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Climate monitoring with a UK focus

The United Kingdom on 07/01/2010, imaged by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on board the Terra satellite (image credit: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response;

The UK climate is monitored by routinely analysing surface observations (e.g. air temperature, precipitation and sunshine) and placing recent extreme weather events in their historical context.

The National Climate Information Centre (NCIC) generates climate information and statistics using UK surface observations. Techniques are developed to generate long data series for the UK and its regions and to present data, e.g. as maps.

Many of the outputs are made available on our UK climate pages. These web pages include information such as station and regional statistics and summaries of noteworthy weather events such as floods, heatwaves, snowfalls.

Support was given to the UK Climate Projections 2009 project (UKCP09) through the development of UKCP09: Gridded observation data sets.

Key aims

  • Produce UK climate statistics for points and areas.
  • Provide climate data to a wide range of customers, including government departments, the media and research bodies.
  • Report upon noteworthy weather events, placing them in context.
  • Monitor UK climate trends and provide advice on climate-related topics.

Current activities

  • Develop climate data analysis and presentation techniques (e.g. gridded data and mapped presentations).
  • Prepare UK climate statistics (e.g. averages and extremes).
  • Develop and maintain historic series (e.g. Central England Temperature).
  • Produce UK monthly/seasonal/annual weather summaries.
  • Report on UK noteworthy weather events.
  • Disseminate information (mainly via the web).
  • Represent UK interests in the European Climate Support Network (ECSN).

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