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.

Geminid meteor shower Twitter interview

16 12 2013

Starting on 7 December and ending on the 16 December, the Geminid meteor shower is for many the highlight of the meteor shower calendar in 2013.

The peak of the Geminid meteor shower took place on 13-14 December, when you could see more than 50 meteors per hour. The Geminids is different to other meteor showers as its meteors originate from an asteroid, as opposed to a comet, meaning they are very rocky and gritty, making them slightly easier to see than other meteor showers.

Ahead of the peak of the meteor shower, we held a Twitter interview with Adrian from Meteorwatch where you sent in your questions and the top five got an answer. In case you missed the interview and Adrian’s excellent answers, you can see them in full below:

Below is our infographic about the Geminid meteor shower. To find out when other meteor events are taking place, visit the Meteorwatch website.


June weather summary video and your pictures

5 07 2013

June began settled and sunny in most areas before becoming more unsettled and cooler. In our video forecaster Helen explains what weather defined June and highlights the warmest, coldest, wettest and windiest places in the UK last month.

Visit our website for a full written summary of June’s weather.

Your June weather pictures

Thank you for sharing your weather pictures with us on Twitter. We’ll be sharing your Great British summer weather pictures each week on our summer pages so keep your pictures coming on Twitter and Instagram – use the hashtag #loveukweather.

April weather summary video and your photos

15 05 2013

Following on from the second coldest March on record, April was another cool month, with  temperatures below average everywhere. The provisional UK mean temperature was 6.3 °C, which is 1.1 °C below the 1981-2010 average, very similar to 2012 but otherwise the coldest April for the UK since 1989. Forecaster Helen talks through the weather we’ve seen this month in our video.

For a full written summary of the weather in April visit the climate section of our website.

Your weather pictures

Thank you for sharing your weather pictures with us on Twitter, here’s some of our favourites.

Big Bang Fair twitter interviews with Dallas Campbell and Simon Watt

13 03 2013

Ahead of the Big Bang Fair, which starts tomorrow, we held Twitter interviews with science communicators Dallas Campbell and Simon Watt. In case you missed the interviews and their excellent answers, you can see them in full below.

Going to the Big Bang Fair? Come and see us in the Met Office science zone (stand 31) to have a go at presenting your own weather forecast, chat to Met Office staff or have a hands-on science experience.

Met Office wins Social Buzz award

29 11 2012

Last night the Met Office won the Social Buzz Award for Best Public Sector Social Media Strategy for ‘Sharing the weather when it matters’.

The award is in recognition of the work of the Met Office has been doing to use social media to engage in online conversations about weather and climate, and to share important messages, such as impending severe weather forecasts and warnings, when it matters.

The Met Office has built a community of over 180,000 followers and fans across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and this news blog, sharing and engaging in conversations as varied as how severe weather may affect the UK, Saharan dust reaching the UK, and the Jet Stream.

Dee Cotgrove, Head of Communications at the Met Office said:

“The Met Office Social Media strategy has been a huge success for the Met Office over the past couple of years.  This award recognizes the interest people have in the weather and the important role the Met Office plays in keeping the nation up to date with the latest weather information when it matters.”

More information on the awards and a full list of the winners can be found on the Social Buzz Awards website.

This award follows our Computer Weekly best use of social media award in 2011 and being recognised as the 9th most social brand in Social Brands 100 earlier this year, putting us firmly at the forefront of social media within the public sector.

It’s snow joke – your weather jokes

7 11 2012

Thank you to everyone who shared their weather jokes with us on Twitter. Here’s a selection of our favourites.

@MrDanielEdwards: What’s the difference between the weather and climate? You can’t weather a tree but you can climate

@thisisshaft: What do you call an overcast Supermodel? Cloudier Schiffer.

@PeterG_Weather: What did the cloud say to the Sun? I’ve got you covered!

@jimthree: “It’s raining cats and dogs!” “I know, I just stepped in a poodle!”

@MEschoolweather: What do snowmen wear on their heads? Ice caps!

@dispic007: Q: Where did the meteorologist stop for a drink on the way home from a long day in the studio? A: The nearest ISOBAR

@Martin_Bolton39: What did Jack Frost say to Bruce Forsyth? Ice to see you, to see you, ice

@PeterCrompton1: This nice weather doesn’t fool me one bit. It’s just a front.

@ladyaunticathy: Did you hear about the lightning that refused to go to work? It went on strike!

@GazetteDMilli: My computer crashed while I was writing an essay on the wind – thankfully I had it saved as a draft!

@PaulMcG92: Why did the woman go outdoors with her purse open? Because she expected some change in the weather!

@hazzapuckerz: What did one lightning bolt say to another? You’re shocking!

@pepperpotdog: What does a cloud wear under his coat? Thunderwear.

Metop-B weather satellite launch Twitter interview

10 09 2012

To celebrate the impending launch of weather satellite Metop-B, we held a twitterview – an interview conducted on Twitter, with EUMETSAT. Metop-B, due for launch on 17 September 2012, is the second of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) satellites, which provide data for use by meteorologists and climate scientists wordwide.

Artist’s impression of a Metop satellite in polar orbit above the Earth.
Copyright 2012 EUMETSAT.

Q1: @metoffice How long has the Met Office been using EUMETSAT’s satellite data? #metopb
A1: @EUMETSAT Since @EUMETSAT came into being in 1986. Before that it was @ESA from 1978. #metopb
Q2: @metoffice What type of data do you use? #metopb
A2: @EUMETSAT Meteosat imagery and data from Metop-A for #NWP assimilation and Forecasters #metopb
Q3: @metoffice Why did you start using it? #metopb
A3: @EUMETSAT #Satellites give a global view important for our global weather forecast models. #metopb
Q4: @metoffice What difference has satellite data made to your weather forecasts? #metopb
A4: @EUMETSAT Improvements in forecasts when we assimilate satellite sounder data into our NWP model. #IASI and #ATOVS have a great impact
Q5: @metoffice Are you able to see things now you couldn’t before? #metopb
A5: @EUMETSAT #SEVIRI gives us valuable information on #cloud motions & for tracking desert dust & volcanic ash bit.ly/ziddNV #metopb
Q6: @metoffice What difference will the launch of #metopb make to you?
A6: @EUMETSAT Increased resilience for the next 5 years and better coverage of ocean winds. #metopb
Q7: @metoffice Do you think the day will come when only satellite observations are needed? #metopb
A7: @EUMETSAT No. There will always be a role for conventional observations from radiosondes and weather radar. #metopb
Q8: @metoffice What is your favourite weather phenomenon which you can see in a satellite image? #metopb
A8: @EUMETSAT Clear skies over England and Tropical Cyclones elsewhere in the world. #metopb

For news and updates on Metop-B, visit the EUMETSAT Metop-B launch site.

To find out more about how the Met Office uses weather satellites, visit our satellite applications pages.

Met Office ranked in top ten social brands

29 05 2012

The Met Office has made it into the top ten social brands in the Headstream Social Brands 100 list for 2012. The Met Office came in joint ninth position and was recognised as the top ranked organisation in the services category.

Our Facebook account fared particularly well and was the eighth top performing brand on this platform. On Twitter, we scored highly for speed of response and mentions of other Twitter accounts.

The ranking takes into account the range of engagement across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and our blog.

Charlotte Howells, Social Media and online communications Manager said: “The weather is something we all love to talk about and we want to be at the centre of those conversations about our ever changing weather and climate. We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised by social brands 100 and look forward to carrying on the conversations we are having with the public about the weather.”

The top 100 brands are put through a rigorous and independent judging process with an expert panel of judges from companies including Google, YouTube and Twitter helping to determine the final ranking position.

Social Brands 100 was created by social specialist agency Headstream in 2011 as an initiative to identify and acknowledge those brands leading the way in the social age. Now in its second year, Social Brands 100 has established a position as one of the leading rankings of social media performance.

You can download the full Social Brands 100 report here.

Your weather pictures

24 05 2012

Thank you for sharing your weather pictures on Facebook  and Twitter. Here’s some of our favourites.


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