Sunday 11 December 2016

Met Eireann defends warning about snowfall

Published 12/01/2010 | 05:00

DON'T blame it on the weatherman. Met Eireann has defended issuing the warning for significant snowfall that never arrived, saying there's no such thing as "perfect" forecasting.

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There were predictions that Leinster would be plagued by snow storms over the weekend but the ice began thawing and conditions improved.

Weatherman David Rogers defended the warning, saying that forecasts were only accurate based on conditions at a particular moment in time and that as weather systems changed "the effects of chaos took over".

"A bit is public perception and misapprehension about statements made," he said. "Each day brings a new set of prognosis on which a judgment has to be made and this information is then disseminated. In terms of statements saying the weather would remain as cold, they were correct (at the time), but things change.

"It's complicated to get the message across. There's no such thing as perfect forecasting. You're starting with an imperfect forecast and imperfect model. There is accuracy, but the forecasts say the accuracy decreases as you go further out (in time). As the weather proceeds, the effects of chaos takes over."

The Arctic freeze which has hung over Ireland for the last three weeks is giving way to milder air coming from the Atlantic, he added. But forecasters have warned that this week will be a "mixed bag", with rain for the south today and snow and sleet in the north.

Irish Independent

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