Met Office in the Media: 22 February 2012

22 02 2012

There is some mild weather for the time of year on its way tomorrow with temperatures climbing to the mid teens across the UK. Some newspapers, such as The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express,  have been suggesting that the UK will be warmer than Hawaii tomorrow. Although this would be very nice, I am afraid to say this is not quite true, with temperatures in Honolulu predicted to be up to 26 deg C on Thursday.

Although it will be mild for many, it will still be mainly cloudy with further light rain in the west. Some mist and fog is also likely across western coasts and hills. The best chance of bright or sunny spells developing will be to the east of country, especially in the shelter of hills. Where the sun comes out, temperatures are likely to be very mild for late winter.

Top temperatures on Thursday are expected to be around 16 or 17 deg C in parts of central and eastern England, while  Scotland is likely to see its warmest spots in the east, where it could reach up to 15 deg C.

So, although Thursday will be a very mild day for the time of year and while some places may see some bright spells, it certainly will not be wall to wall sunshine. Unfortunately, it will also be nothing like Hawaii – more like a mild, pleasant late winter day in the UK.

The mild temperatures fall away a little as we head into Friday and the weekend as rain sinks south on Friday, with brighter, colder conditions to the north. Most places are expected to be dry on Saturday but rain is likely to return to western parts later in the day and on Sunday.

Forecast maximum temperature ranges for the next 5 days for Manchester from the Met Office beta website

Elsewhere there has been widespread coverage of the findings of the Science and Technology report on The Science of the Met Office which endorsed the trust the nation has in the Met Office to provide forecasts and warnings when it matters. Coverage has focused on the reports recommendations for additional computer resource at the Met Office. We welcome the committee’s recommendation; all witnesses highlighted the significant socio-economic benefits which could be gained from increased supercomputer capacity. Increased supercomputing resource would enable existing research findings to be used in the creation of weather and climate predictions, helping to improve the accuracy, reliability and relevance of forecasts on all timescales

However, it is important to recognise that funding for additional supercomputing resource has not been secured and the figures in the S&T committee report are purely recommendations. The Government recognises the importance and value of investment in supercomputing capacity to improve weather and climate modelling. We will continue to work closely with BIS and other stakeholders across Government, to support the development of the business case for the next generation of supercomputing capacity.

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Met Office recognised as world-leading by Science and Technology Select Committee

21 02 2012

The Met Office welcomes that the Science and Technology Committee recognises the Met Office fulfils its role as the national weather forecasting service for the UK and is underpinned by a robust science strategy that delivers a cost effective and accurate service for the UK and beyond.

John Hirst, Met Office Chief Executive said: “This endorsement from the Science and Technology Committee affirms the trust the nation has in the Met Office to provide forecasts and warnings when it matters.”

During the course of the review, the committee heard about the importance of the Met Office’s role in providing vital services for the UK and our world-class science. The Met Office is unique, combining world-leading science and operational infrastructure that supports us to ‘pull through’ our science to provide ever better forecasts and warnings.

Julia Slingo, Met Office Chief Scientist said: “I am delighted that it has been recognised that the Met Office science strategy has been very well received across the meteorological community. It provides a robust and cost-effective platform for the ‘pull through’ of our science for the benefit of the UK”

The Science and Technology Committee identified the need for additional supercomputing resource. We welcome the committee’s recommendation that further investment would be of value.

However, it is important to recognise that the Met Office has currently not secured any funding for additional supercomputing resource and the figures in the Science and Technology Committee report are purely recommendations.

The Government recognises the importance and value of investment in supercomputing capacity to improve weather and climate modelling. BIS, working closely with the Met Office and other stakeholders across Government, will continue to develop the business case for the next generation of supercomputing capacity.

In the mean time we will continue to provide the world-class forecasts the British public and our customers have come to expect.

Science and Technology Committee Thirteenth Report – Science in the Met Office

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