The Met Office needs much better supercomputing power in order to forecast the weather accurately, according to MPs.

In a report published today, the Science and Technology Committee said that in spite of technology improvements, the Met Office was not able to accurately predict extreme weather or long term changes.

Committee chairman Andrew Miller MP said he was concerned that "insufficient computing capacity" was holding back scientific advances.

A new supercomputer could deliver "as much as a 10-to-one return on investment", he said. It is expected that many of these benefits would come from better planning for extreme weather.

Miller called for "a little less tabloid sensationalism and a lot more information about probabilities" when forecasts are issued, "so that the public can understand the odds of forecasts getting it wrong".

The Met Office needed to work on a 10-year plan for supercomputing resources, the committee said, and would be helped if the government set a new funding commitment.