Met Office winter forecast December-January-February issued 21st November 2013
The probability that UK precipitation for December-January-February will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 25% and the probability that it will fall into the wettest category is around 15% (the 1981-2010 probability for each of these categories is 20%).
Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: December 2013 – February 2014
Issue date: 21.11.13
As discussed in the temperature section, forecast models favour a negative NAO pattern this winter, with high pressure areas more likely to be centred over or close to the UK. As in all seasons, this pre-dominance of anticyclones is likely to lead to drier-than-normal conditions across the country.
The weakening of the prevailing westerly flow means that the normally wetter western or northwestern parts of the country may see a significant reduction in precipitation compared to average, while the east or southeast may be closer to average. However uncertainty in this regional pattern of precipitation is large.
With colder-than-normal conditions being favoured, as indicated in the temperature section, the probabilities for precipitation falling as snow and for occurrence of ice this winter will be higher than the climatological values.
The forecast is now put into context.
[UPDATE: I have slightly rearranged this post so the Met Office winter 2013/14 is at the head. The rest of the post is quite lengthy detailing several previous years of forecasts but is an easy read. It has several images also so may take time to load on slower devices.]
According to a press release in late April 2009
The Met Office works with the Environment Agency, SEPA, the NHS and others across government to ensure that we are ready to meet the challenges that severe weather may present us at any time of the year.
In recent years, the Met Office, through chief
public relations officer scientist Julia Slingo, have been pushing a policy of inference and innuendo that the severe weather we are experiencing is consistent with…it being our fault. They know this because they built a computer based on the assumption that a small trace radiative gas thermostat controls the weather – and as it keeps telling them so it must be true. When it was still warm this was the message
climate change is happening around the world. Our work in the climate change consultancy team applies Met Office research to help businesses mitigate against risk and adapt at a strategic level for success in the new environment.”
You can judge for yourself how the Met Office helped anyone “mitigate against risk” and why deep caution must be applied to anything they say that relates to weather more than a few days ahead.
In 2008 the Met Office predicted a mild winter. After the coldest winter in over a decade one of the Met Office’s Climate Scientist’s said:
“Despite the cold winter this year, the trend to milder and wetter winters is expected to continue, with snow and frost becoming less of a feature in the future. “The famously cold winter of 1962/63 is now expected to occur about once every 1,000 years or more, compared with approximately every 100 to 200 years before 1850.”
In 2009 they predicted a BBQ summer, which is probably because they told the computer climate change causes heat and droughts
The coming summer is ‘odds on for a barbecue summer’, according to long-range forecasts. Summer temperatures across the UK are likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or below average for the three months of summer.
This is what happened
Despite predictions of a “barbecue summer” this year by the Met Office, the UK suffered torrential rain across much of the country in July. Rainfall for the months June, July and August was up 40 per cent compared to the long term average.
However overall the summer was slightly warmer than usual with an average temperature of 58.5 degrees F (14.7.8 degrees C). The top temperature was 89.2 degrees F (31.8 degrees C) in Wisley at the end of June.
Clearly this was a blip so unabashedly they continued the warm theme into the following winter
“”…Early indications are that winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. For the UK, Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder *(and wetter) than last year”
This is what happened
It will come as little surprise to millions of frost-bitten Britons, apart from possibly those at the Met Office.
This winter was the coldest for more than 30 years, official figures show.
Temperatures in December, January and February struggled to stay above zero, with the UK’s average a chilly 1.51C (34.72F), making it the deepest freeze since 1978-1979.
And in Scotland and Northern Ireland it was the hardest winter since 1962-63 when snow covered much of the UK from Boxing Day to late March.
By late October the Met Office were projecting this for the upcoming winter
‘The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter. The forecast suggests that there is an 70 per cent chance of near average or colder conditions over Europe during this period, but there is a 60 per cent chance of near average or milder conditions’
This is what happened
Mean temperatures over the UK were 5.0 °C below average during December, 0.3 °C below average in January and 1.9 °C above average in February. The UK mean temperature for the winter as a whole was 2.4 °C, making it less cold than winter 2009/10 which was 1.6 °C but still the second-coldest winter since 1985/86 with 2.3 °C. Over Scotland and Northern Ireland it was the second-coldest winter since 1985/86 and 1978/79 respectively, with again only last winter having been colder. Over Northern Ireland it was equal sixth-coldest winter in the series from 1910. Over England and Wales it was the second-coldest since 1995/96, with only last winter having been colder.
By 2012 many parts of the UK were experiencing drought conditions. This clearly suited the agenda of Co2 causing more extreme droughts and the proclamations of doom came thick and fast like this classic from the Environment Agency
Head of water resources at the Environment Agency Trevor Bishop said: “A longer-term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely.
“We are working with businesses, farmers and water companies to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought.
So by their own admission they were not being sensible and preparing for the possibly of wetter than average conditions. Indeed some three weeks before this the Met Office were pointing at wood and claiming there were no trees
Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: April – June 2012 Issue date: 23.03.12
SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION:
The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months. With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April-May-June period. The probability that UK precipitation for April-May-June will fall into the driest of our five categories is 20-25% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 10-15% (the 197-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%)…The Environment Agency advises that, given the current state of soils and groundwater levels in these areas, drought impacts in the coming months are virtually inevitable.
April, the wettest in 100 years, was auspicious for anyone who had researched the past, but to the Met Office the weather was clearly off message
Much of the UK awoke to another miserable rainy day with winds strong enough to fell trees, snow in the hills and 113 flood warnings – in the midst of an official drought….”We need to step back a moment and remember we’ve had two years of dry weather and we can’t compensate for two years of dry weather with a few weeks of rain,” Scarlett Elworthy , Met Office spokeswoman, told Channel 4.
The weather had other ideas
From April to July 2012 the UK experienced a period of exceptionally wet weather, breaking previous rainfall records and resulting in several significant flood events.
was the second wettest since records began, according to figures released yesterday, with total average rainfall of 52.38in (1,330.7mm), just a quarter of an inch (6.6mm) less than the wettest year, 2000.
So it was time for a change of tact as quite clearly when they said global warming/climate change meant more drought they in fact meant the opposite. This then meant despite all the scaremongering over increasing droughts – caused by warming – that the deluge was consistent with their predictions as Julia Slingo made clear
“The trend towards more extreme rainfall events is one we are seeing around the world, in countries such as India and China, and now potentially here in the UK”, adding that “the long-term trend towards wetter weather is likely to continue as global air temperatures rise.”
Less than a fortnight before 2013 dawned we were then treated to the latest update for contingency planners
Computer forecast models show considerable spread in their handling of the weather in the January-February-March period, although the new high resolution model just introduced at the Met Office, which exhibits more skill in forecast reruns for the past, favours cold conditions over warm during January.
Some model scenarios suggest that during January the UK could be the battleground between cold air of Scandinavian or Russian origins, and mild Atlantic air, meaning that substantial changes in weather type are quite possible, although equally one or other type could prevail. Some heavy snow can be expected at the boundary between the warm and cold air, although whether that would be over the UK is far from clear. As we move into February and March mild westerly or southwesterly winds become more likely, although cold outbreaks are still possible
By April Julia Slingo had jumped on the latest weather as yet more consistent with ‘proof’
“If this is how climate change could manifest itself, then we need to understand that as a matter of urgency
“We are beginning to think that our climate is being disrupted by the warming of the artic that we’ve observed very dramatically since 2007.
“It definitely seems like the warming of the arctic is “loading the dice” over cold dry winters.”
the only problem from here is the Arctic did not melt away as predicted in 2013 and we had a glorious heatwave in July as the Jetstream pushed North. Nor does it explain for example how in the Southern hemisphere record levels of Antarctic ice are accompanying extreme droughts and deluges.
When I was a child I had a doctor who believed that all stomach ailments were caused by eating dodgy meat. Even when you clearly had a gastroenteritis, which friends and family were experiencing, would keep probing until you told him that yes, you had a bite of a burger at some point, instantly confirming all his suspicions
A rotavirus is an infection of the stomach and bowel. It is spread when a child who is infected does not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet.
If the child leaves tiny samples of infected faeces on surfaces or utensils, they can be picked up by another child. Small droplets of infected faeces can also be carried in the air, which children can breathe in.
It is hard not to see the parallels between ‘climate change obsessed’ Met Office and my obsessive childhood doctor
so far this century, of 14 yearly headline predictions made by the Met Office Hadley centre, 13 have been too warm.
It’s worth stressing that all the incorrect predictions are within the stated margin of error, but having said that, they have all been on the warm side and none have been too cold
The 2013 global temperature also means that the Met Office’s projection that half the years between 2010 and 2015 would be hotter than the hottest year on record (which on the HADCRUT measure was in 1998), issued around the time of the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, is already incorrect.
So after years of abject failure and showing a clear fundamental misunderstanding of the climate,in late November 2013 they decided to be consistent with Dame Julia’s pronouncements and the endless inferences of a warmer atmosphere loading the dice for cold (which is the new warm)
[UPDATE – the section discussing this forecast has now been moved to the head of the post]
What we are clearly seeing is a total lack of objectivity and institutional warmism – the belief that mankind is dangerously (non) warming the world. It extends from the seasonal forecast to the global yearly forecast and beyond. Each prediction is tainted with ideological belief. Long gone is the balance required to observe and record acting as custodians of our collective weather history. Their job is report what has happened objectively – as they did before – and not use any deviation as ‘proof’. Not once do they mention the great big variable star at the centre of our system, which is at the lowest levels for one hundred years. To admit something other than the imaginary Co2 thermostat control knob may have a large part in climate variability is blaspheme, heresy, sedition and treason all rolled into one. When you are paranoid and believe everyone is out to get you, it is hardly surprising when you see threats everywhere.
So to summarise, ‘climate change’ is the exact opposite of what the Met Office predict and whatever the weather we experience – especially the bits not within a Goldilocks definition of what it should be – we’re going to get more of it and YOU’RE TO BLAME.
Rinse and repeat the excuses whatever the weather.