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Met Office Predicted The Cold Weather That They Did Not Predict!

February 24, 2018

By Paul Homewood


23 February 2018:


Conditions over the weekend and into the early part of next week will become increasingly cold, possibly exceptionally cold.

Yellow National Severe Weather Warnings for snow are in force for parts of eastern and southeast England from 4pm on Monday and for large parts of the UK through Tuesday and Wednesday.

Snow showers are expected to develop widely during the start of the week, with some locations likely to see accumulations of 5 to 10 cm. Although other sites may see less frequent showers leading to much smaller accumulations up to 2 cm.

The very cold conditions, which are likely to be the coldest spell of weather for several years, are likely to remain in place for the remainder of next week. The cold easterly wind will persist bringing a significant wind chill which will make it feel several degrees colder than thermometers indicate. Even without the wind chill some locations will struggle to get above 0 °C by day, with night-time temperatures ranging down to -8 °C quite widely.



16 February 2018:



There is increasing confidence that the recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming above the North Pole could lead to prolonged cold conditions over the UK, increasing the risk of easterly wind and significant snow.

Prof Adam Scaife, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “Signs of this event appeared in forecasts from late January and in the last few days we have seen a dramatic rise in air temperature, known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming, at around 30km above the North Pole. This warming results from a breakdown of the usual high-altitude westerly winds and it often leads to a switch in our weather: with cold easterly conditions more likely to dominate subsequent UK weather.”

These events are well reproduced and can be predicted in our computer models and although there is still uncertainty around the outcome of this particular event, there is an increased risk of cold conditions in the latter part of February, including the possibility of heavy snowfall.



26 January 2018:





The 3-month outlook is based on:

  • Observations
  • Several numerical observations systems
  • Expert judgement

Say no more!

  1. Broadlands permalink
    February 24, 2018 3:51 pm

    “There is increasing confidence that the recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming above the North Pole could lead to prolonged cold conditions over the UK.”

    How does our increase in atmospheric CO2 create a sudden North Pole warming…followed by prolonged cooling? Was it the El-Nino inspired 400 ppm threshold we passed?

  2. February 24, 2018 3:56 pm

    The Met wrong again with their forecast. Hope they are routinely ignored and people are prepared for the cold. Can’t be too good for all the wind farms – not much can be done for them – they must be about as much good in the cold as Easter Island Moas – useless monuments to dead religions and in the case of wind turbines that religion is anti-human eco-secularism.

    Stay warm, and be careful traveling!

  3. Curious George permalink
    February 24, 2018 4:10 pm

    Don’t be nitpicks! Who cares that they can’t do a 3-months outlook. They have a perfect projection for year 2100.

    • February 24, 2018 5:07 pm

      Decades past the date when anyone’s reputation could be trashed by a ludicrously wrong ‘projection’.

  4. dc48 permalink
    February 24, 2018 4:31 pm

    No doubt they’ll point us to:

    “For February, below-average temperatures are more likely than above-average temperatures.”

    But look at that spread at Fig T3. Without seeing their score from applying scoring rules ( across a series of predictions, how can we assess them or compare them to other predictors?

    “Overall, the probability that the UK-average temperature for February-March-April will fall into the coldest of our five categories is around 20% and the probability that it will fall into the warmest of our five categories is 25% (the 1981-2010 probability for each of these categories is 20%).”

    Close to a uniform distribution over the categories. I wonder how that strategy compares over the years. Certainly cheaper to produce.

  5. February 24, 2018 5:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Met Office seasonal forecasting skill turns out to be below average – heading towards the lowest 20%.

  6. RAH permalink
    February 24, 2018 5:42 pm

    It wasn’t just the MET. NOAA’s long range forecast clearly showed a warmer than average March for most of the US until just a couple weeks ago when it slowly started evolving colder.

  7. Sheri permalink
    February 24, 2018 6:25 pm

    Our local weather routinely forecasts warming toward the end of the 7 day forecast and then reverse it after about 3 or 4 days. I probably should keep records just for fun to see how often they try it. Guess they figure we have 72-hour memories, so they are safe.

  8. quaesoveritas permalink
    February 24, 2018 6:42 pm

    The BBC are showing “library footage” of past snow, presumably just in case we can’t remember a couple of weeks ago.
    Personally I think they are going over the top a bit.

  9. Bitter@twisted permalink
    February 24, 2018 7:43 pm

    Was the Met Orifice’s “warmer than average March” predicted by Lizzie Kendon?
    She has previous in abject failure.

  10. February 24, 2018 7:49 pm

    There will be more confusion because the speed of the solar wind has increased.

  11. February 24, 2018 7:54 pm

    As the speed of the solar wind increases, the wind speed in the stratosphere increases.

  12. February 24, 2018 7:55 pm

    Siberian frost reaches Poland and Germany.

  13. February 24, 2018 10:13 pm

    Jetstream forecast.

  14. Athelstan permalink
    February 25, 2018 12:59 am

    It’s a bum freezer, when you’re caught with your keks round your ankles, again and again and again…………….

    Call for Slingit the doomster nonpareil and mega clarion! Duh, and the roll out some more excuses for another sooper dooper sooper even better than before ‘puter!!

    Minestyers, if they can just get those civil servant geeks off the Hadley new sorry – old sooper dooper old ‘puter and bunging up the exabytes by mining for dem Bitcoins.

  15. HotScot permalink
    February 25, 2018 1:40 am

    Try seaweed.

    Much more reliable.

  16. Chris Lynch permalink
    February 25, 2018 2:09 am

    A UK Met Office prediction proved wrong? Well I never! Cue “this cold snap is actually caused by global warming” allegations.

  17. February 25, 2018 6:29 am

    I think you are being a bit hard on the MO. “Signs of this event appeared in forecasts from late January”. Obviously 26th January, the date of the MO 3-month Outlook, is not late January. “Late January” means whatever the MO wants it to mean.

  18. February 25, 2018 8:20 am

    On February 26, a geomagnetic storm is expected. The increase in solar wind speed in the coming days will cause a drop in the temperature in the stratosphere and an increase in the energy of jet streams.

  19. February 25, 2018 11:26 am

    A Met Office meteorologist has now said that overall chance of snow is “pretty certain”. A Met Office Chief Forecaster has said that strong winds will also likely cause snow to drift. Strong winds likely to cause the snow to drift! You don’t need to be a chief forecaster to know that – I knew that when I was a small boy.

    We are very lucky to see our taxes being well spent by Public Health England, who tell us that staying warm by heating our home to at least 18°C can be crucial to staying well. Who would have thought that?

    • roger permalink
      February 25, 2018 2:38 pm

      And who would have thought that the cost of the means to heat the one bar electric fire that the most at risk rely upon to attain the heady temperature prescribed would be enhanced by taxes in all but name to fill the coffers of landowners and rich investors both individual and corporate?
      The robber barons and ecclesiastical thieves of yore are alive and well today, and may be found in Westminster’s second house passing laws for their own enrichment from the grinding of the poorer among us.

  20. Bloke down the pub permalink
    February 25, 2018 11:49 am

    This long range forecast from Netweather seems to have been much closer to the mark.

  21. tom0mason permalink
    February 25, 2018 12:40 pm

    The weather models are all struggling right now, for although (like the climate models) they are build up from basic physics, currently the weather picture is quite anomalous from what they are set-up for.
    Normally our weather pattern comes from air movements from west to east over the Atlantic, with high pressure to our South (the Azores high), and low pressures systems moving over us going west, or NW.

    Currently due to the affect of the SSW, retrogression; movements against the normal flow is the order of the day (from East, North East to West, South West ). There is a low pressure system (originally from Greenland) coming at us from the south (around the Azores). Also the high pressure system is now up between Greenland and Iceland, with the winds strengthening from the East (from Siberia).

    All-in-all a quite anomalous situation. And the weather models are struggling! Modeled forecasts from them for more than 3 to 5 days hence are all over the place. All this difficulty and it does not matter how sophisticated the model is, or how much it cost, it is struggling.

    How much would a climate model struggle when such an anomalous natural event happens?

    • NeilC permalink
      February 25, 2018 4:28 pm

      Actually, the GFS 500 h Pa Geopot. Height (15 days) has had it in its view since the the 13th Feb

      • tom0mason permalink
        February 25, 2018 4:51 pm

        Yes, I had already noted that when it occurred. The effects of the SSW only served to ensure it’s better evolution. I had posted here before that this scenario was very possible. However when the Met-Office was asked about it at the time (by a blog commenter I read), they boo-hooed the idea as just a possibility that was not very probable.

        I still say that the Met-Office is over-reliant on very expensive computer modeled forecasts, with little (or no?) regard for reanalysis of past events and forecasts, to indicate where these model forecasts go wrong. Decades ago human weather forecasters relied on experience (private internal review and reanalysis) to give them a ‘feel’ for what the weather was likely to do. IMO the good forecasters then were every bit as good, and some better, than today’s models.

    • RAH permalink
      February 26, 2018 11:26 am

      And yet the likes of the people at Weatherbell forecasted a cold March for the Eastern US and Europe months ago based on things like the MJO, ENSO, NAO, and weather history using analogs.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        February 26, 2018 1:49 pm

        tomomason, I agree completely that human experience and knowledge plays little part in MetO forecasts these days and the forecasts are worse.

      • tom0mason permalink
        February 27, 2018 6:01 am

        Indeed, same here. Even the amateur weather forecasters were better than a lot of the European ‘official’ national forecasters at flagging up the possibilities months ago also using historic analogs. The UK Met-Office boo-hooed the idea until quite recently. I even saw a weather blogger who uses no instruments, just the signs of nature, and he got it more correct than ‘official’ agencies. Those ‘official’ agencies appear to be wedded to their computer models, unfortunately the weather is not a computational problem that requires just the correct formulae to be plugged in to resolve it.

  22. Ben Vorlich permalink
    February 25, 2018 1:08 pm

    The last three days have seen Cranes flying in a North Easterly direction over Limousin. Going on past experience I’m not expecting spring to return for at least a fortnight. My neighbour says they are making for Alsace which is forecast very cold for the next 2 weeks at least

  23. February 25, 2018 1:38 pm

    Sounds as though it is the 21st Century version of “having your cake and eating it too.”

  24. Stonyground permalink
    February 25, 2018 6:56 pm

    My thought is that, nowadays the weather forecasts for the next couple of days are amazingly accurate. Obviously, the further ahead we try to predict, the more difficult it becomes and the less accurate the predictions are. This is not the fault of the forecasters, it is just the nature of reality. Why can the Met Office simply not admit this?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 26, 2018 1:51 pm

      …amazingly accurate.

      Which takes me back to Test Match Special a couple of Summers back who produced a glorious entry on their text stream when handed a new forecast that stated ‘that is completely different to the forecast we were given just over an hour ago’.

  25. AZ1971 permalink
    February 25, 2018 7:07 pm

    The very cold conditions, which are likely to be the coldest spell of weather for several years…

    How do they know what the weather will be like several years into the future? Do they consult an oracle and cross-reference with a gypsy looking into her crystal ball?

    • February 26, 2018 11:58 am

      They have Michael Mann remove the cold spell from the future. Nothing like getting a head start.

  26. Philip of Taos permalink
    February 25, 2018 9:32 pm

    So basically the MET. office lies until they get caught, and then they lie about the lies.!
    Government at it’s best.

  27. markl permalink
    February 25, 2018 10:12 pm

    I find it astounding that purveyors of failed climate alarmists predictions are not held accountable.

  28. February 25, 2018 10:22 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:

    The recent [insert] weather is what we’d expect to see with [climate change]/[global warming]. We are loading the dice for more [insert] winters.

    All the evidence suggests [insert] are linked to [climate change]/[global warming].


  29. February 25, 2018 10:24 pm

    Never trust anyone who claims to be an expert in weather forecasting. As for the Met Office…

    • dave permalink
      February 26, 2018 1:51 pm

      Meanwhile, it IS snowing on the Greenland ice sheet:

  30. February 26, 2018 5:05 pm

    Tomorrow morning the arctic air will reach England.

  31. February 26, 2018 5:06 pm

    Look at the anomalies of the geopotential height in the stratosphere over the polar circle.

  32. February 26, 2018 5:07 pm

    Until tomorrow, high above Scandinavia will be strengthened.

  33. February 27, 2018 6:24 am

    The current temperature in the south of Europe.

  34. Teddy Tulloch permalink
    February 27, 2018 10:14 am

    Does anyone know if Piers Corbyn of WeatherWatch predicted this cold spell well in advance.

  35. Teddy Tulloch permalink
    February 27, 2018 10:17 am

    For WeatherWatch read WeatherAction – apologies

  36. hunter permalink
    February 27, 2018 1:56 pm

    The Met’s content writer is not very good.

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