Met Office forecasting produces another epic failure

Regular readers will remember the intense period of blogging activity during the 2010/11 winter about the Met Office’s weather forecast failures and our work in exposing their fraudulent attempt to conceal the reality of their seasonal forecasting activity.

After handing the information and evidence on a plate to the Daily Mail and the Daily Express who then ignored the story – and being told by three MPs they would investigate the evidence but true to form did not keep their promise – this blog has largely left the Met Office alone.  It seemed pointless devoting time and effort pulling back the curtains to show the Met Office in its true light because the establishment has a vested interest in protecting the Met Office due to its high profile role and profitable role in the climate change industry.

But perhaps there is still some value in drawing attention to the rank failures of the Met Office in the hope more people ask questions about why the department gets its weather forecasting so wrong so often, and ask why its executives are lavishly rewarded each year with substantial performance related bonuses and are protected from scrutiny and criticism despite demonstrably false statements.  So it is we offer our thanks to Paul Homewood – writing on Watts Up With That? – who draws global attention to the Met Office’s seasonal forecast for UK for the period including April.

It is another epic failure by the Met Office characterised by a forecast of drier and forecast of warmer weather being more likely (as always, in line with their global warming orthodoxy and warming bias of their computer models) in the UK during April.  No doubt the Met Office will issue its now standard retort that people do not understand ‘probability’ and excuse that these forecasts must be used in conjunction with 30-day, 15-day and 1-to-5-day forecasts.

The observed reality makes a mockery of the Met Office precipitation and temperature forecasts once again.  This month just gone was the wettest April since records began in 1910, and the coldest since 1989, at some 0.65C below than the 1971-2000 average.

As always, there will be no investigation.  The media will happily mock the contrast between the drought in force in southern and central England, but will steer well clear of serving the public interest by focusing on why these forecasts are so badly wrong.  Attention will be diverted by all parties to other subjects, particularly efforts to fight climate change.  The performance bonuses will continue to flow to the Met Office’s executives as surely as night follows day.

It’s always helpful to connect the dots.  The Chairman of the Met Office is Robert Napier.  Not only is he a Non-Executive Director of Anglian Water, which has a drought order in place, he is also the former Chief Executive of WWF-UK, the UK arm of the World Wide Fund for Nature.  That is the same WWF exposed as being engaged in systematic fraud in the developing world and which supplies the International Panel on Climate Change with material to prop up the climate change industry.

25 Responses to “Met Office forecasting produces another epic failure”


  1. 1 Edward. 06/05/2012 at 2:29 pm

    It has always been a supreme human folly to think that we can consistently and accurately predict the weather by modelling with any confidence, folly, because chaotic systems cannot be computer modelled [despite what Connolley+Romm+Mann might tell you].
    Difficult though it is, meteorological forecasts can be estimated by use of hundreds of years of fastidious observation, careful guesswork and perusal of careful historical records by computer + arithmetic method but when this ideal is subverted and twisted to suit another agenda, then the original [RN security and safety on the seas around Britain] and noble objective – weather prediction, is totally compromised.

    Scientific objectivity jumped out of the Met Office window long ago but it is a part of a far wider malaise.

    What a shaming episode but of course it is of no surprise, the politicisation of all types of institutions has been rife since Britain’s EU enthralment, the RS is another and then we can name any number of University departments, School of Geography at Leeds University, Reading, UEA, the disease has ravaged environmental science [geography, biology, ecology, meteorology] departments up and down the land and the claque of peer review is now a laughing stock. The rot stretches into scientific papers, journals and has trashed trust in science institutions.
    Funding for AGW projects is available, just don’t expect to receive any if you are a research body wanting to do real scientific research [no chance if you endeavour to refute AGW].

    The Met office forecasts, a bunker mentality and a lost argument.

    Paul Hudson, admitted as much – that the Met Office computer models were incorrect and that the algorithms were set to produce a continuous upward warming trend. What else would you expect? It, the Met Office is a government department and therefore; it is beholden to the EU where the message is, more human CO2 emissions = runaway warming, thus they ain’t gonna say cooler are they?
    Mortgages, private schools, secure well paid sinecures are more important and are at stake. Science will take a back seat, good little CAGW shills all at the Met Office.
    Those sceptical sites, that think by interaction with the Met Office, can have an influence by engaging those willing to speak on behalf of the Met Office are deluded in the extreme. That Napier is in charge, an extreme alarmist, there will never be a dialogue of honest discussion, still less a total reassessment – even though the argument has long since been lost.

    The great green myth and scam lives!

    Indeed since Nu Labour lost, the coalition is a bigger problem, than even Miliband’s labour party ever was, even though Miliband was responsible for the idiot CCA, those enforcing it have shown themselves to be worse.
    The Met Office will not be reined in, the forecasts will continue to be wrong and Julia Slingo will go on insisting that more and greater computer power will result in better weather forecasting – how mentally screwed up can you get [or is she in a computer hardware sales bonus scheme]?
    Unfortunately, the green agenda seemingly goes from strength to strength in Britain [are we the North Korea of AGW?]. We are all alone, the EU’s little goody two shoesas we turn down into the green lane to industrial suicide – at the same time as the world retreats from this group think CAGW madness.

    All the while, the Met Office remains a bastion for deluded civil servant alarmist loons who are keeping the faith and feeding the warmist poison to political leaders who do not know any better, are not allowed to change tack, or refuse to see the reality.

    Taxpayers money gone to fund advocacy, how is that right?

  2. 2 Elim 06/05/2012 at 2:52 pm

    Do you understand the charts provided in the link? http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/q/q/A3-layout-temp-AMJ.pdf
    The CET for April 2012 fell well within the prediction distribution field and thus wasn’t a marginal event or ‘failure’ as you put it.
    April precipitation was at the far end of the predicted range, but it still fell within the range i.e was predicted albeit with a low probability.

    Hope that helps

  3. 3 Jim 06/05/2012 at 3:21 pm

    @Elim: Well thats really helpful thank you. I now know that if the actual outcome of weather falls within a very wide range (from well below average to well above average) then the ‘prediction’ is ‘correct’, whatever it said. How useful that is. Pretty much whatever happens, the Met Office are right.

    You know, I could do that. I could assign percentages to each of 5 rainfall bands, and guess what? Under your rules whatever happened I’d be ‘correct’. I’m prepared to do this for a fraction of the cost of the Met Office btw.

    The whole point of a prediction is to predict. Not say ‘Here’s a range of outcomes, and here’s some percentages, good luck’. If you assign a high percentage to a certain outcome, that is your prediction. Its what you think is most likely to happen. If it doesn’t, you are wrong. End of story. You failed. And the Met Office failed spectacularly in April, with them giving a higher likelihood of rain to dry conditions, and it turned out to be the wettest for 100 years. If the wettest month for 100 years is within the acceptable range of prediction, what exactly is the point of the prediction?

  4. 4 Elim 06/05/2012 at 4:37 pm

    The forecast at that stage gives a predicted range, this showed that the probability of it being as wet as it was, was very low. As clearly stated it’s not designed to be used in isolation, following the shorter range forecasts and their updates showed accurately the rain that occurred.

  5. 5 Oldrightie (@OldRightie) 06/05/2012 at 5:22 pm

    Elim, you are an arse. Predicted range is from a computer data set of rules. Guess what, Nature says bollocks to predictions.It follows rules man can only salivate over.

  6. 6 Elim 06/05/2012 at 5:26 pm

    I’m sorry you feel the need to be rude.
    ‘Nature’ with it’s absolutes and it’s variabilities is fully utilised in forming forecasts.

  7. 7 Letmethink 06/05/2012 at 8:54 pm

    @elim

    Help me out here.

    The Met. Office forecast says: –

    “SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION: The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.”

    Your assertion is that because of the statistical jiggery pokery that lies behind this summary, the prediction is still correct despite April being the wettest on record.

    OK, let’s run with this hypothesis.

    Am I right in thinking that the Met. Office prediction of 2 degrees of warming by the end of the century could be equally correct even if the exact opposite happens?

    Now that gives me a bit of a puzzle, because I am being asked to accept the notion that we should reduce our emissions of CO2 by 80% which will effectively mean a proportional reduction in our economy, prosperity and future wellbeing.

    And this, largely based on Met. Office predictions which might very well be diametrically opposite to what will eventually transpire.

    The thing is, I was really hoping that my children would have a better life than I’ve had.

    You’re starting to make me think that perhaps I should want a bit more certainty about this if I’m planning to destroy their future.

  8. 8 Jim 06/05/2012 at 11:33 pm

    @Elim: OK let me rephrase the question , as you dodged the other one.

    Exactly how much (or little) would it have had to to rain (or not) in April for the Met Office prediction to be ‘wrong’?

    Or to put it another way – in a 5 horse race, if I assign a percentage to the likelihood of any given horse winning, unless no horse finishes the course, or they all dead heat at the finish line, I will never be wrong in my ‘prediction’ as the outcome (the winner) will always fall inside my initial parameters. So in what what is that a prediction that is of any use to anyone?

  9. 9 Elim 07/05/2012 at 10:18 am

    @Letmethink & Jim

    The document showed a range of outcomes it was never a definitive forecast or intended to be used as such. You need to read the instructions that go with it!

    @Letmethink

    By proportional reduction I hope you don’t mean an 80% reduction in the economy! Seriously though what evidence can you show me that a reduction in CO2 emissions directly results in an overall reduction in the economy?
    As for our children’s welfare, one very important aspect will be increasing their (energy/economic) security by decreasing the dependence on oil and coal. This and many other ‘green’ measures are prudent or even essential regardless of any environmental changes that may or may not happen.

  10. 10 Jim 07/05/2012 at 10:59 am

    So if it merely ‘showed a range of outcome’ that covers everything up to and including a 100 year record rainfall event, I repeat – what use is it as a document? What information can I (as a person who needs to know the weather in advance if possible as I am a farmer) take from such a document? And why as a taxpayer am I paying for such pointless documents to be produced?

  11. 11 Elim 07/05/2012 at 12:55 pm

    @Jim

    Maybe this puts it in context for you?

    http://bit.ly/J72ozM

  12. 12 Letmethink 07/05/2012 at 1:34 pm

    @elim

    Oh, I see. So your point is our children’s welfare is rendered secure by ‘green’ measures.

    Given that, I felt it important to read some of the material that people talk a lot about. I started with Agenda 21 and it is clear to me that this document is about the delivery of sustainable development and forms the basis of many of the green measures that you advise on.

    Is this your reading of Agenda 21?

  13. 13 Edward. 07/05/2012 at 2:01 pm

    Maybe this puts it in context for you?

    http://bit.ly/J72ozM

    That’s not science that’s divination and BS.

  14. 14 Edward. 07/05/2012 at 2:44 pm

    Professor Lockwood told the New Scientist following this event ‘there’s enough evidence to suspect that jet stream behaviour is being modulated by the sun.’

    And it’s certainly a headache for computer models that predict our future climate based on increasing levels of man-made greenhouse gases.

    They are unable to model the impact of weak solar activity, simply because the precise mechanism of how this affects climate patterns is unknown.

    Another diamond from Mr. Hudson

    Therefore, all those ‘divinations’ based on an utterly false premise [MMCO2 emissions = global warming] are now thoroughly and completely useless [see above] – however only the Met Office truly believed in their authenticity anyway, more fools be they.

    As I said, MET OFFICE models, can be programmed to produce any desired result, in this case it was warming and runaway warming – as usual nature throws a spanner in man’s lofty ambition and low propensity to conspire and produce dire fictions.

    I posit: what would be lost, if the Met Office was closed down tomorrow? From science’s point of view, not much.

    The savings to the country would be vast, a major world player and advocate of AGW would be out of the picture immediately – one which our miserable politicians have come to rely upon to produce the ‘evidence’.

    And, a considerable saving for the exchequer, I mean who needs the Met office? Many intermediate and big businesses, now rely on private weather predictors [ or here - a much more reliable service].

    Is it not time the Met office was put out to grass.

  15. 15 Jim 07/05/2012 at 6:31 pm

    @Elim: No that doesn’t help one iota, because I already know all that. I know that the Met Office assign percentages to a range of outcomes. What I am asking you is what use such a ‘prediction’ is, in any practical sense, and you are refusing to answer.

  16. 16 Letmethink 07/05/2012 at 7:57 pm

    @jim

    Yes, he/she didn’t like my question either . . . :-)

  17. 17 Elim 07/05/2012 at 10:25 pm

    Bank Holiday!
    I’ll write more tomorrow :)

  18. 18 Brian H 08/05/2012 at 5:20 am

    “Prudent”? “Children’s futures?” OMG Anything that pauperizes the planet is going to be the last thing that prudently protects childrens futures. They will look back at you with justified hatred and contempt if you succeed.

  19. 19 Letmethink 08/05/2012 at 6:08 pm

    @Elim

    Is that tumbleweed I see . . . ?

  20. 20 Letmethink 09/05/2012 at 8:22 am

    Doesn’t look like elim is going to provide any more sport, so . . .

    Ever since Houghton brought his own evangelical zeal to the workings of the Met. Office (and its b*std progeny the Hadley centre) they have been an advocacy organisation for the CAGW scandal at a fantastically obscene cost to the taxpayer.

    They are a national embarrassment and scandal and I have sympathy for the many genuine people who have worked there for years only to see their credibility go up in smoke.

    In answer to Edward’s question “Is it not time the Met. Office is put out to grass?”

    Unless they can revert to their true purpose, concentrating on the provision of accurate short term forecasting for specific geographical areas to support people whose livelihood depends on it, they should be closed down now.

  21. 21 Elim 09/05/2012 at 10:08 am

    Hi sorry, very busy at work.
    @Jim “what use such a ‘prediction’ is, in any practical sense”

    None at all in isolation!

    @Brian H “Anything that pauperizes the planet is going to be the last thing that prudently protects childrens futures.” Exactly, it’s nothing to do with being green, it’s about careful household management on a global scale.

    @Letmethink ‘Short term forecasting for specific geographical areas’ is what MetO do best on the public face. But without any research and development they would never get beyond this.

  22. 22 Steve 11/05/2012 at 11:55 pm

    I think if you want to keep writing stories about how Met Office predictions are occasionally spectacularly wrong because the highest probability outcome didn’t happen, then you’ll be in business forever.

    However:

    “I could show you a hundred of these plots, but the answers are very consistent. ECMWF is the worldwide gold standard in global prediction, with the British (UKMET) second. We are third or fourth (with the Canadians).”

    http://www.wjla.com/blogs/weather/2012/03/the-u-s-has-fallen-behind-in-numerical-weather-prediction-part-i–14897.html

    (NB ECMWF in Reading, Berkshire cheat by paying their staff European salary levels that are about 3 times that of the Met Office).

  23. 23 Moggsy 17/05/2012 at 1:03 pm

    Elim. I do have some understanding of probability. I recognise fuzzy thinking and BS when I see it too.

    If I predict the roll of a die will be between 2 and 5 then I am likely to be right more often than not n’est-ce pas?

    The problem, apart from fudging how they define sucess in their own favor, the Met office is trying to use a theory they don’t want to and can’t actually question to predict the weather, rather than base it on undoctored empirical data.

    Who knows, they probably do mostly believe it… because they are being selected for it.


  1. 1 Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove Trackback on 06/05/2012 at 2:38 pm
  2. 2 What Drought? « Uncharted Territory Trackback on 12/07/2012 at 5:11 pm
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