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.