Met Office Stops 'Seasonal Forecasts'

The Met Office today announced an end to its seasonal forecasts.

It conceded the all forecasts were difficult to make, but that the UK's size and climate made it much harder to predict beyond a week.

"The short-term forecasts provided by the Met Office are extremely accurate, providing reliable forecasts for a period of between one to five days," said a spokesman.

"Of course, by their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look. Although we can identify general patterns of weather, the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather."

He continued: "As a result, ‘seasonal forecasts’ cannot be as precise as our short-term forecasts."

The Met Office said it is continuing to develop the science of long range forecasting, including for the UK.

"We take seriously our responsibility to provide the best possible service to the public," said the spokesman.

"Although long range forecasts are vital in some parts of the world, and can be useful for some specialists, such as insurers and energy traders, we know that they are of limited use to the public – for example they are not something that could be used to plan a holiday."

The Met Office pointed to customer research which had suggested the public would like a monthly outlook.

"We have therefore decided to stop issuing a UK ‘seasonal forecast’ four times a year. Instead, we will now publish a monthly outlook, updated on a weekly basis."


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