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Weather eye

The Meteorological Office offers a variety of services, all of which can be accessed via the Internet. MIST (Meteorological Information Self- Briefing Terminal) is its PC-based weather service developed in collaboration with Matra Marconi Space. Users needing to make weather-sensitive decisions have direct access to the Met Office and can download the latest data. Virtual tickets cost 10 for 20 visits.

MORECS (Met Office Rainfall & Evaporation Calculation System) is a nationwide service giving assessments of rainfall, evaporation and soil moisture in real time. Services include weekly reports on soil moisture state and evaporation for 40km square grids and for individual weather recording sites for hindsight studies. Results are automatically faxed to customers or sent through the post.

And more specialised services are also provided. OpenRoad offers reports for those responsible for highway maintenance. Data from road sensors produces a range of forecasts, ranging from site-specific ice-prediction to 24 hour, two to five day and six to 10 day forecasts. Direct telephone access is provided 24 hours a day to a forecaster at a local weather centre. OpenRail offers daily forecasts for the railway industry in 32 areas and the National Hazard Summary brings these 32 areas together into one daily national forecast. Tailor-made forecasts are also available.

The Met office can be found at www.meto.govt.uk.

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