A view out to sea

Met Office observations network

Before we can forecast what the weather has in store, we need to know what is happening now. Across the UK, every day of the year, Met Office engineers, scientists and experts manage, maintain and quality assure the UK’s observations network. Around 300 land observing stations, marine instruments, about 15 weather radars, and a European-wide lightning location network provide vital observations of current weather and atmospheric conditions.

We also gather vitally important satellite observations from space and collaborate closely with meteorological services around the world ensuring we have a global view.

What observations do we gather?

The parameters we measure in observations include wind (speed, direction and gust strength), rainfall, temperature, cloud, visibility, sunshine and radiation, snow depth and atmospheric pressure. A range of instruments are used to take these measurements which are fed into numerical weather models. Learn more about how the data is used on our high-resolution weather modelling webpage.

Are observations data available to view?

Observations information for the last 24 hours can be accessed through the UK forecast pages. Simply select a location and click on LAST 24 HOURS beneath the forecast table to view observations for the closest observation site.

Learn more about observations