Tuesday, December 22, 2009

False signals?

How much of this lack of preparedness, one wonders, is due to the false signals given by the Met Office to the airport authorities about global warming – thus lulling them into a false sense of security about the need to equip properly and develop appropriate systems? With the Met Office only recently forecasting a mild winter, is it surprising that the airlines and airports have been caught out?

If you look at the picture, the plant you see is a standard bucket loader - the sort of kit you will see on many construction sites. It is not dedicated snow clearance equipment. The bucket loader is slow, inefficient and can cause considerable damage to runway and taxi-way fittings. Pressing this sort of kit into service shrieks that the snow-clearance operation is being run on a shoe-string - as you would if you were only expecting mild weather.

And the Met Office is not getting any better at it. Forecasters, we are told, fear that their original prediction of one or two inches of snow on Monday may have been an underestimate, and gave warning that much of the South East may see more than four inches. Temperatures were expected to drop to as low as 21F (-6C) in some parts of the country overnight, the Met Office said.

And they want us to believe they can forecast ahead to 2020 and beyond?