The weather in Britain is the hardest weather in the world to predict. It requires three supercomputers working round the clock, a network of satellites looking at the entire world, a dedicated meteorological team of scientists, a wealth of experience, data going back centuries and pure unadulterated guesswork.
And how far ahead can all this technology look?
About an hour.
"It's very complicated," said Michael Fish, Britain's most famous weatherman. "Our unique position sees the confluence of cold polar and Siberian fronts meeting with the warmer Mediterranean and gulf stream fronts. Nowhere on else on Earth does such a boundary exist. Except maybe Cuba, New Zealand and Tierra Del Fuego. But they don't have any problems predicting the weather, so it must be simpler there, QED."
Generally, it is snow that flummoxes the Met Office.
"Sun we have no problem with," said Fish. "The sun is very predictable. I can tell you where the sun will be in ten thousand years time. There's an app for the iPhone that does that. Clouds are a little more difficult, as they get blown about by tricky winds. However, we're normally pretty sure if they are big or small, as we can see them forming."
The Met Office is even pretty accurate at getting the temperature right, getting it to within three or four degrees of the actual temperature.
Snow, though, is more problematic.
"Predicting the unpredictable makes predictions unpredictable," said Fish. "Snow isn't like sun. It's not always where we think it will be."
Manipulating the data to get a forecast is more an art form than a science, although the French would disagree, which leads to different meteorologists producing different predictions.
"Basically," said Fish, "if you don't like what you're told on the BBC weather website, or News 24, try a different forecaster. Alternatively, wait an hour. We'll have a better idea where that cloud is going by then."