Met Office in the news – BBC weather contract

You may have seen reports in the media today that the Met Office won’t be the BBCs main weather provider when the current contract ends.

Obviously everyone at the Met Office is disappointed that we won’t be supplying weather presenters and graphics to the BBC in the future.


As a trusted British institution we work at the heart of Government, with a wide range of customers, and with emergency responders to maintain resilience and public safety. We will be working with the BBC and others to ensure the nations official weather warnings are broadcast in a consistent way; and that our advice underpins forecasts when it matters most. We are also supporting our popular team of presenters to ensure clarity on their future.

Steve Noyes, our Operations and Customer Services Director, said: “Nobody knows Britain’s weather better and, during our long relationship with the BBC, we’ve revolutionised weather communication to make it an integral part of British daily life.

“This is disappointing news, but we will be working to make sure that vital Met Office advice continues to be a part of BBC output.

“Ranked No 1 in the world for forecast accuracy, people trust our forecasts and warnings. There are lots of ways to access these both now and in the future – via the Met Office app, website, and video forecasts, as well as through television and other digital news providers.”

Much of our 93 years of working with the BBC has been based solely on radio and television forecasts. The world is changing though, and nowadays people access weather information in many ways.

As ever, everyone will be able to access trusted Met Office forecasts and warnings on our own digital channels like our app and mobile website, delivered as text, symbols and videos. You can embed that information easily in your own website too. We continue to provide our expert forecasts on independent television networks and there are also now many other news organisations increasingly sharing Met Office content online.

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70 Responses to Met Office in the news – BBC weather contract

  1. Happy to keep telling local residents about the weather via the Met Office on our website

  2. I doubt the discerning public will take kindly to this ‘Scrooge’ decision and if it means the loss of the likes of Carol Kirkwood on our weather forecasts there will be outrage. She and her colleagues exhibit a professionalism not seen on other channels. Price over quality is a poor maxim.

  3. xmetman says:

    Most of the presenters will be given a choice on jumping ship, the ones they employ at the moment the BBC have vetted and like otherwise they wouldn’t be there, so no big deal.

    It will be interesting to see what NWP data the new service uses and whether they buy it in from the Met Office, or go for data from a European Met Service or the ECMWF, or maybe use an American model.
    I don’t think the general public will notice much difference, and the only change in the TV presentation will be the label about the source of the data or the service at the bottom right of the screen, people will continue to assume as they do now that the forecast originates with the Met Office even if it doesn’t.

    The poor graphics and map projections will continue because I believe that’s controlled by the BBC and not the Met Office.

    As for the Met Office mobile application all functionality is duplicated by the BBC in their own very good app, all they have to do is find another source for the site specific forecast data which shouldn’t be a problem.

    The worrying thing for the Met Office is that the wedge is getting ever thinner as they shrink back to their core, and jobs (even if its just the presenters) will go. Not may years ago every major city had a weather centre, all that is more or less gone, and soon on the public side at least all they will be left are national warnings and space weather – even the shipping forecast might eventually go.

  4. First of all, I realise there are many factors not visible to the public that are behind this decision. I’m addressing some of those that are.

    Fantastic science and forecasts, but not matched in the types and range of presentation and products at the dissemination end. The decision to go with ‘geostationary satellite perspective projection’ for the BBC UK weather maps a decade or so back may have had sensible reasons (for a presentation team spending much of its time producing forecasts for various parts of the globe), but for the UK it was a wrong turn and needed correcting. See also the representation of different model weather types, e.g., shower fields -why not indicate areas where they could occur, rather than as amorphous and transient blobs? Yet details of the confidence in shower fields or the speed of weather fronts are still just presenters waving hands and mentions of ‘uncertainty’. People who wanted more detail have been now turned to improved online products for the last decade.

    Visiting your website is cringeworthy. It has been prostituted to advertisers for a few quid. Find me a single national meteorological site around the world that does the same? Adverts must make up a tiny element of your overall income, yet they ruin your prime interface. A huge range of free forecast products based on US GFS model data are available in innovative formats at many other sites. But your USP of a perspective on British weather is woe-some. The single thing you provide in retrospect are daily extremes for arbitrary areas and are pretty useless (“Oh, it was cold 75 miles away”). Real weather? Not a single daily rain total from the UK’s thousands of stations are on the Met Office website. This is actually incredible. I’d like to know if the air temp last night ruined my apple tree, or if I should water my garden. I, like millions of gardeners, are never going to pay for this, but you could easily provide it as a service. Where’s the innovation on products at your interface?

    Someone important in your organisation is making poor decisions about the availability of your environmental and meteorological data, as they prioritise someone paying for an exclusive service (does it need to be exclusive, or simply ‘always been that way’?). This ignores the intangible benefits of opening up information; having tens of thousands of people innovating for free is a good thing! There are many met and ocean products where the Met Office has led the field, but they just are not available for the 99% of the 65 million of us who pick up the 99% bill for Met Office’s income (through taxes [MoD] or our energy or water company bills). What’s the negative aspect of releasing a public lightning forecast for the UK, except that the MoD suddenly feel that they are paying for something that is now ‘free’? It is unquestioned perception of a binary funding dilemma that needs to be addressed within the MO and for the good of the whole of the UK.

  5. Adam Warr says:

    A terrible move by the BBC but one forced on it by EU competition laws. Here’s to weather forecasts from the lowest bidder 😦

  6. Could you provide a source for “Ranked No 1 in the world for forecast accuracy” please?

  7. We interrupt this weather forecast for some adverts… cricket, football, rugby motor racing etc etc all gone from the beeb in part or as a whole.. Just pay pay pay … can’t anything be done for nill profit or does it all have to end up in the hands of greedy billionaires? 😦

  8. This is less about value for money and more about BBC v UK Government. It’s a nasty, unscrupulous and vindictive decision by the BBC and most people will come to the same conclusion.

    • rowaniw says:

      Isn’t it rather a nasty action prompted by the people in government and their mates in the corporate world who are trying to destroy the credibility (and possibly even the existence) of both the BBC and the Met Office?

      If it turns out that the people in the BBC who did this did it of their own unprompted accord I’d be very surprised.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        Isn’t it just possible that the Met Office have been concentrating so much on the CAGW propaganda that they have been overtaken by several other weather forecasters in the accuracy of their weather predictions, despite their self congratulatory claims to be the number one in their field. In my experience their short term weather forecasting has not improved in accuracy for the last decade at least, and don’t get me started on their medium term forecasting which is abysmal.

  9. Sheryl Anson says:

    Back to magnetic clouds then…

    • jbenton2013 says:

      I think you will find the graphics are produced by one of their competitors who are still in the running for the contract. If left to the Met Office we may well still have been on “magnetic clouds”.

  10. To be honest, I think the majority of people won’t be too bothered. Nobody likes the BBC these days anyway. Not after the Top Gear charade. Also, traditional TV is a dying medium now, so moving away from it is probably a smart decision.

    • rowaniw says:

      ‘Nobody likes the BBC these days’ – that’s not the truth, it’s only what the Murdoch Empire trolls want us to believe.
      But some of us still love the BBC, and the Met Office, and our other publicly owned organisations. Some of us don’t want to be ruled over by big unaccountable corporations whose only motivation is profit.

  11. Alf Creed says:

    penny pinching wot nots. cut down on their expenses and keep

  12. shockingly bad decision by the BBC, whatever were they thinking?

  13. Alf Creed says:


  14. For years I’ve joked about the BBC being the only channel to provide the ‘real’ weather. Behind that lay my respect for the expertise and professionalism of the Met Office and its presenters. I’m staggered at this decision, as I’m sure many others will be. To whom do we appeal?

    • rowaniw says:

      Good question!
      I’ve emailed the BBC to protest via Points of View and Feedback, and copied my email to the BBC Trust.

  15. Happy to keep telling local residents about the weather via the Met Office on our website

  16. Another nail in the coffin of the BBC.

  17. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    It’s the weekend and a Sunday to boot…surely this could have waited until Monday? 😉 I’m not quite sure what to think at this point. Maybe a focus on the weather in the here and now rather than scary scenarios in a future far, far away generated by GIMP5CMIP5. With any business you have to focus on the bread and butter not the knobs and twirls.

  18. agogo22 says:

    Reblogged this on msamba.

  19. rowaniw says:

    I’m disgusted by this decision and highly suspicious of what’s going on behind the scenes.

    I’m almost eqally disgusted by some of the people using comments here as an opportunity to snipe at the BBC or Met Office or both.

    We have some of the best weather and climate research in the world, and our nation’s broadcaster chooses not to use it – what on Earth is really behind such an insanely irrational decision?

    I’ve emailed the BBC and BBC Trust to protest, and copied it in to my MP, MEP, and prospective MP in 2020.

    • omanuel says:

      I am not British but I am a scientist who can assure you that solar and nuclear physics were corrupted after WWII to hide the fact that atomic bombs exposed the source of energy in Aug 1945 in the fountain of energy Copernicus reported at the gravitational center of the solar system ~400 years earlier in 1543.

      Nations were united on 24 Oct 1945 to forbid public knowledge the core of the Sun is the Creator, Destroyer & Sustainer of every atom, life and planet in the Solar System today.

      Yes, the world is in grave danger today as POWERLESS TYRANTS use public funds and spineless news agencies and scientists to deceive the public!

  20. danielbrener says:

    Urge the BBC to reconsider its decision not to renew the Met Office contract – Sign the Petition!

    • jbenton2013 says:

      Why would anyone want to sign this ridiculous petition. The Met Office accuracy on even 24 hour forecasts has been abysmal and they have even given up on releasing medium term forecasts such was their embarrassment at their inaccuracy.

      There are several companies which can provide better weather information at much lower coast than the bloated Met Office.

      • rowaniw says:

        I suspect what people mean by accusing the Met Office of being ‘bloated’ is that they don’t like their research, but aren’t going to risk attacking the Met Office directly with the risk that they could defend themselves. Instead people who don’t like what climate scientists say will use more underhand methods.

        The film ‘All the President’s Men’ included the famous line ‘Follow the money’.
        In the case of people and organisations who attack climate scientists, following the money might suggest we look at the fossil fueld companies who make billions and billions and billions by keeping us all dependent on them for our energy. They don’t want people to face facts and stop buying and burning fossil fuel. So they and their cronies and minions attack climate scientists wherever they find them.

        And often the attacks are devious sneaky slimy things, like calling them names, names like ‘bloated’.

        Well, some of us are not fooled.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        I have no link to or love of fossil fuel companies. I am only interested in the data for and against the CAGW case being promoted by many climate scientists, including most at the Met Office. I’ve been waiting months now for Peter Stott to justify his absurd claims in the media that last years Somerset floods were the result of climate change but it appears he’s too shy to produce any data supporting his claims, or then again maybe he just lied.

  21. Joe Public says:

    Greenpeace & Friends of the earth can do it cheaper.

    A static image with their logos, simply stating “Last year’s temperature + 0.001 deg C warmer.”

  22. Adam Lane says:

    the BBC are just getting tight with essential things they need, like over paid stars and poor tv shows, i look forward to the weather presenter popping their finger out of the studio window and then saying tonight’s weather weather will be mostly dry with the odd shower of bird crap as they wipe their finger.

  23. isage00 says:

    Regretfully gone are the days when invitation for bids went to the London Gazette for internal UK competition only. There are of course now many sophisticated meteorological service providers across Europe, concentrating perhaps more on accurate short term meteorological forecasting rather than distracted by an obsession with dubious political agenda-driven climate change propaganda.

    • rowaniw says:

      Oh come on. Do you really expect us all not to have noticed that it’s the trolls who insult climate scientists who really _are_ ‘distracted by an obsession with dubious political agenda-driven climate change propaganda’?

      The people who attack climate scientists are driven by the obsession of climate change denial.
      Then if you have to concede that climate change is happening, you make out that it’s ‘nothing to do with us, guv’.
      Then when that line fails you, you make out that there’s no point in doing anything about it and instead we ought to keep burning the fossil fuels anyway and just spend even more money on adapting (as if that were possible).

      And all because there’s so much money to be made out of selling fossil fuels, that the people grabbing that money attack the climate scientists whose research might lead the rest of us to stop burning fossil fuels and switch to renewables instead.

      It’s shameful.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        I’ve got some excellent snake oil available at a very good price. You appear to be just the sort of fellow who would be interested since you seem to believe anyone who questions the data, or rather lack of data to support the CAGW case, is a climate change denier. As an engineer I am used to sorting the wheat from the chaff in datasets and so far the wheat is in short supply. But that’s not going to be of interest to a non scientist.

      • rowaniw says:

        ‘I’ve got some excellent snake oil available at a very good price. You appear to be just the sort of fellow who would be interested since you seem to believe anyone who questions the data, or rather lack of data to support the CAGW case, is a climate change denier. As an engineer I am used to sorting the wheat from the chaff in datasets and so far the wheat is in short supply. But that’s not going to be of interest to a non scientist.

  24. Emma Dwyer says:

    Is the Met Office not able to tender for the new contract?

  25. T2mike says:

    Is this a failure of the Commercial Service Director to set the correct price? (The price will be an artificial construct anyway and probably not taking into account advertising value) Heads should roll!.

  26. Toni Bagley says:

    I haven’t watched a TV in years, i have always sought out valuable information that is important to me and my loved ones, so naturally, The Met office is bookmarked on my laptop and phone, i follow them on facebook, and i copy and paste their warnings and other educational info that they post to one of my facebook Groups. I don’t trust TV and other media….. I do trust The Met office and will follow them online. Keep up the awesome work Metoffice and dont be worried about the BBC, they are nothing. The Met office is more valuable than anything else that the BBC televize. TV is subliminal control, intelligence dumbing and you can’t learn much from any of it. The Met office is educational, fun, essential to our well being and enlightening.

    • rowaniw says:

      I love the Met Office.
      But I don’t think it follows that I have to attack the BBC.
      Yes some television is dumbed down, but some of what the BBC do is still the best.
      And the BBC isn’t just television.
      What about radio, websites, live music like the Proms?
      Attacking the whole BBC just because some of its television programmes are dumbed down is to give in to the mind control of the tabloid press.

  27. Nick Davis says:

    perhaps the BBC should loose its right to broadcast the weather instead

  28. Forecasts to be provided by Accuweather? Might as well with all the credibility they’re gaining over this one; it’s symptomatic of a BBC losing its grip. I’ll stick with you lot, Met Office, if it’s alright with you.

    • jbenton2013 says:

      You’ll soon see sense if the accuracy of the weather reporting goes up with the new provider.

      • rowaniw says:

        Yeah, but it won’t, will it?

        Just because you don’t like what the Met Office say it doesn’t mean they’re wrong and you’re right, you know.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        And you know this why exactly rowaniw?

      • I, for one, am getting tired of your mendacious trolling. I’ve used the Met Office local weather map for years and find it’s 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.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        Well we’ll now be able to compare forecasts and see who’s are more accurate. Your defensiveness suggests to me you’re not very confidant.

  29. I always believed that we should not outsource essential services but the met office seems to be managed by global warmist extremist’s that make the data biased towards global warming.

    they make you pay for data that can be got from elsewhere for nothing.

    Also the level of adverts on the websites is ridiculous it slows the pages down so much they become un-usable after a while.

    • rowaniw says:

      ‘global warmist extremist’s’?
      You mean people who take climate change seriously?

      ‘data that can be got from elsewhere for nothing’?
      How can people collect data for no cost?

      And what about the computer programmers and computer hardware needed to process those data? They’re not available for nothing.

  30. The poor graphics and map projections will continue because I believe that’s controlled by the BBC and not the Met Office.

    As for the Met Office mobileapplication all functionality is duplicated by the BBCin their own very good app, all they have to do is find another source for the site specific forecast data which shouldn’t be a problem.

    • rowaniw says:

      ‘all they have to do is find another source for the site specific forecast data which shouldn’t be a problem’
      Who will be able to provide that data better than the national body that collects national data?

  31. rowaniw says:

    ‘You appear to be just the sort of fellow… you seem to believe anyone who questions the data, or rather lack of data to support the CAGW case, is a climate change denier…. But that’s not going to be of interest to a non scientist.’

    I assume you’re doing this as a classic trolling trechnique to get me angry so that I say something intemperate that you can then use as ‘evidence’ that people who take climate change seriously are not trustworthy.

    But you also say ‘As an engineer I am used to sorting the wheat from the chaff in datasets…’

    So let’s respond as if you were serious.

    Well, it might be of interest for other people reading this to know, to use your own technique, that I am neither a ‘fellow’ nor a total ‘non scientist’.
    Firstly, I’m female, and although that fact is of no relevance to my views, it’s interesting that you jumped to a conclusion about somebody’s gender without any evidence.
    Secondly, although I’m not a professional scientist, I am a science graduate, so I too am used to looking at datasets.
    Thirdly, I have read plenty of the scientific literature on climate change, so I am aware of the data that supports the theory that climate change is caused by human activities.

    I admit that I’m also aware of some people’s claims to be able to sell me snake oil. But it seems a more plausible hypothesis to me that the snake oil is coming from the people who stand to gain the most profit from denying climate change: in other words, the fossil fuel industry, and anybody with financial links to them.

    • jbenton2013 says:

      I have already explained I have no links, financial or otherwise, to the fossil fuel industry. I also do not dispute that the increase in CO2 which has been added to the atmosphere has, other things being equal, a radiative effect which should have added marginally to the slight warming recorded. What I dispute is that the marginal warming is in any way dangerous. I have never to my knowledge come across anyone who “denies climate change”.

      If you are going to bring financial gain into the debate then perhaps you should consider the financial gain practically every climate scientist has in keeping the CAGW scare alive. No CAGW, no more grants.

      • rowaniw says:

        I didn’t accuse you personally of being connected to the fossil fuel industry – sorry if you took it that way.

        But I _am_ suspicious of many of the voices claiming that the fact that by burning fossil fuels we’ve increased the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by half as much again has nothing to do with the increase in global temperatures.

        And the huge amounts of money made by the fossil fuel industry are hugely more than anything received as grants by climate scientists.

        And in any case they could get grants for research that disproved current theories – that’s the way science works. Whatever happens we will always need climate scientists, so they don’t need to be joined in some groupthink mass delusion or conspiracy or any other halfarsed notion to keep themselves in work.

        What’s sad is that even the fossil fuel companies don’t need to keep trying to kill the climate change ‘scare’ in order to keep their money coming in. We’ll always need energy. So if they had any sense they’d invest in renewable energy and make money that way, but many of them don’t want to miss out on even the last drop of profit that could be got out of fossil fuels.

        And we are already in a ‘dangerous’ position because polar ice is melting, glaciers that give a steady supply of water are disappearing, island nations are losing their land, and extreme weather events such as droughts and floods are increasing.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        For someone who claims to have read the literature on climate science you are remarkably ill informed. The data does not support any claim that there has been any increased weather extremes, let alone increased weather extremes caused by AGW. Perhaps before commenting you would be well advised to go and read the IPCC’s own reports which make no such claims. I know we had Peter Stott all over the press during the Somerset flooding last year claiming a link between climate change and those floods but given his refusal to supply any data to support his claims I think we can safely say that he let his imagination run away in his excitement at seeing heavy rainfall.

        You clearly have a visceral hatred of fossil fuel companies, for reasons which are not clear, but I would remind you that the profits from such companies go mainly to pension funds and the such like to pay out pensions for the elderly.

        Given your hatred for fossil fuel companies and all they produce, I’m surprised you have not taken the moral decision to eschew those products and disconnect yourself from the power grid and stop using oil based plastic products like computers. Or is it a case of talking the talk but not walking the walk. The money saved could be invested in renewables.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        The data shows clearly that island nations are not losing their land, most are increasing their landmass.

        Polar ice has been increasing, particularly at the north pole since 2012, and glaciers have been retreating for at least 150 years, long before fossil fuels had any effect, almost certainly due in part to our emergence from the LIA.

        Most instances of flooding can be traced back to poor maintenance of waterways, like the Somerset flooding last year, or poor land management like tree felling on higher ground. Building on floodplains has been a major cause of localised flooding. Nothing whatsoever to do with fossil fuels.

        The data clearly shows that the period with most droughts were the 1930’s. I’m not sure where your information has come from but it’s clearly not a reliable source.

  32. Fabian Cobb says:

    The BBC weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable. I welcome a change in their information base and the resultant improved forecasting in the future.

  33. Interesting view of how the relationship between the BBC and the Met Office could have been handled better (or rescued earlier) at

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