The Met Office was left embarrassed this week after wrongly forecasting the hottest summer in nearly a century with temperatures in central London hitting nearly 40'C.
"Admitedly, our long-range forecast of a so-called 'Blizzard Summer' was rather misleading," says Richard Mackillan, Head of Forecasting for the Met Office. "After the mistakes we have made in the past with our readings - such as the 'Barbecue Summer' of 2009, we felt new methods were required to figure out the 6 month outlook."
When asked what these new methods entailed, Mr. Mackillan pointed out a revolving drum in the corner of the office.
"This is our 'Rough Guess' engine. Each ticket contains a report that we can send off to the news organisations for them to use for their headlines. The 'Blizzard' ticket came out - so that was the one we went for."