Met Office 2012 ‘Dry Weather’ Forecast: Déjà Vu All Over Again

  • Date: 23/02/14
  • Daily Mail

Daily Mail, 29 March 2013:  The Met Office finally admitted yesterday that the forecasts it gave of ‘dry’ weather last year were ‘not helpful’.

In its official guidance to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Met Office said that last April was likely to be ‘drier than usual’.

Instead, of course, it turned into a washout that spilled over into the rest of 2012 – which became the wettest year since records began.

So while the long-term forecast suggested a national drought that was going to get worse, tens of thousands actually found themselves facing widespread flooding. The embarrassing admission came to light thanks to a Freedom of Information request.

An internal document revealed that forecasters had said at the end of March that they expected ‘drier than average conditions for April to June, with April driest’.

But in a report sent later to Defra’s chief scientist, the Met Office admitted: ‘Given that April was the wettest since detailed records began in 1910, and the April May June quarter was also the wettest, this advice was not helpful.’ 

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The Met Office has been so embarrassed by its errors in the past that it stopped issuing long-term forecasts to the public.

Instead, it continues to give ‘probability’ guidance for coming months to Government departments such as Defra which need to plan.

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