The Met Office DID forecast a cold winter.
There's been much in the news over the last week or so, regarding the issue of whether or not the Met Office did forecast a cold winter, and if so was this communicated to the government. You can read one version of events in the Independent newspaper by clicking here.
Readers of this blog will know that on October 1st last year I wrote an article, called 'Another cold winter ahead?' which you can read by clicking here.
In it I commented 'The Met Office don't issue their seasonal forecast to the general public anymore, using them for internal research purposes only, but as I understand it, their forecast also suggests that the probability of a cold winter is higher than normal.'
On the 5th October I followed up this article with an update that you can read by clicking here.
In it I say 'Having seen computer model output from the 3 main centres - the Met Office, the European Centre for Medium Range Forecasting (ECMWF) and the American centre (NCEP) - the conclusion is that this winter is likely on average to be dominated by High pressure, with below average rainfall and temperatures colder than average. Moreover a mild and wet winter, with West or Southwest winds, which have been such a feature of our climate for much of the last 20 years, again seems unlikely.'
The colour map below shows the actual forecast that I obtained at the time and wrote about. It's a Met Office winter temperature profile, and there can be no doubt that it does show that the UK and Europe could expect a cold winter.
This should put an end to the ongoing discussion as to whether the Met Office forecasted a cold winter or not.
It is worth stressing that this is an average temperature profile across winter - December, January and February. It suggests that the winter would be cold, but it doesn't by definition give any clue as to the severity of the weather that we experienced in December - nor would it since seasonal forecasts are just that - an average for the season