Met Office Triumphs Nearly Correct Forecast of Over Eight Hours
Pressure was growing on the Scottish government tonight after the country's transport minister appeared to blame the wrong kind of weather forecast for the travel chaos that brought much of the central belt to a standstill in heavy snow.
Police were today still working to clear hundreds of vehicles stuck or abandoned on key routes. Some travellers endured 15 hours trapped in their vehicles on Monday night as snow, ice and freezing fog left many major routes, such as the M8 and M9, impassable.
The Scottish transport minister, Stewart Stevenson, initially insisted that the authorities had done a first-class job in the face of "unforecast and extreme weather". He told BBC Radio Scotland that the government had prepared for one set of weather but "the advice we were working on did not meet the requirements".
Forecasters, however, insisted that snow warnings were made on Sunday night and Monday. The Met Office, which the Scottish government uses as its source for weather information, said no one should have been surprised.
"Warnings went on to our public website at around 8.40 on Sunday evening for heavy snow starting at 5am," said Met Office spokeswoman Helen Chivers. "The amounts were for 2cm to 5cm overall with up to 10cm in some places." She said 5cm of fresh snow fell in Glasgow and 7cm in Edinburgh. There were reports of 12cm falling in Livingston.
Wow! A forecast over eight hours ahead of a blizzard. What more could you expect for the measly millions the Met Office costs?
My bunch of seaweed is frozen solid hanging outside the porch and is covered in white stuff, so relying on that I have no idea what the weather today is going to be.