Be weather aware with our Windows Phone 8 app

13 12 2012

The Met Office has launched its latest addition to mobile forecasts with a specially designed app for Windows Phone 8.

Since it’s launch in the last two weeks it has garnered some very positive reviews with Windows Phone Central saying:

“We’re always pleased to see official apps hit the platform but even more so when those apps are truly useful. … this [app] stands out for a few reasons. The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service and is therefore the trusted supplier of weather information to everyone from the military or the man on the street”.

In addition All About Windows Phone said:

“The standout feature of the Met Office app is the quality of the data on offer…. it’s hard to think of another weather app, for Windows Phone, that provides this amount of detail for those in the UK. …Given that the Met Office app is a free download, we would strongly recommend that anyone living in the UK download it… There’s a good chance that you’ll make your friends living outside the UK rather jealous!”

The new Met Office Windows Phone 8 weather app is the latest addition to our range of products for smart phone users and provides easy access to the latest weather forecasts and warnings wherever you are, 24 hours a day.

The App gives you three hourly forecasts and five day weather predictions. In addition to the likelihood of rain or snow, sunshine, cloud coverage and temperature, it gives the “feels-like” temperature – ideal if it’s 10 °C but will actually feel like 3 °C accounting for the wind chill factor.

As well as users having access to local, up to date forecasts from the Met Office, the new weather app includes a number of features unique to Windows Phone 8. These include ‘live tiles’ reflecting the current weather at your saved location and the use of ‘augmented reality’ to overlay forecast data on the camera image of where you are facing.

The Windows 8 Toast (notification) feature also means that you will never miss a weather warning for your area, helping you to stay weather aware so that you can prepare, plan and protect yourself from the impacts of severe weather.

The Met Office Windows Phone 8 weather app is available free of charge from the Windows Phone 8 app store. We also provides Apps for Android and iPhone, available from the Apple app store and the Android Market.





Space Weather brings potential geomagnetic storm to Earth

7 03 2012

There has been an increase in activity on the Sun over recent days with a number of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) taking place. A high energy X Ray flare was released from the Sun early this morning, and this has sent a very fast CME towards the Earth at speeds up to 2000 km per second. At present this is expected to reach the Earth from Thursday morning.

Working with our partners at the British Geological Survey (BGS), through the Hazard Centre at the Met Office, we have provided advice on the nature of this event so that government and industry can take steps to mitigate the potential impacts a geomagnetic storm may bring, for example to the airline and power supply industries.

Solar Storm Eruption: Coronal Mass Ejection Headed for Earth (Animation courtesy of NOAA)

The impact of this will mainly be in terms of a geomagnetic storm on Earth and we understand some airlines may re-direct flights from polar routes and that the power supply industry may take routine mitigation steps.

This solar event may also increase the chances of seeing the aurora borealis or Northern Lights in the UK. Further information on Viewing Northern Lights in the UK can be obtained from the BGS.

At the governmental level UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama have welcomed the growing partnership between the Met Office and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service towards the delivery of space weather advice and alerts. A memorandum was signed between the Met Office and NOAA in February 2011.

The Met Office, as part of its Natural Hazards Partnership, is working with the BGS on developing a space weather capability. We have recently become a member of the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) where a major focus of our activities will be around the influence of solar events on the earth and its surroundings.





Dangerous Heat Wave Continues Across Much of Central and Eastern US

22 07 2011

The United States National Weather Service has said that the dangerous heat wave that has lead to a number of deaths is expected to continue across much of the central and eastern United States, with excessive heat and humidity expanding into the Ohio Valley and East Coast states for the remainder of the week. The highest heat index values are excepted across parts of the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic, where they are forecast to be between 105 and 115 degrees through Friday, with locally higher values possible. Excessive Heat Watches, Warnings and Heat Advisories are in effect over much of the central U.S., Ohio Valley and from the Carolinas northward into New England.

NOAA have produced guidance on a range of issues of coping with heat. 

In the UK, the Met Office works with the Department of Health and the Welsh Assembly to provide a  Heat-Health Watch system across England and Wales from 1 June to 15 September each year.

Heatwaves can be dangerous, especially for the very young, the very old or those with a chronic disease. Prolonged exposure to very high temperatures can mean the body is unable to reduce its own temperature, causing dehydration and heat stroke, which can be fatal. In particular, hot temperatures overnight make it difficult for the body to cool.

The Met Office forecasts day-time and night-time maximum temperatures. These are monitored regionally. When certain heat thresholds are passed, a warning is sent to relevant health professionals and people working in social care, so they can take action to minimise the impact of the heat on the health of people in their area.





Met Office in the Media: 14 June 2011

14 06 2011

The Met Office in partnership with NOAA continues to develop a partnership to respond to ‘space weather’ reports the Western Morning News in ‘Met Office in new move for space weather forecasting’ and the Independent in ”Controlled’ power cuts likely as Sun storm threatens national grid‘.  This followed an announcement last month by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama about the growing partnership between the Met Office and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service in working toward the delivery of space weather alerts.

The Daily Mail today report ‘Scorching summer weather set to be a washout’, in which a rather unsettled outlook is forecast by the Met Office.  This is in contrast to forecasts provided by other forecasters in early June that said we were heading for a fine June. The Met Office refuted such ‘flaming June’ predictions came from us at the time – highlighting a change to more unsettled conditions, with a mix of rain or showers, separated by drier and brighter interludes, in the Daily Mail at the very beginning of this month.





Met Office in the Media: 29 April 2011

29 04 2011

As HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married in Westminster Abbey, the showers held off, remaining to the north of central London. The cloud broke to give some sunny spells across the capital as they made their way back to Buckingham Palace in an open-top coach, leading to perfect weather for the ‘balcony moment’.  Elsewhere across the UK, showers have been affecting parts of NE England and Southern Scotland.  Showers are expected to develop across other parts of the UK through this afternoon, although as is the case with showers it will be ‘hit and miss’ with many places staying dry.

Richard Black at BBC News has reported on a new piece of research into the Agulhas Current flows which from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic. in the article Met Office scientist provides comment.

Elsewhere the media have been reporting on the devastating tornadoes that have been affecting southern states of the US. The US National Weather Service has reports of nearly 300 tornadoes since the storms began on Friday, more than 150 of them on Wednesday alone. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has said some of the tornadoes on Wednesday may have been more than a mile (1.6 km) wide with wind speeds over 200 mph (320 km/h).  BBC News has a video from Met Office weather forecaster Louise Lear on the US tornadoes.








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