Betting on the Weather

Betting on the Weather

With friends and family flying out from the UK over the last few days it would be fair to say I was hoping for good weather.

On the other hand, Piers Corbyn over at was predicting “feet of snow” in parts of the UK for the 12-16 December period.

WeatherAction 12-16 December 2014

So far, Mother Nature hasn’t smiled upon this particular prediction by Piers Corbyn because “the Germans took our snow”.

Britain & Ireland & NW Europe ICY ARCTIC BLAST ON CUE
but UK WeatherAction expected snow largely shifted into Europe.

WeatherAction LongRange forecast and public warning for an Arctic (see info map below) blast into Britain & Ireland ~12-16th (normally+/-1day) was well confirmed from Scotland to the South with very low temperatures and a widespread very sharp frost under amazing starry skies with groundfrost persisting*** all day in (the shade in) as far south as – for example – the South Midlands on 13th.

If there had been more dampness around on 13th this cold would have given more widespread snow we warned was likely for this period 12-16th especially the early part of it.

As it turned out when there were weather fronts over England on 12th there was heavy snow mainly in North parts of England in line with our WeatherAction predictions for the most snowy areas (see pic below for Grassington Yorks 03.56z 12th) and the South Midlands but we had not snow but heavy rain in South England on the 05.20z snow+rain radar map below. If temperatures had been a bit lower there would have been wads of snow in the South as well as the whack in the North.

Significantly at the start of the ~12-16th period the rain in the South on morning of 12th was accompanied by extreme winds in the Channel and transport disruption which if temperatures had been lower would have been blizzards and disruption by them.

The Germans took our snow!

In Germany the weather fronts associated with this rain in South England were with colder air and gave massive snow in a short heavy very disruptive blast in Hessen: –

Snow-forecast - Last 3 Days - 15 Dec 2014

It would seem fair to say that Piers Corbyn’s UK weather forecasts are unique because:

a) They are made up to 97 days ahead of the competition.
b) They specialise in predicting extreme weather events.
c) They focus upon a very small geographic area.
d) The mainstream “forecast horizon” for the UK usually varies between 4 and 7 days.

It would also be fair to say that Piers Corbyn is good at predicting the timing of extreme weather events.

Basically as many have noted our essential scenario for this period has so far worked out well – miles better then any others from more than a week ahead – except for it been not quite cold enough in South England when the fronts were there.

Unfortunately, Piers Corbyn is not always right about where these extreme weather events occur.

“We can partly understand this shift of our forecast weather patterns East or NorthEast into Europe as an over-application of our SLAT11 which pulled initial patterns more South / SW. This is being investigated”, said Piers “but this does not suggest any modifications to December beyond now, although further detail is being looked into (to be reported on 15th).

This is not surprising because [based upon my understanding of the SLAT technique] Piers Corbyn has to trawl back through the weather archives to find analogues that closely match his predicted Solar and Lunar influence pattern.

Therefore, the weakness of the SLAT technique reflects the observation that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but is does rhyme”.

My personal perspective, when it comes to Piers Corbyn’s forecasts, is that I can accept that he occasionally “shoots himself in the foot” when [mixing my metaphors] he is “aiming so high”.

Another respected forecaster who references historic analogues when formulating his long range forecasts is Joe Bastardi at

WeatherBell Dec 2014 Forecast

Joe Bastardi isn’t so prone to “shoot himself in the foot” with his long range forecasts for the USA.

On the other hand, Piers Corbyn is also painting impressive forecasts on the larger US canvas.

WeatherAction USA 5-8 November 2014

We can only guess whether Joe could outgun Piers when it comes to the British weather.

My guess is that Joe would do well – especially as so much of the UK weather [coming from the west] is cast-off American weather.

Either way, I wouldn’t bet against any forecast made by Piers Corbyn or Joe Bastardi.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Atmospheric Science, Gerald Pollack. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Betting on the Weather

  1. A C Osborn says:

    As you say he got the “cold spell” right but was off on it’s severity due to most of it going East, he also got the high winds and rain right, only being out a day or 2. Not bad for 79 days beforehand.
    By contrast the BBC, which I assume is Met Office based modify their local 5 day forecasts practically every day, sometimes even for the current day between morning and afternoon.

    He used to publish his experimental “Earthquake” predictions as well, but I have not seen them for a while.

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