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Another Seasonal Forecast Goes Awry


Guest North Sea Snow Convection

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Guest North Sea Snow Convection

We know that the record for the METO seasonal forecasts has not been good for several seasons now. There was quite a spectacular backtrack on the winter one last year for example. Now this summer forecast, that had been dubbed as a 'BBQ summer' is proving rather wide of the mark.

Media reporting such as this appears today as the METO are forced to dumb down the expectations for the rest of summer, much as it was forced into a u-turn last winter:

You will need a brolly on holiday in the UK in August - the Met Office is issuing a revised forecast for more unsettled weather well into the month.

It is a far cry from the "barbecue summer" it predicted back in April.

The news will raise questions about the Met Office's ability to make reliable seasonal forecasts.

But the organisation has defended its record, saying people have already forgotten the hot weather experienced across many parts of Britain in June.

It also highlights the absence of the sort of major floods that blighted 2007 and 2008; and the largely fine weather for the Wimbledon tennis championship, the cricket Tests and the Open golf.

o.gifstart_quote_rb.gif Seasonal forecasting is a difficult thing to do and this places some limitations on our forecasts end_quote_rb.gif<BR clear=all>Brian Goulding, Met OfficeThe Met Office also says temperatures have been around or above normal, and that the end of August might be better again.

It did indeed stress at the time of the summer forecast in April that the odds of a scorching summer were 65%. It explains that it coined the phrase "barbecue summer" to help journalists' headlines.

But this has come back to bite the organisation because many people do not feel like they have been enjoying a "good" summer, especially compared with previous searing years.

Jet stream

Some now ask if the Met Office risks its reputation by attempting to popularise its work this way.

Certainly, at the time of the forecast there was pressure on the Met Office from tourism chiefs in the UK to be positive about holidays at home. Did Met Office staff feel an obligation to put on a sunny face?

The real problem for the Met Office is that this is the third summer in a row where its forecast has failed. In 2007, the Met Office chirped: "The summer is yet again likely to be warmer than normal. There are no indications of a particularly wet summer."

We got downpours and floods in the wettest summer for England and Wales since 1912. Temperatures were below average.

In April 2008, the Met Office forecast: "Summer temperatures are likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or above average."

o.gifThat did not prepare people for one of the wettest summers on record with high winds and low sunshine.

In both instances, the Met Office failed to predict the movements of the jet stream - the high-level wind that races round the world 10km above the surface.

The past two years it got stuck above the UK - and that locked a low-pressure system in place which in turn brought misery and rain. That has been happening again this July.

Temperatures in both previous years were dragged down by the Pacific La Nina effect which makes it four times more likely that we will suffer a bad summer in Europe. But this year, the La Nina effect no longer applies.

This year was supposed to be "warmer than usual with rainfall average or below average".

Chief meteorologist Ewan McCallum said in April: "We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30C - something we hardly saw last year." On that particular detail he was right (just) - and might yet be right again before summer turns to autumn.

Mr McCallum admitted in a news conference in April that seasonal forecasting was still in its infancy - a cross between climate change prediction and tomorrow's weather forecast.

But he said normal forecasting had massively improved, with the four-day forecast now as good as the one-day forecast when the Met office started more than 30 years ago. Seasonal forecasting would improve, too, he said.

The Met Office head of forecasting Brian Goulding said at the time: "Seasonal forecasting is a difficult thing to do and this places some limitations on our forecasts. Our predictions for last autumn, winter and spring have all given accurate advice, giving more confidence in our latest summer forecast."

'Spinners'

Independent meteorologist Philip Eden told BBC News that Met Office forecasts were "generally fairly accurate".

Instead, he blamed "spinners" in the Met Office press office for exaggerating the certainty of forecasts.

But the independent weather forecaster Piers Corbyn says the Met Office failed to make a correct forecast because it cannot predict the jet stream.

He claims his solar-based forecasting method is consistently more accurate for medium-term predictions than the Met Office, and he urges them to give up medium-term forecasting.

The Met Office complains in response that Mr Corbyn will not publish his "unique" methods of forecasting.

For the record, Mr Corbyn predicts that August will be generally wet and cool, especially in the West and the North later.

The highlighted and underlined bits of mine are another good indication of the fact that climate change is increasingly a feature of METO seasonal forecasts. Something that received quite some flak from a few quarters when it was stated last week.

We know that the METO are amongst the very top global advocates of AGW as the mechanism for climate change. So how much is the obsession with AGW now impinging on seasonal forecasting? It seems to me that the more bread and butter factors such as looking at jet stream trajectories and examining the natural cyclical elements that determine this and other factors is being sacrificed to some degree at the expense of the adamancy and arrogance over AGW induced climate change. We also have the very recent debacle over the resistance releasing of global data in a bid to understand climate change better and perhaps bring into the open some of the fine points behind the progressive AGW stance that typifies the METO, the IPCC, Hansen and Gore et al. We also know of the dismissal by the METO of the examining of solar, magnestic and gravitational mechanisms on weather patterns and the jet stream as the stuff of internet speculation, when it is in fact a very relevant and separate area of science whose influence is being ignored at some peril to the accuracy of research into climate variation.

I don't think that these are good times for the METO and they have gone right down in my estimation FWIW. Might they be being exposed a tad for too much arrogance and also setting the worst example of the sort of sloganism that they were supposed to be discouraging the media from doing not so long ago?

There are a few AGW members of the forum who have already staunchly defended the METO over their seasonal and climate forecasting, naturally, as it espouses AGW climate change as a major driver in being factored into expectations. But just perhaps the overstating of all this is beginning to catch up with them?

It is true that shortest term forecasting by the METO is generally of a very very good standard. They are right IMO to point to four days forecasting as continuing to have shown great strides over the years. Yes, some individual weather events like snowfall events and thunderstorms have not always been picked up - but then even the best of the short term computer model predictions can give varying and mixed signals here. So they cannot be criticised here.

But when it comes to the seasonal forecasting and longer range, far too much AGW climate change bias and spinning forecasts in line with these, as well as giving OTT climate projection seminars for forty years hence for gardeners and other sectors of our economy, IMO are not excusable whatsoever - when based on uncertain feedbacks, incomplete science and hypothesis. It doesn't wash imo to try and excuse the METO by blaming a separate sector of the organisation for producing the sensationalist headlines. At the end of the day Mr Mc Callum and all the other senior officers within the organisation have had every opportuntity to sanction or otherwise such headlines before they were produced. Does it wash if every buisness that has failed in a certain objective tries to pass off its shortcomings on its marketing sector? Or if a major international bank tries to separate its over zealous lending dept as a separate entity out of control and responsibility to its overall corporate and public service objective and provision??

I don't think so.

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Posted
  • Location: Stourbridge
  • Location: Stourbridge

    i agree totally. in the 4 day forecasts, yes accuracy may not be perfect, but it is certainly of a good standard, with perhaps one or two exceptions from time to time(as you say, snowfall events and thunderstorms, which are very difficult to predict). but what annoys me, is when they try and protect themselves by saying things like, well it was warm at the end of june, backing up the bbq forecast instead of saying, it didnt turn out to be the most accurate forecast, because this just causes more controversy in the papers.

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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

    The actual forecast is only wrong in one section. The amount of rainfall. Temperature wise the met office is pretty well right. The problem is in the media section which came out with Barbi rubbish.

    The spin section needs shutting down and the met office should do what its supposed to do present the forecast in a neutral manner and not talking it up.

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

    One fundamental error in your 'critique', Tamara: no one is claiming that AGW is 'THE mechanism of climate change'. That particular little straw man is entirely yours!

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    Guest North Sea Snow Convection

    One fundamental error in your 'critique', Tamara: no one is claiming that AGW is 'THE mechanism of climate change'. That particular little straw man is entirely yours!

    Why? It is seen as the overriding mechanism for climate change. The semantics with words doesn't change that. The debating of the semantics is what creates the circular debate and proverbial and much loved catchphrased 'straw man'.

    So, nope, I don't think it is entirely mine.

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

    I like the Met Office's rather pathetic defence though:

    "But the organisation has defended its record, saying people have already forgotten the hot weather experienced across many parts of Britain in June. "

    Sorry but 1 week of hot weather does not make a "barbecue summer"!

    It's not as if this is a one off, as the BBC article states, this is the 3rd summer forecast gone wrong in a row, with a winter forecast that wasn't brilliant either.

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs

    We know that the record for the METO seasonal forecasts has not been good for several seasons now. There was quite a spectacular backtrack on the winter one last year for example. Now this summer forecast, that had been dubbed as a 'BBQ summer' is proving rather wide of the mark.

    Media reporting such as this appears today as the METO are forced to dumb down the expectations for the rest of summer, much as it was forced into a u-turn last winter:

    You will need a brolly on holiday in the UK in August - the Met Office is issuing a revised forecast for more unsettled weather well into the month.

    It is a far cry from the "barbecue summer" it predicted back in April.

    The news will raise questions about the Met Office's ability to make reliable seasonal forecasts.

    But the organisation has defended its record, saying people have already forgotten the hot weather experienced across many parts of Britain in June.

    It also highlights the absence of the sort of major floods that blighted 2007 and 2008; and the largely fine weather for the Wimbledon tennis championship, the cricket Tests and the Open golf.

    o.gifstart_quote_rb.gif Seasonal forecasting is a difficult thing to do and this places some limitations on our forecasts end_quote_rb.gif<BR clear=all>Brian Goulding, Met OfficeThe Met Office also says temperatures have been around or above normal, and that the end of August might be better again.

    It did indeed stress at the time of the summer forecast in April that the odds of a scorching summer were 65%. It explains that it coined the phrase "barbecue summer" to help journalists' headlines.

    But this has come back to bite the organisation because many people do not feel like they have been enjoying a "good" summer, especially compared with previous searing years.

    Jet stream

    Some now ask if the Met Office risks its reputation by attempting to popularise its work this way.

    Certainly, at the time of the forecast there was pressure on the Met Office from tourism chiefs in the UK to be positive about holidays at home. Did Met Office staff feel an obligation to put on a sunny face?

    The real problem for the Met Office is that this is the third summer in a row where its forecast has failed. In 2007, the Met Office chirped: "The summer is yet again likely to be warmer than normal. There are no indications of a particularly wet summer."

    We got downpours and floods in the wettest summer for England and Wales since 1912. Temperatures were below average.

    In April 2008, the Met Office forecast: "Summer temperatures are likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or above average."

    o.gifThat did not prepare people for one of the wettest summers on record with high winds and low sunshine.

    In both instances, the Met Office failed to predict the movements of the jet stream - the high-level wind that races round the world 10km above the surface.

    The past two years it got stuck above the UK - and that locked a low-pressure system in place which in turn brought misery and rain. That has been happening again this July.

    Temperatures in both previous years were dragged down by the Pacific La Nina effect which makes it four times more likely that we will suffer a bad summer in Europe. But this year, the La Nina effect no longer applies.

    This year was supposed to be "warmer than usual with rainfall average or below average".

    Chief meteorologist Ewan McCallum said in April: "We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30C - something we hardly saw last year." On that particular detail he was right (just) - and might yet be right again before summer turns to autumn.

    Mr McCallum admitted in a news conference in April that seasonal forecasting was still in its infancy - a cross between climate change prediction and tomorrow's weather forecast.

    But he said normal forecasting had massively improved, with the four-day forecast now as good as the one-day forecast when the Met office started more than 30 years ago. Seasonal forecasting would improve, too, he said.

    The Met Office head of forecasting Brian Goulding said at the time: "Seasonal forecasting is a difficult thing to do and this places some limitations on our forecasts. Our predictions for last autumn, winter and spring have all given accurate advice, giving more confidence in our latest summer forecast."

    'Spinners'

    Independent meteorologist Philip Eden told BBC News that Met Office forecasts were "generally fairly accurate".

    Instead, he blamed "spinners" in the Met Office press office for exaggerating the certainty of forecasts.

    But the independent weather forecaster Piers Corbyn says the Met Office failed to make a correct forecast because it cannot predict the jet stream.

    He claims his solar-based forecasting method is consistently more accurate for medium-term predictions than the Met Office, and he urges them to give up medium-term forecasting.

    The Met Office complains in response that Mr Corbyn will not publish his "unique" methods of forecasting.

    For the record, Mr Corbyn predicts that August will be generally wet and cool, especially in the West and the North later.

    The highlighted and underlined bits of mine are another good indication of the fact that climate change is increasingly a feature of METO seasonal forecasts. Something that received quite some flak from a few quarters when it was stated last week.

    We know that the METO are amongst the very top global advocates of AGW as the mechanism for climate change. So how much is the obsession with AGW now impinging on seasonal forecasting? It seems to me that the more bread and butter factors such as looking at jet stream trajectories and examining the natural cyclical elements that determine this and other factors is being sacrificed to some degree at the expense of the adamancy and arrogance over AGW induced climate change. We also have the very recent debacle over the resistance releasing of global data in a bid to understand climate change better and perhaps bring into the open some of the fine points behind the progressive AGW stance that typifies the METO, the IPCC, Hansen and Gore et al. We also know of the dismissal by the METO of the examining of solar, magnestic and gravitational mechanisms on weather patterns and the jet stream as the stuff of internet speculation, when it is in fact a very relevant and separate area of science whose influence is being ignored at some peril to the accuracy of research into climate variation.

    I don't think that these are good times for the METO and they have gone right down in my estimation FWIW. Might they be being exposed a tad for too much arrogance and also setting the worst example of the sort of sloganism that they were supposed to be discouraging the media from doing not so long ago?

    There are a few AGW members of the forum who have already staunchly defended the METO over their seasonal and climate forecasting, naturally, as it espouses AGW climate change as a major driver in being factored into expectations. But just perhaps the overstating of all this is beginning to catch up with them?

    It is true that shortest term forecasting by the METO is generally of a very very good standard. They are right IMO to point to four days forecasting as continuing to have shown great strides over the years. Yes, some individual weather events like snowfall events and thunderstorms have not always been picked up - but then even the best of the short term computer model predictions can give varying and mixed signals here. So they cannot be criticised here.

    But when it comes to the seasonal forecasting and longer range, far too much AGW climate change bias and spinning forecasts in line with these, as well as giving OTT climate projection seminars for forty years hence for gardeners and other sectors of our economy, IMO are not excusable whatsoever - when based on uncertain feedbacks, incomplete science and hypothesis. It doesn't wash imo to try and excuse the METO by blaming a separate sector of the organisation for producing the sensationalist headlines. At the end of the day Mr Mc Callum and all the other senior officers within the organisation have had every opportuntity to sanction or otherwise such headlines before they were produced. Does it wash if every buisness that has failed in a certain objective tries to pass off its shortcomings on its marketing sector? Or if a major international bank tries to separate its over zealous lending dept as a separate entity out of control and responsibility to its overall corporate and public service objective and provision??

    I don't think so.

    This is what I keep banging on the drum about, until the MetO revise the way they present their forecsats, then they will always end up with egg on their faces! Now what's the chances, of their super computers being right on climate change!rofl.gifrofl.gifrofl.gifrofl.gifrofl.gifrofl.gif

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Ask yourself why are the Met Office getting a hiding now and not after that winter forecast, when winter is a far more disruptive season and have bigger consequences than summer?

    Answer: "Odds on BBQ summer" comment.

    If it wasn't for that, the Met Office wouldn't be getting the pounding they are getting now. Aided and abetted by the BBC forecasts.

    Can you imagine if they headlined that winter forecast of last year as "blowtorch winter"?

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    Posted
  • Location: cotswolds
  • Location: cotswolds

    i knew the bbq summer line from, let's face it, the press office (not the pro's) was a very bad idea. it was clearly intended to fuel newsdesk guys with headline fodder. what is interesting to me is that the realistic idea of a bbq summer in the uk is a sizzling burger, a crack of thunder and a heavy shower. pretty much what we've had.

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    Guest North Sea Snow Convection

    The trouble is though that both press office and pros should have a collective responsibility. Like I said earlier, other organisations cannot excuse things going wrong by blaming a section of their organisation in such a way as to distance themselves from that section and somehow making out it is beyond their control/ not being able to control it.

    Do we forgive a national bank for poor lending/credit policies - because the bank as a corporate whole is claimed as a separate entity!?

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

    Why? It is seen as the overriding mechanism for climate change. The semantics with words doesn't change that. The debating of the semantics is what creates the circular debate and proverbial and much loved catchphrased 'straw man'.

    So, nope, I don't think it is entirely mine.

    Whether my criticism is based on semantics, Tamara, is neither here nor there: the means the; and, in a supposedly scientific discussion, gives your claim a very specific meaning: that you speak with absolute certainty. And yet, you regularly castigate others for asserting their opinions/assumptions as if they were facts - as if the science is settled?

    You have no empirical evidence for making such claims. All that goes into the models is today's data. No, if today's temperatures happen to be 0.6C (or whatever) higher than they were 30 years' ago, it doesn't need presumed AGW-bias for the output to indicate temperatures above the 30-year running average...Put simply, the presumed AGW-bias hypthesis is entirely superfluous; it explains nothing that other, more prosaic, reasoning does not.

    However, I do agree that the science is not settled; but then presumably, I supect, so do all those organizations still actively involved it. If it was settled, wouldn't they all have downed tools by now? :o

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    Guest North Sea Snow Convection

    The only certainty I am/have been speaking of is that the METO subscribe to AGW hypothesis in terms of their long term view on climate change. I don't see what is wrong with saying that.

    I don't therefore think it is unreasonable to believe therefore that when they repeat, as shown clearly on various links, that climate change is taken into account within their seasonal forecasts - that they are referring to AGW. That is all I have kept saying and I don't know why that is being disputed.

    You refer to my apparent rigidity which which I refer to statements about the 'science is settled' comments. That ought to be balanced by the fact that I equally have never said that AGW does not exist whatsoever. Such 'not settled' comments only refer to parties who in my view overstate the margins of AGW by some considerable way. I clearly include the METO in this - but for some reason it seems that a few people get a bit rattled when they (the METO) are criticised in this respect as if they are a bit beyond any reproach.

    The implication of AGW being behind climate change is in terms of the assumed predictions that the temp rises are an interminable future process and trend. Or to put it another way, because it overrides any natural factors, then is is distinguishable in terms of its uninterrupted progress without recourse to being halted through the influence of natural processes. So I think it is important to make the distinction in terms of the reasoning behind climate change when it is put as a 'mantle' behind seasonal forecasting because such methodology implies trends, within those seasonal forecasts, largely having natural factors being increasingly discountable as time goes on with them increasingly overriden.

    Such an assumption is 'not settled' in any shape or form. Therefore one could argue that climate change, if it must be adopted within seasonal forecasting as an extra influencing factor, should at the very least take on a more neutral stance in terms of factors like PDO, solar min, increasing nina events etc that have influenced weather patterns, shift of jet stream etc rather than over discounting these in favour of believing that man made forcings are overriding these. It is my belief that this is a possible reason why the seasonal forecasting is starting to go a bit awry because the traditional forcings are being understated in terms of climate variations at the expense of assumed man made tipping points.

    The persistence of the southerly tracking jet is a good example as a case in point.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    The only certainty I am/have been speaking of is that the METO subscribe to AGW hypothesis in terms of their long term view on climate change. I don't see what is wrong with saying that.

    I don't therefore think it is unreasonable to believe therefore that when they repeat, as shown clearly on various links, that climate change is taken into account within their seasonal forecasts - that they are referring to AGW. That is all I have kept saying and I don't know why that is being disputed.

    I feel your missing the point though Tamara, they are NOT refering to AGW, what they are refering to is the fact that the climate has warmed considerably over the last 30 years and that even cold synoptics these days seem to deliver less cold weather.

    "You refer to my apparent rigidity which which I refer to statements about the 'science is settled' comments. That ought to be balanced by the fact that I equally have never said that AGW does not exist whatsoever. Such 'not settled' comments only refer to parties who in my view overstate the margins of AGW by some considerable way. I clearly include the METO in this - but for some reason it seems that a few people get a bit rattled when they (the METO) are criticised in this respect as if they are a bit beyond any reproach."

    The METO recently issued a press release where they rightly said that the science regarding the effects of CO2 was NOT settled.

    If you think the forecast is wrong, then please post up the facts and figures to prove the forecast wrong, much as I did for a certain GWO.

    If not then I am afraid it's just your opinion that's wrong and you have for whatever reason wrapped it up in an AGW cloak to spin that AGW is wrong.

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

    I agree Tamara. And, I thank you for your reply. :)

    I'm sure that PDO, ENSO and the like are already in the models. At least, they were in 1996. But, it's the Solar Cycles that interest me most:

    How on earth does one feed Solar Cycles into a Climate Model? (Not that he would like it for one minute, of course! :blush: :rofl: ) I don't profess to know. But, we only need look at the David Hathaway site to realise that that particular branch of science still has a very long way to go?

    So, I agree - the science is most definitely not settled!

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    Guest North Sea Snow Convection

    I feel your missing the point though Tamara, they are NOT refering to AGW, what they are refering to is the fact that the climate has warmed considerably over the last 30 years and that even cold synoptics these days seem to deliver less cold weather.

    "You refer to my apparent rigidity which which I refer to statements about the 'science is settled' comments. That ought to be balanced by the fact that I equally have never said that AGW does not exist whatsoever. Such 'not settled' comments only refer to parties who in my view overstate the margins of AGW by some considerable way. I clearly include the METO in this - but for some reason it seems that a few people get a bit rattled when they (the METO) are criticised in this respect as if they are a bit beyond any reproach."

    The METO recently issued a press release where they rightly said that the science regarding the effects of CO2 was NOT settled.

    If you think the forecast is wrong, then please post up the facts and figures to prove the forecast wrong, much as I did for a certain GWO.

    If not then I am afraid it's just your opinion that's wrong and you have for whatever reason wrapped it up in an AGW cloak to spin that AGW is wrong.

    Iceberg - what is the principle reasoning behind climate change that the METO themselves believe in?

    How is that missing any point? They can't have it both ways. Point to a 30 yr trend, but not refer to AGW as you try to suggest.... but then on another page on their site go into all the reasons why man has caused/and will increasingly continue to impact on the climate. Which is it?? Are you suggesting that the warming trend (up to the end of the 90's) was not caused by AGW then? Hence why you say they are not including AGW in this case?

    What about hosting seminars with 'fact - man causes climate change'? So when they clearly state that climate change forms part of seasonal forecasting, are you saying that, despite this clear allegiance, it somehow doesn't count and can be excluded within the context of their seasonal forecasts?

    I don't see how I am missing the point at all tbh.

    Regarding GWO - you picked him up on a mistimed ENSO prediction and derailed the main point of his contribution which was to discuss the natural cycles research behind climate change. I think that might be what TWS sometimes says about attacking a weaker part of an argument to try and discredit something. I now understand what he meant! The same principle hardly does not apply here. I have consistently praised METO for their short term forecasting, amongst the very best global forecasting there is imo. But because I significantly disagree with their approach to AGW and the way imo it is interfering too much with seasonal forecasting, naturally as a very committed AGW proponent you are going to object to such criticism.

    I think your own analysis regarding the summer forecast is an overly generous one and very much gives the benefit of the doubt. The BBQ summer very much gives the impression of rather more than the belt and braces' objectives of average to above average temps and rainfall. As far as I am concerned if the METO press office label it as such then the METO as a whole do. At the end of the day the chiefs rule the Indians and the overall responsibility lies with Mr Mc Cullum and co for sanctioning the advertising of the forecast back in the Spring. It has not been a BBQ summer.

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    Posted
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire
  • Location: Longden, Shropshire

    I like the Met Office's rather pathetic defence though:

    "But the organisation has defended its record, saying people have already forgotten the hot weather experienced across many parts of Britain in June. "

    Sorry but 1 week of hot weather does not make a "barbecue summer"!

    This is quite true. One week of hot weather does not make a 'Barbecue Summer', just like one week of cold/snowy weather in Winter wouldn't it a 'cold Winter' overall if the rest was average to mild. They should just fully admit that their forecast hasn't gone to plan.

    I agree that the Met Office's biggest mistake was stating "Odds on for a barbecue Summer" in April. That was just leaving themselves open for criticism and as I've said before, I'm suprised they made a bold headline like that. Perhaps they were under pressure from the travel industry, but I doubt they will make a bold forecast like that again.

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    Guest North Sea Snow Convection

    I agree Tamara. And, I thank you for your reply. smile.gif

    I'm sure that PDO, ENSO and the like are already in the models. At least, they were in 1996. But, it's the Solar Cycles that interest me most:

    How on earth does one feed Solar Cycles into a Climate Model? (Not that he would like it for one minute, of course! rofl.gifrofl.gif ) I don't profess to know. But, we only need look at the David Hathaway site to realise that that particular branch of science still has a very long way to go?

    So, I agree - the science is most definitely not settled!

    Yes Pete, I agree of course they will be. But at The expense of AGW?

    The solar cycles are perhaps the most pertinent factor that might be being under stated. As you allude to,we already know how David Hathaway has not been able to read the progress of C23/C24 very well. And it pits the spotlight on C25 even more strongly and how that might pan out. METO might point to the fact that it is not their speciality but all factors and feedbacks have to be taken into account if they are going to put themselves forward as a global leader in climate change research.

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

    But, Tamara. Man does cause Climate Change; you've admitted it yourself. I quote: 'I equally have never said that AGW does not exist whatsoever.' All we're saying, is that no one claims that man is responsible for ALL Climate Change - and, that none of us knows just how much he is responsible for?

    Is this funny?

    "The local supermarket is a front for the evil works of Pete Tattum. It's part of a national chain of illegal racketeering outlets, whose final aim is to spread the AGW virus around the world. They've already claimed victims - everyone from North Sea Snow Convection to Jethro have been caught out. Only Solar Cycles has seen through the scam, which is why Thundery Wintry Showers, in cahoots with Pete Tattum, is trying to to prove that the MetO is infallible with a view to putting an end to Solar Cycles. "

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    Posted
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL

    Interestingly enough, the family behind us have had a BBQ on pretty much every evening its been dry.

    Makes you wonder whether we're perhaps too pedantic to have a BBQ in dry but average temps.

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  • Location: Ski Amade / Pongau Region. Somtimes Skipton UK
  • Weather Preferences: Northeasterly Blizzard and sub zero temperatures.
  • Location: Ski Amade / Pongau Region. Somtimes Skipton UK

    I like the Met Office's rather pathetic defence though:

    "But the organisation has defended its record, saying people have already forgotten the hot weather experienced across many parts of Britain in June. "

    Sorry but 1 week of hot weather does not make a "barbecue summer"!

    It's not as if this is a one off, as the BBC article states, this is the 3rd summer forecast gone wrong in a row, with a winter forecast that wasn't brilliant either.

    Hi,

    I did see the admirable BBC weather presenter Matt Taylors replies this morning on breakfast tv regarding the so called BQ Summer long term forecast. He had the guts to hold his hands up high and admit things had not gone as to plan , citing the more southerly track of the jet stream to blame. The long range team of boffins should come out of their ivory towers and apologize for getting it wrong. The British public always respects the truth rather than a feeble excuse. These are not some kind of twisting bankers but respected scientist. Nevertheless, Long Range forecasts are much desired and must not be put off by being wrong. Every year sees a crop of "infallable " predictions for the coming seasons. Most have only 50/50 chance of being right. This was also the case 30 years ago because Long range weather forecasts are not even yet attainable by proven scientific methods.

    C

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    I agree with that Carinth. It would help regarding the arrogance thing. A simple apology 'from on high' would be a big help.

    I could equally start a thread about the success of the METO regarding short term forecasting ie up to several days. That might show that this is not intended as some kind of crusade against them, but just as a frank criticism of longer term issues regarding the blurring of the edges of seasonal forecasting and climate change.

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  • Location: on A50 Staffs/Derbys border 151m/495ft
  • Location: on A50 Staffs/Derbys border 151m/495ft

    Do DEFRA fund the Met Office? Have they bought into central government spin?

    Pipers/tunes ...........

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

    Hi,

    I did see the admirable BBC weather presenter Matt Taylors replies this morning on breakfast tv regarding the so called BQ Summer long term forecast. He had the guts to hold his hands up high and admit things had not gone as to plan , citing the more southerly track of the jet stream to blame. The long range team of boffins should come out of their ivory towers and apologize for getting it wrong. The British public always respects the truth rather than a feeble excuse. These are not some kind of twisting bankers but respected scientist. Nevertheless, Long Range forecasts are much desired and must not be put of by being wrong. Every year sees a crop of "infallable " predictions for the coming seasons. Most have only 50/50 chance of being right. This was also the case 30 years ago because Long range weather forecasts are not even yet attainable by proven scientific methods.

    C

    Well he did actually try and defend the forecast and if you look at the forecast before it's updated and not the media release you can see why he's trying to defend it. It's the media spin doctors that the met office used that need to come out and say sorry. The problem for the Met is media spin that the Journalists got hold off.

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

    I hope I'm reading this wrong, but my impression is that in previous debates Tamara has insisted that the Met Office factors AGW into its seasonal forecasts, her arguments were refuted in those discussions and she had no answer, so she is now spinning this article and applying straw men to it in order to give herself an answer and say, "see, told you, I was right all along".

    I'm afraid the points from the earlier discussions still stand as strongly as ever. Long-range forecasting is a cross between short-range and climate forecasting in many ways because it must combine consideration of modes of long-term climate variability (NAO, PDO, ENSO etc) as well as the short-range outputs from models like the UKMO, GFS and ECMWF. But the Met Office do not factor AGW into their long-range forecasts, they bear in mind the current state of the climate- which over the vast majority of the globe is at a warmer state than the mean for 1971-2000. Just like I do for my month-ahead forecasts for Britain. So when they say "a warmer winter is likely because temperatures are warmer" or whatever, that's what they are getting at, not AGW.

    I think an apology "from up high" would be the morally right thing to do but in a way I can understand them not doing it, as it would be setting them up for some sensationalist twaddle in the newspapers about their forecasts being a waste of taxpayers' money.

    I agree with Mr_Data that the "barbecue summer" was the biggest problem with the forecast. It always struck me as implying that they were a lot more certain about the forecast than they really were, and of course it is much harder to have a barbecue in an average summer on the Tyne & Wear coast than in the middle of London or Exeter say.

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  • Location: Ski Amade / Pongau Region. Somtimes Skipton UK
  • Weather Preferences: Northeasterly Blizzard and sub zero temperatures.
  • Location: Ski Amade / Pongau Region. Somtimes Skipton UK

    I agree with that Carinth. It would help regarding the arrogance thing. A simple apology 'from on high' would be a big help.

    I could equally start a thread about the success of the METO regarding short term forecasting ie up to several days. That might show that this is not intended as some kind of crusade against them, but just as a frank criticism of longer term issues regarding the blurring of the edges of seasonal forecasting and climate change.

    Hi Tamara,

    Yes you have hit the jackpot on this topic. I think this is going to run for a while. All I know talking to the local farmers, gardeners and cricketers who frequent the local pub is that the weather is crap. Dull wet and windy. We even had a fire lit in the pub last night ! No one sitting outside have BQs. Yes, the locals are laughing at that ridiculous prediction. If were not for the cricket season, I would be off back to sunny Carinthia! Anyway lets hope August improves for the farmers, British holidaymakers,cricketers ,folk who like to have a drink outside the pub and more importantly the Met Office to save face.

    C

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