Not exactly how the Met Office see it…

Courtesy BBC

In his forecast on the BBC this afternoon Darren Bett doesn’t mention exactly how high the hills are he expects snow to fall on during Wednesday and Thursday – a snow level at this point might have been a good idea. The Met Office make it quite clear in their yellow warning regarding that snow is expected to fall on low ground as well as high ground. Darren also rather conveniently forgets to mention just how much snow he expects even though the warning again is quite specific saying that 2 to 5 cm is expected on lower ground, with 5 to 10 cm and possibly 20 cm on higher ground. The Met Office warning is never mentioned or shown in his forecast.

It’s been quite noticeable to me that during this cold spell that the BBC forecast has been out of synch with many of the warnings for snow and ice issued by the Met Office. I wonder just how much latitude the weathercasters at the BBC have about following the line given in these warnings or if there guidance is strictly from Meteogroup HQ. When Meteogroup eventually took over the BBC contract in spring 2017 you could foresee situations like this would arise, in which Meteogroup would favour one model that differed quite markedly from the UKMO model, this probably happens more frequently than we’ll ever realise. It will be interesting to see just how wintry the next couple of days turn out to be.

Looking back to when Meteogroup took over the contract for the BBC in spring 2017, the then Chief executive of the UKMO said:-

“Obviously we were disappointed, MeteoGroup is a service provider that relies on the national meteorological agencies to provide the data, taking data from a range of sources, some of which will be ours, and serving it into the BBC the way the BBC wants them to, I don’t really see the public will notice a great deal of difference.”

Rob Varley
Chief Executive Meteorological Office
2014-2018

Well I’m a member of the public and I notice the difference – it’s little wonder they sacked him the following year.

Courtesy UKMO

1 thought on “Not exactly how the Met Office see it…”

  1. Temperature profiles are isothermal in the warning area, so snow definitely likely to low levels, except near coasts with onshore flow. AIUI Meteogroup are totally independent of MO guidance and warnings. As warnings are only issued when confidence is reasonable in the forecasted event (i.e. models in good agreement or the event has already started) then it is difficult to see Meteogroup and MO diverging very much on a warnable scenario.

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