Oh this is hilarious. The Daily Express reports today that Met Office staff have a few other weather forecaster websites bookmarked. According to story Met Office predicts…a snoop on rivals:
“Staff have visited the web pages of four rival forecasters about 21,000 times in the past six months, a rate of more than 115 pages every day, it has emerged.
The most popular was the US-based Weather Underground, which received 15,463 web page visits by the Met Office.”
Market research eh – wondering how the others manage?
“The Met Office, although not directly funded by the British taxpayer, relies heavily on government contracts for the bulk of its income, unlike many of its commercial rivals, which earn their living solely by the quality of their forecasting services.”
I seem to remember that indirect number as ~£200 Million.
This reminds me about the tale of the Indian Chief and the National Weather Service (various sources found):
It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was a new Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather was going to be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared. But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked,
“Is the coming winter going to be cold?”
“It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed,” the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared. A week later he called the National Weather Service again.
“Is it going to be a very cold winter?”
“Yes,” the man at National Weather Service again replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”
The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again.
“Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”
“Absolutely,” the man replied. “It’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever.”
“How can you be so sure?” the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, “The Indians are collecting wood like crazy!”