The UK's official weather forecasters are determined that winters should be mild, in the face of the frozen facts
The Met Office forecast an unusually mild winter, but snow fell on Britain to usher in 2010
Photo: SCOTT HEPPELL/AP
Shortly after midnight on Friday morning, as 200,000 merrymakers were departing from the Thames after enjoying a spectacular fireworks show in sub-zero temperatures, flakes of snow began to fall on Whitehall. In light of the Met Office's prediction that this would be a "mild" winter, with temperatures above average, it seemed an apt way to start the New Year. But hasn't the time come for us to stop treating the serial inaccuracy of Met Office forecasts as just a joke and see it for what it is – a national scandal?
The reason the Met Office so persistently gets its seasonal forecasts wrong is that it has been hi-jacked from the role for which we pay it nearly £200 million a year, to become one of the world's major propaganda engines for the belief in man-made global warming. Over the past three years, it has become a laughing stock for forecasts which are invariably wrong in the same direction.
The year 2007, it predicted, would be "the warmest ever" – just before global tempratures plunged by more than the entire net warming of the 20th century, Three years running it predicted warmer than average winters – as large parts of the northern hemisphere endured record cold and snowfalls. Last year's "barbecue summer" was the third time running that predictions of a summer drier and warmer than average prefaced weeks of rain and cold. Last week the Met Office was again predicting that 2010 will be the "warmest year" on record, while Europe and the US look to be facing further weeks of intense cold.
What is not generally realised is that the UK Met Office has been, since 1990, at the very centre of the campaign to convince the world that it faces catastrophe through global warming. (Its website now proclaims it to be "the Met Office for Weather and Climate Change".) Its then-director, Dr John Houghton, was the single most influential figure in setting up the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the chief driver of climate alarmism. Its Hadley Centre for Climate Change, along with the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU), was put in charge of the most prestigious of the four official global temperature records. In line with IPCC theory, its computers were programmed to predict that, as CO2 levels rose, temperatures would inevitably follow. From 1990 to 2007, the Department of the Environment gave the Met Office no less than £146 million for its "climate predictions programme".
But in the past three years, with the Met Office chaired by Robert Napier, a former global warming activist and previously head of WWF UK, its pretensions have been exposed as never before. The "Climategate" leak of documents from the CRU, along with further revelations from Russian scientists, have shown the CRU/Met Office alliance systematically manipulating temperature data, past and present, to show the world growing warmer than the evidence justified. And those same computers used to predict temperatures 100 years ahead for the IPCC have also been used to produce those weather forecasts that prove so consistently wrong.
Scientific method has gone out of the window, to support a theory that looks more questionable than ever. The whole set-up – Met Office, Hadley Centre, the CRU, the IPCC – looks hopelessly compromised. It is a state of affairs so bizarre that it cries out for political intervention. Yet our politicians, from Gordon Brown and David Cameron down, are so in thrall to this new religion that they cannot see evidence staring them in the face – that the show has gone off the rails. How many more winters and summers will it take before sanity finally breaks in to put an end to this scandal?
See also from the Telegraph
Britain facing one of the coldest winters in 100 years, experts predict
by Nick Britten
Britain is bracing itself for one of the coldest winters for a century with temperatures hitting minus 16 degrees Celsius, forecasters have warned.
They predicted no let up in the freezing snap until at least mid-January, with snow, ice and severe frosts dominating.
And the likelihood is that the second half of the month will be even colder.
Weather patterns were more like those in the late 1970s, experts said, while Met Office figures released on Monday are expected to show that the country is experiencing the coldest winter for up to 25 years.
On New Year's Day 10 extreme weather warnings were in place, with heavy snow expected in northern England and Scotland.
Despite New Year celebrations passing off mostly unaffected by the weather, drivers in parts of the country, particularly areas of Northumberland, Cumbria and the Scottish Highlands, were warned not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
The continued freezing temperatures did not signal bad news for everyone however. CairnGorm Mountain said it has had its best Christmas holiday season in 14 years.
With heavy snow in the area, the resort said that over a four-day period following Christmas Day it has had more than 8,000 skiers and snowboarders using its runs - including 800 on New Year's Eve.
Over 15,000 skiers have used the resort since the start of December, compared to 2,000 last year.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “It is certainly a while since we had cold weather like this and there isn’t any sign of any milder weather on the way.”
Considerable amounts of “showery snow” is expected over Scotland and eastern England over the coming days, he said, whilst the rest of the United Kingdom would remains dry but very cold.
He added that temperatures in the Scottish highlands could dip to minus 16 degrees while even southern areas of England could see lows of minus 7.
The cold weather comes despite the Met Office’s long range forecast, published, in October, of a mild winter. That followed it’s earlier inaccurate prediction of a “barbecue summer”, which then saw heavy rainfall and the wettest July for almost 100 years.
Paul Michaelwaite, forecaster for NetWeather.tv, said: “It is looking like this winter could be in the top 20 cold winters in the last 100 years.
“It’s going to be very cold the for the next 10 days and although there could be a milder spell at some stage the indications are that the second half of the month will be even colder.”
Revellers braved temperatures of minus 6 degrees to see in the New Year, with only the celebrations in Inverness being cancelled because of the cold.
Matt Dobson, forecaster for MeteoGroup, the Press Association's weather division, said last month had been the coldest December for 13 years. "It has been the coldest December on average since 1996," he said. "The second half of the month was very cold indeed but the first half was relatively mild. If it had been colder in the first few weeks we would have seen more records broken."
Police divers searching a lake for two duck hunters who had been missing over Christmas have found a second body.
The hunt for Paul Lichfield had been called off over Christmas because sub-zero temperatures made searching the ice covered lake too perilous.
However, as the weather conditions improved police frogmen resumed their search for the 30-year-old at Brightwell Lake at Ringstead, Northants. Police found the body of his friend, Philip Surridge, before Christmas after the pair fell in on December 22 whilst trying to rescue their dog.
Meanwhile, a fleet of gritters in Perth, central Scotland, was grounded this week because it was so cold, leaving roads untreated in temperatures of minus 10 degrees.
Perth and Kinross Council said the gritters were unable to leave the depot after the extreme weather led to difficulties in refuelling.
Perth resident Ian Thomson said: “I’ve heard of the rail companies blaming the wrong kind of snow and leaves on the line for disruption but for the council to say it was too cold to get the gritters out is just ridiculous.”