The Open 2011
Officials at The Open Championship have praised the Met Office for the 'first class' service providing spot-on forecasts during a tournament of challenging weather.
Met Office forecasters worked closely with the R&A, who organise the event, to provide minute-by-minute updates on the developing situation at Royal St George's Golf Club in Kent.
David Rickman, Director of Rules at the R&A, said: "In order to run the Open Championship properly for the best players in the world and tens of thousands of spectators we need immediate access to accurate and precise weather forecasting.
"The on-site service provided by the Met Office was first class and proved invaluable during a week of variable and challenging weather conditions."
A mixed bag of weather
Strong winds, heavy rain, and even the odd spell of sunshine put in an appearance over the four days of the competition to test players and spectators alike.
In line with our forecast, the tournament started with windy and cloudy conditions, interspersed with some light rain, and gradually improved through the day.
While Friday saw sunshine and warm temperatures, our forecasters were already warning of what was in store for the rest of the weekend.
Strong winds and heavy rain
The wind picked up for Saturday's play, with strong gusts buffeting the exposed course, and rain swept in from the west.
Our on-site forecasters gave guidance that the rain would clear by 3pm - accurate enough to warrant this tweet from the R&A @liveBulletins: "Top forecasting from the Met Office. "After 1500 the rain should ease," they said. Check."
Our forecast for Sunday of sunny periods and scattered, possibly heavy showers, was also spot-on.
Sandwich weather statistics*
|Highest daytime temperature||24.2 C on Friday 15 July|
|Lowest daytime temperature||18 C on Saturday 16 July|
|Highest rainfall||6mm on Saturday 16 July|
|Most sunshine||11.9 hours on Friday 15 July|
|Strongest wind||36 mph on Sunday 17 July|
* Observations taken from Manston, the nearest observation station to the Royal St George's Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent