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Topic: Predicting the weather
Predicting the weather
The British have a love hate affair with the weather forecast. Such is our national obsession with the weather: we love to watch it and at the same time criticise it. Michael Fish and his ‘non-hurricane’ of 1987 have become part of modern British folklore. But it’s no laughing matter – inaccurate forecasts cost the British economy billions of pounds a year. So why can’t we predict the weather accurately? Does the problem lie with the Meteorological Office? Does the language used by weather forecasters create a barrier to understanding? Or is the weather inherently difficult to predict?
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Topic section: Playing monopoly with the weather forecasts
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The Meteorological Office has a near-monopoly of weather forecasts in the UK. We can try to predict the weather ourselves by watching the direction of the wind and tapping the barometer or can Piers Corbyn and his sunspot model do any better?  > more

Topic section: 'There isn’t a hurricane on the way...'
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The wind may have uprooted a tree in your garden, but it was only a severe gale, not a hurricane. You may be drenched, but it was only a shower. Weather forecasters use a very specific terminology that baffles most of us. It is all a matter of interpretation.  > more

Topic section: Just because you can model it, doesn’t mean you can predict it
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Can we forecast the weather by crunching lots of data? This idea was first put forward by Lewis Fry Richardson in 1922, but he lacked the mechanical means to do the analysis. The Meteorological Office uses the latest supercomputers to do the job.  > more
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