Guest post by Charles Duncan
As Christopher Booker fittingly writes:
There could be few more apt epitaphs for the year now ending than a recollection of the headlines in April that greeted a stark warning from the Environment Agency. Fuelled by the predictions of the climate-change-obsessed Met Office (and the the official policy, since 2007, of the similarly fixated EU) that we will have “hotter, drier summers” for decades to come, the agency foretold that the drought conditions of the early spring were likely to last “until Christmas and perhaps beyond”. The prophecy was swiftly followed by the wettest late spring, the wettest summer, the wettest autumn and the wettest Christmas we have ever known – eight months of near-continuous rain and floods amounting to England’s wettest year since records began.
Just because one year fits the ‘drier’ prediction…
The Met Office have excelled themselves in recent forecasts. In September 2012 their 3-month outlook for October, November and December forecast a drier than usual period:
For UK-averaged rainfall the predicted probabilities favour below normal rainfall during October. For the period October-November-December as a whole the range of forecasts also favours lower than average rainfall.
The probability that UK rainfall for October-November-December will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 25% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 15-20%, close to the climatological average. (The 1981-2010 probability for each of these categories is 20%).
Now you might think that after the floods we had in October and November they might have reviewed this. But their outlook issued on 20th November promised more of the same:
Predictions for UK-mean precipitation for December and December-January-February show a slight shift towards below-normal values – consistent with negative North Atlantic Oscillation conditions – although the spread of probabilities is large. Consequently, for the season as a whole the chance of above-average totals remains significant.
The probability that UK precipitation for December-January-February will fall into the driest of our five categories is between 20% and 25% and the probability that it will fall into the wettest category is around 15% (the climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).
I draw three conclusions from this:
- Their confidence in their ability to forecast is woeful. With five categories the average is going to be 20%, so having 25% as the most likely and 15% as the least likely is a joke.
- They are truly dreadful at forecasting – as their September forecast shows.
- They don’t learn, as their November forecast shows; don’t these guys have windows in their offices?
[Or we can blame their use of models based on the 'rules' of a climate cycle that has now ended, V.]
But, hey don’t worry – they know EXACTLY what it’s going to be in 100 years! They predict that next year will be significantly warmer than this (now there’s a surprise!).
My own prediction is that we are in for 6 years of cooling, and at the end it will be about 0.25°C cooler than now. After that warming will resume for another 30 years. Fancy hazarding a guess yourself?