A look back at this week’s news

26 08 2015

The Met Office has been in the news again this week, with our contracts for broadcast weather services generating a huge amount of column inches and public reaction.

It’s certainly been heartening to see and hear the level of public support for us. Over the last few days, ‘Met Office’ trended on Twitter and approaching 34,000 people have read our blog. We’ve had over 27,000 mentions of the Met Office on Twitter and lots of comments on our Facebook page. Here’s a very small selection of the feedback we’ve received:

  • @metoffice weather app will remain my first choice when it comes to weather reports.
  • @metoffice Met Office most highly respected in world. …
  • Dont worry @metoffice, you’ll always be my forecaster of choice :) #weather
  • .@metoffice Been using your app for quite a while. You provide an amazing service.
  • … Behind that lay my respect for the expertise and professionalism of the Met Office and its presenters.
  • … I do trust The Met Office and will follow them online …
  • … I’ve used the Met Office local weather map for years and find its forecasts almost unerringly accurate. You must also take into account the exceptional volatility of UK weather, and I doubt anyone can better MO for their knowledge and experience in that regard.

Moving from the positives to the negatives – there is some misinformation around.

Firstly about our apps. There’s been some suggestion in the media that our app is not popular. However, our apps have had 12 million downloads and they are rated 4 out of 5 on android and 3 out of 5 on iPhone. Like all providers we are always looking to improve and we hope build on this in the future. Last week we had 128% increase in app downloads and a 94% increase on website hits too.

Secondly in terms of value for money, it has been suggested that the Met Office charges the BBC £30 million a year. This, in fact, is the total of our commercial revenue from a wide range of customers – aviation, energy, marine, retail to name but a few. We receive only a small fraction of that amount for our presenter services to the BBC. Given that our presenters are paid at market rates this has to be great value for money.

For us, though, it’s never been about the money. It’s about serving the nation and ensuring the public benefits from the best weather forecasts and warnings to make informed decisions.

Met Office mobile weather app wins top industry award

10 07 2013

The Met Office and Mubaloo are proud to announce that they have won another award for our weather app, at the “Marketing on Mobile Awards” (MOMAs), in the Public Sector Mobile Strategy category.


Since its launch at the beginning of 2010 the Met Office weather app has had over 6.7 million downloads. It provides easy access to the latest weather forecasts and warnings wherever you are, 24 hours a day with automatic updates.

The weather app now accounts for over half of the Met Office’s overall web traffic. This highlights the huge shift away from desktop to mobile phone usage plus demand for the latest weather information while we’re on the go.

This is the Met Office’s second app award win this year, after winning App of the Year at “The Sparkies” in March. The app is also a finalist in the Consumer category for the up-and-coming Mobile Entertainment Awards.

Nicola Peckham, Met Office Mobile Product Manager said: “The Met Office app has been an excellent achievement, combining world leading weather prediction from the Met Office and award-winning application development from Mubaloo. We are really pleased to be recognised as leaders of application strategy in the public sector.”

The Met Office weather app is available for the iPhone, android and Windows Phone 8. We have also this week launched an app for the Kindle Tablet.

Be weather aware with our Windows Phone 8 app

13 12 2012

The Met Office has launched its latest addition to mobile forecasts with a specially designed app for Windows Phone 8.

Since it’s launch in the last two weeks it has garnered some very positive reviews with Windows Phone Central saying:

“We’re always pleased to see official apps hit the platform but even more so when those apps are truly useful. … this [app] stands out for a few reasons. The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service and is therefore the trusted supplier of weather information to everyone from the military or the man on the street”.

In addition All About Windows Phone said:

“The standout feature of the Met Office app is the quality of the data on offer…. it’s hard to think of another weather app, for Windows Phone, that provides this amount of detail for those in the UK. …Given that the Met Office app is a free download, we would strongly recommend that anyone living in the UK download it… There’s a good chance that you’ll make your friends living outside the UK rather jealous!”

The new Met Office Windows Phone 8 weather app is the latest addition to our range of products for smart phone users and provides easy access to the latest weather forecasts and warnings wherever you are, 24 hours a day.

The App gives you three hourly forecasts and five day weather predictions. In addition to the likelihood of rain or snow, sunshine, cloud coverage and temperature, it gives the “feels-like” temperature – ideal if it’s 10 °C but will actually feel like 3 °C accounting for the wind chill factor.

As well as users having access to local, up to date forecasts from the Met Office, the new weather app includes a number of features unique to Windows Phone 8. These include ‘live tiles’ reflecting the current weather at your saved location and the use of ‘augmented reality’ to overlay forecast data on the camera image of where you are facing.

The Windows 8 Toast (notification) feature also means that you will never miss a weather warning for your area, helping you to stay weather aware so that you can prepare, plan and protect yourself from the impacts of severe weather.

The Met Office Windows Phone 8 weather app is available free of charge from the Windows Phone 8 app store. We also provides Apps for Android and iPhone, available from the Apple app store and the Android Market.

The Met Office iPhone and Android app gets an update

29 11 2012

The Met Office iPhone and Android app has been updated and is now available to download in the App Store and Google Play.

As well as bug fixing, the Android and iPhone update has taken on a lot of user feedback and enhanced the customer experience. There is a lot more information on the front screen, including wind speed, UV levels and sunrise and sunset times. Previously users would have had to delve deeper to gain access to this information, but based on user feedback, it was decided to bring this information forwards.

To make sure users receive a consistent experience, the look and feel of the app has been brought closely in line with the Met Office’s website. This includes new weather icons and graphics and also new icon-based weather warnings. New locations have also been added to the iPhone & Android app based on user feedback.

Below is a quote from James Tipler, Mubaloo Account Manager for the Met Office app:

“The Met Office has monitored customer feedback since the launch of the first iOS and Android app, and key trends in feedback have been listened to and addressed in this update. As well as bug fixes, this update makes a number of enhancements to the app which we believe will improve the user experience.”

The Met Office app has been a huge success since its launch in February. The iPhone and Android app was downloaded over 1 million times within its first two weeks of launch and during the cold weather in February, it was used over 6.5m times in one weekend – that’s 35 times every second. The Met Office app is the 14th most accessed in the UK and was voted number 1 weather app in the Independent. Current downloads to date are 3m for iPhone and 887,000 for Android.

Mubaloo, the producers of the apps on behalf of the Met Office have created a full Met Office Android & iPhone app case study.


This blog post first appeared in Mubaloo‘s blog

Met Office shortlisted in Appster awards

12 09 2012

The Met Office iPhone and Android app have been shortlisted for the Best Consumer App in the Appster awards, to be presented on Oct 2nd in London.

This continues a successful year for both the iPhone and Android apps having been shortlisted for 3 different awards. The apps have also been voted No 1 in The Independent’s 10 Best Weather apps (28th June 2012) and were also listed in The Guardian’s top 50 apps (Mar 2012).

Derrick Ryall, Head of Public Weather Service at the Met Office said: “We are delighted that our iPhone and Android apps have been shortlisted for Best Consumer Apps in the Appster awards. It is fantastic to know that users across the UK have found the Met Office App so useful, both for keeping up to date with the latest weather forecast and allowing them to make informed weather dependent decisions. “

Mubaloo provided the Met Office with the designs, build and tracking for both the Android and updated iPhone weather applications.

Sarah Weller, Marketing Manager at Mubaloo said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Met Office’s iPhone and Android app has been shortlisted for another award. The Met Office’s decision to develop mobile apps was a very significant move and highlighted their determination to provide weather information to the public in the fastest and most convenient way possible. It is fantastic to see the Met Office’s app receive such a high level of recognition across the industry.”

The iPhone and Android app have been downloaded over 3 million times and are the 14th most accessed app in the UK. Features of the app include 3 hourly forecasts out to 5 days ahead, UV forecast maps and information on the likelihood of rain. In addition to the apps, we also provide Smarter Weather for other smart phones and Mobile Weather, a graphics light version designed to be accessible on all web enabled mobile phones.


Get your weekend weather on our apps and events calendar this summer

20 06 2012

This weekend is the first weekend of summer (based on the astronomical calendar, meteorologically speaking, summer started on the 1 June) and a number of events are taking place including:

The forecast for the weekend is currently for cooler, windier and much more unsettled weather, with showers and persistent rain at times. There will be some limited sunnier spells, although mainly in the south and east. Where ever you are headed this weekend, you can keep up to date with your local weather on our mobile app for Android or iPhone, or our mobile website. There’s over 5000 forecast locations available including beaches, tourist attractions and national parks.

Visit our events calendar for up-to-date weather for major events taking part this summer, from Wimbledon to the Olympics.

Local Jubilee forecasts wherever you are with the Met Office iPhone and Android apps

1 06 2012

With the Jubilee weekend looking likely to see a typical mixture of British weather across the UK you can make sure you always have your latest local forecast to hand with our iPhone and Android apps.

Met Office iPhone and Android apps

The Met Office provides local forecasts for over 5,000 locations across the UK, so with events taking place up and down the country you will always have access to the latest weather forecast.

Latest figures from Comscore show the Met Office’s apps are one of the most accessed apps in the UK. Currently positioned at number 16 in the list, it is accessed more often than apps from Amazon and Groupon.

Since its re-launch in January, more than 2 million people have downloaded the iPhone app. The new Android app has been downloaded by over 340,000 people.

Sarah Weller, Marketing Manager at Mubaloo said: “The latest stats from Comscore highlight how the Met Office’s mobile channel has become a vital source of accurate and up to date weather forecasts for a huge number of people across the UK.”

The iPhone App includes 3 hourly forecasts out to 5 days ahead; UV forecast maps and information on the likelihood of rain. In addition to the iPhone, we also provide an App for Android phones and Smarter Weather for other smart phones.

Met Office iPhone app success continues

8 03 2012

The success of the Met Office iPhone app continues with it making it into the Top 25 All-Time Free Apps, published by Apple.

The Met Office app, no 21 in the list, is the only weather app to make it into the top 25.

Re-launched just 6 weeks ago, the app has already been downloaded over 1.3 million times. During the recent cold weather the app was used over six and a half million times, or over 35 times every second, as people kept up to date with Met Office forecasts and warnings.

Our iPhone app is also the only weather app to have been chosen as one of the top 60 apps by staff at Carphone Warehouse ahead of the Carphone Warehouse Appys taking place later this spring.

Derrick Ryall, Head of Public Weather Service at the Met Office said: “We are absolutely delighted that iPhone users across the UK have found the Met Office App so useful, both for keeping up to date with the latest weather forecast and allowing them to make informed weather dependent decisions. “

The updated iPhone App now includes 3 hourly forecasts out to 5 days ahead, UV forecast maps and information on the likelihood of rain or snow. In addition to the iPhone, we also provide an App for Andriod phones and Smarter Weather for other smart phones.

What is ‘feels like’ temperature?

15 02 2012

Have you ever stepped out of the house in the morning and thought I know it would be cold, but perhaps not this cold!

The temperatures that you normally see on our website represent the temperature of the air, but this takes no account of how we actually experience the temperature. It is our ‘feels like’ temperature that gives you a better idea about how the weather will actually feel when you step outdoors.

Our ‘feels like’ temperature takes into account wind speeds and humidity to assess how the human body actually feels temperature.  For example in winter a strong wind can feel much colder than the measured temperature would indicate. Conversely on a humid day in summer it can feel uncomfortably hotter than the air temperatures would suggest on their own. In both instances the impacts of the temperature, wind and humidity can be much greater and the feels like temperature should allow users to make a better assessment of conditions outdoors.

But how do you actually calculate the ‘feels like’ temperature?

We calculate a ‘feels like temperature by taking into account the expected air temperature, relative humidity and the strength of the wind at around 5 feet (the typical height of an human face) combined with our understanding of how heat is lost from the human body during cold and windy days.

On windy days the speed of moisture evaporation from your skin increases and serves to move heat away from your body making it feel colder than it actually is. The exception to this rule, however, is when higher temperatures are concerned. At higher temperatures, wind chill is considered far less significant. Instead humidity plays a greater role. When a human being perspires, the water in his or her sweat evaporates. This results in the cooling of the body as heat is carried away from it. When humidity is high, the rate of evaporation and cooling is reduced, resulting in it feeling hotter than it actually is.

Using these facts we use a formula to adjust the air temperature based on our understanding of wind chill at lower temperatures, heat index at higher temperatures and a combination of the two in between.

You can get ‘feels like’ temperatures on our five day forecast and on our Android and iPhone apps.

Feels like temperatures on Met Office apps

New Met Office Android app and updated iPhone app

24 01 2012

Following the success of the Met Office weather app on the iPhone, weather forecasts from the Met Office are now available for Android. The app can be used on all android phones and includes a widget so information can be accessed directly from the dashboard.

Key features of the new android app include:

• Free to download
• Up to date weather forecasts and warnings from the Met Office
• At a glance five day overview
• Three-hourly location forecasts
• 5000 locations to choose from with multiple favourites.

You can download the app from the Android Marketplace.

The Android app is the latest addition to our offering for mobile users, complementing our existing products; Mobile Weather for feature phone users, Smarter Weather for smartphone users and the iPhone app for iPhone users.

A new updated version of the Met Office iPhone app is also now available, taking into account the feedback we have received on the original version.  New features include three-hourly forecasts available up to five days ahead, UV forecast maps and information on the likelihood of rain or snow.

The iPhone app is available in the Apple App Store.


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