I’ve been given a link in email today to a public forecast page for July by weather prognosticator Piers Corbyn, which you can investigate in full yourself here. I find his web pages and forecasts hard to read, and even harder to accept any more, because in my opinion, he presents them like a carnival barker with overuse of exclamation points, bright colors, over bolded texts, random font changes, and fantastic claims. It tends to set off my BS meter like some tabloid newspapers do. Here’s his USA forecast for July:
[UPDATE: 7/8/12 – The full USA forecast has been made available by Mr. Corbyn and is available here for your inspection: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/usa-1207-july-inc-public-summary-news-page-full-fc-key-usa-maps-and-extremes-slat8a-prod-29jun.pdf ]
Some people say however, that despite all that unnecessary gaudiness, he makes accurate predictions. Because he’s made a public forecast and advertised its availability, urging “people to pass the links on”, here’s a chance to find out if he demonstrates the skill that is claimed.
He made this bold claim yesterday:
“Terrible weather is coming the world over this July so WeatherAction has issued free summary long range forecasts for USA and for Europe…”
He sounds like Joe Romm or Bill McKibben talking about “climate disruption”. Of course, it could just be another July in the northern hemisphere. Here’s the rest:
The USA pdf link is issued today on July 4th to go with the Europe link issued the day before. We urge people to pass the links on.
“We also expect very serious near simultaneous solar-activity driven deluges and stormy conditions around the world during our top Red Warning R5 and R4 periods. Any communication of the forecasts must acknowledge WeatherAction”
– Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist WeatherAction long range weather and climate forecasters
WeatherAction Free Summary Forecast for July USA:-
“Could it get worse? Yes!” – Extreme thunderstorms, giant hail and ‘out-of control’ forest fires’
(or no links twitpic = http://twitpic.com/a3y28b/full )
WeatherAction PUBLIC warning Europe July 2012 “Off-the-scale” Flood & Fire extremes likely (WA12No31)
(or no links twitpic = http://twitpic.com/a3p7pm/full )
The USA forecast map he provides is a bit hard to read, since it seems he scanned it in from print…note the dot patterns in the graphics. I present it here from his PDF page.
Here’s his forecast page for Europe:
He lists “off scale” weather in NW Europe is one of the claims. I wonder how one should define “off scale” weather.
As Carl Sagan once said:
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
So now that Mr. Corbyn has put forth some extraordinary claims, we can catalog here the evidence to support those claims, and revisit the results at the end of the month. I urge readers to continue to post both pro and con evidence here as the month progresses. I’ll put a link to this thread in the WUWT sidebar so readers can add information that might be relevant.
Since Corbyn is a fellow climate skeptic, let’s give him a fair but factual evaluation to find out if these claims hold up, of if he’s simply following the path of some prognosticators of the past, such as Jeane Dixon, who made claims so broad that even a small kernel of happenstance occurrences after the fact were used to justify confirmation of the prediction. According to the Wikipedia page on Dixon:
John Allen Paulos, a mathematician at Temple University, coined the term “the Jeane Dixon effect,” which refers to a tendency to promote a few correct predictions while ignoring a larger number of incorrect predictions.
UPDATE: here’s a video of Corbyn explaining his methods: