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Posted
  • Location: East Hants
  • Weather Preferences: Supercells n snow
  • Location: East Hants

    Just wondering - how much do the BBC and Metoffice give falty forecasts, I mean - metoffice claim they're 87% right most of the time, well thats good but then again they're not, this year and especially over the last 2 weeks they've made so many blunders, like 2 weeks ago they predicted that heavy thundery mass of rain to come up from france and cause flooding, and nothing ever turned up like that, just a very week batch of light-moderate rain.

    They always predict thunderstorms as well and they never get this right, since i've seen no thunderstorms today on any of the radars....

    It's just frustrating with the amount of errors they've made lately and im not whining or anything but also don't you guys think it's about time they upgraded the radar system, I mean when you go on www.spc.noaa.gov - the american storm prediction centre with the doppler radar etc, if you go on the live radar and look at all the detail on it, its just phenominal.

    oops did not mean to put the topic in here!?!? anyone know how I can delete this topic??

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    if you are kind enough to give your town on your avatar then I'll try and give some feed back to you?

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    Posted
  • Location: south London
  • Location: south London

    on the whole I used to criticize the BBC..met..so fourth...but then I have realized forecasting is very difficult....Im sure the Usa Chase teams would say the same thing...Its very difficult I reckon even if you have all the equipment and Knowledge...Frustration when they get it wrong...But like I say its a very hard subject

    proof on how many times they get it wrong..just my own personal slant on things

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    hi Uk tks for that and I'll get back to you probably later this evening after the switchover has been done

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    Posted
  • Location: Maidstone, Kent
  • Location: Maidstone, Kent

    from general observation of last night, i noticed that flash warnings were issued at 22.25 for heavy and thundery rain in CS England from Sussex northwestwards to Gloucester. That lead me to believe that the storm we were all keeping our beady eyes on was going to move NW-wards into these regions. Not the case.

    Instead it took more of a NNE track towards the far NE of France (around Calais). This prompted the METO to issue further flash warnings at 00.30 for Kent and other home counties, suggesting it would still move NW-wards towards the central Midlands. Once again not so, instead it moved northwards, clipping east Kent and eastern coasts of East Anglia.

    Now i understand that there was some heavy rain in regions that didn't see the storms, but the real torrential thundery stuff didn't fall in many of the regions highlighted.

    Another thing i don't quite like is the fact that from 00:30 all BBC Weather forecasts on the BBC News Channel are recorded for "an 8am start" so they say "we've seen some heavy and thundery rain overnight in many regions", which is just a stab in the dark (literally :) lol). It would be nice to be kept updated in events like this to see where the storm may go, not put a lightning symbol over the southwest for 8am when it didn't even storm there...

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

    I was wondering the same actually. They forecasted it to be warm today (on BBC 5 live yesterday they mentioned 24-25c!) but in reality it got no higher than 14c and I don't think many places hit the 20c mark. Ah well it aint easy!

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    for those wanting to complain about how the BBC handle the forecasts and flash messages I do suggest you put that complaint in an e mail to the BBC Weather Centre. There is little point using NW as a vehicle for complaints about some other organisation.

    Our memories are notorious for remembering only what we want to remember(please note that is not a dig at mw who has provided times and data to substantiate the claim). So to have any hope of BBC or the TV Met O staff responding you do need to have actual data and comparisons with their forecasts to back up your complaint.

    I did post yesterday on one thread that I felt trying to forecast the exact areas of any thundery outbreaks was proving very difficult and so it proved to be.

    Turning to the first post which I said I would reply to, shown in italics with my comments in red.

    Just wondering - how much do the BBC and Met office give falty forecasts, I mean - met office claim they're 87% right most of the time, well thats good but then again they're not, this year and especially over the last 2 weeks they've made so many blunders, like 2 weeks ago they predicted that heavy thundery mass of rain to come up from France and cause flooding, and nothing ever turned up like that, just a very week batch of light-moderate rain.

    again you will have to have actual events with what the forecast was and the actual weather for any particular area to be able to make that complaint to the correct place, either the Met O on their web site or the BBC Weather Centre for the attention of the Met O BBC weather forecasters. Perhaps if Michael F reads this he might like to give his comments?

    The way in which the Met O check their own forecasts, I suspect, is not dissimilar to how it was done when I was a Weather Centre forecaster. In those days, for the regional checks, London checked Manchester and vice verca, and NOT any of the forecasting team. Specific elements were checked, max, min, general weather, wind speed and direction , things that the general public would be aware of. There has always been the deeper model checking which goes on all the time with all the model centres trying to improve the forecast accuracy both in accuracy and distance ahead.

    They always predict thunderstorms as well and they never get this right, since I've seen no thunderstorms today on any of the radars....

    Not sure why you say no thunder with none of the radars showing it, our own NW Extra certainly had it well shown over France even before it reached here and comments from another poster suggest it was well tracked by radar albeit not so well followed by the Met O flash messages

    It's just frustrating with the amount of errors they've made lately and im not whining or anything but also don't you guys think it's about time they upgraded the radar system, I mean when you go on www.spc.noaa.gov - the American storm prediction centre with the Doppler radar etc, if you go on the live radar and look at all the detail on it, its just phenominal

    I take it you a tax payer and willing to pay for the very large cost of using Doppler and the other 'gadgets' which they use in America? It would be hugely expensive and took many years before the cost of having the radar coverage there is now was even an option other than the initial research project run in nw England with the NW Water Authority funding much of the cost. prior to that empirical methods of predicting how much rain might fall in a particular location 1-3 hours ahead was our only method.

    I'm not trying to make excuses for either the Met O or any other weather site that issues forecasts but trying to present what is done and how and the probable difficulties in enhancing the radar network.

    By all means ask for clarification on my post but I am relying on events to answer from my experience over 15 years ago so it would be much better to make your comments to the right area.

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    Posted
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
    Just wondering - how much do the BBC and Metoffice give falty forecasts, I mean - metoffice claim they're 87% right most of the time, well thats good but then again they're not, this year and especially over the last 2 weeks they've made so many blunders, like 2 weeks ago they predicted that heavy thundery mass of rain to come up from france and cause flooding, and nothing ever turned up like that, just a very week batch of light-moderate rain.

    They always predict thunderstorms as well and they never get this right, since i've seen no thunderstorms today on any of the radars....

    It's just frustrating with the amount of errors they've made lately and im not whining or anything but also don't you guys think it's about time they upgraded the radar system, I mean when you go on www.spc.noaa.gov - the american storm prediction centre with the doppler radar etc, if you go on the live radar and look at all the detail on it, its just phenominal.

    Are those really blunders?

    They never get thunderstorms right?

    And you're not whining?

    Can we be sure that what the Met Office provides on the website is the extent of their radar network? Remember that they were reluctant for sometime to put up radar online before the BBC started doing it, and then there was no point withholding it any longer.

    Even if the network were to be upgraded, weather radars are extremely expensive.

    I think we forget that forecasters have deadlines. They don't have the luxury of "waiting for the next run" before putting out a definitive forecast, they have to act when they have to act.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

    They have no real need to upgrade the radar, simply because we very rarely encounter extreme weather. The USA have an enormous network of very good quality radars, but they HAVE to for the sake of millions of people. I find that most of the time the Met Office and BBC are correct...the only problem I have is that in the winter they always make Aberystwyth the coldest place in Britain on their 5 day forecasts, even somebody with basic weather knowledge knows that is unlikely to say the least.

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    Posted
  • Location: Up Hill Down Dale
  • Weather Preferences: Long hot summers and Deepest darkest snows of Winter
  • Location: Up Hill Down Dale

    Many of the inaccuracies seem to have occurred since the BBC have tried to show localised weather patterns with their roaving weather review. Before anyone pretended they could forecast such a detailed picture of the weather, the forecasts seemed to be more reliable.

    Now they actually show cloud pooling and precipitation events at so high a resolution that either they have childish faith in their simulation algorithms or they think the public are dull-witted enough to enjoy the theatrical real-time feeling forecasts, inspite of the obvioius limitations to their predictive powers. That said, I think they get away with it because the zooming nature of the roaving weather review means you've got less than 5 seconds to absorb your region's weather before the virtual camera wheels off to another corner of the country.

    In both cases, the wrong sort of reliance on technology that creates theatre but degrades the meteorlogist's standing by over-refining a complex set of assumptions. Bring back stick on weather symbols, side-burns and beige suits!

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

    I think the system of high resolution graphics works much better for regional forecasts, as it gives a good impression of what's going to happen across that particular region using the animations- giving a clearer general picture than the symbols did.

    For national forecasts I think it works the other way around, because when a forecast is covering the whole country it's hard to decipher what's going on where. They clearly try to compensate with their "panning" camera view, but it spends too little time over most areas of the country to fully digest what's being shown, while it also means most of the forecast is based on the 8am conditions and precious little coverage is given to anything else. Good, perhaps, for people who are interested only in the weather they'll get when commuting to their regimented 9-5 office job, not for anyone who needs weather info for any other purpose.

    Although, some of it is also tied in with the presentation. Temperature maps, pressure charts and wind diagrams are far more common on the regional forecasts than the national ones (it used to be the other way around) and this gives some useful perspective, even for many of those who don't fully understand them.

    One problem, as I've mentioned on other threads, is how you present the forecasts- and this is a key reason why I believe forecasters should be encouraged to present forecasts from a neutral standpoint rather than catering for the perceived "average person"'s weather type preferences. On one occasion, for the period 10-12 July 2002, the TV forecasts for sunshine and scattered sharp showers were presented with so much negative spin that my parents were under the impression that it was supposed to be dull with outbreaks of heavy rain. (Admittedly ITV were a worse offender here than BBC, as is usually the case). Thus, when northern England experienced three mainly sunny days, people thought they'd got it wrong, when in fact their raw forecast (without the added spin) was spot on.

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