HC Deb 24 April 1963 vol 676 c216
34. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Secretary of State for Air what computers and other equipment are being used or installed in the Meteorological Office for the preparation and issue of 30-day weather forecasts.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Julian Ridsdale)

The methods of long-range forecasting now being studied by the Meteorological Office do not involve elaborate calculations or the use of special equipment, but an electronic computer is used to expedite the examination of relevant data.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Does the Meteorological Office intend to publish 30-day forecasts? The Americans' 30-day weather forecasts for these islands have been "bang-on" recently. Further, is the machinery of the Meteorological Office adequate to issue such forecasts?

Mr. Ridsdale

So far we have been against publishing the Meteorological Office's forecasts because we did not think them reliable enough, though they are at least equal to the American forecasts. However, the matter is being given further study and I hope to make a decision fairly soon. The replacement of the present Meteorological Office computer by a faster machine is under consideration.

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