Hedging Forecasts

The Law of the Perversity of Nature
You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.

The Met Office – sigh – what should we do with them?  Charles Duncan sent me this in an email, but I see he’s also posted it appropriately on this thread by Paul Homewood.

According to the BBC the Met Office is predicting a warm July. They quote a Met Office spokesman:

rainfall should be below average, with above-average temperatures and above-average sunshine amounts”.

“There is reasonable confidence that high pressure will build, giving fine and dry weather across most parts of the UK from Friday onwards, with a mixture of variable cloud and sunshine,” he said.

“There will be lighter winds elsewhere with temperatures around or just above normal at first, but a good chance of increasingly warm temperatures during the course of the following week, especially inland, becoming locally very warm in sunny conditions.

“These drier and warmer conditions should continue into the following weekend and there are signals that the dry and settled weather from the first half of the month should continue across most parts of the UK during at least the first half of this period.”

However they’ve learned to hedge their bets…er…forecasts. On their own website, in their forecast issued on 27th June, they predicted lower than average temperatures for July:

For July below-average UK-mean temperatures are more likely than above-average, while for July-August-September as a whole near-to-below-average temperatures are most probable. Although spells of hot weather are still possible, these are less likely than would typically be expected at this time of year.

Many years ago, so the story goes, a man claimed he could predict the sex of an unborn baby.  A couple would visit him and, in exchange for a small fee, he would give his prediction.  But in a book he would write the reverse of what he had forecast.  So if the couple returned to complain he would simply show them the book and say that they must have misheard him.

Our ‘small fee’ is over £200 Million pounds this year.

It seems they are suffering from an affliction related to ‘The Gore Effect’.  It’s the same sort of ‘luck’ that we all experience from time to time, like the first really good summer we had after buying our current house – my husband decided to invest in a lawn sprinkler… which ensured that the rest of the summer was a washout.

At least it is ‘sunny side up’ today in most of the UK. Enjoy.

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One Response to Hedging Forecasts

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    For the last couple of months I have been using a site http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=jetstream to do my own predictions. While I realise that fine settled weather is probably the easiest forecast to get right, I’m still pleased with the results, as my forecasts for two weeks ahead have been as accurate as Met office 5-day.

    [Reply – Found this in the Spam bin which I hadn’t checked for a while- no idea what the trigger was. V]

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