We predict atmosphere and ocean conditions using models running on our supercomputer
Weather and climate are most accurately predicted using numerical computer models alongside expert meteorologist guidance. These models begin with snapshots of current atmospheric conditions, from the surface of the earth to the upper atmosphere.
Forecast models for atmosphere and ocean are run on the Met Office supercomputer, the largest operational computer in Europe.
Forecast model output is also used in applications such as our dispersion modelling and Tactical Decision Aids (TDAs), which calculate specific details of the impact of weather on a sensor or platform.
The Unified Model is a highly-configurable system for meteorological prediction across a range of timescales from weather forecasting to climate change. Uncertainties in forecasting are addressed through ensemble forecasts, providing estimates of forecast uncertainty. We also develop regional high-resolution model configurations for application worldwide.
The Met Office dispersion model (NAME - Numerical Atmospheric dispersion Modelling Environment) takes output from the forecast weather model and predicts the dispersion of plumes from chemical releases, combustion plumes and volcanic events.
Ocean forecast modelling
An ocean forecast model driven by MetUM surface forcing gives a prediction of upper ocean conditions. This includes variation in mixed layer depth, which impacts on the propagation of sound in the ocean therefore affecting the performance of sonar systems, and ocean surface currents affecting the track of drifting objects.
The Met Office uses the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) ocean model framework/system.