High-resolution weather modelling above San Francisco

Low cloud forecasting challenge

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has two closely spaced parallel runways. Both runways can only be used at the same time when the approach is completely clear of any cloud. Maximum flow rates change from 35 aircraft landing per hour when there is cloud, to up to 54 per hour once the clear conditions are reached. Therefore an accurate forecast of cloud clearance can be of considerable benefit for planning for both Air Traffic Control and the airlines coming into SFO. Continue reading

Why is volcanic ash a problem?

shutterstock_53309389 - image credit Shutterstock.com

From 15th -20th April 2010, most aircraft scheduled to fly in western or northern European airspace were grounded, leaving passengers and crews stranded and causing large economic losses to the airline and airport industry. There were further significant airspace restrictions in European airspace during the following weeks. Continue reading

What is convection?


Convection is the process whereby hotter, less dense parcels of air rise and colder, denser parcels sink resulting in the transfer of heat. Convection can occur in both liquids and gases and is a major factor in the weather. Convection occurs in both moist and dry atmospheres as well as in the oceans and plays an important role in determining the weather. Continue reading

A different perspective on climate change- how changes in our climate may affect aviation

shutterstock_47840761_Climate change

The link goes both ways

When most people hear the words ‘climate change’ and ‘aviation’ in one sentence, they tend to think of the impacts that the aviation industry has on anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change. However, at the Met Office we are also interested in how changes in our climate may affect aviation. Continue reading

How we are supporting SESAR


SESAR and Weather

Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) is a multinational collaborative project to completely overhaul European airspace and its air traffic management (ATM). It includes all aspects of aviation from management of the airports, the trajectory planning and the planning for events that will impact on the aviation network.

EUMETNET is an alliance of national MET centres from across Europe, and is involved in the weather aspects of SESAR which the Met Office is leading on. This includes gathering meteorological requirements. Continue reading