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stewfox

When The Weather Forecast Goes Horribly Wrong.

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I just wonder if anyone can recollect any major forecast that has gone horribly wrong.

I remember a few years back major snow was forecast for London and the South East coming over on a Saturday and even as early as the Saturday morning the forecast still had warnings off a major snow event ,but it all stayed in France. I remember driving to Hammersmith and telling the people it would be a blizzard when we drove back cira 2am (it was in fact bone dry )

I know the 1987 storm is famous but what else ?

There would I assume be loads of examples in the T168 to T96 range but what about T48 range when a large area missed a forecast 'event' ? mellow.gif

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I just wonder if anyone can recollect any major forecast that has gone horribly wrong.

I remember a few years back major snow was forecast for London and the South East coming over on a Saturday and even as early as the Saturday morning the forecast still had warnings off a major snow event ,but it all stayed in France. I remember driving to Hammersmith and telling the people it would be a blizzard when we drove back cira 2am (it was in fact bone dry )

I know the 1987 storm is famous but what else ?

There would I assume be loads of examples in the T168 to T96 range but what about T48 range when a large area missed a forecast 'event' ? mellow.gif

Early December last year, massive disappointment. BBC forecasted some heavy snow for a large swathe of the Midlands and Northern England, many of us stayed up most of the night - and for most of us nothing materialised! Was convinced I would have the following day off school...

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Early December last year, massive disappointment. BBC forecasted some heavy snow for a large swathe of the Midlands and Northern England, many of us stayed up most of the night - and for most of us nothing materialised! Was convinced I would have the following day off school...

School in the late 70s and early 80s when we had 50ft snow drifts and top temps of -35c and had to get to school in a card board box rolleyes.gif .

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February 2nd this year. Weather warnings of imminent blizzards all the way up the East coast of Britain. Away from the SE a pesky warm sector raised the temps enough for the precipitation to arrive as sleet and turn to cold rain in the evening. Instead of deep snow it melted the lying snow from earlier showers. :lol:

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School in the late 70s and early 80s when we had 50ft snow drifts and top temps of -35c and had to get to school in a card board box rolleyes.gif .

:lol: The thing is though that some posts are actually like that!

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TODAY!!

It was forecast to be sunny with some cloud here in BTL. I was hoping to get out on the garden, my wife's gone to work, so dry a load of washing and guess what we've had loads of heavy showers and not much sun at all!

So, how can a weather forecast at 9.15 this morning on BBC1 get it so wrong??!! Maybe some of the experts on here can explain. There was no hint of the weather we've had today in North BTL. I understand that winter marginal snow/rain set-ups can cause weather forecasters probs, but normal autumn weather that they forecast to be dry for the day and within 45 mins of that forecast this morning the first of load of beefy showers turn up! How did they not spot those coming??!!

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There was a badly forecast last year when the BBC showed snow coming in can`t remember when now and GFS showed a mild sector and all it gave was rain after,GFS got that right.

This was another but it was very tricky as we had the powdery snow on the 8th,forecast was perfect then this little low decided to move further north last minute which gave the heaviest snow here for over 20 years,the day was shown to be dry beforehand.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/2007/brack/bracka20070209.gif

But otherwise the recent battleground type snow events have been very good february`s 1996 to March 2006 and the above february 8th.

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The Great wind storm that never was. Met office ignoring there own fax chart which didn't show any deepening low and went ahead issuing warnings well into the night. In the mean time crisp packets slept undisturbed on everyone's lawns.

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January 3rd 2008

With strong bitterly cold easterly winds was supposed to come some good spells of snow followed by a clear cold day on the 4th. Instead, it was bitterly cold with leaden skies, not even a snowflake then the Atlantic switched once again for some time on the 4th.

In contrast:

Something the forecasts did not envisage was heavy rain turning to blizzard-like snow on Friday 11th. That came as a surprise to many!

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Can't think of any occasions when a proper forcast has gone when seriouly wrong. If you want to included the likes of Piers Corbyn then there are of course many, many occasions ranging from the catastrophic Thames flood of August 2007 to the torrential rain and gales of Christmas 2008.

The BBC forecast for 17th Oct 1987 was pretty good - heavey rain and severe gales. Had there been a heatwave then maybe some criticism would be justified.

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February 2nd this year. Weather warnings of imminent blizzards all the way up the East coast of Britain. Away from the SE a pesky warm sector raised the temps enough for the precipitation to arrive as sleet and turn to cold rain in the evening. Instead of deep snow it melted the lying snow from earlier showers. :lol:

I agree with this example, a case of big overhyping by the BBC with forecasts of over a foot of snowfall during the night for much of eastern Britain, alas away from higher inland parts of eastern Britain notably the Pennines, most saw rain or sleet or wet snow never settling at best thanks to the mild sector, many south eastern parts actually saw thawing snow during the day.. I thought it was a very poor forecast by the BBC indeed.

I will give them some dues though, predicting snow is notoriously difficult in this country, most of our snow comes courtesy of marginal situations with temperatures between 0 - 2 degrees.

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March 12th 2006, tragic, Atlantic v continental battle, snow stayed out west instead of moving East, bbc said even on sunday morning the snow would reach the east, all I had was snizzle while Wales, west midlands, NW england had a dumping

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February 2nd this year. Weather warnings of imminent blizzards all the way up the East coast of Britain. Away from the SE a pesky warm sector raised the temps enough for the precipitation to arrive as sleet and turn to cold rain in the evening. Instead of deep snow it melted the lying snow from earlier showers. mellow.gif

ah yes, that was a bad one.

I also recall a prediction of 6-8 inches of snow in Fife on the night of, I think, the 14th of January this year but yet again it was another marginal event and the snow ended up in Durham.

We also had about an inch of snow on the morning of 5th of January even though the forecast 8 hours before said it would be a dry and frosty night.

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TODAY!!

It was forecast to be sunny with some cloud here in BTL. I was hoping to get out on the garden, my wife's gone to work, so dry a load of washing and guess what we've had loads of heavy showers and not much sun at all!

So, how can a weather forecast at 9.15 this morning on BBC1 get it so wrong??!! Maybe some of the experts on here can explain. There was no hint of the weather we've had today in North BTL. I understand that winter marginal snow/rain set-ups can cause weather forecasters probs, but normal autumn weather that they forecast to be dry for the day and within 45 mins of that forecast this morning the first of load of beefy showers turn up! How did they not spot those coming??!!

I nearly wrote today as well, unbelievable was supposed to be dry, had rain on and off

but my best wrong forecast was 5th January 1998 (before christmas pudding though damn it!) they just said rain and I had 4-5 hours of the heaviest snow ive seen, did stick very well even 2 inches at 80m asl in town after rain

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12 Feb 2009, forecast said dry with just a small chance of a snow flurry / light rain shower and 5°C. Instead 9 inches of snow fell in Northumberland, with 3 inches even n Newcastle. Considering blizzard conditions were present an hour after I last saw that forecast it was a bit of a shock! And of course the 2nd, 5 inches of snow was supposed to increase to 12 overnight, instead it simply vanished.

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28th November 2005 was a shocker, with wintry showers and 5C forecast for here, but the reality was 5 inches of snow and 1C.

But before the advances in forecasting there were some shockers in the eighties than often threw up big changes from the 6.30pm compared to the 9.30pm forecast - I remember Jim Bacon forecasting a nice day tomorrow on the 6.30 forecast only for them to decide (correctly) that the front that had gone East to West on that day, was going to sweep back across the UK tomorrow !

Well, move to East Anglia, watch BBC Look East and you can see Jim forecasting every now and again. :D

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Well, move to East Anglia, watch BBC Look East and you can see Jim forecasting every now and again. :D

And a fantastic forecaster Jim is too. :D

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The blizzards of 17th~18th January 1985 which were supposed to bring 15 cm snow to all of southern England. The low stalled over the Bay of Biscay with huge amounts of snow in Devon & Cornwall while Hampshire (Fleet) stayed dry. Friday 18th January was a very disappointing depressing dull and misty day with a thaw to the little snow remaining from earlier light snowfalls.

Snow forecast to move east but affecting only the west country with larger quantities than expected, while areas further east miss out, often with little 'warning', was a common forecast error and probably the most famous of all of these occurences was the west country blizzard of 18th~19th February 1978. I only vaguely remember this event as it was before my real weather interest but it is an excellent example of this error.

A minor version of this happened on the 7th February 1996 with an afternoon of heavy snow promised. The low 'sank' into France but not before over 25 mm rain fell over Cornwall and 30 cm snow was reported from parts of Dartmoor.

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lets face it thunderstorms and snow are pretty difficult to forecast in these isles, so they lead to the most disappointment.

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lets face it thunderstorms and snow are pretty difficult to forecast in these isles, so they lead to the most disappointment.

I think Francis the weather man gave the best advice to a lady in Scotland who ask about the weather prospects for her region. He suggested looking out the window

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Early December last year, massive disappointment. BBC forecasted some heavy snow for a large swathe of the Midlands and Northern England, many of us stayed up most of the night - and for most of us nothing materialised! Was convinced I would have the following day off school...

BBC Breakfast sent Matt Taylor to stirling expected to report from a very snowy Stirling. It was very green instead!

I have a Countryfile forecast taped at the end of January 1993 where Ian McCaskill was warning of a severe wintry spell that Sunday night with lying snow anywhere from the north Midlands northwards. A weather flash was given out later that day by Granada about lying snow by Monday morning.

It never happened at least not on the scale they were saying.

The other side of the coin was early January 1986 when a prediction of milder air coming in after a short period of snow and sleet failed to happen. It remained cold for another 6 days.

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BBC Breakfast sent Matt Taylor to stirling expected to report from a very snowy Stirling. It was very green instead!

I have a Countryfile forecast taped at the end of January 1993 where Ian McCaskill was warning of a severe wintry spell that Sunday night with lying snow anywhere from the north Midlands northwards. A weather flash was given out later that day by Granada about lying snow by Monday morning.

It never happened at least not on the scale they were saying.

The other side of the coin was early January 1986 when a prediction of milder air coming in after a short period of snow and sleet failed to happen. It remained cold for another 6 days.

The second type is the best, you don't expect it!

Here is another one, Feb 9th 2007. The Beeb said nothing was going to happen that day, and then it snowed loads (I was in Rome that day!mad.gif ).

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The other side of the coin was early January 1986 when a prediction of milder air coming in after a short period of snow and sleet failed to happen. It remained cold for another 6 days.

When that happens it's frequently a good indication that the cold weather will return or persist. It happened in 1947, several times in 1979 and, as you say, in 1986 and in each case there was protracted cold weather to follow.

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