Monday, 6 Dec 2021

BBC and Met Office at war over ‘deep freeze’ winter weather forecasts

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Britain's two biggest forecasters have predicted polar opposites for this winter.

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

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.

“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 Met Office is hoping it will win out after splurging £1.2billion on a new supercomputer.

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 (22 November).

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  • UK Weather
  • Met Office
  • BBC

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