Met Office

Marine Observer's Handbook (M.O. 1016)

Marine Observer's Handbook

The Marine Observer's Handbook deals with meteorological instruments and the practical aspect of making observations. The Marine Observer's handbook was written for the following three purposes.

1) To assist officers aboard United Kingdom vessels, who voluntarily make observations at sea on behalf of Meteorological Services, to carry out this work in an efficient and uniform manner.

2) To encourage all mariners to take an interest in recording observations of (a) meteorology, (b) marine phenomena and wildlife, (c) optical phenomena, and (d) basic oceanography, and to assist them in their study of these important and interesting subjects. 

3) To provide provide a book of reference for candidates for Certificates of Competency issued by MSA, the Marine Safety Agency of the Department of Transport.

The 11th edition was the last to be published in 1995.

Marine Observer's Handbook (Met.O.1016) 11th Edition
Sections Chapter Title
Covers Covers Front and back covers (PDF, 919 kB)
Contents Contents Contents (PDF, 1 MB)
Foreword Foreword Foreword (PDF, 1 MB)
Chapter 1 Chapter1 Atmospheric Pressure (PDF, 8 MB)
Chapter 2 Chapter2 The Measurement of Temperature and Humidity (PDF, 10 MB)
Chapter 3 Chapter3 General Meteorological Instruments (PDF, 4 MB)
Chapter 4 Chapter4 Wind, Weather and Visibility & State of Sea Photographs (PDF, 9 MB)
Chapter 5 Chapter5 Clouds and cloud height by estimation & Cloud Photographs (PDF, 17 MB)
Chapter 6 Chapter6 Ocean Waves (PDF, 5 MB)
Chapter 7 Chapter7 Observations of ocean Currents and Ice & Ice Photographs (PDF, 20 MB)
Chapter 8 Chapter8 The Observation of Phenomena (PDF, 2 MB)
Chapter 9 Chapter9 Astronomical Phenomena (PDF, 3 MB)
Chapter 10 Chapter10 Phenomena of the High Atmosphere (PDF, 7 MB)
Chapter 11 Chapter11 Phenomena of the Lower Atmosphere (PDF, 13 MB)
Chapter 12 Chapter12 Marine Phenomena (PDF, 5 MB)
Chapter 13 Chapter13 Organization of Voluntary Meteorological Work at sea (PDF, 4 MB)
Chapter 14 Chapter14 The International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (PDF, 2 MB)
Index Index Index. (PDF, 3 MB)
Tables Tables Tables (PDF, 9 MB)
Appendices Appendices Appendices (PDF, 3 MB)

Copyright Guidance

These publications are subject to Crown Copyright. Please refer to our Crown Copyright terms of use for details on how you can use this content. For further guidance please contact the Weather Desk.


To view PDF documents you will need Adobe Reader.
Adobe Acrobat Reader

Last Updated: 29 October 2013
  • Explore the Met Office