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Meteorological Service

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

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4.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what measures have recently been taken to improve the meteorological service, and at what cost; and if he is satisfied that these measures have improved the weather forecasts issued from the Meteorological Office.

Yes. Improved conditions of service are attracting highly qualified scientists into the Meteorological Office, and other steps have been taken to reinforce all the grades of its staff. During recent years new methods and equipment have been adopted. These include the use of radar to measure wind at different heights; Radio Sonde to measure temperature and humidity up to 60,000 feet; and radio direction to locate distant thunderstorms. Weather ships will shortly be at work in the Atlantic. I am advised that, as a result of the new methods now in use, the accuracy of the forecasts has substantially improved. I am trying to estimate the cost of these measures, and will write to the hon and gallant Member when I can My Ministry's estimates for the present year included an increase of £450,000 for the Meteorological Service, of which £300,000 was for the weather ships.