Forecasting the weather

We’ve provided an “Introduction to the Met Office” video to get the students engaged and excited for their learning over the next few weeks. You might want to show this video in your own time before you start Virtual Science Camp 2021.

Click the icon to download the leader pack for Sessions 4-6


Leader Pack


Forecasting the weather sessions including videos:

Session 4 - Rain or Shine

In this session students get the chance to become a meteorologist and present you’re their own forecast for The Festival of Flight.  

This session will take you through how we produce our forecasts and we have provided detailed notes below as to the structure of the session that you can follow through. 

Can you use your knowledge of weather observations to create a forecast for Ian Frost? 


  • Students to produce their own weather forecast for The Festival of Flight air show near London on Saturday afternoon (~3pm). 
  • How do we use observations coupled with our model predictions to make our final forecasts? 
  • Introduce students to the way a television weather forecast is presented and recorded. 
  • How our forecasts impact that decisions made by our customers. 



Forecast (PDF only)


Pilot weather template  (PDF only)


Pilot weather completed template  (PDF only)


Session 5 - Forecasting for the World

In this session you will be exploring how the Met Office forecast not just for the UK but globally. We’ll be starting with a tour of the operations centre where we provide our 24/7 weather forecasts, IT support and customer service. 

We delve into extreme weather and explain how much flooding impacts the UK and  

through our flood model demonstration, you’ll be able to see the effects of flooding on the landscape of the UK and how much of an impact it can have when flash flooding occurs. 

Finally concluding with an Extreme weather quiz, see if you can answer some of the questions posed by our demonstrator! 


  • To discuss flooding in the context of the most damaging weather types and to give a sense of the damage caused 
  • To emphasise importance of a good weather forecast to minimise impact 
  • To explain storm surges and the three contributing aspects (tides, wind, pressure) using a balloon experiment to illustrate effect of pressure on sea level. 
  • To explain why (inland) floods happen (persistent rain, waterlogged ground, flash floods) and using a flood model to demonstrate. 
  • To explain extreme weather (especially rainfall) in the UK and globally 


Creating your own flood model

  • A plastic tub or tray, it doesn’t have to be a huge model
  • Objects that represent houses
  • Scissors 
  • Paint and decorations for your model 
  • Sponges or a cup to pour water over your model with 
  • Plasticine, modelling clay or some moulding material to make the floodplain 
  • Towel to mop up excess water 

Session 6 - What makes our computer super?

In this session we will learn about the history of numerical forecasting and all about supercomputers, especially the Met Office supercomputer. We will also introduce the idea of uncertainty in ensemble forecasting and learn why this is a really important to the way we communicate our forecasts.  


  • Nearly all of us own computers and/or use them daily. 
  • Computers store information.  
  • Computers process information e.g. make a calculation. 
  • Information needs to be moved between different parts. 
  • We need power to operate a computer. 
  • How we forecast uncertainty using ensembles for the example of storm tracking.