Sources of Information

Questions relating to sources of information (Where can I find... ?)

Where can I find a map of the BBC Shipping Forecast areas?

There is a map of the areas at:

Where can I find a site explaining atmospheric halo phenomena?

Les Cowley maintains a very interesting site which explains all you need to know about halo phenomena, including arcs of contact, parhelia (mock suns) etc. Plenty of interesting diagrams at:-

Where can I find a site explaining NWP model output?

Several members of the newsgroup have helped put together some pages explaining some aspects of numerical weather products that can be seen on the WWW via various sites. Not only are the lines, shading etc., explained, but there are also some simple notes pertaining to the various outputs. The site also links directly to NWP output sites. Start here.

Where can I find a site explaining radio ducting phenomena?

Colin Martin has given me permission to host this information relating to ducting of radio emissions due to atmospheric conditions; find the page here.

Where can I find a site for decoded SYNOP data as daily summaries?

Keith Harris has worked hard to develop this site which pulls down the groups appended to routine, internationally exchanged SYNOP's (see here on this site), and provides a decoded summary daily for everyone to enjoy. Keith's site is at

Where can I find a site relating to Tropical Storms (e.g. Hurricanes, Cyclones, Typhoons etc.)

There are many sites that deal with these phenomena, and it can be bewildering to "home in" on those that offer the best background data and current advice. The Met Office have a fine page on their site with links to the main centres around the world, plus the MetO own guidance bulletins on current storm activity, and you could do no better than to start there; go to the Met Office home page, and follow the various links to 'World Weather' & 'Tropical Cyclones' (or via 'Weather & Climate'):-

[ also see "Where can I find sites to follow Tropical Storm activity?"]

Where can I find information about Noctilucent cloud?

This site has all the answers, including photographs, a FAQ on the subject, methods of recording & reporting these phenomena etc. -

Where can I find information on atmospheric remote sensing?

The Satellite imagery FAQ at may answer some of your queries, and the UK Met Office has a useful summary of satellite operations at (find it by following the 'Satellite' link at the bottom)


Where can I find information on Climate change?

There are many sources of information on the current debate relating to our changing climate, both its natural variation, and anthropogenically forced change. These are now contained within a separate section of this site.

Where can I find information on the use of computers in meteorology?

For the ECMWF suite of models go to
For the UK Met Office go to
For the NCEP models go to:
For the US Navy, Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography system (NOGAPS) go to
and follow the links dealing with model specifications & characteristics.
For the DWD suite of models go to

Where can I find information relating to radar imagery?

The UK Met Office have an information sheet on the use of radar in meteorology:
(You will need a PDF reader for this).

For the images themselves, start by going to:
There are also useful notes attached on the use and configuration of the network.

for the BBC Weather Centre site: and follow the appropriate links labelled 'UK Weather' & 'rain'. However, it is unclear whether this imagery is now (from 2005) 'pure' radar output, or some amalgam of model and radar - not as useful as it used to be.

For 15-minute imagery, with good navigation, speed control etc., MeteoGroup provide the following:
Note that you can also select other areas in Europe to display - truly a major advance in availability since this FAQ sheet was started back in 1997!

and for imagery over Belgium, the Netherlands, NW Germany and NE France (includes East Anglia & SE England on some views), go to: or or

and for other links to European radar imagery, try the 'Top Karten' site:

and follow the links via "Sat & Radar".

(NB: there are now commercial sites offering higher spatial and temporal resolution data, but for a fee, e.g. the Met Office, MeteoGroup, AvBrief etc.)

Where can I find information relating to the estimation of Beaufort wind force, and the use of Beaufort letters?



Where can I find more information on dew point, relative humidity etc?

The "Temp, Humidity & Dew Point ONA" (Often Needed Answers), FAQ might be useful and can be found at



Where can I find more information relating to ozone concerns, both at stratospheric and near-surface altitudes?

For information on the chemistry, and current distribution, of low-altitude ozone (and other pollutants) in the UK, visit the DETR site at:

For the FAQ relating to stratospheric (high-altitude) ozone concerns, go to:

... and for current and past stratospheric ozone measurements and other information relating to the stratosphere and its structure go to:

Where can I find sites detailing extremes, notable past events etc?

With the increased availability of web-space for home use provided by many ISP's, many contributors to usw have provided data on past weather events for anyone to view. The list here is begging to be added to, so if you have such a source of data (for European events), then let me know.

TORRO host a site detailing extremes for such as temperature, wind speed etc., at:

Dr. Trevor Harley, Dundee University has worked up the following interesting site of 'notable' events: (via)

Martin Rowley has a series of pages on his site which might be of interest:

The Met Office/National Climate Information Centre publish summaries at:
these are produced & uploaded as soon as practicable after the end of the month. You will also find some summaries of 'notable' events via this link as well - well worth a visit!

The BBC Weather Centre publish some monthly summary information - find it on their site, via 'UK'  /  'Year in Review':

Philip Eden is providing a growing catalogue of past data, along with current indices (CET, EWR etc.) at this site:-

Where can I find sites explaining upper-air soundings?

There are a few in the article on thermodynamic soundings.

Where can I find sites for archived satellite imagery?

Both these sites require registration, but at the time of writing, this process is free: you may be charged for hard copy of the output.

[ Archive of Dundee University ]

[ Archive of EUMETSAT .. for the Meteosat suite of satellites ]

Where can I find sites for archived SYNOP, METAR, TAF data etc?

There are a growing number of sites that fit the bill: the ones listed below are simply a selection that I use routinely. Some will archive data for limited periods (say a month or less), others longer.

[ rolling archive of European SYNOP's ]

[ archive of METAR's, TAF's, SYNOP's etc., both coded & decoded ]

[ archive of coded data, including upper air ]

Where can I find sites for past weather & climatological summaries?

Many sites have been developed which supply such data & the list below must only be regarded as a 'snapshot', but ones which I certainly find of use:

a WMO sponsored site for basic climatological information:

a comprehensive site provided by Canty and Associates of Virginia, USA:

a fine site for climate, recent history etc., plus lots of other useful information - very well worth 'bookmarking' for general use:

another great site with plenty of information, not just climatology:

and one more, the Buttle and Tuttle site at:

and for a full listing of world record temperatures, see:

Where can I find sites relating to Severe Local Storms?

For the British Isles, then the Tornado & Storm Research Organisation (TORRO) has, since 1974, co-ordinated research into the full range of severe convective storm events - tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, waterspouts etc. Their site can be found at

Another developing, and very useful site with a focus on current data relating to severe storms within the UK, and educational material about such events can be found at

In 1997, an organisation was formed to perform similar functions covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Follow this link for their site:

Les Crossan maintains a very interesting site to cover his passion relating to all 'storm' phenomena at

Where can I find sites specifically relating to leisure-marine meteorology?

If you want a site that explains many of the mysteries surrounding weather terminology with an ocean-going slant, or a handy site of forecast marine-weather links, or somewhere to find out how to get the best out of NAVTEX broadcasts, then look no further than Frank Singleton's page at:

also, Martin Stubbs has a set of pages with very useful links of interest to the maritime community, and the section relating to email request of products via the US NWS is particularly worth a visit:

The Met Office of course has a sub-area devoted to marine forecasts: this was overhauled in Autumn 2006 with clickable maps for the forecasts and warnings. Find this area via:
[ and you can also use this page to link-through to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency / MCA, for whom the Office provides the basic 'public-service' forecasts. ]

The RNLI site is very useful, and emphasises the part that weather awareness plays in enjoying your sport safely - find their home page at:

And for the forecasts issued by the Met Office on behalf of UK agencies (principally the Maritime & Coastguard Agency) follow these links:
Shipping Forecast ( offshore activities, beyond 12 miles of the shore-line)
(this is the forecast broadcast 4 times a day on Radio 4 LW)
[ Met Office site ]
[ BBC site ]

Inshore Waters Forecast(within 12 miles of shore / short version)
(this is the forecast broadcast twice a day on Radio 4 LW, and copied to CEEFAX page 409) [ BBC site ]

Inshore Waters Forecast (within 12 miles of shore / long version)
(forecast provided through funding from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency) [ Met Office site ]

The BBCi website has all the forecasts (& other information, e.g. gale warnings, tides) in one useful area:-
and choose the category as listed: Gale (& other marine) warnings are found via the 'Shipping Forecast' tab.

And finally, a site for text bulletins of forecasts issued by National Meteorological Services (hosted by Météo France), is now available at:-
To quote from that site: " this web site provides the marine weather information broadcast via Inmarsat-C SafetyNET by all National Meteorological Services (NMS) appointed as Issuing Services within the framework of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. " (It is sponsored by WMO).

Where can I find sites to follow Tropical Storm activity?

There are many (mainly US based) sites which can be used to follow the progress of current tropical storm disturbances (Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tropical Depressions etc).
These two will start you off, and there are links from the Met Office url to other primary centres.

The UK Met Office Global Model is regarded highly in tropical forecasting circles, and it is appropriate that they should maintain this useful page (and associated links), from which you can 'drop-down' to other world-wide centres. Use the links in the blue panel for current activity:-

and a site that is neatly ordered, and used graphical representation of current and past storms is that provided by the Tropical Storm Risk Consortium (TSR). There are also seasonal forecasts & background information on the subject: the primary purpose of the site is to provide a risk assessment of storm activity in general and for specific disturbances:-
and another site with graphical visualisation of global tropical storms at:-