average, warm and dry, normal, or wet weather. And if the statistics say 10% chance of cold weather in the coming winter, a cold winter could still occur and it would not automatically mean a wrongly made forecast. It would only mean that the winter weather differ from statistical mean scenario. Up until meiby 10 years ago no weathercentre wanted to do seasonal forecasting beacause it was to difficult. I am not sure exact which year they started and which weathercentre that was first. But there are limited experience in doing seasonal forcasts, and experience will give better results. It is a also risky business because people tend to think about the seasonal forcast the same way they do about a regular weather forcast, which is based on well known physics. The weather forcast for meiby the next 5 days will have a limited possible outcome, but forcasting temperature and precepitation 3-4 month ahead will give a possibility (that could be small) for almost every kind of weather. It is the same as if we would forecast the weather in 5 days by using data describing the current weather situation and then use statistics to guess parameters as temperature and precipitation 5 days later.

    So we should not criticise them to much, we shoud think of the seasonal forcast as guesses based on physics and statistics. Also I think the meteorologists try their best and they are learning and gathering experience from each year.
    Still I think it isfun that seasonal forecasts exist. I know that they are uncertain but I would miss them if they were not to be produced anymore.

    Sorry for the long post. Meiby you got tired of me before finishing it, but I hope I made my point.

    Good night everybody!

  37. Mattias, Sweden (19:31:11) :

    The Met Office does their seasonal forecasts by running their models six months into the future, similar to what NOAA’s CPC does. Both are usually less accurate than a random number generator.

  38. Steve Goddard (19:35:05) :

    “Both are usually less accurate than a random number generator.”

    I am not sure I agree about that, but I would not use it to plan any activities ;)

  39. “Amino Acids in Meteorites (19:10:02) :
    The Big Question:”..

    ..is why would Piers Corbyn present himself like that? I drew a cartoon of a mad scientist in the 7th grade, (it was a project), and he looked just like him! A barber, or even a comb, would at least present that he has some sort of control. The “Einstein” look doesn’t quit cut it here in our world of convenient hygiene.

  40. And if they are weren´t trying, how would they ever learn to make better seasonal forcasts?

    :)

  41. “Steve Goddard (19:35:05) :

    Both are usually less accurate than a random number generator.”

    LOL A random mumber generator is very accurate, every time it runs in fact.

  42. These bozos have been using the global warming models and adjusted data and then have the gall to wonder why they have been wrong 9 out of the last 10 years. Doh!

  43. Mattias, Sweden (20:05:34) :

    I check the CPC forecasts all the time and they are usually inverted from what happened. They forecast a warm winter for the central and southern US twelve months ago.

    There is no reason to believe that the models will ever be accurate more than a few days out, due to chaos. Weather modelers understand this and it is surprising that climate modelers don’t. Climate models are basically weather models with a few more considerations (like atmospheric content.)

  44. Patrick Davis (20:07:53) :

    A good random number generator is one which generates a nearly perfect gaussian, i.e. it is completely unpredictable for small populations, and completely predictable for large ones.

    A seasonal forecast is a very small population of one.

  45. ”””””Mattias, Sweden (19:31:11) : Seasonal forcasting is built on statistics . . . . Still I think it isfun that seasonal forecasts exist. I know that they are uncertain but I would miss them if they were not to be produced anymore. . . . . Sorry for the long post. . . . .”””””’

    Mattias,

    I think the MET just didn’t do their statistical homework honestly/objectively on the seasonal forecasts. The MET was telling an AGW story that they wanted us to hear. Someone else will now do the seasonal forecasts, hopefully in a more honest and statistically proper way.

    Goodnight.

    John

  46. Before they can forecast the weather or the climate by extension, they have to understand how the weather really works…

    http://research.aerology.com/aerology-analog-weather-forecasting-method/

    Ideas and supporting research on how the “chaotic system” is just a compound signal that can be demodulated, to extract the intelligence signals out of the composite “Looks like noise” signal. By solving for more of the Natural variables, it will make the remaining “unknown CO2 influence” in the equation easier to solve for.

    Based on the repeating patterns found in the research, in 2007 I generated Maps for the following 6 years of “daily forecast for the USA”. These are still viewable for the next 4 years, (till January of 2014.)

    http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx

  47. I’d just like to add that Joe D’Aleo’s winter forecast for the US was spot on in case some have forgotten.

    “The Big Question” is should the BBC consider hiring him instead.

  48. A good way to test your random number generator is this:

    static const unsigned int COUNT = 10000;
    std::vector count_vector(COUNT );

    for (int i = 0; i < COUNT; i++)
    {
    count_vector[i] = 0;
    }

    for (int i = 0; i < COUNT; i++)
    {
    unsigned int sum = 0;

    for (int j = 0; j < COUNT; j++)
    {
    sum+= rand() % COUNT;
    }

    unsigned int average = sum / COUNT;

    count_vector[average]++;
    }

    When you are done executing this, you should have an perfect gaussian distribution in count_vector centered around COUNT / 2. Of course, chances are your random number generator is not very good and the distribution is not perfect.

  49. Don’t ever try to post C++ code on web discussion forum. It thinks angle brackets are html tags.

  50. If the Met office record is comparable to the level of accuracy of NOAA, then they ought to be forgetting about bonuses — even for showing up for work on time.

    For days, all we heard was how wet Sunday would be here in Buffalo. The rain was to depart on Monday, with the sun returning in the late afternoon. Right. Most of Sunday turned out sunny and mild with high clouds. Trace of rain late night, with solid rainy periods on Monday all the way through a chiily Tuesday drizzle. Sun didn’t reappear till Wednesday. Good thing I don’t count on them for anything other than a SWAG. I just followed the progress of the storm through the kinks and curls of the jet stream, as its progress was slowed to a crawl. Supposed to get some rain tomorrow late afternoon; guess I’d better get my grocery run completed first thing in the morning to miss the bulk of the rain; who knows what Friday will bring – they’re guessing sunny and cold.

    As for the long range forecasts — does anyone ever really pay any attention to them?

  51. Another thing that has disappeared…..

    Anthony…any chance to make this a feature post and invite the experts like Morner….I am sure he would love to chime in…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100324/ap_on_sc/as_india_disappearing_island

    Damn ASSoc. Press….this is their clincher?

    How much is due to sinking in one of the world’s largest, lowest-lying deltas….not to mention other things at work here (not to mention the 700-mile 40-foot jump of the tectonic plate that caused the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004)??

    Let the truth be discovered….

    Caution, though….it won’t be found in the annals [or should I say anals] of the ASSociatied Press.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  52. John Whitman (20:20:56) :

    “I think the MET just didn’t do their statistical homework honestly/objectively on the seasonal forecasts. The MET was telling an AGW story that they wanted us to hear. Someone else will now do the seasonal forecasts, hopefully in a more honest and statistically proper way.”

    Well, I am not going to defend Met Off. ;) I wanted to tell that long time range forecast of parameters like temperature and precipitation is at the current knowledge level are difficult to make. You can for example try to use parameters like the current ocean temperature, that will likely affect the coming month temperature, in ocean near states, because of the large water heat storing capacity. But there are so many other things that will mess up the forecast. Like weatherpatterns corresponding to positive or negative AO or NAO index.

  53. Can anyone here forecast volcanoes, sand storms, forest fires, sunspots, asteroids, magnetic storms, clouds, ENSO or ice twelve months out?

    If you can’t, then you can’t forecast the climate twelve months out.

  54. Steve Goddard (20:15:46) :
    Mattias, Sweden (20:05:34) :

    “There is no reason to believe that the models will ever be accurate more than a few days out, due to chaos. Weather modelers understand this and it is surprising that climate modelers don’t. “

    Weather forecasters are, at least to some extent, market tested. Climatologists are not, ever. They are all on the government tit and are also the dumb men of science. They are the guys who couldn’t do chemistry and physics.

  55. “Steve Goddard (20:19:26) :

    A good random number generator is one which generates a nearly perfect gaussian, i.e. it is completely unpredictable for small populations, and completely predictable for large ones.

    A seasonal forecast is a very small population of one.”

    Well that is the point isn’t it? A RNG works, perfectly, every time (say for a gaming/wagering/betting organisation in my experience) predictable or not.

    Modelled seasonal “weather” forecasting doesn’t (For The Met, BoM, NIWA etc etc in my expience).

  56. Patrick Davis (21:48:36) :,

    Met Office forecasts are binary Hot/Cold Wet/Dry . A random number generator would have a 50/50 chance of getting it right.

    Met Office does worse than that because they always predict warming, while the climate has been cooling the last few years.

  57. Anthony, I regret to inform you that the US government does give bonuses. It gave bonuses to SEC employees who failed to detect the hollow condition of several big investments banks a couple years ago.

    The DOD even gives bonus progress payments to defense contractors who have not yet begun work. Or it used to.

  58. Makes me wonder every time the Met Office pull a stunt! They cannot do a “prediction” for 6 months ahead and (I love this comment of theirs) because “the UK weather is very hard to predict”!
    Ask anyone who has live a few years in the UK and they would agree but if they cannot manage 6 months how the hell can they “predict” years ahead?
    Yep, its total nonsense (Nonscience?) but then again, it always has been.
    Me, I will stick with Piers!

  59. @ John Whitman (20:20:56) :

    “The MET was telling an AGW story that they wanted us to hear. Someone else will now do the seasonal forecasts, hopefully in a more honest and statistically proper way.”

    – – – – – – –

    As soon as MET figured out that 51% of the public didn’t want to hear their claptrap …

  60. How can you be wrong for 10 years and still be in business? Do lives depend on these fools? Does anyone ever get canned?

  61. well here’s one company thinking they might not need to stock as much gas in the future based on the first report:

    “At the end of September the Met Office issued its early indications for winter 2009/101. They report that ‘preliminary indications continue to suggest that winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder than last year for the UK, but there is still a 1 in 7 chance of a cold winter’.”

    http://www.nationalgrid.com/NR/rdonlyres/C3A81245-D988-48A4-80F2-5082F601E06D/37301/Winter_Outlook_Report_200910_01102009.pdf

    and this:

    “With the recent trend of warmer winters there is the possibility that our 1 in 50 basis for severe conditions based on the last 80 years of weather data is now less relevant than for previous security analyses. We have been working with the Met Office and other energy companies to explore this.”

    Wonder if they are still relying on the met office for ‘expert’ guidance…

  62. crossopter (17:55:20) :
    “This of course begs the question: why is an experimental, unproven forecasting method being used as the basis for a national press release?”

    Simple: it’s the garbage they shove in, so that they can be sure of getting the required garbage out.

  63. Maybe Piers Corbyn, Joe Bastardi and John D’Aleo were just luckier than the MET. But i think they have identified long term oscillations for their seasonal forecasts so that they can perform at least better than a toin coss. How can this be when weather is chaotic? Well, the answer can only be the huge heat reservoir that are the oceans. They seem to have a longer time constant than the atmosphere.
    So the MET really did mess up completely and they could really have done better IMHO. It was not impossible to perform better. They believed their own skewed view. I wonder what they believe now.

  64. If the three-months weather forecasts aren’t reliable, long-term forecast of global temperature are even less reliable?

    Nah! That’s like saying if we can’t predict what the stock market will do over the next three months, we can’t predict it will rise over the next 50 years. People know better than that, which is why they invest in the market for the long-term.

  65. ”””’Mattias, Sweden (21:27:43) : . . . . I wanted to tell that long time range forecast of parameters like temperature and precipitation is at the current knowledge level are difficult to make . . .”””’

    Mattias,

    Glad I did not offend you with my dim views of the MET. : )

    Maybe we need to make an index of a group of relatively successful seasonal forecasters. Then handicap them like horses in a horse race. We could sell accuracy bets on their forecast to people on a comission basis . . . . . hmmmm. Just kidding, sort of.

    John

  66. ””””Wren (00:47:16) : If the three-months weather forecasts aren’t reliable, long-term forecast of global temperature are even less reliable? Nah! That’s like saying if we can’t predict what the stock market will do over the next three months, we can’t predict it will rise over the next 50 years. People know better than that, which is why they invest in the market for the long-term.”””

    Wren,

    Back already? Are you addicted? I am.

    It is 4:00 pm here in Taiwan.

    As to your comment, farmers make investments on the basis of seasonal/longer range weather forecasts, just like investors make investments in long range stock market forecasts. It would appear that enough investors and farmers meet or exceed their expectations for gain based on the forecasts.

    John

  67. I must say I see no UK summer forecasts in the public domain right now – not from Weather Action either.

    Did here one from a loner in mid-Wales who, like Corbyn, called this winter right.

    He says it’ll be a hot summer.

    Certainly seen the biggest bumble bee in history this week. Maybe the late start to spring has co-ordinated a huge amount of flowering so the bee was in the sweet shop stuffing himself????

  68. There’s a thing.

    Go to http://forum.netweather.tv/topic/55376-met-office-winter-forecast/page__st__170

    scroll down to 27 November and check out:-

    “londonsnow, on 27 November 2009 – 11:09 , said:
    “met office winter forecast is out. suggesting 50% chance of milder winter, 30% average, and 20% colder. the daily express will be furious!”

    Now go to the contemporary link on that page:-
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/creating/monthsahead/seasonal/2009/winter.html
    (now with a tag for 30 December)

    Colder is now at 45%, average 30%, milder at 25%.

    Well, I always like to make my predictions retrospectively, Increases accuracy dramatically. But I don’t have a £31 Million Supercomputer to help me. (Nor a 25% bonus to motivate me).

    See also:-
    http://news.stv.tv/uk/140390-met-office-sees-warmer-winter-for-north-europe/

    See also:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/30/major-northern-hemisphere-cold-snap-coming/

    Comment:-
    Martin Brumby (00:51:07) :

    “Well, it took me a little while to find it (now, they couldn’t be trying to hide it, SURELY?) but here is the MET Office’s forecast dated 27 November 2009. (That’s right, just over a month ago!)
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/seasonal/2009/winter/?zoneid=79042

    It is also confirmed by:-
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1231668/Forecasters-predict-mild-winter-Britain-Prince-Charles-visits-flood-hit-Cockermouth.html

    Not to mention:-
    http://www.energyhelpline.com/news/article.aspx?aaid=18801304&y=2008&m=9&w=4&pid=1
    (Gosh! Cheap energy bills! Brilliant!)

    You will see that after their previous fiasco last year:-
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080925.html

    The MET Office’s prediction THIS time round gives 50% chance of a mild winter, 30% chance of a near average winter and 20% chance of a colder winter. Is that what’s called spread betting? I’ve got a small coin! I can do that! “Give us a job!”

    And what have Joe Bastardi and Piers Corbyn been predicting? Gosh, and they haven’t got a £30 Million Super computer which is so clever that it says just what the climate will be doing in 90 years time!

    Hey, I pay my taxes!
    Can I have my share of £30 Million back, towards my “cheaper” energy bills?”

    Perhaps it is time for a FOIA request to the MET Office? What is their policy on archiving their predicions?

    Fraudsters!

  69. Call me Mr Picky or Mr Fussy, but why is it journos always get it wrong in the basics. In The Times reference in the above it refers to the “governemnt owned” body. The governemnt owns nothing. Governments are merely transitory, at least in democratic countries. It is owned by the TAXPAYERS, by them & them alone!!!!!!!

  70. May I please ask a stoopid question?

    What’s the difference between climate and weather?

    Best answer I can get so far is that the former happens over 30-year timescales, and the latter over shorter timescales.

    In his new book ‘Why does E=mc2?’, Prof. Brian Cox discusses Bertrand Russell’s teapot, which he claimed was orbiting between Earth and Mars, and could not be observed. “Russell’s point is not his right to be left alone to his personal delusions, but that devising a theory that cannot be proved or disproved by observation is pointless in the sense that it teaches you nothing, irrespective of how passionately you may believe in it. You can invent any object or idea you like, but if there is no way of observing it or its consequences, you haven’t made a contribution to the scientific understanding of the universe.”

    In the light of this, if the the 30-year criterion has any meaning, can anybody tell me its origin, and might some other number (e.g., 29.467 +/- 0.2 years) be derived?

  71. Gary (20:03:48) :

    “Amino Acids in Meteorites (19:10:02) :
    The Big Question:”..

    ..is why would Piers Corbyn present himself like that? I drew a cartoon of a mad scientist in the 7th grade, (it was a project), and he looked just like him! A barber, or even a comb, would at least present that he has some sort of control. The “Einstein” look doesn’t quit cut it here in our world of convenient hygiene.

    Better mad than mod.

    (PS: The last word should have been “grooming,” not “hygiene”)

  72. ” Wren (00:47:16) :

    If the three-months weather forecasts aren’t reliable, long-term forecast of global temperature are even less reliable?

    Nah! That’s like saying if we can’t predict what the stock market will do over the next three months, we can’t predict it will rise over the next 50 years. People know better than that, which is why they invest in the market for the long-term.”

    This is actually a good analogy. It’s not like investors have long term forecasts but they do know that certain markets are cyclical; for instance chemistry is early in the economic cycle, machinery comes later – which is obvious when you consider that you need chemicals to build components and components to build machinery.

    These cycles allow educated guesses for an anticyclical strategy.

  73. Anthony Scalzi (22:00:18) :

    NickB. (19:57:17) :
    The Way Back Machine didn’t archive it? Is that thing still around?
    ——-

    I checked the way back machine and they only had one page newer than 2007 from the uk metoffice.
    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

    IIRC, sites can opt out of Wayback coverage. I wonder if the Met Office did so. If they did, it would be embarrassing for them to have to justify that request. Someone should put the question to them.

  74. John Whitman:

    farmers make investments on the basis of seasonal/longer range weather forecasts, …

    And commodity speculators, and food processors.

  75. “Nor all your piety or wit
    Shall lure it back
    To cancel half a line,
    Nor all your tears
    Wipe out
    A word of it.”
    (Omar Khayyam.)

    That was then. In 2009-2010, data gets scrubbed.

  76. I followed the link to the Met Office. The funniest graph is the picture of rainfall prediction. It gives the following probabilities:

    Drier 30%
    Near Average 35%
    Wetter 35%

    This is so close to the uniform distribution of 33.3% for each outcome as to be complete meaningless. That’s not a prediction: in terms of statistics and entropy its “our prediction is don’t know”. Its as close to the maximum entropy (chaotic) state of a three state system as makes no difference.

  77. Brent Hargreaves (03:23:41) :

    You asked “What’s the difference between climate and weather?”

    A typical weather forecast extends from one hour to three days. Some sites provide 15 day forecasts that are almost always incorrect. Longer term seasonal forecasts are generated by climate people like NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

  78. “What’s the difference between climate and weather?”

    I would say that weather is the influence on temperature, precipitation and wind speed and direction at ground level due to a single weather system overhead. Climate is the influence of multiple weather systems either over time or spread out over the earth’s surface. Thus if in one year you have multiple parts of the globe exhibiting high levels of snowfall this cannot be due to a single weather system and it is a climate event, not a weather event.

  79. Early indications for Winter 2009/10

    Signals for precipitation slightly favour near or above average rainfall over much of northern Europe, including the UK. What do we mean by average rainfall?

    We base our average rainfall on measurements over the whole season for the years 1971-2000. The UK average for December to February is 332 mm

    Preliminary indications continue to suggest that winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder than last year for the UK, but there is still a 1 in 7 chance of a cold winter. What do we mean by average temperature?

    As you would expect, temperatures can vary quite widely over the winter. So we take an average for the whole season and measure against that. The UK average for December to February from 1971-2000 is 3.7 °C.

  80. The Met Office used to have a real incentive to get it right, before climate science and computer models. It was founded as a forecasting service for the RAF and even now is an agency of our Ministry of Defence.

    The D-Day landings in June 1944 were delayed and timed exactly by the Met Office, the need being for 3 clear days, despite political pressure from Mr W Churchill and others to get on with it.

    I bet those guys are looking down in amazement at the current shambles.

  81. Steve Goddard (08:45:32) :

    MartinGAtkins (07:51:27) :

    Do you have a reference/link for that text?

    I haven’t, but:-

    1DandyTroll (09:21:16) has.

    Is there anything WUWT users can’t find?

  82. I’m a Pig Farmer, and due to the poor Meto Winter forecast I lost alot of my Hogs over the Winter, which is quite devastating to my Pig Farm in Devon. (SW England) Alot of my Grunts (a word we use here for Farm Hands) spent many months digging out Frozen Carcasses from the fields, and we would have usually provided temporary Hog Houses if we had known the Cold was coming.

    I used to be a strong AGW supporter over the years, but have recently been changing my mind. We had been told to be prepared for Mild Winters with no Snow, and I had geared up my Hog Farm for the future Climate, but it is not happening, and this was all advised by the Met Office.

    I am one really annoyed Hog Farmer, and we lead a simple life and don’t understand the science as we cannot do that being simple country folk, but we need to listen to the experts and we have been let down, and I need to Breed extra Hogs now over the year which means more Hog Food to buy and all the trouble with mating.

  83. P Hearnden (10:34:56) :

    You obviously have internet access and a computer, so in the future watch the UK Weather forecasts provided by Accu Weather’s Joe Bastardi who predicted this winter in the summer of last year.

    Here is the web site: http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/index.asp

    You can’t keep pigs or other animals in England without warm stables or shelters to keep them out of the cold, rain and wind.
    The chill factors are to high and you have to take care of sufficient protection.

    If I were you I would send the UK Government the bill for your losses.
    Drum up your fellow farmers who suffered losses as well, take a lawyer and go for it!

  84. When I once visited the Met Office in Exeter they boasted of how their forecast for Exeter Airport was significantly more accurate than for any other airport in the UK. And how this illustrated the value of knowledge of local weather patterns in providing accurate forecasts.

    Perhaps they’re right, but I couldn’t also help wondering if the ability to be able to sanity-check that particular forecast by looking out of the office window might also be helping there!

  85. Steve Goddard (08:45:32) :

    MartinGAtkins (07:51:27) :

    Do you have a reference/link for that text?

    very good work !

    well, as of now, it’s no good to copy and paste the text, add the link, and save that for later use …

    this is indeed a great and, especially, well executed disappearance trick … we’re very lucky that 1DandyTroll has found the link to the European Archive …

    your reference to the Independent is right … on 29th September, there was an update of the original post and news release … the 29th September link was the one I used on my personal blog … but without a snapshot, I’m referring to something that doesn’t exist … (well, exist it does, but not in its original form …)

    never thought that they would turn to tactics like this … not the Met Office …

    we should adknowledge the lesson from this …

  86. Steve Goddard (22:20:27) : | Reply w/ Link

    Patrick Davis (21:48:36) :,

    Met Office forecasts are binary Hot/Cold Wet/Dry . A random number generator would have a 50/50 chance of getting it right.

    Met Office does worse than that because they always predict warming, while the climate has been cooling the last few years.

    The Norwegian equivalent of the MET Office – Met.no issued a seasonal forecast 16. November 2009 predicting that the south-eastern part of Norway was likely to experience 2 degrees (Celsius) warmer than average this winter (December-January-February). In the beginning of March we found that the average had been more like 3 degrees (Celsius) colder than average for the same area and period, i.e. the prediction was 5C warmer than reality.

    The responsible for seasonal predictions at met.no is no other than Rasmus Benestad, well known from RealClimate.

  87. This is unfortunately a major reason why the general public does not believe… In AGW. Supposed pinnacles of meteorological perfection keep having to hide, erase, shred, destroy or stonewall evidence of their errors. With each incident of trying to rewrite their bumbled history – the ranks of skeptics swell.

    Thank you Met Officers of Deny, Delay and Deceive – you are winning the war against yourselves.

  88. MattN (16:24:44) :

    A drunk monkey with a dartboard is more accurate than the Met office….

    And you know how we feel about monkeys!

  89. ””””MartinGAtkins (09:49:19) : – . . . . Is there anything WUWT users can’t find?””””

    Martin,

    : ) Perhaps the list of things we (or at least some of us) cannot find starts (or ends) with any unequivocal evidence of CAGW? Some would say any evidence at all, maybe forget the unequivocal part.

    John

  90. The Met doesn’t have to be successful. They are funded by the government. No matter what they do the money comes. And apparently the more the are wrong the greater the amount of money that comes to them. No pressures to be right.

    It’s like the educational system in America.

  91. Roger Knights (04:18:11) :
    “And commodity speculators, and food processors.”

    My food processor broke. One cheap little plastic part that is not replaceable so a $225.00 piece of equipment is now garbage.

  92. Gary (00:23:21) :

    My food processor broke. One cheap little plastic part that is not replaceable so a $225.00 piece of equipment is now garbage.

    I had that happen with a couple of mine, and then I bought a Cuisinart. It seems as though it has thought through a lot of these issues, And that it has spare parts available.

    (Now you’ll tell me that YOURS was a Cuisinart!)

  93. Bernd Felsche (06:13:33) :

    I attended a talk by Frank Abagnale, the con-man turned FBI agent from the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” He said that the only type of shredders that are any use are microcut shredders. He said that documents shredded by other types produce a pile which can be reassembled in half an hour.

  94. Shortly after the July washout last year a local BBC weather forecaster (i.e. not a national wallah, but on regional telly – Yorkshire it was, iirc) gave a very lucid explanatin of how the Met Office arrived at its forecast. In the preceding 150 years, he noted, there had been only two sequences of years where there had been three wet summers in a row (incredible though that seems in the UK). Since the summers of 2007 and 2008 had been very wet themselves, the balance of probabilities lay with 2009 not forming a third three-year sequence of wet summers.

    So there it is, the Met Office’s “developing science” of seasonal forecasting was simply a matter of playing the odds. And they bust.

    For this they get trebles all round.

  95. P Hearnden (10:34:56) :

    I’m a Pig Farmer, and due to the poor Meto Winter forecast I lost alot of my Hogs over the Winter, which is quite devastating to my Pig Farm in Devon.

    I did not make this post – it’s a pack of lies and insults directed at me by a troll.

    I wonder if Steve might say if impersonating other people, people like me who show him and this blog the respect of using our proper names (even if we strongly disagree with most of what is said), is acceptable here?

  96. ThinkingScientist (06:48:49) :

    I followed the link to the Met Office. The funniest graph is the picture of rainfall prediction. It gives the following probabilities:

    Drier 30%
    Near Average 35%
    Wetter 35%

    Instead of buying a supercomputer they can just toss a coin next time.

  97. Andy Brooks (08:47:35) :

    The Met Office used to have a real incentive to get it right, before climate science and computer models. It was founded as a forecasting service for the RAF and even now is an agency of our Ministry of Defence.

    The D-Day landings in June 1944 were delayed and timed exactly by the Met Office, the need being for 3 clear days, despite political pressure from Mr W Churchill and others to get on with it.

    I bet those guys are looking down in amazement at the current shambles.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    These agencies like The Met, NASA, and the NOAA are government agencies. They do exactly what the government wants them to do. For D-Day the British government wanted correct weather forecast. I was produced. In the 60’s the American government wanted a man on the Moon. NASA produced it.

    Now both governments want a Cap N Trade system. The Met, NASA, the NOAA, the NAS, etc., are producing it.

  98. MartinGAtkins (09:49:19) :

    Steve Goddard (08:45:32) :

    MartinGAtkins (07:51:27) :

    Do you have a reference/link for that text?

    I haven’t, but:-

    1DandyTroll (09:21:16) has.

    Is there anything WUWT users can’t find?

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Maybe we can find all of James Hansens work from 1987 until today. :-)

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