Saturday, January 5th 2013, 4:55 PM EST
Global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 °C and 0.59 °C (90% confidence range) above the long-term (1971-2000) average during the period 2013-2017, with values most likely to be about 0.43 °C higher than average (see blue curves in the Figure 1 below).
The warmest year in the 160-year Met Office Hadley Centre global temperature record in 1998, with a temperature of 0.40°C above long-term average. The forecast of continued global warming is largely driven by increasing levels of greenhouse gases.
The following maps (Figure 2) show the difference between the predicted geographical distribution of temperatures over the period November 2012-October 2017 and long-term averages in °C. Diagram A is the most likely forecast outcome. Diagrams B and C indicate the range of forecast temperatures, such that we expect only a 10% chance of temperatures at a particular location being less than those in B, and only a 10% chance of temperatures higher than in C. Note that these ranges are for each individual location. The chances of these limits being met everywhere are very small, so the complete patterns shown in diagrams B and C are very unlikely to be realised.
Retrospective forecasts have been made from numerous dates in the past. Some of these are shown in the top global annual temperature forecast figure (white curves and red uncertainty regions from 1960, 1965, ..., 2005). Generally, the forecasts predict rises in temperatures similar to those observed (black curve). Many facets of the variability, such as the record warming caused by the large 1997-1998 El Niño and the cooling caused by the 2008 La Niña, are largely within the range of the predictions (red shading).
The following maps (Figure 3) compare observed (A) and forecast (B) surface temperatures (°C) for November 2006 to October 2011 relative to the 1971-2000 long-term average. Forecasts were made starting from November 2006. Stippling shows regions where the observed temperatures do not lie within the predicted range (5-95%) of the forecast.
Look at the foot of the above image "Last Updated 24th December", no doubt someone thought it was a good day to bury bad news!!!
Met Office forecast prior to adjustment
Click the following link to see BOTH forecasts as an overlay