It seems as if the MO has two conflicting operating arms: the scientists (who, we may assume, have normal levels of astuteness and scientific caution) and the PR and Communications arm, who appear to be the MO's propaganda wing. This quotation is revealing:
"The strapline 'odds on for a barbeque summer' was created by the operations and communications teams to reflect the probability of a good summer. Concern over the use of the strapline and its relationship to the scientific information available was expressed by the scientific community, who were not consulted prior to the media release."And the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) have an observation:
The GWPF is drawing attention to a map published on the Met Office website in October which indicated that the UK was likely to experience above-normal temperatures in the ensuing three-month period.A picture emerges: scientists working in the background, trying to provide a reliable outlook for the weather, based on probabilities which no-one else understands, and a PR wing, who are determined to turn the scientific advice into catchy, black-and-white memorable phrases which follow the required political agenda.
For the GPWF, which is sceptical of the Met Office and other mainstream analysis of global warming, this is evidence of a Met Office tendency to under-predict cold weather and over-predict mild winters.
I liked this comment:
Of course, when it's hotter than average, it's 'climate' - when it's colder than average, it's 'weather.'