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Swedish weather 'hard to predict': forecaster

Swedish weather 'hard to predict': forecaster

Published: 10 Aug 2011 15:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Aug 2011 15:50 GMT+02:00

Rain showers, followed by bouts of sunshine, followed by ominous looking skies – this summer it’s been extra difficult to predict Sweden's weather and thus meet government targets for forecasting accuracy.

Fredrik Linde, head of forecasts at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), told Sveriges Radio (SR) that it is always more difficult to predict the weather during the summer as the cloud build-up is faster and can rapidly produce rain and thunder storms. But this year it has apparently been especially difficult.

“During June and July we have had fairly unstable weather as we have been positioned in a zone between cooler air in the west and warmer in the east. This has meant a lot of thunder and showers and we have found it hard to predict their movements,” said Linde to SR

Earlier this spring, the government unleashed a swell of frustration over inaccurate weather forecasts, and environment minister Andreas Carlgren demanded improvements from meteorologists at the state-owned institute.

Last year every sixth full-day forecast was wrong, well below the agreed rate for good quality.

Meteorologists also missed 33 percent of gale warnings in 2010 compared with 22 percent in 2008.

The state subsequently ruled that at least 85 percent of forecasts in one year must be accurate. Sweden, it was decided, needed better weather.

To meet the 85 percent target, SMHI General Director Lena Pour pledged to invest in more accurate information.

“Given that we did not reach our goals I have issued a mandate to those who make the forecasts that they actually have to improve the quality," she said to TT at the time.

So far this year, the institute has been right in 83 percent of their forecasts. Only looking at the summer months the number of accurate forecasts have been a little worse.

But Linde told SR that he believes the institute will have reached the target by the end of the year, despite the accuracy rate actually worsening recently.

“The last two years have seen very cold and snowy winters, which has kept us steadily at 83 percent. Before that we saw a very positive trend for several years but the unstable weather with showers and cold winters have been difficult to forecast,” Linde told SR.

SMHI announced earlier this summer the planned acquisition of a new super computer, named "Byvind", to replace the old "Bore" system - one of the innovations hoped to enable SMHI to reach their target of accuracy.

According to SMHI IT manager Håkan Borg, the new computer venture is just the first step in the development of a better service from SMHI.

The next phase will entail a cooperation between Swedish weather services and its Norwegian counterpart. According to Borg, they will join forces and pool IT resources to a joint and even more powerful super computer serving the needs of the two countries.

“We are counting on having finished this in 2014 and will then start looking into a possible cooperation with the other Nordic countries,” Borg told trade paper Computer Sweden in July.

SMHI is a government agency under the Ministry of the Environment and offers services such as general forecasts and weather warnings, simulations and analyses, statistics, climate studies and contracted research among others.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:10 August 10, 2011 by conboy
I think Swedish women are more predictable than Swedish weather discuss!
17:35 August 10, 2011 by andyron2
When i first landed in sweden few yrs ago,heard people say that swedish women and swedish weather are both unpredictable.I agree with you conboy.women slightly predictable now.
19:01 August 10, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Fortunately, the government will keep on fighting climate change, but not women change, because as andyron2 and conboy wrote, they are more predictable now, so why fighting them? No fuss with me.
19:36 August 10, 2011 by johan rebel
SMHI doesn't even provide forecasts for where I live, and yes, I do live in Sweden! Much better to ignore SMHI completely (except for statistics and after-the-facts reports). Satellite, radar and other images on the DMI and YR sites, as well as some meteorological knowledge and a modicum of common sense are more than sufficient to reliably predict your own local weather if you live in southern Sweden.
20:01 August 10, 2011 by rfmann
Seriously, what's so difficult to predict about the weather here? Here is my "prediction", for any day of the year: crap, too cold, high chance of precipitation. I estimate that's pretty darn accurate 90% of the time. Now as far as women are concerned...
20:32 August 10, 2011 by victzie
that is thesame thing with swedish women,they are like the weather and they don't know what they want.their men cannot cope with them,so they go for thai respected women,who knows a man should be a man and woman a woman.
21:26 August 10, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Hey fellows. You enjoy the rain and I will try to remember how to enjoy a woman, regardless of her nationality. So join me:

I'm singing in the rain

Just singing in the rain

What a glorious feelin'

I'm happy again

I'm laughing at clouds

So dark up above

The sun's in my heart

And I'm ready for love

Let the stormy clouds chase

Everyone from the place

Come on with the rain

I've a smile on my face

I walk down the lane

With a happy refrain

Just singin',

Singin' in the rain
22:04 August 10, 2011 by J Jack
if they just broadcast a decent doppler radar in real time we can all see what the weather is doing whenever we need .. smhi is just a school for meteo's and in summer most of them go on semester .. just admit you're all working off history models. bore system my ass
01:44 August 11, 2011 by Daveo
I get my Swedish weather from the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
02:28 August 11, 2011 by bira
Really? More so than anywhere else...deserts excluded.
07:38 August 11, 2011 by mamegoma
I agree with rfmann.
09:53 August 11, 2011 by andyron2
@ J.L Belmar

Enjooyed the Rain.At first ,I thought those were your own lyrics:)
10:45 August 11, 2011 by conboy
Thank you Belmar you are a fount of wisdom !!!!
10:51 August 11, 2011 by countrysidedrive
The weather forcasting in Sweden has not been good for a very long time. I gave up even looking at the weather reports from Sweden a long time ago because they were not helpful or accurate most of the time. When every day on the forcast says it will be sunny, cloudy or rainy and then one day it is sunny and another day it is cloudy and another day its rainy and another day a little of everything is not a forcast.

Since the weather forcasting is so innacurate the following ideas would greatly help the public in assessing the weather themselves.

1- Live dopler radar

2- Live cloud movement radar

3- Live wind map

All to be available online.
15:11 August 11, 2011 by conboy
Or the old hand out the window technique
15:46 August 11, 2011 by andyron2
I think animals can do a good job.If only their behaviour is studied more. Its proved dogs,groundhogs,frogs,roosters,pigs,rats,...can all predict the coming of bad weather.I have my doubts they can predict swedish weather though...hehe....may be they would have their 6th sense shattered......remember an old saying...rats desert a sinking ship...but still time to do more research on them,rather spending millions on SMHI n super computers.give them a chance.
16:39 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
15:46 August 11, 2011 by andyron2

No one can predict the weather in Sweden, because we have to start with the fact that it is a not predictable country.

Some one to join me in the fight against climate change?
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