12 February 2014 – Storm Statistics

13 02 2014

The UK saw severe weather conditions throughout the course of Wednesday 12 February 2014 and as forecast the strongest winds hit the Welsh and Northwestern coast. Below you can see the highest gusts of wind and rainfall totals recorded at Met Office observing sites on Thursday 12 February 2014.

Maximum gust speeds:

Site Area Elevation (m) Max gust speed (mph)
ABERDARON GWYNEDD 95 108
MUMBLES HEAD WEST GLAMORGAN 43 96
WIGHT: NEEDLES OLD BATTERY ISLE OF WIGHT 80 96
LAKE VYRNWY POWYS 360 96
CAPEL CURIG NO 3 GWYNEDD 216 93
HIGH BRADFIELD SOUTH YORKSHIRE 395 92
PEMBREY SANDS DYFED 3 89
ABERPORTH DYFED 133 87
LOFTUS CLEVELAND 158 85
BERRY HEAD DEVON 58 85

Rainfall totals:

Site Area Rainfall (mm)
SHAP CUMBRIA 46
BAINBRIDGE NORTH YORKSHIRE 41
BALLYPATRICK FOREST ANTRIM 39
CAPEL CURIG NO 3 GWYNEDD 37.4
BANAGHER, CAUGH HILL LONDONDERRY 35.8
BALA GWYNEDD 32.8
ALTNAHINCH FILTERS ANTRIM 32.4
KESWICK CUMBRIA 29.6
PATELEY BRIDGE, RAVENS NEST NORTH YORKSHIRE 27.4
TREDEGAR, BRYN BACH PARK GWENT 26.8

The unsettled weather will continue over the next 48 hours with a system bringing heavy rain on Friday 14 February, however the latter part of the weekend should bring drier and brighter weather for many. Everyone is advised to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts and National Severe Weather Warnings and find out what to do in severe weather.





Wind and rainfall data 29 to 30 December 2013

30 12 2013

As forecast gales and heavy rain are again affecting the UK. Below you can see the highest gusts of wind and rainfal totals recorded at Met Office observing sites from 6pm 29 December and 8am 30 December.

Maximum gust speeds:

Site Area Elevation (m) Max gust speed (mph)
CAPEL CURIG     GWYNEDD          216 77
BERRY HEAD                      DEVON            58 75
SCILLY: ST MARYS AIRPORT        ISLES OF SCILLY  31 71
PLYMOUTH, MOUNTBATTEN           DEVON            50 71
WIGHT: NEEDLES OLD BATTERY      ISLE OF WIGHT    80 70
CULDROSE                        CORNWALL         76 66
MILFORD HAVEN DYFED            44 61
NORTH WYKE                      DEVON            177 61
EDINBURGH, BLACKFORD HILL       MIDLOTHIAN       134 60
CARDINHAM, BODMIN               CORNWALL         200 59

Rainfall totals:

Site Area Rainfall (mm)
MURLOUGH                        DOWN               54.4
THREAVE                         KIRKCUDBRIGHTSHIRE 52.2
WHITECHURCH                     DYFED              47.4
ESKDALEMUIR                     DUMFRIESSHIRE      42.4
KESWICK                         CUMBRIA            41.8
DUNDRENNAN                      KIRKCUDBRIGHTSHIRE 41.4
GLASGOW, BISHOPTON              RENFREWSHIRE       40.4
TREDEGAR, BRYN BACH PARK  GWENT              37.2
ST BEES HEAD        CUMBRIA            36.4
BLENCATHRA                      CUMBRIA            35

The unsettled weather will continue through the rest of the week and everyone is advised to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts and National Severe Weather Warnings and find out what to do in severe weather.





Updated Wind and Rainfall totals for 18th to 19th December

19 12 2013

As forecast there were severe gales and heavy rain overnight. See the tables below for the strongest low level gusts and the largest rain totals across the UK.

We are expecting more stormy weather over the coming days, with spells of heavy rain and gales affecting the UK – with the heaviest rain affecting the west and south west and strongest winds affecting the far north. Warnings for each individual spell of wet and windy weather will be issued when we are confident they will provide useful and accurate advice.

UK MAX HOURLY GUST SPEED 18TH DEC 1800HRS – 19TH DEC 0700HRS

SITE NAME AREA ELEVATION MAX GUST SPEED (MPH)
WIGHT: NEEDLES OLD BATTERY ISLE OF WIGHT 80 94
SOUTH UIST RANGE WESTERN ISLES 4 90
TIREE ARGYLL 9 87
PLYMOUTH, MOUNTBATTEN DEVON 50 85
CASTLEDERG TYRONE 49 84
PEMBREY SANDS DYFED 3 82
CAPEL CURIG NO 3 GWYNEDD 216 81
STORNOWAY AIRPORT WESTERN ISLES 15 77
ALTNAHARRA NO 2 SUTHERLAND 81 77
FAIR ISLE SHETLAND 57 76

24 HOUR UK RAINFALL TOTALS 18TH DEC 0700HRS – 19TH DEC 0700HRS

SITE NAME AREA PRECIP        AMOUNT ( MM)
TREDEGAR GWENT 38.4
CARDINHAM, BODMIN CORNWALL 35
WHITECHURCH DYFED 34.4
TYNDRUM PERTHSHIRE 32.2
LIBANUS POWYS 30.8
SHAP CUMBRIA 30.6
OKEHAMPTON, DEVON 30.6
KESWICK CUMBRIA 28.8
TULLOCH BRIDGE INVERNESS-SHIRE 27
BALA GWYNEDD 26.4




The severe storm this weekend and why it’s not a hurricane

26 10 2013

There is much coverage of the storm heading our way later this weekend with mentions of it being a ‘hurricane’. This is not strictly correct as we don’t get hurricanes in the UK and this is why.

Hurricanes are warm latitude storms; they draw their energy from warm seas and can only begin to form where the ocean is warmer than 26 degrees Celsius or so, and can really only become a major storm when the sea is warmer than 28 degrees Celsius. That’s like a warm bath, so you won’t find one around the UK anytime soon!

Other limitations, like wind patterns in the upper atmosphere and the forces caused by the Earth’s rotation, mean hurricanes are normally found in an area between 8 and 20 degrees north of the equator.

You can find a full explanation of what hurricanes are and how they form on our What are hurricanes? video

The storm which is due to develop tomorrow night and affect the UK during Monday is a mid latitude storm, the sort which affect us through the autumn and winter. These are formed in a very different way – by the meeting of different air masses on what is known as the polar front, leading to low pressure (storms) forming, often around the latitude of the UK.

The storm which is due tomorrow is expected to bring very strong winds and heavy rain, and we are warning of winds gusting 60-80 mph quite widely and locally over 80 mph, especially on exposed coasts, both in the southwesterly winds ahead of the low centre and west to northwesterly winds behind it.

Winds of that strength are classified on the Beaufort scale as ‘hurricane force 12’ but that is not the same as being a hurricane. Winds of this strength could bring down trees or cause structural damage, potentially causing transport disruption or power cuts and we are working closely with the resilience community to ensure they are prepared for the expected conditions.

You can find practical advice about what to do in winter weather on our Get Ready for Winter website.





Heaviest rain moves away after wet day in South West

7 07 2012

It has been another very wet day across parts of the UK, resulting in widespread flooding across parts of the south west of England. Severe Flood Warnings were issued by the Environment Agency for several rivers through the day. This followed the Met Office issuing a Red Severe Weather Warning on Friday evening  for heavy rain in parts of south west England.

The heavy rain that had affected parts of the north Midland and northern England on Friday pushed further north bringing heavy rain to parts of the far north of England and southern and central Scotland.

The table below shows the amount of rain that fell between 7.00 pm on Friday and 4.00 pm on Saturday.

UK RAINFALL 06 July 7.00 pm – 07 July 4.00 pm

SITE NAME

AREA

RAINFALL        AMOUNT ( MM)

DUNKESWELL AERODROME

DEVON

56.2

ISLE OF PORTLAND

DORSET

52.6

NETTLECOMBE, BIRDS HILL

SOMERSET

46.8

EXETER AIRPORT

DEVON

44.8

EDINBURGH, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN

MIDLOTHIAN

42.8

LISCOMBE

SOMERSET

40

CHARTERHALL

BERWICKSHIRE

38.8

CAMBORNE

CORNWALL

37.8

PLYMOUTH, MOUNTBATTEN

DEVON

36.6

HURN

DORSET

35.6

WIGHT: ST CATHERINES POINT

ISLE OF WIGHT

34.4

ST ATHAN

S. GLAMORGAN

33.8

CULDROSE

CORNWALL

31.8

SWANAGE

DORSET

30

CARDINHAM, BODMIN

CORNWALL

29.6

YEOVILTON

SOMERSET

28.4

STORMONT CASTLE

DOWN

26

NORTH WYKE

DEVON

24.6

SAUGHALL

AYRSHIRE

23.8

HELENS BAY

DOWN

23.8

 

The forecast for the rest of tonight is for outbreaks of rain to continue in both far northern and southeastern parts of the UK. Showers in many other areas should die away, with western parts in particular becoming largely dry. Some eastern and central parts may continue to see isolated heavy showers. The forecast for the rest of tonight is for outbreaks of rain to continue in both far northern and southeastern parts of the UK. Showers in many other areas should die away, with western parts in particular becoming largely dry. Some eastern and central parts may continue to see isolated heavy showers.





Updated rainfall totals: over a month’s worth of rain falls in south east

12 06 2012

An area of low pressure across south-eastern areas of Britain has given some persistent and heavy rain over the last couple of days, with parts of Surrey and Sussex seeing more than a month’s worth of rainfall in 36 hours.

Rain is still currently falling in parts of the South East and heavy showers are forecast for south west England and Wales. The Met Office currently has severe weather warnings in place for south west England, Wales and south east England for further heavy rain.

The table below shows rainfall totals from 7 pm Sunday evening until 7 am this morning. Wiggonholt in West Sussex has seen 72 mm of rain, almost one and a half times its monthly average for June of 52.9 mm.

Site name Area Precipitation amount (mm)
Wiggonholt  West Sussex 72
Thorney Island   West Sussex 68.6
Shoreham Airport  West Sussex 67.8
Swanage      Dorset 55.2
Charlwood   Surrey 55.2
Odiham    Hampshire 55
Otterbourne W Wks       Hampshire 53
Kenley Airfield     Greater London 49.2
Wisley          Surrey 47
Middle Wallop     Hampshire 45.8
London, St James’s Park Greater London  44.6
Rothamsted              Hertfordshire   44.4
South Farnborough       Hampshire       44
Hampstead               Greater London  43.2
Alice Holt Lodge        Hampshire       40.8
Boscombe Down           Wiltshire       40.4
High Wycombe, Hqair Buckinghamshire 37.6
Goudhurst           Kent            37.4
Larkhil       Wiltshire       36.8
Woburn                  Bedfordshire    36.2
Kew Gardens Greater London 36.2
Benson      Oxfordshire    35.8

The jet stream is partly to blame for our unsettled conditions at the moment. It is currently flowing to the south of the UK, allowing a series of low pressure systems to spread in from the Atlantic.

There are many factors which can impact the notoriously changeable weather in the UK, so no single one on its own can be said to be fully responsible. However, it is possible to isolate contributing factors and, in this case, one of those is the northern hemisphere jet stream. This is a narrow band of fast flowing westerly winds (ie blowing from west to east) in the high atmosphere. This band moves around and also changes its track, from a fairly straight line to something more closely resembling a meandering river. Its position can, and does impact weather in the UK and other parts of the northern hemisphere.





What’s bringing the cold weather to Europe and the UK?

9 02 2012

The current cold weather across Europe is in sharp contrast to the mild, wet and windy conditions across much of Europe through December and January. The cause of the cold conditions is the development of a large ‘blocking’ anticyclone over Scandinavia and north-western Russia. Easterly winds on the southern edge of this system has transported cold continental air westwards, displacing the more usual mild westerly influence from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the British Isles.

Global land and sea surface temperature anomalies for 1-5 February 2012

Global land and sea surface temperature anomalies for 1-5 February 2012

A ‘blocking anticyclone’ can be thought of being like a very large boulder in a stream. This boulder acts like a dam, stopping the flow of the stream.  In this instance a block stops the more normal westerly flow that brings milder conditions, allowing colder conditions to win out from the east.

The origin and persistence of blocks has been a subject of much research, and unfortunately we are still not absolutely clear on why we see blocks form. What we do know though is that the origins of this large blocked pattern across Europe can be traced back to the appearance of two individual regions of mid-latitude blocking over central Russia and the Bering Sea in mid January. Over the next two weeks, these two regions merged together to form the ‘block’ we see now.

The appearance of significant blocking after a long absence is reflected in the strong decline of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index, which effectively describes a state in the atmosphere where the flow of westerly winds is either stronger or weaker than usual in the northern hemisphere. It is currently in its negative phase, meaning the westerly flow is less strong than normal. The switch to a negative AO was seen in late January and highlights the dramatic change from generally strong westerly flow to the much less westerly or even easterly blocked state.   

Despite the general unpredictability of blocking patterns, there were potential signs of an increased risk of a significant cold weather several weeks ago when the high altitude winds began to weaken in longer-range forecasts. We now understand that there is a clear link between the weakening of these high altitude winds and the surface weather that operates on monthly timescales and in situations like this it can provide a ‘window of opportunity’ for monthly forecasts to warn of increased risk. Based on this understanding, the Met Office 16 to 30 day forecast has reflected the increasing risk of cold conditions since mid January.

Met Office Hadley Centre scientists have investigated and demonstrated a clear stratospheric influence on surface climate during these events, with easterly winds burrowing down through the atmosphere to affect the jet stream and surface climate. The result is a switch from mild westerly Atlantic flow over Europe to easterly winds with an increased risk of cold extremes.

Weakening of the jet stream in the Stratosphere can allow easterly winds to move down through the atmosphere to give cold easterly winds at the surface. This can result in cold and snowy weather across the UK.

A similar situation occurred at this time of year in 2009 when we had significant snowfall across the UK and other parts of Europe, following a strong breakdown of the high altitude jet. Although only some cold winter spells can be predicted in this way, other recent winters such as 2006 and 2010 have also shown clear examples of the effect.





Last night’s temperatures: A night of contrast

9 02 2012

Freezing temperatures combined with rain in the north to bring treacherous ice conditions across parts of southern Scotland, northern England and north east Wales last night and this morning as temperatures fell well below freezing across Wales, England and southern Scotland.

However, there was a marked contrast further to the north and west. Milder Atlantic air across northern Scotland and Northern Ireland to the north and west of the rainband straddling the UK resulted in a relatively mild night for mid February.

The coldest place in the UK was Linton on Ouse in North Yorkshire, recording a low of -9.6 °C, whilst at the other end of the scale, Aultbea in Ross and Cromarty, saw temperatures fall no lower than 7.6 °C.

The two tables below show the coldest and mildest spots in the UK last night.

 Coldest places in the UK overnight 8 – 9 February 2012

SITE NAME MIN TEMP (celsius) AREA
LINTON ON OUSE                         -9.6 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
TOPCLIFFE                              -8.6 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
BALA                                   -7.3 GWYNEDD             
PATELEY BRIDGE           -7.0 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
SENNYBRIDGE                    -6.9 POWYS               
WOODFORD                               -6.7 CHESHIRE            
RAVENSWORTH                            -6.7 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
CHURCH FENTON                          -6.7 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
DISHFORTH AIRFIELD                     -6.7 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
OKEHAMPTON     -6.5 DEVON               
LEEMING                                -6.4 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
TREDEGAR       -6.2 GWENT               
BINGLEY                     -6.1 WEST YORKSHIRE      
GOGERDDAN                              -6.1 DYFED               
EMLEY MOOR                  -6.0 WEST YORKSHIRE      
PRESTON MONTFORD                       -6.0 SHROPSHIRE          
BRADFORD                               -5.8 WEST YORKSHIRE      
ROCHDALE                               -5.7 GREATER MANCHESTER  
ALBEMARLE                              -5.5 NORTHUMBERLAND      
REDESDALE CAMP                         -5.4 NORTHUMBERLAND      
PENNERLEY                              -5.4 SHROPSHIRE          
LLYSDINAM                              -5.3 POWYS               
BRAMHAM                                -5.3 WEST YORKSHIRE      
BAINBRIDGE                             -5.1 NORTH YORKSHIRE     
CAPEL CURIG                -5.0 GWYNEDD             

Mildest places in the UK overnight  8 – 9 February 2012

SITE NAME MIN TEMP (celsius) AREA
AULTBEA                     7.6 ROSS & CROMARTY     
SOUTH UIST RANGE                       6.8 WESTERN ISLES       
STORNOWAY AIRPORT                      6.7 WESTERN ISLES       
KINLOCHEWE                             6.6 ROSS & CROMARTY     
TIREE                                  6.3 ARGYLL              
ALTNAHARRA                    6 SUTHERLAND          
BALLYKELLY                             5.8 LONDONDERRY         
SKYE: LUSA                             5.6 WESTERN ISLES       
ACHNAGART                              5.5 ROSS & CROMARTY     
ISLAY: PORT ELLEN                      5.5 ARGYLL              
MAGILLIGAN                   5.5 LONDONDERRY         
BALTASOUND                   5.3 SHETLAND            
FAIR ISLE                              5.3 SHETLAND            
MURLOUGH                               5.3 DOWN                
RESALLACH                              5.2 SUTHERLAND          
MACHRIHANISH                           5.2 ARGYLL              
CASTLEDERG                             5.2 TYRONE              
KILLOWEN                               5.1 DOWN                
BALLYWATTICOCK                         5 DOWN                
ST ANGELO                              4.8 FERMANAGH           
KIRKWALL                               4.8 ORKNEY              
LOCH GLASCARNOCH                       4.7 ROSS & CROMARTY     
WICK AIRPORT                           4.7 CAITHNESS           
HELENS BAY                             4.6 DOWN                
STORMONT CASTLE                        4.6 DOWN                

The battle between the milder Atlantic air and the very cold air in the southeast continues across the UK, bringing the risk of snow across parts of the country later today and into Friday. Whilst there is uncertainty about where the heaviest and most persistent snow will fall, accumulations of up to 10cm are possible in the worst affected regions. As a result Met Office warnings have been issued and there could be some disruption to travel.

The Met Office is working closely with government departments, contingency planners and transport agencies to make sure they have the best advice available to help them prepare for possible weather impacts.





Snow brings disruption in the east as ice becomes hazard into next week

5 02 2012
Credit: Marco Anderson

As forecast, an Atlantic weather front pushed across the UK through yesterday and overnight bringing snowfall to many parts of the UK. As expected the worst of the conditions were across the east of the UK, where the cold air from the continent was able to hold on, leading to significant snowfall, especially across South East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire, parts of the Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and the southern uplands of Scotland.

Further west, although there was some snow for a time, the milder air, associated with the weather front soon turned the snow to rain, leaving a grey rather than a white start to Sunday.

As the snow and rain moved away, skies cleared allowing it to turn cold again with widespread ice in many conditions. The Met Office still have an Amber warning for icy roads in force at the moment valid until midday today. Overnight lows got to -9.8C at Bramham, -8.9C at Church Fenton, -8.4C at Topcliffe, Dishforth and Leeming, -7.3C at Church Fenton. -7.2C at Linton-on-Ouse and -6.2C at Ravensworth.

The table below shows snow depths recorded at 9 am this morning.

Location Snow Depth ( CM)
Church Fenton 15
Wattisham 15
Marham 14
Conningsby 12
Cranwell 12
Leek, Thorncliffe 11
Herstmonceux 11
Northolt 10
Bingley 10
High Wycombe 9
Wittering 9
Eskdalemuir 8
Waddington 8
Coleshill 7
Heathrow 7
Nottingham, Watnall 7
Charlwood 6
Leconfield 6
Brize Norton 4
Woodford 4
Leeming 4
Loftus 4
Benson 3
Odiham 3
Albemarle 3
Odiham 3
Larkhill 3
Sennybridge 3
Andrewsfield 2
Hereford, Credenhill 2
Middle Wallop 2
Shawbury 1
Manston 1

The band of snow has now cleared the far southeast of England and for the rest of the day it will remain largely dry, but cold in the east, Further west it will turn cloudier with some outbreaks of rain, with some sleet or snow on higher ground. Overnight, cloud and a little rain will slowly spread to many places, although eastern Scotland will probably remain dry. Cold and foggy, especially in areas with lying snow and frosty in the east.

Heading into next week there is only a little snow in the forecast at the moment. Monday will be rather cold with ice likely to be a hazard especially in the southeast. It will then be generally cloudy with only occasional brighter intervals. Patchy rain will affect many areas, this mainly light. It will stay very cold in the east and southeast, but will be less cold elsewhere.





A busy year for the Met Office in 2011

5 01 2012

It has been another very busy year for us here at the Met Office as we have helped the UK manage the risks of severe weather, supported the world in the aftermath of natural disasters, continued our support of the UK economy and celebrated successes.

January

As the big freeze of December 2010 weakened its grip on the UK our forecasters focused on heavy rain and the risk of flooding in Cumbria in mid January. The Met Office, working with the Environment Agency, provided guidance and warnings of the severe weather and its impacts from the joint Flood Forecasting Centre based at the Met Office in Exeter.

February

The Met Office forecast the most likely track of  Tropical Cyclone Yasi as it headed for Queensland in Australia, keeping the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other National Meteorological Services around in the world informed.

Our first award of the year was won by our Ocean Scientists who were awarded the Denny Medal for the best research paper of 2010 by the Journal of Operational Oceanography.

March

The Met Office used its global forecasting capability to support UK Government and relief charities in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan. Closer to home, the Met Office launched the Scotland Flood Forecasting Service in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. This is a new service providing emergency responders and the Scottish Government with the tools and forecasts to better prepare for and respond to floods.

We also launched improvements to the National Severe Weather Warning Service that brought clearer, more targeted warnings based on the likely impacts severe weather can bring.

April

High pressure dominated through the month bringing fine weather and warm temperatures.  April 2011 became the warmest on record for the UK with temperatures some 3.7 °C above the average for the month.

By the end of the month the world’s attention was focused on Westminster Abbey as HRH Prince William married Catherine Middleton. Our forecast of sunny spells and a 10% chance of a shower through the morning was spot on as the centre of London stayed dry for the wedding while showers ran to the north.

May

Toward the end of May the Met Office Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) was called into action as the Grimsvötn volcano on Iceland erupted.  We provided forecast guidance to support decision-making by the Civil Aviation Authority and airline operators on whether aircraft can fly safely.

US President Barack Obama, on a visit to the UK, joined Prime Minister David Cameron to welcome the growing partnership between the Met Office and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) in working toward the delivery of space weather alerts.

June

June saw the launch of the Met Office Weather Observations Website. Supported by the Department for Education and the Royal Meteorological Society the website provides a platform for sharing current weather observations from across the world. After just six months more than 12.5 million observations had been submitted.

Late June saw the first Heat-Health alert of the summer as temperatures reached 33.1 deg C in Gravesend in Kent – the warmest summer day in over 5 years. This didn’t last, however, as the summer was relatively cool with average temperatures of 13.7 deg C. This didn’t stop key events from going ahead, with the Met Office providing accurate forecasts for the organisers of Wimbledon and The Open Championships.

July

In July we saw responsibility for the Met Office move to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The move provides us with the opportunity to create, together with partners, a centre of excellence for scientific delivery in support of UK economic growth.

This month the Met Office became one of only a handful of organisations to achieve the prestigious Wildlife Trust Biodiversity Benchmark Award for protecting and promoting biodiversity.

August

The Met Office celebrated 150 years of forecasting for the nation on the 1st of August as it marked the anniversary of the first ever weather forecast appearing in print. This gave us, and the media, a chance to reflect on the huge progress made in meteorology and the Met Office’s role as a pioneer at the forefront weather science.

September

A research project investigating how people respond to probabilities in weather forecasts became the largest of its kind ever carried out after thousands of people logged on to play an online game. This is part of our ongoing work to look at ways to help people make better use of our forecasts.

After tracking across the Atlantic, a post tropical storm that had formerly been Hurricane Katia arrived on UK shores bringing some very strong winds. This was the most powerful ex-hurricane to reach the UK since Hurricane Lili in 1996. Accurate forecasts from the Met Office and frequent updates on the progress of the storm helped people in affected areas to prepare and stay safe.

October

The UK set a new record temperature for the month of October when Gravesend recorded 29.9 °C on the 1st October. This followed several days of exceptionally warm weather. Wales also secured a new October record when Hawarden reached 28.2 °C on the same day.

November

The Cold Weather Alert Service was launched to provide public alerts to help vulnerable groups keep well during winter. We also launched a number of products including a new route based forecast service for winter road maintenance that gives road operatives the opportunity to grit routes selectively and Weather Windows – designed to help airports manage resources around weather-related demands.

The Met Office also secured three awards. Our Atmospheric Dispersion Group won the Science, Engineering & Technology Award at the prestigious Civil Service Awards for their work during the volcanic eruptions and Japan nuclear incidents. Dr Adam Scaife, one of our leading scientists won the Lloyd’s Science of Risk prize for research which has shed new light on how UV radiation from the Sun can influence weather over Europe.  We also garnered the Best Use of Social Media award in the public sector at the Computer Weekly’s Social Media Awards 2011.

December

December saw the publication of the results of a major new scientific assessment of climate change, highlighting the changes the world has already seen and the impacts it could face if global temperature changes are not limited. The assessment, commissioned by Chris Huhne – the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – and led by the Met Office Hadley Centre, studied 24 different countries, to support policy decisions on climate change.








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