Storm tracking service launched

Thursday 21st Jul 2011 by theWeather Club

For all those who love a good storm – and there are plenty of those about, a new service has been launched that will make their day. In fact it will make many days to come. Today sees the release of StormTracker, a Met Office service which monitors and forecasts tropical cyclones, the world's type of storm.

The service is has a free, basic version aimed at interested members of the public, plus an more advanced version for professional risk managers for which the Met Office charges a fee. Backed by the latest advances in forecasting science and observation the system provides an interactive and complete global picture of cyclones to help quantify risk and aid decision-making. Dr. Matt Huddleston, Met Office Principal Climate Change Consultant, said: "The StormTracker tool is an amazing advance in technology. Risk managers in the financial and energy markets will find the access to a wider range of global forecasts, which are invaluable for reducing exposure to damaging storms like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992."

Among the services available to the professional clients, or indeed advanced amateurs are: Global risk forecasts from the Met Office's own 15-day forecasting model, combined with alternative views from two world-leading centres in America and Europe - something not available elsewhere. Detections of new storms forming beyond the present 5-day boundary. Storm probabilities for the next 15 days - an early warning of emerging storm risks. Live global satellite observations of clouds and sea surface temperature; A database of more than 150 years of storm track data.

Dr. Huddleston explained that the subscription service operates as a 'one-stop-shop' where there is a complete view of the main data used by financial markets. He added: "The three models used, including the Met Office's new 15-day model, are market-leading and are consistently ranked among the top five in the world for dynamical forecasting on this timescale."