Red Faces At The Met Office

From the GWPF, here’s a collection of articles that are collectively ripping the Met Office a “new one”. And, it is easy to see why. Here’s the Met Office supercomputer enhanced model output forecast from October 2010:

The map and this below are from Autonomous Mind: The piece even goes on to name the Met Office employee who spoke about the map and talked up the effort that had gone into producing the start point for a ‘seasonal forecast‘:

Helen Chivers, Met Office forecaster, insisted the temperature map takes into account the influence of climate factors such as El Nino and La Nina – five-yearly climatic patterns that affect the weather – but admits this is only a “start point” for a seasonal forecast. She said: “The map shows probabilities of temperatures in months ahead compared to average temperatures over a 30-year period.

Click the links in stories below for more at each website.

Let’s hope Santa isn’t relying on weather forecasts from the U.K. Met Office. The British deep freeze of recent weeks (which has also immobilized much of continental Europe) is profoundly embarrassing for the official forecaster. Just two months ago it projected a milder than usual winter. This debacle is more than merely embarrassing. The Met Office is front and centre in rationalizing the British government’s commitment to fight catastrophic man-made global warming with more and bigger bureaucracy, so its conspicuous errors raise yet more questions about that “settled” science. –-Peter Foster, Financial Post, 22 December 2010

Dave Britton, the Met Office’s Chief Press Officer, e-mailed the following statement to the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

Following the entry on your blog regarding the Met Office please find the Met Office response below:

The Met Office has not issued a seasonal forecast to the public and categorically denies forecasting a ‘mild winter’ as suggested by Boris Johnson <> in his column in the Daily Telegraph.

Following public research, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts for the general public; instead we provide a monthly outlook on our website, which have consistent and clearly sign-posted the very cold conditions.

Our day-to-day forecasts have been widely recognised as providing excellent advice to government, businesses and the public with the Daily Telegraph commenting only today that ‘the weekends heavy snow was forecast with something approaching pin-point accuracy by the Met Office’.

The public trust and take heed of our warnings and it is misleading to imply that the Met Office did not see this cold weather coming.

Dave Britton Chief Press Officer, Met Office – FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB United Kingdom, E-mail: –

GWPF Note: The Met Office’s track record of forecasting mild winters can be found here: Warm Bias: How The Met Office Mislead The British Public

The Met Office denial of a forecast is fatuous and their temperature map demonstrates clearly their computer models, featuring the global warming bias that undermines the Met Office’s predictions, are as much use as a chocolate fireguard. –Autonomous Mind, 20 December 2010

The economic impact of the freezing winter will deepen this week as Britain prepares for more travel gridlock, and millions of workers, travellers and shoppers were expected to stay at home in the run-up to Christmas rather than brave the icy conditions. Estimates from the insurer Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) have put the cost of the weather to the economy at £1bn per day, a sum that is thought to be hitting retailers, restaurants and bars the hardest. The total cost is expected to be around £13bn. –Jonathan Brown, The Independent, 20 December 2010

The row over the need for a multimillion-pound investment in snowploughs, de-icing equipment and salt stocks deepened this morning with the publication of a government-backed report using Met Office predictions that successive hard winters are rare. But the findings of the government-commissioned study were contradicted by Sir David King, the government’s chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007, who warned that ministers should plan for more cold winters. Quarmby said the Met Office remained convinced that the severe cold snap is a one-off phenomenon. –Dan Milmo, The Guardian, 21 December 2010

This is the third winter running when we have had very cold and snowy conditions hitting the UK. It comes at a time of continued, unusually weak, solar activity. Perhaps we all need to get used to colder winters across the UK in the next few years.—Paul Hudson, BBC Weather, 20 December 2010

It turns out that Dr. Viner of the East Anglia Climate Research Unit was flat-out wrong when he told the Independent in early 2000 that within a few years snow would be rare. In fact, snow has been abundant during every year but one since then. — Donna Laframboise, No Frakking Consensus, 7 January 2010


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Henry chance

Somebody should be in trouble for leaking the forecasts. They are so wrong.
Ooops, I guess they are paid to forecast. How is that going for them?

John of Kent

Big LOL at the name of the Met Office employee. “Helen Chivers” – I bet she is right now!


I would be nice if someone could predict the weather or climate, but they can’t.
Predicting mild winters, only to be followed by record breaking cold, is all the proof that someone needs that they can’t.
Hindcasting that the jet stream changed, is only more proof that that didn’t predict it, and even more proof that they don’t know what they are talking about.
Problem is, you can always find someone that got the prediction right. There’s going to be someone out there that predicted a cold winter, and lucked out on their prediction.
But the fact that some predicted warm, some predicted cold……….
That is even more proof that they can’t predict the weather or climate…………


London Heathrow did not buy enough anti-freeze, based upon the Met Office’s predictions. Thus LHR was blocked by snow for three days, and thousands of passengers delayed.
I think the Met Office should give compensation, for everyone who was delayed, throughout the country. And the BBC can help out with further payments, for being such a keen cheer-leader of AGW.


Is the yellow snow at some mythical temperature scale. Yes, everyone loves yellow snow.

Martin Brumby

As Santa might put it:-

They got Greenland Sea right, temperatures were above average (on minus side they gave it lowest probability).


This is just absurd. What the MET has done is used their AGW hypothesis to create a European temperature template that slowly shows a natural increase in temperatures based upon their supposition that temperatures will increase by 4C per century. Then they introduce what they consider to be effecting variables, such as the La Nina ‘cycles’. Of course they will always be wrong. The bias is built in the model. In fact in a mere few years of existence this model is obviously wrong in every respect.

john edmondson

The Independent was claiming the Met office had predicted the big freeze in October.
I not sure where Steve Connor the Independent’s “Science” editor got that from?

An Engineer

Speaking as a Brit, I must say that the Met Office are a joke with regard to their long term forecasts. Met Office short term forecasts (1-2 days) are in general reasonable, but to be honest not much more accurate than can be gleaned by looking at the surface pressure charts, tapping ye olde barometer and looking out the window. Some of their forecasts for prolonged heavy rain have been way off the mark and the scary warnings of extreme weather events are coming thicker and faster than all this global warming induced snow we’ve been having for the last three years. Reading some of the recent Met Office statements in the media makes me wonder if there is a portal to an alternative universe located somewhere in Exeter.

James Sexton

This just means they need a more expensive computer!

Dave Nash

Come now Antony, a choco fireguard would be much better in this circumstance as it would predict warmth and cold directly from its constitution – something the MET office appears to be unable to do.


Excelente trabajo
Muchas felicidades y Próspero 2011 Don Antonio


I’d prefer a chocolate fire guard to the met office; at least you could eat it whilst huddled round the fire for warmth. A huge amount cheaper too.
That’s the problem with fudging (adding warming trends), cherry picking source data and statistical butchery of data (to get hockey sticks). Any model you build on this might as well have been constructed on blancmanche foundations.
Then you add climatologists (they are not worthy of being called scientists) that play with the parameters of models that they don’t understand in order to get apocalyptic ‘forecasts’. The models being written by incompetent hacker-monkeys, not engineered. (ref Harry read me file).
And on top you add politicians hijacking the subject to add mountains of taxes, laws and inappropriate technology to the crumbling edifice. “We’ll save you” say the PPE graduates.
As an atheist, even I am tempted to thank ‘god’ for the hacked emails.
The guy who did that deserves the Nobel prize for services to science. While you’re at it, take Gore’s off of him. Even watermelons must see the depth of the fraud, theft and incompetence inflicted on us plebs.
You warmistas should be ashamed of yourselves, why not retire in disgrace right now?

It is quite simple, any temperature forecast should be multiplied by -10. Just change one string in the model software and Voila!


That Dave Britton guy just flat out lied to them… a bald faced liar. He says one thing and the facts show the opposite…… In my book…. That’s called lying.
The taxpayers need to have these useless, thieving bureaucratic departments shutdown and the government funding and grants for all climate science, environmental programs and renewable energy, stopped.
The taxpayers are being virtually enslaved by a parasitical bureaucratic elite that think they have a right to everyone else’s money, time and productivity….. Time it was stopped.

What they meant is this:
(just reverse whatever they forecast)


They just can’t get it right, and wont admit they’re ever wrong. Reminds me of the forecasts for a red hot summer every year, which fails to materialise. Last year we were all supposed to paint our houses white to protect us from the unbearable heat! In England! Yeah right.

Fred from Canuckistan

Well if the tall forehead types that run the MET are too stupid to know that this Interweb thingy never forgets and always remembers what was published just a few months ago and too ignorant to believe they can bluster and lie their way out of theri abject failure to provide an accurate forecast then they deserve to canned.
Fire the lot of them –
Charge 1 . . . Incompetence
Charge 2 . . . Fraud
Charge 3 . . . Lying
We used to keep criminals busy doing Public Works . . . the Dufus Brigade running the MET should all be given shovels and put to work clearing snow at Heathrow for a few weeks.


Its a case of what do believe what the AGW fan club states or you own eyes.
Obviously the science behind the AGW is to promote the fairy tale agenda. The AGW agenda requires that believe that somehow limiting CO2 will help the world in any manner.
As the feedback (cloud cover increases when the planet gets warmer rather than decreases) is negative rather than positive the planet will warm less than 1C due to a doubling of CO2.
Further more, CO2 increases in beneficial for the biosphere. The biosphere increases in size and productivity when CO2 levels are higher. Commercial greenhouses inject CO2. Plants eat CO2. Plant growth rates and yields increases for CO2 levels up to around 2500 ppm. CO2 is at the lowest level in the last 500 million years. (since life appeared on the planet.)
We are at the end of the interglacial cycle. There has been 22 glacial/interglacial cycles. The interglacial cycles have all ended abruptly. The biosphere expands and is more productive when the planet is warmer. Rainfall increases when the planet is warmer, as 70% of the planet is covered with water.

Jason F

Send better chicken entrails soon!
Or more money now, I like to think some met office boffin is on the bat phone to Cameroon and huneyloon saying “they’re on to us gov, the game’s a bogey, deploy plan 10:10 while you still can” or words to those effect.

Ross H

The Met has reported instances of snow where I live and where I work (a fair distance apart) in this second bout of bad weather. Unfortunately, it has not materialised at either location, but we have been very cold. I would dispute the pinpoint accuracy myself. But maybe I am expecting too much?

Douglas DC

Denial ain’t a river in Egypt, there Met Office, they ought to hire Corbyn…


“An Engineer says:
December 22, 2010 at 8:35 am
Speaking as a Brit, I must say that the Met Office are a joke with regard to their long term forecasts. Met Office short term forecasts (1-2 days) are in general reasonable, but to be honest not much more accurate than can be gleaned by looking at the surface pressure charts, tapping ye olde barometer and looking out the window. Some of their forecasts for prolonged heavy rain have been way off the mark and the scary warnings of extreme weather events are coming thicker and faster than all this global warming induced snow we’ve been having for the last three years. Reading some of the recent Met Office statements in the media makes me wonder if there is a portal to an alternative universe located somewhere in Exeter.”
Spot on, Engineer. I have said this here several times that the Met Office dish out warnings of heavy rainfall like confetti and then we might have an hour of drizzle. I am convinced this is all part of their extreme climate disruption scaremongering.
Hey ho, off to Yorkshire for Christmas from the south-west. Usual journey time 4.5 hours. Have a bet with my husband that it’ll take 7 hours. Will gladly cough up if I’m wrong. Son has managed to change his flight into Heathrow to Manchester. I think BA were happy to accommodate him given the chaos at Heathrow.
Happy Christmas everyone. Here’s to the end of global climate disruption (whatever) in 2011! Cheers!

Ed Caryl

I don’t know the rules of cricket, but in baseball it’s “three strikes, you’re out”.

Ross H

I think the Met Office need to change some of the details in their Google Earth add on feature. I see no extreme cold events on there…but warming is causing the cooling?

Ed Fix

I notice their map only has a scale for probability of HIGHER than average temperatures. No provision for the merest inkling of consideration of the remotest possibility that temperatures might even consider trying to decrease.
As the appliance repairman might say upon discovering the refrigerator unplugged, “Waaaal, here’s yer problem.”

DJ Meredith

And yet, the mantra marches on, as witnessed in the NYT just yesterday…
Clearly hoping no one will look behind the curtain, oblivious to the current scientific theory and observational raging debates….the commoner, it is hoped, will read only this and continue as a loyal believer.


Here in the northwest US a few months ago, I looked at the gov’mt’s mid-range weather prediction and it indicated a relatively warm, wet winter. I then checked out what The Farmer’s Almanac had to say, and they predicted basically the same thing. So far, that’s what the weather here has been, but I believed the gov’mt’s prediction only because TFA said so. (Maybe the US gov’mt’s “scientists” are copying TFA?)
Merry Christmas, everybody. And may an abundance of fluffy white stuff grace your holiday (hey, even in Australia!) Might as well adopt a positive view on the inevitable.

Vince Causey

First they deny a forecast was ever made, then they say it does not represent the official view of the met office. In that case what use is any information they provide if you don’t know what the hell it’s supposed to mean? Is it a forecast or a probability envelope?
Now, the met office equivocation only serves to undermine public confidence still further.

Colin from Mission B.C.

These folks at MET have demonstrated over and over they cannot even get short term seasonal forecasts correct. Perhaps there’s some truth to the meme that weather is not climate, but at some point enough weather, enough seasons, surely must become climate, by definition. So, if MET cannot get multiple seasonal forecasts correct (i.e. only weeks or months in advance), how can we be confident they can get long term multiple weather (hence, climate) forecasts correct?
Don’t answer. It’s a rhetorical question that any clear thinking person already knows the answer to.

Richard Lawson

Following public research, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts
I think he should have said: “Following public humiliation, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts
The sooner politics are removed from weather forecasts the sooner the Met Office will be able to restore their credibility.


“The Met Office has not issued a seasonal forecast to the public and categorically denies forecasting a ‘mild winter’”
“Following public research, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts for the general public.”
Note that the Met Office doesn’t issue these forecasts to the public. But it does issue them to the government, local councils and anyone who wants to pay for them.
These statements are disingenuous. They are meant to mislead – some would say this is deceptive.

Roger Longstaff

The probability maps are prefaced “Raw data are displayed…….”
Surely, these are computer predictions of future temperatures, not raw data?


If those at the MET were true scientists, would they not recognize that real observed data is more valuable than modeled data and admit when they got it wrong? They are behaving more like crooks caught red-handed (not just red faced). “No Officer, I wasn’t me. I don’t know how the gun got here. I’ve been good.”


I think Norway’s uses the same modeling tools, and they’re constantly forecasting too warm weather. For instance, in October, their forecast for November – January was above normal. January has to get subtropical temperatures if they were right 😉;action=Article.publicShow;ID=7508
But – kudos to them! – they’re discussing their forecasts in retrospect:;action=Article.publicShow;ID=7538
(run the pages through Google translate from Norwegian if you like, but the maps should tell a lot)

No, Climate Scientists – Weather forecasting and climate forecasting are not the same…. The weather forecasters usually get it right!!!
Aren’t they using those ultra high-tech computers they installed a few years ago that use more energy and contribute more CO2 to the atmosphere than many small towns?


Where can the original of the MetOffice graphic shown above be seen? A google search is circular with all references leading back to the disputed article. An article cannot be self-referencing and still considered vetted so I’d like to see the original on the Met site. Without that I’m going to have to accept Dave Britton’s refudiation <- my new favorite non-word.


The Met has reported instances of snow where I live and where I work (a fair distance apart) in this second bout of bad weather. Unfortunately, it has not materialised at either location, but we have been very cold. I would dispute the pinpoint accuracy myself. But maybe I am expecting too much?

Same here. According to their charts, which I looked at this morning, we were due some very heavy snow at around 3pm. We got a light flutter.
I can’t help but have the feeling this is all a little unfair on them though. I mean the weather in this country is extremely unpredictable compared to many other places around the world, isn’t it?


A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning
“Climate-change contrarians do not accept these numbers.
The Internet has given rise to a vocal cadre of challengers who question every aspect of the science — even the physics, worked out in the 19th century, that shows that carbon dioxide traps heat. That is a point so elementary and well-established that demonstrations of it are routinely carried out by high school students.
However, the contrarians who have most influenced Congress are a handful of men trained in atmospheric physics. They generally accept the rising carbon dioxide numbers, they recognize that the increase is caused by human activity, and they acknowledge that the earth is warming in response.
But they doubt that it will warm nearly as much as mainstream scientists say, arguing that the increase is likely to be less than two degrees Fahrenheit, a change they characterize as manageable. “

Alistair Ahs

I think there are two issues here which explain why the top graph shows a forecast for a mild winter.
1. The baseline used is 1970-2000 which, because of global warming, is colder than what would be an average year now. I believe that the basis for the claim in the Independent that the Met Office predicted a cold winter is based on an analysis that compared the seasonal forecast to the average since 2000 [a warmer baseline].
2. Although the seasonal forecasts do show a little skill in being able to replicate the year-to-year variability, when you use them to recreate the past, the anomalies they produce are generally much weaker than those observed.
It’s perfectly possible that the Met Office did predict a colder than 2000 – 2009 winter, which is shown in the above maps as a warmer than 1970-2000 winter.

Being an avid reader of WUWT can I just say it’s an honour to have my humble blog featured in this way on the site. Many thanks indeed!
REPLY: You are welcome, Merry Christmas, Anthony

Dave Wendt

For those who are thinking the weather has these folks on the run a little dose of reality from the Obama adminstration
EPA to double down on climate


The Met office habitually gets it wrong. One of our local major seaside resorts lost £millions due to totally wrong forcasting.
Interestingly – this article is from the Guardian – not a paper that likes to knock those that advocate catastrophic AGW is just arround the corner.
Better still is the fact that talk to most people in Bournemouth and you find that they are highly sceptical of the spin and hype generated by the likes of the biased Met Office.
Nothing like losing £M’s in trade to focus peoples attention. And this is just one town.
It puts into perspective the huge potential loss if the crazies have their way and squander £B’s.

Peter H

People here clearly don’t understand probability.
Oh, and the recent weather forecasts provided by the Met Office have been just fine. Last night they forecast a band of snow for parts of the middle of England which duly arrived and on time. We had snow a few days ago – also forecasted well. OK, some brits like to whine but the reality is the Met O have done a very good job recently.
Interestingly, with the very cold weather likely to continue, it’s possible the December might be the coldest in the CET instrumental record. And you know what? Not one of the kind of people WUWT likes to detest (‘warmers’) will start waffling on about some nit pick or other to try cast doubt on the figures. But, if we see a very warm month next year I can guarantee this blog will have a post casting as much nitpicking doubt about as it can…


“The Met Office predicts it will be “mainly dry” from Christmas Eve”
Let’s see how that pans out.

Sarf of the River

I’d love to know how much money the BBC (funded by the BBC telly tax everyone with a telly in the UK has to pay) spent on the newish weather maps the God awful organisation use on their weather forecasts. The government mouthpiece BBC weather forecasters appear able to pinpoint where the rain, and more recently snow, will fall to an area the size of a small town. They are, more often than not, wrong when it comes to where I live in London. The temperatures are wrong too. It appears to be part of a dumbing down exercise.
The day the BBC stopped showing isobaric charts was the day I wept a little. The reason they gave was that few people understood them. Perhaps if they showed them and explained what they meant more people would come to understand them!
I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that their weather charts are a vehicle for showing off the latest trendy graphics (provided by private profit-oriented companies which my telly tax has gone towards paying for and no doubt people in the BBC and/or the Met Office feasting at an expensive restaurant to seal the deal with) rather than an honest appraisal of what proper meteorologists collectively think the weather will be like in the near future.
Do the BBC have any trained meteorologists giving the forecast? I think they are more likely hired from an agency where cleavage counts for more than clarity.
There is a definite propensity toward minimising the cold and accentuating the warm weather (events!) when I watch a BBC ‘forecast’. I detest the BBC for it’s slavish on-message and completely biased political profundity too but that is for another time.

Alexander K

Mr Britten seems to be getting his scripts directly from the old TV sitcom ‘Yes Minister’ where deniability was the mainstay of every utterance from any arm of government. To insist that a three-month projection is not a forecast is idiotic and betrays the Met Office as being without the faintest trace of ethics. The scriptwriters of ‘Yes Minister’ were much more clever than the current lot of civil servants and the term ‘Bungle Jonnies’ seems marvellously appropriate.

North of 43 and south of 44

Ah yes, yet another BBQ winter without snow.
Don’t ya just love ’em?


[snip – bogus email address, see policy page]