Help using this site

Questions and answers

1. I'm having problems with the website.

Make sure that you are using a supported browser.

Try uninstalling any browser add-ons.

Make sure cookies are enabled. Disabling cookies may prevent you from being able to use certain parts of this website. For further information please visit Cookies.

Check the speed of your connection. See answer to question 2 about slower speed connections.

If you continue to have problems complete the technical fault form and we will try to help if we can.

2. I still use dial up to access the internet, which means that I find it impossible to access the new site. I sometimes also experience problems on broadband as the site can be very slow to load. Why? 

As part of the web refresh, in response to user feedback, we introduced more interactive features, such as the map pages in the weather section. These result in more data having to to be downloaded to your PC. With dial-up connections, which have slower connection speeds than a broadband connection, only a limited speed of download can be achieved, and so it takes longer for the web pages to load on your PC. This also applies to broadband in some areas because if the broadband is heavily used or the service has a low band-width then the amount of data which can be transferred is quite low and so the pages will take a longer period of time to load.

If you are experiencing these problems, you could look at our mobile site, which provides some weather information.

3. I keep getting JavaScript error messages.

You need to ensure that JavaScript is switched on.

How to do this in Internet Explorer:

  1. From the Tools menu select Internet Options.
  2. From the Security tab set the security level to Medium. JavaScript will automatically be enabled.
  3. If you wish to have more control over your security settings, select the Custom security level and click on Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the settings window and ensure that Active scripting is enabled.

How to do this in Firefox:

  1. From the Tools menu select Options.
  2. From the Content tab make sure the Enable JavaScript checkbox is ticked.

How to do this in Safari:

  1. From the Safari menu select Preferences.
  2. From the Security tab make sure the Enable JavaScript checkbox is ticked.

You will need to look at your browser's help to see how to do this on other browsers.

4. What are access keys?

Access keys are keyboard shortcuts which allow a user to navigate a web site without using a mouse or other pointing device. This can sometimes be quicker and may assist those with motor skill difficulties.

5. The font is too small to read.

See our Accessibility page for instructions on how to make text larger in your browser.

6. When I look at TAFs and METARs on the aviation service, some time groups are displayed as phone numbers with country flags.

This is caused by some phone software packages (e.g. Skype) replacing numeric strings, which resemble phone numbers, with a phone number and country code flag. You will have to look in your software package or use Google to find out how to disable this.

7. The data are out of date.

You need to refresh your page. We have extensive checks to ensure that data is updated on time. You might find the problem is at your ISP, contact them to ask for their pages to be updated. See question 11 on how to clear your cache.

8. I keep returning to the login page when trying to launch a registered service.

You need to enable cookies to use the registered services. For further information please visit Cookies.

9. I keep returning to the login page when trying to register for a service.

You need to enable cookies to use the registered services. For further information please visit Cookies.

10. How do I clear my browser's cache?

Every web browser stores information on recently or regularly visited web pages to improve the browser's performance, and this may include images and other downloaded content on the computer. This storage space is called the browser's cache. Clearing it occasionally or regularly can protect your privacy with regards to login details and passwords; free-up valuable space in your computer, or occasionally solve problems with time sensitive data loading incorrectly. See www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser's-Cache  about clearing cache in various browsers.

11. Is there a list of products and services?

Yes, on our Services A-Z page.

12. When will it be possible to receive TAFs and METARs on a mobile, by both WAP and SMS?

As a result of aviation customer feedback we don't intend to provide TAFs and METARs on WAP at this time, but will keep this under review.

13. Is there a weather widget for my website or blog?

We have a Met Office Widgets for your website or blog.

14. What are RSS feeds?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a format for distributing and sharing web content. You can view news feeds from various sources in one location as soon as they're published without having to visit the website you took the feed from. An RSS feeds guide is available at www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/rss/help.html

15. Can I download Met Office pages to my mobile device?

Although the whole Met Office website has not been specifically designed to enable downloads to mobile devices you can get some information specifically designed for mobile. For the rest of the site, as various mobile devices use different browsers and have different levels of JavaScript support, the appearance and functionality of our website experienced on your mobile device may not be the same as experienced on your home computer. See our Mobile Weather page.

16. Why am I seeing a big white space at the top of some pages?

Some versions Internet Explorer may default to the 'compatibility view' setting. Click on the 'broken page' icon next to the the address bar to switch compatibility view off.

17. What does BETA mean?

Beta is sometimes used on new products to indicate that they are subject to more change than other products. While a product is in Beta we are especially keen to gather your comments and feedback about ways in which the product could be improved. We aim to support Beta products to the same level as non-Beta products, but there may be times when the application or data is unavailable for a little longer than normal. Products with a Beta badge are subject to development as we incorporate feedback from users.

Last updated: 30 July 2014