In 1854 an experimental government department, which was later to become the Met Office in the UK. As a world leader in providing weather and climate services, they employ more than 1,700 at 60 locations throughout the world. They are a Trading Fund within the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, operating on a commercial basis under set targets.
They are recognised as one of the world's most accurate forecasters, using more than 10 million weather observations a day, an advanced atmospheric model and a high performance supercomputer to create 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings a day. These are delivered to a huge range of customers from the Government, to businesses, the general public, armed forces, and other organisations.
This includes the Public Weather Service (PWS), which provides forecasts for the public to help them make informed decisions about their day-to-day activities. The National Severe Weather Warning Service is also a part of this, providing advance notice of weather which could affect public safety.
They are now working with the NHS to provide information on how the weather affects hospital admissions and helping them manage workloads. They can also help people with certain medical conditions, advising them when the weather could affect their health, helping them to stay healthy and out of hospital.
Transport and Business
Their range of services for transport includes tailored advice on how the weather will affect roads, air and sea travel. They also provide detailed information to a broad range of businesses which can be affected by the weather, from how it will affect the demand for electricity and gas, to how it will affect sales of high street products.
Defence and Government
Their work in the area of defence includes providing forecasts for military operations anywhere in the world, often supported by Met Office forecasters working in theatre with their armed forces. Their advice helps the military make strategic decisions, plan operations and safeguard service personnel from the worst effects of the weather, such as heat stress.
They also provide a range of services for the Government. This includes environmental monitoring advice on the predicted spread of insect-borne diseases such as bluetongue, to toxic or hazardous fumes, or even volcanic ash.
Climate change has become an increasingly important issue and their research continues to create an ever clearer picture of how it will affect the planet and their lives. This plays a vital role in providing evidence to support climate predictions which show the planet is now locked into at least 2 °C of warming and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to ensure this does not rise further for future generations.
With this in mind, they have been providing tailored advice and services for a range of clients to help them begin adapting to the consequences of climate change. This has included projects focusing on defence, transport, energy, water supply, defence, flooding, health, and a host of other issues. They will continue to use their expertise to further understanding of climate change, as well as offering advice on how to mitigate the risks and adapt to its consequences.
Their mission is to work at the forefront of weather and climate science for protection, prosperity and wellbeing to save lives and improve livelihoods. They work closely with national meteorological and hydrological services to enable them to deal successfully with weather and climate-related impacts and natural disasters. Key areas they support include: Tailored Climate Consultancy, Enhancing Weather and Climate Service delivery, Institutional strengthening, Disaster risk management and early warning systems and Sustainable Development
These services aid planning to protect against disasters, underpin socioeconomic growth, inform policy and help societies prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Where is Met Office