Air Quality Forecast

17 03 2015

Localised areas of Greater London are currently recording Moderate to High levels of air pollution. More widely across Eastern parts of the UK, Moderate levels of pollution are also being recorded. Due to the current weather conditions these levels are likely to remain Moderate to High in certain areas for the next 24 hours.

Although these conditions are going to be short-lived, and while the great majority of people will not be affected by short-term peaks in air pollution, some individuals, such as those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms. Those vulnerable members of the public can find further information on health advice here.

The Met Office is working very closely with Defra and Public Health England to ensure they have the most up-to-date and accurate air quality forecasts in order to provide relevant advice to the public.

Current Weather Conditions

Throughout today and into tomorrow high pressure will continue to draw in air and pollutants from the continent which adds to the pollution building up in urban areas.

High pressure is also currently sitting to the East of the UK bringing us calm and settled weather allowing pollutants to become trapped close to the ground.

How long will it last?

From tomorrow morning the high pressure will move westwards across the UK and start to bring cleaner air from the North and North East Europe, which will start to disperse pollution. By the end of Thursday pollution levels across the UK should return to Low values.

Thunderstorms bring intense rainfall to parts of England

28 07 2014

This morning has seen some intense downpours across parts of south east England.

They developed across parts of East Anglia in the early hours of the morning, with further areas of heavy showers across Sussex, Surrey, Kent and the south of London following later.

The showers were very heavy in places with thunderstorms, hail, and torrential rain reported, giving high rainfall totals and localised flooding in some areas.

The high rainfall totals were caused by an area of low pressure and a plume of warm air that moved in from the near continent accompanied by light winds, meaning that the showers were slow moving.

Several spots have seen more than half of their average monthly rainfall for the whole of July in just one hour.

Below you can see some of the highest recorded hourly rainfall totals from Environment Agency rain gauges through the morning of Monday 28th July 2014:

Great Dunmow Essex 43 mm (4am to 5am)
Isfield Sussex 37 mm (8.30am to 9:30am)
Ardingly Sussex 35 mm (8.30am to 9:30am)
Santon Downham Suffolk 33mm (4am to 5am)
Weirwood Sussex 28 mm (9am to 10am)
Northolt London 20mm (7am to 8am)


The band of showery rain is now easing, but a yellow warning for rainfall remains in place for the south east of the UK as the risk of seeing some further isolated downpours remains.

In addition, the far south east of England could see further persistent and perhaps locally heavy rain later today and overnight, with parts of Kent and Sussex most at risk. Conditions across all areas should then improve through tomorrow.

Wind and rainfall data 27 December 2013

27 12 2013

As forecast, a deep area of low pressure developed over the Atlantic Ocean in the early hours of Friday morning bringing with it a further spell of wet and very windy weather across the UK as it tracked northeastwards, crossing northwest Scotland.

Below you can see the highest gusts of wind and rainfall totals recorded at Met Office observing sites from midnight to 2.30pm on 27 December.

Maximum gust speeds:

Site Area Elevation (m) Max gust speed (mph)
Aberdaron Gwynedd 95 102
Capel Curig Gwynedd 216 87
Mumbles Head West Glamorgan 43 85
St Bees Head Cumbria 124 85
Inverbervie Kincardineshire 134 81
Valley Gwynedd 10 81
Lake Vyrnwy Powys 360 78
Mona Anglesey 60 78
Needles Old Battery Isle of Wight 80 78
Dundrennan Kirkcudbrightshire 113 77
Pembry Sands Dyfed 3 76

Rainfall totals:

Site Area Rainfall (mm)
Tulloch Bridge Inverness-shire 38
Tyndrum Perthshire 37.8
Charterhouse Roxburghshire 37.8
Kiedler Castle Northumberland 33.2
Achnagart Ross and Cromarty 32.8
Redesdale Camp Northumberland 28.6
Cluanie Inn Ross and Cromarty 26.2
Eskdalemuir Dumfriesshire 24.2
Dalwhinnie Inverness-shire 24.2
Newton Rigg Cumbria 22
Banagher, Caugh Hill Londonderry 19.4

Winds will slowly ease from tonight and we are expecting a brighter and less windy interlude over the course of Saturday and for most of Sunday with overnight frosts and sunny spells and a wintry mix of showers.

Another active atlantic frontal system is expected to swing eastwards across the country on Sunday night and Monday morning. A combination of strobng winds and moist air has the   potential to give locally significant amounts of rain which could cause the risk of further flooding.  The wind and rain are expected to clear eastward on Monday morning.

During this period of unsettled weather, people are advised to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts and National Severe Weather Warnings and find out what to do in severe weather so they can plan ahead for the weather in store and make the most of the festive season. We would also encourage you to stay up to date with the latest news on flooding by checking the Environment Agency’s website for the latest flood alerts and warnings.


Wind and rainfall data 23 to 24 December 2013 – Updated 1130

24 12 2013

As forecast it was a stormy night across the southern half of the UK. Below you can see the highest gusts of wind and rainfal totals recorded at Met Office observing sites from 6pm 23 December and 7am 24 December.

Maximum gust speeds:

Site Area Elevation (m) Max gust speed (mph)
Needles Old Battery ISLE OF WIGHT 80 92
Berry Head DEVON 58 84
Langdon Bay KENT 117 76
Gorleston NORFOLK 4 75
Manston KENT 49 75
Mumbles Head WEST GLAMORGAN 43 75
South Uist Range WESTERN ISLES 4 75
Plymouth Mountbatten DEVON 50 74
Solent HAMPSHIRE 9 74
Aberdaron GWYNEDD 95 73
North Wyke DEVON 177 73

Rainfall totals:

Site Area Rainfall (mm)
Kenley Airfield GREATER LONDON 53.6
Charlwood SURREY 41
Wych Cross EAST SUSSEX 38.6
Alice Holt Lodge HAMPSHIRE 33.8
Goudhurst KENT 32.2
Middle Wallop HAMPSHIRE 31.6
Frittenden KENT 30.8
Cluanie Inn ROSS & CROMARTY 30.8
Liscombe SOMERSET 30.4
Hurn DORSET 29.8
Larkhill WILTSHIRE 29.2

The Met Office at Boscombe Down, Salisbury Plain, recorded 66.7mm of rain in the 24 hours 9am 23 December to 9am 24 December. This is provisionally a new all time daily record in any month for the station – records going back to January 1931. The previous record was 62.3mm on 16 August 1977.

Today we can expect severe gales across western and northern Scotland, with damaging gusts in places, especially around the coasts.

For Christmas Day and Boxing Day, we are expecting a colder and less windy interlude with overnight frosts and sunny spells and a wintry mix of showers, so there is a chance that some places, especially the higher ground of the west and north, may see a White Christmas. For most of us though Christmas is likely to be green not white.

Another Atlantic depression is expected to bring a further spell of wet and stormy weather to the UK on Friday.

During this period of unsettled weather, people are advised to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts and National Severe Weather Warnings and find out what to do in severe weather so they can plan ahead for the weather in store and make the most of the festive season.

NASA International Space Apps Challenge London

29 04 2013

The Met Office hosted the NASA led International Space Apps Challenge at the Google Campus in London on the weekend of the 20 – 21 April.

Chris Gerty, from the Open Innovation Programme at NASA was at the London event and thanked the Met Office for making the weekend such a success.

NASA space apps

More than 85 people attended the event from across the UK and Europe, making 13 different teams working on challenges over the weekend. See all the pictures from the weekend on our Flickr account.

Two challenges from London will go forward for global judging and these were decided by a panel of three judges, Chris Gerty from NASA, Irini Papadimitriou, Digital Programmes Assistant Manager at the V&A and Phil Evans, Government Services Director at the Met Office.

The two winning challenges from London were People of the Soil and T-10.

People of the Soil developed a low cost digital soil testing kit, web and SMS protocols and a web application to collect and share soil data globally.

T-10 created an app that astronauts can use on the Space Station to alert them to suitable times to photograph specific parts of Earth.

These will now be judged against other winning challenges globally, with winners being announced by NASA in the coming weeks. Follow @spaceappslondon to find out which challenges win NASA’s global judging next month.

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.


Olympic and Paralympic forecasts recognised as first class

9 09 2012

London 2012 Olympic StadiumAs the London 2012 Paralympic Games draw to a close this weekend, Met Office forecasters will be returning home knowing that the forecasts provided were first class after garnering widespread praise from event organisers and competitors.

Rod Carr, London 2012 Field of Play Manager at Weymouth and Portland, said: “The Met Office team were first class – not only in the technical accuracy of the forecasts, but also the quality of the daily briefings and their ability to engage meaningfully with the Race Management Teams.”

The Met Office provided weather forecasts to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games organisers, for the competing athletes and their coaches and also for visitors and those responsible for the massive logistical exercise of transporting and ensuring the safety of huge numbers of visitors.

Rod Carr continued: “The International Sailing Federation and several National Team Leaders were also very complimentary about the forecast service, with several saying “it was the best met service they had ever experienced at a Games”.”

Highly trained and experienced Met Office forecasters with an understanding of the sports they were forecasting for worked alongside Olympic and Paralympic Games organisers not only at Weymouth and Portland, but also at Eton Dorney and London. Our forecasters provided round-the-clock support and advice on weather conditions throughout the Games.

Cora Zillich, Venue Media Manager at the Eton Dorney rowing venue, said: “Here at Eton Dorney we have worked very closely with colleagues at the Met Office to support the race scheduling. The advice we received was absolutely spot on.”

Find out more about how the Met Office has supported the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Heavy rain in the west but very warm in the south east

17 08 2012

The UK’s weather will see marked contrasts over the next few days – with heavy rain in the west today and very warm weather in the south east.

Forecasters at the Met Office have issued severe weather warnings for the rain across parts of western Britain today.

Rainfall amounts could reach 60 mm or more in parts of Wales and northern England, accompanied by strong winds. This could cause some disruption in places. The rain will ease during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Met Office radar image from 17 August 2012

Met Office radar image from 17 August 2012

In the South East of England, it will be much drier and will become oppressively hot as warm and humid air spreads up from continental Europe.

Temperatures are expected to rise into the high 20s Celsius today and over the weekend, and perhaps even the low 30s Celsius in parts of Kent and East Anglia on Sunday.

It remains to be seen whether the temperature will rise above the hottest seen so far this year, with 30.7 °C at St James’s Park in London on 25 July.

Temperatures on 17 August 2012

Temperatures on 17 August 2012

While it will be mainly dry in the South East, there will be some cloud around and any sunshine will be quite hazy with fog lingering along some coasts. There may even be a few thundery showers later on Sunday.

Met Office Chief Forecaster Martin Young said: “While it will be hot in the South East, we’re not expecting wall-to-wall sunshine and it will feel quite humid and oppressive over the weekend. As we head into next week, south westerly winds will push that humid air away to bring fresher conditions, and showers to north west Britain.”

For the latest information, keep up to date with our online online forecasts and warnings.

Weather at the 1948 London Olympic Games

5 08 2012

2012 is the third time that the capital of the UK is hosting the Olympic Games.  In this short feature Dan Suri, Deputy Chief Forecaster at the Met Office reflects on the weather in 1948 and the similarities with 2012.

The London 2012 Olympic Games might not be the first London Olympics characterised by hot weather in the run-up to the start and then to be followed by rather changeable conditions through much of the Games themselves.

Just as we saw this year, July 1948 was characterised by generally very cool and dull conditions until shortly after mid-month when high pressure built across the UK to bring hot and sunny conditions in the run up to the start of the Olympic Games.

During this warm spell in 1948 Milford, near Guildford saw temperatures reach 35 °C on the 28th, and  Greenwich, for example, saw 32.8 deg C on three successive days up to the end of the month. This year, also saw a warm fine weather in the run up to the Games with a temperature of 30.7 °C recorded at St. James Park on the 25th July.

The warm conditions of late July 1948 persisted into early August, with the 1st being the hottest day of the month, with 28.3 °C being recorded at Greenwich. However, conditions started to turn more unsettled, where thunderstorms on the 2nd led to scattered falls of more than 50 mm of rain in areas extending from South Wales to East Anglia, with Silsoe, near Bedford recording 100 mm. 

Cooler, cloudier weather then quickly settled in over the UK, with maximum temperatures falling by 8 to 10 °C in the London area in the first few days of August before conditions turned much more unsettled as a succession of low pressure systems crossed the UK. These depressions brought spells of wet and at times windy weather to much of the country.

Across London, although most of first half of August 1948 was rather unsettled, there were still some fine days as well.  However, the period between the 6th and 8th was particularly unsettled; 30-60mm rain was recorded quite widely across the London.

Maximum temperatures then remained typically in the high teens or low 20s Celsius for the rest of the first half of August.

Conditions then started to become a little less changeable mid-month, just in time for the closing ceremony. The rest of August then remained on the unsettled side, though over southern UK not to anywhere near the same extent as during the first half of the month.

Weather certainly affected outdoor sporting events through 1948. Photos show the main running track often taking on a wet appearance with puddles forming in places, whilst contemporary reports talk of rainy conditions during major events. However what is clear is that the sport still went on and the Games will be remembered for setting the standard for the Olympic Games in the post-war era.

What does the weather have in store for ‘Super Saturday’?

31 07 2012

With 25 gold medals up for grabs this Saturday we look back at the weather on this day over the last 30 years.

Get the forecast for every Olympic event this Saturday on our Olympic weather pages.


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