Former Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has joined criticism of the Met Office as it defended its failure to predict our wet summer — saying it has “egg on its face”.
The East Antrim MP, who has been criticised for his disbelief in man-made global warming, accused the Met Office of losing credibility after initially predicting a heatwave summer which turned into a washout.
Back in April, it issued a seasonal forecast that sparked hopes for a warm and sunny season, described as a “barbecue summer”, based on its long-range forecast.
But in an update yesterday the situation was rather wetter, prompting questions over the usefulness and accuracy of long-term forecasting.
The Met Office said that “for the rest of summer, rainfall is likely to be near or above average over the UK and much of northern Europe”.
Mr Wilson claimed it was the second time this year that the Met Office had got its forecasts wrong.
“They predicted that last winter would be the mildest ever — but it turned out to be the coldest for many years with the result that many local councils were not prepared and did not have enough salt and grit for the roads,” said the Finance Minister. “They then predicted a barbecue summer this year and have now had to admit that they have got it wrong again.”
The Met Office said that “for the rest of summer, rainfall is likely to be near or above average over the UK and much of northern Europe”. Forecasters warned of the pitfalls of predicting the weather a long way in advance after a heatwave in June failed to last.