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“No hurricane tonight”

Good ten-day weather forecasts are in reach—but is that the limit?

By Philip Ball   February 2013

Hurricane Irene crashes into Southampton, Long Island, in August 2011 (© Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Isn’t it strange how we like to regard weather forecasting as a uniquely incompetent science—as though this subject of vital economic and social importance can attract only the most inept researchers, armed with bungling, bogus theories?

That joke, however, is wearing thin. With Britain’s, and probably the world’s, weather becoming more variable and prone to extremes, an inaccurate forecast risks more than a soggy garden party, potentially leaving us unprepared for life-threatening floods or ruined…

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