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 12 July 2008

UKMO rainfall radar and lightning (sferic) location data

Posted in: FTP | Met Office | Trading Fund              

6 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Nicholas Verge, Earthscience Technologies (also on behalf of European Storm Forecast Experiment)

Public Sector Information Holder: United Kingdom Meteorological Office

Information Asset: UKMO rainfall radar and lightning (sferic) location data

The problem

Rainfall radar:

UKMO rainfall radar data is currently only provided on a commercial basis to those that wish to make use of this information. Public access to rainfall radar data for the UK is only available via the UKMO (extremely limited service) or via commercial redistributors. In both cases the data is provided in graphical map form only.

Lightning (sferic) location data:

The UKMO operates a network of arrival time difference (ATD) aferic location detectors across Europe, able to location the position of lightning strikes across the UK, Europe and beyond. Until recently (late 2007) this data, albeit delayed and at a reduced resolution, was available via NOAA in the USA. Since Autumn 2007, UKMO sferic location data is no longer available to the public in any form.

My ideal solution

Rainfall radar data:

3D precipitation echoe intensity data collected by each radar station. Data to be provided in minimally processed form and as echo dBz values for the entire depth of the atmosphere scanned by each radar. If radars are also doplar radar, 3D radial velocity data to be provided too.

Lightning strike (sferic) location data collected by UKMO ATD system:

Sferic locations to be provided in a standard GIS/meterolological file format eg .csv. (latitude and longitude and time of sferic location).

Rainfall radar and sferic location data to be provided via public ftp server. Data to be provided freely without restriction on use, commercial or otherwise, and without restriction on redistribution. IMPORTANT: All data to be made public at the same instant it is available to UKMO staff, ie without deliberate delayment.

What I would do

Access to UKMO rainfall radar and sferic location data will enable the public to monitor the location of current rainfall and electrical storms. The data may be also be used by experts to enable severe weather warnings to be issued via the internet and the media generally as is currently done in the USA. Similarly, for very short range (now-casting) products to be produced and published about those regions that will be imminently effected by adverse or severe weather.

Recent high-rainfall events in the UK have demonstrated how vulnerable society and infrastructure is to severe weather. It is essential in modern country that the public have free and unrestricted access to this meteorological information so they may monitor developing weather situations and on which they make decisions in order that they may protect themselves and their property. Or, simply in order that they may adjust or plan their work or leisure activities.

Posted at Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:53:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [2] #   

 8 July 2008

Output from UKMO numerical weather prediction models

Posted in: FTP | Met Office | Trading Fund              

3 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Nicholas Verge, Earthscience Technologies / European Storm forecast Experiment

Public Sector Information Holder: United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO)

Information Asset:Output from UKMO numerical weather prediction models

The problem

Output form the numerical global weather prediction models run by the UKMO is currently only provided for external use on a commercial basis (acedemic research excepted). Currently, anyone requiring comprehensive NWP model output for Europe and who cannot afford commercial prioducts, is limited to using the output of the Global Forecasting System run by NOAA in the USA. of a coarser resolution and overall, somewhat less accurate. Becasue of the inherrant unpredictablity of the atmosphere reliance on a single NWP model is not recommended. Instead the ouput from as many NWP models as can be accessed should be considered. Currently the ones developed for forecasting the weather over the UK are effectively off-limits to the public.

My ideal solution

The ideal solution would be for the UKMO to realease all fields, at full temporal and spatial resolution, output from its NWP models as the output is generated, ie without delay. Data should be provided in standard meteorological file formats (GriB2 and/or netCDF) and uploaded to an FTP server for public access.

Output from the following models is requested: the Unified Global Model, regional models including and not limited to the North Atalntic and European Model. Mesoscale models including and not limited to the UK Mesoscale Model.

Model output should be provided for free, and without restriction on how the model ouput may be used redistributed or commercialised.

What I would do

Making such data avilable would allow:

In general....

  • Creation of websites displaying the model output in map and other graphical forms.
  • Higher level products including and not limited to specialist forecasts for different actrivities and industries.

With respect to the European Storm Forecast Experiment (ESTOFEX*)...

If made available the European Storm Forecast Experiment would use output from these models as the basis of the daily forecasts by its expert storm forecasters of the expected occurence of thunderstorms and associated severe weather (tornadoes, large hail damaging straightline winds and high precipitation) from these across the UK and Europe. With the availability of more-accurate and higher spatial resolution model output, ESTOFEX would be able to make more-detailed and accurate forecasts than at present and issue in addition, severe weather watches and warnings as is currently done in the USA.

*ESTOFEX is a scientific exxercise and a non-commercial group of made up of volunteers.

Posted at Tuesday, 08 July 2008 21:52:03 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #