The National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS) is produced by the Met Office as a part of our commitment to the Public Weather Service (as defined in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004). The warnings are required for two purposes:
The changes are being made following consultation over the past 12 to 18 months with the public and those with responsibility for protecting the public. In addition they address customer feedback from the public. The improvements reflect the latest requirements of warnings users.
The key changes are:
Improved website display
We will be changing the way warnings are displayed on our website to make it easier to find the information that is relevant to your area. You will then be able to see at a glance the information you are interested in and, if you wish, drill down to find more detail.
Easier to understand
We will be making the warnings easier to understand by:
Warnings will now be based on both the expected weather conditions and the potential impact they may have, recognising that the same weather in different parts of the UK can have a different impact.
We have made the language used in warnings consistent with that used by others, including the Environment Agency in relation to flood warnings.
The changes to the warnings service will help to bring the following benefits to users:
The combination of likelihood and impact will be measured against a matrix to give each warning a colour:
Find out more about the warnings colours.
Warnings are issued for
Each warning type has been given a corresponding symbol so that it is easy to identify visually. Symbols are also helpful for overcoming language barriers. A key to the symbols can be found below:
For information on what to do before, during and after severe weather please visit our severe weather advice pages.
The only difference between Alerts and Warnings is lead time on which they are issued. Alerts are issued more than 24 hours ahead, while Warnings are issued up to 24 hours ahead.
Weather warnings will be displayed on all our distribution platforms including our website, iPhone, mobile, Weather Widgets, Desktop Widget and email alerts. Some of these will simply carry a summary of warnings that have been issued and refer you back to our main website for more details, but all will alert you that warnings are in force.
An example of this may be when 70 mph winds are expected across the whole of the UK, yet warnings may be in force for south-east England but not for Scotland. This is because warnings are no longer purely based on meteorological criteria but instead take into account the possible impacts these may have. In this example 70 mph winds would be unlikely to cause many issues for Scotland but could cause disruption in south-east England, so warnings would be in force for the latter.
Invent showcases some of our future plans for presenting the weather on the web.
Regional warning and alert feeds
Severe weather warnings