HC Deb 01 May 1963 vol 676 cc111-2W
53. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Secretary of State for Air by what date he now expects to complete his consideration of the issue of 30-day weather forecasts.

Mr. Ridsdale

The matter will be considered by the Meteorological Committee at its meeting in the middle of June and my right hon. Friend will make his decision as soon as possible after receiving its recommendation.

54. Mr. Maginnis

asked the Secretary of State for Air what percentage accuracy is obtained by the Meterological Office in forecasting weather conditions for Northern Ireland.

Mr. Ridsdale

There is no satisfactory method of making an over-all assessment of the accuracy of weather forecasts and expressing it as a percentage, partly because they are made up of a number of factors such as temperature, wind speed and direction, cloud cover and rainfall, which have to be evaluated separately, and partly because weather effects are frequently quite local.

In 1956 the Meteorological Office asked senior schools throughout the United Kingdom to report on the accuracy of the forecasts issued by the B.B.C. Those in Northern Ireland said that about 92 per cent, of the forecasts were mainly correct. About the same time, the Meteorological Office staff at outstations were assessing, with the aid of instruments, B.B.C. forecasts which applied to their particular regions. They gave the Northern Ireland forecasts a score of 61 per cent.