Written Answers. - Weather Forecasting.

Michael Moynihan

Question:

73 Mr. Moynihan asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport the reason the official weather forecast broadcast over the national television and radio channels on 4 June 1990 by officials of his Department did not advise the public that the forecast was being projected on a seriously depleted information network due to industrial action in ten of the 15 data collection stations in the country; and his views on whether this omission erodes public confidence in the weather forecasts of the meteorological service of his Department.

As I explained in reply to questions from Deputy McGrath on 19 June 1990, weather forecasts issued by the Irish Meteorological Service are based on a vast range of data from a wide variety of sources including reports from Irish stations, from other countries and from ships in the Atlantic, as well as from meteorological satellites and weather surveillance radar. In a volatile weather situation the absence of data from some normal sources could have adverse effects on the quality of forecasts. On 4 June last relatively quiet conditions prevailed and a comparison of actual weather conditions with the forecast issued revealed no detectable loss of quality.

The general high level of accuracy of forecasts issued by the Irish Meteorological Service, including those issued on 4 June, should ensure that public confidence in the forecasts will remain high.