WUWT reader Tony Brown writes:
BBC to fire the Met Office from supplying its forecasts and end its 92 year old relationship
The Met Office is close by me in Exeter. Its local forecasts are often hopeless and inaccurate and sometimes I feel they would get it right more often if they looked out of their window instead of at their computer screens.
However, British weather is notoriously fickle and difficult to predict. The competitors are a NZ group (!!!) and Meteo, which seem a poor alternative. I have no knowledge of the former but Meteo I have found very unreliable when using them on the Continent.
WUWT reader Fretslider writes:
The Met Office has lost its lucrative weather forecasting contract with the BBC after nearly a century of providing the service. Negotiations to renew the deal hit a dead end and a new firm is expected to take over next year.
The BBC said it was legally required to open up the contract to outside competition and secure the best value for money for licence fee payers.
Dutch and New Zealand firms are said to be in the running for the contract, which is believed to make up a sizeable share of the £32.5 million a year the Met Office receives from commercial organisations, according to the Mail on Sunday.
My viewpoint is that this is much like the DirecTV and The Weather Channel skirmish. DirecTV and TWC failed to reach a price in negotiations, and TWC kept holding out for more, so DirecTV said “adios” and actually took them off the channel lineup, then about a month later, after TWC made all sort of noise rallying public support, DirectTV brought them back, at a reportedly much lower compensation rate.
I think this may be a lot like that, but given the demonstrated lack of predictive skill then hiding their bad forecast by the Met Office, plus their famously failed “BBQ summer”, I think they’ll have a fair amount of trouble rallying public support.
Josh also has something to say about it.
Dr. Richard Tol adds in comments:
This has nothing to do with the quality of the Met Office forecasts. By law, the BBC has to put this contract out for tender. The Met Office’ offer was not competitive. The BBC cannot go back on this decision as the remaining competitors would sue them.
I think it has at least something to do with forecast accuracy, since the BBC didn’t want to pay what the Met Office was asking. If the value was worth it, why wouldn’t they pay it? By putting it to tender, BBC basically said “we don’t think your forecasting is worth your ask”, so take your chances with bidding.