JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Could the Australian BOM get it more wrong?

Warwick Hughes has spotted a neat trifecta: whether it be rain, maximums or minimums, the  BOM gets it wrong.

For this spring the Australian BOM predicted it would be dry and warm, instead we got very wet and quite cold.  The models are so bad on a regional basis, it’s uncannily like they are almost useful… if they call things “dry”, expect “wet”.

On August 24 the Australian BOM had pretty much no idea that any unusual wetness was headed their way. Toss a coin, 50:50, yes or no. Spring 2010 was going to be “average”, except in SW Western Australia where they claimed “a wetter than normal spring is favoured.” What follows were 100 year floods, or at least above average rain to nearly every part of the nation bar the part that was supposed to be getting more rainfall. In the chart below, all shades of “blue” got above average rainfall. The dark blue? That’s the highest rainfall on record.

The rainfall deciles chart original is here.

Australian Rainfall in Spring 2010 predictions vs reality BOM

http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/australia/australian-rainfall-spring-2010.gif

On August 24 the BOM predicted that spring would be “hot across the north”. Instead it was cold everywhere except in the west of WA.

BOM predicted max temperatures versus min temperatures

Australian Spring Maximum temperatures

Warwick Hughes linked to this unusually candid report of BOM seasonal rain forecasts (Vizard 2005).

“The results indicate that the forecasting system had low skill.”

They go on to explain just how low:

“Brier Skill Score and the receiver operating characteristic values were uniformly close to the no skill value.”

No skill value? How much is that “no skill” worth?

“The value of the forecasts for decision-makers was estimated using value score curves, calculated for six forecast scenarios. All curves indicated that no economic benefit could have been reliably derived by users of the seasonal rainfall forecasts, with the exception of users with decisions triggered by a small shift in the forecast from climatology, in which case small economic gains may have occurred.”

Now after all the advances in computer modeling the BOM show that Vizard is still right. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tough job to predict the weather a few months out, and I’m not volunteering to try to do it. But then I’m not asking for funding, or a multinational fiat currency and world government based on my 50 year predictions either.

Mind you, the SOI was falling months ago, and it wasn’t too much of a wild guess to suggest that just maybe, possibly, a La Nina was on the way. Bryan Leyland did that here, and his global predictions are panning out reasonably well so far. (Brian 1, BOM -1.)

If government funding weren’t trying to pick the winners (which climate theory should they back? ans: none) then possibly Australia would have some weather forecasters with skills like Piers Corbyn or Joe Bastardi. Speaking of Piers, the UK media finally seems to be recognizing his talent.

The man who repeatedly beats the Met Office at its own game

Full Story Boris Johnson at The Telegraph

Piers Corbyn works in an undistinguished office in Borough High Street. He has no telescope or supercomputer. Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets it right again and again.

Back in November, when the Met Office was still doing its “mild winter” schtick, Corbyn said it would be the coldest for 100 years. Indeed, it was back in May that he first predicted a snowy December, and he put his own money on a white Christmas about a month before the Met Office made any such forecast. He said that the Met Office would be wrong about last year’s mythical “barbecue summer”, and he was vindicated. He was closer to the truth about last winter, too.

He seems to get it right about 85 per cent of the time and serious business people – notably in farming – are starting to invest in his forecasts. In the eyes of many punters, he puts the taxpayer-funded Met Office to shame. How on earth does he do it? He studies the Sun.

He looks at the flow of particles from the Sun, and how they interact with the upper atmosphere, especially air currents such as the jet stream, and he looks at how the Moon and other factors influence those streaming particles.

How many billions have we lost thanks to farmers who might have been able to harvest early, or plant different crops, or avoid seeding in droughts, or any one of a thousand other choices that would help them to make the most of our highly variable climate.

There is a policy vacuum begging to be filled here. Will either side of politics in Australia spend a fraction of the carbon emissions reduction scheme to fly Piers Corbyn or Joe Bastardi out here and ask him to train up an Australian team to work on local conditions?

Hat tip to Val Majkus. Thanks!

Reference:

Vizard, AL, Anderson, GA and Buckley, DJ (2005) Verification and value of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology township seasonal rainfall forecasts in Australia, 1997-2005. Meteorological Applications 12: 343-355.

“Verification and value of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology township seasonal rainfall forecasts in Australia, 1997-2005

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
Could the Australian BOM get it more wrong?, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/2fk7dy5

54 comments to Could the Australian BOM get it more wrong?

  • #
    Adam

    Just so you know this is totally off topic from this article, but Joanne I was wondering if you could advertise this $10k climate challenge on your website. We’re trying to spread the word about it.

    http://climateguy.blogspot.com/2010/11/10k-climate-challenge.html


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    pattoh

    A couple of BoM types could benefit from spending more time looking at raw data & less at the mirror ( & the political agenda of their paymasters).


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    John from CA

    “Brier Skill Score and the receiver operating characteristic values were uniformly close to the no skill value.”

    If they blindfolded someone and had them throw darts at a weather map they would have a higher probability of being correct. The skill level is probably due to a programmed warming factor they assume will occur. They should follow the MET office and stop making forecasts, oh wait, that’s what they get paid for.


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    DBD

    Sounds like they have the same computer models as the UK’s MET office:)

    Clowns!


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    Nick

    Gee wiz.

    In the words of a confirmed Neanderthal, Jeremy Clarkson, whom I am a huge fan of, “How hard can it be”?

    I struggle to comprehend how supposidly clever people constantly fail to learn. Isn’t that why their there, because they can learn?

    If the world goes to Cr$56p and we have to start hunting and chasing our food, these guys would be last blokes I’d have hanging atound, they’ll get you eaten by soemthing they didn’t see. LOL :-)

    A simple mind such as mine can see the basics a mile away. Sun, Oceans. Get a habdle on the interaction of these 2 elements with the rest of the system and your home, with food :-)

    I don’t usually resort to name calling, but most of these overeducated technichal types being paid for their opinion are idiots. The people paying them are? no idea, but their not that clever.

    Lets have a performance based payment system. The same as most of the rest of us. See how they go with, hey? :-)


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  • #

    Bureaucrats get rewarded for toeing the party line, not for being right. Corbyn, Bastardi et al get rewarded for being right or they go broke. I know who my money would be on.

    Pointman


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    grayman

    JO; they seem to have the same problem as the BOM in the UK, NOT WORTH A PLUG NICKEL, as we say in the states.


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    Dave N

    Yet more evidence that met offices are shills of government, rather than being a public service. Unfortunately, government won’t take any responsibility so farmers etc need to hire the likes of Bastardi and Corbyn.


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    spangled drongo

    Science and politics are so much the two legs of one pair of trousers these days that they have to stay in lockstep.

    As long as the people are aware of this, they’ll have a better chance of working out the real weather.


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    1DandyTroll

    ‘Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tough job to predict the weather a few months, and I’m not volunteering to try to do it.’

    But that’s easy, in a few month’s time statistical probability dictates it’ll be warmer and less clouds over the northern hemisphere, but reverse for you kiwis, oz’s, and devils. :p


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    Louis Hissink

    These errors beause they have the basic physics wrong.

    This behoves me to offer an alternative – plasma physics which considers the earth-system as part of a galactic sized electrical circuit. Weather then becomes the behaviour of the thin gas film covering the earth’s surface modulated by the behaviour of an electrically charged sphere immersed in a dcell of space plasma that iytself is being modulated by even larger electrical currents and EM fields.

    Since their theory cannot predict well, if at all, then clearly their theory has been falsified.


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    Neville

    Amazing hide these people, they can’t forecast the spring season at all but can tell us what will happen over the next century.

    At least you would expect some one in the msm to point out these facts to the apathetic public, but apart from Bolt and a few others these hopeless forecasts are ignored.


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    Frank Brown

    The earth has a fever… they are sure of it. Just need a few more rolls of the dice, err cycles, it’s a sure thing. They are gonna double up…let’s go for it’s worse than we think. They can prove it…honestly!! Just need a bit more time and just a bit of money from the money tree. Honest! THIS time I have it right….sure just a sure thing, gimme your purse, I’ll return everything and double it! Easy peasy, come on just a few more tries…honest. Fade out to the poloticians…”I refused to see it at first..you know they were just so good at hiding things….”


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    Amr

    Those who predict do not know and those who know do not predict.

    Dont know where I read that but it seems apt.
    Best wishes for Christmas.
    Amr Marzouk
    Manly Beach.


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    scott

    Thats what happens when you are given the answer and told to go research the problem that fits it and by the way here, is a stream of money you can have until you find it.


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    cohenite

    The point is since all the major forecasting institutions, BoM, MET, NASA etc consistently get their short and medium weather forecasts wrong how can we accept their long-term AGW climate predictions?


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    Neville

    Has anyone seen the interview on the ABC where Penny Sackett our chief scientist speculates that the recent rainfall/flooding may be the results of CAGW?

    Unbelievable stuff, hasn’t she had a glance at Australia’s rainfall history, plus a strong la nina combining with a negative IOD, I mean what’s so surprising about it?


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    I have a hypothesis:

    I think that the BOM forgot to reset their models at the turn of the century.

    If my hypothesis is correct, they are now forecasting the weather for the first quarter of 1911.

    Of course, if I am right, it means that the Y2k bug really did exist, after all, and has been laying dormant all his time … so all the money that was spent on IT consultants may not have been wasted after all …

    Caution: May contain sarcasm.


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    Mark Allinson

    If all this stuff hadn’t happened, I would never have believed that it was possible for it to happen.

    That a hard Western science, coming from such a long and hard-fought-for tradition of sceptical inquiry, could be made a hostage to a inflexible political theology is something I would never have believed possible. Yet here it is, for all the world to see. And not just with regard to our scientific institutions, like CSIRO and BoM, but right across the Western world.

    How many people will die on British roads this year, for instance, as a direct result of this slavish devotion to a politicly-inspired belief? Councils all across Britain have once again run short on grit and salt for winter road maintenance, convinced by the British Met office and their 30 million pound computer that this winter, like the two previous snow-bound winters that they didn’t see coming, would be mild and snow-free? The on-going chaos at Heathrow, where equipment and de-icing chemicals were not ordered, again on “expert” advice from the British Met office, is another prime example. As James Delingpole writes:

    “And NOW, not in the future, we live in a world where our government’s winter transport policy is based not on hard science and rationalism but on the heavily politicised, embarrassingly unreliable forecasts of a once-proud organisation – the Met Office – which now behaves more like a propaganda outlet for the man-made global warming movement.”

    It all bodes very badly for the future of the Western world, for as we know, “those whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.” And our scientific organisations have all started barking.


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    With all the past data and models they still can’t get it right?

    Gee, less credibility than an ant! Even Granny Clampett’s cockroach in a matchbox is superior to these charlatans.


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    John Smith

    Most likely the Australian BOM will make more and more embarrassing erroneous weather predictions until they break away completely and unequivocally away from the failed man-made global warming hoax.


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    [...] onto the BoM, which, as Jo Nova points out, has hit the jackpot with a trifecta of duff predictions, which are no doubt a result of models [...]


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    val majkus

    all the best to Jo and to everyone for Christmas (oh wait … am I still allowed to say that word) and the New Year
    For all the global warmers enjoy http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/jamesdelingpole/
    When you’re in a hole, George, stop digging
    This is George Monbiot still looking for that elusive hot spot!
    Love the comments too particularly this one
    So even when you’re wrong you’re right


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    Ian Hill

    I’m becoming increasingly convinced that climate is to weather as astrology is to astronomy.


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    Bingi

    Look at the forecast if you move one month ahead to the 23nd September 2009

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/archive/rainfall/20100923.shtml

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/archive/rainfall/20100923.national.lr.gif

    National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for October to December 2010, issued 23rd September 2010

    Wet conditions favoured for most of Australia

    The Australian rainfall outlook for the December quarter (October to December) favours wetter than average conditions over large parts of the continent, with strongest odds across northern Australia.
    The October to December outlook is the result of warm conditions in the Indian Ocean and cool conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, both of which are associated with the current La Niña event.

    Looks to me that the BOM got it right. Now give them credit where it’s due.


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  • #

    The BOM should pull all the hardware out of their computer banks and insert an octopus! There is a really good case here for the privatisation of the BOM. It should have to compete with real scientists doing real science in the real world.


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    Jaymez

    Clearly we can not trust the BOM, or the CSIRO, when making weather and climate predictions. The only way you could get things so wrong is if there is a political and ideological motivation to convince the population it is getting hotter and drier! Their objective being to justify draconian ‘green’ legislation and a carbon tax based on dodgy, scientifically questionable theories.


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    A. Meteorologist, BSc

    Look, predicting the weather is really really hard, okay? That’s why very clever people like me get paid to do it, not idiots like you lot. We use computers and everything, but even we haven’t fully got the hang of it yet. And being very clever, we know that nobody’s going to be terribly impressed if we admit that we wouldn’t have the foggiest notion what’s going to happen more than a day in advance and so if anyone really pushes us for a forecast we usually just rattle off some nonsense consistent with AGW and run with that. We think we’ve actually been remarkably accurate, all things considered.

    And quite frankly, it’s a bit annoying when people keep misquoting what we meteorologists said six months ago because we wouldn’t have a clue if we actually said what you’re saying we said or not. Do you think we actually write these things down? Why would we do that…whatever we said must have turned out to be correct because we used computers to work it out. If your version of reality is different to ours then I’m afraid that’s your problem. Look at the UK. Some idiot journalist is alleging that the Met Office got it completely wrong predicting this current cooler weather. And regardless of whatever “quotes” and other so-called “evidence” you can dig up to the contrary, the simple fact is that the weather has been a bit chilly and that was exactly what the clever people at the Met Office predicted. You idiots obviously got the bull by the tail.

    And what’s this pre-occupation with forecasts anyway? You want to know what the weather’s like, open a bloody window – that’s what we do – it’s called “observation”. And when you push the curtains back, whatever you see outside is entirely consistent with AGW. It has to be, because AGW is real and we used lots of very expensive computers to prove it. Really expensive ones. Not the kind of crap you idiots check your email and look at porn with. And since AGW is happening, everything that is currently taking place is entirely consistent with it. Stands to reason. Which bit are you having trouble understanding?

    …and don’t bring those confounded radiosondes up again. They’re all broken. We know because the data they sent back was all wrong.


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    scott

    Look at the forecast if you move one month ahead to the 23nd September 2009

    By September 23rd the horse had bolted


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  • #

    BOM really needs to get its act together – at this rate they are putting themselves in the firing line for some real legal action from those who were depending upon them to get things right more times than wrong (i.e. random chance is better than them).

    Privatizing them could fix them; or they will go under for lack of custom.


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    Llew Jones

    Bingi @ 24

    This, below, from your first URL indicates just how far off the pace BOM was with regard to Victoria. If the BOM wasn’t so enamoured with the idea that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are a major driver of climate it would have or should have been far more aware of the power of La Nina to produce the sort of massive rainfalls observed across so much of Australia over the last few months.

    BOM has been, for want of a better word, perverted by its fervid belief in the power of one very minor factor amongst the many more important known factors that produce our weather.

    One can be forgiven for thinking BOM uses a double headed coin and the incantation “Heads this event (whether past, present or future) is due to AGW”, as a primary aid to its forecasts.

    “For the remainder of Australia, namely most of Victoria and Tasmania as well as the remainder of WA, the outlook is neutral with odds between 40 and 60%. This means that the chance of a wetter than average December quarter are about as likely as the chance of below average conditions in these areas.”


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    David Burgess

    Merry Christmas Jo.


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    wendy

    We would like to take this opportunity to wish Jo and all the Climate Realists here a Happy and Holy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year…………


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    Ray Boorman

    From my perspective on the Gold Coast, & as a long-time weather watcher, BOM daily forecasts are pretty accurate. I don’t look at forecasts longer than 4 days, so cannot comment on their performance as long-range forecasters. Yes, I know they have drunk the AGW cool-aid, but we should give proper credit to them for the parts of their role where they outperform!!


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    Lawrie

    Like Wendy I wish you all a happy and holy Christmas. I do believe in our own way we have contributed to the gradual debunking of the great lie. Nature itself will be the final arbiter and so far it’s doing great. Unfortunately our pollies don’t go outside much and they obviously don’t watch the news. Even the ABC has been showing shots of the Euro winter.

    What I fail to understand is the absolute denial shown by the warmers in the face of reality. Hansens “hottest ever” map shows eastern Aus as being above average when this past winter was cooler and the spring very mild. No heatwaves this year similar to the one that Rudd and Wong constantly referred to in Nov 09. I do think that Penny Sackett and David Jones should be investigated for giving bad advice to the government. And it is bad advice because there are just too many unknowns to be definitive and the policies based on that advice will cost this country dearly, just as it has in the UK and Europe. Shameful.


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    Pete Hayes

    OT but I wonder what you guys down under think about this….
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad-application/green-start-stopped-in-new-policy-bungle/story-fn6bfm6w-1225974665032
    Hope the link works…New Ipad and still trying to get used to Apple stuff!


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    Pete Hayes

    By the way guys n gals, thanks for the fun and great information this year. To all of you I can only say it’s been educational and I wish you all a great (white?) Xmas and a blasting NYE though I really hope you crap out in the test (sorry..the UK really needs a lift at the moment!).

    Jo, your work has been inspiring….in your words…”Not bad for a housewife” ;-) Jo, thank your husband from us. He must be a great guy for allowing us to use your time! xxxx


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    cohenite

    Best to everyone for the season; having said that just a reminder of the pathology which is driving AGW:

    “Mulga Mumblebrain :
    22 Dec 2010 5:16:12pm
    There are other sapient species, such as the cetaceans, but they have clearly evolved beyond the bloodthirsty, paranoid, aggressive stage in which we are mired. It’s a pity but we have almost certainly condemned these creatures to extinction, through hunting and ecosystem collapse, along with ourselves. Just how great the mass extinction we are bringing about will be remains to be seen, but it will set life on this planet back millions of years. The one positive is that we, who have proved ourselves ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’, will at least not have escaped into the cosmos to spread death and destruction to other worlds.”

    I think a misanthropic blog/media comment of the week or month would really be a hot competition; for this week leading upto xmas I nominate the above effort.


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    Siliggy

    UK snow: A sign of things to come?
    “Ministers have already asked the government’s chief scientist to offer his advice.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/hi/news/newsid_9309000/9309318.stm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-7hyaGvad4


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    Mervyn Sullivan

    We are beginning to see a pattern… these biased pro-global warming government agencies are creating forecasts and predictions that turn out to be quite wrong. It’s what I call the “Tim Flannery Phenomenon”.

    Read the following article relating to the UK Met Office… same sort of scenario:

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/12/21/peter-foster-rosy-u-k-cheeks-mean-red-faces-at-the-met-office/

    This is what happens when governments are so obsessed with the notion that rising CO2 emissions are causing catastrophic global warming… they developed tunnel vision. They believe the science is settled. Their computer models are so 110% hooked on the greenhouse gas theory, they’ve given up keeping up-to-date with the latest science, which is more and more focusing on solar activity, lunar positioning, cosmic rays, cloud formation, the jet stream, etc etc to explain the weather and climate changes.

    And here is a much ignored but very important question…

    Q. If scientists of the past had known that the temperature of every planet with an atmosphere rises in direct proportion to atmospheric pressure, do you suppose they would have come up with a theory that attributed heating to the presence of certain trace gases that occupy less than 1% of our atmosphere?

    A. No. Of course they wouldn’t have.

    The question begs… why has trace-gas heating theory taken root so firmly that fresh perspectives have gone utterly ignored?

    I invite everybody to research the ‘temperature v atmospheric pressure’ profiles of Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, etc etc. The relationships are similar. In each case, atmospheric heat rises with pressure. Is this the greenhouse effect? Definitely not! So why are the IPCC and its believers so stupid as to place all their faith in a false theory that is contrary to the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics?


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    Mervyn Sullivan

    Just to add to my previous post, also read the following article:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100069327/climate-change-there-just-arent-enough-bullets/

    The last three paragraphs are a worry:

    “In other words, the Met Office remains so ideologically wedded to Man Made Global Warming that it refuses to be dissuaded even in the face of three consecutive severe winters which, by its own calculations, ought to have been almost impossible (8,000 to 1 against: H/T scientistfortruth).

    Heads are going to roll for this, they’ll have to. But however many heads do roll it won’t be enough. Always remember this: the Warmist faith so fervently held and promulgated by the Met Office is exactly the same faith so passionately, unswervingly followed by David Cameron, Chris Huhne, Greg Barker, the Coalition’s energy spokesman in the Lords Lord Marland, and all but five members of the last parliament. And also by the BBC, the Prince of Wales, almost every national newspaper, the European Union, the Royal Society, the New York Times, CNBC, the Obama administration, the Australian and New Zealand governments, your children’s schools, our major universities, our minor universities, the University of East Anglia, your local council….

    Truly there just aren’t enough bullets!”


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    Mark D.

    Cohenite @ 40

    It’s hard to imagine how Mulga is able to cope while carrying such thoughts….surely they MUST be looking for relief.

    My fear is that there exists a large and growing number of such misanthropes thanks to like minded educators. One wonders if they are just a few motivating speeches away from truly dangerous acts.


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  • #

    The inability to do accurate 3 month rainfall or even average temperature forecasts would seem to put the final nail in the coffin of the ability to predict global climate 50 or 100 years ahead.

    The climate forecasts use the same GCMs as the weather forecasts as far as I know.

    The weather forecasts aren’t bad at any specific location out to 24 hours and get steadily worse so as to be meaningless much after 4 days or so.

    They still produce things that look like weather patterns which is a big improvement over the early attempts(they don’t blow up) but the patterns bear no relation to the real weather (the cause of the failure to accurately predict weather at a given location).

    The modelers claim that doing a climate forecast for decades in the future is easier than weather forecasting a few weeks ahead as they are looking for averages over long periods at that future time instead of very specific meteorological variables at specific locations.

    The crucial assumption that they are making is that even though the weather patterns bear no relation to the actual patterns, the averages are the same or similar. I’m unaware of any proof of this and if this is so the average over an entire 3 month period, ending in 3 months’ time, of a large area meteorological variable like rainfall or temperature should be relatively easy to predict accurately.

    It demonstrably isn’t.

    QED.


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    wendy

    It has a gigantic supercomputer, 1,500 staff and a £170m-a-year budget. So why does the Met Office get it so wrong?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1240082/It-gigantic-supercomputer-1-500-staff-170m-year-budget-So-does-Met-Office-wrong.html


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    cohenite

    Mark D@44: “One wonders if they are just a few motivating speeches away from truly dangerous acts.” Wonder no more:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/01/when-warmistas-attack/#more-24278


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    Bob Malloy

    I know i’m a little late on this post, but should we give them the armstrong & miller treatment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mfxl_UsA-Qs&feature=player_embedded


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    totaldenier

    Just like the Meteorological Office in the UK, the Australian BOM have undoubtedly included a global warming forcing in their weather forecasts, meaning that they allow a theory of future temperature rise to be included in the scientific forecast of tomorrows’ weather.

    The UK met office will most likely see its head and up to three divisional heads resign or be sacked withing the next 3 months.

    The BOM is next.


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    Jo4PM

    I guess this leads to the inevitable question..

    Is is politically correct for the BOM to forcast wet and cool weather when they are being funded to add substance to the AGW theory ?

    It would be unfortunate if the BOM was falling into the same trap as the MET office did a few years back in predicting warm snowless winters and hoping for assistance from mother nature. Unfortunately mother nature can be very cruel :-)


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    The Bom doesn’t have to worry about getting its forecasts wrong when it can rely on the media to gets its records wrong.

    As described by The West Australian newspaper on December 1, 2010, re the climate of spring 2010:

    “… the State sweltered its way through the hottest spring on record.”

    See http://www.waclimate.net/imgs/west-australian-newspaper-1-12-2010.gif

    The BoM has just published its Monthly Weather Review Western Australia November 2010 …
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mwr/wa/mwr-wa-201011.pdf

    … which combines with the October 2010 review …
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mwr/wa/mwr-wa-201010.pdf

    … and the September 2010 review …
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mwr/wa/mwr-wa-201009.pdf

    … to give us the official mean temperature across the western half of the country for spring 2010.

    Sep 2010 – 19C – 0.7C below average
    Oct 2010 – 23.1C – equal average
    Nov 2010 – 26.6C – 0.7C above average

    In other words the mean temperature across WA for spring 2010 was 22.9 C – exactly the same as the BoM’s baseline mean from 1961-1990.

    For example, the spring mean in 2009 was 23.6C and in 2008 it was 23.38.

    Spring 2010 averaged across WA was utterly normal but for many readers of WA’s monopoly daily press, it was “the hottest spring on record”. Record temps were indeed recorded in the state’s lower south west but the remaining two million square kilometres of WA were below or well below average, and public perceptions about climate change shouldn’t be distorted by such sloppy journalism.


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    As a follow-up to my post above, it’s worth looking at the baseline average mean temps within the BoM’s Monthly Weather Reviews …
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mwr/

    … to try to figure out how to compare temperature anomalies with previous years’ data published in these ongoing BoM reviews.

    In all the WA weather reviews published up to and including August 2010, and also November 2010, the preface reads …

    Climatological values
    The climatological averages shown in the text and tables are generally long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site.

    But for September and October 2010, the preface reads …

    Climatological values
    The climatological averages shown in the text and tables are generally long-term means based on observations from the years 1961 to 1990.

    If accurate, this two month shift in baseline was unique to the WA reviews as the reviews for all other states are uniformly based on all available years of record (except the NT which has a baseline of observations from 1800 (?) to 2006 in Dec 2009 before shifting to 1800-2008 and now 1800-2009).

    Why did BoM change the baseline for anomaly comparisons in its Monthly Weather Reviews for two months in WA ???


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    val majkus

    Please leave a supportive comment on Dr Stockwell’s blog
    http://landshape.org/enm/emerald-floods/
    he’s in Emerald

    He made a post yesterday critizing the BOM so read it at his site

    I’m miffed about the flood victims appeal; at the time of the Black Sat fires Red Cross and other charities were accepting donations and currently the only appeal I’ve seen is the Premiers Appeal (okay I know the Red Cross is admin’ing it but I’d rather donate to the Red Cross rather than to a Premier for whom I don’t have much admiration.) I’ve e mailed the Red Cross; there was good coverage on the ch 7 news tonight and the victims are stiff lipped but don’t know what the ABC will show; my gripe is that the charities should be launching appeals not the State Govt and I am appalled at the miserliness of the amt offered by the State and Fed Govts; I’ve passed that on to the Red Cross; I recall at the time of the Black Sat fires I donated through the Red Cross and Qld was also suffering flood damage at that time but the Black Sat victims got the majority of the appeal funds and now I think it’s Qld’s turn – hopefully the Red Cross will come to the party; I think they are much more photogenic than the PM and State Premier
    Anyway please offer verbal support to the people of Emerald through Dr Stockwell’s blog


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    Ted

    I’ve been following BOM 3 month forecasts for about 3 years. From memory they have got it right for two or three of the 36 months.

    Yes they got it right for half of oz last month, not for where I live though.

    I don’tknock the met guys though, they will have models to use and procedures to follow.

    Let’s not blame the workers when they have been given the wrong tools.


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