Watching the weather is a fun and educational activity. Join weather observers from around the world and upload your own observations to the Weather Observations Website (WOW). These observations can be ones you have recorded on scientific weather stations, or just by looking out of the window or sending in a photo.
WOW can also be used to report the impacts weather has on people’s lives, see whether roads in your area have been flooded or if there’s a tree down on your way to work or school.
WOW was launched in 2011 by the Met Office and The Royal Meteorological Society. Weather observations and weather impact information are a valuable source of information for Meteorologists. WOW allows you to compare your observations with others in the surrounding area and from the official Met Office observation network.
For updates on developments to WOW, and information about how WOW observations are being used you can follow the WOW Blog.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Over a billion observations have been received by WOW, from volunteer observers just like you.
- WOW is a cloud-based platform capable of receiving observations from around the world; to date WOW has received observations from 220 countries (as recognised by Google). We work in partnership with a number of other National Meteorological Services, who host their own websites, but all observations go into the same open database.
- Over 12,000 WOW stations have been set up worldwide and many more people submit quick observations without logging in.
Running a weather observation site
WOW can be used by anyone – from an individual just wanting to share the current weather status or a photo, to weather enthusiasts who make frequent observations e.g. a daily manual observation at 09:00 GMT, or more frequently via an AWS.
Signing-up for WOW
Firstly, it's free. There are no charges for using WOW. All you need to do is complete a short sign-up form (https://register.metoffice.gov.uk/WaveRegistrationClient/public/register.do?service=weatherobservations). This will provide you with a login to WOW, which can also be used for other current and future online Met Office services. If you already have a login (https://logon.metoffice.gov.uk/opensso/UI/Login?goto=http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk) to an existing online service, you can add WOW to the list of Met Office services that account has access to within your account page.
You can also login using your Facebook, Google or Twitter account.
There are a number of ways that observations can be submitted which should satisfy all types of user, using a wide range of equipment, from a casual observer to a keen weather enthusiast.
- From any location, without the need for any instrumentation or digital logging. If you are not logged in, these observations are stored as ‘Quick Observations’ and will not be stored against your user account; therefore you will not be able to view them in the “My Quick Observations” view.
- Against a registered Site (if you are logged in) the observations will be stored under “My Quick Observations” view.
- An associated photo can also be uploaded as part of an observation or on its own, for example, to provide evidence of weather impacts.
For users who own a compatible Automatic Weather Station (AWS).
Users can bulk upload a file of data as long as it is in the correct format (http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/support/dataformats#dataFileUpload) for WOW. This is useful if your AWS software is not yet able to send an Automatic observation or if you wish to submit a large amount of historic data.
WOW provides a simple API for you to automatically upload data into WOW. The easiest solution for most users is to use a piece of software that supports this API, some of
these are listed here: http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/support/dataformats#dataAWS
Making an observation
- Go to the WOW website at http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/ (You do not need to log in).
- Click on “Enter Observation” on the header bar
- Step 1 option 1: Select “Manual” observation.
- Step 1 option 2: Enter the location under “Search”
- Select “Continue”.
- Step 2 option 4: Check that the date and time are correct.
- Step 2 upload a photo if you wish. If the person is using their own phone ask if they would like to take and upload a photo.
- Step 2 option 7: At the bottom of the page, select the type of observation that you want to do:
- Quick observation: provides a drop down menu of weather types
- Detailed observation: here you can provide additional information including temperature, wind speed, visibility, pressure and amount of rainfall
- Click “Complete”.
- If you would like you can then share your observation with your friends through Twitter or Facebook