Weather Check

Checking the Weather

Symbols of the weather
Fig 1: Symbols of the weather.


Holidaymaker enjoying the sunshine.

The weather is being checked all day and all night by lots of different people and machines.

Fig 2: Satellite floating over the earth.

Weather stations

There are over 200 weather stations around the country that collect information night and day. They measure many things including how much rain has fallen, the temperature and humidity, air pressure and the wind speed and direction.

At the weather station a rain gauge measures how much rain has fallen.

Thermometers are used to measure both the highest and lowest temperatures.

A radiosonde
Fig 3: Radiosonde.
A weather station

Aircraft can send weather reports to the satellites.

Special balloons called radiosondes send back information to the ground about the weather high above us.

Satellites send back images of what they can see of the Earth’s weather from space.

Fig 4: Weather station.


There is a special computer at the Met Office in Exeter which stores all of the information received about the weather.

It takes the computer two hours to make its forecast. Weather forecasters then look at the charts and maps and decide what sort of weather we might expect.

A weather buoy
Fig 5: A weather buoy.

Did you know?

One of the highest temperatures ever recorded was in Death Valley in the USA when the temperature reached 58 °C. (The highest recorded temperature in the UK is 39 °C.)

The lowest temperature ever recorded was in Vostock, Antarctica, when -89 °C was recorded on 21 July 1983. (The lowest recorded temperature in the UK is -27 °C.)

The sunniest parts of the United Kingdom are along the south coast of England where many places achieve annual average figures of around 1,750 hours of sunshine. The dullest parts of England are the mountainous areas, with annual average totals of less than 1,000 hours.

Web page reproduced with the kind permission of the Met Office