Fishy sympathy for the Met

I have often felt sorry for Michael Fish as he is mocked once again for his historically awful hurricane forecast. However, his recent complaint that we are unnecessarily unkind to the Met when it made its usual hash of long range forecasts goes too far. Of course it is difficult to predict our maritime weather. Like climate change, there are so many variables it would seem an area better examined using the methods of Chaos Theory. The Met said they were 65% confident that this summer would be warmer than the last few years. Well, OK – but that is in the range of uncertainty (50%) of the predictions of the check out lady in my supermarket based on her lumbago. The problem is that the Met then goes on to insult our intelligence by claiming that forecasts for 100 years hence are absolutely precise and can be used to create ruinously expensive government policy and cover our beauty spots in hideous windmills. For an organisation which wants to be considered scientific, that is an outrageous claim and the Met should not be surprised if professional scientists treat it with derision.


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