The ability of meteorologists to make long term forecasts about the weather incrementally improves by about one day every decade. In the 1970s, meteorologists could reliably predict three days into the future. In 2014, weather predictions are reliable for about seven days.
However, eight days into the future, things start to get hazy. Met Éireann generally only publishes detailed forecast for five days in advance, although it can usually give a more general idea of the likely weather for a further two or three days. A precise forecast—say the temperature at a given place and time for tomorrow week is, however, at the limits of forecastability.
Weather Betting explores the limits of forecasting by pitting the visitor against Met Éireann and the weather prediction computer models, forecasting what the temperature will be at noon, tomorrow week, at Dublin Airport. Guesses from Science Gallery visitors will be averaged and compared to predictions by professional meteorologists at Met Éireann.
At the limits of computation and measurement, who will be more accurate: the forecasters or the wisdom of crowds?
Met Éireann, the Irish National Meteorological Service, is a line division of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. It is the leading provider of weather information and related services for Ireland.