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The Best Wrong Forecast


Timmytour

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Posted
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts
  • Weather Preferences: Snow snow and snow
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts

    I can't be sure of this, but it may be that my favourite foreast that was proved wrong was almost 30 years ago to the day. I'm going back to the fabulous January of 1979 when we'd had snow that had lain on the ground for a while and a high to the east bringing in cold continental weather.

    But as I went to bed that night, I was a little sad. The forecast was that mild weather to the west was going to steam in and though it might start off snowing during the night, it would soon turn to rain and sart melting all the lying snow.

    I recall it must have been a saturday, because I wasn't up early and didn't go to school that day (this was in the days of course when schools didn't close at first sight of a flake of snow! )

    My brother woke me up as he looked out of the window and shouted out, I don't believe it...loads of snow!!!! Knowing he was a wind up merchant I was reluctant to believe him to say the least...but eventually I was coaxed to the same window and, sure enough, there was just about as much snow as I have ever seen where I live, before or since. A terrific day, especially when it turned out that what had happened was not just the progress of the milder air had been slowed down, but the high had reasserted itself and was pushing it back west.

    Great memories :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey
  • Weather Preferences: Southerly tracking LPs, heavy snow. Also 25c and calm
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey

    Winter 2008/9...Ian Brown and his world record deep PV and record warm January :D

    BFTP

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

    22 June 2003- I'd known up to about 5 days out that I was set to have a Spanish plume on my birthday and had been watching out for storm potential in the Tyne & Wear area. I was treated to the hateful utterance on the BBC forecast the night before, "hopefully north-east England should escape the storms" or something along those lines.

    The next morning I was woken up at around 8:30am by thunder. There was a minor storm that rumbled through to around 9:30am, then a bigger one around 11am with frequent lightning.

    There was another 22nd June which stood out- 22nd June 1999, when forecasts said the shower activity in north-eastern areas would die out by the 22nd, but the following morning I was treated to the sight of a minor tornado on my birthday.

    As for wrong snow-related predictions, the GFS's consistent prediction that the front moving SE on 23 November 2008 would bring rain sticks out. The Met Office, to their credit, were insistent that there would be significant snow from the front, but the GFS didn't back down until about 36 hours before the event. I also trusted the GFS, because traditionally the GFS tends to handle marginal snow events and pools of mild air better than the Met Office model. In the end, Norwich got three inches from it, and what I expected to be a short spell of fun on the UEA campus turned into a full weekend of mayhem!

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL

    In the period post Christmas 1978 the UKMO were continually, and I think I recall fairly, stridently, suggesting that the pool of cold air to the E of the UK would not assert its influence over the UK. Those were the days.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley

    The 1 that sticks out in my Mind has to be the Thursday Night of the 15th October 1987. Having just turned 15 I Was watching poor old Michael Fish on the old 930pm News and Weather That followed just before I went up to my Bedroom as my Paper Round started at 530am the next morning.

    "Rain Moving in with a Freshening Breeze and possible Gale Force Gusts reserved for the English Channel and Temp of 14c Overnight :) " It had been 18c earlier that Day. He ended the Forecast with a Possibility of Major Damage across parts Of France as a deep area of Low Pressure will cross Central Europe from the Bay of Biscay.

    Anyway was awoken to the sickening noise of what sounded like a Gunshot just outside my Bedroom Window which was in fact a 100 year old Oak Tre snapped in the Middle, the Fence was 10 Gardens along and with it the Shed! Went into my Parents Bedroom and on looking out on the 50 foot Poplar Tree could not believe that the top branches were touching the Tarmac of the road outside, all manner of things were literally flying down the road from West to East at a rate of Knots!

    When it got light at about 7am Carnage rained but I still did my Paper Round and dodged a few falling Tiles.

    Essex received one of the biggest Gusts of the night at 117mph at 430am in the Morning!

    A very Big mistake of a Forecast for a Major Storm

    Paul S

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    The 1 that sticks out in my Mind has to be the Thursday Night of the 15th October 1987. Having just turned 15 I Was watching poor old Michael Fish on the old 930pm News and Weather That followed just before I went up to my Bedroom as my Paper Round started at 530am the next morning.

    "Rain Moving in with a Freshening Breeze and possible Gale Force Gusts reserved for the English Channel and Temp of 14c Overnight :) " It had been 18c earlier that Day. He ended the Forecast with a Possibility of Major Damage across parts Of France as a deep area of Low Pressure will cross Central Europe from the Bay of Biscay.

    Anyway was awoken to the sickening noise of what sounded like a Gunshot just outside my Bedroom Window which was in fact a 100 year old Oak Tre snapped in the Middle, the Fence was 10 Gardens along and with it the Shed! Went into my Parents Bedroom and on looking out on the 50 foot Poplar Tree could not believe that the top branches were touching the Tarmac of the road outside, all manner of things were literally flying down the road from West to East at a rate of Knots!

    When it got light at about 7am Carnage rained but I still did my Paper Round and dodged a few falling Tiles.

    Essex received one of the biggest Gusts of the night at 117mph at 430am in the Morning!

    A very Big mistake of a Forecast for a Major Storm

    Paul S

    I have to say that the myth around this one has allowed the reality to become slightly distorted. The forecast for that night acknowledged that the winds would be very strong. I'm not sure that the forecast was wrong, just that perceived impact of what was a relatively marginal error was massive. A month or so later the same error would have been far less noticeable simply because the load on the trees would have been significantly less.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley

    You Have got to be Kidding Me SF Surely! :diablo: Breezy along the Channel :diablo:

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=E5...p;v=8_HjEz_us4I

    If I can dig out the actualt 3 Minute Official Broadcast by Michael it will show a 35mph Symbol over the South East with 55mph on the Extreme South East Tip near Dover etc, the exacts words were some Gusts inland could reach 60mph, now forgive me but nearly double that was experienced which would indicate a Major Cock Up. Granted the Trees in Full Leaf did not help and the trees did not stand a Chance with all the wet ground from the previous days. Having spoken to Michael face to face about this what most of Joe Public do not know was that the Forecast was edited so that the Hurricane bit was left in and the Convieniant bit about a Major Hurricane about to hit a Family friend who was in Florida at the time was left OUT! (Think it was Andrew off the top of my head) So it looked like the Viewer was talking about the UK. I accept they had no idea the Storm was about to Hitch a lift on a rapidly changing Jet Stream in a matter of Hours but this is the risk of sending out a recorded broadcast done 1-3 hours before it was sent out on the BBC.

    Paul S

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Umpteen 'milder from the southwest' forecasts of Jan/Feb 1963... ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.
  • Weather Preferences: Love Weather, Hate the Spin and Lies to do with our Planets Climate.
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.
    Winter 2008/9...Ian Brown and his world record deep PV and record warm January :cold:

    BFTP

    HERE,HERE! MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!

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    Posted
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing fog, frost, snow, sunshine.
  • Location: Inbhir Nis / Inverness - 636 ft asl
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    Posted
  • Location: Peterborough N.Cambridgeshire
  • Location: Peterborough N.Cambridgeshire

    Brilliant. :cold:

    Just been watching some youtube videos from Jan 87. After watching the forecasts and videos of the storm damage I cannot believe SF comments!

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    Brilliant. :D

    Just been watching some youtube videos from Jan 87. After watching the forecasts and videos of the storm damage I cannot believe SF comments!

    Eye, my point is simple. Even a near gale at that time of year (fairly early in the season) would have been unusually damaging for trees. I think that much of the perception of the severity of the event that night is down to the pictures of the aftermath. As I lived in London at the time, I'm well aware both of the intensity of the storm, and the damage caused. HOWEVER, it's not as if the forecast had been for a calm night. The forecast was not a million miles wide of the mark; for sure, it understated the winds significantly, but my recall is that the evening forecasts acknowledged strong winds in the south.

    There are plenty of other occasions when the forecats have been much further out (forecasting snow when it didn't happen, rain when it was dry, etc.), but simply because on this occasion the error took the reality beyond a tipping point in terms of impact the PERCEPTION of the error is that it was very large.

    I think we need to differentiate between an error in forecast, and the consequences of that error. The relationship between the two is far from linear. Your response, EYE, is I think biased towards the latter; my reading of the question is focussed on the former.

    Perhaps it's less a matter of believing; more a matter of first understanding before passing judgement.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
    LOL yes i knew he would be wrong when he made it, it was obvious we were in for a cold start to winter, he's keeping a very low profile lately i notice :D

    I feel a bit sorry for Ian. He was always looking on the mild side and always talking about the "even larger teapot". Then a couple of years ago he started forecasting colder weather only for the even larger teapot to scupper it.

    So he sees mild again, forecasts mild and you have to say Mother Nature has stitched the poor bloke right up this winter. Done like a kipper.

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    Posted
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl
  • Weather Preferences: obviously snow!
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl

    monday 5th january 1998, said mild with rain all day, then at lunch time heaviest snow ive ever seen, think i ended up with 3 inches, cold zonality type stuff, before even larger teapot but thats my favourite wrong forecast and my most unexpected decent snow

    4th jan 1998

    5th jan 98

    6th jan 1998

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    Posted
  • Location: Weymouth, Dorset
  • Location: Weymouth, Dorset
    I have to say that the myth around this one has allowed the reality to become slightly distorted. The forecast for that night acknowledged that the winds would be very strong. I'm not sure that the forecast was wrong, just that perceived impact of what was a relatively marginal error was massive. A month or so later the same error would have been far less noticeable simply because the load on the trees would have been significantly less.

    :D:D

    I feel a bit sorry for Ian. He was always looking on the mild side and always talking about the "even larger teapot". Then a couple of years ago he started forecasting colder weather only for the even larger teapot to scupper it.

    So he sees mild again, forecasts mild and you have to say Mother Nature has stitched the poor bloke right up this winter. Done like a kipper.

    A lot of people have been getting away with this and playing the percentages, this winter they have been caught out.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    LOL yes i knew he would be wrong when he made it, it was obvious we were in for a cold start to winter, he's keeping a very low profile lately i notice

    I'm reminded of the old adage that failure is an orphan; success has many parents.

    When Robert Maxwell went down the newspapers were full of "I knew he was a bad 'un" stories. Funny how these are often only reported AFTER the event.

    The reality is that it's human nature to criticise rather than praise. I always take my hat off to anyone willing to make a LRF. At the same time I am firmly of the opinion that it's guesswork on the whole. Every now and then we get a memorable coincidence of a forecast for cold, and cold, and whoever made the forecast takes on messiahanic status: beware false gods. If you want to be popular, pitch cold. There's a definite tendency on N-W to back slap forecasters going for cold; "great forecast" type comments, and other ad hominems, prevail. What's praised is NOT the quality of the forecast, but the outcome projected, irrespective of the arguments put forward.

    It's easy to dismiss going for mild as "safe", but it's also daft, and ignorant. Some of those who wag the finger readily are at least as guilty in always looking for cold - even when there is not the faintest prospect of it. What matters is the diligence and the apparent thinking behind the forecast. GP, SM and, I think, IB, are all amongst those on here who battle hard to cut through the many barriers to a long range forecast. All have earned their spurs. Sometimes they'll get it right, sometimes they'll get it wrong (probably more often than not) - but that's the reality of long forecasts.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
    :(:D

    A lot of people have been getting away with this and playing the percentages, this winter they have been caught out.

    To be fair although he always forecasted mild, in the last two winters he saw cold signals and forecasted colder winters so he stuck his neck out.

    You can't really say he was playing percentages by forecasting mild this year.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
    monday 5th january 1998, said mild with rain all day, then at lunch time heaviest snow ive ever seen, think i ended up with 3 inches, cold zonality type stuff, before even larger teapot but thats my favourite wrong forecast and my most unexpected decent snow

    4th jan 1998

    5th jan 98

    6th jan 1998

    I was very young at the time but I remember it unexpectedly snowing for a short time even down here in the southwest then. There were also fantastic thunderstorms on 3rd Jan and 5th Jan with heavy hail making it look like it had snowed.

    As for the more recent ones:

    Tue 19th Jun 2007:

    BBC Forecast: a warm day with a showers forming inland during the afternoon as the wind picked up.

    Actual Outcome: a very warm, humid day starting sunny then a long train of severe thunderstorms dropping 32mm in 30 minutes.

    Thu 04th May 2006:

    BBC Forecast: the warmest day of the spell with temperatures reaching about 20-21C before cloud increases from the west.

    Actual Outcome: a hot day reaching 26.4C, the highest of the month and it stayed sunny almost all day!

    Sun 12th Mar 2006:

    BBC Forecast: a front will bring rain to southern counties but snow will fall to higher ground with about 1-2cm accumulating.

    Actual Outcome: the front came before dawn and hitting the cold air it brought a period of heavy snow amounting to 3cm.

    Mon 12th Jan 2004:

    BBC Forecast: a very wet and windy day with widespread gales and gusts in excess of 100MPH along the coasts.

    Actual Outcome: I was on a school trip to Lyme Regis that day. It rained heavily through the morning but cleared in the afternoon and became sunny with a light southwesterly breeze.

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    Posted
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts
  • Weather Preferences: Snow snow and snow
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts

    I must admit, the intention of this thread was not so much to mock those who got it wrong - after all they were only relaying what the expectations truly were - but to highlight those occasions when delight could be taken in Mother Nature taking an unexpected course of action...one that aligned with my somewhat forlorn hope rather than with the science of the day!

    In my own case I'd attach no blame or mockery to those who were forecasting mild weather would ensue. I simply remember it as a time when I was delighted they were wrong. In fact, what intensified the delight was the amount of times prior to that I desperately hoped they had got it wrong only to see their predictions come true.

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    Posted
  • Location: Madrid, Spain (Formerly Telford)
  • Location: Madrid, Spain (Formerly Telford)

    9th February 2007 stands out as a recent one.

    The snow wasnt even on the charts until the 18z run the night before and even then shown snow turning to rain.

    In the end there was extremely heavy snow all afternoon which gave 6-7 inches (8 in places) though unfortunately it was

    washed away the next day.

    19th July 2007 was also an interesting day.

    Forecast said 19c with the odd shower but ended up clear and sunny all day followed by a massive thunderstorm in the evening

    which gave huge amounts of rain and lightning.

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    Posted
  • Location: South-West Norfolk
  • Location: South-West Norfolk
    Eye, my point is simple. Even a near gale at that time of year (fairly early in the season) would have been unusually damaging for trees. I think that much of the perception of the severity of the event that night is down to the pictures of the aftermath. As I lived in London at the time, I'm well aware both of the intensity of the storm, and the damage caused. HOWEVER, it's not as if the forecast had been for a calm night. The forecast was not a million miles wide of the mark; for sure, it understated the winds significantly, but my recall is that the evening forecasts acknowledged strong winds in the south.

    There are plenty of other occasions when the forecats have been much further out (forecasting snow when it didn't happen, rain when it was dry, etc.), but simply because on this occasion the error took the reality beyond a tipping point in terms of impact the PERCEPTION of the error is that it was very large.

    I think we need to differentiate between an error in forecast, and the consequences of that error. The relationship between the two is far from linear. Your response, EYE, is I think biased towards the latter; my reading of the question is focussed on the former.

    Perhaps it's less a matter of believing; more a matter of first understanding before passing judgement.

    Mr. Fish' forecast was a long way out, with the fastest reported speed of approx 138 mph.

    Four or five days before the storm struck, forecasters predicted severe weather on the following Thursday or Friday. By mid-week, however, guidance from weather prediction models was somewhat equivocal. Instead of stormy weather over a considerable part of the UK, the models suggested that severe weather would reach no farther north than the English Channel and coastal parts of southern England.

    During the afternoon of 15 October, winds were very light over most parts of the UK. The pressure gradient was slack. A depression was drifting slowly northwards over the North Sea off eastern Scotland. A col lay over England, Wales and Ireland. Over the Bay of Biscay, a depression was developing.

    The first gale warnings for sea areas in the English Channel were issued at 0630 UTC on 15 October and were followed, four hours later, by warnings of severe gales.

    At 1200 UTC on 15 October, the depression that originated in the Bay of Biscay was centred near 46° N, 9° W and its depth was 970 mb. By 1800 UTC, it had moved north-east to about 47° N, 6° W, and deepened to 964 mb.

    At 2235 UTC, winds of Force 10 were forecast. By midnight, the depression was over the western English Channel, and its central pressure was 953 mb. At 0135 on 16 October, warnings of Force 11 were issued. The depression now moved rapidly north-east, filling a little as it did, reaching the Humber estuary at about 0530 UTC, by which time its central pressure was 959 mb. Dramatic increases in temperature were associated with the passage of the storm's warm front.

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    Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

    The most amusing one for me was at the height of the 2003 heatwave. It was a Sunday morning ( I think 10 Aug ) with a trailing cold front hitting the very hot air over England.

    Recorded BBC forecasts kept being shown on BBC News through the morning saying about it being a dry, fine, hot and sunny day when, even from about 07.00, heavy thunderstorms were breaking out widely and heading NE.

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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
    I can't be sure of this, but it may be that my favourite foreast that was proved wrong was almost 30 years ago to the day. I'm going back to the fabulous January of 1979 when we'd had snow that had lain on the ground for a while and a high to the east bringing in cold continental weather.

    But as I went to bed that night, I was a little sad. The forecast was that mild weather to the west was going to steam in and though it might start off snowing during the night, it would soon turn to rain and sart melting all the lying snow.

    I recall it must have been a saturday, because I wasn't up early and didn't go to school that day (this was in the days of course when schools didn't close at first sight of a flake of snow! )

    My brother woke me up as he looked out of the window and shouted out, I don't believe it...loads of snow!!!! Knowing he was a wind up merchant I was reluctant to believe him to say the least...but eventually I was coaxed to the same window and, sure enough, there was just about as much snow as I have ever seen where I live, before or since. A terrific day, especially when it turned out that what had happened was not just the progress of the milder air had been slowed down, but the high had reasserted itself and was pushing it back west.

    Great memories :rolleyes:

    I remember that one well. met Office even rung my father up asking him what the conditions were. He said snowing. met office said don't worry it's raining in Birmingham soon be raining where you are. Well we got a few bits of gruapel then it stopped around three in the afternoon. I went out for a walk around eight and a bit of snow came down then stopped ten minutes later the same again then stopped. Went home and told my father the front was moving back west and as adults did then those days was told not to be cheeky. I had the last laugh actually one of many over my father weatherwise.

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    9th February 2007 stands out as a recent one.

    The snow wasnt even on the charts until the 18z run the night before and even then shown snow turning to rain.

    In the end there was extremely heavy snow all afternoon which gave 6-7 inches (8 in places) though unfortunately it was

    washed away the next day.

    We had that as well, I remember watching the BBC forecasts at 7pm and it said it would stay dry, with any rain staying over SW England, then saw the forecast at 10.35pm to see it pushing further north as a rain turning to snow event.

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