My meteorological heroes

I have a few ‘meteorological’ heroes in my life, and it may come as a surprise to many that Peter Ewins or Julian Hunt don’t feature in the list. At the top of it must come Gordon Manley (1902-1980), whose name I first came across when reading his 1952 book ‘Climate and the British scene’ as a teenager. He is best known for his work on reconstructing the past climate of Central England with his CET series, which was adopted and sanitized by the Met Office, which I noticed that he joined in 1925, but had the good sense to resign the very next year! Along side Manley at the […]

Met Office: 30th Anniversary of the 1987 Storm

There’s been an interesting news release from the Met Office late this morning regarding the anniversary of the October storm in 1987. The best thing about it the news release that it includes a full size jpg of the machine plotted and hand contoured chart for 02 UTC on the morning of the 16th, what a busy night shift that must have been!  I hope they don’t mind me including a snippet from the bottom left hand corner of it in this blog! The news release makes interesting reading about how times have changed in the last 30 years as regards communications, and the power of supercomputers, that now […]

CRUTEM4 sites and the placement of Stevenson screens

I am surprised that some of the UK climate records used by the Met Office to calculate their global land temperatures for CRUTEM4 with, are from sites where the instrument enclosure, primarily the Stevenson screen, has been compromised over the years by the encroachment of buildings, car parks, and runways and the various ‘climate’ sites around the country, to such an extent that it must in some way be affecting the temperature sensors. Creeping urbanisation has been happening for years, and is not a new problem, it’s a bit like how politicians suddenly realised that life expectancy has been on the rise for the last 100 years. Before I go […]

The Greenwich Lightvessel

The Greenwich Lightvessel Automatic to give it’s full title, is anchored in the middle of the English Channel at latitude 50°24″ N and longitude 0°, and that’s why it got it’s name – something I hadn’t realised until I came to write this article. The ship currently on this station is solar powered, as you can see from the above picture, and was built in 1946 for Trinity House, and has been in active service at various stations since 1947 as Lightvessel No. 5 – good old Wikipedia! I think I am right in saying that it must have been manned for many years until it was finally automated, some […]

The stormy winter of 1989/90

Since I’m in a bit of a stormy mood at the moment, and have recently been working on some software to measure the storminess across the British Isles in a new kind of way, I thought that I would take a look back at the stormy winter of 1989/90 (remember the Burn’s day storm of the 25th of January, well actually the Burn’s night storm?) and see how it compared with last winter (2015/16), which according to the Met Office (if you believe them that is) was one of the stormiest on record with as many as eleven named storms! Well the first ranked table of winter gale days answers the […]

Updated Web Radar

I have to applaud the Met Office for making available weather radar images every 5 minutes instead of the usual 15 minutes as it’s been for many years. This morning I have been reworking my old Web Radar application that downloads tiled images on a 15 minute basis and enabled it to work with the new 5 minute data.  I have gone on and on about the Met Office doing this for as long as I’ve been blogging, and now that it’s here, animations are so much smoother and the estimations of rainfall over extended time periods is going to be that much more accurate. It also emphasises to […]