Met Office forecasts help Japanese rescue efforts

Thursday 17th Mar 2011 by theWeather Club

As the citizens of Japan struggle to come to terms with the catastrophic effects of the earthquake and tsunami, the rest of the world is trying to find ways to help the stricken country. The scale of the disaster is such that local authorities and foreign aid agencies alike are sometimes struggling to know just where to begin. The humanitarian situation is being made worse by the fact that the Japanese government’s response is being focussed on managing the situation at The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The UK Met Office is now playing its part by using its global forecasting capability to support the relief charities working in the field. Met Office support includes localised short and medium term weather forecasts which can be used to help plan and support aid and recovery operations. As the UK's national weather service, these forecasts are provided as part of the Britain's international aid effort to the people of Japan.

As has been shown with the wind disrupting efforts to use sea water to cool the power plant, snow causing living conditions to deteriorate, and wind blowing radioactive material towards Tokyo – home to 35 million people – the weather could play a major part in how the aftermath of this disaster will unfold.

ShelterBox is the Met Office's chosen charity and Nick Grahame, Operations Centre Manager at the Met Office said, “ShelterBox does fantastic work in disaster stricken regions. We are pleased to play our part by providing forecasts to their teams in the areas that have been affected.”  Alf Evans, Operations Manager at ShelterBox said: “Having the Met Office's global forecast available to us is essential for the smooth running of our operations.”