Visible satellite image of triple lows over the UK

14 05 2013

This visible satellite and rainfall radar image shows the three areas of low pressure affecting the UK today.

satellite and rain 14 May 2013

We can see three low pressure areas showing up as swirls of cloud to the north of Scotland near Shetland, north of Northern Ireland and off south-west England. The centre of the lows show up as cloud free areas.

The low to the south west has developed quickly through today and will bring strong winds this evening to parts of Cornwall.

Keep up to date with forecasts and warnings for your local area on our website.

How do you like your weather summary?

12 09 2012

For the last few months, we have created weather summary videos using satellite imagery and pressure charts, along with our climate summary, to explain the weather we’ve seen in the UK over the past month. We’ve experimented with two different formats for this video – using a presenter on screen to explain the weather or a voice over.

For August, forecaster Charlie Powell explained the weather off screen.

While for July, weather presenter Rob McElwee talked through the weather on screen.

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 #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.

Latest weather satellite goes into orbit

6 07 2012

The latest weather satellite in Europe’s highly successful Meteosat second-generation series has just gone into orbit after lifting off on an Ariane space rocket yesterday evening.

It is now being moved into its precise position before it can provide continuous observations of the weather from space to Meteorological agencies across Europe and beyond.

MSG-3, or Meteosat-10 as it will be called once it starts sending images back to Earth, will be stationed at 0° longitude, over the Gulf of Guinea on the Equator, in geostationary orbit, where its speed precisely matches the Earth’s rotation, keeping a constant eye on developing weather.

ESA’s Director General, Jean-paul Jacques Dordain said: “This launch allows EUMETSAT and ESA to continue providing Europeans with high quality observations of weather from space, with MSG-3 being especially valuable in rapid detection and warning of extreme weather situations.”

“These programmes have ensured high-quality weather forecasts, the successive generations have improved these forecasts and they have brought tangible economic benefits for and improving the daily life of every European.”

The primary instrument on Meteosat-10 is the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager, or Seviri, which monitors of developing meteorological systems by spinning the earth, line by line, to build a picture that can then be used by weather forecasters. It collects information in 12 different wavelengths, tracing information such as cloud development, temperature and movement as well as measures of humidity and temperature through the atmosphere.

Dr John Eyre, head of satellite applications at the Met Office, who contribute to the funding of the Meteosat programme, said: “Meteosat gives you a very good view of the weather happening right now. It gives you movie loops of images showing you the clouds as they develop. It’s for what we call ‘nowcasting‘, and we can use that information to extrapolate forwards for the next few hour.”

The two currently operational MSGs are used in distinct ways. Meteosat-9 builds images of the entire field of view – a full Earth disc – in 15 minutes, while Meteosat-8 rapidly scans a smaller area covering Europe, to provide imagery in just five minutes.

This allows the weather agencies to better follow the development of powerful and potentially dangerous thunderstorms in Eumetsat member states.

About Meteosat Second Generation

MSG is a joint programme undertaken by ESA and EUMETSAT. ESA is responsible for the development of satellites as defined by EUMETSAT. ESA also performs the Launch and Early Orbit Phase operations required to place the spacecraft in geostationary orbit, before handing it over to EUMETSAT for exploitation.

EUMETSAT develops all ground systems required to deliver products and services to users and to respond to their evolving needs, procures launch services and operates the full system for the benefit of users.

In addition to its weather-watching mission and collection of climate records, MSG-3 has two secondary payloads.

The Global Earth Radiation Budget sensor will measure the amount of solar energy that is radiated back into space to determine how much energy is introduced into the climate system and to provide insights into the atmospheric circulation between the day and night sides. A Search & Rescue transponder will turn the satellite into a relay for distress signals from emergency beacons.

The last of the series, MSG-4, is planned for launch in 2015.


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