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Today's Sun: An Idiotic Article By Nick Francis


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    From today's Sun

    ....this is going to make some people angry

    Headline: Forecasters are rubbish, so predict it yourself by Nick Francis

    Britain really shouldn't care what the weathermen say, because they all talk a load of rubbish.

    Weathernet's Dr Richard Wild said in July "Record breaking temperatues always occur in the first week of August "

    And a forecaster at the PA Weathercentre gaffed by claiming "It looks like august is going to bring an even hotter wave of extreme heat"

    But now the experts are having to eat their own words as most of the UK is washed out by torrential downpours.

    The Met Office were forced to confirm summer is officially over.

    Spokesman Keith Fenwick said " i can't see a return to the heatwave or the sunshine we saw earlier this year."

    But what does he know?

    The article lists 20 old wives tales to predict the weather

    Can you believe it? :):):):)

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion

    It's libel :D

    Hopefully the many clients of Weathernet and PA Weather Centre will realise The Sun has made it all up.

    And hopefully the rest of us will remember that you cannot believe anything you read in the media. Stories are based on what the newspaper wants the stories to be, not on what was actually said or happened :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    From today's Sun

    ....this is going to make some people angry

    Headline: Forecasters are rubbish, so predict it yourself by Nick Francis

    Britain really shouldn't care what the weathermen say, because they all talk a load of rubbish.

    Weathernet's Dr Richard Wild said in July "Record breaking temperatues always occur in the first week of August "

    And a forecaster at the PA Weathercentre gaffed by claiming "It looks like august is going to bring an even hotter wave of extreme heat"

    But now the experts are having to eat their own words as most of the UK is washed out by torrential downpours.

    The Met Office were forced to confirm summer is officially over.

    Spokesman Keith Fenwick said " i can't see a return to the heatwave or the sunshine we saw earlier this year."

    But what does he know?

    The article lists 20 old wives tales to predict the weather

    Can you believe it? :o :):):D

    I must admit he has a point. :D

    Then again its the Sun. I wouldnt buy it to use as toilet paper cause its already full of sh**

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    I must admit he has a point. :D

    Point?

    Well the point is, if the media had reported what the 'experts' had actually said, this story would be congratulating them on getting the forecast right ..... :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    Point?

    Well the point is, if the media had reported what the 'experts' had actually said, this story would be congratulating them on getting the forecast right ..... :D

    The point is it's very rare that they actually get the forcast right 2 or 3+ days ahead. This is where the general public become sceptical because then they are told by the Met Office that 'it may be a milder then average Winter this year' when they cant even forcast 5 days ahead! Surely you see the contradiction there and how that comes across as being Mickey Mouse stuff to them. Add to that some of the stunning cock ups and tbh he does have a point. Critiscism is not a bad thing, its the only way we learn. :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    Gave up with that newspaper before I even started reading it. It's a bit scandalous really considering were talking about a newspaper that makes up stories about people relationship problems - now that's sad but then that's my opinion. Unfortunately newspapers like the sun are just there for entertainment, and certainly not to be taken seriously. Stick to the newspapers that print sensible articles such as The Times, Guardian etc.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    In society, most people don't question things- they just accept that things are true because they are true. Thus the Sun can get away with printing such articles, knowing that many people will just accept that because the Sun article says so, it must be right.

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    The point is it's very rare that they actually get the forcast right 2 or 3+ days ahead. This is where the general public become sceptical because then they are told by the Met Office that 'it may be a milder then average Winter this year' when they cant even forcast 5 days ahead! Surely you see the contradiction there and how that comes across as being Mickey Mouse stuff to them. Add to that some of the stunning cock ups and tbh he does have a point. Critiscism is not a bad thing, its the only way we learn. :)

    Criticism is fine when it's warranted.

    But no meteorologist ever forecast a hot August. The only people who did that were the media. When the meteorologists refused to concur with the story the media wanted, they deliberately misquoted them in order to mislead the public and create a sensational - and fictious - story.

    Would you like The Sun to publish something you never said, and then accuse you of being useless because of it?

    :o :D:D

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    In society, most people don't question things- they just accept that things are true because they are true. Thus the Sun can get away with printing such articles, knowing that many people will just accept that because the Sun article says so, it must be right.

    Hi TWS If it was in the Guardian as SP mentioned would you take more notice? (btw im not defending The Sun, I hate that paper with a passion) What im trying to say is does it take an article to be in the Times or the Guardian for us to realise what we really already know? That forcasting is not an exact science. That its being held back by lack of funding or whatever or just generally not enough interest. That if an organistion with responsiblity comes out with a forcast for a particular season for example and it turns out to be wrong - that their probrably not going to be held to account?? Does the public even take weather forcasting all that seriously? :)

    Criticism is fine when it's warranted.

    But no meteorologist ever forecast a hot August. The only people who did that were the media. When the meteorologists refused to concur with the story the media wanted, they deliberately misquoted them in order to mislead the public and create a sensational - and fictious - story.

    Would you like The Sun to publish something you never said, and then accuse you of being useless because of it?

    :o :D:D

    No im not talking about that article imparticular. My point being would the MO not be better concentrating on the weather for a week ahead instead of issuing seasonal forcasts for the media to jump on?

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    Unfortunately newspapers like the sun are just there for entertainment, and certainly not to be taken seriously. Stick to the newspapers that print sensible articles such as The Times, Guardian etc.

    I understand that the same story nearly appeared last week in the Sunday Telegraph ...... Fortunately the editor was persuaded it was a load of rubbish just in time. I wouldn't be surpised to see other papers pick this up now though :D

    No im not talking about that article imparticular. My point being would the MO not be better concentrating on the weather for a week ahead instead of issuing seasonal forcasts for the media to jump on?

    Well that's a different issue altogether :) But I think it's more a case of developing all areas of forecasting.

    And I'm sure you know as well as I that sometimes short range forecasts are easier to do that at others - atm for example it's very difficult to forecast even 24 hours ahead with any great certainty. Othr times you can go out a week with good confidence.

    Longer range forecasts are issued generally because they are what the public (and media) want.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
    Hi TWS If it was in the Guardian as SP mentioned would you take more notice? (btw im not defending The Sun, I hate that paper with a passion) What im trying to say is does it take an article to be in the Times or the Guardian for us to realise what we really already know? That forcasting is not an exact science. That its being held back by lack of funding or whatever or just generally not enough interest. That if an organistion with responsiblity comes out with a forcast for a particular season for example and it turns out to be wrong - that their probrably not going to be held to account?? Does the public even take weather forcasting all that seriously? :D

    No im not talking about that article im particular. My point being would the MO not be better concentrating on the weather for a week ahead instead of issuing seasonal forecasts for the media to jump on?

    they, like NOAA and ECMWF, are in the business for both.

    day to day forecasting using numerical outputs from computers, of which that to the media, TV, radio, newspapers is but a tiny fraction. The big players are the airlines and aviation in general around the world who need accurate wind predictions for flights, thus saving many millions per week. Likewise the major retailers.

    The second type of forecast is the seasonal one. This is used by major power companies and transport authorities.

    The two, or rather three, taking the media as one, is a requirement by the various governments for each country Met Office to provide.

    Hope that helps

    John

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    I remember some sources forecasting a slightly warmer than average August but stressing that it was unlikely to be anywhere near as hot as July. I was one of them.

    And, if the second half of August had contained a warm spell in the third week as I predicted at the beginning of the month, they would've been correct. However, there wasn't a warm spell then, so the average has ended up lower.

    I don't think any reputable source would be able to make a month-ahead forecast and claim that it was anything other than experimental; as the main contributor to month-ahead forecasts on N-W I know how difficult it is to maintain a high level of accuracy, particularly more than 10-15 days out. The media, however, can easily interpret it as such if they want to make a good story.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    I understand that the same story nearly appeared last week in the Sunday Telegraph ...... Fortunately the editor was persuaded it was a load of rubbish just in time. I wouldn't be surpised to see other papers pick this up now though :lol:

    Well that's a different issue altogether :lol: But I think it's more a case of developing all areas of forecasting.

    And I'm sure you know as well as I that sometimes short range forecasts are easier to do that at others - atm for example it's very difficult to forecast even 24 hours ahead with any great certainty. Othr times you can go out a week with good confidence.

    Longer range forecasts are issued generally because they are what the public (and media) want.

    I have to say Essan that whilst I agree with the main thrust of your defence, I have sympathy for Icicles' argument too. I was aware of a lot of chatter in the media at the end of July and in early August regarding hotter weather to come, this at a time when the blocking pattern was clearly breaking down. Whilst I can't vouch for the provenance of the long range forecasts (for more heatwave(s)), I have to assume they came from somewhere, though this IS an assumption. Accepting this assumption, however, the forecasts were wrong.

    The main thing this shows is the fallibility of long range forecasts, and I agree with Icicles; the MetO, and any other serious forecasters, would be far better served by publicising only near term forecasts. As one who spends a lot of my working life dealing with communications, I am well aware that no matter how you couch or caveat a statement, it is always open to (mis)interpretation. Better not to say things at all.

    I agree, research should continue, and forecasts should be created, just as doctors try new techniques and new drugs; but they don't make a song and dance about them until they're proven. And yes, the public want longer forecasts, but the public also want unlimited free healthcare, a police force that is all things to all people in all places at all times, high wages and high employment but cheap goods, and longer holidays.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Well the two to three day forecast aren't that bad as made out here.

    Long range forecasts as we all know are very difficult. Look at last Winters forecasts. Nearly spot on yet the media turned it into an ice age and one or two presenters got caught up in the Frenzy (Paul Hudson for one although he did say oops soon after) . You can't blame the Met office for that. True the Beebs month ahead is a laugth and is often wrong within two days or so. I wish they'd remove it as it's embarrassing to be honest.

    The sun is a good paper if you run out of toilet paper and thats all it is.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
    As one who spends a lot of my working life dealing with communications, I am well aware that no matter how you couch or caveat a statement, it is always open to (mis)interpretation. Better not to say things at all.

    I agree, research should continue, and forecasts should be created, just as doctors try new techniques and new drugs; but they don't make a song and dance about them until they're proven. And yes, the public want longer forecasts, but the public also want unlimited free healthcare, a police force that is all things to all people in all places at all times, high wages and high employment but cheap goods, and longer holidays.

    While I agree with the general tenor of your post, S.F, in my experience ( although I haven't conducted a scientific study ) the majority of people don't actually listen to the weather forecast, or if they do they manage to misinterpret what is being said.

    People tend to latch onto certain key words such as Rain, Snow, Cold etc etc and, irrespective of any qualifying statements within the forecast will assume that is what they will be getting, even if the key words related to a completely different area from their own.

    I work in an area which involves meeting the general public in an 'outdoor pursuits' type environment in the Peak District and I've lost count of the times people have criticised the weather forecast because they've got soaked, sunburned, frozen, brought inappropriate gear for the weather conditions.

    On speaking to them in a little more depth it soon become apparent that their perspective on the forecast bore no relation to what was actually said.

    This has backfired on me to some extent as many of the regulars, knowing I have a keen interest in the weather, ask me for forecasts. I'm happy to do this and have a good reputation even though, on most occasions, I do little more than regurgitate the met' office forecast coupled with what I glean from scanning the charts.

    The main difference between me and those asking me for the forecast is that I listen carefully to what is said and know how to interpret it.

    Whether the lack of understanding from a large section of the general public is down to their own inability to listen properly or a failing on the part of the forecasters/BBC is open to debate.

    T.M

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    TM I would say that most people don't listen properly. I've seen that at work and in my own house.

    I also get asked for Forecasts and very reluctantly give them out based on MetO forecasts and GFS. The last two I've got pretty well spot on thankfully.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    I don't think that the current attempt to appeal to the masses by avoiding disenfranchising them with pressure charts, meteorological details beyond "will it be hot or cold, wet or dry" etc. is going to help in that area either.

    If anything it's likely to encourage people above that level of listening to drop down to it.

    A lot of the time I think it's the people listening and not the forecasters who are to blame, though there are exceptions, e.g. I posted on another thread a while ago where a forecast for sunshine and showers was presented as if it was going to be a washout, and so when it turned out bright and showery people thought they'd got it wrong.

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    In reply to TM's comments, what you say is so true, people in work think i'm a bit obsessed with the weather, and ask what the weather is going to be all the time. (I've even got a weather forecater nickname, when they thnk I over talk about the weather)

    It is also true that people thoughts on the forecast bear no relation to what the forecaster said.

    I also think that most people on Net Weather for a decent period of time, are more than capable of putting out a fairly accurate forecast for their areas based on weather charts and their knowledge of the local weather conditions.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    I'm also of the opinion that it's not the forecasters who are to blame.

    It would help if they had more time to deliver the forecast so that individual counties could be mentioned by name where appropriate.

    This would clear up such misunderstandings as to whether your particular location was in south west England/ south west midlands, north midlands/northern England etc etc.

    The name of the county where you happen to live would be a certain attention grabber and would enable people to focus on what was being said at the right time in the forecast.

    The whole issue of time allocation to forecasts is another can of worms entirely and not likely to improve any time soon.

    T.M

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    I don't think that the current attempt to appeal to the masses by avoiding disenfranchising them with pressure charts, meteorological details beyond "will it be hot or cold, wet or dry" etc. is going to help in that area either.

    If anything it's likely to encourage people above that level of listening to drop down to it.

    A lot of the time I think it's the people listening and not the forecasters who are to blame, though there are exceptions, e.g. I posted on another thread a while ago where a forecast for sunshine and showers was presented as if it was going to be a washout, and so when it turned out bright and showery people thought they'd got it wrong.

    TWS I absoluetly agree 100%. I think the beeb, ridding themselves of pressure charts if anything shows a lack of respect for the intelligence of the viewers. Pressure charts are vital in forcasting. :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    While I agree with the general tenor of your post, S.F, in my experience ( although I haven't conducted a scientific study ) the majority of people don't actually listen to the weather forecast, or if they do they manage to misinterpret what is being said.

    People tend to latch onto certain key words such as Rain, Snow, Cold etc etc and, irrespective of any qualifying statements within the forecast will assume that is what they will be getting, even if the key words related to a completely different area from their own.

    I work in an area which involves meeting the general public in an 'outdoor pursuits' type environment in the Peak District and I've lost count of the times people have criticised the weather forecast because they've got soaked, sunburned, frozen, brought inappropriate gear for the weather conditions.

    On speaking to them in a little more depth it soon become apparent that their perspective on the forecast bore no relation to what was actually said.

    This has backfired on me to some extent as many of the regulars, knowing I have a keen interest in the weather, ask me for forecasts. I'm happy to do this and have a good reputation even though, on most occasions, I do little more than regurgitate the met' office forecast coupled with what I glean from scanning the charts.

    The main difference between me and those asking me for the forecast is that I listen carefully to what is said and know how to interpret it.

    Whether the lack of understanding from a large section of the general public is down to their own inability to listen properly or a failing on the part of the forecasters/BBC is open to debate.

    T.M

    (T.M. Just to be clear, my comments were not about regular forecasts (upto 5 days, say) but LRFs., I sense you think I was having a go at ALL forecasts per sé, I was not)

    I suspect both, and in different proportions at different times. Last winter's metO LRF is a classic example, where repeated passage through retelling lead to all manner of distortions and fatuous arguments, occasionally including some people on here of whom rather more might have been expected. However, for the people who do and can listen, I would still contend that more often than not the LRF will fail, with a tendency to do so in direct proportion to the degree of detail attached to it. It's a huge area of psychology, and it plays out on this site very well in winter, but your experience of people's interpretation is not uncommon. We all attach bias, based on our own preferences and prejudices, to our decoding of information we receive, and consequently sailors get caught by storms they thought unlikely, hill walkers freeze on sunny days, and cavers get caught in floods.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    (T.M. Just to be clear, my comments were not about regular forecasts (upto 5 days, say) but LRFs., I sense you think I was having a go at ALL forecasts per sé, I was not)

    Yes, point taken S.F.

    I did start off with that point in mind but, in the manner of trying to drive a screw immediately adjacent to an old hole, I immediately wandered into my pet territory of whether or not people listen to forecasts per se.

    Old habits die hard; I remember being admonished at school for writing a very long and (I thought ) well reasoned essay on a topic which was very close to, but not actually on, the one in the question.

    Tsk.

    T.M

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