Met Office in the Media: 24 January 2012

24 01 2012

The Daily Telegraph has today published a correction relating to a story it published back in November of last year. In “Outlook fair for amateurs as Met Office releases data” the newspaper inaccurately suggested the Met Office had failed to predict the cold weather of last winter, the weather for the royal wedding and had been criticised by the Transport Select Committee.

The correction, printed on page 2 of the paper, and is reproduced below:

The Met Office

Following “Outlook fair for amateurs as Met Office releases data” (Nov 27), we are happy to make clear that, as noted by the Select Committee for Transport, the Met Office did warn the public of last winter’s cold weather from early November 2010 and that it did accurately forecast the weather in London on the day of the Royal Wedding. While the Committee questioned the usefulness of Met Office seasonal predictions, it accepted the accuracy of its short-term forecasts.

Following the publication of a scientific study on the effects of changes in solar output on climate change several papers reported on the findings that although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The Daily Telegraph reported ‘Solar slump will not slow climate change’, whilst Reuters reported ‘Weaker sun will not delay global warming‘ and the Guardian said ‘Sun’s changes unlikely to slow global warming’.

Elsewhere there has been continued interest in the changeable weather affecting the UK at the moment. For the most up to date information check out our latest weather forecasts online.

Met Office in the Media – 28 November 2011

28 11 2011

Today there are stories in the media about government plans to make more data publicly accessible. While we expect an official announcement to be made tomorrow, the Met Office welcomes any move that leads to wider access to our high quality data.

We understand the power of information. Data underpins our forecasting, which is recognised as among the best in the world. Our next day temperature forecasts are accurate 87% of the time and the Met Office is consistently ranked in the top two operational forecasters in the world.

An example of this in practice came this weekend, when winds of up to 90mph swept across the north of the UK. We gave accurate guidance several days ahead of where and when these damaging winds would happen. By working with the Highways Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and other agencies, we helped ensure the impacts were minimised. Protecting life and property remains at the heart of the Met Office’s work and, providing that releasing more data does not compromise this, we welcome the initiative.

We recognise that access to high quality weather advice and services has huge potential to allow companies to manage the impacts and opportunities weather brings to their operations. As an example, the Met Office has recently won a €10 million contract to work with others to support aviation services across Europe. Making more of the Met Office’s data available has the potential to encourage innovative new products and services, stimulating the market, creating competition and generating jobs.

Some of the stories in today’s media suggest that releasing more data could be a move towards privatisation of the Met Office. However, Edward Davey, the Government Minister with responsibility for the Met Office, speaking at the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee only last month, said: “We have no plans to privatise the Met Office”.

An article in The Daily Telegraph on the subject also states we got the forecast wrong for the Royal Wedding, but – as you can see from the press release issued at the time – we actually forecast sunny spells and a 10% chance of rain (which is another way of saying there’s a 90% chance it will remain dry!). In terms of accurate forecasting, The Daily Telegraph themselves said we forecast snowfalls last December with “something approaching pinpoint accuracy”.

Met Office in the Media: 09 May 2011

9 05 2011

A story about the  forecast for the Royal Wedding provided by the Met Office was published by the Sunday Express this weekend.  The story, however, fails to accurately review the forecast that was actually provided for the wedding, and as a result is misleading.

Our forecasts were used by millions of people in London and across the country to help celebrate the big day, providing accurate information on sunny spells developing and the small risk of showers.

Reviewing the forecast we issued, it highlighted a very small risk of showers first thing followed by sunny spells developing through the morning. There was then the risk of further showers in the afternoon.  It is possible to review this forecast in a News Release issued on the Thursday before the wedding.

Looking back at the weather for the day then there were, as forecast, some showers first thing across parts of north and west London. These then cleared to allow sunny spells to develop.  Further showers, some of these heavy, then developed in the afternoon.

This maps below show radar rainfall maps for the 29th April. The first the rainfall radar at 1030 BST (0930 GMT).  It clearly shows showers to the north and west of London as well as showers across parts of northern England and Western Scotland. The second shows the rainfall radar at 1530 BST (1430 GMT).  Showers, some heavy (indicated by the brighter colours) have broken out to the north of London again and moved west to other parts of England.  Further showers affect parts of northern England and southern Scotland.

UK Rainfall Radar Image (29 April 1030 BST)

UK Rainfall Radar Image (29 April 1530 BST)

As predicted the ‘Spanish Plume’ widely talked about last week, brought warm conditions across the UK. Heavy thunderstorms were reported on both Friday and Saturday.  Many newspapers, including the Daily Mail reported on the welcome rain over the weekend.

Lastly the Sunday Telegraph reports on a new book that is to be published exploring the hidden beauty of clouds taken by satellites. The new book titled Weather Wonders will be published later this month in conjunction with the Met Office.

One day to go to the Royal Wedding and what’s the weather forecast?

28 04 2011

The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton will be celebrated in London and throughout the country tomorrow.

The weather will play its part in the big day and the latest Royal Wedding forecast is for a mixture of sunshine and showers.

Andy Page, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: “After a cloudy start to the day, with a 10% chance of a shower, we should see some sunny spells developing over London during the morning. The chance of a shower increases to 30% for the London area around lunchtime as temperatures reach 17 Celsius”.

Elsewhere across the country there is the risk of heavy showers, some thundery, breaking out in the afternoon. So anyone holding street parties and other outdoor celebrations should keep up to date with our latest weather forecast.

Royal Wedding Update: Wednesday 27 April

27 04 2011

In the London area, a return to more typical April weather is likely, with a mix of showers and at times brighter spells. The best of the drier weather is likely through the morning.

Much of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England staying fine and mostly dry, with the best of the weather in the north and west. Generally cloudier for the rest of England and Wales though some sunny intervals are also likely. Showers are likely to develop over central and southern areas, with the focus of these tending to move westward through the day, though some could also break out again in the southeast later.

Met Office in the Media: 27 April 2011

27 04 2011

The Daily Express reports in ‘Drivers warned as pollen cloud menace heads for UK‘ about an increased risk of Birch pollen heading toward the UK from the continent as northeasterly winds set in across the UK.  Birch pollen is also at it’s peak in the UK at present causing an increased risk to Hay Fever sufferers.  However pollen forecasts are now available on the Met Office website to help sufferers manage their condition.

Met Office Pollen Calendar

Met Office Pollen Calendar (click to enlarge)

The Independent reports on the weather for the upcoming royal wedding. Following the fine weather over Easter, our weather has returned to more typical weather for this time of year with a mix of April showers and some brighter weather too.  The best chance of brighter conditions will be in the morning, with temperatures reaching 18 degrees Celsius.

Royal wedding weather forecast

26 04 2011

HRH Prince William and Kate MiddletonAs the big day gets closer we can now start to give more detail on what the weather will be like on Friday for the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton.  The Met Office has a special royal wedding weather forecast page that will be updated every day with the latest forecast and we are also providing a video forecast on our YouTube Channel.

Following the fine Easter weekend the weather this week is likely to be cooler and a little more unsettled.  The wedding is still 3 days away so it is important to stay up to date with the forecast, but currently we are expecting some rain through the early hours of Friday, but this should clear to leave a cloudy but drier morning. Some bright or sunny spells may break through, possibly leading to further showers. A brisk northeasterly wind could make it feel rather chilly whenever the sun goes in.

Elsewhere across the country we are expecting fine and dry conditions  in Northern Ireland and Scotland with a good deal of brightness, and the best of the sunshine across Scotland. However it may be generally cloudier in England and Wales, but sunshine should break through at times. Showers or outbreaks of rain are likely to develop over southern and central areas during the day, with the focus of these probably drifting westward through the afternoon. Many areas will be quite windy.

Met Office in the Media: 21 April 2011

21 04 2011

The weather for the Easter weekend continues to make the news right now with the Daily Telegraph reporting that ‘Britain heading for warmest Easter weekend on record‘.  It is true that temperatures are well above where they should be – the average temperature in London is usually 14 degrees at this time of year but yesterday we saw 26.5 degrees at Heathrow Airport.

As we head into the Easter weekend, the best weather is likely to be across England and Wales, with highs reaching the low 20’s. However, the high temperatures may trigger isolated heavy and perhaps thundery showers. Mixed fortunes are expected over Northern Ireland and Scotland, with sunshine but also some showery rain at times and cooler temperatures by Bank Holiday Monday.  The latest weather forecast can be found on our website.

As for records,  the warmest Easter in the UK in recent years was that of 21st/22nd April 1984, with the warmest day on Easter Saturday 21st April 1984, recording  23.7 C at Heathrow. Maximum temperatures across the southern half of the UK were widely 21 to 22 C.

23.6 C was recorded at Cilfynydd, Mid Glamorgan (S Wales), the highest Easter temperature in Wales in data from 1960.

Easter Sunday 22nd April 1984 was again very warm in the south of the UK, with 23.7 C again recorded at Rumleigh, Devon.

UK Smog Alert – The BBC has also reported on the ‘Smog alert in England and Wales‘, which follows the issuing of a warning from Defra. The high pressure system persisting over the UK is forecast to bring warm and still conditions to the UK over the Easter weekend. These conditions mean it is likely that the UK will experience a high pollution episode this weekend.  High pressure tends to trap air near to the surface allowing pollution levels to build up and with little wind there is not a great deal to move this around.

The Royal Wedding also remains of interest with the BBC looking ahead in ‘Royal wedding: What’s the weather forecast?‘.  It is still too early to say what the weather will be like in a weeks time, but you can stay up to date with our extended forecast for the 6 to 15 day period.  We will be providing a more detailed forecast on our Royal Wedding weather page from early next week and will also be providing video forecasts on the Met Office YouTube Channel.

Met Office in the Media: 20 April 2011

20 04 2011

As the fine weather continues across much of the UK the media have focused very much on what the Easter weekend weather will be like and whether the fine and warm spell will last until the Royal Wedding.  Of course, it is just too early to give a definite forecast for London for the 29th April, but the Met Office continues to look ahead to the weather for the long weekend coming and beyond.

Today has, once again been the warmest day this year with temperatures reaching 26.2 deg C at Charlwood, Surrey. The fine weather is expected to last into the Easter weekend with many places seeing fine and sunny weather however there will be some low cloud or mist on eastern coasts and the risk of some isolated heavy afternoon showers.

The fine weather we are seeing right now certainly does not mean that it will last all the way through to the Royal Wedding at the end of next week.  The Met Office 6 to 15 day forecast provides more information on the extended outlook.

Met Office in the Media: 24 November 2010

24 11 2010

The date of the Royal Wedding caused a number of newspapers to look at what the weather may be like on the big day. Of course it is too early to provide a forecast, but we can look at what the weather has been like on previous 29th April’s.  The Daily Mail and the Telegraph covered this, explaining that there was a great deal of variability to the weather in April. Both the Evening Standard and the Daily Express believed that the Met Office had provided a forecast for the actual day.  The Evening Standard corrected their story through the day.

The impending snow and cold has also been widely covered in the media, with the BBC asking ‘Is Britain prepared for snow?‘ and the Daily Mail,, Metro all reporting on the developing cold and snow situation.

You can find out more about snow and how we forecast it on our webpage Snow Forecast on which you can submit your own snow reports that we will map to show where and when it is snowing.


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