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Met Office: Floods

Volume 493: debated on Monday 8 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made in implementing the recommendations contained in the Pitt report on flooding regarding the Met Office’s forecasting and flood prediction methodology; what research he has commissioned to support such implementation; and when he expects such research to be completed. (278326)

Noting the key role it plays in flood risk management, the Met Office is committed to improving its forecasting capability to meet the needs of emergency responders. Following a major investment in supercomputing it is already exploiting a new, highly detailed, forecast model that provides significantly improved support for the issue of flood related warnings. Building on this capability, in line with recommendation 3 of the Pitt review, the Met Office has developed a detailed research plan and started work which will further enhance its ability to forecast local-scale heavy rainfall events and further increase the amount of warning it is able to give to responders for such events. This research programme is due to be completed by summer 2012 in line with the timetable outlined by the Government in response to the Pitt review, although some benefits will be realised before this.