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In the big freeze - but for how long?

Paul Hudson | 16:05 UK time, Monday, 21 January 2013

Amounts of snow across some parts of our region are the deepest since December 2010, with 21 cms being reported at Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale at midday, and a notable 18 cms in the middle of Sheffield at Weston park.

Waddington in Lincolnshire is reporting 14 cms of snow.

There are some big contrasts though, with only 2cms reported at Church Fenton in the Vale of York.

The snow, on Friday and last night, was forecast well in advance and first signalled at the beginning of last week.



But contrary to what was expected by most computer models at that time, the weather front last night did not bring a change to milder conditions, with very cold continental air now with us for the rest of the week.

Further snowfall is likely on the North York moors tonight, but for many it should become dry, with the main hazard being that of widespread ice.

Patchy rain, sleet and snow in coastal areas tomorrow will push inland to affect some areas, but further snowfall amounts will be small.

A change to milder weather will come at the weekend, with rain, preceded by some snow; the last week of January looks much milder with rain at times.

The thaw, when it comes could be rapid and with the ground already saturated from last year's excessive rainfall, flooding is likely to be a concern.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I really struggle to find any credibility in weather computer models, when the various weather forecasts are so patently wrong (After the first dump of snow... Red alert for South Wales, it was the South East that was supposed to get the next lot of snow, and the NorthWest was apparently going to be clear). We've had more snow in Liverpool today than we did on Friday. I'm not complaining about that though - I quite like the snow.

    Is it time we went back to the vague stick-on sun, clouds and snowflakes for weather reporting, rather than simulated 3-D weather previews. Perhaps, to the viewer, that would represent a truer picture of the unpredicatability of forecasting. The ever more-complex models (and expensive computing power required to produce them) just seem to provide a false/inaccurate sense of certainty.

    Despite that, I'll still watch the forecasts, just so I can tut about how off-the-mark they are.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm struggling to accept this "big freeze" statement. The last two winters have been MUCH colder. Have we forgotten the temperatures of two years ago? By comparison surely this winter has been MUCH milder so far?

  • Comment number 3.

    "A change to milder weather will come at the weekend, with rain, preceded by some snow; the last week of January looks much milder with rain at times. "

    However, it will be interesting to see how Piers Corbyn's comment "another Sudden Stratospheric Warming and quite likley even heavier snow in UK, Ireland and Europe at end Jan/start Feb still stands" pans out.

  • Comment number 4.

    Children just aren't going to know what snow is!

    More seriously, these situations always cling on a few days longer than the models expect due to how deep the cold penetrates into the ground and buildings.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes quite a different prospect offered by the MO-BBC compared to both Weatheraction and Exacta Weather and it will be very interesting to see what happens at the weekend.

  • Comment number 6.

    Strange, my MO local web weather forecast, for the NE Coast of England, is showing much lower temperatures on Friday.
    The wonderful BBC extended forecast is showing a high temp. between -1c and +9c on Saturday and 1c and +11c on Sunday, during the day, and a low of between -4c and +7c on Saturday and the same on Sunday, during the night. So on that basis, there still seems to be a lot of uncertainty. It's possible that the high might be lower than the low!

  • Comment number 7.

    Yes--the MO are good at covering a variety of options.

  • Comment number 8.

    I see that the Norwegian MO are, for the West-Central Grsmpians, going for low double figure frosts on Thursday -Friday this week, followed by much milder conditions coming in on Saturday and continue to warm up into the middle of the following week.

  • Comment number 9.

    Piers Corbyn's accuracy for January is very much open to question. I have a copy of his forecast. He forecast very well the heavy snow in the last few days, in a period he quotes 17-21 Jan. No arguments with that one.
    But he got it badly wrong during first 2 weeks of January, forecasting cold and wintry showers when in fact temperatures were for a time in double figures totally missing the mild spell. And he also is forecasting the rest of January into early Feb will stay cold or very cold. Paul's blog is suggesting a thaw from the weekend (which could be wrong because it hasn't happened yet).
    It seems to me that weather action has forecast cold and snow risk for vitually the whole of January, so its very easy for him to claim success if snow does arrive in one period, conveniently forgetting the other bits.

  • Comment number 10.

    We are now 3 days into this forecast so judge for yourself if it was correct. Doesn't seem to mention the snow we had in the Southwest.

    Met Office UK Outlook for Saturday 19 Jan 2013 to Monday 28 Jan 2013:

    "Some uncertainty in the details of the forecast, however through the weekend there should be a good deal of dry and bright weather, but with the risk of snow showers in the east and southeast. More unsettled in the west with spells of rain and snow, which may spread further east on Sunday. Cold or very cold with widespread frost, and the risk of ice. Probably turning more unsettled thereafter, with spells of rain, heavy at times in the west and southwest, and some hill snow, which could fall to lower levels at times in the north and east. Best of drier weather in eastern areas. Frost overnight, and most areas staying cold or rather cold, although perhaps occasionally near normal in the west and southwest."

  • Comment number 11.

    Gadgetfiend - At least Mr Corbyn has had some success unlike some other websites. I agree he is often too quick to jump on the cold cold cold bandwagon but other people/websites are obsessed with the total opposite. Forcasting as far ahead as he does is always going to have varying degrees of success but surely it is better to over rather than under prepare for cold, possibly disruptive weather! It is winter afterall. As for this weekend onwards, Paul's blog got it wrong in december's "beast from the east" post so it is also possible that the thaw may not materialise either.

  • Comment number 12.

    #10. - oldgifford wrote:
    "We are now 3 days into this forecast so judge for yourself if it was correct. Doesn't seem to mention the snow we had in the Southwest."

    Or in the North East!

    Personally I think these UK summary forecasts are too vague in their locations and timing. It isn't entirely clear which parts of the country are being referred to or exactly when they apply either.
    I don't see how such a forecast can be evaluated.
    We certainly didn't have any "dry and bright weather" in the North East.

  • Comment number 13.

    HadCRUT3 & 4 anomaly figures for December:

    HadCRUT3
    Global = 0.233c, compared with 0.482c for November (-0.249c)
    N.H. = 0.177c, compared with 0.591c for November (-0.414c)
    S.H. = 0.289c, compared with 0.372c for November (-0.083c)

    HadCRUT4
    Global = 0.269c, compared with 0.518c for November (-0.249c)
    N.H. = 0.230c, compared with 0.639c for November (-0.409c)
    S.H. = 0.309c, compared with 0.400c for November (-0.091c)

    The annual data files shows 2012 as 0.394c for HadCRUT3 and 0.434c for HadCRUT4, but I am not sure if these have been updated with the latest monthly figures. The simple average of the monthly figures work out at 0.403c for HadCRUT3 and 0.436c for HadCRUT4.

    The HadCRUT figures are broadly in line with NASA/GISS and NCDC/NOAA.

    The CRU versions of the data files don't seem to have been upated yet.

  • Comment number 14.

    Good luck tonight in Birmingham Paul. Hope it doesn't get snowed off.

  • Comment number 15.

    13. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "HadCRUT3 & 4 anomaly figures for December:"

    Thanks QV, not had chance to look, but with HadSST3 at 0.347c down from 0.409c I think there has to be a quite a change in CRUTEM.

  • Comment number 16.

    #15. - greensand wrote:
    "Thanks QV, not had chance to look, but with HadSST3 at 0.347c down from 0.409c I think there has to be a quite a change in CRUTEM."

    Crutem3 is down from 0.817c to 0.341c globally and from 0.895c to 0.022c in the N.H. I think mainly due to cold temperatures over Russia. I haven't had a chance to check how this ranks in historical terms, but that seems like a very big fall.
    I know it isn't unprecedented but the fall in global temperatures must be pretty unusual, equivalent to about 1/3 of global warming since pre-industrial times.
    The question which arises in my mind, is where has the heat gone?
    It hasn't gone into the ocean surface, and I don't think it could have gone into the deeper oceans.
    I know that the Sudden Stratospheric Warming has recently been blamed for colder temperatures in the U.K. but I haven't heard it mentioned in relation to global or N.H. temperatures.
    I wonder how SSW relates to global atmospheric temperatures at a lower level, and how much the stratosphere would have to warm in order to account for a 0.25c fall in global surface temperatures.
    Or has the missing heat merely moved to somewhere that we are not currently measuring it?

  • Comment number 17.

    Im really enjoying this mediterranean climate with hotter drier summers and milder winters with snow a thing of the past

  • Comment number 18.

    16. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    “Crutem3 is down from 0.817c to 0.341c globally and from 0.895c to 0.022c in the N.H.”

    Yup there is also a similar change in CRUTEM4, down from 0.854c to 0.233c. Land surface datasets do tend to jump around a lot, but this is a little bit unexpected.

    Re your point about the NH and Russia is this supported with CRUTEM4 reporting a lower anomaly than its predecessor CRUTEM3? I seem to recall that the change was needed to include more stations in Russia and Canada?

    Not had a look at the NH for CRUTEM4 should be interesting.

    Also SSWs yet still very much an enigma to me, keeping a watching brief.

    Must have a look at CRUTEM4 - NH

  • Comment number 19.

    CRUTEM4 NH down from 0.916c to 0.028c, so slightly higher than CT3. So pop goes the inclusion of new Russlie thermos as a reason.

  • Comment number 20.

    Message 2
    December 2012 recorded average temperatures for the UK overall. The January 2013 temperature will probably be around 1 Celsius below normal.

  • Comment number 21.

    Thanks QV for doing all the maths
    From your post #13
    Is the figure for 2012 0.394 or 0.403?
    Whichever figure we take it looks like this years winners are Paul Briscoe, Gadgetfriend and myself.
    Here are our forecasts for 2012
    Figures in brackets are last year’s forecast


    “Warmists”
    +0.48 Met Office (+0.44)
    +0.45 Newdwr54 (N/A)
    +0.43 John Cogger (N/A)

    “Neutralists”
    +0.42 Mr Bluesky
    +0.42 Lazarus
    +0.41 quake (+0.36)
    +0.40 Paul Briscoe
    +0.40 Gagetfriend (+0.30)
    +0.40 NeilHamp ( +0.27)

    “Coolists”
    +0.37 Lateintheday’s Holly Bush
    +0.34 QuaesoVeritas (+0.31)
    +0.29 millinia (+0.24)
    +0.29 LabMunkey (+0.25)
    +0.28 ukpahonta (+0.35) (2011 winning entry)

  • Comment number 22.

    Book now open for 2013, which will be based upon HadCRUT4

  • Comment number 23.

    What's the MO prediction 0.43C?
    Put me down for 0.38C to get the ball rolling.

  • Comment number 24.

    Looks like the planet responded more quickly than usual (or expected) to changes in ENSO in 2012 - the 3-4 month lag didn't seem to apply. Perhaps it was because of the timing of the shifts? That is, the shift from negative ENSO conditions to positive, coincided with the onset of Northern Hemisphere Spring. Similarly, the shift back to negative conditions has occurred as NH winter set in.
    Latest ENSO forecasts are still on the cool side of neutral for the first half of 2013 and unless I'm mistaken, these forecasts are gradually shifting towards cooler conditions. Last time I looked, there was still a very large pool of subsurface cool water in the central and eastern pacific according to BOM.

    Not sure how all this translates into Hadcrut 4, but the hollybush tells me 0.35 should be close.

  • Comment number 25.

    Ukpahonta #23, I thought the UK Met.Office forecast was at

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

    20 December 2012 - 2013 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 °C, with a best estimate of around 0.57 °C, according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.

    The trouble is I don't this forecast is based upon HadCRUT4. I have re-read the article many times and I am still not certain of the basis of their forecast. Based on their Best Estimate of 0.57 I will be proposing 0.49.

  • Comment number 26.

    25. NeilHamp wrote:

    “I thought the UK Met.Office forecast was at”

    So did I however it looks as though they have complicated the issue further by now quoting:-

    “WMO Global Temperature Anomaly”

    Which I understand is a combination of:-

    “The three international global temperature data sets are from the Met Office and University of East Anglia (HadCRUT4), NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NOAA NCDC) and NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS).”

    As ever with the MO it is a constantly moving feast. This one of the major reasons why the MO leaves itself open for criticism, nothing stays still long enough for interested parties to develop a long term understanding.

    Having said that HadCRUT4 should not be to far adrift, last year 2011 it 0.434 and the MO gave the WMO Anomaly as 0.42.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/time_series/HadCRUT.4.1.1.0.annual_ns_avg.txt

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

  • Comment number 27.

    @26

    Correction:- HadCRUT4 2011 was 0.399c (0.40c) versus the WMO 0.42c.

    0.434c is the present number for 2012, history shows that it has the potential to be revised at a later date.

  • Comment number 28.

    #21. - NeilHamp wrote:
    "Is the figure for 2012 0.394 or 0.403? "

    If I am correct, and assuming the MO figure is up to date, the MO figure will be 0.394c and the CRU figure will be 0.403c. There is always a slight difference between the two figures due to MO methodology.
    However, we should probably use the MO figure when confirmed.
    I have e-mailed the MO to ask if the figure is "final".
    BTW, I have received figures for the MO "decadal" forecast but I haven't had a chance to look at them yet.
    They do say that there are no plans to extend it to 10 years, so I guess it will be re-named the "semi-decadal" forecast or possibly the "lustrumnal" forecast, if that is actually a real word.

  • Comment number 29.

    #25. - NeilHamp wrote:
    Ukpahonta #23, I thought the UK Met.Office forecast was at

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

    20 December 2012 - 2013 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 °C, with a best estimate of around 0.57 °C, according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.

    "The trouble is I don't this forecast is based upon HadCRUT4. I have re-read the article many times and I am still not certain of the basis of their forecast. Based on their Best Estimate of 0.57 I will be proposing 0.49."

    It *might* even be based on the WMO average of HadCRUT4, NASA/GISS and NCDC/NOAA.
    Further clarification is required.

  • Comment number 30.

    @28 QV

    I think MO have posted 2012 numbers in their "Annual Series" HadCRUT4 at 0.434c and HadCRUT3 0.394C?

    Both of which are expected to be revised?

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/time_series/HadCRUT.4.1.1.0.annual_ns_avg.txt

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/

    Am I looking in the wrong place?

  • Comment number 31.

    #27. - greensand wrote:
    "0.434c is the present number for 2012, history shows that it has the potential to be revised at a later date."

    Sorry, I hadn't read your post #26 when I posted my #29.

    The average figure for 2012 quoted in the forecast is 0.45c, but my preliminary calculations using December, is 0.44c, against the current HC4 figure of 0.434c.

    The fall in December seems to have caught the MO out because they still didn't get 2012 right on December 20th.

    If 2013 starts with a figure of 0.269c, that's about 0.16c below their lowest range estimate for the year, so there is going to have to be some serious warming to hit 0.57c. Remember that figure is an average, so if the year starts low, it has to be correspondingly high at the end of the year.

    I am looking forward to an explanation for the December fall from the MO.
    I imagine there is some serious head-scratching going on in the forecasting department at UEA.

  • Comment number 32.

    #30. - greensand wrote:
    "I think MO have posted 2012 numbers in their "Annual Series" HadCRUT4 at 0.434c and HadCRUT3 0.394C?

    Am I looking in the wrong place?"

    No, those links and your figures are correct at the moment.

    I was referring to the difference between UKMO and CRU annual figures for HadCRUT3, due to different methods of calculation.

    I am not sure whether there will be any differences between the HadCRUT4 figures.

  • Comment number 33.

    31. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    “If 2013 starts with a figure of 0.269c”

    Don’t know yet QV, normally it is possible to get a rough guide from the SSTs, but with the large drop in CRUTEM, not so sure..

    Reynolds Global SSTs for Dec 2012 was +0.22c (1971-2000) and HadSST3 +0.347c (1961-1990)

    For the first 19 days of Jan 2013 Reynolds Global is averaging at +0.16c.

    http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh

    Also all BOM ENSO zones 1 through 4 are now showing negative values:-

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/indices.shtml?bookmark=nino3.4

    Actual values can be seen at “Data sorted by date” on the RH side.

    Though I don’t think that ENSO is going anywhere quick, up or down, and as always only time will tell.

  • Comment number 34.

    #25 neilhamp and others

    I think it's going to take some sifting to find out what we can compare against.

    I was under the impression that the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average, but am more than willing to concede this not to be correct!

  • Comment number 35.

    This may have been the cause of my confusion:

    'Global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 °C and 0.59 °C (90% confidence range) above the long-term (1971-2000) average during the period 2013-2017, with values most likely to be about 0.43 °C higher than average (see blue curves in the Figure 1 below).'
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

    They are saying values of 0.43C average for the period 2013-2017, so this is not their 2013 forecast.

  • Comment number 36.

    34. ukpahonta wrote:


    "the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average,"

    UK, could that be from the infamous "Decadal Forecast"

    "Global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 °C and 0.59 °C (90% confidence range) above the long-term (1971-2000) average during the period 2013-2017, with values most likely to be about 0.43 °C higher than average"

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

  • Comment number 37.

    #34. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "I was under the impression that the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average, but am more than willing to concede this not to be correct!"

    Whatever that was based on, it definitely was the lower limit of their forecast, and the "best estimate" was "around 0.57c".

    A figure of 0.43c for 2013 would be lower than their forecast for 2012 and the actual 2012 figure, and I don't think that would happen.

  • Comment number 38.

    Werner Brozek posts some interesting numbers on a WUWT thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/22/newsbytes-the-4-year-doom-cycle-gets-rebooted/#more-78036
    For those who follow these things, his comment, is quite near the the top January 22, 2013 at 10:35 am.

    Essentially, he's a bit miffed at how much GISS changes. When December 2012 came in at 0.44, he wasn't expecting that to cause a rise in the annual average. Then he saw these (and more) recent revisions.

    J 0.32 . . . now 0.36
    
F 0.37 . . . now 0.39
    
M 0.45 . . . now 0.49
    
A 0.54 . . . now 0.60

    M 0.67 . . . now 0.70
    
J 0.56 . . . now 0.59
    
J 0.46 . . . now 0.51
    
A 0.58 . . . now 0.57
    
S 0.62 . . . now 0.66
    
O 0.68 . . . now 0.70

    N 0.68 . . . now 0.68

  • Comment number 39.

    #34. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "I was under the impression that the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average, but am more than willing to concede this not to be correct!"

    I just realised you were referring to the anomaly v 1971-2000.
    As greensand says, that is probably from the "decadal forecast".
    The one we use is the standard HC3/HC4 anomaly v 1961-90, which is also the one in the MO forecast for 2013.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

  • Comment number 40.

    #38. - lateintheday wrote:
    "Essentially, he's a bit miffed at how much GISS changes. When December 2012 came in at 0.44, he wasn't expecting that to cause a rise in the annual average. Then he saw these (and more) recent revisions."

    Yes, it does tend to make one suspicious that they haven't adjusted the monthly figures to ensure that the annual figure didn't fall.
    I think that there were similar revisions in the HC3 figures but I will have to check.
    Something to be looked into.

  • Comment number 41.

    #29 QV

    'It *might* even be based on the WMO average of HadCRUT4, NASA/GISS and NCDC/NOAA.
    Further clarification is required.'

    You are correct, the goal posts have not only moved, it's a different pitch.

  • Comment number 42.

    Interesting?

    “Space Weather Research Scientist”

    “Space Weather is a developing area of work at the Met Office…..”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/jobs/current-vacancies/002650

    H/T Tallbloke:-

    “Is the message getting through? MET Office seeks Space Weather Scientist”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/is-the-message-getting-through-met-office-seeks-space-weather-scientist/

  • Comment number 43.

  • Comment number 44.

    I wonder if this will find it's way onto the BBC?

    http://www.sys-con.com/node/2523162

  • Comment number 45.

    An explanation of the current cold weather!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um-h8Zt6iD4&feature=player_embedded

  • Comment number 46.

  • Comment number 47.

    45. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "An explanation of the current cold weather!"

    Thanks, watched in amazement, thought it was a nondescript showman type weatherman, but when I realised it was a "CNN Meteorologist" incredulity set in.

    There is something very much amiss!

    “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • Comment number 48.

    What would we do without our glorious Met Office?

    "Infographic: what to do when it snows"

    22 01 2013

    "With further warnings for snow and ice in the UK our latest infographic covers what to do before, during and after snow fall."

    “scarf” “hat” “gloves”

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/what-to-do-when-it-snows/

    No s… Sherlock!

  • Comment number 49.

    Looking at Greensand's two suggested sites #26 (shown below)
    There is relatively close agreement between WMO and HadCRUT4

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/time_series/HadCRUT.4.1.1.0.annual_ns_avg.txt

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast



    Rank Year WMO (HadCRUT4)

    1 2010 0.54 (0.54)
    2 2005 0.54 (0.53)
    3 1998 0.51 (0.52)
    4 2007 0.49 (0.48)
    5 2003 0.49 (0.49)
    6 2002 0.49 (0.48)
    7 2009 0.48 (0.49)
    8 2006 0.48 (0.49)
    9 2012 0.45 (0.44)
    10 2004 0.43 (0.44)
    11 2001 0.43 (0.43)
    12 2011 0.42 (0.40)

    Wow! Their 2013 forecast of 0.57 would top the list
    They think next year will be the hottest year ever!

  • Comment number 50.

    Outside and get on with it you motley crew!

    "People should build snowmen to prevent big thaw causing flooding, says Environment Agency"

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9820817/People-should-build-snowmen-to-prevent-big-thaw-causing-flooding-says-Environment-Agency.html

  • Comment number 51.

    #49. - NeilHamp wrote:
    "Wow! Their 2013 forecast of 0.57 would top the list
    They think next year will be the hottest year ever!"

    I am not sure if anyone at the MO now believes that 2013 will be 0.57c.
    It is interesting that while the news release gives a range of 0.43c to 0.71c, and a "best estimate" of 0.57c, with only a 5% chance of 0.43c, it also says that:
    "it is very likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest ten years in the record which goes back to 1850, and it is likely to be warmer than 2012".
    That is, only "very likely" that it will be "one of the warmest", when it should say, "the warmest" and only "likely" that it will be warmer than 2012, when it should be "very likely". In fact, the WMO figure for 2012 will probably be about 0.44c and HadCRUT4 only 0.43c, so the actual figure for 2013 only has to be at the very bottom of the forecasted range, to be warmer than 2012.
    Also, having looked at the actual figures for the MO "decadal forecast", published after the 2013 forecast, I think the ensemble mean figure for 2013 is 0.477c, with a range of 0.397c to 0.547c, so in a sense, the MO 2013 forecast has already been superseded. If my "decadal forecast" figures are correct, the upper limit is lower than the "best estimate" figure from the 2013 forecast, and the ensemble mean of 0.477c would place it in 7th or 8th position, although 8/10 of the ensembles make it warmer than 2012.
    In my opinion, the recent fall in global temperatures will make the lower range of estimates much more likely.

  • Comment number 52.

    #50. - greensand wrote:
    "People should build snowmen to prevent big thaw causing flooding, says Environment Agency"

    Actually, that is quite logical!

  • Comment number 53.

    #48. - greensand wrote:
    “scarf” “hat” “gloves”

    Up here in the NE, that is probably necessary advice, as a lot of people go around wearing very little in the winter, especially when out in "the toon" at night. The alcohol keeps them warm!

  • Comment number 54.

    #47. - greensand wrote:
    "Thanks, watched in amazement, thought it was a nondescript showman type weatherman, but when I realised it was a "CNN Meteorologist" incredulity set in."

    Looking at the video again, I think he was referring to the effect of "sudden stratospheric warming", and meant to say that there was less ice than normal, but they way it came across, especially showing a map with zero ice, was very misleading.

  • Comment number 55.

    52. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "Actually, that is quite logical!"

    logical it might be, but ineffective it certainly will be.

    Even if we all, 60+ million of us, went out and each built a snowman, it would have no discernible effect on a wide spread thaw. I live in the Peak District when this lot thaws, all 10,900 km², of it we will have floods. Anybody who wants the exercise and give themselves a nice warm feeling of helping stay the foods is welcome to come and build snowmen. If they can get here that is! Or if they really want to help, fill sandbags, something that might actually be useful.

  • Comment number 56.

    i think the idea is that a compacted snowman will melt slower. does sound very absurd though.

  • Comment number 57.

    51.QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "so in a sense, the MO 2013 forecast has already been superseded."

    I have been pondering what the MO would do now they effectively have two different numbers for 2013. I think if had come out and revised the 0.57c number it would have resulted in another round of "hue and cry" and resultant bad press.

    Eventually they will have to address the anomaly, maybe not until this time next year? So they will have two numbers running, remember the "5 year decadal" forecast is designated as "experimental".

  • Comment number 58.

    56.quake wrote:

    "i think the idea is that a compacted snowman will melt slower. does sound very absurd though."

    Compacted snowmen will melt slower, what is absurd is the claim that building them will have any discernible effect on any flooding as a result of a thaw.

    Maybe we should get a lot of piste compacting machines and compact all the snow all over the country, now that would slow any thaw. It would also "piste" off an awful lot of people.

  • Comment number 59.

    #57. - greensand wrote:
    "Eventually they will have to address the anomaly, maybe not until this time next year? So they will have two numbers running, remember the "5 year decadal" forecast is designated as "experimental"."

    The decadal forecast used HadGEM3, but it isn't clear what the 2013 forecast used, although I assume it was the previous model. If that is the case, hopefully they will rationalise the forecasts at the end of 2013.

    I also notice that the figures I was sent for the "decadal forecast" only include 10 ensembles, whereas the previous one had 20. I assume this was another measure to reduce the cost of running the model, but it might have had an effect on the overall mean forecast.

    I have asked if there is any restriction on distributing the figures which I was sent, but haven't received a reply yet. Meanwhile, I have suggested that they provide a link to them on their website, in the interests of "openness and transparency". Does that sound a bit too sarcastic?

  • Comment number 60.

    59. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "I have asked if there is any restriction on distributing the figures which I was sent, but haven't received a reply yet. Meanwhile, I have suggested that they provide a link to them on their website, in the interests of "openness and transparency". Does that sound a bit too sarcastic?"

    "Does that sound a bit too sarcastic?"

    Not to me, it would be a welcome way forward. I also think that type of communication would be beneficial to the MO. It could go a long way to reduce the "hue and cry" that will always surround surprise announcements. There was definitely something different and awry with the Christmas Eve debacle.

  • Comment number 61.

    #60. - greensand wrote:
    "Not to me, it would be a welcome way forward. I also think that type of communication would be beneficial to the MO. It could go a long way to reduce the "hue and cry" that will always surround surprise announcements. There was definitely something different and awry with the Christmas Eve debacle."

    I only used the term because they used it in their response to the media coverage of the forecast in January:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2013/decadal-forecasts

  • Comment number 62.

    61. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    Now I get your drift!

    Thanks for posting the link, it reminded me of the following:-

    “In this case, changes in ocean surface temperatures in some parts of the world over the past year are understood to have made a key contribution to the difference between the 2011 and 2012 forecasts, but other factors will also have played a role.”

    I can’t get away from the feeling that the MO are putting great store in starting the model run at a certain point in the ENSO cycle. This must mean that HadGEM3 has increased their confidence in predicting ENSO? The previous ENSO model was way off the mark last year.

    If they have it is a welcome breakthrough. The consequences of major ENSO events, especially in certain areas of the globe, are well known and the ability to prepare for the effects would be of a great benefit.

    Personally I have not yet seen conclusive evidence that ENSO is a cycle or even a cycle within a cycle. Maybe I am not looking in the right place?

    We live in interesting times.

  • Comment number 63.

    I always put 5 or 6 snowballs in the freezer so that I can throw them at the girls in July. If everyone did that it would reduce flooding. And it would show all those sissy girls that us macho guys rule ok.

  • Comment number 64.

    QV

    Re the two MO forecasts for 2013, do you know if the other contributors to the “WMO Global Temperature Anomaly” - “NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NOAA NCDC) and NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS).” Have made predictions for 2013?

    Whilst it might be a little awkward for the MO to have two different forecasts in print, it would be very interesting if one turned out to contradict NOAA and/or GISS.

  • Comment number 65.

    #64. - greensand wrote:
    "Re the two MO forecasts for 2013, do you know if the other contributors to the “WMO Global Temperature Anomaly” - “NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NOAA NCDC) and NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS).” Have made predictions for 2013?"

    No, I am not aware of any other forecasts of global temperatures other than those produced by the MO, and of course those from the IPCC.
    It might be worth looking into.

  • Comment number 66.

    16.QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "I know it isn't unprecedented but the fall in global temperatures must be pretty unusual, equivalent to about 1/3 of global warming since pre-industrial times."

    That's an odd way to put it QV. A month-on-month fall (or rise) of -0.25C is certainly not unprecedented; exactly the same thing happened in December 2010. While -0.25C is certainly a big fall, you can't conflate monthly fluctuations with long term trends, as I'm sure you're aware. The total warming in HadCRUT4 since 1850 remained the same to four decimal places in December 2012 to what it was in November 2012.

  • Comment number 67.

    #66. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "The total warming in HadCRUT4 since 1850 remained the same to four decimal places in December 2012 to what it was in November 2012."

    I disagree. I think you are referring to a trend, not the actual current global temperature.

    According to HadCRUT4, the anomaly, relative to 1961-90, as at November 2012, was 0.518c and as at December 2012 it was 0.269c, that's a fall of 0.249c.

    I don't think you can accumulate past temperature anomalies, which are no longer applicable, and included them as part of "current" warming.

    Since the anomalies are relative to the monthly normal figure, in this case, for December, there is no reason why December anomalies should be any lower than any other month, and if there is no more warming, then that is the way it will stay.

    If we had three successive months with a fall of 0.249c, then all of the warming since pre-industrial times would have been wiped out. Whether it would stay like that is another matter. It seems quite likely that either the "heat" is hidden somewhere we are not measuring it, and will return, or that the figures themselves are wrong, as a result of the great level of uncertainty surrounding them.

  • Comment number 68.

  • Comment number 69.

    67. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "According to HadCRUT4, the anomaly, relative to 1961-90, as at November 2012, was 0.518c and as at December 2012 it was 0.269c, that's a fall of 0.249c."

    Yes, that's right. But it does not of course follow that one third of the heat energy accrued since 1850 has suddenly vanished. Otherwise it would be true that it suddenly vanished in December 2010, only to return a short time later. And we'd also need an explanation for why similar 'rises' in month-month temperatures that occasionally occur don't herald a period of sustained warming.

    Heat energy is processed in our environment in a very chaotic way - but this apparent chaos only affects relatively short time scales (as I shall argue).

    Month-month fluctuations are different from climate, which is, I accept, based on trends. As far as I know, the 'trend', or rather 'observed rise in global temperatures', is found from the simple linear trend of all values (being the monthly HC4 values since 1850 in this case) multiplied by the total number of datum points.

    I don't have access to the latest HC4 on this computer for some reason, but in work earlier I calculated that you would need to draw the long term warming figure out to five decimal places before you could distinguish December 2012 from November 2012.

    As I keep going on about, long term trends are what we need to focus on. 1850-present is an extreme example, I admit. But the December 2012 value made precious little difference to the 30 year trend either. Nor did the December 2010 one. Nor many others even over, whether warming or cooling, this past 10 years.

  • Comment number 70.

    Battle of forecast this weekend. Met O going for milder, Piers going for cold.

  • Comment number 71.

    Anywhere hit -20 in the last couple of days? (in the UK).

    Where would you find a, say top 10, high/low temps on a daily basis?

  • Comment number 72.

    #70 & #71

    After a few days of stand-off with UK cold 'pool' left from the cold push last week the westerly will have its act together (at last!) by tomorrow. So those models going for milder will be correct. Wind strength will become one of the talking points early next week.

    As for surface highs and lows in the UK, go to:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/observations/

    You'll need to click on any station in any group and there should be a regional extreme for temps, rain and sunshine under the tabulated results for that (any) station in that group for the 24hr period up to previous 9pm. There's also a tab for last 24 hours at the location with those parameters in graphical presentation.

  • Comment number 73.

    A good article here on a new model to predict global temperature through to 2017

    http://climateprediction.eu/cc/Main/Entries/2013/1/21_What_Drives_Global_Warming_-_Update.html

    The timescale and outcome is very similar to that recently published by the Met.office

  • Comment number 74.

    I appreciate I'm now a bit off-topic, as the blog comments have moved onto global temperature predictions (the only really predictable thing about climate discussions!)

    But...

    I've been watching the BBC national and local weather forecasts for the past few days and particularly this morning (8am) to make a call on my movements for the day. Every prediction CLEARLY said no snow over the North West until mid-afternoon - it's 10am and there's a steady fall of snow outside my window.

    I'm not saying the forecasts should be more accurate (given the enormous number of variables, it is naturally a chaotic system) but... For C's sake, stop pretending you *can* forecast accurately when you can't even predict the weather in the next 2 hours. I have great respect for any scientific endeavour, and meteorology is no exception, but I feel the publicly visible practitioners are doing the field a great disservice. This foolish drive for pin-point forecasting accuracy is like trying to pin jelly on the wall.

  • Comment number 75.

    74. Oliver Hall wrote:

    "it's 10am and there's a steady fall of snow outside my window."

    Thanks for the info. I have a journey to do in the Peak District, forecast was for snow late afternoon early evening. Following your comment just had a look at the radar and I will be going out earlier than previously planned.

  • Comment number 76.

    #74. - Oliver Hall wrote:
    "I'm not saying the forecasts should be more accurate (given the enormous number of variables, it is naturally a chaotic system) but... For C's sake, stop pretending you *can* forecast accurately when you can't even predict the weather in the next 2 hours. I have great respect for any scientific endeavour, and meteorology is no exception, but I feel the publicly visible practitioners are doing the field a great disservice. This foolish drive for pin-point forecasting accuracy is like trying to pin jelly on the wall."

    I agree with you entirely. My gripe is not that the MO forecast are inaccurate, but that they are less accurate than the MO think, and pretend they are. I tend to compare MO local web forecasts on a daily basis and they can be very inaccurate on a daily basis, even within the next 24 hours.
    In my opinion, the problem is that they pretend to be able to forecast 5 days ahead, to an accuracy of 3 hours, and for thousands of specific locations, when they have no idea themselves how accurate those forecasts are. In particular I find forecasts of wind speeds and timings quite unreliable. Often they forecast higher wind speeds than actually occur, but I don't know if that is a problem with timing or location.
    It may be a problem with the 3 hour time slots and the BBC now forecasts the first 2 days in one hour slots (in theory using the MO forecast), but I am not sure if that is any more accurate.
    The MO do now monitor web forecasts but only for a sample of stations, and in relation to two weather types (sun/no sun) and temperature, and claim they are improving.
    Personally I find the t.v. forecasts more informative, although there are often discrepancies between those and the web forecasts.
    I don't no how the MO accuracy compares with other forecasters, as I obviously don't have the time to do that.

  • Comment number 77.

    #69. - newdwr54 wrote:

    "I don't have access to the latest HC4 on this computer for some reason, but in work earlier I calculated that you would need to draw the long term warming figure out to five decimal places before you could distinguish December 2012 from November 2012."

    I assume that you are referring to the trend per decade.
    I calculate the trend to November 2012 to be +0.0464225c/decade, and that to December 2012 to be +0.0464247c/decade. Otherwise the trend has gone up, but that is because the December 2012 figure is higher than temperatures 150/160 years ago. In order to reduce the trend at the 5th decimal place, the December anomaly would have to have been +0.217c and to the 4th decimal place, about -0.154c. Otherwise, it would take a very large fall in the monthly temperature to reduce the 160 year trend significantly. In fact, we would probabably have to be in another ice age!!!

    "As I keep going on about, long term trends are what we need to focus on. 1850-present is an extreme example, I admit. But the December 2012 value made precious little difference to the 30 year trend either. Nor did the December 2010 one. Nor many others even over, whether warming or cooling, this past 10 years."

    The important thing is that trends over periods of 100, 50, 30, 20 and 10 years, all fell in December. The trend over your preferred period, of 30 years, was +0.199c/decade in December 2003, but is now only +0.163c/decade. The trend over 10 years has been generally falling since reaching a peak of +0.370c/decade in March 2002 and is now -0.053c/decade. It has been negative since February 2011.

    It is interesting that the current trends over 30 and 40 years are almost identical, (0.163/0.167c/decade), whereas those over 50 and 20 years are lower. In all probability, the current trend peaks very near to the 30 year period which is preferred by the most ardent "global warming" enthusiasts.

  • Comment number 78.

    #74. - Oliver Hall wrote:
    "I've been watching the BBC national and local weather forecasts for the past few days and particularly this morning (8am) to make a call on my movements for the day. Every prediction CLEARLY said no snow over the North West until mid-afternoon - it's 10am and there's a steady fall of snow outside my window."

    Similar situation here on the NE coast, in relation to the MO web forecast. This morning at 07:00 there was no snow forecasted until 15:00 but has started snowing in the last hour.
    Needless to say, the latest forecast shows snow from 09:00.

  • Comment number 79.

    #76

    . . . . " My gripe is not that the MO forecast are inaccurate, but that they are less accurate than the MO think, and pretend they are" . . . .


    This is not the first time the issue of inaccuracy/lack of effective monitoring has been raised and it is unlikely there will be any satisfactory explanation on this thread.

    Imho, if the matter is of sufficient interest/frustration (public & personal) I would suggest articulating the disappointment/concern directly and formally with the MO - after-all they are a public service with significant govt funding and therefore accountable to public scrutiny.

  • Comment number 80.

    #79. - chris wrote:

    "This is not the first time the issue of inaccuracy/lack of effective monitoring has been raised and it is unlikely there will be any satisfactory explanation on this thread."

    Are you telling me what I can and can't post to this blog?

    I was responding to Oliver Hall's earlier post #74

  • Comment number 81.

    #80

    I'm pretty sure my comment was non-personalised.

  • Comment number 82.

    77. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    QV: ".... it would take a very large fall in the monthly temperature to reduce the 160 year trend significantly. In fact, we would probabably have to be in another ice age!!!"
    _______________________

    Indeed, which was why I thought your earlier comment, that the November-December fall in HC4 was equivalent to a reduction of 1/3 of the warming observed over the whole period of measurement, was a bit odd. Month-month variability has virtually no impact on long term trends and the two can't be compared.

    QV: "The important thing is that trends over periods of 100, 50, 30, 20 and 10 years, all fell in December. The trend over your preferred period, of 30 years, was +0.199c/decade in December 2003, but is now only +0.163c/decade."
    ___________________________

    Those seem to be two slightly different comparisons. The 30-year trend in November 2012 was +0.164C/decade. With the big fall in December 2012 that figure was... +0.164C/decade. The fall between November and December 2012 made absolutely no difference down to three decimal places to the 30-year trend in HC4.

    You've chosen to compare the 30 year trend in December 2012 with the 30 year trend 10 years ago. But take a look at the 30 year averages. In December 2003 the 30-year average temperature anomaly was +0.16C. In December 2012 the 30-year average anomaly is +0.31C; almost twice as high. This is a reminder that while trends (rates of rise) fluctuate, real world temperatures are still moving progressively upwards.

  • Comment number 83.

    #82. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "Indeed, which was why I thought your earlier comment, that the November-December fall in HC4 was equivalent to a reduction of 1/3 of the warming observed over the whole period of measurement, was a bit odd. Month-month variability has virtually no impact on long term trends and the two can't be compared."

    It might be "odd", but it is entirely factual. Just trying to put the figure in context, in an attempt to change some mind-sets.

    "Those seem to be two slightly different comparisons. The 30-year trend in November 2012 was +0.164C/decade. With the big fall in December 2012 that figure was... +0.164C/decade. The fall between November and December 2012 made absolutely no difference down to three decimal places to the 30-year trend in HC4."

    Actually, I calculate that the 30 year trend fell from 0.164 to 0.163, rounded to 3 decimals.

    "You've chosen to compare the 30 year trend in December 2012 with the 30 year trend 10 years ago. "

    Actually, I was comparing the current trend with it's all-time peak, which happens to be 10 years ago. Although I didn't make it clear, the date wasn't simply chosen because it was 10 years ago.

    "This is a reminder that while trends (rates of rise) fluctuate, real world temperatures are still moving progressively upwards."

    Trends give us an indication of what real world temperatures will be in the future, averages reflect past temperature trends.

  • Comment number 84.

    #81. - chris wrote:

    "I'm pretty sure my comment was non-personalised."

    It might have been if you hadn't quoted my post.

    That normally implies that you are responding to the person quoted.

  • Comment number 85.

    Looks like there is a pronounced trough or low forming in the irish sea and moving across central wales towards east anglia. This might well intensify precipitation over the north midlands/lincs and yorkshire later (on the cold side of the low/trough) and may *temporarily* slow down the progress of milder air into these regions.

  • Comment number 86.

    #84

    I was responding to the recurring comments (most recently #74 and #76 - the latter reproducing part of #74) relating to MO performance and considered a useful way forward would be to engage with the MO directly - possibly as a group (those of similar opinion - identified on this blog perhaps) and in doing so it may be possible to develop a suite of meaningful and robust indicators to measure said performance and thus resolve the the vexed issue of how effective (or otherwise) the MO is. Or for that matter the plethora of other synoptic 'weather forecasters'.

    If the MO refused to consider such an approach that would not preclude producing an independent monitoring format based on selected parameters which are currently measured and published on MO www.

    Then there might be some transparent evidence to challenge/counter the various claims.

  • Comment number 87.

    83. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "Just trying to put the figure in context, in an attempt to change some mind-sets."

    That's fair enough, but I could equally point out that (sticking with the last 10 years) there have been two month-month temperature 'increases' of over +0.25C. So it's not remarkable to see swings like this in either direction, even over relatively short time periods.

    If you take the total trend in HadCRUT4, stop it at March 2002 (from your earlier example) and divide it by the total number of values (1,827 at that date) you get 0.60. That's the total linear change in HadCRUT4 between Jan 1850 and March 2002. Do the same thing only use all the data (i.e. to December 2012, which is 1,956 values) and you get 0.76.

    As far as I can gather, these figures are equivalent to degrees C above the 1850 baseline, i.e. they represent 'global warming' since 1850? If so, then although the decadal trend between March 2002 and December 2012 is negative, there has been an overall warming of +0.16C.

  • Comment number 88.

    87. newdwr54 wrote:

    "If so, then although the decadal trend between March 2002 and December 2012 is negative, there has been an overall warming of +0.16C."

    No DW there has been no warming since 2002:-

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002.25/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002.25/trend

    The good and the great on both sides of the divide are all aware of that fact.

  • Comment number 89.

    #86. - chris wrote:
    "I was responding to the recurring comments (most recently #74 and #76 - the latter reproducing part of #74) relating to MO performance and considered a useful way forward would be to engage with the MO directly - possibly as a group (those of similar opinion - identified on this blog perhaps) and in doing so it may be possible to develop a suite of meaningful and robust indicators to measure said performance and thus resolve the the vexed issue of how effective (or otherwise) the MO is. Or for that matter the plethora of other synoptic 'weather forecasters'."

    Sorry, I seem to have misinterpreted your comments and overreacted somewhat.

    I agree that a more robust method of performance measurement is required but I think that the MO should be doing that themselves, since they have the resources and data at their disposal.

    I have actually approached the MO on a number of occasions, but I must admit, on an informal and ad hoc basis as I don't have the time or equipment to accurately monitor their forecasts more methodically.

    I contacted them in December 2010 to ask if they had any accuracy statistics for the 5 day forecast and at the time what they did was very basic. They claimed an accuracy of 0.673, against a target of 0.671, but gave no details of how those figures were arrived at. Their longest measurement of accuracy was based on sea level pressure forecasts, which wasn't very meaningful.

    Since then they have introduced the following measurements, but even these are limited to the first 2 days of the forecast, for max/min temperatures and weather (sun or rain) three hourly forecasts for the current day.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts

  • Comment number 90.

    #87. - newdwr54 wrote:

    "As far as I can gather, these figures are equivalent to degrees C above the 1850 baseline, i.e. they represent 'global warming' since 1850? If so, then although the decadal trend between March 2002 and December 2012 is negative, there has been an overall warming of +0.16C."

    A nice "sleight of hand", but it won't work.

    As greensand has already pointed out, there has been no actual warming since March 2002.

  • Comment number 91.

    88. greensand & 90.QuaesoVeritas:

    This is were it all GETS very confusing. The monthly trends I calculated since 1850 are right. At March 2002 temperatures had risen 0.60C relative to January 1850. By December 2012 they had risen 0.76 relative to 1850, even though the short term trend between March 2002 and December 2012 is downward.

    If global temperatures suddenly started in March 2002, then you'd both be right; but because it takes the entire series since Jan 1850 into account, the linear regression calculation shows that there was an actual temperature increase of 0.16C between March 2002 and December 2012 *relative to 1850*. (I note that the 30 year trend is currently +0.16C per decade by the way.)

    I don't pretend to understand why this is, but that is how I interpret what the trend data are saying.

  • Comment number 92.

  • Comment number 93.

    91. newdwr54 wrote:

    "This is were it all GETS very confusing."

    IIRC you have stated on a number of occasions that you work in the air travel/transport industry?

    Do you have any involvement in Air Traffic Control?

  • Comment number 94.

    92.quake wrote:

    "Does that mean there's been no warming since 1980?"

    No, it just means what it says and is what everybody knows and can see, that since March 2002 to Dec 2012 there has been no warming.

    Why it has happened, I don't know, what it is indicative of, I don't know, don't claim to know, but it is what it is, just a plain and simple fact. It has no relevance to any period other than March 2002 to 2012.

  • Comment number 95.

  • Comment number 96.

    94. greensand wrote:

    "....since March 2002 to Dec 2012 there has been no warming."

    The short term temperature 'trend' has been negative, but there was an overall warming of +0.16C in that decade or so when baselined against the 1850 start date.

    Before you say it, I don't understand it either. But here is the HC4 data with the trends to March 2002 and to December 2012. The trend to December 2012 is higher. Search me. I think we need a statistician here on the blog.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/plot/hadcrut4gl/to:2002.17/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend

    By the way, I expect the ATC question was the prelude to some sort of smart comment? Well I don't work for NATS, but I'm about 50 yards away from the ATC tower at this precise minute if you want me to ask them a question?

  • Comment number 97.

    96. newdwr54 wrote:

    "Well I don't work for NATS, but I'm about 50 yards away from the ATC tower at this precise minute if you want me to ask them a question?"

    Yup DW, skip up there and ask them whether they expect pilots to attain an “actual altitude” or an “average altitude”?

    Do they expect them to avoid the “actual altitude” of a mountain or plane or just avoid the “average altitude” of the terrain or other planes?

    Let me know the reaction you get, it is pertinent, I have flown into Belfast.

    If you think that is a "smart comment" then please explain?

  • Comment number 98.

    97. greensand wrote:

    "Do [ATC] expect [aircraft] to avoid the “actual altitude” of a mountain or plane or just avoid the “average altitude” of the terrain or other planes?

    Continuing with your flight analogy, picture the HadCRUT4 temperature series as a flight-line were 1850 is the departure airport and 2012 is the current altitude; the time in between being the distance travelled and altitude. (Ignore the fact that it dips below 'ground level' in the early stages, it's just an analogy. Hopefully a real flight would be a bit smoother than this too.): http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12

    The part of the flight we've been considering is here: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002.17/mean:12 But when we put this into the context of the overall journey so far, it sits here: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002.17/mean:12

    Those 'actual' mountains are far, far below.

  • Comment number 99.

    #96. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "The short term temperature 'trend' has been negative, but there was an overall warming of +0.16C in that decade or so when baselined against the 1850 start date."

    Yes, but all of that warming actually took place prior to March 2002.
    The fact that temperature anomalies continue more or less at the same level, makes it *appear* that the trend is higher over the longer period, but as we can all see, there has been no warming since March 2002.
    Unfortunately I can't explain this in statistical terms, but it isn't really necessary to do that, since we can see that there has actually been no warming.

  • Comment number 100.

    98. newdwr54 wrote:

    “The part of the flight we've been considering is here: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002.17/mean:12”

    No it is not! Here we go again! How many times DW?

    That is a plot of the “mean” it is not a plot of the actual flight. Did you ask NATS about the difference between “actual” and “average”? Not that you needed to, your numeracy skills are sufficient for you to be totally aware that your present nonsensical application of averages has nothing whatsoever to do with what is actually happening in the here and now.

    Earlier QV very politely expressed concern about your use of “averages” and “means” as “sleight of hand". I know you better; it is an out and out deliberate attempt to apply an increase in temperature that happen in the last century to the present day. Whilst it may give you some personal solace, I can assure you that as QV said “it won't work”

    The “aircraft” attained its ACTUAL present altitude some 15 or 16 years ago and has remained there ever since, every single "NATS radar screen" all over the world will confirm that fact. It is categorically not still gaining altitude! Nobody, but nobody apart from DW contests that fact!

    No matter how many times you try, you cannot change it! When are you going to realise that your attempts to do so are seen by all concerned, especially those that do not comment as illogical. Such a stance can only be detrimental to your credibility and as that would appear to be your aim then please feel free to continue.

    Or you could do yourself and a lot of other people a favour, take Dr Curry’s advice to “up your game”. Denying absolute plain and simple facts will not serve you well.

 

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