Latest weather observations guide

We also provide latest weather observations for 150 locations around the UK as well as radar and satellite imagery, helping you keep up to date with the latest weather conditions.

All UK observational information is gathered together on the UK Observations page. Tabs across the top highlight the different formats of information which are available:

Simply click on one of the tabs to display the forecast in that format.

The observations that you see will be based on the nearest weather observing site to you chosen forecast location. To view observations for another location you will need to change your observing location.

Last 24 hours table view

Obs table Table view

The observation table provides a detailed view of the weather for the last 24 hours. Past weather observations are taken around 150 sites across the UK and are available every hour. Weather elements generally cover, weather type, temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure and visibility, although some stations do not report all elements.

Past weather observations are available for the past 24 hours. Use the tabs above the table to display the observations for that day.

You can use the customise button to choose which units are used on your past weather display e.g. Celsius or Fahrenheit for temperature. Additionally, you can select 'Options' to drag and drop columns or close them completely to modify the layout of the table and ensure you only see the information in which you are interested.

For more about the information and symbols included in the five day forecast, see our Key to symbols and terms

Map view

Obs map Map view

The map view allows you to view recent weather data for the UK for both specific observing locations and mapped information such as radar and satellite pictures. Observations cover a range of elements including weather, temperature, wind speed and direction. Alternatively, mapped observational information is available in the form of rainfall radar, visible and infra-red cloud satellite images and pressure maps.

To display your chosen observation type, select one of the options from the map menu on the right. A key is provided below the timeline if appropriate, you can also find a more detailed key in our guide to symbols and terms

You can pan and zoom around the map using the controls in the top left of the map or by using your mouse to click and drag the map and the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Zooming in on a location will display additional observations in that area.

To view observations for a particular time, click on the appropriate section of the time bar below the map. You can also animate your past weather observations using the play button. The time for which the observation is valid is shown to the left of both the time bar and the map menu.

Regional Extremes

Obs extremes Regional extremes

This tab provides daily extremes of temperature, rainfall and sunshine for your chosen region along with the locations at which they occurred. This information is updated every evening. The information shown is initial data as it is received; observations are subject to final quality control after publication on this website. This is particularly the case for rainfall totals during snow events.

Regional extremes are displayed for the area in which you chosen forecast location falls. To view extremes for another area you will need to change your forecast location.

Timeline

Obs timeline Timeline

The Timeline provides an alternative graphical representation of recent weather observations for a location. For each location we provide hourly observations of weather, temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, visibility and pressure.

To display the forecast for a particular day you can select one of the tabs above the table. Alternatively click and drag the Timeline to move through the time period.

Weather, wind speed and direction are always included on the timeline; however you can select which weather element you would like to graph along with them. Select from one of the options in the display menu on the right hand side. You can hover over the graph to view a text description of the forecast for that time period.

A key to the information and symbols included on the timeline can be found in our key to symbols and terms

Changing your past weather observations locations

The observations that you see are based on the nearest observing site to your chosen forecast site. If you want to view observations for another location you will need to change your chosen forecast site.

There are number of ways to change your forecast location and there are around 7000 to choose from.

Using the search box to select a new location

To change your location, enter a location (this could be a village, town or city) or a postcode into the search box and click on your chosen location. You can also search for world forecast locations by entering a location or world post/zip code. Select the appropriate location and your choice of forecast location from the list provided. To save a location as one of your favourites click on the star next to the location name. You can save up to five locations as favourites. Favourite locations can be found in the favourite location' drop down list next to the search box.

change location

You can move between the weather forecast, nearest observation site and climate for the location by clicking on the arrow next to the forecast location name and selecting either forecast, observations or climate.

Using 'find my location'

For web browsers that have geolocation capabilities, you can also use the 'find my location' button to automatically determine your location.

More information on how your web browser can use geolocation:

Once you have changed your forecast, the observations for the nearest available site will be displayed on the various tabs of the past weather observations page.

Observation types

There are two types of observation site, Standard and Non standard.

A Standard observing site has a minimum requirement to measure the following;

  • Air Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Precipitation

The sensors at a standard observing site would also have to be conform to the exposure requirements laid down by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Detailed guidance on exposure requirements can be found in the WMO Guide to Meteorological Instruments and Methods of Observation.

A Non standard observing site would not meet the above criteria.

Last updated: 28 March 2014