|Parent agency||Ministry of Defence|
One of the British stalwarts, the Shipping Forecast, is produced by the Met Office and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The Shipping Forecast has long been vital to the safety of mariners on the seas around the British Isles.
Weather forecasting and warnings
The Met Office is responsible for issuing Severe Weather Warnings for the United Kingdom through the National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS). These warn of weather which may affect transport and lives. In March 2008, the system was improved and a new stage of warning was introduced, the 'Advisory'.
Weather prediction models
Its main role is to produce forecast models. It gathers information from weather satellites in space and observations on earth. The information is fed into two IBM supercomputers. The computers use models based on a software package known as the Unified Model. The principal weather products for UK customers are 36-hour forecasts from the newly operational 1.5 km resolution UKV model covering the UK and surroundings (replacing the 4 km model); 48-hour forecasts from the 12 km resolution NAE model covering Europe and the North Atlantic; and 144-hour forecasts from the 25 km resolution global model (replacing the 40 km global model). A wide range of other products for other regions of the globe are sold to customers abroad. They are used by MOD operations abroad or provided free to developing countries in Africa. If necessary, forecasters may make adjustments to the computer forecasts.
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Met Office Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.