Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Met Office appear to be Shitting Bricks.

I blogged last week about how for a long while I've not trusted the Met Office's weather forecasts. Reading around, some seem more charitable, saying its only their long-term forecasts that are innacurate and the shorter-term their forecasts are, the more accurate they get. I'd like to disagree, as I previously mentioned, watching medium-term forecasts change wildy the closer in you get, then changing on the day on an hour-by-hour basis as the weather is reported in real time.

Well, Autonomous Mind has a new twist in the tale of this winter's forecasting, with the Met Office now saying  they made an innacurate forecast public, but gave a more accurate one to the government which was kept secret. James Delingpole at the Telegraph also reports on this, quoting Autonomous Mind's blogpost. The reporter of this "news" was Roger Harrabin at the BBC. AM notes that Harrabin alludes to the accuracy of the Met against other independant weather forecasters, who promise better accuracy than the Met.
He says: "In a few year’s time hopefully we’ll all have a better idea of whom to trust. By then the Met Office might have recovered enough confidence to share with us its winter prediction of whether to buy a plane ticket or a toboggan."

Well, Harrabin should be able to comment right now on how well the Met did this winter.Way back in September he supposedly set up a steering group to track the accuracy of a number of weather forecasters. That fact is reported here on the BBC's website.
So the steering group should have had 4 months already with which to track the accuracy of long, medium and short-term forecasts by the various providers.

I just wonder if its already aparrent to the steering group that the Met Office's forecasts are wildly innacurate? Is all of this spin a smokescreen to obscure that fact and avoid risking the millions of pounds of taxpayer's money that are sunk into the Met office each year? Are they shitting a brick at the thought this all might become public knowlege?

Maybe.

All I know is that what is happening with the Met at the moment seems to smack of desperation. AM has already had a good go at fisking Harrabin's report. But really, would the Met be worth even a pound of taxpayer's money if it made innacurate forecasts public and kept accurate ones secret? Would the government have any credibility or deserve to stay in office if it received a super-secret weather forecast predicting extremely bad weather and then didn't act on it? Is Roger Harrabin the so-called reporter who put forward the Met Office spin without aparrently querying such a ludicrous suggestion worth his slice of our TV licence fee? I don't think so.

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