The Challenges Of Forecasting – An Example

This forecast for February is a candid example of the challenges faced in even forecasting on this relatively short time range. The forecast reads [highlight added]

UK Outlook for Sunday 5 Feb 2012 to Sunday 19 Feb 2012 [note: this link will only provide the latest forecasts and I am not aware that the UK Met Office archives them]

The forecast for early February remains very uncertain. There appear to be two main scenarios, each equally probable, but which are very different. The first scenario consists of a changeable westerly or southwesterly weather type with rain at times (amounts greatest in the west), and with temperatures noticeably above average for early February, with only occasional frosts. The alternative scenario is that much colder weather with winds mainly from an easterly or northeasterly quarter, will prevail well into February, bringing widespread frosts and snow to some areas. In this scenario it would be the east that was most vulnerable to snowfall.

Updated: 1137 on Sat 21 Jan 2012

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