Written by MostlyHarmless

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Topics: Weather

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

image for UK Weather Office Develops New Forecasting Tools
View from the new "window".

In a press release issued today, the Weather Office announced that it is planning to provide additional weather data for it's £33 million supercomputer, known affectionately as "Deep Depression".

The Weather Office provides both weather and climate forecasts, and in 2004 moved it's headquarters from Bracknell, Berkshire to the warmer climes of Exeter, Devon, close to the tidal river Exe.

"We have to keep in mind the financial climate, as well as weather forecasting, so after we'd abandoned our long-range forecasts to cut costs, we implemented an employee suggestion scheme. A number of suggestions had the merits of simplicity and low-cost or actual cost-benefits, so we've selected the best of these. The employees concerned will be rewarded with water-skiing holidays at the north pole later this summer, which promises to be the hottest since last year.

Several of the suggestions depended on us installing a window in the building, which we've since realised carries additional benefits, as we can now see what's going on out there. The first sensor to utilise the new window will be an electronic moisture-sensitive "hand" which will tell us if it's raining, and will provide instant input to our weather and climate models. The "hand" can also gauge wind strength and chill-factor, and apart from the valuable weather data helps us assess whether it's safe to go down the pub at lunchtime. Another detector comprises a pine-cone with attached strain-gauges, which we believe is the first time such a biological device has been used to capture weather data.

Although all of the innovations are awaiting patent approval, we feel it's only right that tax-paying citizens get an insight into these new measuring techniques, which are ground-breaking in the meteorological world.

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