Thursday, January 07, 2010

Reply from the Met Office regarding the 'bug' I thought I had found

A few days ago I posted what I thought was a bug in code from the Met Office. It turns out that the code was not in error, the Met Office explanation of what the fields are was. Here's the Met Office reply:

The bug isn't a bug. That is what the code is supposed to do.
When we first put this web page out:

We mistakenly said that data before the "first good year" were
not used. This was not true and we have since amended the page.

So, what looked like a bug was an error in the documentation given by the Met Office.

PS At the time of writing the page does not appear to have been amended (it still talks about the First Good Year), nor does it seem to acknowledge the real dataset problem I found.


Bishop Hill said...

So they're using unreliable data?

A bit controversial, I would say!

Alex said...

No. Actually, they're not. They cocked up some stations in Australia, acknowledged this and fixed this. You would know this if you read the posts, rather than just spamming "they're using unreliable data" anywhere you can.

John Graham-Cumming said...

It's not clear that they are using 'unreliable data', because it's hard to know what the 'First Good Year' really means.

Originally the Met Office web site said that it meant data before that was unreliable. Their email says that that was incorrect.

I agree that it looks odd that you'd have a field called 'First Good Year' that you document with the words 'data before that year are suspect' and that subsequently you say the opposite. But I'm no expert on Met Office data, the Met Office is and so I'm going to accept their response.