Blundering British Met Office Now Forecasts Nation’s ‘Coldest Thaw’

January 2013 has so far proved how incompetent the UK’s £240 million a year government weather forecasting service is when compared to one man: Piers Corbyn of But there is now another winter sting in the tail set to come.

BBC Weatherman Peter Gibbs

Earlier this week large parts of England and Wales remained battered and bruised from Arctic blasts, travel chaos and knee-deep snowfalls. Then in recent days the Met Office boldly declared, “There are signs that the cold air over Britain will finally be replaced by milder air from the Atlantic as we go through the weekend.” They soon backed that up by  proclaiming, “Freezing weather gradually eases in the UK.”  (23rd January).

But a day later the BBC were spinning a different Met Office tune after a sudden U-turn and an “Amber Warning for snow.” The Daily Express was quick to pinpoint the latest and dramatic MO prediction: “An intense deluge tomorrow will dump up to six inches in parts as temperatures plunge below -20C (-4F) in exposed regions.” Talk about capitulation!

Poor BBC television Weatherman, Peter Gibbs looked baffled and bemused Thursday as he broadcast to the nation rather sheepishly “…plenty more snow still to come…” Gibbs conceded the Arctic conditions were “…not going to give up without a fight.” Nonetheless, Gibbs was still obstinately clinging to the Met Office’s forlorn hope that “…it will turn a lot milder over the weekend.” Fingers and legs being crossed backstage.

But will it? Not according to Corbyn who is once again demonstrating just how big the gap is between the incompetent Met Office (still relying on discredited greenhouse gas climate models) and Weatheraction, who say all talk of weather influenced by humans and carbon dioxide is utter junk science.

Sudden Solar Storm is the Late Game Changer

But time and again, because the Met Office refuses to factor in changes in solar forcing and variances in the moon, their forecasts are embarrassingly shown to be wrong even a mere day or two ahead. Unlike the Met Office Corbyn factors in such space weather and has a peer-reviewed accuracy of 85 percent up to 45 days ahead. “Of course standard meteorology has no comprehension of what we are talking about and as long as it remains wedded to the delusional nonsense of CO2 warmism and ‘weather drives weather’ tenets of computer forecasting they will never learn.”

Instead, Corbyn points the rest of us in the right direction “A look at confirms the very low levels of activity we predicted for now from over 5 weeks ahead.” Corbyn is adamant the Met Office (MO) and the BBC must admit that solar activity is the decisive driver of weather – especially extreme events and of climate change. Failure to concede this increasingly obvious fact – as demonstrated by Weatheraction’s alternate and superior service – suggests taxpayers are condemned to carry on throwing that £240 million into the trash can each year.

Dismissing the superfast new computer system used by the MO Corbyn laments,” they will never improve but only get wrong answers quicker and mislead the public more often.” Many will recall that only last April the MO was forecasting 2012 to be an especially dry year. But what we saw, instead, was “Britain’s wettest drought.”

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has conspicuously gone on record several times to admit Corbyn is uncannily good. But WeatherAction is insistent there ought to be many more voices of influence in the corridors of power speaking out on this peculiar science travesty. “Politicians must now get to grips with reality, cast aside the CO2 warmist sect of BBC-MO and the so called ‘Climate-Science’ empire in academia and instead support accountable evidence-based science and policies”

So who is right on this issue? Just contrast and compare the weather forecasts and track for yourselves the winners and losers in this perpetual battle against the elements.



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85 responses to “Blundering British Met Office Now Forecasts Nation’s ‘Coldest Thaw’

  1. Pingback: Blundering British Met Office Now Forecasts Nation’s ‘Coldest Thaw’ « Skeptics Chillin'

  2. Walter Horsting

    Climate is driven by the sun. From 1920s to 1998 our sun was at a very active state. Since 1998, sun cycles 23 and 24 are declining. With the predicted cycle 25 humankind needs to consider cheap energy and plan for massive crop losses in the coming little ice age.

  3. Sean D

    How much did Piers Corby pay you to write this article?

  4. Mike

    Rogue climate scientists are under threat from real science being conducted by astrophysicists like Piers Corbyn. A few years ago their climate models could have been excused as GIGO, Garbage In, Garbage Out. Not any longer, they are now simply FIFO, Fabrication In, Fabrication Out. It’s a trajedy these climate change pimps have humiliated this once revered national office.

    • Tony

      Would you like to reference a peer-reviewed climate science paper from Mr Corbyn or even tell the world what he actually does to produce his forecasts?

      • johnosullivan

        As we are seeing more often, climate science is a discredited field where charlatans mooch off the public purse providing little if any actual worthwhile science. By contrast, Piers Corbyn runs a business providing long range weather forecasts to an increasing number of paying customers. That is how applied science in the free market system succeeds. Corbyn and most other principled scientists don’t need or want to publish academic papers in junk climate journals under the ‘pal review’ system. Corbyn and his customers choose the free market economy where science based predictions must work or the money dries up. Thankfully, policymakers are wising up to the charlatans in climatology and cutting back their funding accordingly. It’s an increasingly harsh world out there – get used to it.

  5. Will you write another article when the long forecast transitional snow turns to rain and it becomes less cold even mild in places?Will you term Corbyn’s forecast of dry and very cold as ‘blundering’?

  6. jazznick

    Is this an early sign that Space Weather and Piers’ success may be having an effect !

    Space Weather Research Scientist required at MO !!!

  7. Richard

    So, let me get this right, you’re lending credence to a man whose main source of exposure is the Daily Express?

    A colleague passed on his forecasts to me in the winter of 2008/9. I had endless fun noting how bad they were in spite of Corbyn’s unique verification attempts (Gales forecast? Pick the exposed Outer Hebrides or Cairngorms for verification that they did indeed occur, rather than the population dense areas).

    When I was at Reading University one of the students studied a month’s worth of Corbyn’s forecast for a short presentation. It was entirely cock-eyed and bared no resemblance to the weather that month.

    Corbyn’s use of elaborate prose (“cruel” frosts, anyone) and hyperbole serve only to add to the perception that he’s simply an attention-grabber.

    Until I see a side-by-side comparison of forecasts (that I believe is under way) then I will always struggle to believe anything that Corbyn proclaims – and will find it rather funny the people, like yourself, that have been sucked in by his spin and not taken any time whatsoever to study the accuracy of his claims *yourself*.

    • johnosullivan

      Richard, some of us have been getting Corbyn’s forecasts for years. I’m very happy to keep receiving them. I use them for planning family outdoor events and so far they’ve never let me down.

  8. Evan Highlander

    Hmmm! I think they/ve ALL got it wrong in OUR wee world……….
    Inner MorayFirth area has seen little Hard Frost to speak of and likewise little Precipitation over the past several weeks! Indeed some Public accessible areas / CarParks have been carpeted with Salt ( such a waste of Energy and Ground-Water Pollution ) based on such MO forecasts. Infact some farmers can even get on with their arable operations – Ploughing the Fields – NOT Ploughing Snow!!.
    Just another observation on the variability of weather – that the BBC (& other media ) won’t comment on. – ( Remember BBC Prog. Winterwatch – no snow & little Frost in them thar Hills around Aigas ? )
    SO ! Beeb overstates, MO gets it wrong & not so sure of Weatheraction.. Actually I prefer to side with Big Joe B. and watch MeteoGroup forecasts. btw My Smartphone’s weather App from Accuweather gives temps 3 to 5C LOWER than actual temps for sites in the locality compared with Wunderground’s for similar sites when actual perceived ‘on the ground’ feel temps of above freezing – ie groundwater poodles not frozen an Accu shows -3 or even -5C…… go see WUWT or Talbloke about that issues!
    ! ! There goes another guy out to grit Workplaces ! K R A Z E E !

  9. Mapantz

    What exactly have the Met Office got wrong? They have been right the entire time and they are right about the milder weekend. Your rant shows exactly how under-qualified you are about the subject!
    When colder air gets pushed away by a milder air mass, there will almost always be significant snow on the leading edge of a front before it turns back to rain and a thaw begins. The far North East may hang on to the colder air for a time but most of the country will be under slightly milder air by early next week. Instead of using ‘hate to say it’ i’m going to say ‘i like to say it’ but your article is completely inaccurate.
    I also suggest you leave Mr Corbyn out of this, i’ve never known such a big-headed person in my life?! He not only gets his forecasts wrong most of the time, he then goes on TV to rant how amazing he is when he get’s it right 1 time out of 10. Obviously you won’t be leaving him out of your article because he probably transfers lovely sums of money to you via Paypal.

    PS: You’re obviously a joke due to the wonderful response you gave Sean D. Who would take this article seriously when you mention wife beating?


    • Interesting that this article, and Mr Corbyn, have attracted a degree of Trolling. There’s been a noticeable rise in Troll numbers on other sceptical blogs of late, an altogether Encouraging sign. It must surely be an indication of alarm ?

    • johnosullivan

      “What exactly have the Met Office got wrong? They have been right the entire time and they are right about the milder weekend. ”

      The “entire time?” Wow, you must have the memory retention of a goldfish.

  10. Evan Highlander

    And yet again…! Lunchtime news from man in the Pennines on Cumbrian Border…….. ‘….. we are waiting on …? something coming that may have been forecast ? ..” Next thing th Beb will have Reporters waiting at the Airports and Ferry Terminals in case of arrival of Martians….
    Meanwhile all we have , WAS a slight drizzle that fizzled out by daybreak / Sunrise, and now at Lunchtime some real drizzle = makes things wet = +4.5C

    If the Public isn’t prepared to screw the noddle and be willing to learn by experience – walking / driving carefully with appropriate footwear / winter tyres, etc , when will we EVER be able to get on with our Lives?; STV Report from Pitlochry area A9 Heavy Snow treacherous conditions – all those words… Yet WE CAN SEE black road in the snow and can look under the cars – so not such deep snow after all….
    Why does MO forecasts differ so widely between BBC National & BBC Regional & STV

    Kumon Peepl ! 1 M Fish , ‘N E Bargins, mush sheepines, oooooooo I’m krakin up!

  11. MrNobody

    Well, given that Corbyn made a declaration of Snowmageddon for the past week and also given that we didn’t get anything approaching Snowmageddon, AND also given that the MetO forecasts for that week also got it spot on, I know who I believe..

    When Corbyn has released his techniques to the scientific community for peer review and, more importantly, so that people can use his supposedly ground-breaking accurate forecasting methods -for the betterment of mankind- and not his own pocket, then maybe folks other than those with a political axe to grind will take him more seriously.

    In other words: bwahahaha.

    • Roofdweller

      I’m certainly no fan of Piers Corbyn but nor am I fan of falsification – the “MO forecasts for that week” did not get it spot on at all – I’ve checked and they were wrong over 60% of the time. If you’re going to criticise someone, at least get your facts correct then your criticism will be justified. All you’ve done is destroy your credibility in the space of one statement. Idiot.

  12. AlecM

    The MO climate modelling is bunkum because it depends on believing that the IR pyrometers called pyrgeometers, used for 50 years by Meteorologists taught incorrect physics, measure a real energy flux.

    Instead, it’s a temperature signal converted to the hypothetical power that would be emitted to a vacuum at absolute zero at that temperature: only net IR fluxes can do thermodynamic work.

    So, they exaggerate warming by a factor of 12.74 [2009 ‘Energy Budget’],, (333-40)/23. They then exaggerate cloud cooling to compensate. This creates the imaginary positive feedback and the imaginary 33 K GHE, really ~9 K.

    I pity the poor saps in the MO because they have to go through so many hoops to put into the models Houghton’s 3 major mistakes in the physics.

  13. Nick

    Your ‘dramatic MO prediction’ is not a MO quotation at all (despite your quotation marks) but a typical Daily Express ‘shock-horror’ statement based, at least in part it seems, on a quote from Vantage Weather Services. The MO has not stopped saying that it will warm up over this weekend and at least since the start of the week was saying that (at least for Berkshire, where I live) it would be very cold over Thursday night before the turn to milder conditions over the weekend. Let’s see on Monday whether the MO or Piers Corbyn has made the biggest blunder.

  14. Lawrence13

    I.m a sceptic living in the UK in London and only a couple of miles from where Piers lives, however this whole thing about the met office getting this thaw wrong is utter tosh. All the models and even Jo Bastardi knew the Atlantic was going to dominate British weather afterthis coming Sunday and thereafter there is no cold frigid air to be had , its all going to be from the west. It is ludicrious to claim other wise. Belive me if you look at my record on UKMO on the NG UK sci weather you will see I’m no fan of UKMO upper mamagement and the political AGW propaganda mouth peice they’ve become of the last decade; however what Peirs is saying is plain wrong.

    Unless the current high pressure system east of the UK over norteren Europ miracuously moves NW back towards the Atlantic, then this last two week cold spell is over kaput and gone by Sunday. Look for yourselves

  15. Pingback: new computer … giving wrong answers quicker | pindanpost

  16. BobM

    “Many will recall that only last April the MO was forecasting 2012 to be an especially dry year.” And only last April Piers was forecasting that the drought would continue…

  17. BobM

    As Lt. Columbo used to say, “Just one more thing.” Try comparing Piers’ previous forecasts with the monthly summaries available on the BBC website. For example, for September 2009 the Weather action forecast was this –
    “Most parts wet & cool with major deluges and floods likely at times espec in Midlands, West & North. Temps close to normal in South. Stark NW / SE
    contrasts at times. Two generally fine periods around mid-month & fourth week.”
    The BBC summary ( says this –
    “Mean temperatures were generally above the 1971-2000 normal for September, ranging from about 0.3 degrees C above average in Wales and south-west England to about 1.5 degrees above in northern Scotland.
    Rainfall was well below average across most of the UK, the main exception being parts of north-east Scotland. It was very dry across much of East Anglia, the Midlands, south Wales and Northern Ireland with less than a third of the normal amount. Provisionally, it was the driest September across England since 1997 and the 11th driest in a series from 1914.”

    Weather Action forecast – wet and cool; actual weather – warmer and drier than average. I’ll be interested to see if my comments are published, or if I’m regarded as a “troll”.

    • johnosullivan

      Yes, let’s get all the comparative data on the table and have a truly open analysis. Corbyn welcomes it. He has asked for a head to head battle of the forecasters but the MO wont play unless the data used for verification is their own!

      • “Corbyn welcomes it.”

        He certainly does not!! Have a look at his comments on Watts-Up-With-That – when they dared to look into his claims. and

        He frequently threatens people with legal action and calls people deceitful and libelous seemingly at the drop of a hat.

      • johnosullivan

        I see you prefer to link to the highly-censored and biased blog of Anthony Watts. Corbyn challenged WUWT to do a follow up of the Eschenbach post you link to in the following month verifying Corbyn’s success rate. Lo and behold the cowardly Watts suddenly lost interest. Ask yourself why. There’s bias then there’s WUWT bias.
        As a long time member of the Royal Metereological Society Corbyn called on that body to organise systematic trials of weather forecast skills. That is clearly the way forward. It will involve a clean definition of methodology and statistical analysis. Sadly, your preferred sources, Willis Eschenbach and Anthony Watts are not trustworthy. Eschenbach blatantly lied when he said:

        “If Piers wants to break out his earlier one-month ahead forecast, we can discuss that, but at present, all we have to discuss is the three-day ahead forecast.”

        In fact, Corbyn made no changes to the 45 day ahead forecast. If these are your authorities in the matter then no wonder you can’t get your facts straight.

      • BobM

        Easily done – the Met Office have monthly summaries here ( Weather Action forecasts from January 2009 to March 2010 are available from the forecast archive. I’ve not had time to go though all of them, but the ones I have looked at haven’t been particularly good. I’m not saying Piers never gets it right, but 85% accuracy? Er, no.
        I also dislike his intemperate language; anyone daring to question him is described thus – “some sad churlish warmista/modellistas with reality and honesty disconnects”. I find that rather pathetic.

  18. As usual, the wankers pretend that, except for themselves and their favored others, if someone makes a mistake once however small, that someone can never do anything right again. In fact, they don’t think they even have to wait until a second mistake is evident. This is because to exist and to hold a counter view is the most egregious mistake of all as far as they are concerned.

    They are terrified of disagreement because it is the act of disagreement that destroys their only access to what they feel is truth: a consensus of their favored others. Simply because we dare go against that consensus, they attack. It is easy to understand. They don’t think reality, reason, and logic are not particularly relevant to science or knowledge of any kind. Their significant others have reveled all, they believe it, and that settles it for them. They are ***TRUE*** believers and need nothing beyond the sacred consensus to believe.

    As far as I am concerned, I don’t give a damn what they or their sacred consensus believe. I do my own thinking and find consensus IN ALL FORMS irrelevant to science, knowledge, and correct action derived from them.

    • johnosullivan

      As Ulric Lyons pointed out when Eschenbach wrote his trash piece on Corbyn in July 2012 WUWT struck out three times. Strike one for Willis was when in the first article, he said the UK rain for 7th July was average for a July day in the UK. Several locations had more than two weeks worth of rain, and the national average for the day was, as he had to admit, above average.
      Strike two, was where he tried to deny that there is daily clustering in major flood events globally:
      by presenting a graph of monthly totals, complete with a condescending comment about folk who see all kinds of patterns in things.
      Strike three, was him insisting that there were no tornado or hail events within the specified areas on the US forecast for the 13-15th July, which has had to rescind. It seems they like to cheat a lot in this sandbox, pretty rude too.

  19. My summary of Corbyn’s “forecasts”.
    January 2012, he said cold – it was mild
    February; he said cold – it was mild
    March; he failed to forecast the extraordinary “summer in March”
    April: He said dry – it was record breakingly wet
    May: He said “coldest in 100 years” – it was average
    July: He forecast “deluges, giant hail etc.” for Olympics opening ceremony – it was warm, dry and still.
    August; he said summer would start – nothing happened
    September; he said “Indian Summer” – it was cool
    October: He said hurricane Sandy would track right and miss the U.S.
    November – I stopped following his forecasts!

    • johnosullivan

      For more clarity on how woefully poor the MO was in their forecasting for January take a look at their actual 30-day prediction for the month:
      and compare that with Corbyn’s eerily accurate “exceptionally snowy after mid month” forecast:

      The MO have a habit of saying the weather will be “average” or “mixed” with a “low level” of confidence as shown here:

      January: Mixed month
      Over the forecast period temperatures should be slightly above the Central England Temperature (CET) average.
      Slightly below average.
      1/1 to 7/1
      The week should bring a good deal of dry and quiet weather across the country, although early on there could be some rain in northern regions. On the whole daytime temperatures are expected to be well above average for January. Despite the dry weather there is likely to be quite a lot of cloud around which will reduce the frost risk.
      8/1 to 14/1
      A continuation of the mostly dry weather is expected during the first part of the week, especially in southern and central regions. The north west could see more changeable weather developing with showers or longer spells of rain at times, but even here a reasonable amount of dry weather is likely. Later in the week more changeable weather could gradually pushing further south and east. Temperatures mostly close to average.
      15/1 to 21/1
      A change back to more unsettled weather is expected, with the risk of rain extending further south and east during the week. Temperatures mostly close to or slightly above the seasonal average in the south, but close to average in the north. Note: Forecast confidence at this extended range is low as usual.
      22/1 to 31/1
      Unsettled weather with showers or longer spells of rain at times across all regions. Some sleet or snow is likely at times over northern high ground, and possibly down to lower levels at times. Temperatures close to the seasonal average, but colder at times in northern regions. Note: Forecast confidence at this extended range is low as usual.

      • BobM

        For more clarity, I should point out that the forecast you attribute to the Met Office is actually from “The Weather Outlook”. Not the same organisation. I’m surprised you made that mistake – the clue is in the URL…

  20. John, well done on the article. I see it has attracted some excellent comments and some sad churlish warmista/modellistas with reality and honesty disconnects.
    Although it is true that for our forecast period 26-28th Jan the cold did not hold back the milder push over most of the UK and Eire – contrary to our forecast 5 weeks ahead, our warning, nevertheless, that MO would overstate the speed of advance of the milder air and of the mildness itself was correct. Indeed the cold didn’t go without a big fight (Bury buried and M6 closed both ways by snow – see reports via , where reader-observer comments also confirm MO overstatements.
    Comparisons of our SINGLE (we rarely ammend) 5 week ahead forecast with the best of MetO 6 attempts before they get there in short range is brain-dead as a test of anything. Objective peer-reviewed and scientific gambling prove our significant skill – which has got more significant since we created SLAT 8C (Solar Lunar Action Techhnique) – see
    We could be ‘right’ all the time if we issued updates as often and near the time as the MetO but we are NOT short-range foreacsters we do LONG range for people – farmers, schools, businesses… – who need advance warnings to take decisions before events.
    Do the churlish warmista/modellistas recognise the huge praise we got for our period 17-21st Jan where we not only got the cold and blizzards right to ~one day from 5 weeks ahead but also predicted to the day the very significant Sudden Stratospheric Warming which triggered it.
    The sad ‘assessment by listing errors only’ from warmista/modelista trolls is really pathetic given that we expect anyway to be in error ~15% (depending on confidence levlels) of the time long range. The curious thing is they dont have more to say – maybe our error rate is less than this measure (which came from farmers). However the worst thing is the trolls who resort to direct lies.
    Ted Rising gives a list of misleading assertions (and libel). Specifically as an example: “August; he said summer would start – nothing happened”.
    FACT: WeatherAction August headline: “A Weather Switch – England and Wales wet or very wet and cool with major thunder, hail and floods till around 17th then “SUMMER” begins with dry, warm, sunny weather in most of …..
    FACT which shows glorious weather in Southend on 18th August – as one of many places.
    – Correct to ~one day! Something summerwise happened, certainly not ‘nothing’!
    Do these trolls get pleasure by spreading lies about others, why do they do it? What is their problem?

    • johnosullivan

      Thanks Piers. I agree that the sniping is done to make the admitted 15 percent of error in your forecasts appear as if it invalidates the other 85 percent that is accurate. Anyone who has received your 45 days ahead forecasts for several years, as I have, understands what good value it is to have a consistently reliable forecast measurably superior to your rivals. As we saw in July 2012 when WUWT tried to trash you, the blowback from WUWT readers sent the dishonest Watts and Eschenbach scurrying back under their stones.

    • I said Piers doesn’t like criticism and I was right! Yet again we see him casting wild accusations of lying and even libel!

      Whilst I am sure it was sunny in Southend on 18 August, it did not mark a change in the weather. It was one of many (though not enough!) sunny days last summer. Here are just a few photographs taken in July.

      The truth is, the weather had been pretty miserable until Mid-July; then there was a week of wall-to-wall sunshine followed by the standard British summer mixture of sunshine and showers which lasted through to the end of summer. Again, there was no significant change in the weather on August 18!!!. Really.

      This is the thing about WeatherAction. They just can’t admit when they were wrong. They then sell “forecasts” to vulnerable people who believe in their claims of success. It is not on.

      • johnosullivan

        Let’s get this straight. I am calling Willis Eschenbach a liar and I provided a precise quote (provided by Ulrich Lyons) to prove it. Why do you have such trouble comprehending facts?

  21. Martin Hodgkins

    Here is a link to the met office forecast issued on the 23rd. it has turned out to be completely correct.

    • johnosullivan

      Martin, yes we must give credit where credit is due.

    • Evan Highlander

      Haddoan a meenut ( or in the vernacular – Just pause for one moment as we pervade ourselves )
      …. As I have written ,and I do take this all seriously, even with some dour humour! ey/ve ALL got it wrong in OUR wee world……….
      Inner MorayFirth area has seen little Hard Frost to speak of and likewise little Precipitation over the past several weeks! Indeed some Public accessible areas / CarParks have been carpeted with Salt ( such a waste of Energy and Ground-Water Pollution ) based on such MO forecasts. Infact some farmers can even get on with their arable operations – Ploughing the Fields – NOT Ploughing Snow!!.
      As I write, we are getting sleet showers around Sea-level AND it is C O L D – not the warmth we’ve had in the past few days.
      A neighbour is a Gritting Contractor and has to go gritting once again tonight – been out all week despite lack of Frost on the ground and very little snow – 1/2″. Customer has some sort of agreement with MO and requires gritting despite reality. I pity the Contractor and wonder how the Customer can justify the considerable expense of gritting – you should see some of the Properties around Inverness – veritable carpets of white stuff – SALT doing nothing – been so dry. I believe that in that veritable Green Country of Germany, salt spreading is generally discouraged – surface runoff affecting soils and river salinity – so wotabout the Dolphins ?
      Come on People !

  22. Piers doesn’t seem to understand that the transitional snow was a product of mild air. It was the thaw arriving as predicted.
    4 days before the milder air arrived Piers claimed (on his website) that he was 90% confident that the mild air would not arrive and the cold would prevail. He also kindly acknowledged that the MetO had been forecasting this mild breakdown three weeks before. So, even on a 4 day ahead forecast he was still totally wrong and even more interestingly for those considering his credibility, he won’t admit it.

  23. If enough people guess often enough about enough different things, someone is going to be right sometime about something. All you have to do to have a perfect record is to forget the times you were wrong.

    Standard weather forecasting keeps changing right up to the event. Then when the event doesn’t happen as forecast, there is a flood of reasons why the forecast didn’t work out.. The camp followers fawn over how well the forecast did when it was right and over how good the explanation was when the forecast was wrong. This is all done with huge staffs, super computers, and a budget of hundreds of millions. All of this is different from a bait and switch scam in that it costs a lot more and they get away with it.

    On the other hand, Piers works mostly alone, may use a personal computer, and makes his forecast way in advance. He admits the small fraction of the time when he gets it wrong. To me a 15% error rate a month in advance is far better than a constantly changing forecast during the week before the event.

    The only honest test would be for both to post their forecast IN ADVANCE, at the SAME time, and HOLD to it. Then measure what happens and score the result honestly. This will happen shortly after government agrees that it spends too much of our money and regulates our actions to the point of violating our individual rights, apologies for that violation, and stops doing both. Don’t hold your breath.

  24. johnosullivan

    Lionell, I totally agree. Corbyn has challenged the MO to make a forecast 45 days out, like he does, and then we can all compare like for like. But the MO, despite all their resources, refuses to take up any such challenge unless they have control of the verification data. To me that’s utterly pathetic.

    • Yes, when you compare a forecast that is 45 days old to a “forecast” that was made 45 minutes after the event, it is easy to see who would win. However, in my book, that is cheating to the point of being criminal.

      Can you imagine a bookie accepting a bet after a race was run? I can’t but I don’t know any bookies except those I see on TV and in the movies. However, that is exactly the bait and switch scam the MO seems to expect to get away with. So far, they seem to be getting away with it and receiving fabulous rewards in that they actually get paid for doing it.

      In no other “profession” can you say any random thing, pretend that it means something, and then stay employed. All simply because you report what happened after it happened and pretend you know why it wasn’t as you had earlier stated, All I know that I can rely on is there is a 100% chance of weather forecasts. For the rest, I look at the clouds and estimate how bad the weather is going to be from how much my joints ache. Then I follow up by actually looking out the window to see if it is raining, snowing, or the sun is shining.

  25. The Putting Piers Corbyn to the Test page that Ted linked gives several examples of how Piers ‘audit’ that gives him his much trumpeted 85% success, was seriously flawed.
    “Around 9-11 August
    1 or 2 Typhoons likely to form in Central west
    north Pacific; heading most likely NW-N-NE
    No Landfall”

    Awarded 2 ‘YES’s’

    Tropical Storm Phanfone was active in this period but never reached typhoon status. No typhoons 8th – 12th August. 0 marks”

    “Pacific active Tropical depressions likely
    but only 50% risk of developing into
    This was then confirmed and the forecast outcome labelled as a success.
    “Confirmed – No named typhoons or
    TS formed in this window”

    However there was a 50% risk stated of typhoon development, so presumably if a typhoon had formed that too would have been a ‘success’. ”

    No wonder the MetO wanted some control over the verification 😉

    • johnosullivan

      Seriously – would you expect a prize fighter to box an opponent who was also the referee? Please get real. The MO refused Corbyn’s reasonable request that all data verification be done by an independent third party – the MO refused so all bets were off.

      Corbyn forecasts many months ahead on weather extremes and these have been independently validated in peer reviewed literature as “SIGNIFICANT” (Dennis Wheeler Journal of Atmos & Solar Terrestrial Phys Vol 63 (2001)pp29-34). His study was commissioned by a consortium of Insurance companies.

      Corbyn also states, “Between 1988 and 2000 (when I was banned) I placed weather bets every month with William Hill at fair odds defined by Met Office (& shortened by WH’s standard 25% or so) and in 12 years involving about 4,000 best made a PROFIT of about 20,000 UK pounds. William Hill will vouch that to their knowledge I am by far the world’s most prolific and successful weather better. The PROFIT rate was about 40% of stakes every month and I was stake limited – (for every 100 I put down I got back about 140).”

      So, Elim, how about a small wager? I’d say it is time to put your money where your mouth is.

  26. Ulric Lyons

    John, both you and Piers are mistaken about a u-turn. The MetO release of the 23rd states:

    “On Friday many places, especially the north and east of the UK, can expect to see further snow falls and icy conditions.”

  27. The data analysis was to be done by University of Leeds, are you suggesting they are not independent?
    Piers anecdotal betting tales are well known and I myself don’t bet.
    Are there going to be any more peer reviewed articles do you think?
    Nicely ignored on the audit blunders by the way.

  28. johnosullivan

    Elim, although the University of Leeds was involved the MO insisted the data that Leeds was to use for any verification had to be MO data. Are you suggesting that it is fair and reasonable to compel use of MO weather data for verification rather than that obtained from an independent third party? Piers refuses to open up his methods to open academic scrutiny because his methods are proprietary. It’s as ridiculous as asking Coca Cola to show how they make coke. No business divulges their trade secrets.
    I also don’t make bets but I’d happily put a wager up that can be donated to charity. That’s how strongly I feel Corbyn is onto something as based on my years of using his forecasts.

    • Corbyn claims his methods can forecast extreme weather events like typhoons and hurricanes, around the world. He even claims he can forecast earthquakes. If true, this could save tens, if not hundreds of thousands of lives the world over every year! If he allowed his methods to be researched and tested and they was proven right, he would doubtless become the most important meteorologist of this generation, if not ever. He would get a Nobel Peace prize, his methods could be released on license and and he would, quite rightly, become a billionaire. He won’t risk this though, preferring to sell his forecasts privately.

      To say it’s like asking Coca Cola to show their recipe is wrong. It’s like a pharmaceutical company claiming to have discovered a cure for cancer but refusing to have it researched and tested.

      • johnosullivan

        Ted, you are mischaracterising what Corbyn claims he can do. It is NOTHING like claiming to have found a cure for cancer. His methods are very much work in progress. Corbyn is still developing better ways to predict extreme weather events and earthquakes and its something no other business seems to be pursuing. But he admits he is still on a learning curve and wants to keep ownership of his ideas. You are far too sanguine about the motives/good intentions of others as to ‘Nobel Prizes’ and issuance of ‘licenses.’ Corbyn has a unique selling point (USP) and is within his rights to guard his investment. Having met Piers and gotten to know something of his character and ideals I have the distinct impression he is not motivated to become rich. He actually holds strong left wing ideals. He chooses to pursue his science his way. Anyone contrasting and comparing the January 2013 forecasts supplied by the MO versus WeatherAction can clearly evince that the MO provide bland ‘forecasts’ with a propensity to predict ‘average’ slightly below or above or words to that effect. Corbyn, by contrast, makes bold extreme weather predictions. Corbyn was correct to forecast a mild start to winter followed by the brutal snow falls from mid January. That is an incredibly bold forecast proven correct. Have you ever seen the MO make such a bold and successful 30-day forecast? I haven’t.

  29. ‘RE The BBC Weather Test, the Met Office wanted to use data from their independently verified stations that have been supplying us with weather data for decades, that seems perfectly reasonable?
    If Piers Corbyn doesn’t want to share his secret weather formula that’ s fine, but he can’ t then complain that he isn’t’ t taken seriously in the scientific world, that isn’t how science, the scientific community and the advancement of science works.

    • johnosullivan

      That’s nonsense. The MO is a quasi-governmental corporation selling its products and services on the public dime and as such should be required to meet the competitive tendering standards of industry. For example, in the UK rail service providers must tender bids for services to government based on objective performance tests and success rates are disclosed to potential clients (eg taxpayers). Likewise, WeatherAction, as a private business in direct competition with the MO can also reasonably be required to meet certain objective standards as per the “Best Value” principles set out in the ’Twelve Principles of Best Value’ announced in June 1997 (DoE 1997). Such objective tests are routinely applied in the world of commerce worldwide without the need to resort to appeal to academics. To try to mischaracterize this whole process as an arcane exercise of academia is perverse. It is solely a business decision based on results. The evidence is building that the MO is not fit for purpose when it comes to long range weather forecasting and the customer (taxpayers) will be the final arbiters, not your fanciful appeal to the “scientific community.”

  30. BobM

    “So who is right on this issue? Just contrast and compare the weather forecasts and track for yourselves the winners and losers in this perpetual battle against the elements.”
    The ClimateRealists site posted this from Piers’ forecast – – which gives the forecast for 29-31 Jan (+ 3 Feb). For my part of the world (the East Midlands), the map says “Snow, espec. later, very cold” or “Snow showers, becoming blizzards Jan 31 to Feb 3. Foggy” (the dividing line between the areas cuts through the E. Midlands). Well it’s midday on February 1, the past few days have seen temperatures in double figures and it’s about 8 deg.C at the moment. The sun is shining. Not very cold, no snow, no fog. Compare and contrast indeed.
    I also noticed that the “Kato Harris” Facebook link, that Piers quotes as saying that a school’s headteacher uses WeatherAction forecasts, has no personal information and absolutely no activity. The only thing on their page is a photo of an ice floe. That strikes me as rather odd. I sent a comment to WeatherAction pointing this out, but needless to say it hasn’t been published.

  31. John O'Sullivan

    Bob, thanks for that. I just looked at the link you provided. It shows Corbyn had forecast snow showers all down the east coast between Feb 1 – 3. Looking at the very latest BBC forecasts this is looking a distinct possibility.

    • BobM

      John, he’s forecasting snow showers BECOMING BLIZZARDS (not shouting, just for emphasis!) for the east coast, but for most of the country he has snow already, and that just hasn’t happened. Moreover, the Met Office forecast for Saturday is for a cold (not VERY cold) day, but without any snow or other precipitation. For Sunday to Tuesday they have “Less cold Sunday but cloudier with rain at times. Cold and very windy again Monday and Tuesday with some sunshine but also with occasional showers, falling as snow by Tuesday.”

      Remember, on January 10, PIers issued this warning for us poor souls who don’t subscribe – “Extreme cold, blizzards and snow drifts “many feet deep” to bring chaos to England and Wales for at least three weeks – into early Feb.” ( Can you honestly say we’ve had that? Chaos for a day or two perhaps, but THREE WEEKS?? Piers makes a big deal out of not changing his forecasts. Sorry, that’s a bit of a failure.

      The vitriol he directs towards those who disagree with him reminds me of nothing so much as the The People’s Front of Judea from “Life of Brian”. Maybe WUWT is the Judean People’s Front, or the Judean Popular People’s Front…

  32. John O'Sullivan

    Bob, thanks for that. I see that over at prominent US weatherman, Joe Bastardi has come out to back Corbyn. Also, Piers is mounting a robust defense of his forecast citing the recent unexpected coronal mass ejection as a contributing factor. It appears a very large and troubling cold air mass is sitting just off to the east of the UK.

    • BobM

      “Piers is mounting a robust defense of his forecast…” Ah, making excuses for getting it wrong. Have a look at his “Essence of Winter 2010/11” video on YouTube ( At the very start he says, “The winter, December to February inclusive, in Britain and Europe will be exceptionally cold and snowy, like hell frozen over at times, with much of England, Germany, Benelux and Northern France suffering one of the coldest winters for over a hundred years.”

      Piers’ fans still quote this as being a great success, but if we examine the reality, what do we find? December was indeed the coldest for 100 years, but January 2011 was a typical winter month (, while February was the 9th mildest in the last 100 years ( So in that instance he got 1 out of 3 correct – that’s 33%.

      I remember a video of his review of winter 2010/11 (can’t seem to find it just now) where he says that the cold weather over Russia in February 2011 was a vindication of his forecast – it was just in the wrong place and later than expected!

      Sorry John, Corbyn just isn’t that good – people keep supporting him for what I suspect are ideological reasons. It’s hilarious to read the comments on his site (100% moderated, dissent not allowed), as his fans desperately clutch at straws to prove his forecast will be correct. Sleet in Lincolnshire? Piers triumphs once again!

      • johnosullivan

        But is Corbyn’s rate of accuracy better or worse than the MO and what are the comparative details being offered in such forecasts? It’s all well and good pinpointing where Corbyn got it wrong but how better/worse was the Met Office for the same period? Corbyn makes specific extreme weather forecasts that are demonstrably easier to refute when they are wrong when compared to MO forecasts that monotonously forecast ‘average’ ‘slight above/below average’ conditions which is something any fool could do.

  33. BobM

    “Corbyn makes specific extreme weather forecasts…” That’s just it – he always has to have extreme weather, and a lot of the time the weather is slightly above or below average. Being able to “forecast ‘average’ ‘slight above/below average’ conditions which is something any fool could do” is apparently beyond Piers Corbyn. As far as I’m aware the Met Office doesn’t do specific forecasts months ahead, so there can be no comparison on those terms.
    However their accuracy over shorter periods is pretty good, and they themselves don’t pretend to be able to forecast with precision over longer timescales – but hey, the weather is a chaotic system. That’s why the 16 to 30 day outlook is “An indication of how the weather might change, or be different from normal, (i.e. warmer, colder, wetter, drier) across the whole UK.”
    When Corbyn uses hyperbole and things don’t go according to his forecast, he leaves himself open to ridicule. Unfortunately, whilst he is very good at dishing it out, he is incredibly sensitive to criticism, as other posters have pointed out. As I said before, I reckon his popularity is due more to ideological reasons rather than forecasting “skill”. Feel free to carry on buying his forecasts – its your money after all.

  34. John O'Sullivan

    Hi Bob,
    I’m perplexed as to what “ideological reason” would drive me to support something that was patently false. I’ve been using Corbyn’s forecasts for more than two years and they have proved very useful to me for the very reason they identify extreme weather to a very good level of accuracy. For me I see a distinct benefit in paying for a service that I can generally rely on to pinpoint extreme weather. On the other hand I see no benefit in paying for a forecaster who is pretty good at predicting “average” weather up to three days ahead. Mere statistical probability tells me ‘average’ is what I should expect every day. It’s the extremes we need to watch for. But I do take your point that Corbyn makes occasional errors. But to me those errors seem to be within the 15 percent range he claims.
    Finally, I am not paid to back Corbyn and nor do I have any investment whatsoever in his business. All I can say is I’m happy with the service and there’s little more to be said.

    • BobM

      The ideological reasons would be his vehement opposition to AGW. Boris Johnson’s apparent espousal of Corbyn’s ideas (though he’s very careful to hedge his bets if you read his columns carefully) seems to me to be an appeal to the “Tea Party” tendency of the Tory party, while they sharpen their knives before plunging them into Cameron’s back.

      If you’re happy to pay for Weather Action’s forecasts, fine. Just remember that Winter 2010/11 forecast of his…

  35. John O'Sullivan

    I understand Corbyn disputes the science behind AGW. That is not an ideological reason, it is a scientific one. Plus you couldn’t be more wrong about Corbyn’s politics. I understand he is even more left wing than the leadership of Britain’s Labour Party. Indeed, he calls everyone ‘citizen.’ Myself, I was a Labour voter for more than 20 years until I wised up and realized all mainstream politicians are duplicitous and self-serving.

    • BobM

      I’m fully aware of Piers’ days in the International Marxist Group (no doubt this contributes to his writing style – “CO2 warmists in double whammy retreat” etc.). In the main those who dispute AGW tend towards the far right (Lawson, Monckton, Delingpole et al), which is why I’m amused he’s in their company. I find interesting that, in the USA particularly, disbelief in AGW is often coupled with belief in creationism and belief in conspiracy theories.

  36. John O'Sullivan

    That’s the problem with media stereotyping. Perhaps it might also amuse you that many of my colleagues in Principia Scientific International who also dispute AGW are left wing Darwinists and not at all into religion. Such skeptics of the man-made global warming religion don’t dispute the moon landings because several were scientists or engineers deeply involved with the Apollo space program.
    I’m no scientist but my background is in law and I can assure you courts are convicting and jailing conspirators every day of the week. Again, this is another problem with the glib media stereotyping of ‘conspiracy theorists.’

  37. BobM

    A final thought. With so much information available on the internet, judgements have to be made as to the validity and reliability of the sources. When it comes to climate change (or anything else of a scientific nature), I’d put much more trust in national science academies than Nigel Lawson, Christopher Monckton et al..

  38. John O'Sullivan

    The classic last ditch appeal to authority? If you had read my article on the shenanigans inside the Institute of Physics leaked to me by whistleblowers holding important positions you’d understand why I find your statement rather hollow:

    • BobM

      Last ditch appeal to authority? Not really, more a judgement about scientific credentials, i.e. the national science academies versus a Tory ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, a “Lord” (didn’t the House of Lords ask Monckton to stop pretending he was a member of the house? et al. I looked at your link, and a bit of research led me here –

      By the way, we had a bit of snow yesterday, which soon turned to sleet then stopped. I suppose this counts as “Extreme cold, blizzards and snow drifts “many feet deep” to bring chaos to England and Wales for at least three weeks – into early Feb.” LOL, as I believe the young ‘uns say.

      • johnosullivan

        Personally I prefer to refer to those 200+ highly-credentialed independent scientists at Principia Scientific International on these matters. They comprise one nominee for a Nobel Physics prize, two scientists who worked on the Apollo space program, 49 experts with PhD’s, the immediate past president of the Royal College of Science Association, etc. By contrast your link shows you opt for an “authority” in notorious pro-green science revisionist, William Connolley. As you should know Connolley was banned from Wikipedia for excess editing and rewriting of science facts (no less than 5,000 times!). Is this the kind of political zealot that you prefer to inform you?

  39. BobM

    “Personally I prefer to refer to those 200+ highly-credentialed independent scientists at Principia Scientific International on these matters.” As opposed to the Royal Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and 32 other national science academies. If you want to play science organisation top trumps, I think mine beats yours hands down.

    The link to William Connelley was to do with the IOP affair, NOT the science of climate change, by the way. If we’re talking political zealotry, from my point of view you and you chums in Principia Scientific International fall into that category.

    I suspect that you will dismiss any link I my provide, but I thought I’d see what proportion of peer-reviewed papers were against AGW. Not having the time to do it my self, I found this – and this -

    24 out of 13,950 articles opposing AGW. Not very impressive, but of course I bet you think peer-review is a sham/fraud/hoax. Any of your “200+ highly-credentialed independent scientists” published any peer-reviewed articles about climate change? Never mind John, I’ve wasted enough time here – you can have the last word.

  40. johnosullivan

    Please tell me what political zealotry is it that my “chums” at PSI support? We are a non-political association with members from all sections of the party politics divide. We just aren’t interested in party politics because we see politicians of all shades as fools or crooks.
    Also, it is increasingly obvious to most independents that those national academies have sold out to government diktat so cannot be relied upon. For example, the once prestigious American Meteorological Society (AMS) that now touts the “greenhouse gas theory” as the cornerstone of man-made global warming was saying 50 years ago that mainstream science accepted the GHE had been refuted.

    For proof of this see: Brooks, C.E.P. (1951). “Geological and Historical Aspects of Climatic Change.” In Compendium of Meteorology, edited by Thomas F. Malone, pp. 1004-18 (at 1016). Boston: American Meteorological Association. The AMS stated that the idea that CO2 could alter the climate “was never widely accepted and was abandoned when it was found that all the long-wave radiation [that would be] absorbed by CO2 is [already] absorbed by water vapor.”

    • BobM

      “Please tell me what political zealotry is it that my “chums” at PSI support?” As far as I can tell, AGW is very popular with those on the extreme right, and in the case of Piers Corbyn, the extreme left.

      I’m amused that that you resort to quoting the AMS from 1951 – science has moved on a bit since then.

      “Also, it is increasingly obvious to most independents that those national academies have sold out to government diktat so cannot be relied upon.” Comedy gold, John, comedy gold. Replace “independents” with “conspiracy theorists” and you’ll be nearer the mark.

      The real reason I came back to comment was to keep you up to date with Piers’ latest “success”. In the Express on Monday Feb. 11th, this quote appeared – “Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, predicted the Arctic blast would last all week with the snow followed by days of freezing winter misery.
      “The whole country is looking at more snow, strong winds and blizzards with another major event at the weekend,” he said. “It is a very severe spell of winter weather ahead.” After a brief snowy interlude on Wednesday afternoon, which had melted by midnight, we are enjoying some rather pleasant, almost Spring-like weather. I wonder what the “major event at the weekend” will be?

      • John O'Sullivan

        Regarding the evidence from the AMS, you are either intentionally dishonest or lack reading and comprehension skills. The AMS affirmed that mainstream science rejected the greenhouse gas theory because it was universally accepted that all the long-wave radiation that would be absorbed by CO2 is already absorbed by water vapor.

        Your glib retort that “science has moved on a bit since then” begs the question: what amazing scientific discovery concerning CO2 after 1950 suddenly brought the greenhouse gas ‘theory’ back to life? I await your “comedy gold” reply with keen interest.

        FYI, I have no political affiliations and like most of my colleagues regard politicians of whatever persuasion with deep suspicion or outright contempt. The old “left versus right” paradigm seems rather outmoded to me anyway especially when extremes at either end of the spectrun are tantamount to fascism. As for Corbyn’s forecasts nothing you’ve submitted controverts the peer-reviewed evidence that he has an average 85 percent success rate.

  41. GAI

    “…until I wised up and realized all mainstream politicians are duplicitous and self-serving.”

    That is the only decent statement in this whole argument. I wish more people would wise-up and realize that.

    A suggestion:

    Perhaps Roy Spenser who also has a blog would do a fair and square side by side comparison of the MET and Corbyn.

    (I have not dog in this fight since I use

  42. Dr No

    “peer-reviewed accuracy of 85 percent up to 45 days ahead”

    This is a garbage statement. When you make an assertion in the scientific press YOU BACK IT WITH THE DATA otherwise it’s just a fairy story.

    Show us the data.

  43. BobM

    John, you say “Regarding the evidence from the AMS, you are either intentionally dishonest or lack reading and comprehension skills. The AMS affirmed that mainstream science rejected the greenhouse gas theory because it was universally accepted that all the long-wave radiation that would be absorbed by CO2 is already absorbed by water vapor.”

    You also say “For example, the once prestigious American Meteorological Society (AMS) that now touts the “greenhouse gas theory” as the cornerstone of man-made global warming was saying 50 years ago that mainstream science accepted the GHE had been refuted.”

    It seems to me that the AMS has moved on even if you haven’t, and you cling to the old version because it fits your ideological outlook.

    As for Piers Corbyn’s much quoted 85% accuracy, this is something that gets constantly repeated without any examination. I believe WUWT have caused a stir in the AGW denier camp by actually putting this claim to the test and found it wanting.. Someone else had a go here – Also from what I’ve seen, it seems that the “peer-reviewed paper” by Dr. Wheeler isn’t quite the ringing endorsement of his methods – see comment #9 on this thread (yes, I know your opinion of Connelley, but Sergei Rodionov has credentials).

    • johnosullivan

      Stop the handwaving. Merely stating the AMS has “moved on” isn’t a scientific validation. What was the scientific breakthrough that occurred post-1950 that caused the AMS to reverse its position? If you cannot cite any such science then we can fairly infer your arguments are political, not science based.
      As for WUWT’s attacks on Corbyn’s Summer 2012 forecast, it lacks credibility because WUWT failed to reply to Corbyn’s challenge for them to crunch the numbers for the whole of summer 2012 and publish the results. After Corbyn’s challenge WUWT quietly dropped the whole matter and have never since revisited the issue. To my mind I would say this supports Corbyn’s point that his critics are not even handed or objective.

    • Matt

      There is a detailed examination of Corbyn’s forecasts here:

  44. Matt

    Hi, there is a detailed 6-month analysis of Piers Corbyn’s forecasts at:‎

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