Wjat makes the Met Office forecast seasons of unusual warmth while the weather obstinately provides record-breaking cold
Barely a month after last predicting, on November 28, that Britain would enjoy "a milder than average winter", the Met Office last week came in for yet another mighty pasting, for failing to forecast the renewed snowfalls and freezing temperatures which brought traffic to a halt again in much of the country. In some northern towns, roadways were so icy that people had to crawl across them on hands and knees.
Two independent forecasters who did foresee the return of Arctic weather, and are predicting that there will be more, are Britain's Piers Corbyn (who relies on solar activity for much of his prediction) and the US meteorologist Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather, who largely bases his forecasts on movements of air and ocean currents. Unlike the UK Met Office, of which both are highly critical, neither has been blinded by imagining that rising levels of carbon dioxide play a key part in shaping the weather.
Mr Bastardi, who was predicting months ago that both Europe and America were in for an abnormally cold winter (while the Met Office was about to get it hopelessly wrong for the third summer and winter in a row), is now predicting that this year's cold weather, with renewed snowfalls, will last at least until March. Last month, according to Rutgers University in the US, saw the second greatest extent of snow cover in the northern hemisphere since records began in 1966. Meanwhile the state of Florida experienced sub-zero temperatures for the longest period in 100 years. (For more details see Anthony Watts's Watts Up With That blog.)
Mr Bastardi is also wondrously scornful about that recent prediction of the UK Met Office's very expensive computer models that 2010 will be "the warmest year on record". Those poor guys, he says, are relying on an El Niño event in the Pacific which is simply not happening as they hoped.
Meanwhile, it is reported from Belgium that 90 per cent of the market in carbon trading, designed to stop global warming, may be fraudulent, as criminals cash in on a massive VAT scam which Brussels estimates could cost EU member states five billion euros. This is accompanied by further revelations about how James Hansen's GISS temperature record, one of four that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change relies on for its predictions over the next 100 years, was caught out in 2007 having "adjusted" its data to show temperatures rising faster and further than the evidence justified. You couldn't, as they say, make it up.