INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Met Office

LMO Description
Met Office
Proposed role in INSPIRE development
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
    Level of authority: 
    United Kingdom and Territories.
    Formal Mandate: 
    <p>National Meteorological Service of the United Kingdom.<br /> Operational arm of World Area Forecasting Centre (WAFC) of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)<br /> ICAO Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre<br /> World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC)<br /> RSMC with geographical specialism for Europe<br /> RSMC for environmental emergency response for Europe and North Atlantic</p>
    Main Activities: 
    The Met Office based in the UK is one of the leading meteorological services in the world. It supports a large number of customers in Public Services, Civil Aviation, Defence, Industry and Commerce. A wide range of weather information is provided on a range of scales, from site specific storm surge forecasts to global upper wind data for aviation. The Office is also a world leading organisation in Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate and Climate Change, and is involved in many collaborative research activities and projects. There is a continuing commitment from the Office to developing, promoting and delivering user driven services in the natural environment, and in working more closely with users to improve their decision making and risk management through better understanding of weather and the natural environment. The Met Office is one of two World Area Forecast Centres and as such is responsible for providing real time forecasts of relevant weather to aviation services world wide. This information is used for flight planning purposes where accuracy and timely delivery are crucial. The Met Office has an active investment in disaster management. This includes forecasting severe weather events around the world (e.g. severe flooding and tropical cyclones) and helping to mitigate impacts as well as aiding relief efforts. A number of examples of the Office’s relevant international commitments are listed below. As a WMO designated Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Europe and the North Atlantic the Met Office provides transport model products for environmental emergency responses. State-of-the art numerical models track and predict the spread of plumes from radioactive and chemical releases and pass the information to National Meteorological Services in Europe. Volcanic eruptions can cause major disruption to aircraft and populations affected by the fallout of volcanic ash. The Met Office has an ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) role for the North Atlantic, providing real-time response to environmental catastrophes in congested international airspace. The Environmental Monitoring And Response Centre, EMARC, is based within the National Met Centre at the Met Office headquarters. EMARC is responsible for providing UK and world-wide government agencies with information following a nuclear disaster, providing forecasts of the likely track of radioactive plumes. The Met Office has dedicated managers to oversee both a data management and a networking strategy. These branches apply state-of-the-art technology to data transfer (supporting a wide-ranging telecommunications infrastructure), data compression and storage systems. The Met Office is also a regional hub for the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) which distributes meteorological data collected across the globe in real time, to the minute 24*7. The Met Office is actively involved in the following international collaborations: The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is a 185-member United Nations specialised agency set up to promote and facilitate world-wide co-operation in the rapid exchange of meteorological and related information. The Met Office represents the interests of the UK with regard to weather, climate, hydrology and water resources, and related environmental issues. EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) is an inter-governmental organisation, which has 18 European State Members. Its primary objective is to establish, maintain and exploit European systems of operational meteorological satellites. The European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an intergovernmental organisation supported by 19 European states whose principal objective is the development of numerical methods for medium-range weather forecasting.
    The Met Office has concerns that INSPIRE must not duplicate, re-define or override the existing International procedures and policies agreed at intergovernmental level (e.g. WMO Standards) The met Office is concerned that the draft directive does not make sufficient allowance for the impact on data volumes, both for storage and transmission, associated with implementing the proposals. This will result in substantial increases in costs. The draft directive Includes Numerical Weather Prediction modelling data and make no distinction between current and archive data. We receive upwards of 50GB per day and have archives of half a petabyte. The Met Office has significant concerns that current customers of European information will go outside of Europe to gain access to appropriate information due to the inhibitions being imposed upon data providers by the Directive. The fundamental difference between data which are fairly static and meteorological information. The directive, from many sources, is aimed at geographical information. By its nature, meteorological and oceanographic information is varying very rapidly - such that we provide many sets of data in a day for the same geographical location. Over many years, meteorological and oceanographic organisations have focused on cost effective and efficient ways of exchanging such information world wide. Taking a Directive, originally written to focus on one type of information then apply much more broadly, without considering the impacts, will cause major problems..
    Area of work/experience
    Geographic Domain:: 
    National Regional and Global observations and forecasts. Global forecasts for aviation distributed worldwide
    Societal Sector: 
    Central government – a Trading Fund as part of the Ministry of Defence, national regional and global forecasting, commercial services
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development: 
    The Met Office operates as an RSMC of WMO and is a major hub of the WMO private global network – the GTS for over 50 years. The Met Office runs global and regional Numerical Weather Prediction Models and Oceanographic models multiple times per day on supercomputers and receives and delivers huge amounts of spatial data every day. Our receipt is approaching 50GB new data every day and our External Internet service reached capacity recently at 1.5million page impressions per day in recent cold weather. The Met Office hosts the Hadley Centre for Climate Research and our climate archive has a capacity of 2 PetaBytes. The Met Office is active in International and Regional organisations for environmental data and contributes to processes and procedures, data definition, services and technical systems.
    Primary Business: 
    United Kingdom National Met Service.
    Environmental application domains: 
    National, Regional and Global observations and forecasts of environmental conditions for almost ALL of the domains listed in the note 17 to this section.