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accuracy under attack

Swedish weather forecasts "Not good enough"

Published lördag 5 mars 2011 kl 11.11
The national weather service in Norrköping. Photo: Åke Erlandsson/SVT

Sweden's weather forecasts just are not up to scratch, according to the Swedish Government.

In its contract with the government, the national weather service SMHI, is expected to have an accuracy rate of 85% in its short-term forecasts. It managed 82.5% for forecasts over the next 24 hours last year, and just 69.3% in its five-day predictions, and that is not good enough, says Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren to newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

"It's important when planning holiday weekends, when there is a lot of traffic on the roads, for example. It's important that the forecasts are correct", he told the newspaper.

SMHI also has the responsibility for issuing weather warnings, but last year only gave advance warning of two-thirds of the gale-force winds, and 38 percent of all their weather warnings ended up being false alarms.

Meanwhile, a researcher at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology says that SMHI's weather models are outdated. Katarina Elevant told DN that there are better mathematical models available.

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