Changeable data

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Your readers may be interested in some of the weather predictions made by the Met Office in recent years.

November 2013. Prediction: the three months December to February were likely to fall into the driest of our five categories, with any rain falling as snow.

Reality: severe flooding that we have all seen on our television screens, with very little snow other than on some of the Scottish mountains.

March 2012. Prediction: April to June would be drier than average, with April the driest month.

Reality: one of the wettest Aprils ever.

October 2010. Prediction: December would be about 2C warmer than average.

Reality: December was one of the coldest on record.

April 2009. Prediction: odds on for a “barbecue summer” with below average rainfall.

Reality: a very wet summer.

In 2010, Dame Julia Slingo, chief scientist at the Met Office, told MPs that the Met Office relies on the same super-computer for its short-term forecasts as it does for providing its predictions made to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the weather in a 100 years’ time.

Apart from strongly suggesting a wayward, malfunctioning Met Office, the above indicates that the parameters used in the computer are questionable. Consequently, little reliance can be placed on their predictions, whether short-term or long-term.

(Dr) Gordon 
Cochrane

Dargai Terrace

Dunblane