Who we are

Our origins

In 1854 an experimental government department, which was later to become the Met Office, was set up under the Board of Trade. Its aim was to research the possibilities of forecasting the weather, mainly to protect the safety of ships and their crew at sea.

Distinguished naval captain, Robert FitzRoy, was chosen to head up the department. To establish meteorology as a science and he set about developing the fundamental techniques of modern weather forecasting. He was spurred on by tragedies such as the sinking of the Royal Charter.

FitzRoy developed the first storm warning service and pioneered techniques for forecasting weather such as synoptic charts, where weather observations taken at the same time were drawn on a map to aid forecasting - a technique still used today.

The Met Office today

As a world leader in providing weather and climate services, we employ more than 1,700 at 60 locations throughout the world. We are a Trading Fund within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), operating on a commercial basis under set targets.

We are recognised as one of the world's most accurate forecasters, using more than 10 million weather observations a day, an advanced atmospheric model and a high performance supercomputer to create 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings a day. These are delivered to a huge range of customers from the Government, to businesses, the general public, armed forces, and other organisations.

 

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