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Thread: Met Office Daily Weather Reports 1914-1918 and 1939-1945

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    Default Met Office Daily Weather Reports 1914-1918 and 1939-1945

    Mods,

    I appreciate this is not the proper forum for this thread, but I felt this would be the best place to post it in the first instance since a significant number of queries here are weather related. I suggest it remains here for a while before being transferred (or copied) to what you consider the best location. I also suggest it becomes a 'Sticky'.

    Background

    The Met Office has published Daily Weather Reports since the 1860s, initially as text publications but including maps by the First World War. The organisation has just completed a major project to place the editions for the two World Wars on-line, and they may be accessed at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/archive/...weather-report . They are in 15/16 day blocks, each block consisting of up to 32 mb of data.

    WW1 (Jan 1914 to December 1918)

    The format of the publication has varied considerably over the years, but during WW1 included four mean sea level pressure maps per day (0100, 0700, 1300 and 1800 GMT) plus observations for selected stations. At that time there was no information about cloud types, amounts or heights, or visibility (although this can sometimes be inferred from the reported weather - fog, mist and haze). The observations were mostly made by public corporations, coastguards or light-house keepers; only one airfield, Farnborough, rendered reports included in the publication.

    WW2 (Jan 1939 to December 1945

    By 1939 just two charts were published for each day - "The morning of XXX (actually about 0100 GMT)" and 0700 GMT. Observations are provided for 48 locations (including some airfields) for 0100, 0700, 1300 and 1800 GMT; these include visibility in code from 0 (55 yards) to 9 (beyond 31 miles), cloud types, amounts and heights. Weather, unfortunately, is given in Beaufort letters, but a decode is provided at the bottom of page 1 of each edition.

    Notes.

    1. All times are GMT - which means one has to decide if the times given in ORBs or other reports are themselves in GMT or BST/DBST.
    2. Page 1 of a DWR published on, say 16th of a month, includes the 1300 and 1800 GMT observations for the previous day.
    3. For obvious reasons no observations are provided for occupied or Axis countries.
    4. Analyses for these areas - if provided - are just sketched.
    5. Although WW2 charts include North Atlantic analyses these should NOT be taken as gospel as there were very few, if any, data. (As an aside I've done quite a lot of research on the analyses for the first week of June 1944 by which time a rudimentary network of weather ships had been established, and there is little agreement between charts produced by the Met Office, the Pentagon, the US Weather Bureau, the Irish or the Germans.)
    6. For this forum the importance of this data source is that it provides a basic idea of developments for the UK - and some raw data.

    Hope I've not bored you, but should there be any questions please ask.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 7th August 2014 at 21:20.

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    Brian - A really useful resource. Thanks for sharing.

    Adam

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    An excellent reference, thanks for drawing attention to it Brian. It takes a little while to decipher the symbology, but it's well worth the effort!

    Richard

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    A very useful resource, already helped give a bit more insight into a couple of crashes.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Alan, Just take care in attributing "this" to "that". If you've ever any uncertainties then just PM/email me, or Lyffe. The weather (Obs or Forecasts) is never straightforward.
    Yrs
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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