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Meteorological Office

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress the Meteorological Office has made with its programme of upgrades to radar sites. [110386]

The Met Office has carried out all the upgrades that were announced in its Scientific and Technical review 2001–02. These have been implemented throughout the United Kingdom radar network sites and are already delivering the expected benefits in terms of operational reliability and efficiency.In addition, the Met Office now has plans for some further improvements to follow on from the upgrades mentioned above. These include improving the data retrieval techniques and improved data handling. This will result in increased accuracy and reduction in false alarms. Multiple beam operations will be introduced, which will allow the Met Office to more reliably detect weather systems, despite the interruption caused by, for example, mountains blocking the path of the radar beam.The Met Office are also working closely with the Environment Agency to determine the technology that might be employed for the next generation of weather

Outward secondments financial year 1997–98
Band/GradeParent company or organisationSecondment location (where known)Start dateEnd date
B2Babtie GroupScotlandApril 1997October 1998
SCSGEC MarineNorth WestJune 1997June 1998
B1AWE plcSouthNovember 1997November 1999
C1Centre for Defence StudiesLondonMay 1997November 1999
B2Northern Development CompanyNorth EastJuly 1997July 2000
C2 (IT)Bull Information SystemsWestSeptember 1997September 2000
CO2Bull Information SystemsWestSeptember 1997September 2000
CO2Bull Information SystemsWestSeptember 1997September 2000
C2(IT)Bull information SystemsWestSeptember 1997
CO3Bull Information SystemsWestSeptember 1997
B2Horizon IJVC Ltd./VSELLondonSeptember 1997September 1999
SCSThompson Marconi SonarWestNovember 1997November 1999
B2Northern Development CompanyNorth EastSeptember 1997On-going
D (Temp)Opps. for People with DisabilitiesWestOctober 1997April 1999
COSBull Information SystemsWestOctober 1997October 2000
D(IT)PSYBTScotlandOctober 1997October 1999
B (Temp)Business in the Community (Opps2000)LondonOctober 1997February 2000
C1 (IT)British AirwaysLondonDecember 1997March 2000
C1Thompson Marconi SonarSouthDecember 1997December 1999
B2BAESSouthMarch 1998May 2000
B1Rolls Royce & AssocWestMarch 1998March 2000
B2Princes Youth Business TrustSouthNovember 1997November 2000
C2PSYBTScotlandNovember 1997November 1997

radars. There are opportunities to employ new techniques that can potentially identify both the quantity and the type of precipitation, which will lead to further improvements in accuracy in forecasting potential floods and other consequences of severe weather.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Meteorological Office intends to establish a new weather radar station to serve the south-east of Scotland and north-west of Scotland areas. [110385]

Current weather radar coverage in Scotland is provided by three radars, one situated just south of Glasgow, one near Aberdeen and one on the Isle of Lewis.The Met Office is in discussion with the Scottish Executive and a windfarm developer over plans to site a windfarm around the Glasgow radar. Were the windfarm to go ahead it would unacceptably compromise the performance of the radar and negate its contribution to the severe weather service for Scotland. A potential solution being considered includes removal of the current Glasgow radar installation and the construction of two new radar sites to maintain coverage of the south-east of Scotland area.