Friday, August 25, 2017

150 years of weather predictions

Sarah Knapton, science editor of the Telegraph, gushed over the 150th anniversary of the Shipping Forecast, a British navigational service that provides severe weather warnings to sailors. This saves hundreds of lives each year.Multiply that by 150 and you have an awful lot of humanity saved.

From Knapton:
Peter Dawes, Lifesaving Services Manager for the RNLI said: “The Met Office Shipping Forecast is an excellent source of information, and a vital tool in helping people make critical safety decisions at the coast and at sea.
“We urge everyone to check the weather before heading to the coast, in order to stay safe.”
Not only have the number of forecasts we produced increased but so has our accuracy.
Met Office Advisor, Penny Tranter, said: “The Met Office is highly regarded internationally the experience we have providing severe weather warnings for over 150 years is unprecedented. We are trusted for good reason.”
So, how accurate is it?

93 percent.

There are so many, many factors.

It started slow but they built it up over time.

From Knapton:
Today, The Met Office gets the wind direction correct 80 per cent of the time, but has a false alarm rate of around 15 per cent, meaning roughly one in seven storms will not happen.
However overall forecasts, which also include wave heights, visibility and weather, are 93 per cent accurate, thanks to the Met Office’s new supercomputer which takes in data from all around the world. The forecast is read on BBC Radio 4 each morning, although the Maritime and Coastguard Agency receive three updates throughout the day.
Given the location and all, that's an excellent record. It's not like forecasting weather in Hawaii.

Take a bow, Met.

Still, it provides 93 percent protection.

Let us pause to pray for the 7 percent.


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  1. What? You mean they don't make up data to support Glowball Warmening?

    Sailors are undoubtedly thankful that at least one weather forecasting outfit is honest!

  2. The European Model. Absolutely nailed Sandy. Whatever those guys have, I'd buy it. But seriously, Don, do you have sympathy for the people who didn't get out of its way? We evacuated Panama City TWICE with Elena in 1985, 13 feet above sea level, with a pending house sale on the line. We made it.

    Count on the MSM to ignore local/church responses in favor of what DJT's Gubment didn't do. But damn, Don, a few more like that and I'm gonna start thinking I stumbled onto HuffPo by mistake. Ouch...

  3. Capt Franklin, skipper of the Beagle, the ship that sailed around south America with Charles Darwin Created the Shipping forecast, He was also Governor of New Zealand. He committed suicide both broke and forgotten. His history and contributions to the world were great and many. A sad end to a great man.

  4. "But we are stubborn men and vain, and though we rise or fall,
    Our children's prayers, or women's prayers, God knows we need them all!
    And no one fights the bitter gale, or toils in combat grim,
    But, somewhere in the world, a child is praying hard for him."

    H. Lawson

  5. Also read up on Matthew Fontaine Maury, who used observations from ships logs and charts to note ocean currents and winds for the time of year, adding to meteorology, oceanography, and navigation.

    -Mikey NTH