BBC and Met Office ‘at war’ over white Christmas with polar opposite forecasts

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The Government-run Met Office has forecast a mild few months ahead but the BBC, which gets its information from DTN, has warned of an incoming deep freeze

Experts say energy and road transport firms, airlines and supermarkets will all be hit by the uncertainty
Experts say energy and road transport firms, airlines and supermarkets will all be hit by the uncertainty

Britain’s two biggest forecasters have predicted polar opposite weather for this winter, leaving people wondering if we’re in for a white Christmas or not.

The Government-run Met Office has forecast a mild few months ahead but the BBC, which gets its information from private company DTN, warned of a deep freeze.

The firm won the BBC’s multi-million-pound weather contract from the Met Office three years ago.

Experts say energy and road transport firms, airlines and supermarkets will all be hit by the uncertainty.

John Hammond, a former weatherman at both the BBC and Met Office, said: “It’s meteorological mayhem with huge disagreement on what happens in the months ahead.

“They are starkly different forecasts and can’t both be right.



The Met Office says: “A mild three-month period is more likely than a cold one”
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Image:

Getty Images)












“There are huge implications for customers such as Government, the energy sector, media and a wide range of other industries.

“Back-pedalling will be required by one of the big boys. Who will blink first?”

The Met Office says: “A mild three-month period is more likely than a cold one.

“Consistent with a warming climate, there is a reduction in the chance of cold.”

But the BBC’s forecaster DTN says: “This winter is likely to feature a weak ­polar ­vortex, bringing ­increased cold risks from Arctic air masses later in the season. January and February could feature frigid air, similar to last year.”



The BBC’s forecaster DTN says: “This winter is likely to feature a weak ­polar ­vortex”
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Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)




DTN, or Data Transmission Network, is a company that offers data analysis, meteorological consulting and weather forecasting.

The Met Office is hoping it will win out after splurging £1.2billion on a new supercomputer. It will rank among the top 25 supercomputers in the world and be twice as powerful as any other in the UK, Mail Online reported.

A Met Office spokesman told the same publication: “The Met Office cannot comment on DTN forecasts as we do not have a full ‘inside’ understanding of the methods and techniques they use to produce forecasts.”

Odds at the bookies for a White Christmas have been slashed as a result as it looks increasingly likely that there will be blankets of the white stuff on December 25, for the first time since 2010.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Plenty of punters will be dreaming of a White Christmas this year, and the odds suggest they could well get their wish, with 2/1 being on offer for any part of the UK to wake up to snow on December 25th.”

In the short term, a chilly start to the week is expected across the UK, with the Met Office saying temperatures are unlikely to get above 10C on Monday.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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