Met Office launches #3wordweather initiative

Slang words such as 'Baltic', 'sad', 'chucking it down', ‘raining cats and dogs’, ‘pelting it down’ or ‘bucketing’ are used far and wide to describe the weather – but the list is extensive and it is regionally variable, which can therefore make it even more difficult to communicate the weather forecast.

A new initiative by the Met Office is hoping to improve its weather forecasts in order to avoid misinterpretation. They need your help to determine, for example, the most popular slang term (per region) for rain and to understand how the public interpret their weather symbols.

River Seine reaches peak in French flooding

The River Seine in Paris rose to four metres above its normal water level for the time of year, peaking at 5.84 m on Monday 29th January.

This was due to weeks of the heaviest rainfall in decades, with the country receiving almost double its typical rainfall for January. Paris received 167.4 mm through the first 28 days of January.

On This Day: Burns Day Storm 1990

Image: Highest gusts of over 60 knots (69 mph) recorded on 25 January 1990 (Source: Met Office)

On 25th January 1990 - otherwise known as Burns Day to the Scots, the day marking the birthday of their national poet, Robert Burns - an intense depression tracked across southern Scotland bringing severe gales and storm force winds to many parts of England and Wales.

Storm Georgina

Storm Georgina, the seventh named storm of the year, brought strong winds to the UK and Ireland on 24th January 2018.

Gusts up to 85mph were recorded in Scotland. Further south a narrow band of heavy rain and squally winds resulted in gusts in the 50 to 60 mph range, downing some trees and flooding some roads. A landslide was also reported on the A76 between Kirkconnel and Kelloholm in Dumfries and Galloway.

2017: the warmest year on record without an El Niño

Data from the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit for global average near-surface temperatures confirm that 2017 was the warmest year on record without the influence of warming from El Niño.

Last year was the second or third warmest year for annual global temperatures since 1850, after 2015 and 2016 both of which were dominated by a significant El Niño.