An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Public Weather Service

We are also responsible for the Severe weather warnings, which aims to give advance warning of extreme weather to the public, businesses, emergency services and Government.

The aims of the PWS are to:

  • Produce weather forecasts which help the UK public make informed decisions about day-to-day activities.
  • Warn people of extreme weather to mitigate its impacts - contributing to the protection of life, property and infrastructure.
  • Improve weather and climate predictions through research.
  • Fulfil international commitments on behalf of the UK Government.
  • Provide public access to historic weather information via our National Meteorological Archive and Climate summaries.

Structure

The Public Weather Service Customer Group is responsible for overseeing the PWS on behalf of the public, reporting to and advising government Ministers.

Funding

The PWSCG is mainly funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on behalf of Government. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority pays towards the service to underpin its services for UK and global aviation. Some research and development projects receive additional funding from other sources. The current total PWSCG funding is approximately £123.2 million per year.

Public Weather Service outputs

The outputs of the Public Weather Service are captured within the Public Weather Service Customer Supplier Agreement (CSA).

The CSA describes the full range of expectations of capability and services that the Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG) require from the Met Office. It outlines what products and services are required and is focussed on outcomes and outputs, with a series of associated metrics (performance measures) by which the Met Office will be assessed. Deliverables are also defined detailing PWSCG requirements for pieces of work designed to improve PWS services. The products and services described in the CSA cover a 5-year period (2021-26), however the CSA is designed to be flexible in the face of evolving circumstances, for example to digital developments, forecasting capability and financial settlements.

The CSA is written and owned by the PWSCG, with support from the Met Office.

Performance

The report into the Public Weather Service's value to the UK economy has been produced by PA Consulting Group on behalf of the PWS Customer Group.

How valuable is the Met Office?

Emergency responders

Focusing on the services available to UK emergency planners and responders and aims to:

  • explain the role of the Met Office in helping others prepare for, and respond to, emergencies;
  • describe the range of services available to emergency planners and responders;
  • provide guidance on interpreting the products.

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