Why the weather matters

From sunny spells to rainy days, the weather is an essential part of our lives, environment and scientific progress.

Person taking observations in Met Office headquarters enclosureMet Office

Early beginnings

Weather has been crucial in our planet's evolution. 

From 5000 years ago when Ancient Egyptians performed rain-making rituals to indigenous groups forecasting rain via which mountains had clouds over them, weather forecasting has had a huge impact on lives and livelihoods.

Met Office Cray XC40 Supercomputer by Met OfficeMet Office

A developing science

Ancient scholars observed phenomena like cloud formations, that created the basis of Aristotle's Meteorologica (350 BC). 

The interest and study of weather continued for millennia, becoming the science of meteorology through pioneers like Admiral Robert Fitzroy and Beaufort.

Air mass temperatureMet Office

Understanding our world

By studying meteorology, we can predict future severity and likelihood of weather events. 

This can be as minor as knowing to take an umbrella, to providing safety to life warnings such as Named Storms in the UK, and pre-empting large-scale incidents like mudslides or drought.

Visual cortex of global temperaturesMet Office

It's all about data

In the UK, the Met Office holds official weather data sets including pressure, temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind and sunshine dating back to 1854. 

Researchers use these to plot trends and analyse them as part of further research and to offer future climate projections.

Visual cortex global pressure barsMet Office

The importance of meteorology

So, whether it’s figuring out what to wear tomorrow or finding answers to some of the biggest climate questions of our time, the weather has a fundamental impact on how humanity functions, and will continue to be crucial in future years to preserve and protect our planet.

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