How cookies are used by the Met Office
Cookies are used to make our site work, capture how the site is used and to serve advertising.
You are asked to set your cookie preferences when you first visit the website on a new device or browser. You can change your preferences at any time.
Restricting cookies may impact functionality on the website. For example, your recently searched places will not be saved if you reject ‘Store and/or access information on a device’.
When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as 'cookies' or 'web storage'.
These pieces of information are used to improve services for you by:
- enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
- recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
- measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
- making advertising more interesting, by collecting statistical and behavioural data to ensure the adverts that you see are more relevant to you
- allowing you to share content on social media sites such as YouTube and Twitter.
You can turn cookies off, however, due to their role of enhancing or enabling usability and site processes, disabling cookies may prevent you from being able to use certain parts of this website.
If you would like to disable cookies on your machine, you can do this through your browser settings. The 'Help' function within your browser will tell you how.
Personalising the weather forecast and observations pages
See Web storage.
|CookieControl and CookieControlTC||Cookie Control cookies. This cookie is set in order to remember the user's preferences in regards to cookies.||365 days|
The Met Office uses Google Analytics to understand how people are using the website and identify areas that can be improved or removed. The Google Analytics cookies are used to produce statistics on how the site is used. These cookies therefore allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around the site when they're using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example by making sure users are finding what they need easily.
Example cookie names:
- starts with _ga
- starts with __utm
See Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites for more detail.
Test improvements to the website
Google Optimize is sometimes used to test small changes to the website to see how well they perform. This is known as A/B testing.
Example cookie names:
- starts with _opt_
See Google Optimize Cookie usage for more information.
Helps protect the site from large amounts of traffic.
Example cookie names:
- starts with _cf
- starts with cf
See Understanding the Cloudflare Cookies for more detail.
Help diagnose problems
If you are having problems with the Met Office website we may send you a link to a page that will test your browsers capabilities. One of these tests is to see if your browser will accept cookies.
|testcookie||test if your browser is accepting cookies||when user exits browser|
Ensure your session is consistent
Stores which web-server you have connected to in order to provide a consistent session.
|weare||in order to provide a consistent session||when user exits browser|
|SERVERID||in order to provide a consistent session||less than 1 hour|
Searching the website
Set when you use the Met Office search feature.
|JSESSIONID||in order to provide a consistent session||when user exits browser|
|__KBLoggedIn__||0 or 1||deleted|
Embedded weather widget
Set when you use the embedded weather widget.
|comp2Prefs||preferences set in the weather widget||30 days|
Many of these are used on older parts of the website and are being phased out.
|III_SESSION_ID||in order to provide a consistent session||when user exits browser|
|SESSION_SCOPE||in order to provide a consistent session||when user exits browser|
|PHPSESSID||in order to provide a consistent session||4 hours 46 minutes|
|TWIKISID||in order to provide a consistent session||when user exits browser|
|fontsize||your preferred font size e.g. large||< 24 hours|
|style||if you have enabled high contrast view||< 24 hours|
Embedded media and other external sources of cookies
When a video or Twitter feed is embedded in one of our web pages it may set third-party cookies.
Adverts are served on the website. If you have consented, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) registered advertising vendors may set third-party cookies. You can review these vendors and their privacy policies at any time. Adverts may come from many different vendors including Google Advertising. More information can be found on the types of cookies used by Google.
Similar to cookies but the data is stored in your browser only and not sent over the internet. LocalStorage data does not expire. SessionStorage data expires when you close the browser window.
|MoWxPreferredLocation, moPreferredLocation||user's preferred forecast location|
|MoLocationSearchHistory, MOWxDomesticLocationHistory||user's location search history|
|metoffice_expandedforecasttable, MoreDetail||user's preferences for More Detail view|
|MOWxPrefs||preferences for map-based pages|
|moWeatherUnits, MOWxUnits||user's preference of units e.g. Celsius or Fahrenheit|
|MOWxWidgetPreferences||user's selected widgets to be displayed on the home page set via the Customise button|
Published June 2018
Updated September 2020