25 June 2008
The Met Office today welcomes calls for a joint centre to deal with the issue of severe weather and flooding in the UK.
The final report of Sir Michael Pitt's Flooding Lessons Learnt Review recommends combining the expertise of the Met Office and the Environment Agency. The review also indicated that continuous investment will be required to support the development of integrated forecasting and modelling for all types of flooding.
Phil Evans, Met Office Chief Advisor to Government, said: "The Met Office believes that an integrated approach to issuing flood warnings could provide important benefits. These include more consistent, clearer and earlier alerts and warnings to emergency responders, householders and operators of critical national infrastructure, plus an effective means of predicting surface water flooding. Such an approach would also bring the UK in line with international best practice."
Rob Varley, Government Services Director, said: "The Met Office and the Environment Agency work closely together. Earlier this month we unveiled significant developments in our capability to provide more precise pinpointing of where and when extreme rainfall will occur.
"We have also set up a team of specialist forecasters to provide early warnings and risk assessments to those involved in flood forecasting, emergency services and operators of critical national infrastructure.
"This latest recommendation will encourage us to do even more with our colleagues in other Government agencies, to protect the public from severe weather, flooding and its consequences."
Sir Michael has congratulated the Met Office on our ongoing improvements.