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Why do we still not trust the weather forecast?

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A 1971 television forecast gives American viewers the big picture
A 1971 television forecast gives American viewers the big picture Credit: H Armstrong Roberts

Simon Ings reviews The Weather Machine by Andrew Blum

Reading New York journalist Andrew Blum’s new book has cured me of a foppish and annoying habit. I no longer dangle an umbrella off my arm on sunny days, tripping up my fellow commuters before (inevitably) mislaying the bloody thing on the train to Coulsdon Town. Very late, and to my considerable embarrassment, I have discovered just how reliable the weather forecast is.

My thoroughly English prejudice against the dark art of weather prediction was already set by the time the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts opened in Reading in 1979. Back then, Blum tells us, the ECMWF claimed to be able to see three days into the future....

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