• Question: is it ture that we are post to get the worse winter in a 100 years?

    Asked by nicky_ to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 12 Nov 2014. This question was also asked by 263bera42.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 12 Nov 2014:

      No absolutely not (yes it may happen). See what I did there?

      These stories are all utter twonk. Met Eireann or the UK Met Office don’t forecast beyond 8 days and only publish up to 5 days and they constantly put out press releases debunking these stories. Its always just some private weather service getting free advertising from gullible journalists and The Examiner as well as other media outlets fell for it. Again.

      We can certainly model what the climate will do in the longer term (over 10’s of years) but not what the weather will be like beyond about 8 days!

      Not saying it won’t happen, but there’s no way these guys can predict it.

    • Photo: Tríona O'Connell

      Tríona O'Connell answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      Probably not, it’s impossible to predict weathre that far away, 5 days is the limit of reliability, and ten day predictions are kinda rubbish.
      We can predict climate, but that’s an average of the weather. It doesnt say that it’ll be extremely hot or cold or in the middle, just that it’s likely to fall within a certain range. The only way we’ll know is to get a time traveller to drop back to us with the records of how this year went.

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi nicky_ and 263bera42.,

      It’s true that weather forecasting has made amazing progress in the past century. But it’s not possible to predict weather more than 10-12 days with high accuracy. “Weather” is just a description of what our atmosphere is up to – how hot the air is, how dense it is, what direction it’s moving in and whether or not it’s carrying much water with it. You know how they work: they collect as much weather data (temperature, pressure, wind speed and so on) as they can from as many places as possible, to build up a picture of the weather right at this moment. This stage is generally automated, since there are lots of weather stations and satellites out there continually making measurements. Then, the forecasters use the laws of physics and a very large computer to work out how all that weather will have changed a minute from now, and then a minute after that. And so they step forward in time, using the answer from each step to work out the answer for the next step. So, I hope this will help you in understanding that the second step is all estimation so not possible for them to predict weather more than 10-12 days.