And now the Irish Times joins in with #kenringwatch

The Irish Times presumably have a research budget, which I suppose is one legitimate way of spending money to acquire a Ken Ring “weather almanac.”  Whatever the reason, they’ve bought one, and covered Ken’s predictions for the week just gone, here.  The story (which is mainly about the stormy weather we’ve been having and record high waves) tells us that Ken predicts:

a cold, mainly dry day in Dublin today [Monday 3rd] with wind and a chance of sleet or hail showers. Tomorrow [Tuesday 4th] will be overcast, cold, mostly dry with frosts and windy spells and Wednesday’s weather in Dublin, it adds, should be changeable with squally winds, showers of sleet and light snow.

Although I wouldn’t disagree that 8.5 degrees is cold, it rained cats and dogs on Monday (no sleet, no hail, just rain). Tuesday was sunny, and stopped being “mostly dry” when it rained constantly from just after 6pm.  Wednesday was pretty much more of the same (again, no sleet, no snow).  (All reports available from met.ie).

Mr Ring’s predictions for the whole month were:

5. Heavy month for snow in terms of number of days of snow, but it won’t be heavy (1)
6. Snow on 5th and 6th (1)
7. Snow on 14th to 19th (1)
8. Most concentrated snow time of the winter (1)
9. Snow “Intense” from mid-February onwards (2) (how this squares with The Last Word, where he says it won’t be heavy, I’m not sure)
10. February expected to be bitterly cold and snowfalls expected around Valentine’s Day. (3)
11. Kerry, he says, may get the heaviest falls around Feb 17 to 19. (3)

One third of the way through the month and things aren’t looking too good for these predictions, though we’re a few days out from the “intense” snow days of the middle of the month.

No mention of any of those floods in Cork, Limerick and elsewhere, though.  Oh well.

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3 thoughts on “And now the Irish Times joins in with #kenringwatch

  1. I disagree. Anyone with the Almanac for Ireland will see on the page entitled “Wind for 2014” very high winds listed for the last week in January – signifiying a powerful wind potential over the last 3 days of the month to coincide with the very high tides.
    Under “Overview..” I have warned of flooding in the last week of January. Clearly this would apply to coastal communities.
    New moon perigees, especially close ones, tend to skew forecasts more because the moon is moving faster during both new moon time and any time of perigee, and faster still during a closer perigee. It means a skewing of timing, which is partly why I issue my disclaimer which warns that from two years away, it is prudent to observe a 3-4 day window (Under “The Weather Map”).
    The unusually high tides were the biggest of the year around the world, and all coastal areas had larger waves as a result.
    The story criticised me for not having predicted a “storm” in so many words:
    “The storm of that weekend does not appear to have been predicted by New Zealand weather forecaster Ken Ring”
    Yet on 25 January in the words of Met Eireann on their website http://www.met.ie/forecasts/ I equally found no mention of the word “storm” at that time, but the reporter did not query their word choice.
    I go to great pains to clarify that the way to read the book is not always day by day but giving it a window of potential that may vary. If turbulent conditions are called for then they will usually arrive, but perhaps a little further on in a week. Weather is an inexact science, like medicine. But if a doctor told you that the onset of your condition may take a few days to develop, even up to a week, and may clear up after a few days or may take a week or so, you would not call him a quack. Everybody accepts that as the state of the science. Neither would you check his competence day by day and/or publish same nationwide. And it would be more than a little unfair to call for weather predicting to surpass that of medical practice.
    As for comparison to reality on a monthly basis, once again, it is unfair to single me out and not all other inexact sciences, including a local doctor and Met Eireann. I am not on public trial and am doing my best. I do always admit an error factor, and of course any monthly comment is unbalanced if it does not include all my correct predictions as well.
    In my almanac on the daily pages, my words were
    January
    27th “breezy”,
    28th”windy,
    30th and 31st:“squally”

    February
    2nd: “line squalls”
    3rd:”hail showers”
    4th and 5th:”squally”
    6th: “blustery”
    The reader would have been left in do doubt that the end of January/beginning of February would be turbulent.

    An insight into the reporter’s bias can be seen when he says “..Ken Ring, who has claimed considerable success..including last summer’s heatwave..”
    Why did he say “claimed”? I actually achieved that considerable success, because the heatwave arrived on the exact day, 9 July, that I had warned of in the almanac 2013 and in January to Irish media. I find these innuendoes offensive. I always enjoy supportive mail from Ireland from farmers etc who find my work essential to their forward planning. I was told I saved livelihoods last year because some farmers were considering selling before the summer, and I had given them reason to be optimistic and plan economically for a hot dry summer. I am doing my best to bring a service to Ireland that is not available elsewhere. My business would soon go to ruin if denigration was a policy adopted by media. Mine is not a profit-driven business but a trust that invests any profit into development. All staff have other jobs to support families. In the end we are only offering an educated opinion, and people are free to read it or not. We are not accountable to the taxpayer because we receive zero funding.
    I will say I am wrong when I am, within the limits of my disclaimer. I admit already to 80-85% accuracy, which means potentially incorrect 15% of the time, the same percentage that Met Eireann also claims.

    A reporter intent on fair monthly comment, might have penned something like this:
    “Ken Ring’s predictions of a typical and somewhat mild Irish winter have so far been mostly okay with few snow events throughout most of the country thus far and avoiding the violent type of season that some other northern hemisphere countries have been experiencing. This holds up better than the predictions of a devastatingly cold and snowy winter that various other forecasters made before the season started. Ring’s almanac predicted high winds in the last week of January, some flooding up to the 24th give or take a few days, and squally conditions that could last into the first week of February. In longrange weather from two years away it is always expected that some day-to-day predictions might not be exact, and Ring warns of this beforehand with his 80-85% claim of accuracy. But trend-wise he has not been too far off, which bodes well for his claim of a cold spring with subzero minimums lasting well into April and occasionally beyond, and then to follow, a much milder summer than the 2013 one.”

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