According to a piece by the BBC’s Martin Rosenbaum in December last year, the UK Met Office puts probabilistic seasonal data on the scientific pages of its website where, in the words of a Met Office board paper, such figures can be ‘more targeted towards users who appreciate their value and limitations’, (i.e. not members of the public).
Rosenbaum goes on to add that:
As another document put it, ‘Intelligent’ customers (such as the Cabinet Office) find probabilistic forecasts helpful in planning their resource deployment.
Based on this and the information published in a document on NationalGrid’s website – as shared by Joe Public guest posting on Subrosa – we can only conclude that the NationalGrid is not one of the Met Office’s so called ‘intelligent’ customers…
It seems NationalGrid find probabilistic forecasts helpful in planning their supply of gas to the nation. So it seems more than curious that the operator of this country’s gas network was not let in on the secret forecast that was withheld from the public. Again it is pertinent to ask just why the Met Office issues these forecasts (that they claim are not actually forecasts) at all.
If NationalGrid – with its national strategic interest in seasonal forecasts – is not one, just who are these ‘users who appreciate their value and limitations’? Perhaps that is yet another question the Met Office can answer. In the meantime we await their formal response to the FOI we have submitted to them and the Cabinet Office.