2B.2 Using technology to overcome traditional barriers to effective communication:

Monday, 24 January 2011: 4:15 PM
607 (Washington State Convention Center)
Peter J. Trevelyan, Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom

The UK Met Office carries out a number of key roles as the UK's national weather service. The following list is not exhaustive and is designed to give a flavour of the kinds of activities that the Met Office provides and supports: • Predicting the weather on timescales that range from hours to years; • A significant contributor to the understanding of climate change; • A centre of excellence for research into weather science; • One of only two World area Forecast Centres (WAFC) and contracted by the CAA (UK's Civil Aviation Authority) under Single European Skies (SES) as the sole provider of aviation weather in the UK as well as being a Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre; • Provider of forecasts of rail/road conditions; • Provider of forecasts for the marine coastal agency including shipping forecasts; • Provide support for Armed forces around the world; • Help the NHS (UK's National Health Service) provide preventative healthcare; • Warn people of; extreme weather to mitigate its impacts — contributing to the protection of life, property and infrastructure; • Provider of weather services for the UK's media industries including solutions for many commercial broadcasters such as the BBC. • Provide forecasts to help plan to help, anticipate changes in supply and energy demand.

For the Met Office to be effective in the discharge of its duties communication is clearly very important at a number of levels. What makes life interesting is the variety of forms the communication takes; it ranges from traditional broadcast using traditional media such as radio and television to the extensive use of the Internet. Increasingly information is exchanged using various digital forms and this can only be achieved once standards have been agreed and implemented that govern metadata and data formats.

This talk presents a description of the work the Met Office has been doing over the last few years in improving communication with particular reference to the use of technology, including work on establishing standards fit for METOC use. The Met Office has a very diverse range of customers ranging from the general public to highly secure defence networks and the paper will outline a number of strategies the Met Office has undertaken in order to fulfil its very varied role.

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