Jump to content

If you're wanting to learn more about weather, Lyn-M has a couple of weather books she'd like to give away to a good home. :) 

 

West is Best

The Met Office need to overhaul their Warning system

Recommended Posts

At least 10 weather-related deaths, hundreds of motorists stranded and the army called in. How many of these people would have heeded warnings had they been issued days ahead? I don't know. But it's absolutely ridiculous for so-called professional forecasters to produce warnings a handful of hours at best before an event. In the case of yesterday's South-west warning, which entirely failed to predict the hit on Hampshire and Somerset, it was issued at 08.05: after many people had already left for work.

A forecaster is supposed to see things in advance. Almost everyone here on Netweather could. Anyone with a GFS chart, or similar, could. By issuing warnings 2 to 3 days ahead and properly warning people lives might have been saved. I'm not going to be inflammatory by suggesting blood is on hands, because everyone ultimately takes responsibility, but what the hell is the point of a national forecasting service if they can't even manage to warn the nation in plenty of time to take necessary action.

Not everyone will like this post, including a couple of cheerleaders for the Met Office, but I hope in the spirit of debate it will be allowed to stand. Because, frankly, the Met Office warning system needs a firm kick up the backside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the spirit of debate...

Snow is difficult to predict days in advance. And I thought the chances of heavy snow were well forecast and publicised, especially for the SW. It changed red quite late, yes, but the amber warning should have been enough to put people off from using transport networks

To be fair the cold weather was well-advertised in advance. There were warnings not to travel. Yet people still travelled. Those people whinging to the media this morning about being stuck on a car or a train - this is going to sound bad but I really have no sympathy. They were warned.

I'm very sorry people died and I don't know the circumstances but if we're now thinking along similar lines to what you're hinting at (quote: 'I'm not saying they have blood on their hands but...') then public services won't dare do anything for fear of being sued. Just encouraging an ambulance-chasing culture. As you rightly said, perhaps people need to take responsibility themselves instead of whining about something happening when common sense would suggest they shouldn't really need advice from anyone. 

The other issue is if the Met Office screamed that 'snowmageddon' was coming and the forecast failed then people would accuse them of crying wolf and ignoring them in the future

Also why should it be just the MO that gets a kicking - there are other forecast providers out there. Should we go after them too?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a 'be prepared' amber warning for at least a couple of days beforehand...

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I blame thw daily fail and express for constantly telling everyone every week that theres going to be snowmageddon....if anyone has blood on thier hands its.them and certainly not the Met Office

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the warnings I have seen have left me scratching my head. 

Why is there no amber  or even red warning currently for the Pennines and Peak District? We have very strong winds, powdery snow and huge drifts forming. Read the reports coming from that area, trees have come down. I can tell you it's very windy here and I am not far from sea level. 

Here's another, the Met Office tweeted a precipitation model with a warning overlay Monday night. You play the animation and I was left asking, why is that area is in the amber area when the preciptation area doesn't even go through it? And it didn't in reality.

Then you add in the naming of storms, we are suppose to be on H but we have got back to E because another national meteorological office has named it as Emma. Then we have "storms" that are named and storms that are not named being worse than the named ones. A number of members have noted this, why was that named and this one wasn't?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Certainly not the Met Offices fault that people choose to ignore weather warnings. Anyone who needs emergency service help while travelling on roads in a red or amber warning zone should be charged the full cost of that help. 

 

The only criticism  I have of the Met Office is no wind warning for the north west last night, it's horrendous here god only knows what it's doing areas with proper deep snow.

Edited by Deep Snow please

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, this is an interesting one. 

The English seem to have a certain reckless attitude when it comes to snow. No idea why. In Moldova, obviously everyone has winter tyres and as such, problems are unlikely to happen. However, if there are yellow or amber warnings, people take notice and modify their plans accordingly. Even with 4x4 equipped with winter tyres, they will avoid traveling at all costs.

The vast majority of people in the UK don't have winter tyres and although they are fantastic and would overcome most issues, they would be wasted for the typical UK winter, except for those living at elevation. However, it is somewhat of a disgrace that emergency services appear to be so ill equipped and there probably should be change there.

In regards to the warnings, not sure. The MetOffice made people aware with yellow, amber and red warnings where appropriate and in advance. If you were planning to travel on an amber warning but only changed your mind when it went to red, you probably need to have a good luck in the mirror in general.

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, EML Network said:

Personally I blame thw daily fail and express for constantly telling everyone every week that theres going to be snowmageddon....if anyone has blood on thier hands its.them and certainly not the Met Office

The Daily Express is the worst culprit for that.

On the naming of storms, Emma is far too cute for such a monster, though it did enable the good old Sun to have some fun:

5a990558507b2_ScreenShot2018-03-02at08_03_17.thumb.png.539dc3668f021dd38c607d932c1223cb.png

 

That's so true about us not being prepared. And that's all the more reason to warn people. I've seen numerous accidents with cars skidding all over the place.

Yellow, amber, red is really not all that clever nomenclature because for many people amber means Amber Gambler ... i.e. put your foot down and go through the lights. Amber means you can go through. It's not sufficiently a 'warning' these days. Only red means 'stop.'

I think we need to realise that a lot of people aren't weather fanatics and although we all saw this coming on here, others won't have. Newspaper readership has plunged. In my view, the Met Office should have issued RED for most of Britain 4 days ago and made sure that message got out to every single media outlet. Why? Because this was a once in a decade storm that is, without a single shadow of doubt, life threatening.

Edited by West is Best

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, West is Best said:

In my view, the Met Office should have issued RED for most of Britain 4 days ago and made sure that message got out to every single media outlet. Why? Because this was a once in a decade storm that is, without a single shadow of doubt, life threatening.

But that then invalidates the seriousness of a red warning. I got 3-4" here, are you saying I should have received a red warning for that?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Weather-history said:

Some of the warnings I have seen have left me scratching my head. 

Why is there no amber  or even red warning currently for the Pennines and Peak District? We have very strong winds, powdery snow and huge drifts forming. Read the reports coming from that area, trees have come down. I can tell you it's very windy here and I am not far from sea level. 

Here's another, the Met Office tweeted a precipitation model with a warning overlay Monday night. You play the animation and I was left asking, why is that area is in the amber area when the preciptation area doesn't even go through it? And it didn't in reality.

Then you add in the naming of storms, we are suppose to be on H but we have got back to E because another national meteorological office has named it as Emma. Then we have "storms" that are named and storms that are not named being worse than the named ones. A number of members have noted this, why was that named and this one wasn't?

Some people need to understand that it's not just the met office that name these storms, met eireann is involved also, so if a storm is looking bad for Ireland and not the UK mainland or in your back yard, they will still name it as it affects different regions giving them an amber/orange warning while you may get nothing. The tabloids pick that up and scare us all half to death until we realise it's nothing for us in the end...

The naming of storm Emma was to avoid Confusion with the public, as with the hurricane when various tabloid were screaming it's name that the nhc had given it, unsure whether storm Emma named by Portugal was even known to anyone though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Dkeane3 said:

Some people need to understand that it's not just the met office that name these storms, met eireann is involved also, so if a storm is looking bad for Ireland and not the UK mainland or in your back yard, they will still name it as it affects different regions giving them an amber/orange warning while you may get nothing. The tabloids pick that up and scare us all half to death until we realise it's nothing for us in the end...

The naming of storm Emma was to avoid Confusion with the public, as with the hurricane when various tabloid were screaming it's name that the nhc had given it, unsure whether storm Emma named by Portugal was even known to anyone though.

Why we need a pan-European met service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drove from Devon to Surrey last eve via A303 and a major cause of the problems was the number of lorries stranded and on the single carriage way sections when that happens you’re stuffed so why were the haulage firms sending these out yesterday - madness. Parts of the road just became a lorry Park

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, West is Best said:

At least 10 weather-related deaths, hundreds of motorists stranded and the army called in. How many of these people would have heeded warnings had they been issued days ahead? I don't know. But it's absolutely ridiculous for so-called professional forecasters to produce warnings a handful of hours at best before an event. In the case of yesterday's South-west warning, which entirely failed to predict the hit on Hampshire and Somerset, it was issued at 08.05: after many people had already left for work.

A forecaster is supposed to see things in advance. Almost everyone here on Netweather could. Anyone with a GFS chart, or similar, could. By issuing warnings 2 to 3 days ahead and properly warning people lives might have been saved. I'm not going to be inflammatory by suggesting blood is on hands, because everyone ultimately takes responsibility, but what the hell is the point of a national forecasting service if they can't even manage to warn the nation in plenty of time to take necessary action.

Not everyone will like this post, including a couple of cheerleaders for the Met Office, but I hope in the spirit of debate it will be allowed to stand. Because, frankly, the Met Office warning system needs a firm kick up the backside.

the problem you've got is that you were posting about this lot of times yesterday in many threads and comments like the highlighted bit are simply looking for trouble IMHO....your comments about the meto failing to predict the hit on hampshire and somerset is simply plain wrong...said areas were on a amber alert fromn the get go, indeed parts of somerset were under red, and the amber alerts were in place the day before...In the points west region, our weather man, Ian Fergusson was at pains for several days to stress it would be an evolving situation and when the day comes to be prepared to take action, and it was the Points West region that is taking the brunt of the bad weather.....So basically, IMHO like it or not, I think you're posting for reaction not for reality.....The Met Office warnings were spot on IMHO and were upgraded where warranted

Edited by ajpoolshark
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, ajpoolshark said:

fThe Met Office warnings were spot on IMHO and were upgraded where warranted

Well that's manifestly untrue. They had to extend the red zone eastwards because they got it wrong first time round. Should have followed Netweather ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, PerfectStorm said:

But that then invalidates the seriousness of a red warning. I got 3-4" here, are you saying I should have received a red warning for that?

Totally agree. It becomes meaningless if you give a blanket red

There's this thing that sits in our skulls. It's called a brain. If there are weather warnings out there and if you look out of the window and see that it's rough, we use that brain to make a judgement on whether to venture out. If we do and we come a cropper, we then can't go crying to the media about it or criticising met service providers. Take the responsibility and say to yourself 's**t, I really should have heeded those warnings. I've learned a lesson'. But, no, it's always someone else's fault.

Edited by LRD
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, West is Best said:

Well that's manifestly untrue. They had to extend the red zone eastwards because they got it wrong first time round. Should have followed Netweather ...

absolute nonsense.....the Red Warning was spot on...and the weather can evolve you know, it did yesterday and the met office and other weather agencies adjusted their amber warnings as were appropriate.....this event was widely covered in the by weather agencies and the media....If people choose to ignore their advice, then that's their choice

Edited by ajpoolshark
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, ajpoolshark said:

absolute nonsense.....the Red Warning was spot on...and the weather can evolve you know, it did yesterday and the met office and other weather agencies adjusted their amber warnings as were appropriate.....this event was widely covered in the by weather agencies and the media....If people choose to ignore their advice, then that's their choice

It was not spot on. It wasn't even close. Hampshire and Somerset weren't mentioned, yet were in the firing line. Yes it evolves, but everyone on here could see that it was going to hit further east, as could radar models like HIRLAM.

Anyway, aside from their inaccuracy, my main point is the timing of warnings. They should issue them days, not hours, ahead in such severe conditions. That's what the word forecast means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, West is Best said:

At least 10 weather-related deaths, hundreds of motorists stranded and the army called in. How many of these people would have heeded warnings had they been issued days ahead? I don't know. But it's absolutely ridiculous for so-called professional forecasters to produce warnings a handful of hours at best before an event. In the case of yesterday's South-west warning, which entirely failed to predict the hit on Hampshire and Somerset, it was issued at 08.05: after many people had already left for work.

A forecaster is supposed to see things in advance. Almost everyone here on Netweather could. Anyone with a GFS chart, or similar, could. By issuing warnings 2 to 3 days ahead and properly warning people lives might have been saved. I'm not going to be inflammatory by suggesting blood is on hands, because everyone ultimately takes responsibility, but what the hell is the point of a national forecasting service if they can't even manage to warn the nation in plenty of time to take necessary action.

Not everyone will like this post, including a couple of cheerleaders for the Met Office, but I hope in the spirit of debate it will be allowed to stand. Because, frankly, the Met Office warning system needs a firm kick up the backside.

Hey look there is a n old man yelling at the cloud!
297.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, West is Best said:

It was not spot on. It wasn't even close. Hampshire and Somerset weren't mentioned, yet were in the firing line. Yes it evolves, but everyone on here could see that it was going to hit further east, as could radar models like HIRLAM.

Anyway, aside from their inaccuracy, my main point is the timing of warnings. They should issue them days, not hours, ahead in such severe conditions. That's what the word forecast means.

yes they were!... All of somerset and most of hampshire were covered by either a red or amber warning!.......here's the proof!....if you can't see this then it's pointless carrying on this discussion

28472049_2003200173267492_7181838915129066612_n.thumb.jpg.9b1655b46d997a57535943f90939a480.jpg 28468054_10214809020569756_3268089079937368064_n.thumb.jpg.268dc28f73fbfb6ad01a0e97a89e3fc5.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, ajpoolshark said:

yes they were!... All of somerset and most of hampshire were covered by either a red or amber warning!.......here's the proof!....if you can't see this then it's pointless carrying on this discussion

28472049_2003200173267492_7181838915129066612_n.thumb.jpg.9b1655b46d997a57535943f90939a480.jpg 28468054_10214809020569756_3268089079937368064_n.thumb.jpg.268dc28f73fbfb6ad01a0e97a89e3fc5.jpg

He's not interested in facts.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, West is Best said:

Anyway, aside from their inaccuracy, my main point is the timing of warnings. They should issue them days, not hours, ahead in such severe conditions. That's what the word forecast means.

They did, but you don't seem to want to hear that. Amber is specifically a be prepared warning and was issued 2, maybe even 3 days ahead. Red is a take action warning, which by it's severe nature isn't something that can or should be issued widely or massively in advance when the specifics are unknown. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wholeheartedly disagree with this thread. In an ever-changing situation, like it has been over the past few days, I think the Met Office has done a fantastic job in keeping people informed. It's nigh-on impossible to predict the exact path that snow will follow, so for them to get it more or less spot on is fantastic. Issuing 'Red Warnings' as a precaution is plain stupid! It leads to the 'crying wolf' situation, and can endanger life in the future, if the masses ignore future warnings because 'Red Warnings' are given out Daily Express style!  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Dkeane3 said:

Some people need to understand that it's not just the met office that name these storms, met eireann is involved also, so if a storm is looking bad for Ireland and not the UK mainland or in your back yard, they will still name it as it affects different regions giving them an amber/orange warning while you may get nothing. The tabloids pick that up and scare us all half to death until we realise it's nothing for us in the end...

The naming of storm Emma was to avoid Confusion with the public, as with the hurricane when various tabloid were screaming it's name that the nhc had given it, unsure whether storm Emma named by Portugal was even known to anyone though.

Did the UK Met Office understand this? They came up with the system? As for confusion look at what happened during mid January

How's that for confusion.....the French Meteo service names a low pressure that would have greatest impact on the British Isles and we didn't even name nor publicise the French named system which was the whole purpose of naming system...

Edited by Weather-history
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a bloody nanny state ,people have died from heat cold and getting out of bed in the morning who needs warnings the human race has survived up to now:nonono:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×