New information from space
The Navy serves the weather
The power of weather
Weather prevents new records
The Met Office and the Environment Agency are warning the public to be prepared for possible travel difficulties as many areas see 20–40 mm of rain and some areas see up to 80 mm falling by the end of Monday. Steve Willington, Met Office Chief Forecaster said: “A deep area of low pressure is moving North from the Bay of Biscay and will bring a very unsettled kind of weather to all parts of the UK this week. The public should keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings for their area on our website and with forecasts on TV and radio. Everyone should be prepared for the effects of heavy rain and strong winds as they combine to bring the potential for travel problems and localized flooding over the next few days.”
Metop-B was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, yesterday and once in orbit will collect critical data for weather forecasters, such as the Met Office. Along with its partner satellite Metop-A, it will orbit the Earth from pole to pole at an altitude of around 800 km, taking measurements including temperature, humidity and cloud properties, as well as snow and ice cover, sea surface temperature and land vegetation. EUMETSAT will take over control of the Metop-B satellite from the European Space Operations Centre on 20 September 2012, and will spend around six months checking the performance of the satellite in orbit and validating all data taken from its observations. Once this is completed the Metop-B satellite will be declared operational.
The Royal Navy submarines are to play a potentially important role helping map the effects of climate change deep under water in the world’s coldest environment. Very little is currently known about the areas of water beneath the ice of the Arctic as sensors for long-term monitoring are difficult to place. However, submarines, including those based at Devonport, routinely travel through these remote areas and now the information that crews gather will be made available to scientists. Tim Clarke, a marine scientist at the Ministry of Defence’s Science and Technology Laboratory, said it would make a big difference. “What this represents is the availability of important scientific data, previously inaccessible, which can only move the study forward,” he said.
One of the most famous climbers of all time, Apa Sherpa, who has conquered Everest a record 21 times, says he may not be able to do it again. Why? Because climate change is making the world’s highest and most dangerous peak unclimbable. Apa, popularly known as the ‘Super Sherpa,’ who first conquered Everest in 1989, told AFP that the absence of snow on the mountain concerns him greatly. He said: ‘In 1989 when I first climbed Everest there was a lot of snow and ice but now most of it has just become bare rock. That, as a result, is causing more rockfalls which is a danger to the climbers’.
A major winter storm brought very strong winds across much of the UK on 3d of January, 2012. The worst affected area was southern Scotland. In this area, this storm was judged as the most severe for 13 years – since 26th of December, 1998, with wind speeds exceeding those of the recent storm of 8th of December, 2011 . Very strong winds were also experienced across much of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This storm was followed by a further extremely windy period from 4th to 5th of January, 2012 – with further damaging winds across northern and eastern England. These storms followed a particularly turbulent time of weather from late November to mid-December.
The idea of creating a weather forecast using dynamic equations was first put forward by English mathematician, Lewis Fry Richardson, in 1922. He realized the dynamics of the atmosphere could be modelled by doing thousands of equations, thus being able to predict the weather. In a pre-computer age, however, the only way to apply his numerical method was by hand. He estimated it would take 64,000 people to perform the calculations needed to make a forecast in time for it to be useful. While this wasn’t practical, Richardson’s theory formed the basis for weather forecasting as technology improved.
The weather can have a huge impact on sports – from cycling to surfing, cricket to beach volleyball. As the UK’s national weather service, we’re always there when it matters, applying our science so that people can make the most of the weather. Many sports are affected by the weather in some way and conditions are important to athletes and spectators alike. Sometimes the impact of weather on sport is clear for all to see. It can help or hinder — headwinds make running and cycling harder, while tailwinds help push us forward. Some world records are invalid if set under certain conditions. Most of those participating in indoor sports like squash or badminton aren’t too worried, but for sports like hockey or windsurfing, the weather is central to the entire event.