Ongoing BoM utter incompetence

Every month the Australian BoM published a three month “Outlook” (prediction based on models) for rainfall and temperatures.

The Outlook press releases are often picked up by the media who quote them with reverence as though “written on tablets of stone”. I am only aware of one journalist who has had the temerity to draw attention to Outlook shortcomings – that is Andrew Bolt.

I have been critical of the hopeless inaccuracy of their results for years when compared to real world anomalies. I tend to comment more on failed rainfall Outlooks but this winter the temperature Outlooks were pathetic.

Winter 2010 BoM  Outlooks

For a start – the entire Outlook map areas are predicted to be far too hot. This has been a common fault in BoM temperature Oulooks for a long time – look for yourself. What are these people smoking ?

  • Maxtemp panels: The Outlook is for daytime temperatures to be higher than average across all Australia and yet the actual weather turned out to be cooler than average over much of the continent.
  • Mintemp panels: Not quite as bad as maxtemp – but still overall far too warm – did not predict any green areas. They could not even get the overall shape right – the Outlook has east and west hot areas separated by a N/S axis. The weather was actually warmer in north – cooler in south – separate by an E/W axis.

My main gripes about the mostly failing BoM Outlooks are;

  • the BoM is advising Govt that future temperatures multi decades ahead will be warmer in line with the IPCC predictions, which Govt takes on board to justify their “great big new tax” carbon reduction policy – yet the BoM fails to have any predictive skill 90 DAYS ahead !!!
  • the Dept churning out these defective Outlooks is simply a waste of our taxes, so I say fire the lot of them.

6 thoughts on “Ongoing BoM utter incompetence”

  1. Warwick

    I think you are right, some of them could do with a career change. Perhaps they should follow their hearts to the electoral/ campaign offices of the Australian Greens or the ALP ( or perhaps get a job writing new cartoon plots for “the roadrunner & wily coyote” )

    On a more serious note the Treasury has ventured into climate advocacy:-

    “Climate change is likely inevitable and the impacts of unmitigated climate change on Australia are likely to be severe,” apparently from the little red book handed to JG

    Perhaps BoM is the warm up act( should they be paid up members of Actors Equity?)

  2. Unfortunately the BoM climate gurus keep spouting the same old stuff that these “statements of probability” are not true predictions, and that those who dispute them can’t understand maths. But I say, what is the point of them in that case? What on earth does a 60% chance of above average temperatures mean for a farmer if it doesn’t provide some confidence? The other problem with a “statement of probability” is that it can never be shown to be wrong. For the funding received they have to do much better than this, and I don’t mean reconstructing raw temperature data on the basis of second-rate historical research that ignores the existence of Stevenson screens pre-1910.

  3. Lindsay

    “Statements of Probability” would appear to be generated from models fed with UHI affected data which looks like it is consistantly “homogenised” in an upward direction.

    We keep hearing the “Hottest” Blah, Blah, Blah but at the same time if you look at Warwicks fine work & that at kenskingdom you would have to be a wee bit sceptical of the motives driving the persistant Chicken Little predictions which come from BoM.

    Don’t give all your jumpers to Vinnies just yet. I am keeping mine!

  4. All projections are based on models. Do we know what the models are, or whose they are similar to? To the IPCC, except on a short-term basis? Strikes me that the boffins doing it are probably more than compentent, and embarrassed by the year-end comparisons. Probably are told to use certain models with certain PC assumptions and risk handling options. If there is a precautionary principle built in to their projections, the models will pump out extremes, as that is what worries us: whether our crops will freeze or broil.

    Before saying we should dump such agencies, it would be better to investigate under what circumstances and directions they are forced to act. Interviews with senior analysts who are now retired would be more appropriate that ranting. Though ranting might be as effective as a strategy as any, considering how protective and self-serving the upper management of large corporations or government departments typically are.

  5. The definition of a computer model:-garbage in=garbage out.When you look the Earths 4.5 billion years of climate history it’s pretty obvious that the climate changes all the time,and life is most abundant when temperatures and Co2 levels are high.Cheers

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