Initial preparations for the 2012 upgrade have included studies to assess the value of regional NWP in current generation models: 25km global, and 12km regional. Results will be presented that indicate the value of current deterministic regional NWP is limited to particular surface and cloud parameters. Given these fields are key components of the Met Office's UK skill index, the current regional deterministic NWP configuration is therefore justified. However, it is clear that at some point in the near future it should be possible to retire regional NWP and refocus those computing/human resources on enhanced global/convective-scale and probabilistic NWP capabilities.
It is anticipated that enhancements to data assimilation capabilities will continue to make a significant contribution to improving NWP skill in future. The talk will end with a brief review of current data assimilation developments at the Met Office and an assessment of their likely impact in near-future operations.