Provisional summaries and statistics are based on climate data from around 250 UK weather stations from which observations are received in real-time. The provisional summaries show the Met Office's best assessment of the weather that was experienced across the UK, based on the data available at the time.
Provisional monthly summaries and statistics for the latest month are usually available by the end of the fourth working day after the end of the month. Provisional seasonal and annual summaries and statistics for the latest season or year are usually available by the end of the fifth working day after the end of the season or year.
Weather observations are also received from several hundred climate stations, and several thousand rainfall stations, which are maintained by co-operating observers. Most of these data are not received in real-time but several days, or weeks, later.
Final monthly summaries and statistics, based on this full station network, are produced five to six months after the provisional summaries. This allows all available weather data to be received and a comprehensive quality control process to be carried out.
The final summaries show the Met Office's best assessment of the weather that was experienced across the UK, based on all available data. As the full station network comprises a much larger number of stations, the final summaries and statistics may be considered as more reliable than the provisional ones.
Last updated: 16 January 2013