Met Office can’t predict tomorrow’s weather but can predict it in 10 years’ time?

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The British government’s Science and Technology Committee yesterday said that the Met Office needs to spend lots of money on new supercomputers to enable them to more accurately predict the weather 5 days in advance.

Met Office DartboardDespite being one of the top three weather prediction services in the world, the Met Office struggles to predict tomorrow’s weather.  Only a couple of weeks ago they predicted several inches of snow overnight and we got nothing at all.  The other day they predicted no snow at all and we had snow.  How often have you watched the weather forecast, gone on a day trip and been caught in a deluge despite the Met Office predicting a glorious day?

People have very little faith in the Met Office’s ability to predict the weather and rightly so.  The media are slowly turning away from the Met Office because of their poor track record and turning to alternative providers.  According to Chaos Theory it should be possible to predict the weather from any event – a butterfly flapping its wings in China can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, it’s all cause and effect.  The computing power required to calculate an accurate weather prediction based on the small amount of data available is phenomenal though and it’s never going to be possible to get a completely accurate forecast.

With enough technology and accurate data, it would be possible for the Met Office to produce weather forecasts with an acceptable margin of error.  But the technology doesn’t exist yet, the data isn’t accurate enough and the costs involved in developing the technology required would be prohibitive.

All of this raises an important point: the Met Office, by its own admission, can’t predict the weather 5 days in advance but they are one of the primary sources of data for the British government’s global warming tax scams.  It’s hard to believe that the British government would employ fund managers to manage UK Plc’s investments if they had a track record of losing more money than they made or economists at the Treasury who’ve consistently been unable to budget more than a week in advance so why do they employ the Met Office, who can’t predict tomorrow’s weather with more than 70% accuracy, to tell them what the weather is going to be like in 10 years’ time?


  1. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Scottish Independence: David Cameron was up here and did a good job, of saying ‘Hmmmmmmmmmmm, we need to think about this and work out the best options’ Well done, you did’nt balls it up

    David Millipede, in Cardiff, ‘Its bad, horrid and wicked what you are doing, stop it, stop it’ Ooooops, the worst thing to do with us porridge wogs, is to tell us what to do, in a stern condescending tone, especially from a wanker english politician, who has little or no effect on our lives.

    A lot of us up here, want independence but most have yet to be convinced, either way, the independence faction have just received a massive influx from the people who now want to stick it to Milliband, for no other reason than he told them not to.

    If he had said, vote for independence, its great, the aforementioned faction, would shift to Pro Union

  2. DH (1 comments) says:

    It makes perfect scientific sense that it is far easier to predict the weather ten years into the future than in one days time. The weather is a system that is required to be modeled using statistical mechanics which allow long term predictions to be made but isn’t powerful enough (yet) to give a day accurate prediction.

    I shall use the example of particles in motion in a box to illustrate my point.

    Imagine the case, we have a box full of gas as illustrated here

    Now if it were to be asked, where is particle a going to be in relation to some other particle b, at a specific time t? This would obviously be an impossibly complex thing to work out with all the interactions going on. However given enough data, and over enough time model the system’s behavior as a whole.

    This is a far simpler case but illustrates the principles behind how the weather is modeled. Now could the MET office tell you what the weather will be like in Preston, Lancashire in 10 years time? No. They aren’t claiming to either. They can give an indication of how the ‘box’ will be in ten years time, as opposed to one of the ‘particles’, and from this give a read on what the state of the weather will be like in the country.

  3. Paul Perrin (2 comments) says:

    The Met office cannot predict 10 years nor 15….

    They didn’t predict the 15 years of ‘no statistically significant change to global temperatures’.–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

    Interestingly they did go on to attacked that article:

    But if you read it closely they don’t actually deny that there has been no change in 15 years – they just claim that it is ‘misleading’ to consider a period so short as 15 years(!). How long do they want?!?! Maybe just till they have filled their boots with our money and are receiving their gold plated pensions…

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