Met Office Staff Get £1m Bonuses For Accurate Forecasts
Staff at the Met Office were rewarded almost £1 million in bonuses for accurately forecasting the weather last year.
The organisation reportedly paid staff a total of £2.7 million in 2012, with £942,000 of this paid out specifically for meeting accuracy targets.
Almost 2,000 employees were given a £346 bonus in their wages to reward them for hitting their weather forecast accuracy targets.
The payouts are said to be the highest received by staff in bonuses for correct weather predictions in five years.
The payouts drew criticism from some, however.
Robert Oxley, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the Daily Mail: “Given the amount of times that the Met Office has been left with egg on its face it is time it stopped worrying about bonuses and focused on getting its forecasts right.”
Jonathan Powell, of independent forecaster Positive Weather Solutions, meanwhile labelled the Met Office “totally irresponsible” for no longer offering the public long-range forecasts “in order not to be seen as getting it wrong”.
The Met Office said it abandoned its long range forecasts after research suggested the public found short range forecasts more useful.
A spokesman said: “For the last financial year the Met Office met all of its forecast accuracy targets as our public forecasts and weather warnings helped the UK prepare for everything from London 2012, to the wettest year in a century, to widespread snowfall in January.
“We are consistently ranked in the top two most accurate forecasters in the world by the World Meteorological Organisation and our forecast targets each year help us build on that world leading capability.”