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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Another test of the BOM vs Corbyn

Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction appears to be getting noticed (finally). Recently, the Telegraph reported on The man who beats the Met Office. But, some people (especially outside the UK) don’t seem to realize Corbyn has been doing this for a long time. He started placing bets on his predictions way back in 1990, and set up his his long range forecasting business in 1995. His accuracy during a 6-month period of 2008 at predicting extreme weather events in  narrow time windows was audited at 85%. WeatherAction sells forecasts that are 30, 45, and 60 day advance notices. Could you imagine our BOM giving us warnings now about a storm or flood on, say, February 23 – 25th 2011? Try to picture the weather girl suggesting anything like that in the local Channel Nine Weather Update.

The BOM in the UK have said they don’t do seasonal forecasts (“BBQ-summer” and “mild-winters” no more). Yet, here is Piers, still putting his name to forecasts, not just of a seasonal nature across an entire country, but for particular dates and particular regions.

If the CSIRO or BOM were really interested in predicting the climate, they could, say, pay to fly in a consultant [...]

Insurance that kills

A helicopter arrives at the scene of the crashFrom Metro.co.uk

The great Piers Corbyn popped in when I wrote the first post about the 10:10 video. His comment on that thread is the most popular (rated by thumbs up) of any of the 38,000 comments on this site (110 thumbs up). This below is that comment, which fits with my recent theme of What’s the harm in acting?

For those who don’t know, Piers uses solar factors and writes long range weather forecasts and does it with uncanny accuracy — he predicted the Copenhagen Blizzards a month before Copenhagen. His site is Weather Action. He’s so good at predicting atmospheric action that over 12 years, he won so many bets on the weather the bookies gave up and begged him to stop. (The odds were set by the UK met office.)

He discusses the often unseen but deadly costs of bad decisions. In this case, Natasha Jade Paton might still be alive today if authorities had sought better advice than that from deeply flawed climate models. Piers warned them they would run out of road salt.

There are thousands of people who think that “taking insurance” is like paying [...]