Global accuracy at a local level
When it comes to accurate forecasts, the Met Office stands above the crowd. Here are just some of the reasons to trust the Met Office.
- Our global Numerical Weather Prediction model, the foundation of our accurate weather provision, is recognised as a world leading National Met Service model verified* using standards defined by the World Meteorological Organisation.
Relied on by experts
- World-leading accuracy is essential to the safety of life. The Met Office is one of just two World Area Forecasting Centres that advise airlines operating right across the globe.
- The high level of trust in our forecast accuracy is underlined by the fact that our model is used under licence by six other forecast centres and over 50 research centres around the world.
- We continually push to improve our accuracy. The Met Office’s four day forecast is now as accurate as our one day forecast was 30 years ago.
A measure of our progress is that 92% of the Met Office’s next day temperature forecasts are accurate within 2 degree C and 91% of the Met Office’s next day wind speed forecasts are correct within 5 knots.
Trusted when it matters
- We use our accurate forecasting skill to warn the Government, public, emergency responders and businesses of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause danger to life or widespread disruption to property and key infrastructure.
- We help protect UK forces on exercises and missions around the world.
- Our space weather forecasts help keep the world’s technology safe from solar flares.
Protecting lives at sea for 150 years
We have been providing uninterrupted marine forecasts since 1867.
When compared against our best estimate of the actual wind speed our verification systems1 indicate that during 2019:
- Our inshore waters and shipping forecasts were 97.5% and 94.8% correct to within 1 Beaufort force category
- A gale warning was issued for over 95% of gales that occurred; and
- At least a near gale occurred during over 86% of gale warnings that were issued
World’s most powerful environmental supercomputer
- Our weather models are now harnessing the processing power and computational capacity of our new supercomputer, helping us provide even more detailed data and forecasts and earlier warnings of severe weather.
- Supercomputer capability has helped us increase the resolution of our models, to 1500 metres in the UK, and make high resolution forecasts even further in advance.
- Our expert physicists and mathematicians use their combined skills in developing our weather models
- Over 300 operational meteorologists analyse our weather data to deliver the most up-to-date accurate forecasts.
- The Met Office Academic Partnership is a formal collaboration between ourselves and three UK universities that are leaders in weather and climate science (University of Exeter, University of Leeds, University of Oxford and University of Reading) to advance the science and skill of weather and climate prediction.
- We began taking observations over 150 years ago and today our network of weather stations in the UK and around the world provide us with millions of observations each day.
- Over 200 billion observations are received at the Met Office every day from satellites, radar, weather stations, ocean buoys, weather balloons and ships. Many of these measurements feed into the models used to make our accurate forecasts.
- We work closely with the Environment Agency to build and operate a sophisticated weather radar network which contributes to increased forecast accuracy, particularly in severe weather.
Breaking new boundaries
- By contributing to the UK Space Agency Satellite Programme, we increase our understanding of how the atmosphere works. The next generation of satellites (MeteoSat 3rd) will lead to even greater enhancement of our forecast accuracy.
- The Met Office is rated as the strongest of the main digital weather forecast providers in terms of consumer perceptions of accuracy, with a Consumer Accuracy Index of 78.3 for first and second providers, compared to an average of 74.6 for the other digital brands surveyed. (Independent research from Walnut Unlimited, Perceptions of Accuracy, January 2020, monitored quarterly).
- 84% of the public trust the Met Office to provide weather and climate services. (You Gov Trust Tracker survey, November 2019)
- The Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG) set the Met Office an annual 73% target level for the public perceptions of accuracy, which has been exceeded consistently for the last four years.
- The Met Office provides highly accurate forecasts for the UK that are more accurate than other providers.
- Our June 2016 accuracy comparison study, compared forecast to actual values at 122 UK stations over a rolling 36-month period. The data was provided by Climendo and verified internally using an independently scrutinised verification process2.
1 For details of our verification methodology see Sharpe MA. 2013. Verification of Marine Forecasts using an Objective Area Forecast Verification System Meteorol. Appl.20(2): 224-235
2 *NB No competitor data was made available