How accurately can we predict the weather? – Andrew Blum (Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio stares at a visual showing Hurricane Sandy using data from Goddard Earth Observing System Model © NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth)

How accurately can we predict the weather? – Andrew Blum

We talk about the history of weather forecasts, why we shouldn’t trust the icons on weather apps, and whether we’ll ever have a minute-by-minute forecast.

Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States in October 2012, causing $65bn of damage. Remarkably, weather forecasters managed to predict its impact on the US eight days in advance, when it was barely even a storm.

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How did forecasts get to be so good? It’s a story that begins with the invention of the telegraph and ends with supercomputers.

We talk to Andrew Blum, author of The Weather Machine (£16.99, Bodley Head), about the history of weather forecasting, why we shouldn’t trust the icons on our weather apps, and whether we’ll ever have an accurate minute-by-minute forecast.

He speaks to BBC Science Focus online assistant Sara Rigby.

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