John Walker's Electronic House

Tag: weather

Sick Man Complains About Weather Forecasting Shocker

by on Dec.19, 2010, under The Rest

As I graduate from a flu so strong that I needed help to sit up, to a cold where my lungs and throat are in more pain than I know what to do with, leaning on my desk to stay upright simply because I’ll overdose myself on the pharmacy of drugs surrounding my bed if I have to lie down any longer, it’s comforting to know that I can still get furious about the mind-numbing incompetence of weather forecasting.

Sure, I’ve gone on about this a lot, and certainly I appear to be among very few who care, but in a world where people are increasingly calling bullshit on the various woo remedies and snake oils, it infuriates me that weather soothsaying escapes any scrutiny.

I think the only way to communicate the level to which it is palpable nonsense is to show not how the weather is incorrectly predicted, but how the predictions don’t even agree with themselves from the same source. So for today’s example, here’s the BBC’s current predictions for the weather for Bath tomorrow, Monday 20th December. First of all, the day’s breakdown:

(continue reading…)

20 Comments :, more...

The Snow Tease

by on Nov.30, 2010, under The Rest

The week’s weather at 7.15pm on Monday 29th November:

The week’s weather at 7.55pm on Monday 29th November:


10 Comments :, more...

Weather: Those Results In Full

by on Jan.06, 2010, under The Rest

So in summary, they got absolutely every prediction incorrect, but it did eventually snow.

Some snow

Yesterday morning the prediction was that Bath would receive an epic dumping of snow. By mid-afternoon this was stepped up to the South West being put on full alert for the most dangerous snow in living memory, with the highest ranking Met Office warning issued (a warning, we were told, they issued before last year’s floods in the Midlands, that rendered thousands homeless). It was going to disrupt power. It was going to close every road. Then about three hours later we had the cough-cough-oh retractions of this, but still with enough grim warnings of snow that we should still worry, and it would all kick off around 8pm. (This was originally 3pm, then 6pm.) At around 8pm we were told the slightly minimized apocalypse would now be occurring at midnight. But it was going to be at least 10cm. At least.

(continue reading…)

13 Comments :, more...

A Weather Update

by on Jan.05, 2010, under The Rest

In case anyone thought I was kidding.

UPDATE! The weatherman on BBC Disappoints West just said, “As for tomorrow, that’s in the laps of the gods.” So there you have it folks.

So after 15 minutes of some very pretty snow about three hours before it was forecast, there’s been nothing. In fact, it’s rained. And then at about 3pm the Met Office issued severe weather warnings for the South West starting at 6pm, Bath to receive 15cm overnight, terrible conditions, all roads and rail to stop.

This is now the revised pattern for snowfall tonight:

See, lies.

It’s actually curling up and around Bath. The previous 6pm blizzard is now showing a forecast for rain.

This is my point. They absolutely, categorically cannot predict the weather. They cannot get it right for three hours in the future. And yet every day they announce what it will be in five days time. It sometimes is, because if you roll a dice you’ll sometimes guess which number it will land on. But they cannot predict it.

Bath was due to be the epicentre for dramatic snowfall. Now we are likely to be rained on.

These forecasters are con-artists, and we should be treating what they do with the same contempt as homeopaths and psychics. And no, if it randomly happens to snow tonight, it won’t change anything. Whatever weather happens to happen, at least one of their rotating forecasts today will have been wildly wrong. They’ve predicted absolute polar opposites (or should I say pole-to-equator opposites) in the last six hours, London receiving four complete 180 flip-flops about whether it would receive any snow, and the South West now apparently safe from what we were warned would be the most dangerous snowfall in decades, er, two hours ago. So can we put an end to this idiocy, and treat those who claim to predict the weather with the same disgust and disdain we we do those who claim to predict the future.

And yes. I’m really bloody pissed off it’s not snowing.

12 Comments :, more...

A Man Complains About The Weather

by on Jan.05, 2010, under The Rest

Right, I’ve had enough. There is nothing else in the universe that we would tolerate being as wrong as British weather forecasts.

I recognise the problem. It’s about predicting the events of a literally chaotic system, taking place on a small island surrounded by seas. That makes it incredibly difficult to accurately predict the movement of warm and cold fronts as they swirl in from various directions. It’s so difficult, in fact, that they can’t do it. I don’t blame the weather forecaster for this. I don’t blame anyone for the unpredictability of chaos. (I’m generous like that.) But I DO believe it’s time to stop letting these half-blind soothsayers from getting to pretend it works.

In an age when the terrified BBC can’t put a programme on air before its producers have filled in multiple compliance forms for fear of being caught lying about something, surely the weather forecast should have to have some massive caption running along the bottom of the screen reading: “WARNING: AT BEST THIS IS A WILD GUESS.”

(continue reading…)

24 Comments :, more...