Thursday, March 05, 2009

Forecasters caught out …

The Times today notes that a worse-than-predicted shower of snow left motorists stranded in parts of South West England, while heavy frost caused commuter chaos in the South. Thus:

Forecasters admitted being caught unawares after up to 3in (8cm) of snow landed overnight near Okehampton, in Devon, while parts of Somerset and West Dorset also experienced heavy flurries. However, the travel chaos spread beyond the areas affected by snow this morning, with several train services from the south coast to London being suspended, disrupted or cancelled due after heavy frost froze power lines.
And the Met Office forecast for the whole of the year is?

2009 is expected to be one of the top-five warmest years on record, despite continued cooling of huge areas of the tropical Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon known as La Niña. According to climate scientists at the Met Office and the University of East Anglia the global temperature is forecast to be more than 0.4°C above the long-term average. This would make 2009 warmer than the year just gone and the warmest since 2005.
Considering their recent record, the scientific "consensus" tends towards the view that they couldn't forecast their way out of a paper bag.