Saturday, 18 February 2012

New & Important Update

18th February 2012

I would just like to reiterate that the UK has recently endured the coldest start to February in almost 30 years, with only seven February's to date being recorded as colder in terms of Central England Temperature (over 350 years old) with ample widespread heavy snowfall across many parts of the UK including the south.

Now although the first half of my original winter forecast proved somewhat unsuccessful in terms of the below average temperatures and extensively widespread snowfall that I was forecasting (which I will also cover in my winter review and place on the accuracy page).

I did state on the 30th October 2011 in my final winter outlook that February would experience below average temperatures and some moderate to heavy snowfalls across parts of the UK.

This forecast was also issued nearly four months ago and is available to view in the link provided below:

Even in the revision of my winter forecast in late December, I strongly emphasised that the most severe part of this winter would now be in February. I also forecast a mildish first half to January with cold and snow from mid month onwards and into February. Please feel free to examine any of my previous blog entries and Youtube videos.

Now the UK Met Office poured cold water on any severe weather this winter, they even issued a statement in October that said “recent long range forecasts by other agencies, bear no relation to the kinds of weather that the forecasters at the Met Office are currently expecting.”
As it stands the original article is now unavailable, but I managed to find another version of it in the climate realists link below.

Did you also notice how the statement/article named other weather agencies too? There was more than one weather agency and some quite big names too, who was also forecasting similar scenarios to myself about this winter at one stage. Even the Met Office forecast below average temperatures for October in the September 'big freeze' newspaper articles that never developed, which leads me to think that they may have also been this way inclined at one stage too.

However, the Met Office have the ability to swap and change their forecasts on a daily basis, so unless you know a little bit about the weather, it is difficult to pick up on any of their mistakes like the example above.

Another very recent article from the Daily Mirror dated 13th February 2012 also emphasises on this a little further as a Met Office spokesperson said that the big freeze was likely to last until 11thMarch 2012, pretty much the same statement I had said a few days earlier in the Daily Express.

The following article in the link below is the only one newspaper article that I have had any kind of influence on or approved recently.

It actually reads:

Temperatures for FEBRUARY and into the first week of March are likely to be well below-average.”

Just as my Youtube video and blog from 26th January read in a totally separate paragraph, as does my 8th February update below. Please feel free to check them.

Temperatures as a whole for this period FEBRUARY and into the first week of March are likely to be well below-average. It is also likely that there will be some school closures and disruptions to public transport from snowfall within this time period too.”

Now here lies the problem with long range forecasting and how the Met Office comes across to the general public. When I issue these forecasts so far in advance with very little revisions, it is very easy for others to pick holes or emphasise on certain lines/parts of my forecasts to suit their own agendas. I am much more vulnerable to some forecasting errors as I don't swap and change my forecasts every day. Those who do this and don't issue long range forecasts are substantially reducing their odds of ever being wrong, or coming across as wrong with statements that they have also made weeks earlier.

Even then they still struggle to get it right, and another recent example of this is the winds that the Met Office failed to put out an adequate warning for in early January in the link below.

Although I did forecast very strong winds for that exact date many days prior to the event happening, it is not my responsibility as a FREE weather service with no funding to issue these warnings. There has also been a number of recent short range situations in regards to widespread snowfall and exact locations that I have reported on before any warnings from the Met Office were even issued, as many of you have also pointed out in the Guestbook.

If everyone was to take what the Met Office forecast weeks or sometimes days before, you would often find it has changed drastically. In terms of this update I am not saying that the Met Office are unreliable, or hop on over here to Exacta Weather, as it really makes no difference to me as a free service that is not reliant on any type of public funding. I am simply trying to reiterate that even weather forecasting for the professionals is not as always straight forward at it seems, and as I have also learnt for the first time as a forecaster this winter.

So just to clarify that when others were saying nothing as they don't issue forecasts this far ahead, I clearly stated in many updates that from mid January and into February as a whole would feature largely below average temperatures with widespread heavy snow. This is exactly what we have seen to date, and even though it is set to turn milder once again as we head into the start of next week, I still feel that the remainder of February and into the start of spring could still bring a number of notable wintry blasts of cold and snow to the UK that the professional meteorologists are possibly underestimating (and as I originally forecast).

Should this be the case and the CET does come in below average too, then I can certainly claim some sort of success for the second half of my initial long range winter forecast issued four months ago, and with my revised winter forecast in late December that stated colder and snowier from mid January onwards. Although the periods of moderation are likely to be less brief than I had anticipated in my original calculations for the period 15th-28th February. However, in terms of records being broken in regards to the CET, we could still experience the coldest February in at least a decade dependant on the severity and timing of these wintry blasts.

My initial spring and summer forecast will be issued prior to or on the 1st March 2012. These will also be followed by regular long range forecast updates throughout. I am also planning to implement a new long range forecasting system, which will contain any revisions or amendments from the initial long range forecast for up to two months ahead if required.
James Madden (UK Long Range Forecaster)
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