Met Office ‘nowcasting’ and the power of wind

While the Met Office hits back at critics and points to its five-day forecast record as ‘evidence’ of its accuracy, over the last 24 hours it has been quietly revising its forecasts so they look very different on the BBC Weather page to what they did two days ago.

It’s very easy to claim wonderful accuracy when you simply point to the last forecast only hours before the weather condition arrived.  This time yesterday the forecast overview page for London did not display a single snow flake.  But now…

london_weather

Hypothetically, anyone hoping for no snow who was making plans and relying on the Met Office forecast of two days ago are likely to be disappointed tonight.  Yet this ludicrous organisation still enjoins the public to trust is accuracy in forecasting weather trends years ahead, even though it has been forced to change those in recent weeks.  This isn’t forecasting, it’s nowcasting and we can all do that for ourselves by looking outside.  Yet we pay a fortune for this slanted crap.

Moving on from the Exeter-based scam artists, now is a good moment to take a quick look at another scam – wind power.  It’s a bitterly cold night, increasing the need for energy to warm homes.  So how much power is wind energy pumping into the grid at inflated prices?

When it’s needed most, it’s not there.  Yet billions of pounds of our money are being poured into this unreliable and inefficient form of generation, with thousands more turbines planned.  The insanity continues.

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8 Responses to “Met Office ‘nowcasting’ and the power of wind”


  1. 1 Paul 13/01/2013 at 11:25 pm

    Here’s another real time live readout for our power output:

    http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

  2. 2 Edward. 14/01/2013 at 12:35 am

    Paul Hudson, in 2010 admitted the Hadley models were incorrectly programmed, the algorithms inadequate and set to warming and these ‘updated’ models are still relied upon by the jerks in Exeter.

    The forecasts for the part of the north of England where I live are constantly wrong, if I had the time I would annotate the mistakes.

    Climate and weather forecasting, is nous and knowledge and these days this skill is lost now to Met Office forecasters, they are totally reliant on computer models and studio comforts.

    Although I had to laugh the other day – one of the BBCnews24 Met Office girls was chuntering about “sudden polar Stratospheric warming” wow. I thought they’ve been reading tomes on climate cloud physics and Piers [Corbyn] – but no mention of the cause of SPSW – well that stuff is too advanced and even if they could understand it – it ain’t in the models.

  3. 3 TomO 14/01/2013 at 1:25 am

    I too noticed the slimy adjustment of forecasts.

    Ground truthing of the models is not something that met offices that rely on these software simulations usually want to volunteer. I was working in an area where there was no met data being fed from and the forecast was pretty much *always* wrong.

    The UKMO statistics only started to improve when they stated doing again what Admiral Fitzroy did in the 19th century – taking measurements….

    The UKMO mini mandarins seem have an bureaucrat apparatchik insular (siege?) mindset that ladles on overblown self regard onto a deep pool of willful ignorance in industrial quantities – hubris incarnate. They obviously think anything can be sorted with a Press Release and a few BBC puff pieces. It must be a hellish place to work.

  4. 4 Olive 14/01/2013 at 7:21 am

    The local news channel starts its weather forecast by telling me what the weather has been like today.Well i know that i was there dummies.

  5. 5 Steve 14/01/2013 at 10:47 am

    This warning of a bit of snow in the East was posted two days before your article.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2013/snow-and-ice-weekend

  6. 6 Autonomous Mind 14/01/2013 at 11:26 am

    Welcome back Steve! It’s always nice to have the Met Office’s self appointed champion here trying to defend the indefensible by citing the irrelevant.

    My post made it perfectly clear the reference was to the forecast overview page for London, which did not display a single snow flake previously. As it happens, snow was also forecast for the north a couple of days before my post, but a quick look at the map with show you London isn’t there either.

  7. 7 Steve 14/01/2013 at 1:22 pm

    Providing the link to the press release was to show that the snow was forecast, albeit (as the press release shows) there was and remains a lot of uncertainty about the extent and how much there would be.

    If you have particular reason to be concerned about the snow or other severe weather then don’t rely on the automatically generated symbols. The Met Office provides a nice app that highlights weather warnings, and allows you to see the detail should you need to.

    While snow is often hard to forecast, you should remember that the Met Office is (with the Japan agency) one of the two best operational forecasters in the world, and exports its model to a number of countries, so it’s a shame that you cannot support a homegrown success. In terms of the quality of its model, only ECMWF is ahead (but it does not have the capability to do short term forecasts) although that may be because the EU salary scales for scientists are stupendously generous meaning they attract many of the best in Europe.

  8. 8 TomO 15/01/2013 at 7:38 pm

    To anybody trying to defend the Met Office:

    Look who’s actually paying for their service when weather sensitive projects are at risk of the weather…

    If they are all encompassing + so accurate = the best taxpayer’s money can buy, why go anywhere else?

    Hmmm… that could apply to rather a lot of public bodies….


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