Five things you might not know about thunderstorms

20 03 2013

1. Lighting can strike twice. The empire state building in New York has been struck by lightning as many as 48 times in one day.
2. The average flash of lightning would light a 100 watt light bulb for three months.
3. Lightning can strike in volcanic ash clouds. Not much is known about volcanic lightning, but we’re using it to help track ash clouds.

Volcanic lightning

Volcanic lightning

4. Thunderstorms can trigger asthma. The Met Office has worked with the NHS and Asthma UK to try and understand why.
5. The most thundery part of the earth is the island of Java where the annual frequency of thunderstorms is about 220 days per year.





Pollen forecasts bring help to Hay Fever sufferers

20 05 2011
Field Marigold flower

Different types of pollen are released throughout the year which can generate hay fever and other allergies. These symptoms can have a serious impact on the well-being of some people.

Pollen season

The pollen count season is normally March to August. However, it can start as early as January and end as late as November.

The pollen season separates into three main sections:

  1. Tree pollen – late March to mid-May.
  2. Grass pollen – mid-May to July.
  3. Weed pollen – end of June to September

Our pollen calendar has a detailed breakdown of the different types of pollen and their peak times within a season. However this year many sufferers are experiencing symptoms earlier than normal due to the fine and warm weather being experienced across the UK right now.

How can the Met Office help?

We manage the only pollen count monitoring network in the UK and produce pollen forecasts up to five days ahead. We use information from our network, our weather data and expertise from organisations such as the National Pollen and Aerobiological Unit  at the University of Worcester to produce  forecasts which are designed to help support allergy and Hay fever sufferers through the most difficult time of the year.

Pollen forecasts

We provide free, public UK pollen forecasts on the Invent section of our website. Just visit the Weather Map page and select the pollen count information.

  • Two-day pollen forecast, updated daily.
  • Three-day pollen forecast, updated daily.
  • Five-day pollen forecast, updated daily.
  • Monthly forecast, updated weekly.

These can be offered for our 16 weather forecasting regions. We can also offer a summary of the previous season and a seasonal outlook for the upcoming pollen count season. We can also provide pollen forecast information for display on your website or through other media channels.








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