Tuesday, November 2, 2021

One Million Observations a Day!


This month, WOW has hit a major milestone in that we are now receiving 1 million observations every day from weather enthusiasts around the world!

WOW was launched in June 2011, with support from the Royal Meteorological Society and the Department for Education, for weather observers across the UK and now the world. The main purpose of WOW is to provide a platform for the sharing of current weather observations from all around the globe, regardless of where they come from, what level of detail or the frequency of reports. Now, the observations we receive are playing an even more vital role in forecasting as they are fed into Nowcasting to produce our very short-range forecasts.

These observations come from a range of sources including from our voluntary climate observers, weather enthusiasts with weather stations in their gardens that connect to WOW automatically and those who input their observations manually.

We would like to say a huge thank you to our dedicated users who have helped us to reach this milestone and we hope to continue to grow our user base and daily observation totals as WOW progresses.

Friday, June 11, 2021

WOW Updates Blog


We have some very exciting changes planned for WOW over the next few months which we would like to share with you.

The first change is updating Mapbox, which is the main map on the landing page, so that we have a map that is optimised for handheld devices such as phones and tablets. We are hoping this will enable more people to interact with WOW and be encouraged to submit data and impact observations to the website.

The next thing that we have planned are some user experience updates. A couple of years ago, the WOW team ran a small user experience project that identified several areas on the website that needed improvement to make them easier for our users.

These will include a new landing home page for the WOW website, providing more clarity on how to connect a weather station, improving the ‘create site’ entry form, a new ‘how to contribute’ page, improvements to ‘My site dashboard’ and to the ‘Enter an Observation’ page. The ultimate aim for these improvements is to make the site easier to use and to also attract new users who may want to get involved with WOW but aren’t sure how to do that in its current form.

Finally, we have identified that the logging in process can be seen as a pain point by some users and we are currently investigating ways that this process can be made easier. Once we know more, we will post an update on the blog.

                                        An example of how the new home screen might look.

If you have any questions regarding the updates, please email enquiries@metoffice.gov.uk

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Is St Harmon really the coldest place in Wales? Or the whole of the UK?

By John Adams, current observer at St Harmon 2. 

When we first arrived in St. Harmon the local farming community were very quick to inform us that  we had moved to the coldest place in Wales, if not the whole of the United Kingdom. Some of them even sounded proud of the fact, but it was certainly not something we had given any consideration to ourselves before coming here. Being keenly interested in meteorology since a young child I was curious. A little investigation revealed that there used to be a Met Office climate and auxiliary observing station in the village during the 1980’s. On searching through the records on the Met Office website it soon became apparent that St. Harmon featured far more frequently in the list of coldest nights than one would normally expect. At the same time I had also observed from WOW that there was a hole in the observing network around Mid Wales, even in respect of personal weather stations. This is the story of my quest to establish whether St. Harmon really is the coldest place, and to try and fill the hole in the observation network, first with my own personal weather station and subsequently establishing St. Harmon no.2 voluntary climate station under the auspices of the Met Office.