UK Met Office fears ridicule from public more than from their paymasters!

The UK Met Office is busy spinning the story that it actually did forecast the coldest December in the UK in a 100 years but secretly informed only the cabinet of the UK government about this in October 2010. Secret forecasts for fear of being wrong! After all kings of old also had their own private soothsayers to study the entrails but they were usually executed if they could not spin their way out of wrong forecasts. But the Met Office story does not stand up and their credibility is in tatters.

The UK Met office (as an institution) is one of the most ardent supporters of Global Warming dogma which is concerned with climate not weather. This can only be a “political” choice or an act of faith since climate trends are of little significance for their main task of weather forecasting. While weather is only a subset of climate I find it difficult to believe that poor weather forecasting can be a sound bottom-up basis for forecasting climate.

I say that climate trends are of little significance for detailed weather forecasting because climate change considers temperature changes of about one degree per century or less whereas the daily variation at any particular location is typically 10 to 15 degrees, seasonal variations at any location are around 40 – 50°C over a year and geographical variation around the globe is also upto 50 °C at any moment in time. Any climate trends of the order of 1°C per century are then immaterial for the immediate weather forecast.

At a cost of some £200 million per year they do forecast the weather with some accuracy for upto about 5 days ahead but are notoriously poor with their long range forecasts (but I note that even their short term forecasts are not more accurate – statistically – than the simple statement that “the weather tomorrow will be the same as today”). As recently as October 2010 the Met Office published weather maps showing warm expectations for November, December and January – but they insist they did not make any long range forecasts. We are told by Harrabin of the BBC that this was because of their sensitivity to the ridicule poured on them after their forecasts of a “barbecue summer” in 2009 and a mild 2009/2010 winter proved spectacularly wrong. But , we are assured by Harrabin, they actually did forecast – correctly – a cold and snowy winter but only informed the UK cabinet secretly.

Presumably any future ridicule or budget cuts by the cabinet of the UK Government for being wrong would be preferable to any public ridicule!!

In any event the cabinet did not do very much with this confidential information (perhaps it was anonymous) and all the counties were woefully unprepared.

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