PROJECTIONS FOR FUTURE WINTERS
11. In December 2010, the Secretary of State for Transport sought advice from HM Government's Chief Scientific Advisor on the probability of severe winter weather over the next 20 to 30 years. Briefing documents were subsequently prepared by the Met Office's Chief Scientist in respect of the likelihood of severe winter weather in England and in Scotland over the next few decades.
12. The briefing note prepared for Scotland, indicates: "Consistent with historical records, climate model projections typically show large fluctuations between consecutive winters. The occurrence of one or two cold winters is therefore not necessarily a good indicator of a further cold winter."
13. It also advises that gradual warming is predicted by climate models as greenhouse gases increase. However, natural annual variability is expected to dominate the warming signal for at least the next decade or two. The outlook, therefore, remains variable and difficult to predict over the forthcoming 20 to 30 years.
14. Work is continuing and improvements are being made to the Met Office's ability to predict future weather patterns more accurately.
15. The Scottish briefing note prepared by the Met Office can be found on the Scottish Government website at: