Can You Rely on Weather Forecasts?

Gritting | Snow Clearing | Weather Forcasting | 02 September

At one point in time, we’ve all done it; weeks before our holiday, wedding, or special occasion, we have eagerly jumped onto the MET Office (or other reliable reporting sources) website to check out the long-range weather forecast. Then as time draws closer to said day of the event, you see the weather changing dramatically, and nine times out of ten, it looks nothing like what was predicted a couple of weeks back. Of course, if you ask most people, they will caveat any long-range forecast, but this could all change.

So, are we right in being so pessimistic about long-range forecasts? Can you rely on them? The simple answer is no; we are entirely right to be cynical. This is because the facts prove the weather can only be predicted with some extent of reliability up to ten days, fourteen at a stretch.

After ten days, the forecast will only be right about half the time. This unpredictability is because meteorologists use computer programs called weather models to make forecasts. Since we can’t collect data from the future, models must use estimates and assumptions to predict future weather. However, the atmosphere is constantly changing, so those estimates are less reliable the further you get into the future.

In truth, meteorology is still an inexact science. Forecasters and researchers spend their entire lives looking for ways to perfect their forecasts, but the perfect forecast is still elusive. However, predictions are much better today than just a few decades ago. For example, today’s three-day temperature forecast is just as accurate as a one-day temperature forecast almost 40 years ago. Meteorologists have gotten good at longer-range predictions, too, but modern technology has its limits.

At this time of year, when the media starts announcing mild winters, you should take it with a pinch of salt; after all, they didn’t predict the tropical weather the UK has experienced this summer.

The fact remains that we do not know what the winter will bring us weather-wise. Therefore, it would be ill-advised to leave anything to chance, specifically leaving your winter maintenance planning in the hope of a mild season.

So, have you planned a successful winter maintenance plan? Do your site risk assessment plans pinpoint potentially hazardous areas at risk of severe winter conditions? Has your business got a sufficient supply of products, materials, and equipment to last the duration of a harsh event? Do you use a contractor that provides a service guarantee and service notifications and can provide all relevant reports, including daily weather forecasts and invoicing details?

If you do not have any of this in place or are unsure if you have a suitable plan, now is the time to contact us for a free consultation. We can help to ensure your winter maintenance is covered as the flexibility in our contracts means you can cancel planned visits that are no longer needed – but we can be certain we will support you when you require it the most.

Contact us today for a free site visit: click here