A while back I added another little application to the today screen of my PDA – SBP Weather. It is a pretty straightforward tool that displays a summary weather forecast for a chosen location for either the next four, five or seven days. In my case it is periodically querying the BBC Weather site to get a local forecast for Wokingham.
What is interesting is to note the frequency with which the forecast changes, even during the course of a day, which shows up the inaccuracies of modern forecasting, especially when trying to summarise the weather for an entire day, for a pretty localised area. Indeed on a couple of occasions I tend to find that the current day symbol doesn’t always match up with reality.
Having said that, perhaps it’s down to the changeable weather we’ve been having recently. After our heat-wave at the beginning of the summer most of August has been sunshine and showers, and at times pretty chilly for August. Quite often the symbols are switching between various levels of sun, cloud and rain, so it is really trying to determine whether a particular bank of cloud will cross this part of England without dropping rain or not!
Needless to say, right on cue, the long range forecast over at MetCheck is predicting a mini-heat wave just in time for the schools going back. MetCheck also includes an interesting ‘rest of year’ forecast page, which includes a percentage probability. What is surprising is that there are certain parts of the forecast that have a pretty high, sometimes even 100% accuracy. The reason of course is that there are regular patterns of weather across the UK, so whilst you can’t predict exact temperatures, or exact weather, you can make broad statements about what is likely to happen.